MS/MBA in Pharmacology

The MS/MBA Program has a proven track record of our graduates getting jobs predominantly in pharmaceutical companies. See the MS/MBA outcomes tab below for a list of positions and the companies where our alumni are currently working. A few graduates decide to continue their education in medical or dental schools. 

The Department of Molecular Pharmacology & Therapeutics and the Loyola University Chicago Quinlan School of Business offer full time 2.5-year and part-time 4-year dual degree programs.  These programs lead to a Master of Science (MS) in Pharmacology degree and a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree. This program is especially designed for individuals who are planning a career in the pharmaceutical, biotechnology, or other health-related industries. The ability of our graduates to understand both the science and business aspects of developing and marketing a new product or therapy gives them a competitive advantage in obtaining a position in industry and advancing their careers. This dual degree program also allows students to earn the two degrees in a shorter period of time than completing each one separately.

Testimonials from graduates of our MS/MBA program:

  • "Having an MS/MBA degree certainly opened doors to me that would have been closed with just a traditional MBA"

  • "Adding a Masters in Pharmacology to the mix really improves your prospects in the job market because it shows you have a diversified skill set that sets you apart from other applicants."

  • "I have an edge with the additional business degree."

  • "I basically cut off 6 years to get where I am now."

Applicants should have a Bachelor's degree with an emphasis on the sciences. (Foreign applicants should have the equivalent of a 4-year U.S. Bachelor's degree as verified by the Educational Credential Evaluators .  Some business coursework is desirable, but not required. Applicants should have strong letters of recommendation, grades, and GRE scores. Accepted students typically have a GPA > 3.0 and a GRE composite score of >300 (verbal > 150). Foreign students should also have a TOEFL iBT score > 100 (or written score > 600). The admissions committee focuses on the overall strength of the application, and not just on one criterion.

Selected applicants who live in the United States may be invited to interview at the Medical Center Campus, and to tour the facilities and meet with students. Applicants can also arrange to tour the Quinlan School of Business and sit in on a class. Overseas applicants will be interviewed by telephone or Skype.

Students complete the first year of the curriculum at the Loyola Medical Center in Maywood. The first year consists of core basic science courses that are taken by all graduate students at the Medical Center. These include Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Cell Biology, Methods in the Biomedical Sciences, and Systems Biology (physiology, pharmacology, immunology, virology). These courses are designed to give each student a broad and solid foundation in the life sciences. This is especially important in industry where teams of scientists need to effectively communicate with each other. The second semester includes courses that focus on key principles of pharmacology and on methods of statistical analysis of data. Students also gain laboratory research experience during the first year by rotating through the laboratories of two different faculty members in our department (8 weeks each). During the first semester of the second year, students take a Drug Discovery course that includes lectures by scientists from the pharmaceutical industry.

Evening and Saturday business courses start in the summer at the Quinlan Graduate School of Business at the Water Tower Campus in downtown Chicago. The business curriculum, which is scheduled on the basis of a quarterly academic year, consists of two or three 3-hour courses in each of the next seven quarters.  The curriculum concludes with a capstone course, which integrates business skills.

The M.B.A. curriculum is flexible and practical. Students in the M.S./M.B.A. program take the six Fundamental Core courses, a Global Perspective course, five Advanced Leadership Core courses and Business Ethics.

Students are also encouraged to do a 10-week internship to obtain work-related experience in an industry environment, and to make valuable professional contacts. The Career Management Services of the Quinlan School of Business can assist students in identifying internship opportunities, which can count as a three-hour business elective.

The total credit hours required for the M.S./M.B.A. dual degree are 24 for Pharmacology, and 45 for Business (15 3-hour courses). Up to four business courses can be waived based on demonstrated competency (grades of "B" or better) in previous relevant coursework.

Tuition for the 2016-2017 academic year is $1,043 per credit hour for M.S. courses (24 credits are needed) and $4,488 per course (15 courses are needed) for the M.B.A. 


  • Where are you located?

The Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine is located in west suburban Maywood, IL. You will complete all of your Master of Science in Pharmacology degree requirements at this location

The Quinlan Graduate School of Business is located in downtown Chicago near the “magnificent mile” retail and residential center near Lake Michigan.  You will take your Master of Business Administration coursework at this site

  •  What are the housing options for students?

Many students rent an apartment in the western suburbs near the Medical Center such as Oak Park, River Forest, Forest Park, North Riverside, Brookfield, Westchester, and LaGrange Park.  Several of these suburbs have public transportation options.  Some students choose to live in downtown Chicago closer to the Graduate School of Business. Loyola has a new apartment building across the street from the Business School. The Medical Center provides housing information for new students and has a Facebook page where you can meet other graduate students to set up living arrangements.

  •  Is the program full-time or part-time?

 The coursework and lab work for the M.S. in Pharmacology degree are scheduled during the daytime at the Medical Center and are considered full-time. The M.B.A. courses are scheduled in the evenings, giving students more flexibility.

  •   Can I work while taking the program?

Students are discouraged from working during the first two semesters of the M.S. degree program so that they can concentrate on coursework and research.  Some students are able to find a paid internship during their M.B.A. studies, or a part-time job in a research laboratory or other field.

  •   How long does it take to complete the program?

Students normally obtain both the M.S. and M.B.A degrees in 2-2½ years.

  •  What kind of jobs do your graduates get?

 The graduates from our program work mostly at health-care and pharmaceutical companies. Please visit the section – MS/MBA Outcomes, which shows both entry-level and advanced-career positions.  

  •  Do I need to have work experience to get accepted into the program?

 It is not necessary to have extensive job experience to be accepted into the program.  Many of our students have graduated recently from undergraduate or other post-graduate programs.  

  •   When do classes start?  Can I enroll at different times of the year?

 New students are enrolled only once per year.  Classes start during the first week of August.

  •  Is financial aid available?

 Unfortunately, major financial aid is not available.  The University can assist students in obtaining loans.  Some students can qualify for two free courses at the Business School or receive credit for up to four business courses taken previously.

  •  Will I be able to do an internship?  Is it required?

 An internship is not required.  However, students are encouraged to do an internship to gain additional experience and make valuable professional contacts.  The University can assist in finding an internship.

  •  When are applications reviewed?

 The deadline for submitting an application is May 1 (April 1 for foreign students). 

  •  What are the science and business course pre-requisites for acceptance?

 Applicants should have a strong background in the sciences.  Preference is given to majors in biology, chemistry, biochemistry, and pre-professional studies.  Some business coursework is preferred, but not required. 

  •  Are the GRE scores required, or do you accept other standardized test results?

 GRE scores are preferred because the admissions committee is better able to interpret them.  However, other standardized test scores such as MCAT, GMAT, and DATS are acceptable. 

  •  Do the GRE scores have to be submitted at the same time as the application?

 You can submit an application without the GRE scores or with self-reported scores, but the committee cannot make a final decision until the scores have been sent officially.

  •  Can I get credit for previous business courses?

 It is possible to have up to four M.B.A. courses waived if you have received a grade of “B” or better in similar courses.

  •   I am a foreign applicant.  Do I need to submit a transcript evaluation report before my application can be reviewed?

 Your application can undergo a preliminary review without a transcript evaluation report.  However, the more verification data that you supply, the further your application can proceed in the review process.  An official transcription evaluation report is required before you can enroll.

  •  What grade-point average do I need to maintain in the M.S. portion of the dual degree?

Students need to maintain a B average (3.0) in order to receive the M.S. in Pharmacology degree.

  •  Would I be able to contact an alumnus of the program?

 Strong applicants can request contact information for a current student or alumnus.


A list of positions and the companies where our alumni are currently working.


Director, Regulatory Affairs Development, Takeda Pharmaceuticals

Director of Global Marketing, Critical Care, CR Bard

Sales Application Specialist, QIAGEN

Regional Sales Director, iRhythm Technologies

Senior Director, Clinical Affairs, Fresenius Kabi USA

Principal Clinical Specialist, Medtronic

Director, Enterprise Project Management Office, Hertz

Business Systems Analyst, Baxter International Pharmaceuticals

Clinical Research Associate, Medpace

Operations Support II, Abbott Diagnostics

Strategy Consultant, Kaiser Associates

Medical Student at the Indiana University School of Medicine

Dental Student at the Midwestern University College of Dental Medicine