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Advanced Programs of Study
One of the main goals of University of the Sciences is to provide high-quality education to graduate students in the sciences and health-related fields. Accordingly, the University currently offers 17 graduate programs:
Biochemistry [MS (non-thesis), MS (thesis), PhD]
Bioinformatics [MS (non-thesis)]
Biomedical Writing [MS (non-thesis)]
Cancer Biology [PhD – offered in partnership with The Wistar Institute]
Cell Biology and Biotechnology [MS (non-thesis), MS (thesis)]
Cell and Molecular Biology [PhD]
Chemistry [MS (non-thesis), MS (thesis), PhD]
Health Policy [MS (non-thesis), PhD]
Health Psychology [MS (non-thesis), MS (thesis)]
Occupational Therapy [MOT, DrOT]
Pharmaceutical and Healthcare Business [MBA]
Pharmaceutics [MS (non-thesis), MS (thesis), PhD]
Pharmacognosy [MS (thesis), PhD]
Pharmacology/Toxicology [MS (thesis), PhD]
Pharmacy Administration [MS (non-thesis)]
Physician Assistant Studies [MS}
The USciences’ philosophy of graduate education is to provide high-quality graduate-level courses in a flexible, convenient manner, characterized by close personal interactions between the students and the faculty. Most of our graduate-level courses are offered in the early evenings for the convenience of nontraditional students who either wish to obtain advanced training and/or certificates of training without formally entering a graduate program and/or wish to earn a graduate degree. These courses are delivered at both traditional on-campus and satellite locations and in a variety of nontraditional ways, such as in online and blended formats. Graduate-level courses are taught by USciences faculty and other highly qualified experts. These courses are constantly monitored and updated to ensure that their content is current and meaningful in the real world.
USciences enjoys an excellent international reputation that allows us to attract graduate students from all over the world as well as from the United States. The interaction of such a diverse body of students and faculty adds strength and depth to our programs. Our graduate students are not only trained in the content of their profession but are also trained to be critical thinkers, to work in group settings, and to be effective communicators.
We train our graduate students to be leaders in academic, industrial, and governmental settings. Our graduates are likely to continue their education, earning PhD, SciD, JD, MBA, MD, DO, and other professional degrees. Our PhD graduates also are likely to enter academic and industrial post-doctoral fellowships for additional training. Our graduate students may end up teaching at the university level; working in industry; working in local, state or federal governmental positions; or working for other agencies.
Admission into a Graduate Program
The graduate faculty of USciences encourage highly qualified individuals to apply to: 1) a graduate degree program [i.e., PhD, MS (thesis), MS (non-thesis), or MBA degree]; 2) a graduate certificate program, or 3) take one or more courses as a non-matriculated student without being in a degree program.
Unless applying for one of USciences’ integrated undergraduate/graduate degree programs, an applicant must be a graduate of a reputable college or university with at least the equivalent of an earned bachelor’s degree and meet the eligibility requirements established by both the graduate faculty and the specific graduate program to which the individual is applying.
Admission into an Integrated Graduate Degree Program
Several of our graduate programs offer integrated BS/first professional degree/MS/MPH or MBA programs, which allow qualified current USciences undergraduate students to simultaneously pursue a graduate degree while completing their undergraduate coursework. Acceptance into an integrated undergraduate/graduate degree program:
- Allows undergraduate students who have the necessary prerequisites to take graduate-level coursework.
- Allows students to apply graduate coursework toward earning a graduate degree from USciences while concurrently earning an undergraduate/first-professional degree provided the minimum academic standards criteria are maintained.
Students may apply for an integrated undergraduate/graduate program either as entering freshmen, as entering transfer students, or as current USciences undergraduate students (prior to their fourth year if in a BS track, fifth year if in a professional master’s degree track, or sixth year if in the PharmD, DrOT, or DPT degree track). Admission is competitive and based on both the availability of positions and the academic record of the student. Normal standardized examinations, such as the GRE or LSAT and normal programmatic entrance (e.g., proficiency) examinations will not be required of the applicant. Language examinations such as the TOEFL and IELTS may be required at the discretion of the graduate program director and/or dean of the College under which the program is offered. Admission into these programs is granted only by the dean upon the recommendation of the appropriate graduate program director.
To be considered for this program, incoming freshmen must meet the following criteria:
- A minimum high school GPA of 3.40/4.00.
- A minimum SAT score of 1200 total with a minimum individual verbal and math score of 550.
- Three letters of recommendation from high school faculty.
- Signature of the student’s USciences undergraduate program director signifying that he/she has discussed the implications on how this program might impact the student’s undergraduate studies.
To be considered for this program, incoming transfer students and current matriculated USciences students must have met the following criteria:
- A minimum cumulative GPA of 3.25/4.00.
- A minimum SAT score of 1200 total with a minimum individual verbal and math score of 550 if not matriculated in an undergraduate or first professional degree program for at least one academic year (at least a fall and spring semester) at USciences; otherwise, there is no SAT requirement.
- Three letters of recommendation from college faculty members.
- Signature of the student’s current USciences undergraduate program director signifying that he/she has discussed the implications on how this program might impact the student’s undergraduate studies.
Students in the program will have separate undergraduate and graduate transcripts. Courses used to earn an undergraduate degree cannot also be used to earn a graduate degree. The student should work closely with his/her undergraduate/graduate advisors to ensure the appropriate courses get assigned to the proper transcript during registration.
Admission into Graduate Courses
While many of our graduate students enter our graduate programs after completing their undergraduate degree, we also have many nontraditional students who usually hold one or more college degrees and are currently employed but wish to obtain advanced training to enhance their careers. Many of these students wish to take one or two courses to “test the waters” before matriculating into a graduate program; others are looking to receive training in specific areas without pursuing a degree. USciences offers the option for qualified students to take graduate-level courses without formally entering a graduate program if they have the appropriate prerequisite background. Information and assistance in this regard can be obtained from the Graduate Admissions Office at 215.596.8556 or through our website at www.usciences.edu/graduate.
In order to register for courses without formally enrolling in a graduate program, the applicant must provide proof via a copy of a transcript that shows that he/she meets all prerequisites for the course. Such students should complete the application for enrollment and provide a copy of the pertinent transcript showing that they meet the prerequisite requirements prior to the start of the course. Approval for enrolling in a course is granted by the graduate program director with the approval of the dean.
USciences allows a maximum of 12 credits of coursework taken at USciences prior to formal enrollment in a graduate program to count toward the minimum degree requirements of the graduate program. In addition, up to 12 credits of coursework from prior learning assessment, transfer credit from appropriate courses taken at other accredited institutions, and credit earned by examination can be counted towards the minimum degree requirements of the graduate program.
For priority review and consideration for University financial support, such as teaching or research assistantships, completed applications must be submitted by March 1 for entry in the fall semester, and October 1 for entry in the spring semester. Applications received after these dates but not later than April 1 for entry in either the fall or summer semester, and not later than November 1 for the spring semester will be processed, but admission will depend upon availability of openings in the program and the awarding of financial support in terms of teaching assistantships is less likely to occur.
The application for graduate programs and complete information regarding admission requirements are available at www.usciences.edu/graduate.
Acceptance by a Graduate Program
The graduate program director and the program’s admissions committee, whose members come from the ranks of their program’s graduate faculty, will review applications to their program. This committee will consider all valid information that has been provided about the applicant to arrive at its recommendation of admission. However, as an institution that follows affirmative action/equal opportunity, recommendations may not be made based on the applicant’s age, gender, sexual orientation, race, religion, creed, national origin, veteran status, or gender identity, or in violation of federal, state, and local laws or executive orders.
Based on the application documentation, the program director may make one of the following recommendations:
- Accept the applicant into the degree track for which the individual applied.
- Conditionally accept the applicant into the degree track for which the individual applied, but provide a list of requirements that the applicant must fulfill prior to entering the program (e.g., additional training requirements, such as completing specified English training programs prior to entering a USciences graduate program).
- Provisionally accept the applicant into the degree track for which the individual applied, but provide a list of conditions needed to correct perceived background deficiencies (e.g., satisfactorily completing specific courses) that the applicant must fulfill once enrolled. Such requirements must be fulfilled in order to obtain a degree/certificate.
- Recommend the applicant consider applying to a different degree track within a program (in this case, either the program director and/or personnel from Admissions will discuss this with the applicant before acting on the application).
- Reject the application. In this case, it is USciences policy not to inform the applicant of the rationale for the rejection.
The program director will relay the committee’s recommendations to the dean, usually through the Admissions Office. The dean makes the final determination as to which applicants will be granted offers of acceptance.
Notification of any University-based financial support in the form of graduate student instructorship usually accompanies the notification of the applicant’s acceptance but may follow at a later date.
For international students, the Certification of Finances form will be sent from the university’s International Student Office after the accepted student has submitted a Graduate Enrollment Reservation form and nonrefundable deposit of $150; this deposit will be credited to the student’s first semester’s tuition. However, deadlines for submission of the completed Certificate of Finances form are June 1 and December 1 for entry into the fall and spring semesters, respectively. Once the University receives the Certification of Finances form, the University will send the applicant’s Certificate of Eligibility form I-20A, which is required for a student visa.
It should be recognized that admission into graduate school is usually highly competitive in nature. Many times, there are many more applicants than there are openings in the programs, and even highly qualified applicants may not be accepted into a program.
Immunization Records, Health History Forms and Health Insurance
All international and full-time students must have proof of completed immunization records and must have completed the University’s Medical History Questionnaire. This form should be completed by the student’s physician prior to the student’s arrival on campus. Unless exempted, all international students must participate in the health insurance program sponsored by the University. Additionally, all students must show proof that they are covered by health insurance. Students may secure accident and sickness insurance covering medical and hospital expenses through a plan offered by the University. Details of this plan are available in the Office of the Dean of Students. For more information on USciences’ health insurance policies, visit www.usciences.edu/shac/insurance/index.shtml.
There are several financial aid programs available for graduate students to help meet the costs of an advanced education. For more information on financial aid options, visit www.gradschool.usciences.edu/tuition/financial_aid.shtml.
Endowed Fellowships/Scholarships for Graduate Students
Clayton French Fellowship: Provided by Mrs. Mary I. Banks in honor of her father, Clayton French, for a graduate student conducting pharmaceutical research at the University.
William H. Gano Memorial Scholarship: Provided by Mrs. William H. Gano (Class of 1884) in memory of her husband for a graduate student engaged in research at the University.
Jacob Gelb Scholarship: Established by Jacob Gelb (Class of 1931), and his brother Samuel Gelb and awarded to newly matriculated graduate students. One graduate student from each program can be nominated to receive a one- or two-semester scholarship; the second semester may be awarded if the student maintains good academic standing in the graduate program.
Abraham Glasser Fellowship: Provided through the generous gift of Abraham Glasser (Class of 1943), and his wife Gloria. Full-time PhD students enrolled in chemistry, biochemistry, pharmacognosy, pharmaceutics, or pharmacology and toxicology programs who have passed their comprehensive examinations, have been admitted to candidacy, and have demonstrated a reasonable degree of progress in their research are eligible to apply for this fellowship.
F. B. Kilmer Research Fellowship: Provided by the late Dr. Frederick B. Kilmer for a graduate student conducting research in pharmacology and natural product/plant chemistry (i.e., pharmacognosy).
August T. Pollard Fellowship: Provided by Dr. Augusta T. Pollard for a graduate student who is performing research in areas related to pharmacy.
For more information and to apply for any of these fellowships, contact the Office of Graduate Studies at 215.596.8886.
External Funding Sources
Fellowships and traineeships awarded by organizations such as the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, and the American Foundation for Pharmaceutical Education may be available to graduate students. Students interested in such programs should apply to these agencies after consulting with their research advisor, program director, and the Office of Sponsored Projects and Research.
Graduate Student Instructors (GSI’s)
The University provides financial aid to a select group of matriculated graduate students who work as Graduate Student Instructors (GSI’s). GSI’s assist in teaching, grading, and proctoring courses. If English is not your primary language, you are required to submit scores from the Test of Spoken English or TOEFL IBT (Internet-based test) and demonstrate adequate English skills upon arrival on campus.
The Provost Designee awards GSI funding to highly qualified students recommended by the graduate program directors. GSI’s are assigned by the Provost Designee to various departments across campus based on need. GSIs are required to participate in all teaching assistant training sessions sponsored by their department, the Department of Safety, the Teaching and Learning Center, and the Office of Graduate Studies.
Graduate Student Instructor Contracts (Stipends and Tuition Scholarships)
Most GSI’s begin their studies in the fall semester and receive an initial contract that spans the fall and spring semesters. New contracts are usually awarded in May before the start of the summer session and generally last a full calendar year. Contracts specify the amounts of the stipend and the tuition scholarship. GSI’s are required to provide 17 hours of service per week.
The amount of the stipend is based on experience and is considered taxable income, as it is a fee for service. Tuition scholarships are applied against a student’s tuition bill during the contract period; the student is responsible for all tuition beyond the amount of the award and outside the contract period. GSI’s enrolled in PhD degree tracks may receive stipend and tuition scholarship for a maximum period of five years after matriculation in the graduate program.
Tuition scholarships are not considered taxable, as they do not qualify as a fee for service.
To apply for a Graduate Student Instructorship, contact your program director.
Graduate Research Assistantships (GRA’s)
Graduate students may be supported by extramural support to perform research. Usually, the support is in the form of a research stipend. This stipend may or may not be taxable depending if it is a fee for service or a fellowship to perform research.
Students who receive research stipends may be eligible to receive a tuition scholarship depending on the size of the stipend received. Tuition scholarships are awarded as follows:
- If a student receives two-thirds or more of the amount of the normal stipend during a semester, then the student is eligible for a full tuition scholarship.
- If a student receives at least one-third, but less than two-thirds, of the amount of the normal stipend during a semester, then the student is eligible to receive one-half of a tuition scholarship.
- A student is not eligible to receive a tuition scholarship if the student receives less than one-third of the amount of a normal stipend during a semester.
The tuition scholarship is considered to be not taxable as it is not a fee for service. To apply for Graduate Research assistance, contact your program director.
Full-time matriculated graduate students may also be hired to perform specific services for the University for which they receive tuition waivers. Tuition waivers are awarded at the rate of one semester hour of credit for 3 hours of service per week per semester. A student may have up to one-third of the credits taken each semester covered by tuition waivers. The maximum number of credits that can be covered by a tuition waiver is 3.
A graduate student may receive assistance in the form of a tuition waiver for a maximum of two and a half years for a MS track or five years for a Ph.D. track.
Tuition waivers are deemed to be taxable as they are considered a fee for service. To apply for a tuition waiver, contact your program director.
For more information, call the Financial Aid Office at 215.596.8894 or visit www.usciences.edu/financialaid.