Pharmaceutical Sciences, BS

The Bachelor of Science in Pharmaceutical Sciences is geared toward highly motivated students who are strongly focused on careers in biomedical/pharmaceutical research, biomedicine, and/or the pharmaceutical/biotech industries. The educational approach is an innovative paradigm that immerses students into undergraduate research at the earliest possible time and promotes graduate-style mentorship and experiential learning in the context of an intensive scientific curriculum with specialized educational opportunities. Pharmaceutical sciences are by nature highly interdisciplinary: pharmacology; physiology; structural biology; medicinal chemistry; pharmaceutics and the allied fields of toxicology, chemical biology, and nanomedicine; and a spectrum of emerging health science disciplines that span classical life sciences, engineering, and biotechnology. All students take courses in basic chemistry, basic biology, organic chemistry, physiology, pharmacology, medicinal chemistry, and pharmaceutical sciences. Students can then further specialize their educations with elective courses in areas of their interest and their developing career trajectories.

Entering students are expected to initiate a self-directed search for opportunities to participate in laboratory research. In the first year, students complete Introduction to Health Science Research (PHSC 2650), a course that introduces students to scientific literature, hypothesis generation, and use of the scientific method to investigate unsolved problems. To facilitate identification of research opportunities, this course also introduces students to researchers from within and outside of the university, with the goal of matching students with faculty research mentors.

Graduates of the Bachelor of Science in Pharmaceutical Sciences program will have a solid foundation in the science of drug discovery, delivery, evaluation, and development, as well as specialized training at the undergraduate level in research labs. The program prepares students to pursue graduate studies, enroll in professional programs, or enter the biopharmaceutical industry. The BS degree requires a minimum of four years of study and at least one co-op experience. Graduates are positioned to pursue MS and PhD programs in the biomedical sciences, medical schools, and other health professional degree programs.

Bachelor of Science in Pharmaceutical Sciences—Progression Standards

The Bachelor of Science in Pharmaceutical Sciences requires students to satisfy a set of academic standards that include maintaining an overall GPA of 3.000 or better. A grade of C is the minimal passing grade for any of the required courses in the major.

Bachelor of Science Students in this program are expected to maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.000 each semester to remain in good academic standing and to progress towards graduation. If a student's cumulative GPA falls below the required 3.000, a student may be on probation for only two semesters, or until the course is offered again, unless the advisor approves an action plan that specifies a longer (but definite) period. A student may only be placed on probation twice during enrollment in the program and must correct all deficiencies, as specified, in each respective action plan during the applicable probationary period. Failure to remediate the deficiency within the agreed time may result in dismissal from the program.

The program also requires students to seek out and establish laboratory research opportunities with a faculty-level mentor. It is advised that students get involved in laboratory research during their first year in the program. Each student must secure a laboratory research opportunity by the spring semester of the second year and complete Lab Research Rotation (PHSC 2100) by the end of the second year.

All students admitted to the pharmaceutical sciences major will need to adhere to progression policies to enter the third year of the program. At the end of the second year, fall semester, failure to complete all required course work at or exceeding program standards and/or to not involve oneself in a laboratory research opportunity will be considered a professional deficiency. According to standard policy, affected students will be invited to meet with the School of Pharmacy Academic Standing Committee and may prepare a report describing how they will satisfy outstanding requirements by the end of the summer of the second year for consideration by the committee. If the plan is not accepted, or accepted but not executed by the end of summer of the second year (or as agreed), then the student will be dismissed from the program. Under such circumstances, the student can follow standard School of Pharmacy policies to appeal.

Securing a Laboratory Research Experience

The Bachelor of Science in Pharmaceutical Sciences requires students to earn a minimum of 12 credits for laboratory research through participation in a research rotation (Lab Research Rotation (PHSC 2100)) and the writing and completion of an undergraduate thesis (comprised of Senior Thesis (PHSC 4997) and Senior Thesis Continuation (PHSC 4998)). Each student must take the initiative to seek out opportunities for undergraduate laboratory research either on campus, off campus at a neighboring university, or in an industry setting accessible to the student, under the direction of a faculty-level mentor. Students are assisted with securing laboratory research experiences through participation in Introduction to Health Science Research (PHSC 2650) during the spring of the first year and, as needed, through work with a faculty advisor within the Bachelor of Science Pharmaceutical Sciences program. A variety of university resources are also available to assist students in finding opportunities, including the Bouvé College Office of Research, the Northeastern University Office of Undergraduate Research and Fellowships, the Northeastern University Integrated Initiative for Global Health, and various other departmental and college resources across Northeastern University.

Change of Major

Students are eligible to transfer into the program at any point prior to the third year of the program. All students who wish to transfer into the program and have completed General Biology 1 (BIOL 1111) and Lab for BIOL 1111 (BIOL 1112) and General Chemistry 1 (CHEM 1211) and Lab for CHEM 1211 (CHEM 1212) must have earned a grade of B or better and have an overall GPA of 3.000 or better.

Academic Appeals

Students who believe that they were erroneously, capriciously, or otherwise unfairly treated in an academic or cooperative education decision may petition to appeal the decision. Refer to the Bouvé College of Health Sciences Academic Affairs Appeals Process and the Northeastern University Appeals Policies and Procedures.

Program Learning Outcomes

Please visit Bouvé College Program Learning Outcomes for the specific student learning outcomes for this program.

Complete all courses listed below unless otherwise indicated. Also complete any corequisite labs, recitations, clinicals, or tools courses where specified and complete any additional courses needed beyond specific college and major requirements to satisfy graduation credit requirements.

University-Wide Requirements

All undergraduate students are required to complete the University-Wide Requirements.

NUpath Requirements

All undergraduate students are required to complete the NUpath Requirements.

Some NUpath requirements are not explicitly satisfied by required courses. Students are responsible for satisfying these requirements with open electives. 

Pharmaceutical Sciences Major Requirements

PHMD 1000College: An Introduction1
PHSC 2650Introduction to Health Science Research4
PHSC 2000Professional Development for Pharmaceutical Sciences Co-op1
PHSC 2301
and PHSC 2302
Human Physiology 1
and Human Anatomy Lab
PHSC 2100Lab Research Rotation4
PHSC 2303
and PHSC 2304
Human Physiology 2
and Human Physiology Lab
NU Path Elective4
NU Path Elective 4
COOP 3945Co-op Work Experience0
PHSC 2320Biochemistry4
PHSC 3411Pharmaceutics 14
PHSC 4501Pharmacology/Medicinal Chemistry 15
COOP 3945 Co-op Work Experience
PHSC 3412Pharmaceutics 24
PHSC 3419Pharmaceutics Laboratory1
PHSC 4502Pharmacology/Medicinal Chemistry 25
PHSC 5360Anti-Infectives4
Open Elective0-4
PHSC 2400Research Ethics for Beginning Health Scientists4
PHTH 2210Foundations of Biostatistics2-4
or PHSC 6214 Experimental Design and Biostatistics
PHSC 4997Senior Thesis4
Open Elective3
Statistics/Experimental Design Requirement 12-4
PHSC 2330Immunology3
PHSC 3430Pharmacokinetics and Biopharmaceutics3
PHSC 4998Senior Thesis Continuation4
NU Path Elective4

Supporting Courses

BIOL 1111
and BIOL 1112
General Biology 1
and Lab for BIOL 1111
CHEM 1211
and CHEM 1212
and CHEM 1213
General Chemistry 1
and Lab for CHEM 1211
and Recitation for CHEM 1211
PSYC 1101Foundations of Psychology4
MATH 1245Calculus with Applications4
BIOL 1113
and BIOL 1114
General Biology 2
and Lab for BIOL 1113
CHEM 1214
and CHEM 1215
and CHEM 1216
General Chemistry 2
and Lab for CHEM 1214
and Recitation for CHEM 1214
PHYS 1149
and PHYS 1150
Physics for Pharmacy
and Lab for PHYS 1149
CHEM 2311
and CHEM 2312
and CHEM 2319
Organic Chemistry 1
and Lab for CHEM 2311
and Recitation for CHEM 2311
CHEM 2313
and CHEM 2314
and CHEM 2320
Organic Chemistry 2
and Lab for CHEM 2313
and Recitation for CHEM 2313

Writing Requirement

ENGW 1111First-Year Writing4
ENGW 3306Advanced Writing in the Health Professions4

Program Requirement

Minimum of 133 semester hours required

Year 1
FallHoursSpringHoursSummer Full SemesterHours
CHEM 12114CHEM 12144Vacation or volunteer research experience
CHEM 12121CHEM 12151 
CHEM 12130CHEM 12160 
BIOL 11114BIOL 11134 
BIOL 11121BIOL 11141 
PSYC 11014ENGW 11114 
MATH 12454PHSC 26504 
PHMD 10001  
 19 18 0
Year 2
FallHoursSpringHoursSummer Full SemesterHours
CHEM 23114CHEM 23134PHMD 3945 Co-op/Experiential Learning
CHEM 23121CHEM 23141 
CHEM 23190CHEM 23200 
PHSC 23013PHSC 23033 
PHSC 23021PHSC 23041 
PHYS 11494NUpath elective 4 
PHYS 11501NUpath elective4 
PHSC 20001  
PHSC 21004  
 19 17 0
Year 3
FallHoursSpringHoursSummer Full SemesterHours
PHSC 23204PHMD 3945 Co-op/Experiential LearningPHSC 45025
PHSC 45015 PHSC 34124
PHSC 34114 PHSC 34191
ENGW 33064 PHSC 53604
  Optional elective 0-4
 17 0 14-18
Year 4
PHSC 24004PHSC 23303 
PHSC 49974PHSC 34303 
Choose one of the following courses:2-4PHSC 49984 
NUpath elective 4 
Optional elective2-4  
 12-16 14 
Total Hours: 130-138