Positioning and Messaging Guide: PharmD Program


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Positioning statement: PharmD program

The UCSF PharmD is a multifaceted and compassionate leader in pharmacy, with a scientific mindset and a limitless future.

The UCSF PharmD program prepares ambitious minds for diverse and dynamic careers in pharmacy and beyond. We inspire inquisitive students to think creatively from fresh perspectives and to fearlessly approach new challenges in pharmacy and across health care.

Our rigorous program applies a scientific mindset across all coursework. It delivers strong, essential science and therapeutics knowledge, a patient focus, and new ideas at the frontiers of research and practice not found anywhere else. This highly integrated combination equips students to excel professionally amid rapid advancements and changes in science and health care. Most of our graduates continue to residency programs and other advanced training, increasing their leadership contributions to health care, science, industry, and policy.

From our home in the San Francisco Bay Area, and at the world’s leading university focused on health, our students care for—and learn from—diverse patient populations and evolve into patient-centered clinicians. UCSF PharmD graduates, equipped with a scientific mindset and an unmatched professional skillset, are transforming health care for patients and communities through pharmacy.

Messaging: PharmD curriculum

The UCSF PharmD program is an integrated, experiential education based on scientific thinking that prepares ambitious minds for diverse and dynamic careers in pharmacy and beyond.

Our rigorous program delivers pharmacy-specific knowledge, increasingly advanced practice experiences, and an exploration of new ideas in science and practice—all integrated and all from an educational model that prepares students to think scientifically, to be problem solvers rather than formula followers. Students learn actively with peers. Program graduates excel amid rapid advancements across a changing health care landscape, with most going on to further advanced training. We encourage this.

Scientific thinking

A scientific mindset is the key element of our curriculum; it underpins all teaching and learning.


As students learn, they continually build upon previous knowledge while integrating new ideas and concepts.


Every student benefits from meaningful, increasingly complex, real-life clinical experiences with a diverse patient population, and from practicing in health care teams.

Curriculum from the student’s perspective

Our students experience the PharmD program through coursework that enables them to: build core knowledge, explore the latest in science and pharmacy practice while developing their own inquiry skills, and experience pharmacy practice firsthand.

3 circles, labeled: Build core knowledge, Experience pharmacy practice, Explore new ideas and innovations in science while developing inquiry skills
Build Experience Explore

Build core knowledge—through the following parts of the curriculum:

  • Foundations
  • Science and Therapeutics (Integrated Themes)
  • Patient Care Skills

Experience pharmacy practice—through the following parts of the curriculum:

  • Pharmacy Practice Experiences

Explore new ideas and innovations in science and practice while developing inquiry skills—through the following parts of the curriculum:

  • Inquiry (Integrated Themes)
  • Discovery Project

Coursework integrates throughout. Students actively engage in learning.

Scientific thinking underlies all coursework.

Next: Audience Messaging