Requirements for Degree Completion

Program Learning Objectives

The Program Learning Objectives for the Masters program in Clinical and Experimental Therapeutics are available here.

Units Required

A minimum of 24 core-curriculum courses (see Course Offerings below) with an additional four units from research and dissertation courses are required for graduation, including CXPT 594A and 594B (MS thesis). The core curriculum emphasizes preclinical experimental therapeutic drug development (CXPT 609) and Clinical problem solving (CXPT 664). Additionally principles of biostatistics or equivalent (e.g. PM 510-L) are required for graduation.


Research can be initiated at any point in the program. Students selecting the non-research master’s track may elect and are encouraged to carry out research in their program.

Thesis/Scholarly Project/Dissertation

All students are expected to conduct research leading to a MS thesis or, at minimum, a scholarly project.  Whereas a thesis is original research, a scholarly project can be a comprehensive review of the literature. The scope of the thesis or scholarly project is determined between the student and their advisor.  The submitted thesis or scholarly project should comprehensively cover background and specific aims as to why the research was undertaken. Additionally, a description of the methods/procedures, analysis and conclusion are critical components of the thesis or scholarly project.

Course Offerings

Graduate students are expected to possess knowledge in various areas of pharmaceutical and translational sciences. The following are graduate courses offered by the program (some courses are not offered every year):

  • CXPT/PSCI 515, Drugs: Genetics and Pharmacogenetics (2 units)
  • CXPT/PSCI 662, Advanced Pharmacokinetics/Pharmacodynamics (2 units)
  • MPTX 517, Structure and Management of Clinical Trials (4 units)
  • PSCI 502, Drugs: Principles of Therapeutic Mechanisms (4 units)
  • RSCI 533, Safety Evaluation during Drug Development (3 units)
  • RXRS 402*, Human Pharmacology: Challenge of Therapeutics in Society (4 units)
  • RXRS 403*, Neuropharmacology in Health and Disease (4 units)
  • RXRS 405*, Pharmacology and Sociology of Drug Abuse (4 units)
  • RXRS 408*, Immunology and Immunotherapeutics (4 units)
  • RXRS 410*, Cancer Biology and Pharmacotherapy (4 units)

*Up to 8 units of 400 series coursework can be applied towards the degree.

Research and Dissertation Courses (12 Units):

  • CXPT 590, Two semesters of Directed Research (8 units)
  • CXPT 594a, Master’s Thesis (2 units)
  • CXPT 594b, Master’s Thesis (2 units)

USC Course Catalogue

For Clinical and Experimental Therapeutics (CXPT) courses, see School of Pharmacy:  USC Course Catalogue

Schedule of Classes

For course availability for the current year see the Schedule of Classes. Note that courses for this program begin Fall 2018.