New Capstone Certificate in Applied Drug Development prepares students to make a difference in the pharmaceutical industry

A gloved hand places a slide under a microscope.

Students at the University of Wisconsin–Madison now have more options to get the knowledge they need to succeed in the rapidly growing pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical industries.

After launching the Master of Science in Pharmaceutical Sciences: Applied Drug Development earlier this year, the School of Pharmacy has added a Capstone Certificate in Applied Drug Development to their suite of program options.

“We realize that not everyone wants or needs a master’s degree but may find some of the material useful for their career,” says Eric Buxton, program director of the Applied Drug Development Capstone Certificate and MS in Pharmaceutical Sciences at the School of Pharmacy. “Capstone certificates are a subset designed to provide useful content for those already employed in the pharmaceutical industry.”

The 12-credit certificate program within the top-ranked School of Pharmacy is designed to be completed in just two semesters and is conducted entirely online. Built as a “stackable” program, the credits earned in the new capstone certificate may also be used toward the Pharmaceutical Sciences master’s degree, should a student choose to pursue their master’s in the future.

“The program is designed to be online in part because we know that the pharma industry is not based in Wisconsin,” says Buxton. “This allows us to provide valuable courses to students around the world and to utilize faculty experts from around the country.”

Real-world experience

Because the pharmaceutical industry is a broad collection of science and business disciplines, the program focuses on developing both practical and professional skills needed across the life-cycle of drug development.

In addition to business and project management knowledge, Buxton points out that regulatory considerations for drug safety and efficacy is another key component of the industry. Half of the courses in the capstone are focused on helping students learn how to work and be productive in such a regulated environment.

The launch of this program is especially timely, with many of the program’s faculty working to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. As leaders respected for their expertise in the pharmaceutical industry, their real-world experience will lend itself to the classroom and provide students with valuable, timely and practical information.

“Students will be challenged with case studies and projects based on actual scenarios,” says Buxton.  “Faculty will present their own experiences in the industry and the students will perform exercises that they can apply directly to their own careers.”

For more information on the Capstone Certificate in Applied Drug Development, contact Eric Buxton, eric.buxton@wisc.edu or 608-262-2259.