Bachelor's in Pharmaceutical Sciences

Prepare for high-demand research careers that help people and communities. The bachelor’s in pharmaceutical science at ACPHS opens the door to rewarding professions with strong starting salaries.

Pharmaceutical Sciences Degree Overview

The bachelor's in pharmaceutical sciences at ACPHS is designed to ensure your success with a balance of comprehensive coursework and hands-on technical training experiences.

You’ll learn from experts who have a singular passion for advancing human health. Among other areas, our faculty members have in-depth experience in cancer genetics, pharmacogenomics, medicinal chemistry, pharmaceutics and bioanalytics.

Work with state-of-the-art molecular analytical tools in our new, multi-million-dollar Stack Family Center for Biopharmaceutical Education and Training — the first-of-its kind in the country at a pharmacy college. Engage with a faculty member in a thesis research project, which provides practical training in a wide variety of laboratory techniques and great opportunities to build your professional network. ACPHS is also home to a robust student chapter of the American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists (AAPS), ranked as the top student chapter in the nation.

You can tailor your degree to your goals with a choice of specialization:

  • Pre-health (which includes a pre-med minor)
  • Research-intensive for those students interested in further academic training in M.S. or Ph.D. programs
  • Pathways to Industry, a developed bioanalytical sciences focus that provides a stepping stone to our one-year Master's in Biomanufacturing and Bioprocessing.

If you are interested in earning a pharmaceutical sciences master’s degree, we offer a five-year BS/MS dual degree. You can also earn a two-year Master of Science in Pharmaceutical Sciences.

Side view of students using mortar and pestle to mix compounding ingredients
What Is Pharmaceutical Sciences?
Most people are familiar with their local pharmacist who dispenses drugs and counsels patients, but few realize that pharmaceutical scientists initiate the process of drug discovery and development.

From vaccines that reduce the rate of infection to drugs that maintain quality of life for those with chronic conditions, pharmaceutical scientists are instrumental to wellness.

Pharmaceutical sciences include drug discovery and design, clinical sciences, drug analysis, pharmaceutical chemistry and regulatory policy. It requires training in chemistry, biology and mathematics as they relate to pharmacokinetics, pharmacology, molecular foundations of drug action and pharmaceutics. It also includes investigating drug optimization, delivery, optimal dosing, safety, outcomes and policy.

What degree do you need for pharmaceutical scientist roles?

To prepare for careers in pharmaceutical science, you need specialized training that traditional degree programs in biology and chemistry do not provide.

Your bachelor’s in pharmaceutical sciences from ACPHS will prepare you for entry-level roles in the pharmaceutical industry by translating knowledge and hands-on training into job opportunities. Additionally, your bachelor’s degree is a springboard for most post-graduate degrees including master’s and Ph.D. programs and admission into health professional programs, including medical, dental, or physician assistant programs.
A student wearing safety glasses and white coat studies lab project on laptop
Research and Hands-On Learning in the Pharmaceutical Sciences Degree
Real-world learning is a key part of the pharmaceutical sciences program at ACPHS.

Take part in internships and co-op research opportunities with local or national pharmaceutical companies that often lead directly to post-graduate job offers. Work one-on-one or in groups with faculty mentors on hypothesis-based research (capstone) project. We also offer opportunities for teaching assistantships to explore working in an academic environment.

When you choose ACPHS for your pharmaceutical sciences degree, you’ll study in New York’s capital city with access to the College’s Stack Family Center for Biopharmaceutical Education and Training (CBET) which explores the application of nanotechnology in drug design and delivery. Our students enjoy unique access to three major hospitals, a medical college and New York State’s Public Health Laboratory. Many also participate in volunteer opportunities at various local institutions such as Albany Medical Center and Capital City Rescue Mission.

Since all our programs are focused on human health, faculty members are always active in research. With topics such as neuroscience, addiction, cancer and nanotechnology, you are sure to find an area that aligns with your interests.
A cleanroom worker stands in lab space
Pharmaceutical Sciences Degree Jobs
Many graduates of our bachelor's in pharmaceutical sciences continue to earn a master’s degree or Ph.D. Others seek entry-level positions in the pharmaceutical and biomedical industries and launch their careers immediately. 

A pharmaceutical sciences degree provides broad flexibility for career pathways in medicine, research and industry. Many professionals in pharmaceutical science take part in research experiments that lead to developing new medications. Some contribute by manufacturing and testing new therapies to ensure they are safe and effective. There are also many roles in the sales and marketing divisions of pharmaceutical companies.

With a bachelor’s in pharmaceutical sciences, your starting salary will average $70,000. Further advancing your education increases your earning potential considerably. As the field continues to grow, you’ll be ready to pursue jobs in private corporations, academia and government agencies.
Pharmaceutical Sciences Degree Coursework

As a pharmaceutical sciences major, you’ll be able to explore your interests through our signature courses and elective offerings.

In your first year, you’ll explore scientific thinking on a range of thought-provoking topics such as eugenics and the ethics of CRISPR technology, expanding the discussion to research ethics and modern health care. From there, you’ll learn the principles of medicinal chemistry and drug design, and how drugs are delivered within the body.

Large lecture-based courses are balanced with small classes, which offer more individualized attention and valuable opportunities to collaborate with professors and peers. A hypothesis-based research component can take the form of a one-on-one laboratory project under the mentorship of our research faculty, group-based work in our Pharmaceutical Analytical Techniques series, or a literature-focused capstone project.

Learn More About Curriculum

Students completing the Bachelor's in Pharmaceutical Sciences degree at ACPHS may continue at the College to complete the following programs: