Pharmaceutical Sciences Pathway

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). 

Cultivating tomorrow’s pharmaceutical scientists

The time is right

There has never been a more exciting time to be involved in pharmaceutical research. Rapid advances in drug development and design and new scientific frontiers in pharmacogenomics are creating new opportunities to fight disease and improve human health—and new roles for pharmacists in the research enterprise.

Curriculum tailored for pharmaceutical research

The Pharmaceutical Sciences Pathway offers a unique and innovative curriculum designed for students interested in pharmaceutical research within academia, industry or governmental agencies such as the Food and Drug Administration.

Combining a state-of-the-art curriculum emphasizing key principles in drug development research with hands-on research experience alongside renowned UCSF faculty, the Pharmaceutical Sciences Pathway offers an unparalleled opportunity for students.

Pharmacist roles

Pharmacists are involved in many aspects of research including drug development within the pharmaceutical industry (i.e., pre-clinical research and clinical trials) and clinical trials within academia for optimizing drug use. Pharmacists bring their clinical expertise, understanding of drug therapy, and training in patient care to the research process.

Pathway objectives

Courses offered through the pathway provide students with the foundation for understanding basic and preclinical research including drug discovery, drug metabolism, and clinical research through coursework in pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics, pharmacogenomics and Phase I-IV clinical trial design.

Research project

A key component of the pathway is a two-quarter research project completed during the 4th year. Working together with a faculty advisor, students identify individual projects to match their research and professional interests. Projects can take place in a variety of settings, ranging from a UCSF laboratory of a leading pharmaceutical scientist, to an industry site, to a remote region of Uganda or India. The possibilities are broad and the advisor assists students in structuring research projects aligned with their academic and career goals.

Clinical experiences

Students in the Pharmaceutical Sciences Pathway develop their clinical foundation through advanced pharmacy practice experiences (APPEs) taken as part of the core curriculum and as electives during the 4th year. The pathway is designed to ensure that each student has ample opportunity to gain the needed course work and clinical experience to be prepared for licensure exams and future employment.

Research emphasis leads to unique opportunities

The Pharmaceutical Sciences Pathway offers a unique research emphasis that provides students a new dimension in their pharmacy education and an important and valuable distinction in a competitive job market. There are a multitude of opportunities available to PharmD graduates. Opportunities for pharmacists within the world of pharmaceutical research continue to grow. As a leader in pharmaceutical research, UCSF is an ideal place from which to launch a research-based career.

Pathway curriculum

More about the pathway

Related info

Pathway co-chairs

Pathway coordinator

Contact Cynthia V. Zarate.

Faculty & advisors

Other pathways