Distance Master's Degree (Literature-Based)


The literature-based Distance Master of Science Degree (M.S.) in Pharmacology & Toxicology provides advanced training in molecular, cellular and organ systems pharmacology and toxicology and scientific writing. Rolling admission.

Online lectures and literature-based research thesis

Students unable to relocate to Lawrence, Kansas, and without access to a lab, seeking advanced training for academic and/or professional advancement (e.g., Ph.D. programs, admissions to professional health science programs).

  • Degree(s): Must have a bachelors or master's degree in biology, chemistry, pharmacology, toxicology, or other related disciplines
  • GPA Requirement: Minimum of 3.0 required
    Special attention given to grades in relevant science courses such as cellular/molecular biology, biochemistry, pharmacology, toxicology, statistics, etc.
  • English Language Proficiency Requirements:
    • Students who are non-native English speakers, must demonstrate proficiency in reading, writing and listening via English Proficiency Scores from TOEFL, IELTS or PTE tests
    • See KU's English Proficiency Requirements for detailed information, including minimum score requirements.
    • TOEFL Code: 6871-30
  • Undergraduate Research Experience: Applicants are strongly encouraged to gain undergraduate research experience.

30 total credit hours (grade of C or better, with overall GPA of at least 3.0)
  • 19 credit hours - Core coursework in pharmacology, toxicology, statistics and scientific ethics
  • 7 credit hours - Additional required courses and electives
  • 4 credit hours - Literature-based research thesis
See Curriculum for detailed information about required and elective coursework.

  • Student and advisor select a literature thesis topic
  • Proposal reviewed by a three-member committee (advisor and two additional faculty members)
  • Thesis earns passing grade or student gets feedback and has at least one month to resubmit
  • Student presents final oral defense by video conference to department and committee
  • Student answers questions from the advisory committee

Time Frame:
  • Online courses are designed to be completed in eight weeks (w/exception of literature research proposal)
  • Earliest possible program completion: two years/24 months
  • Students urged to complete the program within four years of admission to maintain momentum and focus
  • Three credit hours per calendar year required to remain in good standing. Failure to do so will require re-admittance.
  • Degree must be completed within 10 years from initial enrollment per KU policy

Financial Aid:
Master's students are responsible for their own tuition & fees.
For information about federal financial aid, visit KU Financial Aid & Scholarships.

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