Pharmacology Education

Unlike in a pharmacy program, pharmacologists are trained to be researchers, not to dispense pills and elixirs in drug stores. Before a pharmacist is able to provide medication and describe its effects to patients, a pharmacologist has studied the chemicals that make up the drug, run studies to determine what negative effects might occur, and investigated how the drug mixes with food, alcohol and other drugs. Pharmacists usually work in retail environments; pharmacologists work in laboratories, schools, and in clinical research facilities.

Preparing for a pharmacology education starts in high school. This is not a field for those who shun math and science. Algebra, statistics and calculus are critical skills that will prepare students for the rigorous coursework they will face in undergraduate school. Chemistry, health sciences, anatomy and biology are also the foundation of all medicine and will provide the solid background necessary to take the more difficult classes that must be passed while earning a bachelor’s degree.

Classes required for a pharmacology undergraduate and graduate degree include a variety of biological, chemical and other life sciences, such as

  • Scientific communication
  • Drug development
  • Autonomic pharmacology
  • Molecular neuropharmacology
  • Cardiovascular pharmacology
  • Molecular neurobiology
  • Laboratory techniques
  • Dental pharmacology
  • Pharmacokinetics
  • Neuroendocrine pharmacology
  • Gene regulation
  • Receptors and signal transduction
  • Biophysics
  • Neuropsychopharmacology
  • Pharmacogenomics
  • Cardiovascular pharmacology
  • Reproduction system drugs
  • Vitamins, minerals and herbs
  • Gastrointestinal pharmacology
  • Drug interactions

Pharmacology Schools