Certificate in Drug Discovery and Development

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Apply for Fall 2022: January 15 – June 30

Program Overview

The Certificate Program in Drug Discovery & Development (DDD) is designed for students to gain a systematic understanding of how drugs and medicines are discovered and developed.

  • Obtain the certificate online in 2-4 semesters (12-credit hrs) to enhance career options
  • Increase understanding of clinical, medical and regulatory affairs in the DDD process
  • Gain exposure to DDD career and graduate program pathways and potentially strengthen competitiveness to apply to such programs.


About DDD

Drug discovery and development is the process by which new drugs are discovered, developed and approved for clinical use. It also encompasses the knowledge, skills and techniques required for pursuing the process.

DDD Certificate – Recorded Information Session

Hear from HSC College of Pharmacy faculty to learn more about DDD career and graduate program pathways, the science behind DDD, the specific coursework offered, and admissions requirements.

Career Opportunities in DDD

There are many types of job functions involved in the drug development process, and this certificate program will enhance the career options or promote the career advancement of students who complete this program. Opportunities include careers in:

  • Bio-Pharma industry
  • Contract Research Organizations (CROs)
  • Not-for-profit research institutions
  • Clinical pharmacies
  • Consulting firms
  • Medical Science Liaisons
  • Regulatory agencies

Who Should Apply?

  • Recent college graduates in life sciences or chemistry
  • Current graduate students and professional students
  • Other full-time or part-time students, including working professionals
  • International Students Learn more
    • Note: This Certificate Program does not sponsor F-1 visa for international students. International students can undertake all courses online.

Certificate Program Curriculum

This 12-credit hour (4 courses) online certificate program can be completed between two to four semesters, depending on the individual student’s schedule and engagement level. The certificate may serve as a gateway to the Master of Science Degree in DDD. Individuals who have completed or are on track to complete the certificate can apply to the MS in DDD program, and, if accepted, apply all credits toward the degree program.

Curriculum Ddd Roadmap Art

Academic Requirements

  • Preferred education:
    • BA/BS degree in chemistry or a discipline of life sciences from an accredited U.S. institution or an internationally comparable institution
    • Currently enrolled in a PharmD program
  • At least 6 semester-credit hours (SCHs) of Biology, 3 SCHs of Calculus, 6 SCHs of Chemistry, and 3 SCHs of Statistics.
  • GPA 2.75 or higher on a 4.0 scale
  • English proficiency. ESL students are preferred to have a minimum TOEFL iBT score of 92. This requirement is waived for students who have studied for at least 2 semesters in the US or if English was the language of instruction for their undergraduate degree.
  • Applicants who don’t meet all of these criteria may provide appropriate justification(s) for being considered on a case-by-case basis.

How to Apply

Application requires the following:

  • One-page personal statement of interest in the program (maximum 400 words)
  • Optional documents, such as CV or resume. Email to admissions@unthsc.edu title email Your Name, Cert-DDD, Resume
  • Submit official transcript(s) from all institutions attended. Transcripts must be official, sent directly to HSC from your institution(s).
    • Electronic transcripts must be provided directly by your institution or a professional transcript service. Submit via admissions@unthsc.edu.
    • Official transcripts by mail should be sent in a sealed envelope with the university stamp across the seal to:
      • UNT Health Science Center
      • Attn: Office of Admissions
      • 3500 Camp Bowie Blvd.
      • Fort Worth, TX 76107
    • A course-by-course WES International Credential Advantage Package (ICAP) is required from any international institutions attended. Choose "University of North Texas - Fort Worth TX" when selecting the recipient(s).
  • International Applicants will be required to submit an official TOEFL Language Exam Score; use code 6909 to have your scores sent to HSC.
  • $50 application processing fee required

NOTE: If you are a current HSC PharmD student who wants to add the Certificate in Drug Discovery and Development to your program of study, the process is different; please contact Dr. Tina Machu at Tina.Machu@unthsc.edu.

Program Contacts

  • For questions about the admissions process, email admissions@unthsc.edu. (Current HSC PharmD students should contact Dr. Tina Machu at Tina.Machu@unthsc.edu.)
  • For questions about the program, contact: Dr. Eric Cheng, Professor of Pharmaceutical Sciences and Director of Drug Discovery & Development Programs, at Eric.Cheng@unthsc.edu, or call (817) 735-0165.
  • Program Office: University of North Texas Health Science Center, HSC College of Pharmacy, RES-340K, 3500 Camp Bowie Blvd, Fort Worth, Texas 76107, USA.