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Work on the front lines of biopharma
Gain an understanding of scientific disciplines, a foundation in principles guiding drug discovery and development, an appreciation of the latest bioscience research and technology, and a broader awareness of today’s biopharmaceutical industry. We offer instruction for professionals from all disciplines at all levels of experience. Focus on the theoretical fundamentals in the Discovery track or practical applications in our Development track.
Biotechnology certificate program objectives
- Understand molecular diagnostics and their applications on healthcare
- Break down key molecular biology techniques used to discover novel therapeutics
- Explain the use of mass spectrometry in drug discovery
- Recognize abnormalities in gene expression pathways and how they relate to human disease
- Differentiate the roles and responsibilities of quality assurance (QA) and quality control (QC)
Cost: $6,200 | International Tuition Cost
Required Credits: Total Required: 19 units. Take 3 core courses (10 units) and 9 units of electives—including at least 1 unit from each track. End with certificate of completion review.
Duration: A full-time student can complete the certificate in 9–12 months.
|1. Core A Required Course|
|Principles of Drug Discovery and Development||4.0||Winter Classroom||Summer Live-Online|
|2. Core B Required Courses Choose 2 of 4|
|Biochemistry: An Introduction||3.0||Fall Classroom||Spring Live-Online|
|Cellular Biology||3.0||Winter Online||Summer Online|
|Experimental Methods in Molecular Biology||3.0||Fall Online||Spring Online|
|Immunology, Principles||3.0||Winter Classroom||Summer Live-Online|
|3. Electives, Discovery Track: Choose at least one course from this track for certificate completion|
|Biology of Cancer||2.0||Fall Classroom|
|Gene Expression and Pathways||2.0||Spring Live-Online|
|Genomics and Next Generation DNA Sequencing: Methods and Applications||3.0||Fall Classroom|
|Human Physiology in Health and Disease||3.0||Fall Classroom||Spring Classroom|
|Stem Cell Biology||1.5||Spring Classroom|
|Toxicology Basics for Biotechnology||1.5||Winter Online|
|Viruses, Vaccines and Antiviral Therapy||1.5||Summer Live-Online|
|4. Electives, Development Track: Choose at least one course from this track for certificate completion|
|Good Manufacturing Practices||3.0||Winter Classroom||Summer Live-Online|
|ICH Quality Guidelines: Intent and Overview||2.0||Spring Classroom|
|Molecular Diagnostics||1.5||Summer Live-Online|
|Regulation of Drugs and Biologics||3.0||Fall Classroom||Spring Live-Online|
|5. Additional Courses of Interest|
|Clinical Trials Essentials: An Intensive One-Week Course||3.5||Winter Classroom|
|Data Privacy and Security for Healthcare and Biosciences||1.5||Fall Classroom||Spring Live-Online|
|6. Fee for Certificate Review|
|Biotechnology Certificate Completion Fee||None||Fall Online||Winter Online||Spring Online||Summer Online|
Certificate Inquiry Form
Please review the course descriptions to ensure that you have taken necessary prerequisites or meet the requirements through job experience or previous education.
Molecular biology. Familiarity with the principles of modern molecular biology is required to begin the Biotechnology certificate. You can satisfy this requirement with an introductory course in molecular biology (taken within the last five years) or by demonstrating equivalent work experience.
Recommended Course Sequence
Please follow this sequence. Begin with Principles of Drug Discovery and Development. After that, courses may be taken in any order provided the prerequisites are met.
Choose at least two core courses. Biochemistry: An Introduction, Cellular Biology, Experimental Methods in Molecular Biology, Immunology, Principles. Core courses may be taken as electives once the requisite two are taken.
Two Tracks. Choose at least one unit of elective credit from each track—Discovery and Development.
- Biology of Cancer, 2 units
- DNA Microarrays: Principles, Applications and Data Analysis, 3 units
- Gene Expression and Pathways, 2 units
- Human Physiology in Health and Disease, 3 unit
- Genomics and Next Generation DNA Sequencing: Methods and Applications, 3 units
- Stem Cell Biology, 1.5 units
- Toxicology Basics for Biotechnology, 1.5 units
- Viruses, Vaccines and Gene Therapy, 1.5 units
- Drug Quality Fundamentals: Quality Control of Small Molecule Drugs & Biologics, 1.5 units
- Good Manufacturing Practices, 3 units
- Molecular Diagnostics, 1.5 units
- Regulation of Drugs and Biologics, 3 units
Dual Certification & Shared Credit
Learn more for Less: You can complete two bioscience certificate programs at UCSC Extension simultaneously or in sequence with fewer units than if the programs were taken individually. Students pursing two certificates need to:
- Complete the total number of units indicated in the table below.
- Complete all required courses for both programs.
- Count each unit only once.
- Select some electives that are common to both programs.
|Biotechnology||Clinical Trials||Medical Devices||Regulatory Affairs||Bioinformatics|
|Biotechnology||19 units||32 units||31 units||32 units||30 units|
|Clinical Trials||32 units||19 units||31 units||32 units||X|
|Medical Devices||31 units||31 units||17 units||31 units||X|
|Regulatory Affairs||32 units||32 units||31 units||19 units||X|
|Bioinformatics||30 units||X||X||X||18 units|
To receive your certificate
Upon completion of the course sequence you may request your Biotechnology Certificate Completion Review.
Also of interest
EDWARD ROZHON, Ph.D., chair of the Biotechnology and Clinical Trials Design and Management programs, has had a long career in the biopharmaceutical industry as a contributor to the development of drugs to treat viral and autoimmune diseases, as well as several types of cancer. He has worked in both nonclinical and clinical areas of drug development, in the global pharmaceutical and biotech industry, in a contract research organization to support clinical research as well as in academia. He retired from Genentech in 2014 as a senior manager of clinical trials for autoimmune, infectious, and ophthalmologic diseases. On completing his doctorate at Indiana University, he pursued post-doctoral training in neurovirology at the University of Alabama School of Medicine and at Northwestern University School of Medicine and was subsequently appointed to a faculty position in microbiology and immunology. He has taught courses in drug development and virology at UCSC Extension since 2001.
Certificate Advisory Board
ALYSON FALWELL, M.P.H.
Clinical Research Operations Manager
Stanford Children’s Health
AHMED HAMDY, M.D.
Head, Early Stage Clinical Development
MICHAEL HUSTON, M.B.A., RAC
Huston Associates, LLC
Senior Director, R&D Operations, Xalud Therapeutics
SHELDON MULLINS, M.S.B.A.
Senior Director, Regulatory Affairs, Ardelyx Inc.
Lecturer, Medical Product Development Management (Master's Program), San Jose State University
Instructor, UCSC Extension Silicon Valley (Regulatory Affairs)
THOMAS PAMUKCU, B.S.
Founder/CEO of Health Wallet
Instructor, UCSC Extension Silicon Valley (Clinical Trials)
EDWARD ROZHON, Ph.D.
Instructor and Chair Biotechnology and Clinical Trials Design and Management programs
UCSC Extension Silicon Valley
NARINDER SINGH, PharmD, M.B.A.
Director of Pharmacy, Santa Clara Valley Medical Center.
Instructor, UCSC Extension Silicon Valley (Clinical Trials and Regulatory Affairs)
You can enroll in a certificate program any time during your studies.
Once you create your student account, you can enroll in a certificate program. Although you can enroll in a program at any time, the benefit of enrolling early is that it locks in your certificate requirements. This means that even if program requirements change, the requirements to complete your certificate will remain the same for you.
- You must enroll in the certificate program before enrolling in the Certificate Completion Review.
You have a total of five years to complete all necessary courses in a certificate program.
All the necessary units in a certificate must be completed within a five-year window. The clock begins on the first day of your first course in the certificate program. For example, if you started a course on Sept. 5, 2017, you would have to complete all of the required units in this certificate by Sept. 4, 2022.
- Enrolling in a certificate program does not trigger the beginning of the five-year window. It begins the first day of the first course that applies to a certificate program.
- The Certificate Completion Review process does not have to occur within the five-year timeframe.
Please note that only letter grades of C- or higher may be applied to a certificate, and in some programs, students may have more stringent requirements. Students in most employer- and government-sponsored payment programs, such as workforce development, as well as international students on F-1 visas, need to maintain a B average to meet their requirements. Personal Financial Planning students have additional grade requirements for individual courses to attain a certificate.
See Grading and Credits Policy for further information.