Advances in biotechnology have significantly increased the need for pharmaceutical scientists with comprehensive knowledge and diverse skills than a typical specific subject program can provide. The Pharmaceutical Sciences Master Program (MPS) at the California Northstate University (CNU) provides rigorous background in a range of scientific disciplines that are critical to the preparation of the next generation of pharmaceutical scientists. Situated in Northern California, CNU is surrounded by over 700 biotechnology/pharmaceutical companies, with proximity to Silicon Valley – one of the world’s leading technology innovation centers. Graduates with a Master of Pharmaceutical Sciences from CNU can look forward to abundant job opportunities in a variety of public and private settings, including research and development, drug manufacturing, and regulatory affairs, or to continuing on to PhD and MD programs.

MPS at CNU is a unique program integrated with the Colleges of Pharmacy and Medicine. With over 20 faculty members from a variety of disciplines, the MPS program prepares students with integrated pharmaceutically-relevant aspects of classical disciplines and applications in drug discovery and development with unique clinical and therapeutic perspectives. The MPS at CNU has designed a flexible Master Program to prepare students for a wider spectrum of professional career in pharmaceutical sciences fields and leadership roles in industry while also providing them with the opportunity to strengthen their fundamental knowledge and obtain a hands on skill in research.

Accepted graduate applicants commonly have strong scientific backgrounds, a passion for pharmaceutical sciences/biotechnology and in many cases ample laboratory experience. Students with undergraduate degrees in the chemistry, biological sciences, and related fields are encouraged to apply.

The Master of Pharmaceutical Sciences (MPS) Degree is a 21-month program for students interested in the following research areas:

  • Drug Design and Discovery/Development
  • Pharmacology, Cellular and Molecular Biology
  • Microbiology/Immunology
  • Medicinal Chemistry
  • Pharmaceutics, Drug Delivery, Pharmacokinetics
  • Regulatory Affairs, Pharmacoeconomics and Biostatistics

Graduates of this program can pursue a variety of career opportunities within the pharmaceutical industry field. MPS graduates are also positioned to work as researchers at universities, government agencies (i.e. NIH, FDA, CDC) agencies, and non-profit organizations. California Northstate University (CNU) is located in the Greater Sacramento Metropolitan Area, and provides unique opportunities for students to network with nearby biomedical, biotechnology, pharmaceutical companies, and government agencies.

At California Northstate University, we offer the Master of Pharmaceutical Sciences (MPS) Program, along with a Graduate Pathway: MPS-to-MD (2+4) Pathways. We invite you to learn more about MPS at California Northstate University and discover an education built for you.

Program Overview

The two-year Master of Pharmaceutical Sciences (MPS) program offered by CNU is designed to provide fundamental knowledge and skills in the pharmaceutical sciences field to enable students to pursue careers in academia, the pharmaceutical industry, regulatory affairs, and government positions upon graduation.

This program also provides advanced training in pharmaceutical principles and laboratory-based settings to students opting for higher education in the health-related professions (MD/PharmD, MD/Ph.D., and PharmD/Ph.D.) and graduate schools (Ph.D.). In addition, this program provides a sufficient foundation in basic pharmacology, molecular biology and biochemistry to allow the students the flexibility to pursue careers in pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries, as well as regulatory affairs.

Program Objectives

  • Expand the students’ foundation of Basic Pharmaceutical Sciences with emphasis in drug design, drug development or drug delivery.
  • Expand the students’ pharmaceutical research skills.
  • Develop the students’ ability to identify problems, formulate hypotheses, plan and execute experiments, analyze data and present results.


To advance the science of pharmaceutical research by developing future scientists trained to promote health through knowledge, research, and social responsibility


Preeminence in pharmaceutical sciences research, drug development skills, and integrated education abilities.

Academic Calendar

The academic calendar consists of two semesters lasting approximately 15 weeks long and one summer term lasting approximately 10 weeks.

MPS at CNU: Strengths & Unique Features

  • Two track options: 1) a thesis-based track, and 2) a capstone track
  • Foundational core courses are complemented by a broad spectrum of well-designed electives.
  • Multiple teaching pedagogical formats maximize learning and subject retention.
  • Small class sizes suitable for individualized education and research skills.
  • Close proximity and ties to the Colleges of Pharmacy and Medicine, with course paths to prepare students seeking entry into pharmacy or medical school.
  • Established collaborations with regional clinical centers, and pharmaceutical industries, providing an array of cooperative educational opportunities.
  • Located in Elk Grove, California, the second largest city in the Greater Sacramento Metropolitan Area. Northern California is the hub for many biopharmaceutical companies.


Senior Colleges and Universities of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC). California Northstate University is accredited by the Accrediting Commission for Senior Colleges and Universities of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC), 985 Atlantic Avenue, #100, Alameda, CA 94501, 510.748.9001