Prospective students may benefit from reviewing the following responses to frequently asked questions about the Graduate Studies in Medical Cannabis programs.


Is this an online program?

All coursework is completed online for both the MS and certificate programs. Students in the MS program are required to travel to our Rockville, Md., campus once per semester for our one-day symposiums. These are events where students can interact with classmates, faculty/staff, and industry experts. MS students will attend a total of four symposia during the two-year program (once in the fall and once in the spring of each academic year).

I live too far away to attend the symposiums each semester. Am I still able to participate in the program?

Students enrolled in the MS program are required to travel to the Universities at Shady Grove in Rockville, Md., twice a year (once in the fall, once in the spring) for the one-day symposia events. Individuals who are unable to attend the symposiums in person are not eligible for enrollment in the MS program.

Is the MS a full-time or part-time program?

This is a 30 credit; two-year program, and it is considered part-time. To be considered a full-time student at UMB, students must be enrolled in more than 9 credits per semester. Generally, students in the MS program take 6 or 7 credits per semester.

What types of positions can students get after they graduate?

Our graduates work in a variety of settings. Many of our graduates are employed in research and clinical positions within the medical cannabis field. Additionally, many of our students are entrepreneurs who have pursued business ventures after graduation, while others are involved in advocacy and activism. Obtaining this degree gives our graduates a leg up in the medical cannabis field, and our graduates work in a variety of settings.

Does the program prefer applicants who have work experience in the medical cannabis field?

Although experience in the cannabis industry is not required for acceptance into the program, our committee does look favorably on prospective students' experience in the medical cannabis space.

Is tuition remission available?

Tuition remission should be available to full-time UMB (only) employees, and we recommend you verify your eligibility with your human resources department.

Are Veteran’s benefits available?

For information on VA Benefits please contact the UMB Graduate School’s VA Certifying School Official (CSO) Jamila Savage (

Do you offer an accelerated option for those who wish to complete the program in less than two years?

Currently, we do not offer an accelerated option.

Do you allow for course auditing?

At this time, we do not allow students to audit courses.

Are courses in the Graduate Studies in Medical Cannabis Program eligible for continuing education credit?

At this time, no courses in our program have been approved for pharmacy, medical, social work, or other continuing education credits.

Is Federal Financial Aid available to students in this program?

Yes, many of our students utilize financial aid.

For more information, please contact: University Financial Assistance: email:

Do I have to be online at a certain time or complete coursework on my own time?

The online portions of the course are asynchronous (recorded lectures, readings, etc.), so there is some flexibility in completing assignments as long as they are submitted by the due date. Many of our students are working professionals.

You can expect to spend 10-15 hours a week completing activities for each course (this includes reading materials, watching lectures, and completing assignments). Everyone works at a different pace, so this may vary between students. All the online activities are “asynchronous,” so you do not have to log on at a specific time. However, you must make sure assignments are completed by the due date.

Can you tell me a bit about the faculty who teach in the program?

Our award-winning, interprofessional faculty includes School of Pharmacy professors and adjunct faculty who are experts in their respective fields.

What authority would I have on the therapeutic side of medical cannabis after completing this program? Would this qualify me as a medical professional that can diagnose and prescribe to treat patients?

Completion of this program does not replace the specific state requirements with regards to recommending/certifying patients for medical cannabis.

I do not have a strong background in science. Can I still be successful in the program? Are there any science courses you recommend I take before applying to the program? 

In opening enrollment to students from many different academic backgrounds, we’ve worked hard to ensure our courses are accessible to those who don’t have a strong background in science or medicine. We believe that a strong interest and the ability to reach out with questions when needed will serve students well, regardless of their previous field of study. The only requirement is that you possess a bachelor's degree, which can be in any topic. There are no specific classes you need to have taken since we have developed the program to educate a diverse class. You can also listen to a podcast or watch the short video below featuring Dr. Andrew Coop to get a sense for the level of science in this program. 

Is the curriculum challenging for someone with a strong science/technical background?

Our instructors have designed flexibility into course activities and assignments to make them accessible to those without a science background and interesting and challenging to those with a science background (such as yourself). We will also provide students who desire further insight with additional resources to build upon concepts taught in the course.

Does tuition have to be paid in full or per semester?

Tuition is charged per semester, and tuition payment plans are available through the student accounting office.

More detailed questions regarding payment of tuition can be directed to Office of Student Accounting- 410-706-2930 or

Are scholarships/grants or assistantships available?

If scholarship funds become available, the information is sent to newly admitted and continuing students who may be eligible. This varies from year to year. We do not currently have grants or assistantships available.

What planned practical experiences are included in the program?

There are no planned internships or laboratories as part of this program. However, students enrolled in the MS program can meet and network with professionals working in the medical cannabis community/industry at our twice-yearly symposia at the Universities at Shady Grove in Rockville, Md. These happen in the fall and spring of each academic year.

What topics are NOT included in the curriculum?

We do not include any instruction on the cultivation, sale, or distribution of cannabis in our MS or certificate curricula.

Certificate FAQs

Can an MS student leave the program after the first year and request to be awarded a certificate?

Only students who apply to the certificate program can be awarded a certificate.

Can a certificate student request to change to MS before completing the CERT curriculum?

Students must complete the certificate program before transferring into the MS program. Students interested in moving from the certificate to the MS will need to formally apply to the MS program (deadline mid-March). This requires submitting an official application which includes a letter of support from one of the MCST program co-directors.

What are the tuition and fee costs for CERT to MS students?

Program tuition and fees are detailed here.

How does one decide if the certificate or master's is suitable for them?

The certificate option is suitable for people seeking a more limited course of study. The certificate is also appropriate for individuals unsure if they are ready for the master’s program.

Students who start in the certificate program can transition to the MS program after completing the certificate if they wish to do so.

If I am denied a spot in the MS program, will I be automatically offered a spot in the certificate program?

If you are denied but would like to be considered for the MS program, you are encouraged to set up an appointment with one of the program co-directors to discuss your options.