Certificate Program


At the nexus of biology and tech

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Certificate Description

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)

Required Credits: Total Required: 7–9 courses/19 units. Take 4 core courses (12 units) and 3–5 electives (7 units—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.


Course Units Fall Winter Spring Summer
1. Core A Required Course
Principles of Drug Discovery and Development 4.0
2. Core B Required Courses Choose 2 of 4
Biochemistry: An Introduction 3.0
Cellular Biology 3.0
Experimental Methods in Molecular Biology 3.0
Immunology, Principles 3.0
3. Electives, Discovery Track: Choose at least one course from this track for certificate completion
Biology of Cancer 2.0
DNA Microarrays: Principles, Applications and Data Analysis 3.0
Gene Expression and Pathways 2.0
Genomics and Next Generation DNA Sequencing: Methods and Applications 3.0
Human Physiology in Health and Disease 3.0
Stem Cell Biology 1.5
Toxicology Basics for Biotechnology 1.5
Viruses, Vaccines and Gene Therapy 1.5
4. Electives, Development Track: Choose at least one course from this track for certificate completion
Good Manufacturing Practices 3.0
ICH Quality Guidelines: Intent and Overview 2.0
Molecular Diagnostics 1.5
Regulation of Drugs and Biologics 3.0
5. Additional Courses of Interest
Clinical Trials Essentials: An Intensive One-Week Course 3.5
Data Privacy and Security for Healthcare and Biosciences 1.5
6. Fee for Certificate Review
Biotechnology Certificate Completion Fee None

Requisite Knowledge

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.

Program Chair

EDWARD ROZHON, Ph.D., chair of the Bioinformatics, Biotechnology, and Clinical Trials Design and Management programs.

EDWARD ROZHON, Ph.D., chair of the Bioinformatics, 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.

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Call (408) 861-3860


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