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What is Pharmaceutical Chemistry?

Published: April 14th, 2015

Category: articles

Dummy imagePharmaceutical chemistry is the study of drugs, and it involves drug development. This includes drug discovery, delivery, absorption, metabolism, and more. There are elements of biomedical analysis, pharmacology, pharmacokinetics, and pharmacodynamics. Pharmaceutical chemistry work is usually done in a lab setting.

Pharmaceutical chemistry involves cures and remedies for disease, analytical techniques, pharmacology, metabolism, quality assurance, and drug chemistry. Many pharmaceutical chemistry students will later work in a lab. Pharmaceutical chemistry leads to careers in drug development, biotechnology, pharmaceutical companies, research facilities, and more.

Studying pharmaceutical chemistry allows students to contribute to life-saving remedies, enhance the speed of delivery of new medications, and help others. Pharmaceutical chemistry also includes other branches of study such as pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics, and drug metabolism. These are important for learning the effects that drugs have on the body.

The University of Florida offers an online master’s degree and graduate certificate in pharmaceutical chemistry. These convenient online programs are ideal for anyone looking to advance their career in a laboratory or research environment.

What About Pharmacists?

Pharmacists are usually more involved in optimizing patient care in drug use. The University of Florida’s online master’s degree in pharmaceutical chemistry is open to pharmacists, but students are not required to have their Pharm.D in order to enroll. The pharmaceutical chemistry program focuses on non-dispensing areas of pharmacy and is more involved in research aspects than the customer service and patient care responsibilities of a traditional pharmacist.

Job Opportunities in Pharmaceutical Chemistry

Traditionally, pharmaceutical scientists work in lab environments where they discover and develop new drug therapies that can save lives and improve quality of life. Career paths include working in research facilities as large as the National Institutes of Health, at pharmaceutical or biotechnology companies, in universities, or for agencies such as the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). According to an American Association of Pharmaceutical Sciences survey, the average salary for a pharmaceutical scientist with a M.S. degree in 2011 was $107,000. Salary levels go up in accordance with degree level earned.

Master’s Degree in Pharmaceutical Chemistry Getting a master’s degree in pharmaceutical chemistry can help lab technicians or research assistants move up to the next level in their careers. The University of Florida’s online master’s degree in pharmaceutical chemistry offers students the opportunity to earn their degree online in as little as 2 years, with instruction from top professors, interactive discussion, and instructive modules.

Students learn how to contribute to life-saving remedies, enhance the speed of delivery of new medications, drug metabolism, and all aspects of pharmaceutical chemistry. This degree prepares students for a career in pharmaceutical innovation and drug discovery, or pharmaceutical regulation. Course topics include bioethics; synthetic medicinal chemistry; drug biotransformation and molecular mechanisms of toxicity; natural medicine products; and more.

In order to advance a career in pharmaceutical chemistry and science, a master’s degree is necessary. At the University of Florida, students can begin taking one or two courses as a non-degree student or pursue a graduate certificate in pharmaceutical chemistry and transfer the credits later toward a master’s degree.

Click here to learn more about the University of Florida’s online pharmaceutical chemistry programs.