The Certificate in Drug Discovery program provides an introduction to the properties of molecules that influence their suitability and effectiveness as drug therapies. 

Students in this program will learn about:

  • Concepts and approaches utilized in successful drug design
  • Synthetic and biological approaches to produce high-quality drug substances
  • Common metabolic and toxicologic pathways that affect drug safety
  • Biological targets for drug action and high throughput methods leading to the discovery of active drug molecules
  • Chemical and material properties of active agents suitable for development as drug products
  • The drug discovery and development process used for drug product approval in the United States
Why Iowa?

Iowa's College of Pharmacy maintains a strong position as a leader in pharmacy research at the university, state, national, and international levels.

The college's research facilities include the University of Iowa Pharmaceuticals (UIP), the largest and most experienced university-affiliated, FDA-registered pharmaceutical manufacturing facility in the United States. This lab produces both sterile and non-sterile dosage forms and has been developing formulations, manufacturing products, and conducting analytical testing for almost 45 years. UIP can support the manufacturing and testing of both clinical and commercial products.  

Researchers in the college continually explore and expand their knowledge in the development of new drugs and drug delivery systems, the clarification of the mechanisms of drug action, the optimization of safe and effective drug therapy, and the redefinition of the role of pharmacy and drug therapy in the rapidly changing health care system. 

Admission Requirements

Any University of Iowa student who is not concurrently enrolled in a UI graduate or professional degree program may earn this certificate.

Students must submit an Enrollment Questionnaire to the College of Pharmacy's Office of Undergraduate Education to request admission to the certificate program. 

Applicants must have a cumulative GPA of at least 3.00 and earn a minimum grade of B-minus in all prerequisite courses. Those who do not meet the admission requirements should contact the associate dean for undergraduate education to discuss admission to the certificate program. 

Careers and Outcomes

Students who complete this certificate program will be well prepared for opportunities in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries, regulatory agencies or sciences, or for advanced graduate or professional education. 

Iowa graduates have a 95 percent job/grad school placement rate within six months of graduation. Our Pomerantz Career Center offers multiple resources to help students find internships and jobs.

Student Opportunities

In addition to more than 500 Student Organizations, Iowa students choose from more than Study Abroad Programs and multiple Undergraduate Research Opportunities


The University of Iowa provides a variety of scholarships to eligible undergraduate students through the Iowa Scholarship Portal. Scholarships are available to first-year, transfer, and currently enrolled students. For additional details on scholarships for your program of study, check directly with the department or college. 

The Office of Admissions and the Office of Student Financial Aid are great resources for students seeking scholarships.

Course Work

The Certificate in Drug Discovery requires a minimum of 16 semester hours of credit. 

Review Drug Discovery, Certificate in the UI General Catalog to learn about required course work. Some courses may have prerequisites and students must complete all of a course's prerequisites before they may register for the course. Prerequisite course work does not count toward certificate requirements.