Online Master of Pharmaceutical Bioengineering

Gain a competitive edge, advance your career

The Master of Pharmaceutical Bioengineering program is an online degree program designed to enable working engineers, scientists, researchers and professionals in the biotechnology, pharmaceutical and related industries to explore advanced education in the areas of molecular and cellular biology, drug discovery and design, pharmaceutics and translational pharmaceutics. The program provides a path to acquire new skills and experience and gain an edge in your current job, or receive training to transition to a new career in the biotechnology or pharmaceutical industry.

Learn more about applying to the PharBE program.

Prospective PHARBE students will find most questions answered in our PHARBE FAQ.

Curriculum

Note: Students enrolled before Autumn 2016 follow the old curriculum here

Students pursuing the Master of Pharmaceutical Bioengineering degree complete a core curriculum and one of two advanced track options in Drug Discovery and Design or Translational Pharmaceutics, as well as six credits of seminars.

Total Degree Credits: 38

Basic Biosciences (16 credits)

Molecular and Cellular Biology (4 Credits)
Pathophysiology (4 Credits)
Pharmaceutics I (4 Credits)
Pharmaceutics II (4 Credits)

Students pursuing the PharBE degree are required to take 10 credit hours from one of the two advanced track options, and clinical development capstone course. Students must complete 16 credit hours of the core curriculum before enrolling in advanced track courses.

Choose one track from below or complete 10 credits of courses from either track:

Track Option: Drug Discovery and Design (10 Credits)

Drug Discovery and Design (5 Credits)
Molecular Targets and Drug Classes (5 Credits)

track Option: Translational Pharmaceutics (10 credits)

Pharmacokinetics (5 Credits)
Process Development (5 Credits)

All Students will also take:

Clinical Development (Capstone) (6 credits)

Students complete a detailed and comprehensive project to demonstrate their knowledge of drug development from launch through to post-market oversight. The capstone experience enables students to have a tangible product they can use professionally either in work or to assist with application to further graduate work.

Seminars (6 credits)

Students complete 4 credits of Bioengineering Departmental seminars (Winter and Spring quarters, both years) and 2 credits of PharBE seminar (Autumn quarter, second year).

PharBE Track Descriptions

The Basic Bioscience track:

  • Investigates the core disciplines involved in drug design, discovery and development.
  • Examines the fundamental molecular processes in organisms and the molecular structure-function relationship.
  • Explains how the pharmaceutical industry is structured and how a new drug is developed and brought to market.
  • Provides the necessary foundation for understanding the physiological states related to health and disease.

Learn more about Basic Bioscience – UW Professional and Continuing Education

Course Descriptions:

Autumn Quarter, 4 Credits

Fundamental molecular processes that occur in living organizations. Structure and organization of prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells. Molecular basis of cellular structure and behaviors of cell membranes, environmental sensing and motility, signaling pathways and differentiation are studied. Use of online literature/media resources and bioinformatics tools are integrated into course.

Winter Quarter, 4 Credits

Introduction to human anatomy, physiology, molecular biology and cell biology of major organ systems. Emphasis on the structural, molecular and cellular mechanisms of common pathological conditions (pathophysiology). Additional emphasis on pharmaceutics development for common pathologic states. Students will understand the basics of normal and aberrant human physiology.

Spring Quarter, 4 Credits

Covers the drug development process for both small molecules and biological form discovery stage through the end of phase 1. Addresses the science, logistics, and regulatory environment of preclinical (pharmacology, PKDM, toxicology, CMC) and early clinical development.

Summer Quarter, 4 Credits

Phases II and III of the drug development process, including clinical study design, safety, pharmacology and statistics. An overview of preparation and filing of the New Drug Application (NDA). Prerequisite: PHARBE 502 or permission of instructor.

The Drug Discovery and Design track:

  • Explores the principles and approaches guiding the search for new drugs.
  • Investigates techniques that are used to identify, select and validate molecular and biological drug targets.
  • Examines different classes of drug compounds as well as their mechanisms of action and physical properties.

Learn more about Drug Discovery and Design – UW Professional and Continuing Education

Course Descriptions:

Autumn Quarter, 5 Credits

General principles and current approaches involved in modern drug discovery and development. Specific aspects of human biology and disease, case studies in discovery, and the evolution of how these topics have merged. Novel drug discovery techniques and emerging non-standard therapeutics and the history of drugs and drug discovery.

Winter Quarter, 5 Credits

Discussion of select medicinal compounds, emphasizing mechanism of action, biotransformation and structural and physical properties governing absorption, distribution, and excretion. Design of therapeutics to focus on maximizing efficacy while reducing toxicities. Compounds may include classical organic small-molecules, peptides, proteins, nucleic acids, lipids, carbohydrates and other bioactive chemical classes.

Spring Quarter, 6 Credits

Evaluates clinical development strategies including comprehensive drug candidate life cycle plan. Covers clinical trial design, FDA and Institutional Review Boards, ethics, consents, safety, and quality. Discusses target product profiles, phase III study synopses, informed consents, and SWOT analyses. Students present phase II results and debate go no go decisions. Includes a capstone project to create a life-cycle management plan for a drug.

The Translational Pharmaceutics track:

  • Examines the process of how a drug moves from the laboratory to the clinic.
  • Explains the science and techniques behind drug development across the phases of translational pharmaceutics.
  • Explores the principles of pharmacokinetics to test the effectiveness of a drug in laboratory settings, and how clinical trials are designed and managed.
  • Investigates the process of optimizing drug formulation, scaling up manufacturing processes and producing biologics and designer drugs.

Learn more about Translational Pharmaceutics – UW Professional and Continuing Education

Course Descriptions:

Autumn Quarter, 5 Credits

Basic principles of pharmacokinetics and their application to the clinical setting, including: single-dose intravenous and oral kinetics, multiple dosing, nonlinear pharmacokinetics, metabolite kinetics, pharmacogenetics, and the role of disease in drug clearance and dose requirements, and kinetics of drug-drug interactions.

Winter Quarter, 5 Credits

Principles involved in designing and optimizing production processes for protein therapeutics. Technologies and methods used in the production of protein therapeutics and discussion of the interdependence of upstream, downstream, analytical, formulation and drug delivery technologies.

Spring Quarter, 6 Credits

Evaluates clinical development strategies including comprehensive drug candidate life cycle plan. Covers clinical trial design, FDA and Institutional Review Boards, ethics, consents, safety, and quality. Discusses target product profiles, phase III study synopses, informed consents, and SWOT analyses. Students present phase II results and debate go no go decisions. Includes a capstone project to create a life-cycle management plan for a drug.

Students wishing to earn a UW Professional and Continuing Education Certificate by taking one of the three following subsets of degree courses. Admission to the certificate programs does not require the GRE exam or letters of recommendation (see the UWPCE certificate web pages for details). Note: International students must meet the same English Language equivalency requirements as the degree program.
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Certificate in Basic Bioscience (16 Credits)

Molecular & Cellular Biology (4 credits)
Pathophysiology (4 credits)
Pharmaceutics I (4 credits)
Pharmaceutics II (4 credits)

Certificate in Drug Discovery and Design (16 Credits)

Drug Discovery & Design (5 Credits)
Molecular Targets & Drug Classes (5 Credits)
Clinical Development (6 Credits)

Certificate in Translational Pharmaceutics (16 credits)

Pharmacokinetics (5 Credits)
Process Development (5 Credits)
Clinical Development (6 Credits)