Certificate in Biopharmaceutical Process Development


  • Kanbar College of Design Engineering & Commerce

Degree Earned

  • Certificate

Program Type

  • On Campus

The Jefferson Institute for Bioprocessing is proud to announce the launch of a 12-credit Graduate Certificate in Biopharmaceutical Process Development (BPD Certificate). The curriculum is designed to credibly prepare students who have already earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Engineering or Life Sciences for a variety of technical jobs in biomanufacturing. The Certificate curriculum is interdisciplinary and emphasizes inquiry, laboratory- and pilot-plant scale based learning, and team building. We see the BPD Certificate as strongly allied to Jefferson’s core mission of educating scientists and engineers for fruitful careers in biomanufacturing. A primary learning outcome of the BPD Certificate is to provide students with the basic professional skills to operate effectively in technical entry level roles in biomanufacturing. 

Students also gain an understanding of the regulatory environment in which biomanufacturing operates, and the Certificate prides itself on the team-based projects that pervade the curriculum. A focus on communication and team-work skills.

The 12-credit BPD Certificate is intended to bridge the gap between traditional undergraduate courses in life sciences and engineering and the skills required for a successful career in 21st century biopharmaceutical industries. Students will gain the basic skills needed for entry level positions in biomanufacturing within a full-time, 12-credit residential curriculum.


Curriculum Structure

The 12 Credit BPD Certificate curriculum is divided into three segments:

  1. A 2-credit gateway course, which will differ depending on students’ prior education.  Students entering the BPD Certificate with a life science-based undergraduate (or equivalent) degree will enroll in the 2-credit ramp-up engineering for scientists’ course. This course will cover basic engineering science principles underlying major unit operations in biopharmaceutical unit operations. These will include mass, heat and momentum transfer operations with examples and case studies relevant to biopharmaceutical processing. Students entering with an engineering degree or equivalent will enroll in a 2-credit life science course with focus on basic biochemistry, biology, mechanism of action and molecular basis of biologics and techniques in biologics product and process development.
  2. Students will also take a 2-credit introductory course in bioprocessing, which includes bioscience industry-related material in areas such as regulatory affairs, process flow development, platform and non-platform process development, and unit operations relevant to biomanufacturing. This course will also cover the history of biopharmaceuticals and biologics from the first generation biopharmaceuticals including recombinant DNA based production of insulin and human growth hormones to second generation products including monoclonal antibodies and advanced vaccines, to next generation biologics including CAR-T cell and gene therapy products.
  3. The third component of the Certificate includes two focused 4-credit courses, one covering basic upstream and the other covering downstream unit operations in biopharmaceutical process development. These two courses are integrated with other courses in the curriculum seamlessly, and include significant amount of lab- and pilot-scale components.  In these courses, students will also continue to be challenged with biomanufacturing industry-based scenarios, including elements of cost analysis, and project management. Each course will also include a small “capstone” type process development project.  This project will span the entire course, and includes training in team work, project management, and presentation.

The modalities of teaching in the Certificate curriculum will draw on the pedagogical strengths of KCE and JIB, emphasizing active learning, strong industry focus, and team-based learning.  All courses will be through lectures, workshops and seminar courses as well as hands-on lab-and pilot-scale studies. 

Bioprocessing and KCE

Jefferson University has identified bioprocessing as a major area for strategic investment and Kanbar School of Engineering (KCE) has been empowered to lead the implementation of Jefferson’s vision in the rapidly growing field of biopharmaceutical process engineering which is a niche area with significant growth potential within bioprocessing.  One of the core deliverables and a key goal of this vision is the creation of an education ecosystem in biopharmaceutical process engineering through programs that integrates science, engineering, economics, leadership, business and entrepreneurship.  


Jefferson Institute for Bioprocessing (JIB)

The education and training programs in bioprocessing will be established by KCE and anchored at the new state-of-the-art Jefferson’s Institute for Bioprocessing (JIB), located at the Spring House Innovation Park. The institute is focused on biomanufacturing and dedicated to education and research that translates advances in the life sciences into emerging therapeutics that benefit humanity. The institute, headed by the executive director Dr. Parviz Shamlou, will work closely with faculty and staff at KCE to create a portfolio of sophisticated teaching and education programs that are highly specialized and laboratory- and pilot-plant based initially in the area of mammalian cell biomanufacturing.