Tracy McCarroll is a student in the Master of Science (MS) in Regulatory Science program at the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy.
Tracy earned her Bachelor of Science in chemical engineering from North Carolina State University. She currently works as a senior quality engineer at Biogen IDEC. By enrolling in the MS in Regulatory Science program, Tracy hopes to gain a solid understanding of the history of regulations, how drugs are developed, and the standards surrounding good manufacturing practices as they relate to the biotechnology industry. She is a member of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) and the International Society for Pharmaceutical Engineers (ISPE), and plans to pursue a career in regulatory affairs after completing her degree.
What inspired your interest in the field of regulatory science?
There is nothing more exciting than being in a profession that strives to improve people’s quality of life through the development of innovative therapeutics. Regulatory science is particularly interesting to me because it focuses on the safety and quality of delivering these products. The field is also incredibly dynamic and fosters collaboration and learning opportunities among individuals from a wide range of different backgrounds, including science, law, and business. This professional diversity is very unique, and something in which I enjoy taking part.
What interested you most about the MS in Regulatory Science program at the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy?
It was very important to me that I find a regulatory science graduate program at a reputable and well-established university. As one of the oldest pharmacy schools in the nation, the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy has shaped thousands of innovators and leaders who have made significant contributions to the pharmacy profession.
In addition, although I knew that the MS in Regulatory Science program was a web-based program, it was still very important to me to have opportunities to meet and speak face-to-face with faculty members and other students. The program recently hosted a “meet-and-greet” event at which I was able to spend time with and get to know many of my peers and instructors. It was an invaluable experience.
How would you describe your experience since being admitted to the program?
My experience has exceeded my expectations. The coursework is very rigorous and the pace can be challenging at times. It truly requires a great deal of dedication and planning to keep up with the lessons being taught. However, with that said, my experience has been very rewarding. Completing each course always gives me a huge sense of accomplishment, and faculty members are committed to delivering the best learning experience to ensure that each student gets the most out of the program. They teach the material in such a way that students learn how regulatory science is applied in real world scenarios, demonstrating how the information that we learn in class can be applied to situations that we encounter at our jobs every day. I really enjoy the balance of group and individual work and use the collaboration sessions to learn from other students.
What is your advice to prospective students who might be considering whether or not to apply to this program?
I would recommend this program to anyone who is interested in obtaining a solid foundation in regulatory science from a top-tier university. This program is a very unique distance education program that promotes team work and collaboration between faculty, students, and advisors, regardless of their location around the world.