University of Vermont

College of Medicine

Department of Pharmacology


Graduate Program Admissions


Ph.D. admissions to the Cellular Molecular and Biomedical Sciences

Masters Degree in Pharmacology

The Department of Pharmacology offers a Thesis Masters for a Master of Science degree.  This is a course and research based program, with 24 credits in coursework, and 6 in research.  A thesis is written and there is a defense.  This is the most common Masters degree at UVM.    The comprehensive exam consists of four questions submitted by each committee member, three of which must answered by the student.  A net score of 80% is required to pass.  (Updated December 13, 2011)

arrowApplying to the Pharmacology MS program

Detailed instructions for applying are provided at this site. Requirements for that application include:

  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Academic transcripts
  • Essay describing your current interests and future goals.

Admission is based on an overall assessment of grade point average, GRE scores, research experience, research interests and letters of recommendation. Research experience is especially valued. The Department of Pharmacology does not have specific cut-off levels for GPAs, or GRE exam scores.

Course Requirements for Pharmacology MS students

The following are the minimum course requirements for all M.S. students.

  • 30 total credits
  • at least 24 credits from formal classwork (letter grades)
  • at least 6 credits from
  • All students must maintain a 3.0 grade point average to remain in good academic standing

Masters Thesis Committee

 After the student chooses a thesis advisor, a committee is formed that serves as both the Studies Committee and theThesis Defense Examination Committee. The thesis defense committee consists of at least four UVM faculty members, two from the Pharmacology Department including the thesis advisor. The chair of this committee must be from a different program and department than the candidate, and must be approved by the graduate dean upon nomination by the thesis advisor. This committee serves as both the comprehensive exam committee and the thesis defense committee. The candidate must meet with this committee to present a pre-thesis proposal (see below) and also approximately 6 months before the expected defense date to obtain "permission to write the dissertation". It is recommended that the candidate meet with this committee every six months to update the committee on the progress of his/her research. (Committee is composed of 1 outside program, 2 inside program, 1 either.)

Note: The thesis advisor is member #1. Member #2 is anyone with a PRIMARY appointment to the department of pharmacology. This excludes adjunct faculty Member #3 is any UVM graduate faculty. This could be a person with Primary, adjunct or no affiliation with Pharmacology. Member #4 must have not have primary or adjunct faculty affiliation with Pharmacology. That outside member must also serve as the chair. All of the members must be qualified as graduate faculty with the graduate college.

Masters Program Comprehensive Examination

The comprehensive exam must be taken no later than the first year of study. The student is provided with four questions by their thesis committee on various topics related to their coursework and thesis project.  The exam should be completed in a single day. Each question is graded on a 100 point scale. To pass the exam each individual question must receive a score of 75% or higher and the average grade for all questions must be 80% or higher. For questions with a score less than 75%, the student must meet with the faculty who wrote the question and complete remedial work (specifics at the discretion of the faculty member). The faculty member must agree that the remedial work was completed satisfactorily for the student to pass the exam, regardless of the original overall grade. One re-take is permitted if this exam is failed.

Masters Thesis

The dissertation is prepared and submitted in compliance with the detailed "Guidelines for Writing a Thesis or Dissertation" available from the Graduate College Office (a copy is also available in the Pharmacology office). The oral defense is scheduled only after submission of an original copy of the dissertation to the Graduate College office for preliminary review by the Dean of the Graduate College. This copy as well as copies to the thesis defense committee must be submitted at least 4 weeks prior to the anticipated oral defense


Last modified October 23 2014 01:20 PM