UIC College of Pharmacy

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University of Illinois at Chicago College of Pharmacy
UIC College of Pharmacy
UIC College of Pharmacy Logo.gif
Type Public
Established 1859
Endowment $7 million
Budget $100 million
Chancellor Paula Allen-Meares
President Robert Easter
Provost Lon Kaufman
Dean Jerry Bauman, PharmD
Academic staff
180 (faculty)
Students 735 professional; 144 graduate (MS & PhD); 29 residents and fellows
Location Chicago, Illinois, United States of America
Campus Chicago and Rockford
Website http://www.uic.edu/pharmacy/index.php

The UIC College of Pharmacy (UIC COP) is a public pharmacy school with two campuses located in Chicago and Rockford, Illinois. It offers a four-year professional degree program that leads to the PharmD, the highest level of professional education in pharmacy, which is approved by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education as the sole entry level degree for the profession. Besides the professional degree, the College also offers programs leading to six master's degrees and four doctorate degrees, covering a spectrum of research areas within the pharmaceutical sciences.



Established in 1859, the UIC College of Pharmacy stands as the oldest academic unit of the University of Illinois, borne out of pharmaceutical education efforts begun in Chicago in 1840. That winter, John T. Temple delivered a public course of lectures in chemistry. By 1843, the series was supplemented by regular courses in chemistry at Rush Medical College. At the time, most academic institutions had little to offer pharmacists and chemists other than lecture courses. In 1852, the first railroad entered Chicago from the East, increasing the flow of goods, including medicines, through Chicago. Also in 1852, the American Pharmaceutical Association (now known as the American Pharmacists Association) formed to advance pharmaceutical knowledge and elevate the professional character of apothecaries and druggists throughout the United States. APhA founders felt this could not be accomplished without first developing a formalized education system. In 1853, APhA issued a letter inquiring into the state of pharmacy as it existed in the various sections of the country. A correspondent member was appointed for Illinois, resulting in a rapid series of advances in professional pharmacy.

The Chicago College of Pharmacy was founded in 1859 and became part of the University of Illinois in the later part of the century.

At the sixth annual meeting of APhA, four Chicago druggists were elected to membership in the society. Upon returning to Chicago, two of those men, Edwin Gale and James D. Paine, began a movement for a formal school of pharmacy. Along with S.S. Bliss, J.H. Read, E.H. Sargent and F. Scammon, all prominent druggists, collaborated to form an organization that would become the College's foundation. Incidentally, the group also served as the first organized society of druggists in the state.

Shortly thereafter, a formal movement towards establishing a school of pharmacy was begun, and the Chicago College of Pharmacy was born. On Sept. 12, 1859, the charter signed by the original founders of the institution was notarized, officially establishing Illinois' first school of pharmacy and the sixth school of pharmacy in the nation. Scammon was elected chairman and Sargent was appointed to the College's board of trustees. Its first complete course was delivered in the winter of 1859, and 1861 marked its first graduating class of two students.

On Sunday, Oct. 8, 1871, at 9:40 p.m., a fire alarm was sounded in a Chicago pharmacy, the alert of the Great Chicago Fire. Lasting two days, the fire's wrath ravaged through 34 city blocks and destroyed nearly 20,000 buildings, including the Chicago College of Pharmacy. Corresponding College Secretary and alumnus Albert Ebert began rallying support from colleagues around the world to help rebuild the College and restock its bookshelves and laboratories. Its reopening heralded a class of 37 students in the fall semester of 1872.

The years that followed were crucial for both the College and the pharmacy profession. Concerns surrounding the safety and ethics of pharmacy practice emerged. Nationwide efforts sprang forth to develop laws regulating the profession. By 1880, the College had been instrumental in forming the Illinois Pharmaceutical Association (now known as the Illinois Pharmacists Association). A year later, the Pharmacy Law of 1881 was passed, mandating education requirements for the practice of pharmacy in Illinois and assigning supervision of the professional to state agencies. Candidates were required to pass an examination given by the State Board of Health. The law also required pharmacists to pay a $2 annual licensing fee.

In 1895, state legislature amended the original charter for the University of Illinois, allowing the location of professional departments of law, medicine, dentistry and pharmacy outside of Champaign County. On Dec. 10, 1895, the proposal to acquire the Chicago College of Pharmacy came before the university board of trustees. On May 1, 1896, the College formally united with the University of Illinois, creating the University of Illinois School of Pharmacy.


UIC College of Pharmacy at 833 South Wood Street in Chicago, Illinois, photographed in 2010.

Today, the UIC College of Pharmacy remains as a unit with the University of Illinois, one of the largest and most comprehensive research universities in the nation. The College has consistently been considered among the top colleges of pharmacy for scholarship, curriculum, and the quality of faculty and students. U.S. News and World Report ranks UIC as the sixth best[1] among colleges of pharmacy in the nation.

As of FY2010, the College of Pharmacy ranks third in overall federal funding for research, e.g., National Institutes of Health, of 122 U.S. colleges of pharmacy.[2] College of Pharmacy-sponsored research programs reached $30 million in fiscal year 2010 (funding doubled in 5 years).

Rockford Campus[edit]

The UIC College of Pharmacy at Rockford is housed in the University of Illinois Health Sciences Center.

In fall 2010, the UIC College of Pharmacy opened the doors of its first regional campus in Rockford. Housed in a newly constructed addition to the existing University of Illinois College of Medicine at Rockford building, the University of Illinois College of Pharmacy at Rockford offers a new program designed to specifically prepare pharmacists for practice within the rural areas that comprise the majority of Illinois: The Rural Pharmacy Education Program (RPHarm).[3] This program recruits students from rural, medically underserved regions of the state and educates them in aspects of rural health and pharmacy. RPharm students will train inter-professionally with medical students during their four years at Rockford in order to develop collaborative practices applicable in these rural areas.

Academic programs[edit]


The US Department of Education and, specifically, the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education is responsible for accreditation of the College of Pharmacy. ACPE is the national agency for the accreditation of professional degree programs in pharmacy and providers of continuing pharmacy education. ACPE was established in 1932 for the accreditation of pre-service education, and in 1975 its scope of activity was broadened to include accreditation of providers of continuing pharmacy education.


As of 2016, U.S. News & World Report ranks UIC sixth among colleges of pharmacy in the nation. UIC pharmacy students pursue the Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) degree, which is the highest level of professional education for the field. The patient-centered curriculum helps develop confident, caring, practitioners with the ability to adapt and meet the challenging needs of society, as well as advances in the pharmaceutical sciences.

The College of Pharmacy also offers post-PharmD PG1 and PGY2 residencies in a wide variety of areas in addition to research fellowship opportunities.

Degree programs[edit]

The Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) program is designed for students who want to become licensed, practicing pharmacists. The UIC program is highly competitive, and admits around 160 new students each year. The program take four years to complete. There are specific undergraduate courses that must be completed to qualify for admission to pharmacy school.

The College of Pharmacy offers PhD programs in biopharmaceutical sciences, medicinal chemistry, pharmacognosy and pharmacy administration. In 2011, the college awarded 162 professional degrees, 15 doctorate degrees and 16 master's degrees.[4]

Professional Degree Program[edit]

The Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) degree is the highest level of professional education in pharmacy and has been approved by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE) as the sole entry level degree for the profession.

The program prepares students to:

  • Enter into the practice of pharmacy to serve society as ethical and caring professionals
  • Apply knowledge of drugs and drug therapy to solve problems and make decisions on behalf of their patients
  • Educate, communicate, and collaborate with patients, colleagues, and other health professionals
  • Learn - professional practice is a lifelong learning experience
  • Practice pharmacy in traditional and nontraditional settings
  • Assume a leadership role in the future direction of the profession
Graduate programs[edit]

The college has four PhD programs, covering a spectrum of research areas within the pharmaceutical sciences. Three of these programs have specialization tracks, reflecting additional specialization within the overall degree program, the research interests of the faculty and future employment opportunities. The graduate programs generally line up with the academic departments in the college.

The college offers two stand-alone MS degrees: Forensic science and forensic toxicology.

Doctor of philosophy programs

Biopharmaceutical sciences

Research in the biopharmaceutical sciences involves pharmaceutics (drug delivery), pharmacodynamics (drug action), pharmacokinetics (absorption and distribution properties) and pharmacogenomics. Specific research programs include: Lipid and polymer-based drug delivery systems, targeted drug delivery, pharmacokinetic membrane transport and absorption, behavioral pharmacology, cardiovascular pharmacology, neuropharmacology, environmental toxicology, cancer chemotherapy.

Pharmacy (pharmacy administration)

Pharmacy administration is a dynamic field that applies approaches from management science, economics, and the social sciences to issues in health care that relate to pharmacy, pharmacists, and pharmaceuticals. Specific research programs include: patient outcomes, health care and pharmaceutical policy, comparative health care systems, consumer medication use safety, pharmacoeconomics and management, rational drug use and distribution, socioeconomic and cultural issues related to drug use.

Medicinal chemistry

Research in medicinal chemistry involves design, synthesis, structure elucidation, and analysis of synthetic compounds possessing biological (potential drug) activity. Specific research programs include: Synthetic chemistry directed toward neurodegenerative and oncologic diseases, computational approaches to drug design, chemical toxicology and biological mechanisms, synthetic development of enzyme inhibitors and low molecular weight catalysts, natural product structure elucidation.


Research in pharmacognosy involves the isolation, structure elucidation and bioassay of plant and other natural product compounds having potential applications as treatments or preventives. Specific research programs include: chemotherapeutic and chemopreventive properties of natural products, structure elucidation of bioactive natural products and their mechanism of action, development of methods for the analysis of botanical dietary supplements, use of traditional medicines by indigenous groups.

Combined degree programs

Students enrolled in this program can pursue the PharmD simultaneously with any of the PhD degree offerings. The joint program is highly competitive and designed for select students who have interests in both the clinical aspects of pharmacy and research in the pharmaceutical sciences. With judicious selection and timing of courses, joint program participants can earn both degrees in less overall time than would be required to complete the degrees separately.

PharmD/MS in health informatics

This joint degree program integrates pharmacy science and clinical practice with health informatics, the goal being identification, collection, processing and management of information to support pharmacy practice, administration, education and research. It promotes the expansion of pharmacy knowledge and leadership and is an important new dimension of pharmacy practice. Students in this joint program learn to identify the social issues that inhibit the effective use of information technology in health care and to apply creative solutions that address these issues.

PharmD/MS in clinical and translational science

Graduates of the MS-CTS program train to learn skills which will allow them to direct a broad range of clinical studies, including the translation of scientific knowledge into clinical practice, and will be able to interact with all of the complementary disciplines with which clinical investigators need to collaborate.

Master of science degree programs
Master of science degrees are offered in biopharmaceutical sciences, medicinal chemistry, pharmacognosy and pharmacy administration. The college also offers two stand-alone M.S. degrees: forensic science and forensic toxicology.


Although not required, nearly 70 percent of applicants to the PharmD program hold a bachelor's degree prior to admission. To earn the PharmD, students complete a minimum of six years of study: The first two years of prepharmacy coursework can be accomplished at any accredited college or university, the final four years of professional education are completed at the UIC College of Pharmacy. High school students may seek admission to the College of Pharmacy through UIC's Guaranteed Professional Program Admissions initiative; these students are required to successfully complete their prepharmacy coursework at UIC prior to entry into the College of Pharmacy.

Each graduate (MS/PhD) program has its own admissions requirements and handles its own admissions process. Applicants must apply for admission to a specific program. Many graduate programs only admit candidates in the fall semester of each year.

The college offers a PharmD/PhD program, in which the professional doctor of pharmacy degree can be earned simultaneously with any of the PhDs offered. Through judicious selection and timing of courses, both degrees can be completed in less overall time than would be required to complete the programs separately. Some graduate programs permit applications to the master of science degree, usually from students who have the intention of continuing on to the PhD. The department of biopharmaceutical sciences does not admit to the MS.


UIC College of Pharmacy researchers are internationally recognized leaders in alternative, complementary and traditional medicine; biotechnology and biodefense; cancer biology and therapeutics; drug discovery, development and delivery; infectious diseases; natural products; neuroscience; patient safety; pharmacoeconomics; genomics and pharmacogenomics.

Within UIC, the COP ranked as one of the top four colleges by sponsored research expenditures in FY2010. Moreover, all research departments in the College ranked within the first 50 (out of 127) departments in the University by sponsored program expenditures. Medicinal Chemistry and Pharmacognosy has been consistently among the top 10 departments, and leads COP departments at 6th place, followed by Center for Pharmaceutical Biotechnology (20th), Biopharmaceutical Sciences (29th), and Pharmacy Practice (37th). Institute for Tuberculosis Research is ranked in 44th place and Pharmacy Administration is number 49.[5]


More than 80 research and clinical faculty conduct research and provide training to more than 160 graduate students and postdoctoral trainees, as well as 650 professional students. Departments in the College of Pharmacy are organized around four major areas of the pharmaceutical sciences:

  • Biopharmaceutical Sciences
  • Medicinal Chemistry and Pharmacognosy
  • Pharmacy Practice
  • Pharmacy Systems, Outcomes and Policy

Centers and institutes[edit]

In addition to its major departmental divisions, the college is home to several specialized research centers and institutes:

  • Center for Pharmaceutical Biotechnology
  • Center for Pharmacoepidemiology and Pharmacoeconomic Research
  • Drug Information Group
  • Institute for Tuberculosis Research
  • Pharmacogenomics Laboratory
  • Program for Collaborative Research in the Pharmaceutical Sciences
  • International Cooperative Biodiversity Group
  • UIC/NIH Center for Botanical Dietary Supplements Research
  • World Health Organization Collaborating Centre for Traditional Medicine

Clinical programs[edit]

In addition to educational activities, the College provides highly regarded clinical and distributive services to patients at the University of Illinois Medical Center at Chicago. The college's service function, coupled with its educational programs, provides UIC pharmacy students with maximum exposure to contemporary pharmacy practice. Inpatient, outpatient and satellite pharmacies in community health centers engage UIC pharmacy students in many unique experiences throughout their academic career. International Presence

Academic institutions, research facilities and even governments seek out the expertise and opportunities for collaboration with the College. The works of pharmacy students, fellows and faculty members continue to influence and help advance the practice of pharmacy in worldwide locations such as Greece, Hong Kong, Iraq, Peru and Thailand. Meanwhile, international research collaborations, presentations and publications continuously add momentum to global drug discovery efforts.

Community outreach[edit]

Guided by its mission to serve the pharmaceutical care needs of society through education, patient care, research and public service, the college interacts with Chicago-area communities through numerous patient-oriented service commitments. Each year, faculty members conduct numerous community outreach initiatives, many of which occur in areas where residents do not speak English as a first language. Pharmacy students participate in a variety of civic and charitable outreach projects, including helping to administer immunizations in the UIC community and consulting with patients to identify the best choices in Medicare drug benefits.

Located in the Illinois Medical District, the world's largest concentration of advanced health care facilities, the College provides educational and collaborative opportunities at nearby District member institutions, including Cook County Hospital, the West Side Veterans Administration Hospital and Rush St. Luke's Presbyterian Medical Center. Much like the multi-cultural population of Chicago, ethnic and racial majorities are nonexistent among UIC pharmacy students. The College reflects the diverse composition of its host city as well as the UIC patients it serves.

Urban Health Program[edit]

The UIC Urban Health Program was established in 1978 by the Illinois Board of Higher Education to respond to the disparity in the quality and access of health care in underserved minority populations in Chicago's inner city. The Urban Health Program's overall purpose is to expand opportunities for health professions education for underrepresented groups and to improve the quality of health care services for medically underserved urban populations. The UHP effort was designed to increase enrollment and graduation of underrepresented minorities—Blacks, Latinos, and Native Americans—who are interested in pursuing a health professions education. The intent is to recruit from urban communities with the hope that the majority of the students would return to these communities to practice.

Urban Health Program components include student recruitment, student retention, financial aid, academic and personal advising, and academic enrichment programs for grades four through 12. UHP encompasses the six health sciences colleges (pharmacy, applied health sciences, dentistry, medicine, nursing, and the School of Public Health), the Graduate College and the Early Outreach program.

Urban Pipeline Program[edit]

Through its investigation of the issue of low representation of underrepresented minority students in pharmacy school, the College concluded that this disparity was due to a lack of exposure among minority elementary and high school students to the profession.[6] To address these issues, the College and the Chicago Public Schools Department of College and Career Preparation partnered with industry leaders to offer a comprehensive pharmacy program for high school students with the goal to cultivate the next generation of URM pharmacists.[7]

The Urban Pipeline Program is an eight-week, comprehensive, academic, experiential, mentoring and professional- and social-development summer enrichment program.[8] Guiding the program is the "Theoretical and Conceptual Framework Model for Success"[6] that was developed by drawing from the literature on higher education student success and further informed by the Educational Policy Institute's Pathways to College Network Framework.

Notable alumni[edit]

Student organizations[edit]

  • Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy
  • American Pharmacists Association Academy of Student Pharmacists
  • American Society of Consulting Pharmacists
  • Asian Pharmacists Association
  • Association of Indian Pharmacists in America
  • Christian Pharmacists Fellowship International
  • Community Drug Education Committee
  • Illinois Council of Health System Pharmacists
  • Muslim Pharmacy Students Association
  • Pharmacy Student Council
  • Student National Pharmaceutical Association



  1. ^ "Best Graduate Schools", U.S. News & World Report, 2016.
  2. ^ "American Association of College of Pharmacy", American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy, 2010.
  3. ^ "UIC College of Pharmacy Rural Pharmacy Education Program", University of Illinois at Chicago, 2010.
  4. ^ "UIC College of Pharmacy Graduate Programs", University of Illinois at Chicago, 2011.
  5. ^ "University of Illinois Office of Business and Financial Services Grants & Sponsored Projects", University of Illinois, 2011.
  6. ^ a b Clara Awe and Jerry Bauman, "Theoretical and Conceptual Framework Model for Success," PubMed Central, 2010
  7. ^ " UIC College of Pharmacy Urban Pipeline Program Goals and Objectives", University of Illinois at Chicago, 2011.
  8. ^ " UIC College of Pharmacy Urban Pipeline Program", University of Illinois at Chicago, 2011.
  9. ^ 'Illinois Blue Book 1981-1982,' Biographical Sketch of Arthur A. Telcser, pg. 93

External links[edit]