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Fundamentals of Medical Pharmacology and Therapeutics

  • Course Number: GMS 6551*
  • Credit Hours: 1 credit hour
  • Course Format: This online course is tailored for asynchronous distance learners.
  • Course Syllabus: View Full Course Details

*It is recommended that students take GMS 6551 during their first semester.

Course Description

In this course, students study the basic principles of pharmacology and therapeutics in the context of medicine and biomedical science. This course provides foundational knowledge students will build upon throughout the remainder of the graduate program. Learning outcomes include understanding the process in which scientific discoveries are applied toward solving medical problems. 

Topics Covered:

  • Drug Discovery
  • Nomenclature
  • Translational Research
  • Pharmacodynamics
  • Pharmacokinetics I – Absorption & Distribution
  • Pharmacokinetics II – Metabolism
  • Pharmacokinetics III – Excretion
  • Pharmacokinetics IV – Quantitative
  • Individual Responses to Drugs
  • Pharmacogenomics

Learning Outcomes

  1. Understand the diversity of small molecule drugs and biologics (e.g., antibodies, peptides, viral-based gene therapies), including their nomenclature.
  2. Understand the major steps in the process where basic scientific discoveries are applied towards solving medical problems in patients and society (T0-T2) and the types of knowledge needed to progress through these different steps.
  3. Describe the process of identifying an unmet medical need and identify how scientific knowledge or discoveries might be used to improve upon existing therapies.
  4. Understand the mechanisms by which drugs and biologics act in the body and at their targets (e.g., pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics, affinity, agonism, antagonism)
  5. Demonstrate the ability to apply pharmacological principles of clinical and basic science relevancy by multiple choice examinations, research assignments, and quiz exercises.

Final Grade Calculation 

  • 50% problem sets 
  • 20% research assignment: 
    • Drug discovery 
  • 30% final exam 


This course requires a BA or BS and a strong science foundation with at least five full-semester courses related to biology, chemistry and/or physics. 

At a Glance