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School of Pharmacy—Professional Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) Program

The School of Pharmacy is committed to improving health through excellence, innovation, and leadership in education of pharmacists and pharmaceutical scientists, in research and scholarship, in care of patients, and in service to our communities.

The professional curriculum is configured in a course of study requiring two years (62 credits) of pre-professional study followed by four years of professional courses. The professional curriculum emphasizes problem solving and critical thinking, blending classroom and laboratory learning with clinical practice experiences. The PharmD program prepares student pharmacists to be health care practitioners who optimize the health of patients and society through the effective use of medicines and other interventions. The PharmD program inspires students to advance the profession by fostering collaboration, lifelong learning, leadership, professionalism, and civic engagement.

In addition to the professional Doctor of Pharmacy degree, which is explained here, the school also offers graduate programs leading to an MS and a PhD.

For further information on the graduate programs, see the School of Pharmacy—Graduate (PhD/MS) Program section of this bulletin.

The PharmD program at the University of Pittsburgh School of Pharmacy is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education, 20 North Clark Street, Suite 2500, Chicago, IL 60602-5109; 312-664-3575; 1-800-533-3606; fax: 312-664-4652. The School of Pharmacy is a member of the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy.


Contact Information

School of Pharmacy
904 Salk Hall
Admissions: 412-383-9000
Fax: 412-383-9996

Pre-Professional Requirements

Applicants to the professional pharmacy program must have successfully completed, or be in the process of completing, all prerequisite mathematics and science subjects no later than the spring term of the year of admission. All other pre-professional courses should be completed no later than the first day of the fall term of admission. Pre-professional courses must be taken for a letter grade.


Pre-Professional Courses:

General Biology (with lab)
8 credits
General Chemistry (with lab)
8 credits
Organic Chemistry (with lab)
8 credits
English Composition
6 credits
3-4 credits
3-4 credits
Psychology (Intro)
3 credits
Economics (Intro, Micro, or Macro)
3 credits
Elective courses+
18 credits
60-62 credits
*Freshman Studies, 1 credit, is recommended for University of Pittsburgh freshmen.
+At least 6 credits must be in the humanities and 6 credits in the social sciences. A course in Public Speaking is recommended.
Non-native English-speaking applicants must supply evidence of their proficiency in the English language.


Application Procedures and Deadlines

All applicants must first file an application through PharmCAS, a Web-based Pharmacy College Application Service, and submit the Supplemental Application by the deadlines.

The application process, application deadlines, and other admission requirements are summarized on the School of Pharmacy Web site.

Admission Options

Conditional Acceptance

All students should first submit an application to the University of Pittsburgh, Office of Admissions and Financial Aid. However, the School offers conditional acceptance to a limited number of high school seniors who enroll at one of the University of Pittsburgh campuses.  The number of conditional offers is limited and offered on a rolling basis. Students who have demonstrated academic success in high school, score 1300 or higher on the SAT I (Math and Critical Reading sections), with a minimum of 660 in the Math section, and specify Pharmacy on the application will be offered conditional admission, if available.

Students who receive the conditional admission are expected to perform well in their pre-professional courses regardless of SAT I scores. In order to secure a place in the PharmD Program, students must earn:

  • a letter grade of a C or better in all preprofessional courses with no repeat of preprofessional courses
  • a 3.25 or greater overall GPA in preprofessional courses
  • a 3.25 or greater GPA in the required Math and Science courses

Note: Math and Science required courses must be taken at the University of Pittsburgh (AP credits are acceptable)

To exercise the conditional admission, all applicants, must:

  • Submit the Pharmacy College Admissions Test (PCAT) scores

(NOTE:  the average PCAT composite score for the last 5 years ranges from 76%)

  • to 82%Submit a completed PharmCAS application and fee
  • Submit a completed Supplemental Application and fee
  • Participate in a satisfactory interview prior to the School of Pharmacy admission

Students who meet these performance criteria will be admitted into the PharmD Program.

Open Admission

Qualified University of Pittsburgh students and students attending other universities are encouraged to apply to the School of Pharmacy. More details on conditional acceptance and open admission options can be found on the school's Web site at

Financial Assistance: University-Wide and School-Specific

The University offers scholarships, grants-in-aid, tuition loans, and student employment for undergraduate students. Students should investigate with the University of Pittsburgh’s financial advisors their eligibility for federal and state programs by calling the Office of Admissions and Financial Aid at 412-624-PITT or e-mail

The University’s financial advisors are the best source of information about local grants or scholarships that go beyond federal and state programs. Students are encouraged to look outside of the health professions for additional support. Students may be able to compete successfully for economically or academically awarded scholarships from private groups and associations.

In addition, the School of Pharmacy has a number of general scholarships and loan funds provided through the generosity of the school’s alumni and friends. These are described in detail on the school’s Web site at

Academic and Professional Standards

The following sections detail the School of Pharmacy's academic and professional standards.

Academic Integrity

School of Pharmacy students are responsible for upholding the standards of behavior outlined in the University's Guidelines on Academic Integrity, the University's policy on sexual harassment, and other policies related to student behavior.

Enrollment in the School of Pharmacy carries with it obligations of conduct within and outside of the classroom. Professional students are expected to have the highest standards of personal integrity and conduct themselves in a manner that is a credit to themselves, the school, and the profession.

Each year, students will be asked to sign a copy of the University of Pittsburgh School of Pharmacy Code of Conduct that reaffirms their commitment to ethical and professional behavior. Details of the Code are outlined on the school's Web site.

Grading System

Doctor of Pharmacy students are subject to the provisions of the Guidelines and Regulations for the Promotion of Students in force at the time. All students will be given a copy of these guidelines and regulations upon entry into the program.

With the exception of experiential learning courses, all courses in the School of Pharmacy are graded on an A, B, C, D, or F basis. Experiential learning courses are graded on a satisfactory, unsatisfactory, or honors basis (H/S/U). See University policy on the grading system for first-professional programs at

Dean's List

To be placed on the School of Pharmacy Dean's List, a student must have earned a term grade point average of 3.50 or greater. The academic achievement of these students is recognized with a congratulatory letter from the dean.

Immunization Policy

The School of Pharmacy requires proof of immunization against measles, mumps, rubella, chicken pox, hepatitis B, tetanus, diphtheria, and polio. In addition, all students are required to provide the results of a tuberculin skin test (PPD Mantoux method) prior to enrollment and each year thereafter. With the exception of hepatitis B, students must complete all of the immunizations prior to enrollment. The first of the three immunizations for hepatitis must be completed prior to the first day of class. The entire series must be completed before the end of the first-professional year in order to enroll in the experiential learning course. The school strongly urges students to obtain health insurance coverage.


Pharmacy students who plan to complete the requirements for pharmacy licensure in Pennsylvania must complete 1,500 hours of internship under the supervision of a licensed pharmacist. A maximum of 750 hours of internship credit may be gained from practical experience obtained through the school's curriculum. Students must complete the remaining hours on their own. Non-resident students should contact the board of pharmacy in their state to learn about internship requirements in their state.

Inquiries regarding qualifications for licensure in Pennsylvania should be made to: Executive Secretary, Pennsylvania State Board of Pharmacy, Box 2649, Harrisburg, PA 17105-2649 (the Web site is

Internship positions are posted on the University's Placement Center Web site. Students may learn of other intern opportunities by attending one of the many informational workshops held throughout the academic year.

Experiential Learning

Experiential learning sites are located throughout Allegheny County and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. In the first three years of the professional curriculum, students are placed at sites within a 30-mile radius of the campus. Transportation to and from experiential sites is the student's responsibility. University of Pittsburgh students can ride a Port Authority Bus at no charge anywhere in Allegheny County by showing the driver a valid and current University ID. More information about this benefit and bus schedules can be found on the University's Web site at

At present, nearly 70 percent of pharmacy students complete their fourth-year advanced pharmacy practice experience at clinical sites in Southwestern Pennsylvania. Although every effort is made to meet individual student needs, the school cannot guarantee that students will be placed at sites near their home or campus address. Entering students should understand that they may be required to complete portions of their fourth professional year at locations other than Allegheny County. Transportation to clinical sites and housing costs are the student's responsibility. Because students are involved in a wide variety of activities during the final year of the program, a car may be a necessary resource.


Advisors in the Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences Advising Center, Thackeray Hall, assist pre-pharmacy students with pre-professional requirements. Questions regarding professional requirements, licensing, and career opportunities are referred to faculty or staff in the School of Pharmacy.

Once enrolled in the School of Pharmacy, students meet with the School's registrar to plan a course of study.

Faculty advisors are available for students who wish guidance on career decisions, advice on selection of rotations, and personal or professional problems. Student participation is voluntary, and the program is designed to be supportive and informal.

Degree Requirements

To earn the degree of Doctor of Pharmacy, the student must demonstrate satisfactory achievement in required course work prescribed by the curriculum (detailed below under Program Description), earning an overall GPA of 2.00 or higher. Refer to the school's Web site at for the guidelines for academic progress.

Special Academic Opportunities/Programs

Students in the School of Pharmacy begin their clinical experience during the first term of the first professional year. Their clinical experience becomes more complex as they progress in the curriculum, culminating in their last academic year. Students may select an area of practice that interests them most and complete rotations under the direction of experienced preceptors. Off-campus rotations may be arranged through the U.S. Public Health Service, the Food and Drug Administration, the pharmaceutical industry, professional associations, and a variety of non-traditional practice settings.

Research projects, ranging from molecular and basic science problems to clinical outcomes, may be completed under the guidance of a school faculty member. Research rotations are available for students interested in pursuing a graduate degree or research career.

There are a variety of professional organizations that are active in the school. Students are encouraged to attend regional, state, and national professional meetings and seminars.

Tutors are available through the Rho Chi Society, pharmacy's honor society, for students who need additional help with their courses.

Program Description

The professional curriculum leads to the Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) degree and requires completion of 121 credits (note: this curriculum is subject to change):


FALL TERM—First Professional Year (P-1)
PHARM 5110 Profession of Pharmacy 1
4 credits
PHARM 5112 Community Health 1
1 credit
PHARM 5114 Anatomy and Physiology 1
3 credits
PHARM 5116 Biochemistry 1
3 credits
PHARM 5118 Principles of Drug Action
4 credits
PHARM 5120 The Emerging Professional 1 credit
16 credits
SPRING TERM—First Professional Year (P-1)
1 credit
PHARM 5111 Profession of Pharmacy 2
4 credits
PHARM 5113 Community Health 2
1 credit
PHARM 5115 Anatomy and Physiology 2
3 credits
PHARM 5117 Biochemistry 2
3 credits
PHARM 5119 Drug Development 1
4 credits
15 credits
FALL TERM—Second Professional Year (P-2)
PHARM 5210 Profession of Pharmacy 3
3 credits
PHARM 5212 Community Placement 1
1 credit
PHARM 5214 Pharmacotherapy of Infectious Disease 1
4 credits
PHARM 5216 Pharmacotherapy of Cardiovascular Disease
4 credits
PHARM 5218 Drug Development 2
4 credits
16 credits
SPRING TERM—Second Professional Year (P-2)
PHARM 5211 Profession of Pharmacy 4
4 credits
PHARM 5213 Community Practice 2
1 credit
PHARM 5215 Pharmacotherapy of Infectious Disease 2
4 credits
PHARM 5219 Drug Development 3
4 credits
PHARM 5223 Gastroenterology/Nutrition
2 credits
PHARM 5225 Advanced Pharmaceutical Care 1
1 credit
16 credits
FALL TERM—Third Professional Year (P-3)
PHARM 5310 Profession of Pharmacy 5
3 credits
PHARM 5312 Health System Pharmacy 1
1 credit
PHARM 5314 Immunology
3 credits
PHARM 5316 Pulmonology/Rheumatology
2 credits
PHARM 5318 Endocrinology
3 credits
PHARM Professional Elective
3 credits
15 credits
SPRING TERM—Third Professional Year (P-3)
PHARM 5311 Profession of Pharmacy 6
2 credits
PHARM 5313 Health System Pharmacy 2
1 credit
PHARM 5315 Oncology/Hematology
3 credits
PHARM 5319 Neurology/Psychiatry
4 credits
PHARM 5321 Advanced Pharmaceutical Care 2
2 credits
PHARM Professional Electives
3 credits
15 credits
Fourth Professional Year (P-4) Spans 3 semesters (SUMMER, FALL, SPRING) with several options for credits earned per semester, for a total of 36 weeks
PHARM 5401 Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experience 1
5 credits
PHARM 5402 Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experience 2
5 credits
PHARM 5403 Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experience 3
5 credits
PHARM 5404 Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experience 4
5 credits
PHARM 5405 Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experience 5
5 credits
PHARM 5406 Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experience 6
5 credits
PHARM 5407 Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experience 7
5 credits
PHARM 5400 PharmD Seminar
1 credit
35 credits
Total Professional Credits:
127 credits


School of Pharmacy Course Offerings

School of Pharmacy Faculty

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