PharmD Curricular Outcomes

Notice: Information on this page in archival and applied to students who entered in 2017 or before. 

See PharmD Curriculum and Policies and Requirements for current information (students entering in 2018 and beyond). 

The UCSF Doctor of Pharmacy curriculum prepares graduates to demonstrate competence in 6 areas:

Patient and population-based care

Graduates are prepared to:

  • Exhibit knowledge of and confidence with the pharmacist's role in health care systems (e.g., hospital, ambulatory care, community practice settings) and the provision of longitudinal care
  • Gather complete patient histories in an organized fashion, appropriate to the situation and inclusive of cultural, social, educational, economic, and other patient-specific factors affecting self-care behaviors, medication use and adherence
  • Anticipate patients' needs, participate in the creation of individualized disease management and/or prevention plans including patient self-management and behavior change
  • Analyze, assess and optimize self-care and medication management plans
  • Prioritize, manage, and document patient care activities efficiently
  • Provide preventative health services for individuals and populations
  • Follow universal precautions and sterile technique (e.g., immunization delivery, point-of-care testing)

Scientific and clinical foundations

Graduates are prepared to:

  • Describe the importance of discovery and the scientific foundations of health care and apply that understanding to the practice of evidence-based care
  • Describe the pathophysiology of human disease at molecular, cellular, systems, and whole organism levels
  • Describe how physical, psychological, social, cultural, and environmental processes contribute to the etiology, pathogenesis, and manifestations of human health and disease
  • Describe the natural history of illness and strategies for promoting health and preventing illness
  • Describe medication activity (therapeutic and toxic) at the molecular, cellular, systems, and whole organism levels
  • Apply mathematical principles to therapeutic and adverse response to medications and pharmacy practice
  • Apply sound scientific principles and incorporate evidence and best practices when making decisions
  • Demonstrate the ability to develop and implement evidence-based programs and protocols based upon analysis of epidemiological, pharmacoeconomic, and medication-use data and risk-reduction strategies

Practice-based learning and improvement

Graduates are prepared to:

  • Apply quality improvement principles to pharmacy practice
  • Use information technology to access, evaluate and manage information and to integrate evidence from scientific studies into practice
  • Apply evidence-based practice, including knowledge of study design and statistics, to the care of individual patients and populations
  • Analyze one's own performance systematically and develop individualized plans for improvement and learning

Interpersonal and communication skills

Graduates are prepared to:

  • Establish and maintain a collaborative and constructive pharmacist-patient relationship
  • Effectively and empathetically discuss serious, sensitive, or difficult topics with patients
  • Elicit patients' needs and preferences and incorporate them into the therapeutic management plan
  • Assess and validate the ability of patients and their agents to obtain, process, understand and use health- and medication-related information
  • Share relevant information with patients and their agents from diverse backgrounds at a level appropriate for the individual or group
  • Present information in an organized, logical fashion appropriate for the clinical situation, including assessment and plan
  • Cooperate, collaborate, communicate and integrate care on interprofessional teams to ensure that care is continuous and reliable


Graduates are prepared to:

  • Demonstrate personal/professional development, through ongoing self-directed learning and self reflection
  • Demonstrate sensitivity and responsiveness to culture, race/ethnicity, age, socioeconomic status, gender, sexual orientation, spirituality, disabilities, and other aspects of diversity and identity
  • Respond to the needs of patients and society, superseding one's own self-interest
  • Advocate for access to necessary medications, devices and services for all patients
  • Practice ethically, including maintaining patient confidentiality, responding to errors in care and professional misconduct (including plagiarism), and understanding principles of ethical research (including conflicts of interest and obtaining appropriate informed consent)
  • Demonstrate a commitment to caring for and advocating for all patients, including the underserved and/or those populations disproportionately affected by disease
  • Demonstrate respect, compassion, integrity, accountability and dependability while interacting with patients, families, and other health professionals

Systems-based practice

Graduates are prepared to:

  • Analyze and apply legal and regulatory principles directing drug development and approval and medication distribution, use and management systems
  • Coordinate, provide, and assess safe, accurate and time-sensitive medication distribution
  • Identify and describe different types of medication delivery systems
  • Manage human, physical, medical, informational, fiscal, and technological resources
  • Describe the health care system and recognize ways to systematically assess and improve health care and prevent medication errors, and apply these skills to a specific problem
  • Describe basic principles of health care finance, how methods and costs affect health care and medication delivery, and methods for controlling costs while optimizing access
  • Identify methods for evaluating cost-effectiveness and cost-benefit of medication use


Show/hide references
  • UCSF SOP Educational Outcomes (EOs, adopted May 2006)

    1. Provide patient-centered pharmaceutical care
    2. Apply fundamental scientific and mathematical principles to pharmacy practice
    3. Communicate effectively with patients
    4. Work collaboratively on interprofessional teams
    5. Base decisions on sound science and best evidence
    6. Apply quality-improvement principles to pharmacy practice
    7. Manage medication-use systems
    8. Promote public health and wellness
    9. Practice in an ethical and professional manner
    10. Maintain professional competence
  • Institute of Medicine (IOM). Health Professions Education: A Bridge to Quality. Greiner AC, Knebel E, Editors. Committee on the Health Professions Education Summit. The National Academies Press, Washington DC, 2003.
  • Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE). Accreditation standards and guidelines for the professional program in pharmacy leading to the Doctor of Pharmacy degree. Adopted January 15, 2006; effective July 1, 2007.
  • Center for the Advancement of Pharmaceutical Education (CAPE). Educational Outcomes. American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy, 2004.

    Educational Outcomes (domains delineated in CAPE document)

    1. Provide pharmaceutical care
    2. Systems management
    3. Public health
  • Draugalis JR, Slack MK, Sauer KA, Haber SL, Vaillancourt RR. Creation and implementation of a learning outcomes document for a Doctor of Pharmacy curriculum. Am J Pharm Educ 2002;66:253-60.
  • System of Universal Clinical Competency Evaluation in the Sunshine State (SUCCESS). Comprehensive list of competencies and definitions used by Colleges of Pharmacy in Florida.
  • The Ohio State University (OSU) College of Pharmacy. Program-level, ability-based outcomes for PharmD education.
  • American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy (AACP). Oath of a Pharmacist. 2007.
  • University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). Advancing health worldwide. A strategic plan for the University of California, San Francisco. 2007.
  • School of Pharmacy, University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). Mission. September 5, 2007.
  • School of Pharmacy, University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). Pressing ahead in new directions. Strategic course 2007-2012. December 2007.
  • Department of Clinical Pharmacy, School of Pharmacy, University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). Mission.
  • Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry, School of Pharmacy, University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). Mission.
  • Department of Bioengineering and Therapeutic Sciences, School of Pharmacy, University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). Mission.
  • UCSF School of Medicine (UCSF SOM) MD Competencies.

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