Pharmaceutical Sciences

Pharmaceutical Sciences was originally published on College Recruiter.

By Martha A. Hass, Ph.D.

Research and technological breakthroughs are changing forever the ways we deliver health care. Medications are integral components of this new health landscape, and at the heart of this emerging field is the cutting-edge world of pharmaceutical sciences.

What are pharmaceutical sciences? Pharmaceutical sciences blend a variety of scientific skills that are vital to the discovery and development of new drugs and drug therapies. Pharmaceutical scientists have been instrumental in helping bring innovative drugs to market, saving millions of lives, and improving the quality of life for millions more people through the years.
This role is becoming even more critical as researchers continue to unlock the mysteries hidden away inside the human body. As science and medicine evolve, pharmaceutical scientists are required to have a broad base of knowledge in a variety of areas. A scientific engineer working in drug delivery needs to understand how toxicology affects drug action. A chemist working in drug discovery and design needs to understand the pharmacokinetics of drug delivery.
The preparation you will receive in a bachelor’s degree program in pharmaceutical sciences or a related field will prepare you to advance in a variety of rewarding directions. With the rapid advancements in science and medicine at the dawn of the 21st century, this academic preparation will allow you to go anywhere your interests and imagination can take you.
What career opportunities are available? Many career options are available in pharmaceutical sciences: drug discovery and design, drug delivery, drug action, clinical sciences, drug analysis, pharmacoeconomics, and regulatory affairs are the primary broad categories. Each includes myriad job opportunities.
For example, study in pharmaceutical sciences will enable you to move into a research career at a major pharmaceutical manufacturer such as Abbott Laboratories, Merck & Co., or Pfizer Inc. Research opportunities at companies such as these are growing rapidly in fields such as rational drug design, pharmacogenomics, drug information and delivery, biotechnology, molecular biology, and regulatory affairs.
You also will be prepared to go directly into clinical trial management for government agencies, academic institutions, or industry, helping to prepare new medications for regulatory approval.

What are the academic opportunities?
Because pharmaceutical scientists need to have a broad base of knowledge, the academic possibilities are nearly limitless. You can study pharmaceutical sciences and get involved in research beginning as early as freshman year. You can also enter more general programs like pharmacy, biology, chemistry, engineering, medicine, economics, or marketing. Undergraduate study in any of these fields provides excellent preparation for students interested in graduate and postgraduate studies.
Ph.D. programs. Medical school. Law school. Dental school. Veterinary school. These are some of the options that will open up for you via the pharmaceutical sciences—an outstanding launching pad to a wide range of educational and career opportunities.
How do I know if pharmaceutical sciences are for me? Do your science classes really engage you? Do you feel challenged and motivated working on hands-on projects in the laboratory? Do you want to help find solutions to medical problems that have baffled the scientific community for generations and will contribute to making your world a healthier, safer place?
If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, pharmaceutical sciences might be a great path for you to consider.
The worlds of drug development and delivery are teeming with professional opportunities to enrich your own life while helping others. The pharmaceutical sciences can open up these possibilities for you.
Dr. Clarke is Director of the Pharmaceutical Sciences Program at Albany [NY] College of Pharmacy. For more information about a career in the pharmaceutical sciences, visit the American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists’ website:

Article courtesy of

By College Recruiter
College Recruiter believes that every student and recent grad deserves a great career.