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Medicinal Chemistry BS/MS

(HEGIS: 19.10 PHARMACEUTICAL CHEMISTRY, CIP: 40.0599 Chemistry, Other)

Department of Chemistry

363 Natural Sciences Building
North Campus
Buffalo, NY 14260-3000

Javid Rzayev

Troy Wood
Director of Undergraduate Studies, Associate Professor, Undergraduate Advisor

Katie Stanton
Undergraduate Secretary

Associated Programs

Associated Subjects

Why study Medicinal Chemistry BS/MS at UB?

The B.S. in Medicinal Chemistry is designed to provide the student with a basic chemical understanding of life processes and biological control and the laboratory skills necessary for research in medicinal chemistry. Depending on the choice of electives, the B.S. in Medicinal Chemistry can provide an optimum background for employment as a B.S. level medicinal chemist in research institutes, industry and government; for entrance to graduate school in this or related areas; or for entrance to medical school. Another option for students is the five year combined B.S./M.S. program in Medicinal Chemistry. It is designed to produce graduates who are very well qualified as laboratory scientists for the pharmaceutical industry. Demand for lab technicians with strong experimental skills is high and this program is designed to meet this demand. This program makes it possible to obtain an M.S. degree in Medicinal Chemistry in only five years. Students who are interested in this program should have done particularly well in chemistry, have an interest in synthetic organic chemistry and be able to work full time in the lab on their Master’s Thesis project during the summer following the fourth year of study. This program is intensive and designed for above average students who have a clear idea of their career goals.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of all requirements, the student will have knowledge to:

  • Demonstrate knowledge in the basic sub-divisions of the science (organic, inorganic, analytical, physical and biological chemistry)
  • Use modern instrumentation and classical laboratory techniques
  • Design and conduct scientific experiments for the purpose of solving a scientific problem and to record and analyze the results
  • Understand the proper procedures for safe use of chemicals and can follow the proper procedures for chemical waste disposal
  • Use modern library searching and retrieval methods to obtain information about a topic, chemical, chemical technique, or an issue relating to chemistry
  • Identify and solve chemical problems and explore new areas of research
  • Understand the chemical basis for the rational design, synthesis, and mechanism of action of drugs, and selective metabolic inhibition
  • Find employment in industry or government or be accepted at graduate or professional schools (pharmacy, medicine, etc.)

The Learning Environment

The Chemistry program features a wide variety of class sizes, types, and delivery methods. Most General Chemistry courses consist of 3 hours of lecture per week (class sizes of ca. 360) presented by Ph. D. level faculty, in addition to 1 hour of recitation and 3 hours of laboratory (class sizes of ca. 22 students) supervised by a graduate student teaching assistant. Organic chemistry courses in the second year consist of 3 hours of lecture per week (class sizes of ca. 275) presented by Ph. D. level faculty, in addition to 1 hour of recitation and 3 hours of laboratory (class sizes of ca. 16 students) supervised by a graduate student teaching assistant. In the third and fourth year classes are generally restricted to chemistry majors. Lecture classes have enrollments of 100 to 16 and use a variety of delivery methods. Laboratory courses are low enrollment and are taught by Chemistry faculty with graduate student teaching assistants; these are heavily hands-on and with state-of-the-art instrumentation. The Department strongly encourages undergraduate research; this is conducted in the individual research groups of tenured or tenure-track faculty.

About Our Facilities

The Department of Chemistry is housed in the Natural Sciences Complex (NSC) on the North Campus. The Department occupies about 112,000 square feet of space, including 32,000 square feet for teaching laboratories and 54,000 square feet of research laboratory space. Also included are support services, such as instrumentation labs, electronic shop, stockrooms, and conference rooms.

The Chemistry Department Instrument Center maintains and operates a number of instruments that facilitate a variety of research. These include multiple mass spectrometers for analysis of ions in gas, solution and solid phases, including accurate mass confirmation. Liquid and gas chromatographs are coupled with mass spectrometry to enhance mixture analysis. Ionization techniques include electron impact, electrospray, chemical ionization, and matrix assisted laser desorption ionization. Other techniques available include FTIR, thermogravimetric analysis, scanning spectrophotometry, and differential scanning calorimetry. Nuclear Magnetic Resonance spectrometers include a Varian Gemini 300, Varian 400, 500, 600 and 750MHz NMR spectrometers for structure studies.

About Our Faculty

The staff of the Department of Chemistry includes 30 tenured or tenure-track full-time faculty (all Ph. D.), 3 full-time lecturers, 84 teaching assistants (all graduate students), and 18 support staff. Faculty members deliver lecture courses and supervise teaching assistants who are responsible for oversight of laboratory courses. The chemistry faculty includes a number of Ph.D. scientists who maintain active research programs in medicinal chemistry. Many of these have grants and contracts awarded in competitions with other scientists to support their research. The majority of outside support is from the National Institutes of Health or the National Science Foundation. Faculty also hold memberships in various national organizations and several have been honored for their contributions to science.

Faculty List Directory

Please visit the Chemistry department website for additional information about our faculty.

Career Outlook

Career Choices

  • Government scientist
  • Medicinal chemist in the pharmaceutical industry
  • Organic chemist
  • Pharmaceutical sales representative
  • Teacher
  • Technical librarian

Alumni in Medicinal Chemistry have found employment in the following fields:

  • Academe (Professor of Medicinal Chemistry)
  • Government (Food & Drug Administration)
  • Medicinal chemistry (pharmaceutical industry)
  • Pharmaceutical sales (pharmaceutical industry)

Salary Trends

The median salary for chemists with bachelor's degrees, including medicinal chemists, was $77,000 in 2015. The median starting salary for new bachelor's graduates was $40,000 in 2014. The industry seeks to hire graduates who have good laboratory experience. In this regard, M.S. graduates are good prospects for employment in the pharmaceutical industry and are paid correspondingly more and given more responsibility.

Academic Advising

Students may be referred to Dr. Jerome Keister, the director of undergraduate studies, for advisement regarding the prerequisite courses and any other aspect of the program and discipline. Students are advised to meet with him at least once every semester to discuss career goals and curriculum. Academic progress is evaluated at the end of each semester. Students should apply for admission to the department as early as possible in their academic career.

Academic Advising Contact Information

Dr. Troy Wood
Director of Undergraduate Studies|
Email Dr. Troy Wood

Scholarships and Financial Support

  • Alan Cutler Undergraduate Scholarship: The scholarship is given to support students in the Department of Chemistry based on financial need and academic success.
  • Albert Padwa Award: Intended to provide a stipend to an undergraduate student intern during a summer research project in the Department of Chemistry.
  • Ralph F. Theuer Scholarship Award: Presented annually to outstanding students pursuing a degree in Chemistry or a graduate degree in Science Education.
  • William E. Townsend Scholarship: Presented annually to freshman chemistry majors, preferably from the WNY area, with demonstrated financial need and possession of good personal characteristics in terms of attitude, personality, citizenship and leadership.
  • Peter T. Lansbury Undergraduate Research Award: Awarded to an undergraduate chemistry major to be used to carry out summer research with a UB faculty member.
  • Sol J. Lederman Undergraduate Research Fellowship: Award to provide summer research support based on proposals submitted.
  • Hillig Student Assistance Fund: For the purpose of supporting undergraduate students majoring in chemistry who have completed 2 or more years of chemistry courses to further their study in the field of Chemistry. The awards provide partial travel funds for junior or senior chemistry or medicinal chemistry majors who are presenting papers or posters at scientific society meetings.

Associated Programs

Associated Subjects

Published: Nov 28, 2022 13:04:00