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Pharmacology Schools: Pharmacology Courses Online, Pharmacology Universities and Pharmacology Career

Pharmacology schools enable students to pursue a professional career in the fields of medicine and nursing, and many graduates are able to obtain positions within a pharmacy or other medical organization. Pharmacologists are trained to be medical scientists to study biological systems and conduct research in a variety of medical fields. A pharmacology career begins by fulfilling all course and educational requirements at a pharmacology school, and then gaining relevant work experience in the field. 

Pharmacologists can work toward a lifelong career as an analyst, research scientists or even pursue teaching. Interdisciplinary programs in the field of pharmacology may include cellular and molecular pharmacology, physiology, molecular biology and biomedical engineering. Some pharmacology school students choose to pursue a career as a pharmacist.

What is Pharmacology?

Pharmacology is a branch of science that dates back thousands of years; people have long turned to plants and herbs to understand how the human body reacts to different properties and chemicals present in the natural world around us, and today's pharmacology educational programs are based around these core principles. Pharmacology is the study of drugs and their effects on the body and biological systems, and draws upon several fields of science. It is considered to be a multidisciplinary approach to science, and draws from scientific fields such as:

  • Biochemistry

  • Analytical chemistry

  • Genetics

  • Physiology

  • Microbiology

  • Medicinal chemistry

  • Pathology

  • Immunology

  • Cellular biology

  • Molecular biology

  • Chemotherapy

  • Toxicology

  • Cardiovascular pharmacology

Pharmacology Universities - What to Expect

Pharmacology universities allow students to pursue undergraduate, graduate and PhD programs in the biomedical sciences and gain the knowledge and experience they need for a rewarding pharmacology career. Students who are considering a career in the fields of pharmacology or toxicology can also learn the necessary technical, personal and professional skills they need to become leaders in their industry.  Pharmacology universities provide the education and research opportunities for a well-rounded intellectual and educational career path.

Attending pharmacology school allows students to choose from several career paths after graduation, and most pharmacology students find work as a pharmacist in the healthcare field. Pharmacists are responsible for distributing prescription drugs, dispensing medication, counseling patients on drug use, working with physicians to formulate a drug treatment plan, and working with hospitalized patients to ensure they are taking their prescribed medications. Some pharmacology professionals and pharmacists choose to specialize in specific drug therapy including nuclear medicine, geriatric pharmacy, intravenous nutrition support or psychiatric pharmacy.

Pharmacology Courses and Educational Programs

Pharmacology courses prepare students for a rewarding and successful career in the field of pharmacology, and most require a strong understanding of the scientific research method and related processes. Pharmacology course programs allow students to learn skills and knowledge in the following areas:

  • Using different types of drugs to understand cell function

  • Developing new drugs to improve the effects of treatment

  • Understanding how drugs work at the molecular level

  • Developing clinical guidelines for safe use of common drugs

Common pharmacology courses found at pharmacology schools include:

  • Mechanisms of Drug Action

  • Problems in Pharmacology

  • Pharmacogenomics

  • Neuropsychopharmacology

  • Problems in Investigative Pharmacology

  • Transdisciplinary Tobacco Research

Students who complete their Bachelor's Degree of Science can apply for graduate admission into pharmacology school, but many can begin working in laboratories during their junior or senior year prior to admission. Students interested in pursuing a career as a pharmacist must obtain a Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D.) degree. Those who wish to conduct research in the field of pharmacology must also obtain a Master's or Ph.D. in the field.

More information about pharmacology courses and educational programs can be found through the American Board of Clinical Pharmacology and the American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics.

Taking Pharmacology Courses Online

Students who cannot attend a campus or wish to complete their coursework from a distance can take some pharmacology courses online. Taking pharmacology courses online makes it easier to obtain the training and knowledge needed to complete a degree program, and students have an opportunity to interact with professors and students from all around the world. Many pharmacology universities around the country offer online courses, programs and even lab training via the Internet. This allows students to pursue their pharmacology career while undertaking a full-time job or managing personal responsibilities.

Pharmacology Career Options

Students can prepare for their pharmacology career by taking biology, physics, mathematics, and chemistry classes in high school, and then pursuing a bachelor's degree of science in college. Pharmacology graduate programs are the next step, followed by a Ph.D. in pharmacology. This process typically takes up to five years after earning a bachelor's degree.

Pharmacology career options include:

  • Working in a pharmacy or drug store as a pharmacist or lead pharmacist
  • Conducting research for a pharmaceutical company
  • Conducting research at an educational institution's lab
  • Working with a physician or doctor as a pharmacist or aide

    The average salary for a pharmacologist who has completed all necessary years of training is $91,407 - $118,828 per year. Employment of pharmacologists looks promising through 2010, as demand for specialized healthcare continues to grow at a rapid rate.

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