This is a named option in the Pharmaceutical Sciences M.S. 

Are you a STEM major who is interested in a career in the biopharmaceutical industry? The Division of Pharmaceutical Sciences at the School of Pharmacy offers the Master of Science (MS) in Pharmaceutical Sciences degree named option “Applied Drug Development.” The program provides a rigorous background in a range of disciplines that are critical to the success of the next generation of pharmaceutical scientists. The program’s accelerated one-year applied training combines relevant aspects of drug development with hands-on laboratories culminating with a capstone internship. 

Science: The pharmaceutical sciences are emphasized in courses that cover literature comprehension, biostatistics, pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics, pharmacology and instrumentation methods.

Pharmaceutical Industry: Industry-specific content is covered in courses that describe regulatory practice, the drug development process, working in a regulated environment (GxP) and pharmaceutical economics and management.

Capstone Project: This final, summer course provides the opportunity for the student to utilize all of the components of the program as they work in a relevant internship position.

This degree was crafted with extensive input from the biopharmaceutical industry. The faculty are a mix of experts from industry and academia. This program may be completed in one calendar year (September–August) or at a slower pace.

Fall Deadline July 31
Spring Deadline October 31
Summer Deadline The program does not admit for the summer term.
GRE (Graduate Record Examinations) Not required but may be considered if available.
English Proficiency Test Every applicant whose native language is not English or whose undergraduate instruction was not in English must provide an English proficiency test score and meet the Graduate School minimum requirements (
Other Test(s) (e.g., GMAT, MCAT) n/a
Letters of Recommendation Required 2

Accepted students commonly have strong scientific backgrounds and a desire to work in the biopharmaceutical industry. Students with undergraduate degrees in the physical or biological sciences, engineering, pharmacy, and related fields are encouraged to apply. 

Please see admissions on the program website for the application deadline and required supplemental materials.  Related links describe frequently-asked admissions questions, selection criteria, and typical pharmaceutical career paths for various undergraduate majors.

Graduate School Resources

Resources to help you afford graduate study might include assistantships, fellowships, traineeships, and financial aid. Further funding information is available from the Graduate School. Be sure to check with your program for individual policies and restrictions related to funding.

Program Information

Students enrolled in the Master of Science in Biotechnology Program are not allowed to accept research assistantships, teaching assistantships, project assistantships or other University appointments which grant waivers of tuition and/or academic fees. Accepting an assistantship or tuition waiver while enrolled in the program may lead to removal of the student from the M.S. in Pharmaceutical Sciences-Applied Drug Development student cohort. Corporate tuition support is not included in these categories, nor is the waiver of tuition due to veteran status.

Minimum Graduate School Requirements

Review the Graduate School minimum academic progress and degree requirements, in addition to the program requirements listed below.

Named Option Requirements


Face to Face Evening/Weekend Online Hybrid Accelerated
Yes No Yes No Yes

Mode of Instruction Definitions


Minimum Credit Requirement 30 credits
Minimum Residence Credit Requirement 16 credits
Minimum Graduate Coursework Requirement Half of degree coursework (15 credits out of 30 total credits) must be completed graduate-level coursework; courses with the Graduate Level Coursework attribute are identified and searchable in the university's Course Guide (
Overall Graduate GPA Requirement 3.00 GPA required.
Other Grade Requirements Candidates will be dropped from the program if they receive more than 7 credits of grades at the BC level or lower. This applies to formal courses and research credits.
Assessments and Examinations The program expects the M.S. candidate to complete a capstone project under guidance of an approved mentor.
Language Requirements No language requirements.

Required COURSES

PHM SCI 750 The Drug Development Process3
PHM SCI 751 Introduction to Regulatory Practice3
PHM SCI 759 Current Trends in Drug Discovery and Development1
PHM SCI 752 GxP (Good Practice): Working in a Regulated Environment3
B M I/​STAT  541 Introduction to Biostatistics3
or PHM SCI 768 Pharmacokinetics
PHMCOL-M 781 Molecular and Cellular Principles in Pharmacology4
PHM SCI 755 Laboratory and Instrumentation Methods3
PHM SCI 753 Pharmaceutical Economics and Project Management3
PHM SCI 760 Capstone for Applied Drug Development4
Total Credits30

Graduate School Policies

The Graduate School’s Academic Policies and Procedures provide essential information regarding general university policies. Program authority to set degree policies beyond the minimum required by the Graduate School lies with the degree program faculty. Policies set by the academic degree program can be found below.

Named Option-Specific Policies

Prior Coursework

Graduate Work from Other Institutions

No graduate work from other institutions is accepted. 

UW–Madison Undergraduate

With program approval, students are allowed to count no more than 7 credits of UW–Madison courses numbered 500 or above (earned as a UW–Madison undergraduate) toward the M.S. degree. Coursework should be presented to the SoP graduate dean in the first semester of enrollment for consideration. Coursework earned five or more years prior to admission to a master’s degree is not allowed to satisfy requirements.

UW–Madison University Special

With program approval, the program will allow up to 12 credits taken as a special student in the Applied Drug Development Capstone Certificate to count toward the MS-Pharmaceutical Sciences-Applied Drug Development named option. Coursework earned five or more years prior to admission to a master’s degree is not allowed to satisfy requirements.


The Graduate School regularly reviews the record of any student who earned grades of BC, C, D, F, or Incomplete in a graduate course (300 or above), or grade of U in research credits. This review could result in academic probation with a hold on future enrollment or in being suspended from the Graduate School.

  1. Good standing (progressing according to standards).
  2. Probation (not progressing according to standards but permitted to enroll; specific plan with dates and deadlines in place in regard to removal of probationary status).
  3. Unsatisfactory progress (not progressing according to standards; not permitted to enroll, dismissal, leave of absence or change of advisor).


Students will be assigned an advisor within the program; students will have an approved mentor for their capstone project. 


15 credits

Time Constraints

Master’s degree students who have been absent for five or more consecutive years lose all credits that they have earned before their absence; that coursework may not count toward Graduate School credit requirements.

Grievances and Appeals

These resources may be helpful in addressing your concerns:

Students should contact the department chair or program director with questions about grievances.



Graduate School Resources

Take advantage of the Graduate School's professional development resources to build skills, thrive academically, and launch your career. 

A list of Pharmaceutical Sciences graduate faculty and their respective areas of research specialization is available from the division website and related links. The Pharmaceutical Sciences Graduate Program has educated generations of scientists for challenging positions in industry, academia, and government.  

The Pharmaceutical Sciences Graduate Program has educated generations of scientists for challenging positions in industry, academia, and government. The faculty for the MS Applied Drug Development consists of experts in industry and academia affiliated with the School of Pharmacy.  Some of our faculty are listed below:

Sharon Ayd, PhD, MBA

CEO & Founder
Ayd BioPharma Consulting Group

Terrance Ocheltree, PhD, RPh
PharmTree Consultants, LLC

Pamela Swatkowski
President, PLS Consulting, LLC Regulatory & Compliance IVD & Medical Device Industry

Wm. Trey Putnam, PhD, RAC
Professor, Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences
Professor, Department of Pharmacy Practice
Director, Clinical Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics Center
School of Pharmacy, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center

Tom Guilliams, PhD
VP of Science and Regulatory Affairs
Ortho Molecular Products
Adjunct Assistant Professor

Daniel Gonzalez Kapp, PharmD, BCPS
Clinical Pharmacist, Drug Policy Program
UW Health

Glen Kwon, PhD
Professor, School of Pharmacy
University of Wisconsin-Madison

Ross O. Meyers, PhD
Director of Cell Manufacturing
Program for Advanced Cell Therapy (PACT)
University of Wisconsin-Madison
School of Medicine and Public Health/Carbone Cancer Center/Hematology

Robert D. White, PhD
Assistant Professor
Department of Chemistry
Virginia State University

Abigail Davis, MS
Senior QA Manager – Quality Systems

John Hill, PhD
Director, BioProcess Technology Group

Gina Patel, MPharm, PhD
President and Chief Executive Officer
Patel Kwan Consultancy LLC

For more information please contact Eric Buxton.