Graduate Programs


he University of Mississippi School of Pharmacy offers the Master of Science in pharmaceutical sciences and Doctor of Philosophy in pharmaceutical sciences with emphases in environmental toxicology, medicinal chemistry, pharmaceutics, pharmacognosy, pharmacology and pharmacy administration.

Graduate student in a lab with a professor

All of these programs offer opportunities to study with nationally and internationally recognized research scientists. The programs prepare students for teaching and research positions in academia, or administrative and research positions in the pharmaceutical, chemical, agrochemical, food and health care industries, as well as government agencies. If a career in one of these areas is what you're looking for, a graduate degree from the UM School of Pharmacy may be the right prescription for your future.

The University of Mississippi and its School of Pharmacy are recognized as major research institutions. Comprehensive in scope but relatively small in size, both provide excellent opportunities for advanced studies in a supportive and nurturing environment. Our diverse graduate community includes outstanding faculty and students from around the globe, and their cutting-edge research and scholarship reflect tremendous vitality, impact and significance.


The University of Mississippi School of Pharmacy is one of the top-funded pharmacy schools in the country. The funds enable faculty and students to conduct internationally competitive health-related research in state-of-the-art laboratories.

Research Environment

Our graduate students have opportunities to conduct research under the guidance of scientists within our Research Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences, which comprises three major nationally and internationally renowned entities: the National Center for Natural Products Research, the Center for Pharmaceutical Marketing and Management and the Pii Center for Pharmaceutical Technology.

Financial Support

The largest source of funding for graduate students is teaching or research assistantships offered by the pharmacy school's academic departments and its research institute and centers. Recipients are also awarded tuition and nonresident fee scholarships. In addition, UM's Graduate School offers dissertation fellowships and summer research assistantships, as well as fellowships to supplement departmental assistantships.

Health Insurance

Recipients of graduate assistantships must have health insurance. Unless a student presents evidence of prior insurance, he or she is automatically enrolled in a university-endorsed group insurance program, and the Graduate School subsidizes half of the premiums for most graduate assistants.

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Oxford is a safe, clean, charming town of about 19,000. It is listed in The Best 100 Small Towns in America and has been described as a "thriving New South arts mecca" and one of the top six college towns in the nation by USA Today.

Environmental Toxicology

Faculty and students associated with UM's environmental toxicology program conduct research and educational activities that identify and resolve problems related to environmental health issues. Through research and course work, students study the effects of environmental contaminants and stressors on human health and environmental quality and come to understand the basic and applied research needed to set environmental policy and regulations. The program contributes scientific information that allows economic growth in a climate of high-quality, cost-effective health services and ecologically meaningful environmental stewardship. Research interests of the faculty include quantifying environmental contaminants and assessing their impact on environmental quality and the health of humans and aquatic and marine organisms. (Click here to request a customized E-brochure about this program from the Graduate School.)

Coordinator: Marc Slattery, Ph.D.
Telephone: 662-915-1053

Medicinal Chemistry

Medicinal chemistry applies chemical and biological principles to the study of compounds capable of exerting specific effects on biological systems. Medicinal chemists design, synthesize and characterize compounds for managing or treating disease states. Knowledge of both chemical and biological sciences, as well as biophysical principles, are required to rationally design and discover novel therapeutic agents, and to understand and predict the properties that provide substances with drug-like attributes. Areas of current faculty interest include antimicrobial and anticancer chemotherapy, cardiovascular drugs, CNS-active agents, drugs affecting the endocrine system, toxicological aspects of drug or drug-like molecules in biological systems, computer modeling and simulation. (Click here to request a customized E-brochure about this program from the Graduate School.)

Coordinator: Mitchell A. Avery, Ph.D.
Telephone: 662-915-5879


Pharmaceutics is the art and science of delivering the right amount of therapeutic agents to the right places at the right times. Faculty conduct research to identify problems related to drug delivery (e.g., biological barriers, physical and chemical characteristics of molecules) and develop solutions to overcome them. Through course work and research—which exposes students to all facets of product research and development, and a variety of cutting-edge technologies—students come to understand the biopharmaceutical principles of drug delivery. In addition to pre-formulation, formulation and novel drug-delivery systems, areas of current faculty interest include product R&D, drug metabolism, drug dependence and tolerance, pharmacodynamics, solid-state characterization and molecular modeling of physical processes.

Coordinator: Bonnie A. Avery, Ph.D.
Telephone: 662-915-5163


Pharmacognosy is the study of bioactive natural products found in plants, microbes and animals, from which nearly half of all therapeutic agents have come or were derived. While addressing such challenges as the impact of natural products on humans and the environment, faculty and students conduct research leading to new methods for analyzing drugs, toxins and herbal preparations; new therapeutic agents, pest controls and herbal medicines; and increased understanding of the pharmacology, ecology and biochemistry of molecules produced by nature. Faculty interests include the search for new antimicrobial and anticancer drugs, CNS-active agents, molecular probes for studying drug-receptor interactions, polyphenols from fruits, semisynthetic modifications of natural products and ecological relations of marine organisms. (Click here to request a customized E-brochure about this program from the Graduate School.)

Coordinator: Marc Slattery, Ph.D.
Telephone: 662-915-1053


Pharmacology is the study of chemical agents of therapeutic value (drugs) and the adverse effects (toxicity) of drugs and other substances on biological systems and their constituent parts. Through course work and basic and applied research, students come to understand the underlying causes of various diseases, the mechanisms of action of substances used to manage or treat them, and the adverse effects of substances on the brain, heart, blood vessels, and fat and other tissues. With a goal of preserving and protecting health and the environment, areas of current faculty interest include research on the effects of drugs on cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, obesity, diabetes, Parkinson's, Alzheimer's and cancer, as well as assessing the impact of environmental contaminants on the health of humans and other organisms.

Coordinator: Ziaeddin Shariat-Madar, Ph.D.
Telephone: 662-915-5150

Pharmacy Administration

The pharmacy administration faculty includes experts in the fields of pharmaceutical marketing and management, socio-behavioral sciences and health outcomes research. Some areas of inquiry include the marketing and economics of pharmaceuticals, patient and provider behaviors in the health care system, evolving role of pharmacists in delivering quality health care, pharmacy management strategies, comparative effectiveness analysis of disease treatment strategies, health-related quality of life, and outcomes associated with the use of pharmaceuticals. The unifying theme of these topics is to find solutions aimed at improving the use of pharmaceuticals and patient outcomes in a cost-effective manner. Graduates of the program often pursue careers in academia, the pharmaceutical industry, managed care and government agencies. (Click here to request a customized E-brochure about this program from the Graduate School.)

Chair and Coordinator: Donna West-Strum, R.Ph., Ph.D.
Telephone: 662-915-1071


You must apply for admission to these graduate programs through the UM Graduate School.

  • Go to the Graduate School's website, which provides tools to assist you in every stage of the application process, from deciding which program to pursue, applying to the university, application deadlines, program requirements, and more.
  • Also visit the website of the emphasis area to which you are applying, as it will provide detailed information about pursuing a graduate degree in that area, as well as contact information for individuals who can answer questions you may have.