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Online Master of Science (M.S.) in Pharmacology & Toxicology - Literature-Based

The literature-based Online 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.

Program Overview


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).

Standard KU Graduate Admission Requirements

Students must meet all requirements for Graduate Admissions.

Important Dates 

  • Online Masters (Lab-/Lit-based) Application Deadline: Rolling Admission
  • Online Masters (Lab-/Lit-based) Admission Decisions: Rolling Review


Previous Degree Requirement

Must have a bachelors or master's degree in biology, chemistry, pharmacology, toxicology or other related disciplines.

Grade Point Average (GPA)

  • 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 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.
  • Request that your testing agency send official English Language Proficiency scores directly to KU (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)

  • 23 credit hours - Core coursework in pharmacology, toxicology, statistics and scientific ethics
  • 2 credit hours - Electives
  • 5 credit hours - Literature-based research thesis

See Courses - Literature-Based Online M.S. 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: 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 and living expenses.
  • For information about federal financial aid, visit KU Financial Aid & Scholarships.