Medicinal Chemistry and Drug Discovery (MS)


Learn to master therapeutics design and discovery.

The Medicinal Chemistry and Drug Discovery MS Program integrates aspects of contemporary medicinal chemistry and pharmacology, emphasizing topics most relevant to therapeutics design, discovery, and action.

The core curriculum focuses on a combination of synthetic organic chemistry, bioorganic chemistry, analytical chemistry, and pharmacology courses. Specialized, in-depth electives are offered in these areas.

The program develops students’ knowledge of medicinal chemistry through design, synthesis, pharmacological, and profiling of novel pharmacotherapeutics as applied to helping solve unmet medical needs.

For this purpose, many program graduates have established research careers in the pharmaceutical/biotech industry. Undergraduate prerequisites are general chemistry, organic chemistry, and biochemistry or cell/molecular biology.

Quick View

Degree type:
– MS in Medicinal Chemistry and Drug Discovery

Study options:
– On ground (Boston Campus)

– Fall semester admissions only
– *Full-time or part-time

Application deadlines:
International Students: Jun 1
Domestic Students: Aug 1

GRE: Optional

F1 Eligible: Yes

*International students must be full-time only

MS in Medical Chemistry and Drug Discovery


All Master’s programs in the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences require a set of core courses taken by every MS student, regardless of program.

In addition, students in each program are required to take a defined set of discipline-specific courses and several general electives. The number of specialized and elective courses differs somewhat among programs. Students are expected to maintain a GPA of 3.000 (B) or higher in all coursework and cover 33 total semester hours.

The MS degree may be completed on either a full-time or part-time basis and may include an optional research thesis.

The curriculum includes opportunity for laboratory coursework and instruction in experimental design and data analysis.

International students are required to attend the program on a full-time basis. Students are expected to complete the degree requirements within two years if enrolled on a full-time basis, or within three to five years if enrolled on a part-time basis. 


Internships provide an experiential component of the graduate curriculum that fosters professional development through work in industry and hospitals. In order to participate in an internship, students must:

  • Complete two semesters with a grade-point average of 3.200 or better
  • Be in good academic and professional standing (i.e., have no Professionalism Concern forms filed)
  • Have no instances of academic dishonesty or blocks on enrollment.

Learn more about internships

Sample Curriculum

Sample curriculum, subject to change.

The chart below describes a sequence of courses as taught in the recent past. This chart is not a planning document for what course will be taught in which semester (spring or fall) in the future. For that information, students should consult with their academic advisor or see the university course catalog.

Admissions Requirements


Applicants must have at least two semesters of undergraduate courses (or their equivalent) in each of the following:

Please send all required documents directly to the PharmGrad Application portal.
Here is additional information on how to submit documents.

Note: Applicants with deficiencies in their baccalaureate courses may be admitted to the MS Program and allowed to take undergraduate courses at Northeastern University concurrently with certain graduate courses. Students admitted with deficiencies must remove them within the first year of graduate study.

Admissions Checklist

A baccalaureate degree or its equivalent in biology, chemistry, medical technology, pharmacy, chemical engineering or a related field.

A minimum grade point average of 3.0 or higher

Two letters of recommendation (academic and professional)

Personal statement of goals and expectations.
Please see application for details.


TOEFL (International Students)

GRE scores are optional

Official transcript from baccalaureate program and all college coursework. Applicants who have degree coursework from institutions outside of the United States must submit a credential evaluation. We require the iCAP WES package (World Education Services, Inc.) that evaluates your transcripts course by course.

Got questions?

If you have any additional questions about the graduate program please contact: