General Electives

The courses listed below are general electives for the Pharmaceutical Engineering Program. The list below is of approved electives. Other graduate courses at Rutgers (that are not listed below) can be taken as electives with the approval of the Pharmaceutical Engineering Program Director. As long as a course is technical and is related in some way to Pharmaceutical Engineering and Science it will most likely be approved as an elective. Some courses will require approval (which may or may not be given) from the course instructor for you to register for the class. Some classes may fill up or you may be placed on a waiting list to take a class. Some courses may not be taught every year or may be discontinued.

Undergraduate classes can also be taken as electives with approval of the Rutgers Pharmaceutical Engineering Program Director. There is a limit on the number of undergraduate classes that you can take as electives and you should only choose undergraduate classes where you have little/no expertise in that area. With approval of the Pharmaceutical Engineering Program Director, you can also take a semester of research in a professor’s lab at Rutgers and this can count as one elective class. Many of our students perform research in our Pharmaceutical Engineering Research Center.

You can take “random” courses as your electives or develop a “theme” or area of specialization. For example, if you want to “specialize” in Processing of Biologicals, you could take a series of Biochemical Engineering undergraduate and graduate classes as your electives. Or if you want to “specialize” in Biomaterials, Implants and Medical Devices you could take a series of Biomedical Engineering undergraduate and graduate classes as your electives. Or if you want to specialize in Manufacturing and Productions Systems you could take a series of Industrial Engineering Classes. Or if you want to specialize in Material Science and Engineering you could take a series of Material Science and Engineering or Mechanical Engineering classes. Or if you want to specialize in Supply Chain Management you could take a series of Rutgers Business School classes. The Schedule of Classes that will be taught the upcoming semester at Rutgers can be found online.

For current students, before registering for elective classes, we strongly recommend that students contact the Director of the Pharmaceutical Engineering Program to get advice on what electives to take and ensure that students have the necessary background to take the class. Below is a list of approved electives for the Pharmaceutical Engineering Program.


Integration of the principles of chemical engineering, biochemistry, and microbiology. Development and application of biochemical engineering principles. Analysis of biochemical and microbial reactions.

Fundamental problems of separation processes important to the recovery of products from biological processes. Topics include membrane filtration centrifugation, chromatography, extraction, electrokinetic methods. Emphasis on protein separations.

Advanced course devoted to current topics of interest in biochemical and enzyme engineering. Topics include production, isolation, and purification of enzymes; downstream processing; design and analysis of bioreactors; bioprocess economics; modeling, optimization, and scale-up of biochemical systems.

The course provides an introduction to organic nanotechnology and its application to manufacturing drug products. Fundamentals of organic nanotechnology will be discussed using industrial pharmaceutical examples including nanoparticle and nanocomposite synthesis.

The purpose of this course is to introduce the fundamental principles of biochemical engineering and present a wide spectrum of potential technological applications. Integration of the principles of chemical engineering, biochemistry, cell and molecular biology, and microbiology with applications to the analysis, control, and development of industrial, biochemical, and biological processes. Quantitative, problem-solving methods emphasized.

Momentum transport processes in laminar- and turbulent-flow systems. Development and application of steady and unsteady boundary-layer processes, including growth, similitude principles, and separation. Potential flow theory coupled with viscous dissipation at boundaries. Momentum transport in fixed- and fluid-bed exchangers and reactors. Prerequisite: Undergraduate transport phenomena.

Energy balances derived from first and second law approaches to open systems, with reaction. Conduction in fluids and solids, both steady and unsteady examples. Convection in laminar- and turbulent-flow systems. Diffusion and its treatment in stagnant and flowing media. Two-phase systems, coupled reaction, and mass transfer. Interphase transport. Prerequisite: Permission of instructor.

Analytical solutions to deterministic mathematical models encountered in chemical and biochemical engineering, including environmental and safety systems. Emphasis is on purpose, philosophy, classification, development, and analytical solutions of models occurring in transport phenomena, thermochemical, and reactor systems. Prerequisites: Undergraduate differential and integral calculus and differential equations or permission of the graduate director.

Basic principles of classical chemical thermodynamics. Chemical and physical equilibria and their relationships in simple and reactive systems. Estimation and correlation of thermodynamic functions, applications of thermodynamic principles to transport and rate processes. Irreversible and statistical thermodynamic topics also introduced. Prerequisite: Undergraduate or graduate degree in engineering or chemistry

Principles of applied chemical kinetics, reaction mechanisms and rate laws, and engineering design of reactor vessels. Applications to homogeneous and heterogeneous process reaction systems with internal, transphase, and external mass transfer. Noncatalytic gas-solid reaction and gas-liquid absorption with reaction. Micromixing and macromixing in reactor systems. Prerequisites: 16:155:501 and 507, or equivalent.

The course focuses on computational tools applied to nanosystems for the purpose of designing and producing pharmaceuticals.

Independent supervised research with an advisor and/or committee. Only one semester of supervised research is allowed as an elective.

Introduction to the fundamental concepts of continuum mechanics, including stress and strain, kinematics, balance laws, and material symmetry. Theories of elasticity, plasticity, fracture, viscoelasticity, and classical fluid dynamics.

Basic course for students preparing to do research in medicinal chemistry. Information management, computer methods, basic laboratory techniques, and principles of medicinal chemistry.

Identifying new drug leads, drug absorption and distribution, pharmacomodulation, enzymes and receptors as targets, peptidomimetics, computer-aided drug design, and combinatorial chemistry.

A survey of the major pharmaceutical agents in clinical use. Emphasis on the influence of chemical structure in the elicitation of pharmacological effects.

Application of physical-chemical principles to the study and evaluation of pharmaceutical systems: solubility phenomena, equilibria, complexation, phase transitions, and pharmaceutical stability, and the fundamentals of pharmacokinetics.

Kinetics aspects of the pharmaceutical sciences. Quantitative and mechanistic approaches to pharmacokinetics, dissolution rate, and chemical kinetics. Kong. Prerequisites: Ordinary differential equations (or equivalent) and pharmacokinetics.

Nanotechbased Drug Delivery: A multidisciplinary course covering nanotechnology based drug delivery, materials and processes for novel drug delivery systems, sythesis of biocompatible nano particles for healthcare, product design, products today and regulatory issues.

This course provides essential knowledge for science and engineering students who have a drive to be successful in invention or who have interests to work in IP or patent related professions. The course covers the fundamentals of intellectual property, with a major emphasis on patents. Topics include invention and entrepreneurial spirit, patent creation process, patent classifications and prior art search, and technology transfer, licensing and commercialization.

This course provides the fundamentals of communication and leadership in the sciences and technology, and professional development. Course sessions will combine theory, practice, self-assessment, and research by student teams. Topics include: Effective communication strategies, Managerial role transitioning, Building personal leadership capabilities, etc.

An introduction to the drug development process in the context of its scientific, economic, legal and regulatory aspects. Student teams will develop industry specific teamwork, oral and written communication skills through a progressive competitive marketing analysis of an assigned therapeutic area. Analysis of the methods of the drug development pipeline from target selection through clinical trials and marketing, employing expert guest lecturers from different stages of the developmental process and a team problem based approach. Students will develop a basic understanding of 1) the developmental pipeline for small molecule and biological drugs, 2) economic aspects of small molecular and biological drug development, and 3) intellectual property and regulatory issues at transitional phases in the development process. Acquisition of oral, written and team based skills needed to analyze potential markets and the ability to communicate findings to decision makers.

This course is designed to provide the student with an in depth understanding of how pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies discover, develop and characterize new drug candidates for clinical trials. The course will focus on the development of small molecule and biological drugs and will follow the discovery path through selection of targets from target selection and identification of a potential candidate to the preclinical characterization of the drug necessary for the development of an IND for clinical trials. Students will be engaged in learning the critical steps involved in the discovery and optimization of the drug while developing an understanding of managerial challenges at each point in the pathway. This problem- based course will involve industry partnerships in which student teams will research and identify potential drug targets in one or more therapeutic areas to develop a case study of how a specific drug was developed for a therapeutic condition.

This course will cover fundamental concepts pertaining to the design, analysis and interpretation of clinical research studies. A fundamental distinction in evidence-based medicine is between observational studies and randomized controlled trials. A randomized controlled trial is the study design that can provide the most compelling evidence that the study treatment causes the expected effect on human health. In this course, students will learn to design randomized controlled trials.

Basic statistical terms and concepts will be presented. The field of pharmacoepidemiology, which uses epidemiologic methods to examine the benefits or risks of medications in the population will be presented. Students will learn about the basic statistical procedures used to analyze data and be able to apply these techniques utilizing a standard statistical package. They will gain an appreciation of the concepts of random variation and bias. Students will have the opportunity to learn about a wide range of applications of biostatistical methods to problems in medicine and public health and to recognize pitfalls in interpreting biomedical and public health data.

Stationary and nonstationary time-series models for purposes of prediction. Estimating trend and seasonality. Various estimation and forecasting techniques. Smoothing techniques. Prerequisites: Calculus, statistics.

Discrete event simulation applied to problems in production, transportation, computing, and health care systems. ARENA simulation tool is utilized. Input/output analysis, verification and validation are emphasized. Interval estimates, variance reduction techniques, and statistics. Case studies are discussed. Prerequisites: 14:540:311; 01:640:477 or 01:960:379; 01:640:481 or 01:960:381, 382, or equivalent; and FORTRAN or C.

Analysis of production engineering, with emphasis on planning and control of manufacturing and service systems. Prerequisites: Probability and linear programming.

Overview of controlling manufacturing processes, machine tools, and machining operations. Continuous and discrete domain transfer functions and control systems. Feedback and feedforward control of machine tools. Sensor-based and other advanced monitoring and control technology and manufacturing automation. Prerequisite: Basic knowledge of manufacturing processes.

Quality management philosophies, Deming, Juran; quality planning, control, and improvement; quality systems, management organizations for quality assurance. Role of operations research.

Methods of measuring the reliability and effectiveness of complex engineering systems, including optimization theory, preventive maintenance models, and statistical analysis. Coit, Elsayed, Pham. Prerequisite: Advanced probability or 16:540:515.

Maintenance issues; technical foundations for modeling such large-scale systems; approaches for condition maintenance; and optimization methodologies for optimum inspection, repair, and maintenance schedules. Prerequisite: 16:540:585.

Software-reliability issues; software errors, faults, and failures; software design for reliability; data collection; formal methods for reliability; software fault tolerance; modeling growth in software reliability; cost modeling and estimation; and software quality management.Prerequisite: 16:540:515 or 16:960:580.

Advanced topics in reliability theory and engineering; reliability optimization; theory of preventive maintenance, replacement, and inspection; accelerated life reliability models; renewal processes; and maximum likelihood estimation. Prerequisite: 16:540:585.

Construction and analysis of control charts for variables and attributes; histogram analysis; use and evaluation of Dodge-Romig and Military Standards acceptance sampling plans. Prerequisite: 16:960:580, 582, or 592.

Statistical methodology for survival and reliability data. Topics include life-table techniques; competing risk analysis; parametric and nonparametric inferences of lifetime distributions; regressions and censored data; Poisson and renewal processes; multistate survival models and goodness-of-fit test. Statistical software used. Prerequisites: One year of calculus and Level V statistics.

Discrete-probability spaces; combinatorial analysis; occupancy and matching problems; basic distributions; probabilities in a continuum; random variables; expectations; distribution functions; conditional probability and independence; coin tossing; weak law of large number; and the deMoivre-Laplace theorem. Prerequisite: 16:640:152; effective fall 2009: 16:640:251. Credit given for only one of 16:960:580, 582, 592.

Fundamental principles of experimental design; completely randomized variance component designs; randomized blocks; Latin squares; incomplete blocks; partially hierarchic mixed-model experiments; factorial experiments; fractional factorials; and response surface exploration. Prerequisite: 01:960:484 or 401 or equivalent. 26:960:580 Applied Stochastic Processes. This course reviews probability theory with emphasis on conditional expectations, Markov process, Poisson process, continuous-time Markov chains, renewal theory, martingale theory and stochastic calculus such as Ito’s lemma, Browian motion, and related topics. Pre-requisite: 16:960:582 or equivalent

This course examines the role of Marketing Research in four fundamental ways: (1) identification of a marketing problem and translation of that problem into an appropriate scientific question, (2) selections of the most appropriate data collection procedures using the most appropriate sample, (3) the development of analytics for reporting the “whats” of the data but more importantly answering the “whys” behind the relationships among the data, and (4) how to report the results in the most meaningful way that translates the insights into actionable recommendations.

Focuses on marketing issues in the pharmaceutical industry. Areas explored in the course include market analysis, market planning, new product launches, and commercialization of pharmaceutical products. Marketing of a prescription drug is examined including managing the transition from Rx to OTC switch. Marketing of both patent-protected and generic drugs and management of generic competition is studied. The interface between R & D, marketing and sales, product and brand management, pricing, distribution and retailing, and promotional issues within the pharmaceutical industry are covered. Relationship of product management with other functions is examined. Regulatory issues including labeling and advertising claims are studied. The impact of the health care environment wherein marketing takes place is also covered.

This course provides a broad overview of key supply chain strategies, issues and aspects. Topics covered include logistics networks, forecasting, inventory management, supply contracts, strategic alliances, supply chain integration and design, procurement and outsourcing, customer value, international issues, and a quick review of supply chain software. Case studies and outside guest speakers will be used to illustrate the issues discussed in lectures.

This course will help aspiring executives in the pharmaceutical firms to develop the knowledge, skills and ethical compass to succeed in this environment. The topics covered include research ethics, bioethics, intellectual property, healthcare reform, and drug marketing. This course exposes students to a diversity of perspectives from academic and industry point of view. It uses Harvard Business School cases that give students opportunities to learn by making executive-level decisions in real-world business context. Students will be expected to (1) participate actively in the case studies, (2) complete three written assignments of 5-8 pages, and (3) participate in one end-of-term group presentation on a timely topic in drug policy.