To meet the pharmaceutical industry’s need for more scientists, the College of Pharmacy at Western

University of Health Sciences has created a two-year graduate program

leading to a master of science (MS) in pharmaceutical sciences degree.

“”There is a great demand for skilled pharmaceutical science professionals

within government and industry today,”” said Guru V. Betageri, PhD,

professor and chair of the College of Pharmacy’s Department of

Pharmaceutical Sciences. “”Our program will provide students with a strong

research focus, training and skills in order to prepare them for these


The new program is designed for those with a bachelor’s degree in

chemistry, biology or a related scientific field who want to pursue a

career in the pharmaceutical industry, research institutions or in

academia. Individuals with a doctor of pharmacy (PharmD) degree also are

eligible to apply.

Applications for the first class will be available later in February, Dr.

Betageri said. The college will enroll four students in the program in

August, increasing that number to eight the following year. The program

will grow to a maximum of 15-20 students after that, he added.

Financial support in the form of full waiver of tuition and a stipend of

about $17,000 per year is available in the form of research or teaching

assistantships, Dr. Betageri said. The master’s students will work as

laboratory research assistants or as teaching assistants for the college’s

four-year PharmD degree program.

“”Our pharmaceutical sciences faculty have close ties with the drug

industry, so we know their needs,”” said Stephen O’Barr, PhD, assistant

professor of pharmacy. “”Students can build relationships while they are

training and easily move into the workplace.

The College of Pharmacy is equipped with four pharmacy labs and is

building two more.

The master plan for the College of Pharmacy always included adding

graduate programs in pharmaceutical sciences, Dr. Betageri said. Founded

in 1996 with the PharmD degree as its charter program, the college

graduated its first PharmD class in 2000. The college has plans to begin a

doctorate degree program in pharmaceutical sciences within the next two to

three years, he added.

The college is renowned nationwide for its innovative PharmD curriculum,

which integrates subject matter around disease states, and its “”block

system,”” in which students spend several weeks mastering one subject at a

time. The college is accredited by the American Council on Pharmaceutical

Education (ACPE), the national agency for the accreditation of

professional degree programs.

Western University of Health Sciences is accredited by the Accrediting

Commission for Senior Colleges and Universities of the Western Association

of Schools and Colleges (WASC), P.O. Box 9990, Mills College, Oakland,

California 94613-0990, phone 510.632.5000.

For more information on the master of science in pharmaceutical sciences

degree program, contact Western University’s admissions office at (909)

469-5335 or via e-mail at