Twin Cities campus
Twin Cities Campus

Pharmacology Minor

Medical School
Link to a list of faculty for this program.
Contact Information
Department of Pharmacology, 6-120 Jackson Hall, 321 Church Street S.E., Minneapolis MN 55455 (612-626-1248; fax: 612-625-8408)
  • Program Type: Graduate minor related to major
  • Requirements for this program are current for Spring 2022
  • Length of program in credits (master's): 9
  • Length of program in credits (doctoral): 12
  • This program does not require summer semesters for timely completion.
Pharmacology is the study of the interactions of chemicals with biological systems. Courses and research training in biochemistry, biophysics, genetics, and molecular biology provide a solid foundation for performing original research in pharmacology, neuropharmacology, and cancer chemotherapy.
Program Delivery
  • via classroom (the majority of instruction is face-to-face)
Prerequisites for Admission
Other requirements to be completed before admission:
Students must be enrolled in a University masterís or doctoral program.
For an online application or for more information about graduate education admissions, see the General Information section of this website.
Program Requirements
Use of 4xxx courses toward program requirements is permitted under certain conditions with adviser approval.
Required Coursework (9 to 12 credits)
In consultation with the Pharmacology director of graduate studies, select at least 9 credits from the following for a masterís minor or at least 12 for the doctoral minor. Other courses may be substituted with Pharmacology director of graduate studies approval.
PHCL 5109 - Introduction to Scientific Communication (1.0-18.0 cr)
PHCL 5110 - Introduction to Pharmacology (3.0 cr)
PHCL 5111 - Pharmacogenomics (3.0 cr)
PHCL 5112 - Foundations of Biomedical Research (1.0-2.0 cr)
PHCL 8209 - Substance Abuse at the Bedside (1.0 cr)
PHCL 8211 - Advanced Pharmacology (5.0 cr)
PHCL 8221 - SciComm II: Writing & Research Presentation (2.0-3.0 cr)
PHCL 8212 {Inactive} (0.0-3.0 cr)
Program Sub-plans
Students are required to complete one of the following sub-plans.
Students may not complete the program with more than one sub-plan.
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PHCL 5109 - Introduction to Scientific Communication
Credits: 1.0 -18.0 [max 18.0]
Typically offered: Every Fall, Spring & Summer
This course is an interactive classroom experience focused on developing student communication skills. The primary emphasis is on student presentations of their research projects. In addition to making verbal presentations, students are expected to provide constructive criticism and feedback to their peers. Students also work on scientific writing skills by preparing a one-page NIH-style Specific Aims page outlining their research project. Prerequisites: student in the Graduate Program in Pharmacology (MS program) or approval from the Director of Graduate Studies Keywords: Pharmacology, Directed, Independent Study, Biomedical, Basic Science, Research, Drug
PHCL 5110 - Introduction to Pharmacology
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Fall
This is a course for first-year students in the Graduate Program in Pharmacology. The course introduces students to the basic principles of pharmacology and focuses on molecular mechanisms of drug action. Topics covered include pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics, signal transduction, toxicology pharmacogenomics, and drug discovery. Prerequisites: student in the Graduate Program in Pharmacology or approval from the Course Director(s) Keywords: Introduction, Pharmacology, Molecular, Drug, Pharmacokinetics, Pharmacodynamics, Protein, Pharmacokinetics
PHCL 5111 - Pharmacogenomics
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Spring
Human genetic variation, its implications. Functional genomics, pharmacogenomics, toxicogenomics, proteomics. Interactive, discussion-based course. prereq: Grad student or instr consent Keywords: Pharmacology, Pharmacogenomics, Toxicogenomics, Proteomics, Genetics, Drug
PHCL 5112 - Foundations of Biomedical Research
Credits: 1.0 -2.0 [max 2.0]
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Fall
This is a course for first-year students in the Graduate Program of Pharmacology. This course will introduce graduate students to the basic operating principles and techniques of a scientific research laboratory, general concepts surrounding experimental design and experimental controls, and familiarity with common laboratory calculations. Discussion of scientific techniques will include recombinant DNA and molecular biology techniques, protein expression and purification, protein assays, biochemical data analysis and fitting methods, transcriptomics and proteomics studies, and cell culture & mouse models of disease. Methods are presented in the context of highlighting general principles in experimental design. Prerequisites: student in the Graduate Program in Pharmacology Keywords: Basic Science, Pharmacology, Personnel, Writing, Presentation, Protein, DNA, Molecule, Microscope, Bioinformatics, Drug
PHCL 8209 - Substance Abuse at the Bedside
Credits: 1.0 [max 1.0]
Grading Basis: S-N only
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
Clinical management of addictive diseases. Students discuss how observed clinical interactions can influence a basic science project in which they are involved. prereq: Grad student in any basic-science program
PHCL 8211 - Advanced Pharmacology
Credits: 5.0 [max 5.0]
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Spring
This hybrid course offers a combination of online and in-class lectures coupled with interactive literature discussion/flipped classroom components. The course has three sections focusing on 1) pharmacology of the autonomic, cardiovascular, and respiratory systems, 2) anti-cancer and anti-microbial therapeutics and 3) pharmacology of the nervous system. Course Instructors will highlight key features of currently utilized therapeutic agents and underscore recent advances in basic and clinical research that underpin emerging or potential approaches to pharmacotherapy. student in the Graduate Program in Pharmacology, or Course Director consent Keywords: Pharmacology, Drug, Therapy, Medical, Biomedical, Clinic
PHCL 8221 - SciComm II: Writing & Research Presentation
Credits: 2.0 -3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Fall
In collaboration with their mentors, students will develop thesis projects and scientific communication skills. Specifically, students will learn the principles of oral presentation, hone speaking style and slide content, and prepare for the departmental second-year talk. They will prepare sections of an NIH-style fellowship proposal in time for those eligible to submit an F31 NRSA application for the December deadline. This proposal will also comprise the written component of the preliminary exam. Students will also learn the elements of the closed-door component of the preliminary exam and how best to prepare. Throughout the class, students will provide feedback to their peers, develop critical thinking skills, and practice self-advocacy with their mentors, colleagues, and classmates in soliciting constructive criticism. Prerequisites: student in the Graduate Program in Pharmacology (PhD program) Keywords: Pharmacology, Basic Science, Writing, Presentation, Practice, Thesis, Dissertation