Pharmacology for Science Undergraduates

Expand your experience

Your undergraduate years are the perfect time to explore your interests. After all, as a science student, you’re setting up a solid foundation on which to build your education. At Dalhousie, you’ll have the opportunity to explore pharmacology by taking courses that we’ve cross-listed with other faculties and departments—making it easier to fit these courses into your current plan.

If you’re an honours student, you may also want to consider carrying out your thesis on a pharmacological topic. Contact your honours program coordinator for guidance.


These introductory pharmacology classes can be taken as electives or selectives in the medical biotechnology stream of the honours or advanced major degrees in biochemistry. They may also be taken as part of the combined honours degree in biochemistry, microbiology and immunology.

Pharmacology - The Drug Around Us
(PHAC 3030)
Using examples of drugs found in our environment and daily lives, this course will discuss subjects including drug regulations, how drugs affect us and modify our body, foods that are addictive; drugs in products you wouldn't suspect as well as the treacherous effects of common medications and environmental toxins.

Directed Research Project in Pharmacology 
(PHAC 4000.03)/(PHAC 4100.03)
This two semester course is intended to introduce students to academic research in a laboratory environment.  Students will work closely with a supervisor to develop a research question and project proposal to address this question.  Students will learn laboratory skills and expand their knowledge in Pharmacology.

Systems Pharmacology I
(PHAC 4403)
This course introduces pharmacology, the study of the interactions of drugs with the human body. Topics include drug receptors, drug metabolism, and drug distribution. Drugs acting on the autonomic nervous system, skeletal muscle, cardiovascular system, antimicrobial medications, plus anti-cancer drugs will be discussed. Content experts in pharmacology present different topics.

Systems Pharmacology II
(PHAC 4409)
This course is designed to complement Pharmacology I. It covers drug classes acting on various human body systems with emphasis on basic principles, mechanism of the drug action, therapeutic indications and adverse drug reactions. Topics include drugs acting on the central nervous system, drugs of abuse, local and general anesthetics, drugs acting on various endocrine glands, reproductive, immune, gastrointestinal and respiratory systems, anticancer drugs and drugs used in selected populations.

Experiential Learning in Pharmacology
(PHAC 3000.03)
This one semester course is intended to introduce students to outside-the-classroom learning experiences. Students will work closely with a supervisor to learn laboratory skills and expand their knowledge in Pharmacology. Course structure will vary, depending on the nature of the experience.