The Department of Pharmacology and Nutritional Sciences is pleased to host this unique educational opportunity. A minor in Pharmacology provides a rare and distinctive educational program that complements a wide range of majors across campus including Biology, Chemistry, Psychology, Neuroscience, Agricultural and Biomedical technology, Nursing, Health Sciences, Kinesiology, Marketing and others.
Pharmacology is a branch of medicine and biology that seeks to understand the development and the effects of drugs from both natural and synthesized sources. It is a field that has arguably had a greater impact on human, animal and agricultural health and wellbeing than that of any other disciple within science.
This minor is designed to prepare graduates to enter medical, dental, pharmacy, veterinary, nursing, medical technology and other health related professions.
Students will be admitted into the program when they declare Pharmacology as their minor and upon completion of the following: Pre-minor courses with a cumulative GPA of 2.0 and award of a grade of C or higher in the minor prerequisites (either BIO 148 or BIO 152 and 4 credits from either PGY 206+207 or Bio 350. Students will be advised under their majors.
Required Courses (6 hours): PHA 200 and PHA 421G
Electives: 9 Hours from the Following: PHA 422G, PHA 423G, PHA 424G, PHA 425G and PSY 459.
Courses: (3 credits each)
FALL: PHA 200 - Pharmacology: Drugs and Human Health
PHA 200 is a 3-credit course designed to give students the needed background to understand how drugs impact human health. These will be reviewed from a scientific perspective as well as to inform students of their appropriate use in maintaining personal health. Lectures will cover how drugs function, how they impact our lives, and how we discover new targets for drug discovery. This course will cover the history of drug development, design and discovery, and examine the uses and actions of commonly prescribed and over the counter drugs. We will also cover drugs of abuse and those used in performance enhancement. This course will prepare students with the background needed to understand when drugs should be used, conditions under which their use is prudent and how to obtain accurate information regarding use, benefits and risks of new drugs.
Prerequisite: One semester of College Biology or consent of the course director. (Dr. Michael Kilgore, Director of Undergraduate Studies)
FALL: PHA 421G - Pharmacology: Principles of Drug Action
Most people have taken a pill for something, and we usually take the results for granted. But a lot happens between the time a pill is swallowed until it is cleared, and that process of uptake-action-clearance is very different between medications. This course will provide many real-world examples to show how drugs work. The course style will be interactive. We will ask, “Why do people write wild tweets after taking sleep medications? Why do some antihistamines make you sleepy? What will cancer treatment be like in the future?” And many more…
Prerequisite: PHA200 or consent of Course Director. (Dr. Rolf Craven)
FALL: PHA 422G - Pharmacology of Treating Human Disease
Geared toward the pre-professional and others interested in a career in health care and research this course will provide a fundamental understanding of the actions of drugs most commonly used in the treatment of human diseases, drugs of abuse and those used in sports to enhance performance. Pharmacology is the study of the effects of drugs on biologic systems. A drug is a chemical that has the ability to interact with and cause a change in a biologic system. The primary goal of this course is to introduce basic concepts and principles of pharmacology. By discussing specific examples of drugs, drug targets and disease states, the students will obtain an understanding of how drugs work and the need to develop new drugs for treating human diseases.
Prerequisite: PHA421G or consent of Course Director. (Dr. Hollie Swanson)
SPRING: PHA 423G - Exploring the Dark Side of Medicine
This course will provide students with a fundamental understanding of the adverse effects of drugs and other substances that may be harmful to human health as well as the approaches that are used to ensure drug safety. This course is geared toward the pre-professional student and others interested in a career in health care and research.
PHA 424G - Pharmacology of Human Endocrinology and Reproduction
PHA 424G is a 3-credit course designed to give students a fundamental understanding of the drugs that control the human endocrine system and reproduction and the mechanism by which they exert their actions. The goal of this course is to prepare students with the knowledge base that will help them to explore career options in medicine, pharmacy, dentistry, graduate school and pharmaceutical sciences.
Prerequisite: PHA421G or consent of Course Director. (Dr. Michael Kilgore, Director of Undergraduate Studies)
PHA 425G - Neuropharmacology: Treating Disorders of the Brain
PHA 425G is a 3-credit course designed to give students a fundamental understanding of the drugs that exert neuronal control in the human and the mechanism by which they exert their actions. The goal of this course is to prepare students with the knowledge base that will allow them to explore career options in medicine, pharmacy, dentistry, graduate school and pharmaceutical sciences.
Prerequisite: PHA421G or consent of Course Director. (Dr. Eric Blalock)
PSY 459 - Neuropharmacology: Drugs and Behavior
The purpose of this course is to examine general principles of drug action with emphasis on the pharmacological and behavioral effects of psychoactive drugs. This course will be primarily comprised of lectures, but will also include brief video presentations and a guest speaker. Class discussion will be strongly encouraged.
Prerequisites: PSY 215 and PSY 312 or BIO 148 or equivalent- Course Director - (Dr. Mark Prendergast )
Student learning outcomes:
Students completing the Pharmacology Minor will:
• Have acquired and be able to integrate knowledge regarding the targets and function of drugs (in their broadest sense including biologics etc.) at various levels from molecular to biochemical to cellular and on through their behavioral and physiological effects.
• Understand and describe methods and tools used in the development of drugs and identify both the strengths and limitations of both classical and modern approaches.
• Identify and be able to articulate challenges to the field of pharmacology and develop analytical skills necessary to evaluate the value and risks of drugs.
• Be able to describe a hypotheses and design approaches that could be used to test the hypotheses. Student will also be able to analyze data, interpret results, and critically evaluate the existing literature.
• Be able to effectively communicate results of scientific experiments whether it be written research papers/reports or oral presentations
• Identify the ethical and professional standards and the regulations that govern drug testing and investigation. This includes, but is not limited to, both the powers and limitations of cell based systems, animal testing and human drug trials.