Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Can the master’s program be used as stepping stone for the PhD program?
A: The master’s program can be used to start the PhD process; however if you have an interest in the PhD program, it is recommended that you apply for it directly. The master’s program is oriented toward the application of pharmacoeconomic analytic methods, while the PhD program is oriented toward the development of new theory an empirical research in the field.

Q: What are the job prospects after graduation?
A: Most alumni work in either the pharmacy industry or managed care.

Q: May I begin the program in the spring?
A: Students are not admitted in the spring semester.

Q: Do you have an extension program where I can just take one or two classes before taking my GRE to see if I really like the program?
A: Although the School does not have an extension program, students are welcome to take a couple of classes before officially enrolling. You would be able to transfer the credits (up to 12) into the MS program (as well as the PhD program). Contact Professor McCombs to arrange for the necessary department clearances to enroll in classes.

Q: Would it be possible to use any of the MS classes toward a PhD?
A: Twenty courses in the MS program are transferable to the PhD in Pharmaceutical Economics.

Q: What is the difference between your MS and PhD programs?
A: The MS is more applied, while the PhD is more theoretical in orientation. The PhD takes four to six years to complete while the MS takes two years to complete as a full-time student.

Q: Do you have minors in the MS program (e.g., epidemiology, biostatistics?)
A: The program does not include any minors, but most students take additional coursework in biostatistics, which is taught in the same building.

Q: Where can I find out more about progressive degree programs at USC?
A: For more information on progressive degree programs visit Progressive Degrees on the USC Undergraduate Programs website.