Master of Science in Pharmaceutical Sciences (MSc)

Overview

Our research-intensive MSc program offers students the opportunity to conduct outstanding research projects and receive training in a broad range of fields within the pharmaceutical sciences. We provide you with exceptional mentors and supervisors, a rigorous learning environment, and access to state-of-the-art equipment and facilities to conduct your research.

We accept students from a wide range of backgrounds. Students come to us with degrees in pharmaceutical sciences, medicine, biotechnology, the basic and biomedical sciences (e.g., chemistry, biology, biochemistry, microbiology, genetics, pharmacology), engineering (e.g., biomedical, chemical), economics and epidemiology.

What makes the program unique?

As the #1 Pharmaceutical Sciences school in Canada, our faculty and graduate students work at the exciting and ever-expanding edges of the field of pharmacy and pharmaceutical sciences. They're conducting precedent-setting research with real and tangible impact in areas such as discovering and developing new drugs, improving the quality of patient care and treatment outcomes, and developing the practice of pharmacy. The work we do makes a difference in people's lives.

Our graduate degree programs offer you enormous potential in terms of fulfilling career opportunities in industry, government and academia, as well as in other health professions.

 

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Admission Information & Requirements

In order to apply to this program, the following components may be required.

Online Application

All applicants must complete an online application form and pay the application fee to be considered for admission to UBC.

Minimum Academic Requirements

The Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies establishes the minimum admission requirements common to all applicants, usually a minimum overall average in the B+ range (76% at UBC). The graduate program that you are applying to may have additional requirements. Please review the specific requirements for applicants with credentials from institutions in:

Each program may set higher academic minimum requirements. Meeting the minimum requirements does not guarantee admission as it is a competitve process.

Transcripts

All applicants have to submit transcripts from all past post-secondary study. Document submission requirements depend on whether your institution of study is within Canada or outside of Canada.

English Language Test

Applicants from a university outside Canada in which English is not the primary language of instruction must provide results of an English language proficiency examination as part of their application. Tests must have been taken within the last 24 months at the time of submission of your application.

Minimum requirements for the two most common English language proficiency tests to apply to this program are listed below:

100
22
22
22
22
7.0
6.5
6.5
6.5
6.5

Other Test Scores

Some programs require additional test scores such as the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or the Graduate Management Test (GMAT). The requirements for this program are:

The GRE is not required.

Letters of Reference

A minimum of three references are required for application to graduate programs at UBC. References should be requested from individuals who are prepared to provide a report on your academic ability and qualifications. 

Statement of Interest

Many programs require a statement of interest, sometimes called a "statement of intent", "description of research interests" or something similar.

Supervision

Students in research-based programs usually require a faculty member to function as their supervisor. Please follow the instructions provided by each program whether applicants should contact faculty members.

Instructions regarding supervisor contact for Master of Science in Pharmaceutical Sciences (MSc)
The program will review research interests of applicants and recommend/match faculty members during the application/evaluation process. Applicants should not reach out to faculty members directly.

Citizenship Verification

Permanent Residents of Canada must provide a clear photocopy of both sides of the Permanent Resident card.

Research Information

Research Highlights

Pioneering research for the first drug-eluting coronary stent was accomplished by our Faculty
The Neglected Global Diseases Initiative was developed in our Faculty. (http://ngdi.ubc.ca)
Collaboration for Outcomes Research and Evaluation was developed in the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences (https://core.ubc.ca/)

Research Focus

We are developing focused Graduate Training Programs that will allow MSc and PhD students to tailor their research and educational environments to suit their needs.

Our focused research themes are in: Health Outcomes, Molecular & Systems Pharmacology, Nanomedicine, Genomics and individualized therapy, Epidemiology, and Pharmacy Education. Detailed information can be found at: https://pharmsci.ubc.ca/research/research-themes

Research Facilities

We moved into the new Pharmacy building in 2012 which houses modern, modular labs designed specifically for the type of research intended for the space. Our classroom facilities has been fitted with the necessary technology to facilitate new modes of learning.

The Faculty houses a modern mass spectrometer facility of pharmacokinetic and drug metabolism studies and a Sequenom Mass-ARRAY system for genotyping and DNA methylation studies.

Application Notes

To be considered for admission to the Pharm Sci MSc program, we must receive your completed application by February 15. Incomplete applications will not be considered.

Tuition & Financial Support

Tuition

FeesCanadian Citizen / Permanent Resident / Refugee / DiplomatInternational
Application Fee$106.00$168.25
Tuition *
Installments per year33
Tuition per installment$1,698.56$2,984.09
Tuition per year
(plus annual increase, usually 2%-5%)
$5,095.68$8,952.27
Int. Tuition Award (ITA) per year (if eligible) $3,200.00 (-)
Other Fees and Costs
Student Fees (yearly)$944.51 (approx.)
Costs of living (yearly)starting at $16,954.00 (check cost calculator)
* Regular, full-time tuition. For on-leave, extension, continuing or part time (if applicable) fees see UBC Calendar.
All fees for the year are subject to adjustment and UBC reserves the right to change any fees without notice at any time, including tuition and student fees. Tuition fees are reviewed annually by the UBC Board of Governors. In recent years, tuition increases have been 2% for continuing domestic students and between 2% and 5% for continuing international students. New students may see higher increases in tuition. Admitted students who defer their admission are subject to the potentially higher tuition fees for incoming students effective at the later program start date. In case of a discrepancy between this webpage and the UBC Calendar, the UBC Calendar entry will be held to be correct.

Financial Support

Applicants to UBC have access to a variety of funding options, including merit-based (i.e. based on your academic performance) and need-based (i.e. based on your financial situation) opportunities.

Program Funding Packages

All (domestic and international) students accepted into our MSc program can expect to be paid approximately $23,500 per year, provided they maintain their eligibility as a UBC graduate student. This comprises what we call a "guaranteed stipend" of $21,500, plus Graduate Support Initiative funding (provided to our MSc and PhD students who do not hold external funding), which is currently approximately $2,000 per year for the first two years of the Pharmaceutical Sciences MSc program. The stipend will be paid on a semi-monthly basis in the form of a Graduate Teaching Assistantship and/or a Graduate Research Assistantship.  Please be aware that due to the high cost of living, the guaranteed stipend most likely will not be enough, therefore, we strongly suggest students also plan to have their own personal funding in addition to the stipend.

Applicants who are interested in the production, preparation, and application of nuclear isotopes for science and medicine may consider the IsoSiM program that provides additional funding and professional development opportunities. Applicants who are interested in catalysis research with a focus on programs addressing waste generation, environmental compatibility, energy efficiency, and alternative energy sources may consider the SusSyn program.

Scholarships & awards (merit-based funding)

All applicants are encouraged to review the awards listing to identify potential opportunities to fund their graduate education. The database lists merit-based scholarships and awards and allows for filtering by various criteria, such as domestic vs. international or degree level.

Teaching Assistantships (GTA)

Graduate programs may have Teaching Assistantships available for registered full-time graduate students. Full teaching assistantships involve 12 hours work per week in preparation, lecturing, or laboratory instruction although many graduate programs offer partial TA appointments at less than 12 hours per week. Teaching assistantship rates are set by collective bargaining between the University and the Teaching Assistants' Union.

Research Assistantships (GRA)

Many professors are able to provide Research Assistantships (GRA) from their research grants to support full-time graduate students studying under their direction. The duties usually constitute part of the student's graduate degree requirements. A Graduate Research Assistantship is a form of financial support for a period of graduate study and is, therefore, not covered by a collective agreement. Unlike other forms of fellowship support for graduate students, the amount of a GRA is neither fixed nor subject to a university-wide formula. The stipend amounts vary widely, and are dependent on the field of study and the type of research grant from which the assistantship is being funded. Some research projects also require targeted research assistance and thus hire graduate students on an hourly basis.

Financial aid (need-based funding)

Canadian and US applicants may qualify for governmental loans to finance their studies. Please review eligibility and types of loans.

All students may be able to access private sector or bank loans.

Foreign government scholarships

Many foreign governments provide support to their citizens in pursuing education abroad. International applicants should check the various governmental resources in their home country, such as the Department of Education, for available scholarships.

Working while studying

The possibility to pursue work to supplement income may depend on the demands the program has on students. It should be carefully weighed if work leads to prolonged program durations or whether work placements can be meaningfully embedded into a program.

International students enrolled as full-time students with a valid study permit can work on campus for unlimited hours and work off-campus for no more than 20 hours a week.

A good starting point to explore student jobs is the UBC Work Learn program or a Co-Op placement.

Tax credits and RRSP withdrawals

Students with taxable income in Canada may be able to claim federal or provincial tax credits.

Canadian residents with RRSP accounts may be able to use the Lifelong Learning Plan (LLP) which allows students to withdraw amounts from their registered retirement savings plan (RRSPs) to finance full-time training or education for themselves or their partner.

Please review Filing taxes in Canada on the student services website for more information.

Cost Calculator

Applicants have access to the cost calculator to develop a financial plan that takes into account various income sources and expenses.

Career Options

A master's in pharmaceutical sciences is a launching pad to success in countless fields. As just a handful of examples, our grads have gone on to: fine-tune treatments for diseases like tuberculosis; lecture internationally about female contraceptives; study the regulation of cardiac metabolism following diabetes; optimize medication dosages for organ transplantation; and improve mental health outcomes through better understanding antipsychotics.

The possibilities are limitless with a UBC graduate degree in pharmaceutical sciences. You might consult for physicians. You might work in research and quality control, or as an administrator in a hospital or government setting. Maybe you'll consult on drug products, or health policy. Or maybe you'll find your place in teaching, mentoring and developing up-and-coming leaders in the field.

Enrolment, Duration & Other Stats

These statistics show data for the Master of Science in Pharmaceutical Sciences (MSc). Data are separated for each degree program combination. You may view data for other degree options in the respective program profile.

Enrolment Data

 20192018201720162015
Applications1301201159292
Offers10128810
New registrations911577
Total enrolment2317141719

Completion Rates & Times

This program has a graduation rate of 72.73% based on 22 students admitted between 2009 - 2012. Based on 25 graduations between 2015 - 2018 the minimum time to completion is 1.66 years and the maximum time is 4.66 years with an average of 2.82 years of study. All calculations exclude leave times.
Disclaimer
Admissions data refer to all UBC Vancouver applications, offers, new registrants for each year, May to April [data updated: 10 March 2020]. Enrolment data are based on March 1 snapshots. Program completion data are only provided for datasets comprised of more than 4 individuals. Rates and times of completion depend on a number of variables (e.g. curriculum requirements, student funding), some of which may have changed in recent years for some programs [data updated: 27 October 2019].

Research Supervisors

This list shows faculty members with full supervisory privileges who are affiliated with this program. It is not a comprehensive list of all potential supervisors as faculty from other programs or faculty members without full supervisory privileges can request approvals to supervise graduate students in this program.

  • Burt, Helen Mary (Nanotechnology, non-sized drug carriers, nanoparticulte drug delivery)
  • Cairns, Brian (Neuropharmacology, Oro-Facial Pain, Pain, Electrophysiology, pain mechanisms, headache, temporomandibular disorders, sex-related differences, peripheral analgesics)
  • Chang, Thomas (Drug Metabolism, Pharmacology, Nuclear Receptor, Drug-Metabolizing Enzymes, Cytochrome P450, Gene Expression, Gene regulation)
  • Collier, Abby (Drugs in children, Drugs in pregnancy, Developmental pharmacology, Drug metabolism, Pharmacokinetics, Drug metabolism and pharmacokinetics, primarily of the phase II (conjugation) enzymes, focused on pregnancy and pediatrics)
  • Conklin, Annalijn (Chronic Diseases in Elderly, Gender Epidemiology, Health Policies, Professional Practices, Obesity, Social Determinants of Dietary and Metabolic Disorders, Community Health / Public Health, healthy ageing, social nutritional epidemiology, obesity & CVD risk factors, food and nutrition policy, Indigenous health, gender and health equity, healthcare quality improvement, disease management evaluation)
  • Coughtrie, Michael (Drug metabolizing enzymes)
  • Cragg, Jacquelyn (Drug Effectiveness, Drug Safety, Epidemiology, SCI Progression, neuro-analytics, Neurological diseases, Parkinson’s disease, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), multiple sclerosis)
  • De Vera, Mary (examining how eHealth technologies can support new and existing models of care to improve care delivery and patient outcomes; exploring patients' perspectives and experiences with medication taking and adherence; and evaluating the use and impacts of medications among pregnant women, particularly with inflammatory conditions.)
  • Frankel, Adam (Biological and Biochemical Mechanisms, Bioactive Molecules, Organic Molecules and Biomolecules, Proteins, Protein Biochemistry, arginine methylation, post-translational modifications, drug discovery, yeast, autophagy, Chemical Biology)
  • Giaever, Guri (Model organisms, human therapeutics, high-throughput cell biology, drug synergy, technologies for understanding relationship between chromatic structure and transcriptional regulation)
  • Hafeli, Urs (Pharmacokinetics, Imaging, Radiotherapy, Immunotherapy, Development of Drug Delivery Systems, Radiopharmaceuticals, Radioimmunotherapy, Magnetic Targeting, Targeted Drug Delivery, Novel polymers, Nanoparticles, Microspheres, Microneedles, Bioconjugates)
  • Harrison, Mark (measurement and valuation of health, health technology and policy assessment, and preferences for healthcare interventions; evaluation/re-evaluation of the type of health care that is provided, the point in the treatment pathway, and the way in which it is delivered)
  • Hedtrich, Sarah (Nanotechnologies, Structural Tissue Engineering / Biomaterials, Inflammatory Respiratory Diseases, Skin, Novel therapies for inflammatory and genetic diseases of human epithelia, Tissue Regeneration and Wound Healing, Topical drug delivery and Nanomedicine, New Biomedical Approaches - Alternatives to Animal Testing)
  • Jarvis-Selinger, Sandra Ann (Education, human learning, development, and instruction, education innovation, konwledge translation, teaching excellence, curriculum design, technology)
  • Karim, Ehsan (Epidemiology, Pharmacoepidemiology, Statistics and Probabilities, Data mining, Parametric and Non-Parametric Inference, Community Health / Public Health, Model Building, Computer Science and Statistics, Causal inference, Biostatistics, Statistics, Machine Learning, data science, Survey sampling)
  • Kumar, Ujendra (Somatostatin hormone, molecular pharmacology, Somatostatin, , Hormones, somatostatin, locomotor and cognitive function, neurodegenerative diseases, drugs)
  • Lalji, Fawziah (Pharmacoepidemiology, Infectious Diseases, Vaccination, Antibiotics and Resistance, Tuberculosis)
  • Li, Shyh-dar (drug delivery, pharmaceutics, nanomedicine, biopharmaceutics)
  • Loewen, Peter (Cardiovascular Diseases, Arrhythmia, Thrombosis and Embolism, Heart Failure, Pharmacoepidemiology, Stroke, Health Care Technologies, Professional Practices, Hematology, Decision Making, atrial fibrillation, stroke prevention therapy, adherence to medication, Shared decision-making, pharmacy practice, knowledge translation of evidence to patient care, patient education, clinical prediction rules, prediction of stroke and bleeding in atrial fibrillation patients, patient decision aids, patient complexiometry, healthcare communication technologies, use of mobile technology for clinical decision-making, hospital pharmacy practice, quality of care, quality drug therapy)
  • Lynd, Larry (health economics, orphan drugs, pharmaceutical policy, respiratory medicine, epidemiology, pharmacoepidemiology, rare diseases )
  • McCormack, James (Knowledge translation and evidence-based practice)
  • Nislow, Corey (genomics and develops biotechnology tools to address both fundamental and applied biological questions; Parallel genome-wide chemical genomic screens; High throughput cell-based screens; Next Generation Sequencing)
  • Page, Brent (Cell Signaling and Cancer, drug discovery, Drug development, Medicinal Chemistry, Chemical Biology, Cancer, Target Engagement, Cell signaling)
  • Rodrigues, Brian (Diabetes, Cardiomyopathy, Heart Failure, Energy Metabolism, Cardiovascular metabolism, Endothelial cell - cardiomyocyte crosstalk, Vascular Endothelial Growth factors)
  • Ross, Colin (Biomedical Technologies, Gene Therapy, Drug Metabolism, Transgenic Model, Pharmacogenomics, Gene-based therapeutics, Precision Medicine)

Pages

Further Program Information

Specialization

Pharmaceutical Sciences covers research areas of nanomedicine, drug delivery; drug metabolism, pharmacokinetics and toxicology; pharmacogenomics and pharmacogenetics; diabetes, cardiovascular and molecular pharmacology; neuropharmacology; cancer pharmacology; pharmaceutical health outcomes and pharmacotherapeutics; and pharmaceutical education.

Program Identifier

VGMMSC-TU
 
 
 

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