Pharmacology Offers Master's Option

May 1, 1999

Judith Zwolak

This fall, the School of Medicine's pharmacology department will enroll students in a new one-year master's program aimed at medical school hopefuls, drug company representatives, researchers and individuals hoping to join the pharmaceutical industry.

"There is a significant need in the drug industry for representatives with a knowledge of pharmacology," says Krishna Agrawal, professor and chair of the department. "And for students who want to get into medical school, this program gives them a basic knowledge of drugs, which may help them to improve their MCAT scores."

The department has 10 openings in the program, which will lead to a master of science in pharmacology. Students must complete 24 credit hours of courses and complete a master's thesis of laboratory or library research. The tuition for the next academic year is $16,800 for 24 credit hours, plus additional fees.

"The courses are designed to give students the basic principles of pharmacology," Agrawal says. "We also teach pharmacological matters through animal-based and single-cell experiments."

The animal-research aspect of the program sets it apart from most doctoral research in pharmacology, which primarily focuses on molecular-level experiments, Agrawal says.

"The pharmaceutical companies are really looking for people trained in live-animal research," he says. "There is still a need for intact animal research."

Few master's programs in pharmacology exist in medical schools, Agrawal says. In mid-April, the department had received 14 applications and enrolled four applicants for this fall. He anticipates receiving more applications this month, particularly from prospective medical students. "I think there will be a lot of inquiries in May when students get their rejection letters from the medical schools," Agrawal says.

Tulane University, New Orleans, LA 70118 504-865-5000