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School of Pharmacy announces master’s program scholarships to address inequities

October 4, 2021 By Lisa Bauer

Rennebohm Hall,home to the UW–Madison School of Pharmacy. Photo: Bryce Richter

Graduate students committed to tackling challenges in growing areas of the pharmaceutical industry can apply for Pharmaceutical Sciences MS Merit Awards.

These scholarships will be awarded to students pursuing a master’s degree in Pharmaceutical Sciences: Applied Drug Development or Psychoactive Pharmaceutical Investigation who demonstrate a financial need and/or have a strong commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion.

“Equity and inclusivity are central to UW–Madison School of Pharmacy’s work and mission,” says School of Pharmacy Dean Steve Swanson. “Our hope is that the awards will not only remove some of the financial burden on some of our students, but also increase access for students to learn about and impact critically important work in the pharmaceutical industry.”

The Applied Drug Development (ADD) MS program was designed in collaboration with industry partners who are looking to fill the skill gap between entry-level and research scientists. This program’s curriculum prepares students to meet industry needs with in-demand skills. The Psychoactive Pharmaceutical Investigation (PPI) MS program employs a transdisciplinary faculty in a first-of-its-kind program to teach next-generation therapeutic approaches using psychedelics, entheogens, cannabinoids and other psychoactive substances.

The Pharmaceutical Sciences MS Merit Awards extend the core values of the School of Pharmacy by offering scholarships to reduce the cost of attendance for high-achieving students considering a professional degree. The Optimizing Opportunity Award is for students demonstrating a strong commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion and ranges from $9,000 to $12,000 per term. The Enabling Excellence Award is for students demonstrating a financial need and ranges from $4,500 to $6,000 per term.

“No matter how useful a degree program is, its utility is diminished if only a small group of students are able to participate,” says Eric Buxton, director of the Applied Drug Development MS program. “These scholarships will expand the availability of this program to better exemplify the Wisconsin Idea by having more graduates apply what they have learned around the world.”

Applicants for spring 2022 can learn more and apply by October 31, 2021, at the PPI scholarship or ADD scholarship pages. Students applying to the MS programs are eligible. Current students in the program must have a 3.3 cumulative GPA to be eligible. Students receiving merit awards are required to reapply for the scholarship each term. Wisconsin residents and nonresidents are encouraged to apply.

“Our curriculum is enriched by recruiting a student population that encompasses multiple perspectives, and our field is more effective at generating solutions to pressing mental health crises when we graduate professionals that reflect the breadth of stakeholders involved in charting the future of psychoactive drug research’” says Cody Wenthur, director of the Psychoactive Pharmaceutical Investigation MS program. “I hope that we can work with partner organizations, alumni and other donors to expand scholarship opportunities even further in the future.”

Join program directors Eric Buxton and Cody Wenthur on Wednesday, October 6, at 4 p.m. CT, to learn more about the Pharmaceutical Sciences MS Merit Awards and to discuss the emerging fields of drug development and psychoactive pharmaceutical investigation. Register at