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 Study at 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. 

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 for details on required course work. Some courses may have prerequisites that must be completed before registering. 

See Undergraduate Certificate in Drug Discovery on the College of Pharmacy website to learn about prerequisite courses needed for this certificate. 

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. 

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Student Opportunities

In addition to having nearly 600 Student Organizations, Iowa students choose from multiple Study Abroad Programs and Undergraduate Research Opportunities


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 job placement rates ranging from 86-100 percent, depending on their area of study, and our Pomerantz Career Center offers multiple resources to help students find internships and jobs.


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

Application Process

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