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  • MS in Drug Discovery and Development


    The Master of Science degree program in Drug Discovery and Development offers you the opportunity to understand, evaluate and engage with the entire process of drug discovery and development. This unique program provides the rigorous scientific and technical training necessary to succeed in the complex and multidisciplinary field of drug discovery, and facilitates a smooth transition to an enduring and productive career with a biotechnology firm, pharmaceutical company, contract research or nonprofit organization or an academic institution.

    Online Open House

    Join us on Thursday, October 26th from 7 - 8 p.m. EST to learn more about the program and have your questions answered by a Drexel representative. Register Today!

    Program of Study

    The program offers a flexible curriculum highlighted by a core set of required courses that provide an introduction to the essential scientific underpinnings of the field and numerous specialized topics including:

    • Biologics
    • Biomarkers
    • Business Development
    • Clinical Development
    • Commercialization and Marketing
    • Computer Aided Drug Design
    • Entrepreneurship
    • Formulation
    • High Throughput Screening
    • IND Application
    • Intellectual Property
    • Lead Optimization
    • Medical Writing
    • New Drug Application
    • Peptide Therapeutics
    • Pharmaceutical Manufacturing
    • Pharmacoepidemiology
    • Pharmacogenomics
    • Pharmacovigilance
    • Program and Portfolio Management
    • Safety and Toxicology
    • Target Identification
    • Target Validation
    • Translational Medicine
    • Use of Animal Models
    • Vaccines

    This is complemented by an extensive list of advanced electives that let you customize the program and focus on one or more areas of particular interest such as New Product Development, Clinical Research, Epidemiology, Regulatory Affairs, Technology Transfer, Pharmaceutical Law or Strategic Planning.


    One of the major strengths of the Drug Discovery and Development program is the diversity and extent of faculty with significant industry experience. This includes six full-time faculty members with over 100 combined years of experience as both scientists and senior executives in the pharmaceutical and biotech fields. The adjunct faculty consists of over 30 active professionals and includes several senior level executives from regional and national companies whose expertise includes topics ranging from target identification and validation to commercialization and marketing.

    Who Should Apply?

    • Recent college graduates
    • Industrial and biotechnology employees
    • Graduate students
    • Postdoctoral fellows
    • College graduates interested in a career change

    For questions, please contact:

    Dr. Paul McGonigle
    Professor and Director

    Dr. Joanne Mathiasen
    Professor and Co-Director

    State restrictions may apply to some programs. Learn more.


    Both a thesis and a non-thesis option are available. The non-thesis option requires the preparation of a scholarly document on a topic related to the biopharmaceutical field. The thesis option requires a written thesis that is focused on an area of concentration within the pharmaceutical industry. The thesis may be based on research (laboratory or otherwise) conducted within a pharmaceutical rotation, which may be at Drexel or at a pharmaceutical or biotechnology company, nonprofit or contract research organization, or a government agency.

    Required Courses 
    IDPT 500S Responsible Conduct of Research2.0-3.0
    or CR 612S Fundamentals of Compliance
    NEUR 500S Statistics for Neuro/Pharm Research2.0-3.0
    or IDPT 501S Biostatistics I
    or CR 520S Applications of Clinical Research Biostatistics
    PHRM 502S Current Topics in Pharmacology & Physiology1.0
    PHRM 512S Graduate Pharmacology3.0
    PHRM 517S Advanced Topics in Pharmacology1.0
    PHRM 525S Drug Discovery and Development I3.0
    PHRM 526S Drug Discovery and Development II3.0
    PHRM 605S Research in Drug Discovery and Development4.0
    Elective Options 
    BIOC 510S
    Cancer Biology 
    CR 500S
    CR 505S
    Ethical Issues in Research 
    CR 511S
    The History of Misconduct in Biomedical Research 
    CR 513S
    Pharmaceutical R&D: Business Process and Information Flow 
    CR 514S
    World Wide Regulatory Submissions 
    CR 520S
    Applications of Clinical Research Biostatistics 
    CR 525S
    Scientific Writing and Medical Literature 
    CR 530S
    Tech Transfer 
    CR 535S
    Current Federal Regulatory Issues in Biomedical Research 
    CR 545S
    Pharmaceutical Law 
    CR 550S
    Leadership Skills 
    CR 555S
    Compliance & Monitoring Issues 
    CR 570S
    Principles and Practice of Pharmacovigilance 
    CR 600S
    Designing the Clinical Trial 
    CR 609S
    Innovative Product Development 
    CR 612S
    Fundamentals of Compliance 
    CR 614S
    Pharmacotherapy in New Drug R&D 
    CR 616S
    Intro to Therapeutic Products 
    CR 617S
    Informatics in Pharm Res & Development 
    CR 620S
    CR 625S
    Health Policy and Economics 
    CR 635S
    Strategic Planning 
    MIIM 508S
    Immunology I 
    MIIM 521S
    Biotechniques I 
    MIIM 524S
    Vaccines and Vaccine Development 
    MIIM 530S
    Fundamentals of Molecular Medicine I 
    MIIM 531S
    Fundamentals of Molecular Medicine II 
    MLAS 536S
    Animal Models for Biomedical Research 
    NEUR 508S
    Graduate Neuroscience I 
    PATH 601S
    PHGY 503S
    Graduate Physiology 
    PHRM 503S
    Pharm & Phys 1st Lab Rotation 
    PHRM 507S
    Prin of Neuropharmacology 
    PHRM 516S
    Advanced Topics in Physiology 
    PHRM 518S
    New Frontiers in Therapy 
    PHRM 519S
    Methods in Biomedical Research 
    PHRM 520S
    Internship in Drug Discovery and Development 
    PHRM 521S
    Intensive Internship in Drug Discovery and Development 
    PHRM 999S
    Special Topics in Pharmacology & Physiology 
    Quarter Elective Course Options (must be approved by advisor)
    BIO 631
    Bioinformatics I 
    BMES 604
    MGMT 685
    Implementing Strategies Using Project Teams 
    MGMT 910
    Readings in Strategic Management 
    MGMT 940
    Seminar in Organizational Behavior 
    ORGB 625
    Leadership and Professional Development 
    PBHL 530
    Principles of Epidemiology 
    PROJ 501
    Introduction to Project Management 
    PROJ 535
    International Project Management 
    Total Credits33.0-35.0


    *Courses that are not listed above may be taken as electives only with the approval of the program director.

    Admissions Criteria

    • Bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution in the United States or an equivalent international institution
    • Cumulative GPA of 3.0 (graduate degree GPAs will be considered along with the undergraduate GPA)

      Required Documents

      With multiple ways to submit documents, Drexel makes it easy to complete your application. Learn more by visiting our Completing Your Application Guide.

      • A completed application
      • Official transcripts from all universities or colleges and other post-secondary educational institutions (including trade schools) attended
      • Three letters of recommendation from professionals or former instructors
        • Essay of approximately 500 words explaining:
          • Your reasons for pursuing a degree from Drexel
          • Your short-term and long-term career plans
          • How your background, experience, interests and/or values, when combined with a Drexel degree, will enable you to pursue these goals successfully
        • Resume
        • Additional requirements for International Students


        The tuition rate for the academic year 2017-2018 is $1495 per credit.

        • This program is eligible for Financial Aid.
        • Special tuition rates available for Drexel University AlumniMilitary members, and members of our Partner Organizations.
          • These rates apply only to new online students and students being readmitted.
          • All students must contact within the first two weeks of the term to request tuition savings for which they qualify.
          • Special rates cannot be combined. If you qualify for more than one special rate, you'll be given the one with the largest savings.
          • When receiving special tuition plans with Drexel University Online, you may not combine them with other tuition benefits that may be available from Drexel University.


        Academic Calendar

        2017-2018 Academic Year

        Classes Begin 
        Classes End 

        Fall 2017     

        August 7, 2017

        December 8, 2017

        Spring 2018 

        January 8, 2018

        May 4, 2018

        Summer 2018 

        May 14, 2018

        July 27, 2018

        Apply today for the MS in Drug Discovery & Development

        Apply now to begin your application for obtaining a Drexel degree online!


        Previously enrolled at Drexel? Learn more about readmission.

        Any problems? Find help or contact us.