A master’s degree in reg­u­la­tory affairs gave Manish Patel a head start in the rapidly growing industry. Photo by Rick Friedman.

On co-​​op for a Minnesota-​​based med­ical device com­pany called St. Jude Med­ical, Manish Patel, CPS’11, drafted a tech­nical dossier for an intravas­cular imaging catheter, an assign­ment that he called a “dream project.”

Co-​​op gave me the oppor­tu­nity to imple­ment strate­gies and apply the­o­ret­ical knowl­edge that I learned in the class­room and helped me to better under­stand the var­ious facets of reg­u­la­tory affairs,” said Patel, a grad­uate of the Col­lege of Pro­fes­sional Studies’ Master of Sci­ence pro­gram in reg­u­la­tory affairs for drugs, bio­logics and med­ical devices. “Prac­tical expe­ri­ence is piv­otal to suc­cess in reg­u­la­tory affairs.”

He should know. Last spring, Patel got a job as a reg­u­la­tory com­pli­ance ana­lyst for the Michigan-​​based Stryker, one of the world’s leading med­ical tech­nology companies.

Patel — who was drawn to the field of reg­u­la­tory affairs because of its rapid expan­sion around the world — said Northeastern’s pro­gram offers prospec­tive stu­dents the best overall package in terms of cur­riculum, course offer­ings and experiential-​​learning opportunities.

More than 1,100 stu­dents from 59 coun­tries are cur­rently enrolled. “Not a week goes by that I don’t get an email from a major com­pany or recruiter beg­ging for our grad­u­ates,” said pro­gram director Eric Kupferberg.

The university’s global approach to reg­u­la­tory affairs attracted Patel to the pro­gram. “Northeastern’s cur­riculum is unique in that it covers reg­u­la­tory affairs issues all around the world,” he said.

The program’s highly flex­ible, hybrid edu­ca­tion model enabled Patel to com­plete his degree remotely while extending his co-​​op at St. Jude. His degree, he said, has been directly applic­able to his career: “It has given me an edge in the job market and pre­pared me well to imple­ment strate­gies to nav­i­gate prod­ucts through an increas­ingly com­plex reg­u­la­tory environment.”

Patel would like to use his exper­tise to trans­form health care abroad. Noting that sci­en­tific break­throughs will trans­form the reg­u­la­tory land­scape, he said, “I’d like to use my expe­ri­ence and edu­ca­tion to work toward improving health care reg­u­la­tions for patients across the globe.”