Navigating the Path of Medicine: Drug Discovery and Development at Jagiellonian University

The quest for new medications is a never-ending journey, a blend of science, innovation, and dedication. Jagiellonian University in Cracow, with its rich heritage and modern approach, stands at the forefront of this exploration through its Drug Discovery and Development (DDD) program. This article delves into the details of this second-cycle program, aiming to provide prospective students with a comprehensive overview of what to expect.

A curriculum designed for discovery

Offered by the esteemed Faculty of Pharmacy, the DDD program is a full-time, English-taught curriculum spanning two years (four semesters) and culminating in a Magister degree, equivalent to a Master's in Pharmacology and Pharmacy. The program is meticulously crafted to cover all facets of identifying and introducing new medicines. It aims to produce specialists with both a strong theoretical foundation and practical skills in the development of novel pharmacotherapeutics.

The journey begins with a foundational semester on the basic understanding of drug discovery and development, incorporating essential chemical, biological, and pathophysiological aspects relevant to drug research. The curriculum advances with comprehensive training in pharmaceutical sciences, setting the stage for specialized skills development in one of three focus areas: Medicinal Chemistry, Experimental Pharmacology, or Model-Based Drug Development.

Excellence in education

The Faculty of Pharmacy at Jagiellonian University is renowned for its blend of tradition and modernity, holding the highest category, A+, granted by the Ministry of Science and Higher Education. The faculty leads in national rankings and is recognized for its innovative research in new medicine forms, medicine toxicity assessment, and biotechnology.

This acclaim is further supported by the faculty's B+ scientific category in Pharmacology and Pharmacy, a testament to its outstanding academic and research standards. With 16 research and didactic units, including a museum, medicinal plant garden, and comprehensive library resources, students have unparalleled access to knowledge and learning tools.

Beyond academics

Life at Jagiellonian University extends beyond the classroom. The university fosters an environment where students can pursue their passions, join research societies, and participate in student organizations. These opportunities not only enrich the academic experience but also allow for personal growth and networking.

International study options abound, with exchange programs like Erasmus+, CEEPUS, and Una Europa available, alongside domestic mobility through MOSTUM. These programs offer a broader perspective on drug discovery and development, enhancing the educational journey.

More than just studies

The DDD program encourages active student engagement through initiatives like the Drug Discovery Students Science Club and access to the Museum of Pharmacy. These extracurricular activities complement the academic curriculum, providing a holistic educational experience.

A word from lecturers

Prof. Jacek Sapa emphasizes the importance of choosing a university that not only offers knowledge and skills but also fosters intellectual development and offers opportunities to cultivate other interests. Jagiellonian University, with its vibrant academic community, provides an ideal environment for both academic and personal growth.

Preparing graduates for the world

Graduates of the DDD program will possess in-depth knowledge of how new medicines are discovered, developed, and approved. Equipped with management skills and language proficiency, they are prepared for careers in the pharma-biotech industry, regulatory agencies, or research centers. Furthermore, opportunities for further education, such as doctoral programs or second-cycle programs, await those looking to delve deeper into the field.


The Drug Discovery and Development program at Jagiellonian University is more than just an academic pursuit; it's a gateway to the forefront of medical innovation. With a curriculum designed to meet the challenges of modern pharmacology and a learning environment that encourages personal and professional development, students are well-prepared to contribute to the future of medicine. The journey through the DDD program is not only about discovering new drugs but also about shaping the next generation of leaders in pharmaceutical sciences.


last modification: 2024-05-15 10:14:34
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