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Dual Degree in Chemistry & Pharmacy

Dual Degree in Chemistry & Pharmacy

Under the provisions of an interinstitutional agreement with the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences (MCPHS), Simmons College offers a seven-year dual major (dual degree) program for Simmons students, leading to the BS degree in chemistry from Simmons and the PharmD degree from MCPHS. Interested students should consult the chair of the chemistry department.

Pharmacy is an integral part of the health care community and industry. The PharmD degree, followed by state licensing, leads to a variety of opportunities in community or hospital pharmacy and in research, development, and marketing with pharmaceutical and cosmetic companies. The dual degree program requires one year more to complete than a regular entry-level six-year PharmD but has somewhat more flexibility in career options, particularly for a student who becomes interested in research.

MCPHS, a member of the Colleges of the Fenway consortium, is located on Longwood Avenue, one block from Simmons and is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges and the American Council on Pharmaceutical Education. It was organized as a private institution in 1823 to educate men and women in the profession of pharmacy. In addition to the professional PharmD degree, MCPHS offers undergraduate degrees in a number of health-related areas and research-oriented MS and PhD degrees in the pharmaceutical sciences.

The Chemistry/Pharmacy dual degree program is open only to students who do their first three years of college work at Simmons.


The curriculum for the double degree consists of three full years at Simmons, a fourth year that includes eight semester hours of independent study at Simmons with the remainder of the course work at MCPHS, and an additional three years at MCPHS completing coursework and experiential education.

Students fulfill the degree requirements of both institutions; no degree is awarded until the entire program is complete. At that time, the student receives a PharmD degree from MCPHS and a BS degree in chemistry from Simmons.

Licensure in pharmacy in Massachusetts requires 1,000 hours of internship (practical pharmacy) plus a state board examination. The student usually begins the internship with summer or academic year appointments after transferring to MCPHS. The balance of the internship requirement is met by satisfactory completion of the experiential education during the seventh year. State licensing examinations are generally taken during the summer following graduation.

Students interested in the double degree should talk to the chair of the chemistry department as early as possible in their programs. Early contact is helpful both for advising for the proper prerequisite courses and for identifying the total number of potential double degree candidates.

Students apply for admission to MCPHS during their junior year at Simmons through MCPHS's normal transfer student admission process. Although MCPHS agrees to give qualified Simmons students preference, it is their right to determine final suitability for entry into the professional pharmacy program.


(First three years plus Independent Study)

Year One

  • BIOL 113 General Biology
  • BIOL 218 Principles of Zoology
  • CHEM 111 Introductory Chemistry: Inorganic
       or CHEM 113 Principles of Chemistry
  • CHEM 114 Organic Chemistry I
  • MATH 120 Calculus I
  • MATH 121 Calculus II

Year Two

  • BIOL 221 Microbiology
  • CHEM 225 Organic Chemistry II
  • CHEM 226 Quantitative Analysis
  • PHYS 112 Fundamentals of Physics I
  • PHYS 113 Fundamentals of Physics II
  • PSYC 101 Introduction to Psychology

Year Three

  • CHEM 331 Thermodynamics and Kinetics
  • CHEM 332 Quantum Mechanics and Molecular Structure
  • CHEM 345 Biochemistry
  • ECON 101 Principles of Macroeconomics
  • MATH 118 Introductory Statistics

Year Four

  • CHEM 355 Independent Study with Thesis

A detailed description of the dual-degree program is available from the chemistry department office.