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UC Pharmacy College: Chemistry Major Can Track to Cosmetic Scientist

UC Pharmacy College: Chemistry Major Can Track to Cosmetic Scientist


CINCINNATI—Students with a penchant, and the acumen, for studying chemistry now have a new degree track to follow at the University of Cincinnati: a five-year BS-MS program with bachelor’s in chemistry and master’s in cosmetic science.

A program launch event will take place at 4 p.m., Monday, Oct. 2, at the James L. Winkle College of Pharmacy’s Kowalewski Hall, 3255 Eden Ave., Cincinnati, Ohio. 

"There is a need for this type of program, a need for cosmetic chemists and our graduates will have potential for jobs in many industries,” says Kavssery Ananthapadmanabhan (Ananth), PhD, professor and director of the Cosmetic Science Program at the Winkle College of Pharmacy.  

The college recently partnered with UC’s College of Arts and Sciences to develop the program, which is designed to graduate students with a bachelor’s degree in chemistry and a master’s degree in cosmetic science in five years, without having to take the GRE, or apply separately to graduate school.

"We are proud of this new partnership with the College of Pharmacy. It tightens the relationship between our two degrees and adds a co-op option, "says Tom Beck, PhD, professor, who heads the chemistry department, adding: "It’s exciting that our students can now get industry knowledge and important career skills before they graduate.” 
Students will be introduced to cosmetic science classes during their sophomore to senior years while studying basic chemistry and eventually will move onto a full year of cosmetic science during the fifth year. They will have two co-op opportunities, one each during the third and fourth year.

The pharmacy college currently offers both a master’s degree and doctoral degree in pharmaceutical sciences with a cosmetic sciences track. The cosmetic science degree program here is the oldest and largest in the country, and was the first to offer a PhD program. It is also the first to offer a completely online certificate and master’s program in cosmetic science. Courses in the cosmetic science track include skin care science, hair care science, formulation science, color cosmetics, cosmetic microbiology, clinical and instrumental testing of cosmetic products, consumer understanding, bio-statistics, regulatory and safety affairs, and cosmetic pharmacology.

Cosmetic science is an interdisciplinary area that has its basis in multiple pure science areas such as bioscience, materials science, chemistry, chemical engineering, colloid science and clinical and measurement science, says Ananth who spent over 25 years in personal care research and development before joining UC in 2016.

"I can tell you how difficult it is to find students with the right background. This program makes students industry ready and they will have to spend minimal time in training them in the company,” he says.

Cosmetic science faculty consists of current and emeriti professors in the College of Pharmacy as well as current and retired industrial scientists. The new BS-MS program was designed with input from the industry to prepare students to enter the field of cosmetic science with the tools needed to be highly effective employees, says Neil MacKinnon, PhD, Dean of the Winkle College of Pharmacy.

Indeed, joining the cosmetic science program at UC was, "without doubt, one of the best decisions I have made in my career as a cosmetic chemist,” says alumna Kelly Dobos, MS (‘12), vice president of the Society of Cosmetic Chemists.

Ananth says that UC’s pharmacy college has a long legacy of innovation and will continue to be a pioneer in pharmaceutical and cosmetic science education.

A new cosmetic science lab at the college just opened as a part of its recent multimillion-dollar renovation of the college of pharmacy and reflects the college’s commitment to training students to be the top scientists in the field.   


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