Dale Wurster earned his bachelor of science degree in 1942 from the University of Wisconsin. Before finishing his doctorate in physical pharmacy, chemistry, pharmacology and biochemistry, Wurster served as an officer in the United States Navy during World War II and was stationed in the South Pacific from 1944 to 1946. After the war, he completed his doctorate and began teaching at the University of Wisconsin. He joined the University of Iowa in 1972 as Dean until retiring to become Emeritus Dean in 1984 and Emeritus Professor in 1986. He was a pharmaceutical scientist who spent the majority of his career in teaching, research, and university administration.
The author of more than 100 publications, Wurster's primary research activity was in dissolution and diffusion kinetics and their influence in drug-release mechanisms. He is the inventor of the air-suspension method of coating tablets, microencapsulation, and granulating techniques.