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Psychoactive Pharmaceutical Investigation

Master of Science in Pharmaceutical Sciences

A women undergoes a therapy treatment.

The UW–Madison MS in Psychoactive Pharmaceutical Investigation is designed to better prepare recent grads and working professionals for a career in the discovery, development and clinical application of psychoactive drugs as therapeutic agents.


Is this program right for you?

If you’re interested in the field of controlled psychoactive substances for the treatment of neuropsychiatric conditions, this program provides an in-depth understanding of the application of psychedelics and psychedelic-assisted therapy, as well as medical cannabis.

This highly interdisciplinary program was made to appeal to students looking for careers in the pharmaceutical, academic, government, nonprofit and healthcare industries. Since this program is delivered entirely online, it is available to local and international students alike.

The ideal candidate has a bachelor’s degree or equivalent credential from an accredited college or university.

Is this program right for you?

If you’re interested in the field of controlled psychoactive substances for the treatment of neuropsychiatric conditions, this program provides an in-depth understanding of the application of psychedelics and psychedelic-assisted therapy, as well as medical cannabis.

This highly interdisciplinary program was made to appeal to students looking for careers in the pharmaceutical, academic, government, nonprofit and healthcare industries. Since this program is delivered entirely online, it is available to local and international students alike.

The ideal candidate has a bachelor’s degree or equivalent credential from an accredited college or university.

Admissions requirements

All applicants must:

  • Have a bachelor’s degree, PharmD or equivalent from an accredited institution.
  • Have a minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.0
  • Have a background in physical or biological sciences, engineering, pharmacy, medicine, nursing, psychology, bioethics, law, history or a related field
  • Have demonstrated successful completion of foundational biology and chemistry coursework. Completion of introductory organic chemistry and/or biochemistry is also required; this requirement may be fulfilled with a college-level “General, Organic, and Biological Chemistry” course, or similar
  • Submit evidence of English language proficiency, if applicable. The required proficiency scores are: TOEFL IBT 92, PBT 580; or IELTS 7.0

Application materials required:

  • Online application
  • Statement of purpose
  • Transcripts
  • Two letters of recommendation

After all application materials have been received, you will be notified by email of next steps, which may include scheduling a virtual interview.

Connect with us

Application Assistance: Pharmaceutical Sciences Professional Programs (Scholarships)

October 04
10-11 a.m.
Join Pharmaceutical Sciences Professional Programs staff and learn strategies to make your Pharmaceutical Sciences MS Merit Awards scholarship application stand out.
Register for Application Assistance: Pharmaceutical Sciences Professional Programs (Scholarships)

Program Overview: Pharmaceutical Sciences: Applied Drug Development

October 05
9-9:30 a.m.
Join Program Director Eric Buxton and Program Manager Lindy Stoll to learn more information about the Pharmaceutical Sciences: Applied Drug Development MS program, including the curriculum, application process, and potential career paths.
Register for Program Overview: Pharmaceutical Sciences: Applied Drug Development

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Program highlights

  • Learn from the first psychedelic-focused master’s program launched in the United States.
  • Our program combines science and the humanities to address the critical intersection of scientific and societal impacts of psychoactive pharmaceuticals.
  • Rigorous scientific, sociocultural, ethical and regulatory content gives graduates the flexibility to keep up with the rapid expansion of psychedelic, cannabinoid, dissociative and empathogen applications.

University of Wisconsin–Madison ranked #7 best pharmacy school by U.S. News & World Report.

How you'll learn

  • Complete 31 credits of online content
  • Option to complete an independent study elective with active psychedelic and cannabinoid researchers
  • Flexibility to complete the degree in two or three years, with an accelerated one-year program coming in 2022

Sample curriculum

Pharmaceutical Sciences Core

  • The Drug Development Process
  • Current Trends in Drug Discovery and Development
  • Research Ethics: Scientific Integrity and the Responsible Conduct of Research
  • Introduction to Regulatory Practice
  • Pharmaceutical Economics and Project Management

Psychoactive Pharmaceuticals Core

  • Drug History: Dangerous Drugs and Magic Bullets
  • Legal Structures for Controlled Substances
  • Appropriate Use of Abused Drugs
  • Psychedelic Drugs in Science and Society
  • Cannabinoids in Science and Society
  • CNS Drug Designs, Actions, and Applications I
  • CNS Drug Designs, Actions, and Applications I

Electives

  • Ethnobotany
  • Introduction to Biostatistics
  • Psychedelic History: Sacred Plants, Science & Psychotherapy
  • Neuroscience of Psychedelics
  • Pharmacokinetics
  • Advanced Independent Study

Want to sample an online course?

Test drive Canvas, our online learning platform, with modules from an actual UW–Madison master’s program.

Test drive Canvas

Ready to learn more about Psychoactive Pharmaceutical Investigation?
View the UW-Madison Guide

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Connect with our enrollment coaches

Our friendly, knowledgeable enrollment coaches are here to answer your questions. Contact an enrollment coach to:

  • Learn how to make this program work with your life/schedule
  • Verify credit transfers
  • Get help with your application
  • Determine if financial aid is available

Visit with our coaches on campus or at an upcoming student fair in your area. Search student fairs & events.

Connect with a coach