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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 from an accredited institution
  • Have a minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.0
  • Submit evidence of English language proficiency, if applicable. The required proficiency scores are: TOEFL IBT 92, PBT 580; or IELTS 7.0

Ideal applicants will:

  • Have a background in physical or biological sciences, engineering, pharmacy or a related field, or have a liberal arts degree with strong science elective credit(s)

Application materials required:

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

Connect with us

Application Assistance: Pharmaceutical Sciences Professional Programs

December 07
noon-12:30 p.m.
Join enrollment coach Pat Walsh to learn ways to make your Master's in Pharmaceutical Sciences: Applied Drug Development or Psychoactive Pharmaceutical Investigation application stand out.
Register for Application Assistance: Pharmaceutical Sciences Professional Programs

Social Impact: Pharmaceutical Sciences Professional Programs

February 09
5-6 p.m.
Join program staff to hear about the vision for the Pharmaceutical Sciences Professional Programs including a focus on career outcomes and diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts.
Register for Social Impact: Pharmaceutical Sciences Professional Programs

View all events

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 two modules from a real 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