To serve the needs of the large population of pharmaceutical professionals in the greater New York metropolitan area, Fairleigh Dickinson University’s Department of Chemistry, Biochemistry, Physics offers a Master of Science in Chemistry with a concentration Pharmaceutical Science. This focused concentration is designed to fulfill the practical and intellectual needs of chemists pursuing research and development careers within the pharmaceutical industrial. It is also geared to current technologists aspiring to supervisory roles in the laboratory or plant. To accommodate part-time students, already working in the industry, classes are offered on an evening schedule.

The Department of Chemistry, Biochemistry, Physics  full time faculty members are joined by a diversified and talented pool of adjunct faculty who are actively employed within the pharmaceutical industry allowing this program to maintain an industrial focus and remain current.

Admission requirements

Admission requirements include graduation from an accredited college or university with a baccalaureate degree in an allied science (biology, chemistry, biochemistry, or pharmacy). This baccalaureate degree must contain a minimum of 24 credits in chemistry including a two-semester sequence of Organic and Physical Chemistry. The general Graduate Records Examination (GRE) scores must also be submitted along with three letters of recommendation. A minimum score of 550 (paper-based), 213 (computer-based) or 79 (Internet-based) on the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) or an overall band score of 6.0 or higher on the IELTS (International English Language System) is required.

Program Outcomes

Students completing a Master’s degree in Chemistry with a concentration in Pharmaceutical Science at the Metropolitan campus of Fairleigh Dickinson University shall acquire the ability to:

  • Demonstrate solid foundation in Pharmaceutical Chemistry, including: vocabulary, concepts, methods, and procedures.
  • Develop skills to work independently and with others.
  • Develop skills in oral and written modes of communication (including mathematical and graphical).
  • Develop a solid foundation for future independent study (lifelong learning)
  • Demonstrate qualitative and quantitative critical reasoning skills.
  • Exhibit the ability to use information resources including primary and secondary literature in the field

Degree Plan

Chemistry Core Requirements(12 credits)

Pharmaceutical Concentration Requirements(12-13 credits)


  • CHEM6752    Drug Design and Discovery
  • CHEM7737     Chemical Analysis of Pharmaceuticals


Free Electives (9 credits)

9 credits selected from any 5000 level or higher CHEM, COSC, BIOL, MKTG, PHAR, MATH, MGMT, or PHYS

CHEM6801  Research and Thesis and CHEM6806  Graduate (non-thesis) Research are highly recommended

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Who is this program designed for?

This program is designed to fulfill the needs of chemists pursuing research and development careers within the pharmaceutical industry or relevant areas in academia.

Q: Does this program include a thesis?

No, this is not a thesis program and it does not include laboratory research.  Students are encouraged to pursue research internships in surrounding pharmaceutical/biotech industries.

Q: Can I practice as a pharmacist after completing this program?

No, this program is designed for chemists pursuing research and development careers; it is not intended for those interested in becoming pharmacists.

Q: What are the minimum GRE score and minimum undergraduate GPA requirements?

There are no published minimum scores or grades. Each application is evaluated individually and a decision is made based on the entire application packet, which includes GRE scores, official transcripts, three letters of recommendation, etc.

Q: Do you require the Advanced Chemistry GRE?

No only the general GRE exam is required.

Q: I’ve already taken my GMAT’s. Can I submit these scores in place of the GRE’s?

No.  You are required to submit GRE scores. You can visit for scheduling.

Q: Is the degree awarded a “Masters in Pharmaceutical Chemistry”?

No, this is a “Master of Science in Chemistry” degree with a concentration in pharmaceutical chemistry.

Q: Who are the instructors and what are their qualifications?

Most of the specialized classes in this program are taught by adjunct faculty who are experts in their field and actively employed within the pharmaceutical science industries. This allows our program to maintain an industry focus and remain current.

Q: How long does it take to complete the program?

The minimum time required to complete this program is 2 years (4 semesters).

Q: I work full time during the day. Can I complete this program on a part-time basis taking only evening classes?

Many of our students work full time, live within commuting distance, and take classes only part-time. For this reason, all the pharmaceutical sciences classes are available in the evening. Furthermore, many of the instructors in this program are adjunct faculty who also work full time during the day and are only available in the evening. Thus, even full time students often become evening students by default.

Q: Does FDU offer any graduate research assistantship (RA), teaching assistantships (TA) positions, and/or job placement assistance?

The Department of Chemistry, Biochemistry, Physics does not have research or teaching assistantships and we do not provide job placement assistance. Full time students, however, will find that classmates and adjunct faculty working in the Pharmaceutical Science industry will provide a network of industry contacts. We have also recently instituted a summer “Internship/Work Experience” elective to assist students with no industrial experience. Students are also encouraged to visit FDU’s Career Development center.


Course Descriptions

  • BIOL6733 Enzyme sources and purification, structure, kinetics and mechanisms. Sequencing and characterization, biocatalysis, control of enzyme activity, clinical aspects of enzymology, and applications of biotechnology. Use of protein data banks and molecular modeling.

  • BIOL6758 Development and approval of new medications in the United States. Current medications used in the management of pathophysiological conditions involving the cardiovascular, respiratory, gastrointestinal, endocrine and nervous systems. Anti-viral and anti- bacterial agents. Immunotherapy. Orphan drugs.

  • BIOL6845 Classic and current biotechniques to include handling numbers, weighing, and solution preparation, experimental design, spectrophotometry, chromatography, enzyme kinetics/inhibition, assays for reactive oxygen species, cell culture, agarose and polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis, Southern & Western blotting, cloning, eukaryotic cells, polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and real time.

  • BIOL6846 Experiments illustrate the topics discussed in BIOL 6845 Lecture: Techniques: Theories & Applications

  • CHEM6525 Principles of thermodynamics, kinetics, quantum chemistry, statistical mechanics, spectroscopy, and molecular structure. Assumes prior knowledge of MATH 2202 Calculus II or equivalent.

  • CHEM6673 Current theories of the structure and reactivity of organic compounds, including dipole moments, stereochemistry and modern mechanisms.

  • CHEM6752 Structure and mechanism of drug action, rational drug designing approaches for drug discovery.

  • CHEM6754 Theoretical and practical considerations in the development and design of drug delivery systems.

  • CHEM6755 Principles of absorption, distribution, metabolism, and excretion (ADME), drug protein interactions, concepts of drug targets, and toxicology.

  • CHEM6781 Chemistry of substances of biological significance, structures and mechanisms of hydrolytic and respiratory enzymes, biosystheses of proteins, bio-oxidations and molecular structures of complex molecules.

  • CHEM6801 Individual research investigation in an area of chemistry under the supervision of a faculty adviser. Approved thesis must be submitted.

  • CHEM6806 Graduate level non-thesis research with an advisor in the Chemistry Department.

  • CHEM7713 Structural patterns of inorganic molecules and crystals, emphasizing symmetry concepts and the group theory of symmetry operations, with applications of this theory to metal complexes, organo-metallics and electron-deficient compounds. Laboratory work will cover synthesis and spectroscopic analysis of organic compounds with an emphasis on metal complexes.

  • CHEM7737 Analytical chemistry, techniques and methods most commonly used in the pharmaceutical industry.