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School of Pharmacy


Established by the Wisconsin Legislature in 1883, the "Department of Pharmacy" was the second pharmacy school in the United States associated with a state university. The start was a modest one—a single laboratory and a student body of 28. From the beginning, under the leadership of its first director, Dr. Frederick B. Power, the school became a prominent force in the development of pharmacy as a profession in the state and the country.

The UW–Madison School of Pharmacy was the first in the country to establish a four-year curriculum (optional) leading to the B.S.–Pharmacy degree (1892); in 1960, this became a five-year program. In fall 1997, the four-year, professional-level Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D.) program replaced the B.S.–Pharmacy program. Also offered is the four-year B.S.–Pharmacology & Toxicology program. In fall 1997, the school began to offer the nontraditional Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D. ) program, an opportunity for U.S.-licensed pharmacists who are graduates of B.S.–Pharmacy programs accredited by the American Council on Pharmaceutical Education to further their professional education. The school was the first to offer graduate work leading to the master of science and doctor of philosophy degrees in pharmacy; pioneered in pharmaceutics, history of pharmacy, social studies of pharmacy, and pharmacy administration; and was one of the first to offer a master of science degree with a major in hospital pharmacy.

With an enrollment of more than 500 undergraduate and professional students, the School of Pharmacy is part of the Center for Health Sciences, which includes the School of Medicine and Public Health, the School of Nursing, University Hospital and Clinics, and the State Laboratory of Hygiene. Students have opportunities to interact with other students and professional personnel in related fields as they prepare to meet the health care needs of society.

Recognizing the importance of good communication between pharmacists, patients, and other health care professionals, the school designed the Pharm.D. program to provide pharmacy students with opportunities to develop and improve written and oral communication skills and to understand the sociological and psychological aspects of illness and drug therapy.

Believing that its role in pharmacy education extends beyond the boundaries of the campus, the school has an active continuing education and extension program. Several on-campus educational programs are conducted annually for state pharmacists. Other educational programs are taken directly to pharmacists to help them keep up with the changes occurring in the profession.