Guiding Principles

The PharmD curriculum for 2018 and beyond will enhance the acquisition of enduring knowledge and skills while integrating the emerging knowledge and skills that are critical to becoming a 21st century pharmacist. The following set of guiding principles is steering our curriculum transformation work.

Grounding in science and patient centered care 


Students will learn, practice, and continually apply critical thinking and problem solving skills for working with patients and populations, using foundational concepts derived from the biomedical, social, behavioral, pedagogical, and systems sciences. Students will also learn to recognize the limits of existing knowledge, and be encouraged to participate in the discovery of new knowledge and its translation to clinical practice.

Immersion in authentic workplace learning

Students will develop 21st century pharmacist skills (clinical, scientific, and systems) by participating in authentic, developmentally appropriate, and longitudinally arranged workplace learning experiences, from the beginning of pharmacy school.

Integration into interprofessional collaborative care


Students will learn, practice, and demonstrate effective team-based and interprofessional collaborative practice skills across all settings.


Formation of professional identity 


Students will embrace the identity of the 21st century pharmacist and will continually identify and develop their own unique skills, contributions, and leadership—while being supported by advising and mentoring.

Advancement based on competency based progression

Students will progress through a competency-based curriculum, based on milestones for knowledge, clinical and systems skills, and professional attributes. 


Engagement with health care delivery systems 


Students will be prepared to add value to and learn from clinical microsystems—while minimizing faculty/staff workload—during workplace learning experiences.

Flexibility for individualization

Students will have opportunities to pursue individualized and specialized courses of study. 


Reliance on technology and sound pedagogical principles

Students and faculty will employ technology to advance learning, assessment, and curriculum management, while also using research from the learning sciences to select, implement, and study instructional and assessment strategies.

Development of faculty, residents, fellows, and staff 


Faculty members, residents, fellows, and clinical partner staff members will be empowered to create and continually improve learning environments and activities that improve patient care and support our students.


Curriculum project name change: As we began transforming our PharmD curriculum, we referred to our work as the UCSF Bridges Pharmacy Curriculum Project. We now refer to our work as the UCSF PharmD Curriculum Transformation Project: 2018 and beyond.