Best Global Universities for Pharmacology in 2022-2023

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Best Pharmacology Universities and Programs in the World

About Pharmacology

As per the American Society of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics (ASPET), “The study of pharmacology encompasses the sources, chemical properties, biological effects, and therapeutic uses of drugs.” In simpler terms, pharmacology is a biomedical discipline that investigates how drugs and medicines interact with biological systems and how the body reacts to them. Pharmacologists are experts in this field who study how these drugs are broken down, absorbed, disseminated, and excreted by the body and the side effects and adverse consequences that these drugs have on the body.

This article is a helpful resource for anyone interested in pursuing a career in pharmacology; it also includes a list of the best pharmacology universities in the world to help students choose the finest.

Duties of Pharmacologists

Pharmacology is the science of drugs, and pharmacologists can be termed, drug scientists. This means they develop novel chemical substances, study the impacts of existing pharmaceutical chemicals, and comprehend both the positive and negative effects of medications. Depending on their specialization, pharmacologists undertake a multitude of activities such as

  • Planning and directing pharmacology research
  • Creating uniform pharmacological dosages and treatment plans
  • Observing safety precautions
  • Research grant preparation and writing
  • Training and supervising junior and assistant pharmacologists
  • Keeping abreast of the latest research and advances in pharmacology

Popular degrees for pursuing a career in Pharmacology

An undergraduate degree in biological science, pharmacy, or another related field of science is a foundation degree in pharmacology, which is seldom sufficient to find suitable employment opportunities. In this competitive period, a master’s degree in pharmacology with a specific specialty is required for employment and professional advancement. Most pharmacy colleges and universities around the world offer degrees in pharmacology as a specialization. Graduate education is regarded as vital in pharmacology. Anyone who wants to continue their education and work in research and academia can go for doctoral degrees, and postdoctoral fellowships. Following an MBBS degree, certain universities also offer an M.D. in pharmacology.

Popular bachelor’s programs in Pharmacology

  • Bachelor in Pharmacy
  • Bachelor of Science in Pharmacology and Toxicology
  • B.Sc. in Pharmacology and Physiology 
  • B.S. in Pharmacokinetics 
  • Bachelor of Science in Pharmacodynamics
  • B.S. in Pathophysiology

Popular master’s programs in Pharmacology

  • M.S. in Pharmacology
  • M.D. in Pharmacology
  • M.S. in Medical Pharmacology
  • M.S. in Molecular Pharmacology and Toxicology
  • M.Sc. in Drug Discovery and Safety
  • Master of Science in Pharmacology and Toxicology
  • Master of Science in Pharmacokinetics and Pharmacodynamics
  • M.D. in Pathophysiology

Popular doctoral programs in Pharmacology

  • Ph.D. in Pharmacology
  • Ph.D. in Pharmacokinetics and Pharmacodynamics
  • Ph.D. in Pathophysiology
  • Ph.D. in Pharmacology and Toxicology

Specializations in Pharmacology

After COVID-19, pharmacology sector received a huge boost. The funding for drug testing and research has increased, as has the need for pharmacologists. The funding for drug testing and research has increased, as has the need for pharmacologists. An increase in demand will also increase the level of completion for these jobs. Therefore, students who are currently studying or plan to study pharmacology should strive for higher levels of pharmacology specialization, such as

  • Pharmacodynamics
  • Pharmacokinetics
  • Toxicology
  • Clinical pharmacology
  • Pharmacogenetics
  • Biotechnology
  • Medicinal chemistry
  • Drug design and development
  • Pathophysiology
  • Drug delivery systems
  • Molecular cell biology
  • Biometrics
  • Psychopharmacology
  • Veterinary pharmacology
  • Neuropharmacology

Duration of programs in Pharmacology

The duration of pharmacology programs depends on the level of education. For example, bachelor’s and first-cycle courses typically last from three to four years, while graduate and second-cycle courses in pharmacology last one to two years. In the USA and Canada, most master’s degree programs are of two-year duration. Doctoral degrees can range from three to six years, depending on the country and university. The following table includes a list of the durations of all courses in pharmacology. 

Country Bachelor’s Degree Master’s Degree Doctoral Degree
USA and Canada 4 years 2 years 4-6 years
UK 3-4 years 1-2 years 3-5 years
Australia 3-4 years 1-2 years 3-5 years
Others 3-4 years 1-2 years 3-5 years

Career opportunities in Pharmacology

The field of pharmacology offers a variety of career options. Pharmacologists can work for large pharmaceutical corporations, government drug research organizations, local laboratories and testing centers, and universities as professors. A Ph.D. in pharmacology is required for most advanced employment in pharmacology, such as becoming a scientist or researcher, but candidates with a master’s degree can also find plenty of opportunities like

  • Pharmacologist
  • Research scientist
  • Quality control chemist
  • Pharmaceutical consultant
  • Clinical research coordinator
  • Microbiology technician
  • Medicinal chemist
  • Professor
  • Laboratory technician
  • Medical science liaison
  • Medical writer
  • Pharmaceutical sales representative
  • Environmental monitor
  • Pharmacist

Average salaries for Pharmacologists

Based on the average salaries of pharmacologists listed in the table below, it is clear that pharmacologists are well paid, particularly in major countries such as the USA, UK, Canada, and Australia. Experienced pharmacologists earn even more than the average. Now is a wonderful time to go into this sector because the pandemic has accelerated the growth of pharmacology due to increased demand for pharmaceuticals and research into finding novel drugs.

Country Average salary in USD*/year
USA 122,701 (Salary Expert)
UK 109,397 (Economic Research Institute)
Canada  137,171 (Economic Research Institute)
Australia 159,820 (Economic Research Institute)

*Note: All prices mentioned in the USD are for reference only. Exchange rates may vary from time to time and from country to country.

Top 50 universities in the world for Pharmacology based on subject rankings

QS Ranking US News Ranking EduRank Ranking University Country Bachelor’s Programs Master’s Programs
1 2 171 Monash University Australia Click Here Click Here
2 1 1 Harvard University USA Click Here Click Here
3 33 72 University of Oxford UK Click Here Click Here
4 3 21 UCL UK Click Here Click Here
5 5 48 University of Nottingham UK Click Here Click Here
6 48 40 University of Cambridge UK Click Here Click Here
7 6 5 University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill USA Click Here Click Here
8 4 7 Johns Hopkins University USA Click Here Click Here
9 22 10 University of Toronto Canada Click Here Click Here
10 7 19 University of California, San Diego USA Click Here Click Here
11 14 2 University of California, San Francisco USA Click Here Click Here
12 17 85 National University of Singapore Singapore Click Here Click Here
13 24 170 Leiden University Netherlands Click Here Click Here
14 66 65 The University of Manchester UK Click Here Click Here
14 31 49 The University of Sydney Australia Click Here Click Here
16 8 75 University of Copenhagen Denmark Click Here Click Here
17 79 44 King’s College London UK Click Here Click Here
18 59 8 Yale University USA Click Here Click Here
19 27 3 University of Michigan-Ann Arbor USA Click Here Click Here
20 38 57 Seoul National University South Korea Click Here Click Here
21 9 6 Karolinska Institutet Sweden Click Here Click Here
22 64 476 ETH Zurich Switzerland Click Here Click Here
22 43 50 Imperial College London UK Click Here Click Here
24 45 142 Purdue University USA Click Here Click Here
25 152 298 Trinity College Dublin Ireland Click Here Click Here
26 10 45 Utrecht University Netherlands Click Here Click Here
27 22 76 KU Leuven Belgium Click Here Click Here
28 70 37 The University of Tokyo Japan Click Here Click Here
29 18 39 Peking University China Click Here Click Here
30 19 90 The University of Queensland Australia Click Here Click Here
31 86 179 The University of Auckland New Zealand Click Here Click Here
32 84 28 University of British Columbia Canada Click Here Click Here
33 112 61 McGill University Canada Click Here Click Here
34 52 27 University of Milan Italy Click Here Click Here
34 40 53 Uppsala University Sweden Click Here Click Here
36 16 4 University of Washington USA Click Here Click Here
37 46 47 Columbia University USA Click Here Click Here
37 70 392 King Abdulaziz University Saudi Arabia Click Here Click Here
37 29 136 The University of Edinburgh UK Click Here Click Here
40 92 312 University of Geneva Switzerland Click Here Click Here
41 151 63 University of Texas at Austin USA Click Here Click Here
42 108 448 Tsinghua University China Click Here Click Here
43 60 11 University of Minnesota Twin Cities USA Click Here Click Here
44 144 NA National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research (NIPER) India Click Here Click Here
44 NA 161 University of Dundee UK Click Here Click Here
46 42 12 Duke University USA Click Here Click Here
47 88 287 University of Basel Switzerland Click Here Click Here
47 72 17 Vanderbilt University USA Click Here Click Here
49 100 NA Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München Germany Click Here Click Here
50 NA 155 University of Bristol UK Click Here Click Here

Top universities in the USA for Pharmacology

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of various medical scientists, including pharmacologists, is predicted to grow by 6% between 2019 and 2029, which is faster than the national average. Therefore, the USA is a great study choice for students who wish to enter the pharmacology field. The most popular courses offered in pharmacology in the USA are the pharmacology master’s degree courses, especially the M.S. in Pharmacology. The top universities in America offer both master’s and bachelor’s degrees in pharmacology. The following is a list of some of these universities.

QS Ranking US News Ranking EduRank Ranking University Country Bachelor’s Programs Master’s Programs
2 1 1 Harvard University USA Click Here Click Here
7 6 5 University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill USA Click Here Click Here
8 4 7 Johns Hopkins University USA Click Here Click Here
10 7 19 University of California, San Diego USA Click Here Click Here
11 14 2 University of California, San Francisco USA Click Here Click Here

Top universities in the UK for Pharmacology

In the UK, the employment rate for a pharmacology degree is high, i.e., above 90%, which makes it a good choice to study in the UK. Plus, most universities in the UK offer master’s degrees in the pharmacology of only one duration, which allows students to enter the job market early. The following is a list of the top universities in the UK offering master’s and bachelor’s programs in pharmacology. 

QS Ranking US News Ranking EduRank Ranking University Country Bachelor’s Programs Master’s Programs
3 33 72 University of Oxford UK Click Here Click Here
4 3 21 UCL UK Click Here Click Here
5 5 48 University of Nottingham UK Click Here Click Here
6 48 40 University of Cambridge UK Click Here Click Here
14 66 65 The University of Manchester UK Click Here Click Here

Top universities in Canada for Pharmacology

Students interested in receiving scholarships as well as work opportunities while studying should consider studying in Canada. The Canadian universities are well-known for their pharmaceutical programs, which include master’s degree programs in pharmacology and toxicology. The top Canadian universities having master’s and bachelor’s programs in pharmacology are listed below.

QS Ranking US News Ranking EduRank Ranking University Country Bachelor’s Programs Master’s Programs
9 22 10 University of Toronto Canada Click Here Click Here
32 84 28 University of British Columbia Canada Click Here Click Here
33 112 61 McGill University Canada Click Here Click Here

Top universities in Australia for Pharmacology

Australia is a fantastic alternative to the USA, the UK, and Canada for higher education. The Australian universities offer several specialized master’s courses in the pharmacology field. Students can also avail scholarships for these programs. The following table contains a list of top universities with master’s and bachelor’s degrees in pharmacology for study in Australia. 

QS Ranking US News Ranking EduRank Ranking University Country Bachelor’s Programs Master’s Programs
1 2 171 Monash University Australia Click Here Click Here
14 31 49 The University of Sydney Australia Click Here Click Here
30 19 90 The University of Queensland Australia Click Here Click Here

Academic requirements for studying Pharmacology 

A degree in pharmacology requires specific educational requirements, and this includes a high school diploma with chemistry, biology, and mathematics background. Students interested in becoming pharmacologists should be research-oriented, analytical, rational, and inquisitive. Because data in pharmacology necessitates the use of complex computer applications, computer skills are essential. Students must also pass the GRE exams if they want to study at top universities in the USA, the UK, Canada, or Australia. Due to high competition, most of these universities also take separate entrance exams in addition to the GRE and other standardized tests.

Bachelor’s level 

  • A high school education with a 3.0 GPA or above with maths, chemistry, and biology as core subjects 
  • Academic transcripts
  • Valid passport
  • Personal statement 
  • Passport photographs
  • Completed visa application
  • Letter of recommendation
  • English proficiency test scores such as TOEFL (90 and above) or IELTS (6.0 and above)

Master’s level 

  • Internationally recognized bachelor’s degree in pharmacology or medicine relevant field with a GPA of 3.0 
  • Academic transcripts 
  • Valid passport
  • Passport photographs
  • Completed visa application
  • Motivational letter
  • Resume
  • Recommendation letters
  • Research publications
  • English language proficiency (TOEFL 90 or above and IELTS 6.0 and above)

Doctoral level 

  • Honours or master’s degree in pharmacology or medicine relevant field with a GPA of at least 3.0
  • Academic transcripts 
  • Valid passport
  • Passport photographs
  • Completed visa application
  • Statement of purpose
  • Recommendation letters
  • Resume
  • Work experience (highly recommended) 
  • Research publications
  • Personal interview 
  • English language proficiency (TOEFL 90 or above and IELTS 6.0 and above)

*Note: All prices mentioned in the USD are for reference only. Exchange rates may vary from time to time and from country to country.

Frequently Asked Questions

Although a Ph.D. is not necessary for pharmacology, a student is expected to hold at least a master’s degree in pharmacology to get a decent and well-paid job in pharmacology. 

Universities from countries such as the USA, UK, Canada, Australia, Switzerland, China, Japan, Italy, Sweden, Germany, Ireland, New Zealand, India, South Korea, and Denmark rank highly for pharmacology courses.

A pharmacology degree can lead to a variety of jobs in scientific domains like research and medication development. Since it is a field that requires students to do specializations, the salaries offered to them are also high. 

Yes, many countries require pharmacologists to acquire certification and a license from their state’s board to practice. These licensing requirements vary from country to country but typically require them to take a series of exams to get licensed.