For the second year, the Master of Science in Pharmacology Program in the UTHSC College of Graduate Health Sciences has ranked Number 5 of 25 in Best Value according to a listing by BestValueSchools.com.
“This is a great honor, indeed,” said Alex Dopico, MD, PhD, Chair of Excellence and professor in the Department of Pharmacology, Addiction Science and Toxicology in the College of Medicine at UTHSC. “The recognition must go to the program’s directors, Drs. Edwards Park and Trevor Sweatman, and the committed faculty who continuously pitch in for the program to be so successful.”
The ranking identified programs that “have mastered the high-quality, low-cost balancing act.” The UTHSC Master of Science in Pharmacology program is designed to provide students with a comprehensive background in medical pharmacology, basic biochemistry and the physiologic and pathophysiologic basis for drug therapy. The cost of the program is $17,702 for in-state tuition and $26,130 for out-of-state tuition.
“We deliver a course that provides enough knowledge in the basic sciences to understand pharmacological concepts while also teaching how these concepts apply to human pharmacotherapeutics, all in less than a calendar year,” Dr. Dopico said. He and other faculty in the department were involved in the creation and organization of the accelerated 11-month program. Most Master in Pharmacology programs in the United States are two-year programs.
The program is also recognized for having a 75% medical school admission rate for all graduates. Sybil Watkins, a third-year UTHSC medical student, and a graduate of the program, said she chose it to give herself every opportunity to continue higher-level education and to prepare herself for the rigors of medical school.
“Through this program, I was given the opportunity to tackle one of the most complicated subjects in medicine, which continues to benefit me on a daily basis, both in the classroom and in the clinical setting,” Watkins said. “I will be forever grateful to this program, as it prepared me well for the difficulties of medical school and the opportunity to become a better student, -and ultimately, a better physician.”
Other ranking methodologies used include the Thompson Reuters’ Essential Science Indicators database, which identified programs with high research output, as well as program accreditation status evaluation with the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education and the American Board of Clinical Pharmacology.
“The success of the program is due to faculty who are not only great teachers, but also tops in their field of research,” said Donald Thomason, PhD, dean of the UTHSC College of Graduate Health Sciences. “They require of themselves a data-driven approach to the subject matter, and the same for the students and the research project that is required for degree completion. It is all about thinking, not memorizing.”