If you’re interested in pursuing a pharmacology degree, read below to get a feel for Kent State’s Pharmacology Program coursework. We require students to complete a set of core courses, but you also have the opportunity to select your own set of electives, take a seminar and participate in professional development.

If you have any questions about the Pharmacology Program coursework outlined below or would like additional information about the requirements, please contact the Department of Biomedical Sciences today!

Curriculum (2015 and after)

Core Courses

  • Molecular Pharmacology (4)
  • Introduction to Biomedical Sciences (1)
  • Responsible Conduct of Research (1)
  • Topics in Pharmacology (1)
  • Pharmacology Journal Review (1)
  • Cellular and Molecular Signaling (3)
  • Medical Physiology (6)
  • Quantitative Methods in Statistics (choose one):
    • Analysis of Bioanthropological Data II (3)
    • Analysis of Bioanthropological Data I (5)
    • Statistical Inference in Psychology (3)
    • Biological Statistics (3)

Additional Electives as needed and recommended by a student's guidance Committee.    

Curriculum (pre-2015)

School of Biomedical Sciences Core

(Waivers or substitutions must be approved by the director)

Cell Biology

  • BSCI 5/70143 Eukaryotic Cell Biology (3 cr) ​Current study of the structure and function of eukaryotic cells, including recent advances in research technology
  • Must enroll concurrently in: BSCI 6/70144 Selected Readings in Eukaryotic Cell Biology (1 cr)

General Biochemistry

One of the following:

  • CHEM 5/70261 Principles of Biochemistry I (3 cr) Chemistry and metabolism of biochemically important compounds, biological catalysts, and metabolic regulation.
  • CHEM 5/70262 Principles of Biochemistry II (3 cr) Supramolecular and cellular biochemistry; transcription/translation
  • BSCI 5/70142 Bioenergetics (3 cr) Respiration and photosynthesis, their origin, development, and control in living systems. Concepts are introduced from fundamental principles.

Quantitative Methods and Statistics

One of the following:

  • BSCI 6/70103 Biological Statistics (3 cr)
  • PSYC 6/71651 Statistical Inference in Psychology (3 cr)
  • BMS 78637 Analysis of Bioanthropological Data I (5 cr)
  • BMS 78638 Analysis of Bioanthropological Data II (3 cr)
  • Equivalent course approved by director


  • BMS 60291 Introduction to Biomedical Sciences (1 cr)
  • BMS 6/70791 Seminar in Pharmacology (1 cr)

Professional Development

  • BMS 6/70194 College Teaching in Biology

Pharmacology Core

(Waivers or substitutions must be approved by the director)


  • BMS 6/70550, 6/70551 Medical Pharmacology I & II (6 cr) General principles of pharmacology including metabolism, action, interactions, side effects, toxicity and therapeutic use of drugs. Prerequisite: one year of organic chemistry or biochemistry
  • BMS 6/70596 Individual Investigation in Pharmacology (1-3 cr see below)


One of the following courses:

  • BMS 6/70449, 6/70450 Medical Physiology I & II (7 cr) Biophysical and biochemical concepts of integrative organ system physiology in the human
  • BSCI 5/70433, 5/70433 Mammalian Physiology I & II (6 cr) The internal environment and homeostasis; control mechanisms, temperature regulation, metabolism and energy balance; the digestive, musculoskeletal, nervous, cardiovascular, respiratory and renal systems

Pharmacology Electives

Two of the following:

  • BMS 6/70557 Drug Mechanisms in the Brain (3 cr) The mechanisms of centrally-acting drugs on brain function
  • BMS 6/70558 Psychoactive Drugs (3 cr) The effects of pharmacological agents on the physiology and pathophysiology of the mammalian nervous system
  • BMS 6/70595 Special Topics, as offered

Concentration or General Electives

These electives should serve primarily as a guide to students. The Guidance Committee will be charged with approving the plan of study including the selection of electives. As part of this plan of study, students will also be expected to participate in Seminars and Special Topics courses and in courses that may be developed in the future where these are appropriate to the student’s research interests.

Concentration Electives may include courses listed above not selected, other pertinent coursework at a consortial institution not otherwise selected, and/or the following:

  • BMS 6/70429 Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience (4 cr)
  • BSCI 5/70435, 5/70436 Reproductive Physiology of Mammals (4 cr)
  • BSCI 5/70432 Endocrinology (3 cr)
  • BSCI 6/70461 Neurochemistry (2 cr)
  • BSCI 6/70431 Neuroendocrinology (2 cr)
  • BSCI 6/70440 Cellular and Molecular Endocrinology (3 cr)
  • BMS 6/70220 Human Microscopic Anatomy (5 cr)
  • BMS 6/70240 Medical Microbiology and Immunology (5 cr)

Seminar in Pharmacology (BMS 6/70591 - 1 cr)

The purpose of these seminars is to help the student develop effective oral communication skills in a group setting, as well as demonstrate his/her integrative capacity, mastery of the background literature, and scientific inquiry. Seminars (2/yr) will be presented in years 1 and 2. Informative seminars on pertinent areas of modern pharmacology are expected. The seminars should include:

  • Introduction to the field
  • Methods used
  • Pros and cons of the contrasting hypotheses
  • Future directions

An additional seminar in each post candidacy year will be used to review the student's current research.

Each seminar presentation will be assessed by a written evaluation from each faculty member in attendance.

Individual Investigation in Pharmacology (BMS 6/70596 - 1-3 cr)

The purpose of these laboratories is to expose the student to various laboratory techniques and procedures used in pharmacological research. It also will provide the student with experience in experimental design. Each student will select three research projects. These projects will be directed by three different faculty members and performed in their respective laboratories. Each project will last a minimum of 10 weeks and the number of credits to be assigned will be agreed upon at the beginning of the semester. At the end of the semester, the student may be required to submit a written laboratory report in a particular journal format. This will be evaluated by the appropriate faculty member. A written summary evaluation will be made and will be based on the student’s laboratory performance. The following semester the student will then rotate to the next laboratory. The rotations are generally completed prior to candidacy.


The M.S. degree is awarded upon satisfactory completion of the coursework core, appropriate elective courses including research hours, 6 credits of Thesis I (BMS 60199) for a total of 32 hours, and an acceptable research thesis. There is no non-thesis option.


Admission to doctoral work requires either completion of the master's degree or direct matriculation to the doctoral program following completion of no less than 20 hours of graduate course work (including the core curriculum). Recommendation for matriculation (M.S. degree program to Ph.D. degree program) is accorded by the student’s Guidance Committee and the Director of the School of Biomedical Sciences. The Ph.D. will be awarded upon completion of a minimum of 90 graduate hours post-baccalaureate or 60 hours post-masters including 30 hours of Dissertation I (BMS 80199) and the presentation of an acceptable dissertation.


Candidates for the Ph.D. are expected to engage, to the extent possible, in other activities beneficial to their professional development. The teaching of laboratories and lecture courses, as appropriate, is considered valuable, and each student should have this experience during his or her graduate career, including those on non-teaching scholarships or research appointments for most or all of their tenure. Students should also seek membership in professional organizations, attend meetings to present research results, and maintain currency in the relevant literature.