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Registration and Records
Butler University Bulletin

Master of Science in Pharmaceutical Sciences

The College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences offers the Master of Science in Pharmaceutical Sciences degree in five areas of emphasis: pharmaceutics, pharmacology, medicinal chemistry, pharmacy administration, and clinical sciences. The mission of the program is to educate students for pursuing research careers in the pharmaceutical/biomedical industry or in academia, and/or in obtaining advanced degrees.


Applicants are required to possess a basic degree in chemical, biological, or pharmaceutical sciences, or other appropriate degrees. Following admission, any applicant identified to be deficient by the Research and Graduate Review Committee with a bachelor’s-level background in chemical or biological sciences will be required to take courses in the respective areas in addition to the MS in Pharmaceutical Sciences requirements.


  • Bachelor’s degree in appropriate discipline with a minimum 3.0 GPA or equivalent (official transcript required).
  • Aptitude tests (official scores must be received from Educational Testing Services).
  • Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) (not required of anyone with a U.S. bachelor’s degree). A TOEFL score of 213 (computer-based test), or 79 (internet-based test) meets Butler University’s English language proficiency requirements. Butler’s TOEFL school code is 1073.
  • Graduate Record Examination (GRE) score. The minimum GRE cut-off score for admission for each year will be determined by the Research and Graduate Review Committee.
  • Brief résumé.
  • Personal statement indicating a specific area of research interest and career goals.
  • Three letters of recommendation evaluating the applicant’s ability to complete the program successfully.
  • International students must meet the financial independence criteria established by the University.

Each applicant is evaluated based on a comprehensive review of undergraduate transcripts, statement of purpose, letters of recommendation, previous research experience, and GRE score. International applicants will be interviewed over the telephone, and domestic candidates may be invited for a campus interview. Quality publications or other scholarly experience, although not required, serve to strengthen the application. For international students, admission is valid subject to obtaining appropriate visa credentials. Meeting minimum admission requirements does not ensure admission.

The admission process follows two steps: preliminary inquiry and formal application with required nonrefundable fees. The response to the preliminary inquiry will be issued by either the Butler University Office of Admission or the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences; however, the formal application can only be made to the Office of Admission. After initial screening, the Office of Admission will forward the eligible applications to the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences for the decision. The director of the COPHS graduate program, in discussion with the interested research faculty, will send the recommendations to the Office of Admission.

Student Status

Full-time: A full-time student must take a minimum of 9 and a maximum of 12 credits of graduate-eligible courses per semester. If a graduate student is registered only for research and thesis courses (RX701–RX706) that apply toward the completion of the research projects, the student is considered to be enrolled full-time, although the number of credits enrolled may be below the normal full-time course load. A Reduced Course Load authorization form must be submitted by F-1 graduate students under any circumstance when such students are taking fewer than 9 credits. A maximum of four years is allowed to complete all the degree requirements.

Part-time: Working professionals may pursue the MS in Pharmaceutical Sciences on a part-time basis. The conditions are:

  • Applicants must comply with all admission requirements.
  • Professionals admitted into the program must take a minimum of 3 credits per semester and complete all degree requirements within a maximum of seven years, with the didactic course work being completed within five years of entry into the program.
  • Research toward the MS thesis must be independent of research projects ongoing at the student’s place of employment and must be publishable under an affiliation with Butler University.
  • Research must be conducted during the course of the program.
  • Part-time students will not be eligible for any financial assistance from Butler University.
  • The research advisor must be a full-time COPHS faculty member.

Financial Assistance

The College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences does not normally provide scholarships or tuition waivers for MS students. Depending on the availability of external funding, a limited number of partial-tuition stipends in the form of graduate assistantships will be provided to qualified, full-time graduate students conducting research in COPHS laboratories. Graduate assistants will be required to work up to 20 hours per week on campus on projects assigned by the director of the graduate program, subject to valid immigration status. A full-time student must maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 and show satisfactory progress in his or her research project to qualify for financial assistance. Tuition stipends will be competitively awarded every year, with previously awarded students given preference. Graduate assistantships will be limited to a two-year period for each recipient. Each student is required to pay regular tuition or discounted tuition and maintain approved health insurance during the course of study. There is no assurance of financial assistance for any admitted applicant.

The freedom to leave the program, for any reason and at any time, will be available to all students; however, untimely withdrawal from the program causes financial and emotional distress to the University community. Therefore, to protect the University’s investment, it is the policy that any student accepting the tuition stipend as a graduate assistant is expected to complete the MS program. Any such student leaving the program prior to completion and without compelling reasons will be required to pay back the full amount of the stipend that has been awarded by the University, with the only exception being compelling medical reasons.