Quality Science

Quality science is a term used in the life science industries, particularly in the pharmaceutical and biomedical sciences sectors. Quality, as a term used in these industries, means a measure of excellence or a state of being free from defects, deficiencies and significant variations. Quality scientists ensure that a product is suitable for its intended purpose. They increase the reliability, integrity and trustworthiness of the products we use every day.

In a world of rapid technological innovation, these industries seek students who are armed with the critical thinking skills needed to make scientifically sound, quality-based decisions. Through this program, you will be grounded in an understanding of why, so you have the knowledge to tackle questions regarding quality with agility, awareness and competence. Since every decision could impact patient health and safety, your ability to address challenges through a disciplined, clear, rational and open-minded approach that is informed by evidence will be highly desired by your future employer.

laptop with quality science lab chart on the screen

Using science to ensure integrity

To provide the quality science minor, Earlham partners with Pathway for Patient Health (PPH). PPH provides connections to leading life science companies such as Baxter International, Procter & Gamble, AstraZeneca and Elanco. Our partnership with PPH means our graduates are especially valued by employers like these upon graduation.

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Industry experts

Three of your seven quality science courses will be taught by industry professionals from our partner organization, Pathway for Patient Health.

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Employer connections

Our minors develop an online portfolio through a website that connects them to quality science employers for both internships and full-time jobs.

Our faculty

The quality science minor is a program taught by Earlham professors within the global management, chemistry and biology majors as well as industry professionals from our partner organization, Pathway for Patient Health.

Program details

As a quality science minor, you’ll take seven courses, three of which are facilitated by industry experts at PPH. You’ll also create an online portfolio website that will connect you to employers in the life science industries for paid internships and employment.

The minor in quality science pairs well with majors like biochemistry, chemistry, biology or neuroscience, for those who want to pursue employment in the industry. It is housed in the Center for Global Health.

As a liberal arts college, Earlham offers multiple disciplinary and interdisciplinary majors and minors in which you will cultivate deep and specific knowledge and experience. Equally important, the College expects you to develop broad, general skills and proficiencies across the curriculum.

As part of your general education, you will complete six credits in each academic division of the College: humanities, natural sciences, social sciences, and visual and performing arts. In addition, you will meet requirements for first-year courses, analytical reasoning, perspectives on diversity and wellness.

Learn more about general education at Earlham.

To earn a minor in quality science, you must complete seven courses totaling 23 to 24 credits.

Required Courses

  • QSE 250 Global Regulatory and Legal Requirements of Quality (3 credits)
  • QSE 350 Product Development, Specifications, Process and Validation (3 credits)
  • QSE 351 Risk and Failure Analysis (2 credits)
  • BUS 200 Financial Accounting (3 credits)

AND one of the following options:

  • Option A
    • CHEM 111 Principles of Chemistry (4 credits – prerequisite for CHEM 431)
    • CHEM 331 Equilibrium and Analysis (5 credits – prerequisite for CHEM 431)
    • CHEM 431 Instrumental Analysis Chem 431 (4 credits)


  • Option B
    • BIOL 112 Cells, Genes and Inheritance (4 credits – prerequisite for BIOL 461)
    • BIOL 341 Cell Physiology (4 credits – prerequisite for BIOL 461)
    • BIOL 461 Microbiology (4 credits)

View a full list of courses and their descriptions.

The quality science minor directly prepares you for a job in quality science. Typical job titles for this career include the following:

  • research scientist
  • product development
  • analytical and microbiological methods development
  • clinical scientist
  • technology operations scientist
  • supply chain operations
  • quality operations laboratory
  • quality assurance and regulatory affairs

If you’re planning to major in biochemistry, chemistry, biology or neuroscience, and want to pursue a career as a scientist in the pharmaceutical or biomedical sciences industries, the quality science minor is for you.

Next steps

We continue to monitor the effects of an industrial fire 1.1 miles from campus.
We continue to monitor the effects of an industrial fire 1.1 miles from campus.