Certificate in Drug Discovery and Development


Apply for Fall 2024: January 15 – July 1, 2024

Program Overview

Drug discovery and development (DDD) 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.

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, and to increase understanding of clinical, medical and regulatory affairs in the DDD process.

  • Obtain the certificate online in 2-4 semesters (total of 12 semester credit hours) to enhance career options.
  • Gain exposure to DDD career and graduate program pathways and potentially strengthen competitiveness to apply to such programs.
  • Credits are transferrable to our MS-DDD program.



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:

  • Clinical Pharmacies
  • Consulting Firms
  • Contract Research Organizations (CROs)
  • Intellectual Property Lawyers
  • Medical Science Liaisons
  • Not-for-profit Research Institutions
  • Project Managers
  • Regulatory Agencies
  • Research Scientists in the Bio-Pharma industry
  • Scientific Writers

Note: some of these job functions require additional degrees or credentials.

Who Should Apply?

  • Current undergraduate students or recent college graduates in life sciences or chemistry (See admissions requirements below)
  • Current graduate students or professional students (i.e. PharmD students)
  • Other full-time or part-time students, including working professionals
  • International Students

Certificate Program Curriculum

This online certificate program is 12 semester credit hours (4-5 courses) and 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 our Master of Science Degree in DDD or other advanced degree programs. 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.



Fall semester (6 SCH):

PHAR 5310/7320a: Overview of Modern Drug Discovery & Development
PHAR 5311: Pharmacogenetics, Pharmacogenomics, and Personalized Medicine
PHAR 7222a,b: Pharmacogenetics, Pharmacogenomics, and Personalized Medicine
PHAR 5112/7122a,b: Current Technology Trends in Drug R & D

Spring semester (6 SCH):

PHAR 5314/7382a: Clinical Pharmacology and Drug Development
PHAR 5315/7310a: Comprehensive Review of FDA Approved New Drugs

a Courses are listed or cross-listed for HSC PharmD students.
b Curriculum information is effective for the 2023-24 academic year.

Admission Requirements

  • Successful completion of at least 90 semester credit hours (SCH) of undergraduate coursework with a major in Chemistry or a discipline of life sciences from an accredited U.S. institution or an internationally comparable institution (by matriculation) or current enrollment in a post-graduate research program (such as PhD) or a professional program (such as PharmD).
  • GPA 2.75 or higher on a 4.0 scale
  • At least 6 SCH of Biology, 6 SCH of Chemistry, and 6 SCH of Calculus and/or Statistics

Preferred Criteria:

  • A BA/BS degree in Chemistry or a discipline of life sciences from an accredited U.S. institution or an internationally comparable institution (by matriculation); or current enrollment in a graduate or professional degree program.

Applicants who don’t meet all of these criteria may provide appropriate justification for being considered on a case-by-case basis.

International Applicants

  • 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).
  • Language Exam Scores are required for applicants who are not U.S. Citizens or Permanent Residents unless they have studied for at least 2 semesters in an English-speaking country.  TOEFL accepted; use code 6909.
  • This Certificate Program does not sponsor F-1 visa for international students. International students can undertake all courses online.

UNTHSC’s English Language Requirements: Applicants may meet language requirements by one of the following:

  1. TOEFL language exam taken in the last 2 years. See each program admission requirements for score minimums. Send scores to using code: 6909
  2. Completing or expected to complete a US-accredited Associate’s, Bachelor’s, Master’s, or Doctoral degree before matriculation at UNTHSC.
  3. College/University Degree or Citizenship from specific English-speaking countries. Official transcripts and degrees will need to be provided. Schools of attendance must be recognized by UNTHSC.

Language Locations

  1. Complete Level 6 at UNT system Intensive English Language Institute (IELI): The Intensive English Language Institute (IELI) at the University of North Texas helps international students develop academic skills in English. **We do not accept intensive English language completion from other institutions.

International applicants should submit their application 6 weeks prior to the international applicant deadline. This will allow sufficient time for WES to process the transcript evaluation report and adequate time for visa processing.

Visit our International Student Office site to learn more about the I-20 process, estimated Cost of Attendance and other key factors.

How to Apply

Application requires the following:

  • One-page personal statement of interest in the program (maximum 400 words).
  • Unofficial transcript(s) from all institutions attended. Official transcripts may be required for an admission decision and will be required for matriculants.
  • $50 application processing fee.
  • Optional documents, such as CV or resume, may be attached to the application.


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.