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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: Starting at $5,610. (You pay only for courses you enroll in.) | International Tuition Cost
Program Requirements: 7 courses (19 quarter units). Take 3 core courses (10 quarter units) and 4 elective courses (9 quarter units). End with a certificate of completion review.
Minimum Hours of Instruction: 190 hours of instruction.
Estimated Duration: A full-time student can complete the certificate in 12 months.
2. Core Required Course(s): Total of Ten Units
3. Electives: Nine Units Required
4. Completion Review:
6. Related Course(s): These courses are not part of the certificate program
Meet Our Instructors
Certificate Inquiry Form
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. Certificate candidates also must take the other two core courses, Biochemistry: An Introduction and Immunology, Principles. Finally, students must select at least one course from each of the two elective course tracks: Discovery and Development.
TRANSFERRING CREDIT FROM OTHER INSTITUTIONS
You may substitute one equivalent course from another institution for a course in the certificate program with prior approval, if:
- you've completed the course within the past five years at an accredited academic institution;
- you received a final grade of C or better;
- the content of the substituted course covers the same material as the UCSC Extension required course; and
- the course carries the equivalent credit or more.
To receive your certificate
Upon completion of the course sequence you may request your Biotechnology Certificate Completion Review.
Also of interest
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.
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
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)
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 (such as GreenFig or CLS by Barbri) may have a shorter completion requirement.
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.