Location: Sir Charles Tupper Medical Building
5850 College Street
6B3, 6th Floor
P.O. Box 15000
Halifax, NS
B3H 4R2
Telephone: (902) 494-3435
Fax: (902) 494-1388


Pharmacology is the study of the actions and fates of drugs in biological systems. Studies of the interaction of drugs with their receptors and the elucidation of the cellular mechanisms underlying the resulting responses are central to Pharmacology. It is also important to understand how drugs are handled in the body, why they produce adverse effects, and how they interact with each other. In addition, scientists often use drugs as tools to determine the basic mechanisms that underlie both normal and pathological conditions in biology. A solid understanding of the principles of Pharmacology is essential for any scientist who wishes to use drugs as tools properly. The experimental approaches used in Pharmacology are varied, ranging from bioassay, electrophysiology, chemical and biochemical analyses to molecular biology.

Degree Programs

Students intending to pursue graduate training in Pharmacology are encouraged to study pharmacology at the undergraduate level. In addition, a solid background in pharmacology can open the door to employment in numerous sectors, most notably the pharmaceutical industry. The Department of Pharmacology does not offer an honours pharmacology degree program as such. However, it does provide courses that may be taken for credit within various other honours degree programs, including Biology, Biochemistry, Psychology (Neurosciences) and Microbiology and Immunology. In addition, students can conduct honours thesis research projects in the laboratories of Pharmacology faculty. Finally, undergraduate students may, with permission of their home department and the course instructor, take certain graduate specialty courses which are offered in the Department of Pharmacology.