Campus News

UW-Madison School of Pharmacy introduces Master of Science in Pharmaceutical Sciences: Applied Drug Development

The UW-Madison School of Pharmacy introduced a new master’s degree in Pharmaceutical Sciences, specifically Applied Drug Development for the 2020-’21 school year in order to better prepare students for the developing needs of employers. 

The Applied Drug Development program blends science curriculum with professional skills, promising to offer students a wider variety of career choices in the field, according to the university. 

Eric Buxton, program director of the MS in Pharmaceutical Sciences, promised the coursework would be practical and applied. The top-ranked School of Pharmacy will utilize not only UW faculty in instruction, but industry experts from the FDA and the pharmaceutical industry as well. 

“It is a rigorous curriculum that will prepare students for a career in a rapidly changing, yet growing field,” Buxton said. 

The master’s program will last three semesters —two semesters of in-class instruction, with the last semester consisting of a summer internship. Its accelerated timeline makes the program attractive to newly-graduated students who are looking to complete a fifth year before entering the job market. 

“The program is accelerated to allow students a fast path to employment and can also be taken at a slower pace if desired. Ultimately the program will be entirely online, but the current version allows the convenience of distance learning, as well as the traditional student classroom experience,” Buxton said. “The lab was designed with industry feedback to maximize the physical skills required to be successful in a modern laboratory.”

The courses will focus on developing the practical and professional skills needed for the ever-changing life cycle of drug development, manufacturing and safety management. 

“Since graduates of this program get a solid foundation in industry standards and regulations in the pharmaceutical industry, they will certainly have the ability to get up to speed quickly on the type of work we do,” Augusto Perez, HR manager of Catalent Pharma Solutions, said in a press release. “Besides technical competencies, the ability to be agile learners and make decisions fast with little data is critical.”

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