Pfizer Employees

Learn more about the Brown/Pfizer Masters of Arts in Biology Program.

Download Slides from the recent Brown/Pfizer Master of Arts in Biology informational session, including presentations on upcoming courses!

Course Enrollment

All course enrollments are processed through the Office of Graduate & Postdoctoral Studies in cooperation with the Registrar.  Courses offered at Pfizer may be found on the Courses page of this site. Enrollment forms and requirements may be found on the How To Apply page.

Courses on the Brown Campus

A full listing of Brown courses is available through the Brown Online Course Announcement ( Each Brown course carries 4 semester credit hours. Fall and Spring Semesters are each 12-13 week terms with an additional period of approximately 2 weeks for reading period and final examinations. The Summer term has 6 weeks of classes and an additional week for reading period and final examinations.

Academic Policies

Taking a course for credit means that the student must meet all the course requirements as specified by the instructor. Students are also subject to the same academic policies regarding course prerequisites, grading options and extension of work as any other Brown student. (These policies are outlined in the University Course Announcement Bulletin and are available for the summer term through the publications of the Office of Continuing Education.)

Students requesting additional time to complete a final paper or assignment must have the instructor sign an incomplete form, which must be filed with the Registrar's Office. All incomplete course work must be finished within 1 year for Fall or Spring semester courses or by the start of the fall semester for the Summer term courses. Excuses from final examinations require the permission of an academic dean.

Enrollment does not imply admission to candidacy for a degree. Individuals interested in admission as a graduate student should make inquiries either to the Graduate School or the Brown Medical School. No financial aid is available for visiting students through Brown University.

Students should consult employer policies regarding tuition reimbursement.

Master of Arts Degree Requirements

To satisfy degree requirements for the Master of Arts in Biology, students in the Brown-Pfizer program must:

  • Complete 8 Graduate courses
    • 2 of the 8 courses must be in “core” subjects which are:
      • Cell Biology
      • Biochemistry
      • Genetics
      • Pharmacology
    • 6 of 8 courses must be completed with a grade of “B” or better
  • Successfully complete a “culminating experience” on topic approved by Associate Dean, Graduate & Postdoctoral Studies.  There are two options for the culminating experience:
    • An NIH style research proposal based on an original hypothesis OR
    • A Final paper which, based on the course work taken by the student, represents an original in-depth analysis and literature review of a problem in modern biology.  Students will receive notification about specific paper requirements and deadlines at the beginning of the academic year.

How to Apply / Enroll in a Course

Enrollment in courses must be approved on a semester by semester basis. All course enrollments are processed by the Office of Graduate & Postdoctoral Studies. Enrollment confirmation, fee payments and change of status requests (dropping a course, change of grade option) are processed by this office. Grades and transcripts are processed and mailed to students by the Brown Registrar's Office.

The following materials should be submitted as part of your application for the Pfizer Program course enrollment at least one month prior to the start of the term:

  1. Registration Form
  2. Statement describing your interest in taking coursework at Brown University. Note: This letter of intent need only be filed once unless the student has a change in plans of which we should be informed.

Pfizer employees should also consult with the Pfizer Human Resources Department to ensure that they have complied with all procedures required by their employer.

The deadline for enrollment in a course is the end of the week after the first class meeting.

Earlier enrollment than this is encouraged, although students are welcomed to visit the class once before making their enrollment decision.

The deadline to drop a course is the end of the second class week.

To drop a course you must submit an email to [email protected] by this deadline. A full refund of your fees will be made if you drop within the deadline.  Refunds will not be given for any requests made after this deadline.


Fall 2019

Molecular Targets of Drug Discovery (BIOL 2145)  

Instructor: Professor Diana Horrigan
Course Location: Pfizer Inc. (Groton, CT Main Campus).
Time:  TBD

Syllabus will be posted soon.  Registration will open in Summer of 2019.

Spring 2019

Biotechnology & Global Health, (BIOL 1070)  

Instructor: Professor Toni-Marie Achilli
Course Location: Pfizer Inc. (Groton, CT Main Campus).
Time:  Thursdays - 3:00 - 6:00.  First class starts January 24, 2019

Syllabus [ADD NEW SYLLABUS]     

This course examines the issues pertaining to worldwide problems in human health and the technologies to combat these issues. Global health will be addressed primarily from the scientific and engineering perspectives. Topics include the pathophysiology and epidemiology of major human health issues, highlighting the differences between the developed and developing world. Building from the basic biology, we will analyze how disparities in the burden of disease affect the course of scientific research and how new medical technologies influence public health policies. We will consider how research and engineering approaches are tailored to address different geographical, cultural, and economic challenges, through modern case studies. Medical and research ethics will also be discussed.

How to Apply to the Master of Arts Degree Program:

Students interested in pursuing the Master of Arts in Biology program must apply for admission to the Graduate School after the successful completion of at least two courses.  This application indicates serious intent to complete requirements for the Brown AM (Master of Arts) degree in Biology.  To apply to the Graduate School, you must submit a completed application on line. 

The Graduate School application can be found here:

Applicants should select "NON-DEGREE" and choose DIVISION OF BIOLOGY. 

You will need to indicate the term in which you plan to enroll (typically, this will be the beginning of the next semester - Spring or Fall).

You must complete the application with the necessary information and be sure to include:

  • College transcript showing conferral of Bachelor's Degree
  • A Personal Statement
  • Identify at least one person who will submit a letter of recommendation for you - the required letter should be from your supervisor at Pfizer.
  • GRE Scores are not required and do not have to be submitted.

You must submit your application electronically.  At least 2 weeks prior to submitting, please contact the Office of Graduate & Postdoctoral Studies ([email protected]) to notify us that you plan to submit your application.  We will provide you with an application fee waiver code.  

Once your application has been submitted and the Associate Dean reviews and decides that the applicant is sufficiently qualified, the Associate Dean will recommend the student for admission to the Graduate School.  You will be notifed via email once your decision has been posted. 

Please note that the Brown / Pfizer Master of Arts program is available ONLY to Pfizer employees and this is why we ask you to apply as a "non-degree" student.  However, if you are accepted, you WILL become a matriculated student in the Master of Arts in Biology program.  Continuous enrollment is expected until you complete degree requirements.

For information about degree requirements for the Master of Arts in Biology, please see the Masters programs listings on this page.