Knowledge and skills in pharmaceutical sciences will be in great demand as new innovations are being developed in medication production, drug therapy, and delivery systems for drugs. As a specialist in pharmaceutical sciences, you might aid in developing, manufacturing, and evaluating products such as tablets, capsules, ointments, and liquids for medicinal, nutritional, and cosmetic use.
Pharmaceutical sciences graduates can expect to earn an annual starting salary between $45,000 and $85,000, depending on level of experience and work setting.
Alumni Video Interviews
- Abigail Agreda, B.S.P.S. ’20 -
Associate Scientist, Pfizer“The variety of required classes and labs I experienced in the BSPS program was a huge part of choosing my career path”
- Working on fast paced Oncology projects at Pfizer
- How the BSPS Program gives you experience of multiple stages in the drug development process
- Participating in Internships while studying in the BSPS program
- Preparing your resume, cover letters, and job/ grad school applications with our Experiential Education Coordinator Erin Edmonds.
- Anna Geraci, B.S.P.S ’18 -
Quality Control Analyst, Vertex Pharmaceuticals“The hands on experience that we got through the program, along with the internships and undergraduate research helped me get my foot in the door at an entry level job after graduation”
- Working as a quality control analyst
- The advantages of the small class sizes in the BSPS program
- Being involved in an internship while at URI
- 3D printing in the pharmaceutical industry and opportunities to learn the skill in the COP
- How the BSPS program prepared Anna for a first job
- Advice to current BSPS students about taking advantage of the opportunities available[/cl-boxout]
- Dr. Stephanie J. Shiffka, B.S.P.S. ’15 -
Biologist, Center for Cancer Research, National Cancer Institute“Without the BSPS program and the undergraduate research I did there, I would not be where I am today, so I’m super grateful for that”
- Pursuing a PhD after graduation from the BSPS program
- Working for the NIH, and what that looks like
- How to get started in a COP lab as an undergraduate
- Skills learned in a molecular biology lab as an undergraduate
- The diversity of research areas we have here in the COP
- Deciding on your career path
Pre-Clinical Study Manager, Kymera Therapeutics"When I graduated I really thought my skillset was tailored towards a more lab-based position, but as I spent more time in the industry I realized I knew a lot about the process of what it takes to make a good study... my current role is a really nice extension of the BSPS program"
- Working in preclinical study management
- Careers in the pharmaceutical industry outside the lab
- How the BSPS program prepares you for industry
- Pursuing a masters degree after graduation from the BSPS program
- Taking advantage of internships while at URI
Health Policy Advisor for the House Budget Committee Republicans“The research that happens in the College of Pharmacy at URI makes nationwide news for their successes, and being able to work as an undergraduate in that field is a really unique opportunity”
- Working for the government in health policy
- Building and maintaining a network
- Reflecting on making a career change
- Considering all the career paths that are available to BSPS graduates
Associate Scientist, Pfizer““While I was an undergraduate research assistant I really felt that I was helping the lab progress, and that my contributions were actually doing something”
- Applying for a job at Pfizer
- Undergraduate research through the SURF Program
- Working closely with your BSPS peers while at URI
- Using the simulation lab in the BSPS Program
- How the BSPS program prepares you for industry.
M.S. Candidate, The University of Rhode Island“My favorite thing about the BSPS program was the flexibility that it offered to students to tailor their curriculum in a direction that they wanted to go in”
- Building your own BSPS program through the selection of professional electives
- Undergraduate research with the department of Chemistry
- How to get involved in undergraduate research
- The variety of skills you learn as an undergraduate researcher
Associate Scientist, Asahi Kasei Bioprocess America“There is a great network of BSPS out there in the field, so coming to the panels, or the mentorship program, those are really great assets that the college has set up to be able to learn more about a career path”
- Working in the biologic industry
- Deciding upon a career path that is right for you
- Having your own research project within a lab as an undergraduate researcher at URI
- How being involved in research as a BSPS student prepares you for your career
- The different benefits of the BSPS program
Have you ever wondered what you can do with a pharmaceutical science degree from the University of RI? We invited several alumni to participate in each interactive panel to speak with prospective students about their path to their current role, the impact of URI, and how their education prepared them for the future.
B.S.P.S. Alumni Panel – October, 2023
“As a senior BSPS student, I found it really encouraging to see the different paths our alumni have taken to get where they are. It really helped me visualize where I want to be after I graduate next year and gave me clues as to how I can get there.”Beth Albone, BSPS ’22
Stephanie Shiffka Ph.D., B.S.P.S ’15
“You can take this major a million different ways and find something that really fulfills you”
Stephanie Shiffka graduated from the University of Rhode Island with a Bachelor’s degree in Pharmaceutical Sciences in 2015 and went on to earn her Ph.D. in the same discipline at the University of Maryland, Baltimore in 2021. Dr. Shiffka’s undergraduate research in Dr. Ruitang Deng’s lab ignited a passion for science and laboratory work. During her undergraduate research at URI, Stephanie learned valuable techniques while studying hepatic metabolism, a field she continued to study during her thesis work. Throughout her education, Stephanie authored and co-authored numerous publications and received several awards to support her research. Following the successful defense of her doctoral thesis, Stephanie accepted a Biologist position in Dr. David Schrump’s research laboratory at the National Cancer Institute in Bethesda, Maryland, where she continues to support the lab’s goals of improving patient outcomes in rare forms of lung cancer.
Samina Akbar, B.S.P.S. ’18
Samina Akbar graduated from URI in Fall 2018. She currently works at Pfizer in Andover, MA as an Associate Scientist in the mass spectrometry group. This is a non-GMP group that characterizes a diverse set of proteins and submits data into IND and BLA filings. She is also completing my MS in Biotechnology at Northeastern University.
Christine Plant, B.S.P.S ’20
Christine Plant works as an Associate in Oncology Operations for Pfizer in Pearl River, NY. She is a member of the Drug Substance/Drug Substance Intermediate Team which is a step in the Oncology drug manufacturing process. Her team supports the manufacture of Mylotarg and Bespona, two of Pfizer’s many commercial products. She even had an opportunity to work for the Covid Operations Team to support Covid-19 Vaccine Manufacturing this past summer in Andover, Massachusetts.
Jennamarie Lopes, B.S.P.S. ’16
Since graduating Jennamarie Lopes has worked in Quality Assurance. Formerly at Rhodes Pharmaceuticals and now at Pfizer, she has had the opportunity to work in and learn about the many facets of the industry from a product’s start to finish. She has been fortunate to gain perspective from working in both small pharma and big pharma and looks forward to the many opportunities that await her in the industry.
Maddie Adams, B.S.P.S. ’18
Maddie Adams graduated from URI with a BSPS in 2018. After graduating, she started working as an Associate Scientist in a Drug Metabolism and Pharmacokinetics lab at Enanta Pharmaceuticals in Watertown MA. After 6 months she moved into a study coordinator position where she was working with contract labs to manage outsourced studies. At the end of 2020 Maddie started a new position at Kymera Therapeutics, as the Preclinical Study Manager. Here she works to manage the preclinical studies that support many compounds in their robust pipeline, including Toxicology and DMPK studies. Since graduating, she has also obtained a Masters in Regulatory Affairs in Drugs, Biologics and Medical Devices from Northeastern University.
March 31 – Pharmaceutical Sciences 2021 and Beyond: BSPS Alumni Panel
Dwight Anderson, B.S., ’17
Dwight Anderson graduated from the BSPS program in December 2017 with a 3.89 GPA. During his time at URI, he was an undergraduate researcher under Dr. Slitt and researched non-alcoholic fatty liver disease in mice. He also participated in Pfizer’s summer student worker program in Cambridge, MA. Here he researched adipose tissue and its role in non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.
After graduation, Dwight went on to accept a role at Sagamore Sales & Marketing as an inside sales representative. Here he sells ORTHOVISC and MONOVISC knee injections from Johnson & Johnson to orthopedic physician practices. After a year as an inside sales representative, he took on the title of team-lead and now manages the team of six inside sales representatives.
Patrick Dumas, B.S., ’16
“I joined this program because I wanted to positively impact healthcare... I thought that would be through research but I found the best way I could make that impact was through the legislative front”
Patrick Dumas is a Health Policy Advisor for Congressman Bruce Westerman (AR-04) of the US House of Representatives in Washington DC. As a Health Policy Advisor, Patrick assists the Congressman with writing and researching health care legislation, providing vote and cosponsor recommendations, and engaging with various health care stakeholders on relevant matters. Prior to serving in this roll Patrick worked in the pharmaceutical industry as a research associate for Pfizer (Groton, CT) and Sanofi Genzyme (Waltham, MA) and as a senior consultant for PhRMA in Washington DC. Patrick graduated from the University of Rhode Island College of Pharmacy BSPS program in 2016.
Meagan Hamblin, B.S., ’16
“I really loved the BSPS program because it was such a community, it was a smaller class size, you knew all who the professors were and they were super approachable”
Meagan Hamblin is currently a Ph.D. candidate at Stanford School of Medicine investigating bacterial infections and the human immune response, with the goal of identifying new strategies to treat infectious diseases. While at URI, Meagan majored in Pharmaceutical Sciences and Biology (B.A.) and was able to secure paid summer research experiences in the College of Pharmacy. She was also a resident assistant and on the women’s club lacrosse team. After graduation, Meagan worked as a research technician at the Broad Institute with a team of MIT researchers to develop strategies for improving antibiotic efficacy. She then was accepted to multiple Ph.D. programs and was awarded the NSF graduate research fellowship to fund her graduate education. Meagan is passionate about infectious disease treatment and mentoring young female scientists.
Frederick Georges Bernard Nguele Meke, B.S., ’17
Frederick graduated from the URI BSPS program in 2017. During his undergraduate studies, he performed research with Dr. Cho and Dr. DeBoef to synthesize carcinogenic compounds for the structural analysis of their DNA adducts. Now he is a PhD candidate at Purdue university, where he is mentored by Dr. Zhong-Yin Zhang in the department of medicinal chemistry and molecular pharmacology. His doctoral work focuses on uncovering novel biology and oncogenic properties of protein tyrosine phosphatases. To do this, Frederick develops novel mouse models and synthesizes small molecule inhibitors to use in vitro and in vivo.
Zoe Perkins, B.S., ’19
Zoe Perkins graduated from URI with a Bachelor of Science in Pharmaceutical Sciences in December of 2019. Since graduation Zoe has worked in downstream manufacturing in viral vector services, or gene therapy. Gene therapy products aim to cure diseases instead of treating them by fixing mutated DNA. After 6 months of manufacturing she went to work for a small biotech company, Asahi Kasei Bioprocess. They manufacture and sell virus removal filters for downstream manufacturing of biologic drugs. In this position she works with marketing, sales, and science and technology divisions. A major aspect of her job is creating and conducting virtual training courses for clients. In her free time she likes to paint, hike and collect houseplants/succulents.
Nicholas DaSilva, Ph.D., ’19
“This BSPS degree can take you anywhere and it‘s all about flexibility and really at the core of it it‘s all about the science”
Nick is a URI alumnus having earned both a baccalaureate(2014) and doctorate(2019) in Pharmaceutical Sciences. Following graduation in 2014 he worked in the multiple myeloma research laboratory of Dr Ken Anderson, MD at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute. In 2015, he began his doctoral studies in the laboratories of Navindra Seeram, PhD and Angela Slitt, PhD studying the effects of natural products against neurodegenerative processes and metabolic syndrome/NASH. During his Doctoral studies he co-founded Alcinous Pharmaceuticals with two URI colleagues Ken Rose, PhD and Ben Barlock, PhD. Together they design and develop new small molecule inhibitors for the treatment of various cancers. He has published in over a dozen peer reviewed journals and serves on the editorial board of Cell and Gene Therapy.
Where can a B.S.P.S. Degree take you?
- Pharmaceutical and Life Science companies need B.S.-level graduates to do lab work of all kinds. As someone with the hands-on experience that comes with your BSPS degree at URI, will be highly qualified for these positions.
- The difference between hiring a BS versus MS versus PhD degree person is where an employee will be in the management chain and how much project supervision the employee will have. Higher degrees are demanded for more management and supervisory positions.
- Many career options are available in pharmaceutical sciences: drug discovery and design, drug delivery, drug action, clinical sciences, drug analysis, pharmacoeconomics, regulatory affairs, marketing, and sales are the primary broad categories. Each includes myriad job opportunities.
Options for Furthering Your Education
- Graduate school in more specialized field for M.S. or Ph.D.: at URI or another university
- Medical school for MD or DO: at another university
- Dental school for DDS or DMD: at another university
- Business school for MBA: at URI or another university
- Law school for JD: at another university
- Veterinary school for DVM: at another university
- Pharmacy school for Pharm.D.: at another university (remember URI is a 0-6 program)
- Product development
- Production and manufacturing
- Quality control and assurance
- Technical services
- Regulatory affairs
- Pharmaceutical industry
- Cosmetics industry
- Government agencies
- Specialty laboratories
- Biotechnology companies
Companies Hiring our Graduates
- Alexion Pharmaceuticals
- ALK-Abello, Long Island NY
- Amgen, RI
- Biogen-Idec, MA
- Boehringer Ingelheim
- Broad Institute, Cambridge MA
- CellDex Therapeutics
- Contract with international medical device co, via Aerotek Scientific Staffing
- CVS Caremark Corp
- Cyalume Specialty Products
- Dana Farber Cancer Institute
- Denison Pharmaceuticals, Lincoln RI
- EPA environmental research and business support program
- Hanna Instruments, RI
- Lipomed, Inc, Cambridge MA
- Medtronic, New Haven CT
- NY State Department of Health
- Organogenesis, Canton MA
- Performix Specialty Pharmacy
- Pfizer, Groton CT
- Pharmacy Creations Compounding Lab
- Prestium Pharma
- Rhodes Pharma, Coventry, RI
- Teknor Apex, Pawtucket RI
- Theorem Clinical Research
- Vericel Corporation
- Waters Corp
MS and PhD programs our Graduates are attending
- Albany College of Pharmacy & Health Sciences
- Northeastern University
- Tufts University
- University of Maryland
- University of North Carolina, Greensboro
- University of Rhode Island