Curriculum: Cosmetic Science Graduate Certificate

Curriculum: Cosmetic Science Graduate Certificate
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Join us for an interactive overview of our Cosmetic Science program on Monday, March 11, 2024, at 4:00 PM EST.

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curriculum icon Curriculum at a Glance

The curriculum is designed to provide students with the know-how to develop cosmetic and personal care products that delight consumers and improve quality of life. These include the physiology and pharmacology of pertinent therapeutic or the benefit systems of skin and hair, as well as those associated with approved OTC drug categories.

Course offerings also cover the underlying physical, biophysical, colloidal and interfacial chemistry and formulation science of skin and hair cosmetic products, and OTC drug products. 

Cosmetic Science Online Graduate Certificate

The following courses are required for the Graduate Certificate totaling five (5) credit hours:

  • Skin Care Science
  • Introduction to Surface, Colloid and Membrane Science

Additionally, students should select seven (7) credit hours of electives listed below.


Course Title / Description Credit
Skin Care Science
Course: PCEU8010
Credit: 3
Lectures and homework assignments covering, basic skin anatomy, epidermis and dermis, dermatologicalterminology, basic biophysical methods for evaluation of skin, structure of the stratum corneum (SC) and SC barrier homeostasis, skin penetration, skin immune system, skin color, sunscreens, phototoxicity, skin moisturizers and anti-aging products and surfactant skin interactions.
Introduction to Surface, Colloid and Membrane Science
Course: PCEU8024
Credit: 2
This introductory course will focus on fundamentals underpinning cosmetic formulations including wetting, spreading, contact angle, surface excess and adsorption, interfacial and solution chemistry of surfactants, surface tension, micellization, mixed surfactant systems, silicone surfactants, basic rheology, polymers and polyelectrolytes, silicone polymers, foams, foam stability and rheology, solid-liquid interface and an intro to bilayers and stratum corneum membrane.
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Course Title / Description Credit
Pharmaceutical Sciences Journal Club
Course: PCEU7004
Credit: 1
The course involves the reading and discussion of published or unpublished scientific research in arena relevant to the student's graduate studies. Many of the discussions will be student-led. The literature review sessions may be supplemented with scientific presentations by students, faculty visiting scientists.
Biostatistics & Research Methods
Course: PCEU7010
Credit: 3
The course begins with basic statistical concepts, introduces essential descriptive and inferential statistical tests, demonstrates some data analysis tools and collection instruments, then discusses common research methodology for pharmaceutical and cosmetic sciences. Students will learn how to use statistics and research designs to evaluate scientific evidence to make individual and population-based decisions. Students will conduct some simple statistical analysis based on given data sets and interpret the results, as well review clinical research literature.
Safety Assessment of Cosmetic & Topical OTC Drug Products- Pre Clin & Clinical
Course: PCEU8005
Credit: 2
This course will review the principles and guidelines for pre-clinical and clinical safety evaluation of new cosmetic and OTC drug products. The course will include a review of the regulatory requirements for safety testing, the role of the toxicologist, the importance of exposure in safety testing, specific types of safety studies (preclinical and clinical), and the use of the data for a risk assessment for marketing clearance of new products. Current hot topics and practical approaches to safety program design and management will be covered. Course work will include workshops to design safety programs, evaluation of the results to confirm safe exposure limits, and post marketing safety monitoring requirements.
Pharmacology-Basics and Cosmetic & Personal Care Product Applications
Course: PCEU8015
Credit: 2
This introductory course will cover core principles of pharmacology including absorption, distribution, metabolism and elimination of drugs. In addition, this course twill provide a fundamental understanding of pharmacodynamics and toxicodynamics, pharmacokinetics, principles of how agonists an antagonists interact with drug receptors to modulate physiologic function and the importance of the dose-response relations in drug development and therapy. Dermatological pharmacology pertaining to topical drugs and cosmetics will be reviewed with regard to major drug classes as well as " non-drug actives" and mechanisms of action. Novel models used in the evaluations of topical pharmacology and cosmetic products will also be addressed. In addition, the pharmacology of selected therapeutics relevant to OTC drugs such as respiratory, gastrointestinal and analgesia will be introduced.
Consumer Understanding for Formulators-Overview and Practice
Course: PCEU8016
Credit: 2
This introductory course will cover the role of consumer understanding and consumer research in the development of a product, beginning with either a new technology or the identification of a currently unmet consumer need. We will explore the need for the use of consumer understanding to develop the core consumer concept, claims, product performance design and qualifications for market. We will also discuss and understand the role of Market data, public relations issues and success criteria in a consumer centric product ts company. Both Qualitative and Quantitative consumer research approaches will be overviews and each student will design and administer both a qualitative and quantitative research study in an area of their personal interest, with individual feedback and coaching playing a major part in their learning experience.
Introduction to Cosmetic Regulations
Course: PCEU8017
Credit: 2
The course will introduce the basic concepts and processes relating to regulations that impact cosmetics, their constituent chemicals, packaging, labeling and advertising. Discussion will focus on the key jurisdictions that students interact with, especially the USA (and States), Canada and the EU. Topics covered in this course will include:
Cosmetic Science Laboratory
Course: PCEU8021L
Credit: 2
This laboratory course will teach formulation principles and give the students hands on experience in making skin and hair care products and testing their stability.
Fragrance Science
Course: PCEU8023
Credit: 2
This course will focus on all aspects of fragrance as a science and as a commercial endeavor, including the sense of smell, the history of fragrance, fragrance creation and duplication, natural products and aroma chemicals used in fragrances, fragrance applications in personal care and household products, the physical chemistry of fragrance solutions, safety and regulatory requirements, the emotional and psychological effects of odors, and marketing considerations.
Advanced Surface, Colloid, and Formulation Science
Course: PCEU8025
Credit: 2
This course will focus on fundamentals underpinning creation, characterization and stability of complex fluids with multiphase systems. Topics covered will include the following: Phase behavior of surfactants and phase diagrams, polymer-surfactant and protein surfactant interactions, Emulsifiers and emulsification including various types of emulsions such as micro- nano- and mini-emulsions, DLVO theory of colloidal stability, Hansen solubility parameter, partitioning and release of actives in multicomponent systems.
Hair Care Science
Course: PCEU8030
Credit: 2
This course covers the science of hair and hair care products. Topics will include hair growth, morphological and macromolecular structure of hair, physical properties of Hair, reducing agents, reactions and kinetics, permanent waving, straightening and depilation, hair coloring and bleaching, shampoos and conditioners, laboratory and consumer testing methods for evaluating hair properties, hair damage and repair, hair fixatives, dandruff.
Color Cosmetics
Course: PCEU8040
Credit: 2
Color Cosmetics is a two credit graduate course that provides a comprehensive look at the broad spectrum of color additives that are used in decorative cosmetic and personal care products, including water soluble dyes, standard organic andinorganic pigments as well as pearlescent, metallic, fluorescent and treated ones.
Skin, Hair, and Oral Products
Course: PCEU8051
Credit: 3
The class is designed to provide a practical overview of the formulation approaches used for cosmetic and selected OTC drug products broadly intended for use in skin care, hair care, and oral care, including stability and performance evaluations. Sufficient background information regarding the anatomy and physiology of the skin and associated appendages, the hair, and the oral cavity as well as solution and colloid (emulsion) chemistry will be provided for appropriate understanding of the contexts of the formulation approaches. In addition, an overview of pertinent FDA regulations regarding cosmetic and OTC products will be included as well as descriptions of the development processes for these products, record keeping, and intellectual property protection.
Clinical and Instrumental Testing of Skin
Course: PCEU8060
Credit: 2
This course covers principles of skin clinical testing, including human subject protection, study design and testing on special populations such as infants. The principles behind the most commonly used instruments for studying skin in-vivo are covered along with their use in clinical protocols. Methods covered include skin water loss measurements, electrical measurements, mechanical measurements, Laser Doppler blood flow, Ultrasound imaging, surface contour imaging, optical coherence tomography, skin color measurements, confocal microscopy, skin spectroscopy and magnetic resonance imaging. Protocols for testing moisturizers, cleansing products, "anti-aging" products and antiperspirants and deodorants are among those covered.
Molecular Biology of Skin
Course: PCEU8070
Credit: 2
This is an advanced course focusing on the molecular biology of skin. The molecular structure of the epidermis, dermis and dermal epidermal junction will be covered in detail along with key cell signaling pathways in the skin.
Cosmetic Microbiology
Course: PCEU8080
Credit: 2
This course will teach cosmetic science and microbiology graduate students up-to-date information on cosmetic microbiology, product preservation, skin microflora, and regulations pertaining to cosmetic and over-the-counter drug products. The approach is a practical one based on industry experience with the preservation of skin care products. Topics discussed include the historical developments in cosmetic microbiology, a basic review of microbiology, product preservation, preservatives, microbiological issues in the manufacturing plant, problems with Pseudomonas spp., modulation of skin microflora with products and probiotics, and the Food, Drug & Cosmetic Act and Regulations pertaining to cosmetic and over-the-counter drug products.
OTC Drug Product and Dietary Supplement Product Development
Course: PCEU8089
Credit: 3
The class is designed to provide a practical overview of: (1) pertinent FDA regulations regarding OTC drug products and dietary supplements; (2) the physiology of application sites with regard to drug or dietary supplement release from dosage forms and absorption; (3) product development considerations for systemically and locally acting over-the-counter (OTC) drug products; and (4) product development considerations for dietary supplements.
Global Regulatory and Development Strategies of Drugs and Medical Devices
Course: PHDD8010
Credit: 3
This course provides graduate students with an overview on legal and regulatory aspects relevant to drug and medical device development. This includes intellectual properties protection, global legal and regulatory requirements, protection of human subjects and ethics in clinical research and essential elements of management of global projects. Case studies will be included to underline how regulatory strategiesimpact product marketing and life cycle management. Throughout the course, students will integrate knowledge using specific industry examples with the goal to identify critical decision points in the development that impact success of a new drug or medical device on the market.
Pharmaceutical Economics and Management
Course: PHDD8080
Credit: 3
This course will provide students a background in project management issues in the conduct of global clinical trials, financial aspects of drug development and pharmacoeconomics of approved drug/drug products. The first module will focus on logistic and strategic issues of project management encountered in modern drug development. It includes exposure to principles of project management of complex programs involving: pharmaceutical development, operations, and regulatory affairs. In addition, the corporate challenges involved with portfolio management and optimization will be presented focusing on tools used for optimum decision making. This knowledge base will be applied towards selective case presentations with the goal to identify critical decision points in the process that dramatically impact the successful launch of a new product. The second module will emphasize the business and financial aspects of drug development, including biotechnology and other innovative small pharmaceutical companies that derive their funding primarily from venture capital funding, business strategies, outsourcing and merger and acquisitions. Valuation of the new chemical/molecule as it evolves in the drug development pipeline will be discussed.
Ethical Foundations for Researchers
Course: PHIL6050
Credit: 1-6
Scientific and technological developments bring both great promise and grave peril. Contemporary researchers cannot afford to ignore the moral dimensions of their work. This is a fast-paced introduction to ethical reasoning in the context of university, industry, and clinical research, with special attention to the sciences and social sciences. Students will master the conceptual and theoretical tools for identifying and analyzing areas of moral complexity in research practices. Topics will vary and could include: research objectivity and bias; biotechnology and the meaning of life; research priorities in an era of global scarcity; energy science in the age of climate change; corporate funding and research integrity; ties between academia, industry, and the military; intellectual property; plagiarism and data fabrication; protection of human and nonhuman research subjects. Students will learn to think for themselves about the moral costs and benefits of their own research, rather than simply learning how to comply with laws and regulations. This course satisfies NSF and NIH requirements for training in the Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR).
Statistical Data Analysis I
Course: EDST7010
Credit: 3
This course introduces students to the fundamental techniques of statistical data analysis that are commonly used in the social and behavioral sciences, such as descriptive statistics and data visualization; fundamental methods of inferential statistics, such as basic hypothesis testing, t-tests, and ANOVA; and the use of statistical software to support data analysis.
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