COVID-19 Update

All campus visitors must be fully vaccinated AND BOOSTED, wear a mask, & submit a COVID symptom check. Visit our COVID page for updates.

Certificate Program


At the nexus of biology and tech

Establish Candidacy View Individual Courses

Certificate Description

Work on the front lines of biopharma

In the biopharmaceutical industry • In an academic environment

In this comprehensive biotechnology program, you will gain an understanding of the scientific disciplines and principles that professionals rely on for the discovery and development of new drugs. You will develop an appreciation of the latest technologies employed by the biopharmaceutical industry to bring new drugs to the market and acquire the tools you need to seek employment in the biopharmaceutical industry and in the academic research environment. Biotech professionals wanting to enhance their knowledge in specific bioscience fields will broaden their career horizons.

Biotechnology certificate program objectives

  • Gain an understanding of how the essential technologies of biochemistry, molecular and cell biology, and immunology (among other technologies) are used by the biopharmaceutical industry to discover and develop new drug entities.
  • Recognize the role that genetic mutations play in the development of human disease and the importance of understanding the pathogenesis of a disease in developing new drugs to treat disease.
  • Depending on a student’s career interests, elective courses are offered in the biology of cancer and viral diseases (including COVID-19), stem cell biology, gene sequencing, gene therapy (including gene editing), Good Manufacturing Practices, molecular diagnostics, as well as the regulatory aspects associated with drug development (among other courses).
  • While much of the scientific instruction is oriented toward the biopharmaceutical industry, the technologies discussed in this program are equally applicable to research taking place in the academic environment or government and private research laboratories.

Estimated Cost (You pay only for courses you enroll in): $6,200 | International Tuition Cost
Required Credits: Total Required: 19 Units. Take 3 core courses (10 units) and 9 units of electives. End with a certificate of completion review.
Duration: A full-time student can complete the certificate in 9–12 months.


Course Units Fall Winter Spring Summer
1. Prerequisite(s):
Experimental Methods in Molecular Biology 3.0
2. Core Required Course(s): Total of Ten Units
Biochemistry: An Introduction 3.0
Immunology, Principles 3.0
Principles of Drug Discovery and Development 4.0
3. Electives: Nine Units Required
Biology of Cancer 2.0
Gene Therapy: Hacking the Genome 1.5
Genomics and Next Generation DNA Sequencing: Methods and Applications 3.0
Human Physiology in Health and Disease 3.0
Viruses, Vaccines and Antiviral Therapy 1.5 Summer TBD
4. Completion Review:
Biotechnology Certificate Completion Fee None
6. Related Course(s): These courses are not part of the certificate program
Clinical Trials Essentials: An Intensive One-Week Course 3.5 CEUs Summer TBD
Data Privacy and Security for Healthcare and Biosciences 1.5

Certificate Inquiry Form

Contact Us
Speak to a student services representative.

Call (408) 861-3860


Requisite Knowledge

Modern molecular biology

Familiarity with the principles of modern molecular biology is required to begin the Biotechnology certificate. You can satisfy this requirement by completing an introductory course, such as Experimental Methods in Molecular Biology within the last five years or by demonstrating equivalent work experience.

Please review each course description to ensure that you have taken necessary prerequisites or meet the requirements through job experience or previous education.

Advisory Board

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

Certificate Program Chair

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

Clinical Research Operations Manager
Stanford Children’s Health 

Head, Early Stage Clinical Development
Acerta Pharma

Huston Associates, LLC
Senior Director, R&D Operations, Xalud Therapeutics 

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)

Founder/CEO of Health Wallet
Instructor, UCSC Extension Silicon Valley (Clinical Trials)

Instructor and Chair Biotechnology and Clinical Trials Design and Management programs
UCSC Extension Silicon Valley

Director of Pharmacy, Santa Clara Valley Medical Center. 
Instructor, UCSC Extension Silicon Valley (Clinical Trials and Regulatory Affairs)

Establish Candidacy

Establish candidacy in a certificate or specialization

Once you create your student account, you can establish candidacy in a certificate or specialization program any time during your studies.

The benefits of enrolling early
  • Lock in your certificate requirements.This means that even if program requirements change, the requirements to complete your certificate will remain the same for you
  • Receive program updates
  • Set your intention
  • It’s free

To complete a program, you must enroll in the certificate program before enrolling in the Certificate Completion Review.

You have five years to complete all necessary courses in a certificate program or three years to finish up a specialization program.

All the necessary units in a certificate must be completed within this 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.

For more information: How do I get my certificate or specialization?

* Students participating in a special program, such as workforce, international, Personal Financial Planning, or curriculum partner programs (Udacity, Microfacturing Institutes) may have a shorter completion requirement.

Establish Candidacy

Grade Requirements

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.

Our recent stories on Biotechnology