University of the Sciences

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University of the Sciences
University of the Sciences logo.png
Motto Nosse haec omnia salus est
("To know all this is health")
Type Private
Established 1821
Endowment approx. $170 million
President Paul Katz, MD
Academic staff
Undergraduates 2,246
Postgraduates 418
Location Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
Campus Urban
Athletics 12 varsity teams, 17 intramural clubs
Colors Maroon and Slate          
Affiliations Division II NCAA, CACC, ECAC
Mascot Devils, "Drake the Devil"

The University of the Sciences (USciences), officially known as the University of the Sciences in Philadelphia, is a university in the Spruce Hill neighborhood of Philadelphia. USciences offers bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees in pharmacy and a variety of other health-related disciplines.


The history of the University of the Sciences began when 68 Philadelphia apothecaries met in Carpenters' Hall in 1821 to establish improved scientific standards and to train more competent apprentices and students. They sought to enhance their vocation, as well as protect public welfare. Nearly a year later, they organized and incorporated the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy (PCP), the first college of pharmacy in the nation. Thus, education in the profession of pharmacy in the U.S. was born.

Today, the University continues to build on that reputation and is now home to over 30 degree-granting programs in four colleges. Its nearly 2,700 students have enrolled in premier programs in the health sciences, ranging across pharmacy with its direct entry doctoral program to pre-med to physical therapy to healthcare business and health policy. Students study almost the entire range of the health sciences in one of its four colleges:

  • Philadelphia College of Pharmacy—North America's first school of pharmacy and the start of the University, graduates the pharmacists and scientists who deliver and discover the healthcare innovations that advance patient care.
  • Samson College of Health Sciences—educates the vital healthcare professionals who add immeasurably to the quality of life at each step—from prevention to diagnosis to recovery—of the patient care continuum.
  • Misher College of Arts and Sciences—provides a specialized undergraduate foundation for the sciences, with research and discovery at its core, for students seeking advanced degrees to lead in the basic and applied health sciences and serve humanity.
  • Mayes College of Healthcare Business and Policy—offers advanced degrees at the intersections of business, health policy, and public health enabling visionary students to serve their futures with leadership roles across the healthcare spectrum.

After its conception in 1821, the college began to grow in enrollment, curriculum, and stature. Although matriculation was originally limited to men, the college became coeducational in 1876, and issued the first pharmacy degree to a woman in the United States, Dr. Susan Hayhurst, in 1883.[1] The college initially emphasized the biological and chemical sciences as mainstays of the curriculum in pharmacy but later instituted separate curricula in three other areas: bacteriology, biology, and chemistry.

In 1921, the name of the institution was changed to Philadelphia College of Pharmacy and Science, with state authorization to grant not only the baccalaureate degree, but also the master’s and doctorate in all four disciplines.

As the world of science continuously made advancements throughout the decades, the college evolved and expanded its curriculum to prepare students for the new wave of scientific breakthroughs. The college also enhanced the role of the humanities and social sciences in its science-based curricula. Primarily a commuter campus in its early days, the institution began to transform into one in which residential life and extracurricular activities played a larger role in student development.

The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania approved the institution’s application for university status in February 1997. In recognition of the broad spectrum of new health and science programs introduced by the institution, the college changed its name to reflect the broader range of academic opportunities offered to its students. On July 1, 1998, Philadelphia College of Pharmacy and Science officially unveiled its new identity as University of the Sciences in Philadelphia.

A brand update in 2010 refocused the University’s messaging and logos. The overall name was simplified for marketing purposes to University of the Sciences in order to emphasize a national and global reach, while a new logo transitioned the USP acronym to USciences to address awareness issues. In addition, the tag line “Where science and healthcare converge” was adopted to define both what the University is and what it is not.

In September 2017, the University launched a tuition reset for all students who enroll beginning in fall 2018. Undergraduate students will not pay more than $25,000 per year in tuition and general fee* for undergraduate coursework. And for those students who are accepted into one of the University's accelerated, 6-year doctoral programs in pharmacy, physical therapy, or occupational therapy, the University lowered and simplified the tuition and general fee*. The lower tuition is fixed for the student's academic career. *This pricing does NOT include room and board, health insurance, or any professional, clinical, or transportation fees. More details can be found at

Shaping the profession of pharmacy[edit]

William Procter, Jr., often described as "the father of American pharmacy," was a PCP professor from 1846–1874, as well as serving as an officer of the board. He and Daniel B. Smith were instrumental in the founding of the American Pharmaceutical Association, the national professional society of pharmacists, which was founded and organized in Philadelphia in 1852. It is now called the American Pharmacists Association (APhA), the first established and largest professional association of pharmacists in the United States. The more than 50,000 members of APhA include practicing pharmacists, pharmaceutical scientists, pharmacy students, pharmacy technicians, and others interested in advancing the profession.

In 1868, John Maisch, PCP professor (1866–1893) and dean (1879–1893), proposed the creation of a pharmaceutical board to be appointed by the governor of each state and established the term “registered pharmacist.” He shared his proposal with each governor, and by 1878 nine states had adopted pharmacy laws which licensed pharmacists. Every state now, of course, has a Board of Pharmacy which regulates the practice of pharmacy.

Started in 1820, the United States Pharmacopeia laid down the standards for manufacturing drugs. For more than a hundred years, PCP faculty members were instrumental in its development, serving as editors throughout many editions.

In 1825, the first periodical in the United States devoted to the art and science of pharmacy, the American Journal of Pharmacy, was published by PCP.

PCP professors Franklin Bache and George B. Wood compiled a comprehensive commentary on drugs, The Dispensatory of the United States of America. First published in 1833, the Dispensatory was authored and edited for more than a hundred years by successive generations of faculty at the college.

In 1885, PCP professor Joseph P. Remington published The Practice of Pharmacy, which soon became established as the standard text in the field. Later renamed Remington: The Science and Practice of Pharmacy, this comprehensive reference work remains widely used throughout the world. The 22nd edition is published in September 2012 jointly by Pharmaceutical Press and the University of the Sciences.[2]

Marvin Samson Center for the History of Pharmacy[edit]

The Marvin Samson Center for the History of Pharmacy[3] is an integral part of the University of the Sciences in Philadelphia. The center’s mission is to serve as an educational, cultural, and research resource for the university, pharmacy professionals, historians, and the general public through its collections of artifacts, objects, and records representative of all aspects of pharmacy, including the pharmacy college’s history. Through changing exhibitions, tours, and programs, the center aims to deepen appreciation of the past, present, and future significance of the pharmacy industry in the broader social context and in the development of American life, especially in the city of Philadelphia and the surrounding region.

Campus expansion program[edit]

The university doubled the size of the campus in 1998 when it acquired an adjacent, vacant industrial site. (This site was formerly the home of the original Breyers Ice Cream factory which closed its Philadelphia operation in the early 1990s.) BLT Architects designed the Athletic and Recreation Center (ARC) in August 2003. BLT Architects channeled the ambience of a traditional college campus through this building. ARC is situated between a new campus quad and a commuter parking lot. Its design features a 1,000 seat event gymnasium, recreation gymnasium, natatorium, fitness areas, and a 1/10 mile indoor track.[4] The McNeil Science and Technology Center (McNeil STC) was officially dedicated September 2006. Additional building projects are being planned for the years to come.

The McNeil Science and Technology Center houses many new classrooms, computer research rooms, and teaching laboratories as well as the undergraduate and graduate programs in biology, bioinformatics/computer science, and math/physics/statistics. The centerpiece of the center is a 400-seat auditorium equipped with modern audio/visual equipment.

In fall 2014, the University opened its newest building, the Integrated Professional Education Complex (IPEX) and demonstrates USciences’ commitment to preparing graduates for careers in the life sciences and health sciences professions. The 57,000-square-foot, three-story building showcases an integrated education model that permits students from several disciplines, including physician assistant studies, pharmacy, physical therapy, occupational therapy, exercise science, psychology, and healthcare business and policy, to obtain traditional and hands-on experience. This integrated education model gives students an opportunity to fully understand its value in their everyday practice. IPEX combines innovative learning spaces and student lounge space with simulation labs, a clinical lab, mock patient exam rooms, and conference rooms. It will also serve as a hub for students to study, interact, and learn with and from one another. IPEX houses the provisionally accredited physician assistant studies graduate professional program. A green-roof system that emphasizes the University’s commitment to the environment and sustainability, measures 20,000 square feet and will absorb nearly 15,000 gallons of water when fully saturated. IPEX earned three Green Globes from the Green Building Initiative.


University of the Sciences in Philadelphia has over 30 degree-granting programs for students from which to choose.

Colleges and majors[edit]

Philadelphia College of Pharmacy

  • Pharmaceutical Sciences: BS
  • Pharmacology and Toxicology: BS | MS, PhD
  • Pharmacy: PharmD
  • Pharmacy Administration: MS

Samson College of Health Sciences

  • Exercise Science and Wellness Management: BS
  • Occupational Therapy: Post-Baccalaureate MOT, DrOT
  • Physical Therapy: DPT with BS in Health Science, Post-Baccalaureate DPT
  • Physician Assistant Studies: Undergraduate, Pre-Professional Program | MS Graduate Professional Program

Misher College of Arts & Sciences

  • Biochemistry: BS, MS, PhD
  • Bioinformatics: MS
  • Biology: BS
  • Biomedical Sciences: BS
  • Cancer Biology: PhD
  • Cell Biology and Biotechnology: MS
  • Cell and Molecular Biology: PhD
  • Chemistry: BS, MS, PhD
  • Environmental Science: BS
  • Health Psychology: MS
  • Health Science: BS
  • Medical Humanities: BS
  • Medical Laboratory Science: BS
  • Microbiology: BS
  • Pharmaceutical Chemistry: BS
  • Pharmaceutics: MS, PhD
  • Pharmacognosy: MS, PhD
  • Physics: BS
  • Pre-Medicine, Pre-Veterinary Medicine, Pre-Dentistry: Program
  • Psychology: BS

Mayes College of Healthcare Business & Policy (This college was launched in fall 2007 with support from alumna Kate Mayes.)

  • Biomedical Writing: MS
  • Health Policy: MS, PhD
  • Pharmaceutical and Healthcare Business: BS, MBA


Minors are offered in the following: Biochemistry, Bioinformatics, Biology, Biophysics, Business, Chemistry, Communication, Environmental Science, Exercise Science and Wellness Management, Marketing, Mathematics, Microbiology, Neuroscience, Pharmaceutical and Healthcare Business, Physics, Psychology, Social Sciences, Spanish, and Statistics.


Biomedical Writing Certificates in Medical Marketing Writing and Regulatory Writing, Biotechnology Certificate, Business Certificate, Brewing Science Certificate, Health Education and Communication Certificate, Pharmaceutical and Healthcare Business Certificate

Exchange agreements[edit]

The university has an exchange agreement with the University of the Arts (Philadelphia) that allows ten students from each university to take one course a semester at the other. The university also has an agreement with the New York University Study Abroad Program that will allow University of the Sciences students to study at NYU campuses in Asia, Africa, and Europe for a semester or a year.

The J. W. England Library[edit]

The Library of the University of the Sciences in Philadelphia was formed in 1821 at the second meeting of the Board of Trustees. Since its beginnings, the library has been considered one of the premier collections of pharmaceutical science in the country. In 1973, the library moved into its present quarters, the free-standing Joseph W. England Library. Small but specialized, the collection is particularly strong in pharmacy, pharmacognosy, pharmaceutics, and foreign drug compendia. Other areas of specialization include toxicology, pharmacology, and physical therapy. Contained in the Leopold Helfand Rare Book and Archives Room is a collection of seventeenth and eighteenth century botanicals, including a book once owned by Isaac Newton. Since the university and its graduates were fundamental to the building of the United States pharmaceutical industry, the university archives are of interest to anyone researching the origins of the pharmaceutical industry.


Official athletics logo.

The University of the Sciences (USciences) teams participate as a member of the National Collegiate Athletic Association's Division II. The Devils are a member of the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference (CACC). Men's sports include baseball, basketball, cross country, golf, tennis and track & field; while women's sports include basketball, cross country, softball, tennis, track & field and volleyball. The baseball team participates in the Bill Giles Invitational tournament for Division II teams in the Philadelphia area.


University of the Sciences has launched the careers of many innovative and pioneering individuals in the field of health care, including the founders of six of the world's leading pharmaceutical companies:

Major pharmaceuticals[edit]

Alumni contributions[edit]

University of the Sciences alumni have also contributed to the invention of well-known products, including:


  1. ^ a b Henderson, Metta Lou; Worthen, Dennis B. (March 8, 2002). American Women Pharmacists: Contributions to the Profession. CRC Press. p. 10. ISBN 9780789010926. Retrieved November 29, 2016 – via Google Books. 
  2. ^ "USP History". 
  3. ^ "Marvin Samson Center for the History of Pharmacy – University of the Sciences". Retrieved 3 September 2015. 
  4. ^ "Home – BLTa". BLTa. Retrieved 3 September 2015. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 39°56′46″N 75°12′27″W / 39.9461°N 75.2075°W / 39.9461; -75.2075