Master of Science in Medical Health Sciences Emphasis in Pharmacy Studies

Master of Science in Medical Health Sciences
Emphasis in Pharmacy Studies

The TUC College of Pharmacy offers a research intensive Master of Science in Medical Health Sciences program with an emphasis in Pharmacy Studies (MSMHS-COP). This program prepares its graduates by enhancing their knowledge in pharmacy sciences and providing an opportunity for engagement in research. Graduates of this program will be prepared for positions in the health sciences in academia, research, and industry. Students accepted into this program are guaranteed an interview during the next application cycle for the Touro University California Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) program, provided they earn a GPA of 3.0 or better in all coursework.

MSMHS-COP Program Student Learning Outcomes (PSLO)

Program Overview

The MSMHS-COP program is 10 months in length and consists of two semesters of didactic work and research elective. The course of study begins August and ends in May of the following calendar year. The 19-week didactic semesters correspond to those in the College of Pharmacy’s concurrent PharmD program. The Program Director will arrange and oversee a successful and rewarding research experience with a faculty mentor.

This Masters program is carefully integrated. Course content is designed to be pertinent to the degree. Specialty area research interests will be augmented with corresponding didactic lectures in the PharmD curriculum. No transfer credit, credit for experiential learning, or advanced placement can therefore be granted.

Technology Competence

Students are required to possess a laptop computer that meets the requirements as specified by the College of Pharmacy, which are described here.

Admission Requirements

Admissions requirements, information on the admissions process and deadlines, and access to the MSMHS-COP application itself may be found here.

Admission Procedure

Admission to the MSMHS-COP program is conducted on a rolling basis with a deadline for receipt of applications of mid-June, 2015.  Applications are submitted on-line through the Admissions Office. Please click here for more information.

Non-Discrimination Policy

Touro University California does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, gender, disability, age, sexual orientation,  or any other characteristic protected by law in employment, or in  admission, treatment or access to its educational programs or activities.

Requirements for Graduation

1. Satisfactory completion of all required and elective courses. Satisfactory completion is a grade of at least a 2.0 in each course. There can be no outstanding Unsatisfactory or Incomplete grade.

2. Completion of all graded and non-graded coursework and assignments, including but not limited to:
           (a) a report on research results, written in the style of a journal article.
           (b) an oral presentation.

3. Satisfactory demonstration of laboratory competencies.

4. Recommendation by the MSMHS-COP administration for graduation.

5. Fulfillment of all legal and financial obligations to Touro University California.

MSMHS-COP Faculty and Staff

Dr. David Evans

Ms. Janice Cabahug

Dr. Shadi Doroudgar
Dr. Michael Ellerby
Dr. Horst Fischer
Dr. John Inciardi
Dr. Eric Ip
Dr. Kevin Ita
Dr. Daniel Keppler
Dr. Tristan Lindfelt
Dr. Kajua Lor

Dr. Maggie Louie
Dr. David Madden
Dr. Alison McCormick
Dr. Shona Mookerjee
Dr. Paul Perry
Dr. Vanishree Rajagopalan
Dr. Bijal Shah
Dr. Patricia Shane
Dr. Kelan Thomas
Dr. Junhua Yu

MSMHS-COP Curriculum


: 5 Required Courses (12 units) + 1 Elective (4 units) = 16 units

Required Courses (Students take all 5 required courses):           Primary Instructor(s)
HS 600A-P   Navigating a Laboratory & Writing Workshop (1 unit)    Drs. Madden & Mookerjee
HS 601A-P   Biostatistics & Epidemiology                           (2 units)   Dr. Inciardi
HS 602-P     Mentored Research Techniques 1                   (4 units)   Advisor
HS 603-P     Mentored Research Techniques 2                   (4 units)   Advisor
HS 604-P     Research Seminar/Journal Club                       (1 unit)    Dr. Keppler

Elective Courses (Students take one elective): 
HS 605-P     Independent Research 1                                 (4 units)  Advisor
SPRING SEMESTER: 4 Required Courses (9 units) + 1 Elective (6 units) = 15 units

Required Courses (Students take all 4 required courses):
HS 606-P     Scientific Writing (Papers and Grants)             (2 units)  Dr. David Evans
HS 607-P     Scientific Presentation (Posters and Talks)      (2 units)  Dr. Rajagopalan
HS 608-P     Mentored Research Techniques 3                    (4 units)  Advisor
HS 609-P     Research Seminar/Journal Club                        (1 unit)   Dr. Heimer

Elective Courses (Students take one elective):
HS 610-P     Independent Research 2                                 (6 units)   Advisor

Course Descriptions

FALL SEMESTER Required Courses (12 units) 

HS 600A-P     Navigating a Laboratory & Writing Workshop (1 unit)
This course is designed as an introduction to the research laboratory, as well as a writing workshop. The goal of our "Navigating a Laboratory" section is to train students to think and act beyond what is usually expected in an undergraduate laboratory experience. The topics will include: navigating a laboratory, laboratory calculations, understanding fluorescence, and antibodies in research among others. The goal of the "Writing Workshop" section of this course is for students to develop clear and persuasive writing using the precision of scientific language. The output of the writing course is two documents: (1) the Personal Statement and (2) a draft of the final Thesis Introduction.

HS 601A-P     Biostatistics & Epidemiology (2 units)
Understanding and applying fundamental principles of biostatistics and epidemiology will be emphasized throughout this course. Particular emphasis will be placed on using these principles to critically evaluate the medical literature as it applies to the practice of evidence-based medicine. Participants are expected to have had at least a basic undergraduate course in statistics.

We begin our discussion with an overview of concepts that are common to both biostatistics and clinical epidemiology. The section on epidemiology will focus on methods for discovering, appraising and reporting outcomes following exposure to one or more presumed causes. Special emphasis will be placed on the pharmacoepidemiology of adverse outcomes following exposure to medications.

The biostatistics section is designed to prepare the student to critically assess statistical output as reported in the medical literature. Evaluation, rather than mathematical computation, will be the primary focus. The benefits and pitfalls of using statistical software will be demonstrated using STATA statistical software.

HS 602-P     Mentored Research Techniques 1 (4 units)
This course runs in parallel with our other “laboratory practicum” course, Laboratory Techniques 2. The two courses complement one another and emphasize different techniques that are required in any modern biomedical laboratory. In this course, the emphasis is placed on aspects of experimental molecular biology, including bacterial cultures (growing, maintaining, antibiotics, counting, freezing), DNA manipulation /purification, electrophoresis, PCR, preparing DNA for transfections, etc.

HS 603-P     Mentored Research Techniques 2 (4 units)
This course runs in parallel with or may be taken separately from Laboratory Techniques 1. The two courses complement one another and emphasize different aspects required for any modern biomedical research. In this course, the emphasis is placed on aspects of experimental cell biology such as cell culture, avoiding contamination, transfection of cells, preparation of cell lysates, Western Blots (protein work), cell-death assays, etc. 

HS 604-P     Research Seminar/Journal Club 1 (1 unit)
In this course, students must attend all of the Research Tuesday Seminars (so that they become exposed to all faculty research, and styles of presentation), and must attend the Department of Biological and Pharmaceutical Sciences Journal Club, and any other such activities that faculty deem appropriate to expose the students to the campus life of a researcher.

FALL SEMESTER Elective Courses (4 units)

Students take one elective 

HS 605-P Independent Research (4 units)
Students are assigned (with input from the student) a single area of interest/emphasis associated with a specific COP faculty member, before they are admitted to the program.  Possibilities include but are not limited to all of the areas listed for the mentors above.  The area of interest forms the basis of the two independent research courses, one in the Fall semester and one in the Spring semester. The Independent Research courses, therefore, all have a common organization.

The MSMHS-COP lecture curriculum will consist of a blend of currently existing PharmD lectures and newly created lectures, so as to find a proper balance for the faculty workload. Elective course topics include: Oncology, Neuroscience, Infectious Disease, Pharmacogenomics, and other area of emphasis. They will also participate in a mentored research project associated with their area of lecture focus.

The SPRING SEMESTER Elective Course is a continuation of this elective.

SPRING SEMESTER Required Courses (9 units)

Students take all 4 required courses 

HS 606-P     Scientific Writing (Papers and Grants) (2 units)
In this course, students learn how to write a peer-reviewed scientific paper, and how to write an NIH-style grant. They will analyze successful examples, and create their own “practice” versions.

HS 607-P     Scientific Presentation (Posters and Talks) (2 Units)
In this course, students learn how to give research talks (including the creation and use of PowerPoint presentations) and create poster presentations.

HS 608-P     Mentored Research 3 (4 units)
This course is an extension of the other Mentored Research Techniques courses taken the previous semester. All three courses complement one another and emphasize different techniques that are required in any modern biomedical laboratory. In this course, the emphasis is placed on aspects of experimental methods that are more specific to the elective research area, which may involve more advanced instrumentation and methodology. 

HS 609-P     Research Seminar/Journal Club (1 unit)
In this course, students must attend all of the Research Tuesday Seminars (so that they become exposed to all faculty research, and styles of presentation), and must attend the Department of Biological and Pharmaceutical Sciences Journal Club, and any other such activities that faculty deem appropriate.

SPRING SEMESTER Elective Courses (6 units)

Students take one elective

HS 610-P     Independent Research (6 units)
This is a continuation of the Independent Research the student performed in the Fall Semester. More units are assigned to the course in the Spring Semester owing to the increase in time spent doing actual research with their mentor. 

MSMHS-COP Seminar and Workshop Series for 2014-2015

Basic Sciences Curriculum: Research Tuesdays 12 noon - 1 pm.
Schedule coordinated and distributed by Dr. Paul Goldsmith. E mail.

Health Outcomes Curriculum: Resident Fellows Seminar Series.
Schedule and materials coordinated by Dr. Kajua Lor. E mail. Please consult advisor.

For all MSMHS-COP Students. Interview Workshops. Fall 2014 and Spring 2015.
Specific dates to be arranged. Dr. David Evans. E mail.

October 2014. How to apply to Pharmacy School. Mr. Steven Davis, Director of Admissions.
January, 2015. MSMHS-COP students in PharmD Program. Dr. Shona Mookerjee, COP Faculty.
January, 2015. Mock Interviews with PharmD Faculty.
February, 2015. Dr. Susan Heimer, Chair of COP Admissions Committee


The Master of Science in Medical Health Sciences (emphasis in Pharmaceutical Sciences) is offered by Touro University California, which is fully accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges ( 


Tuition for the MSMHS-COP program is $10,295 per semester, or $20,590 for the year. Tuition does not include application fees if required (see the on-line Application Form), but does cover all costs for online materials and laboratory supplies. Technical support is available, but students are expected to provide their own laptop.

As a fully accredited course, financial Aid is available through Touro University California’s Financial Aid Office. For more details, please contact financial aid.

Academic Calendar

The MSMHS-COP program continues for 10 months, from August to May of the following year. The program runs in parallel with the College of Pharmacy curriculum, and therefore enjoys all of the breaks and holidays observed by the PharmD program. These include a Fall, Winter, and a Spring Break, as well as observance of the typical national and major Jewish holidays (link to

Required Textbooks

Anthony N. Glaser. High-Yield Biostatistics, Epidemiology and Public Health. 4th Edition. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2014. ISBN 978-1-4511-3017-1.

Mimi Zeiger. Essential of Writing Biomedical Research Papers. 2nd Edition. McGraw-Hill, 1999. ISBN 10: 0071345442. 





Last Updated: 11/25/14