Since its founding in 1821, the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy has continued its mission to educate scientists and healthcare practitioners who, through their professions, develop, promote, and enhance the standards of patient care, pharmaceutical development and innovation, and health, wellness and disease management.
Earlier graduates founded and led pharmaceutical manufacturing companies of national and international prominence, aided in part by our location in the heart of the Pennsylvania-Delaware-New Jersey pharmaceutical industry corridor. The college, through its faculty and alumni, has consistently provided leadership in pharmaceutical discovery and the evolution of pharmacy practice and education via elected positions in local, regional and national professional organizations, research discoveries, and editorial roles.
The Philadelphia College of Pharmacy inaugurated the advanced professional practice degree of doctor of pharmacy (PharmD) in 1967, one of the earliest such programs on the East Coast. Graduates have led the development of PharmD programs at other schools of pharmacy, have established practice innovations now considered the standard of practice, and have demonstrated and validated the wide variety of roles that are now expertly filled by pharmacists. In 1994, the PharmD degree was approved as the entry-level program for all entering students seeking a career as pharmacy practitioners, and since 2012, PharmD graduates also receive an in-transit bachelor of science degree in pharmaceutical and healthcare studies (BS PSHCS).
With the closure of the bachelor of science in pharmacy program in 2001, new opportunities to meet the shortage of research- and industry-focused BS graduates have been met through the four-year BS programs in pharmaceutical sciences (begun in 1999) and in pharmacology and toxicology (begun in 1979). Through these programs, the college is able to provide the pharmaceutical industry and research employers with capable, well-educated staff. These BS program options also enable interested students to begin graduate study or advanced professional education.
The education of pharmacy practitioners and of highly qualified technical and management support staff for the development of pharmaceutical and other products for the healthcare industry remains the mission of the college into the 21st century. The expertise of the faculty in Philadelphia College of Pharmacy includes community pharmacy, institutional pharmacy, clinical pharmacy, pharmacy administration, pharmaceutics, medicinal chemistry, pharmacology, toxicology, pharmacokinetics, and pharmaceutical product and medical device development. The approach to education is learner-centered and developmental, building knowledge, skills, and self-confidence incrementally, with a focus on “learning and knowing by doing”, whether in a laboratory, or with a specific patient or caregiver, or for a community. Whether the class is a lecture, recitation, conference, or laboratory, the emphasis is on active engagement by students and faculty, and on individual student success.
The PharmD program is a professional program supported by faculty in the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences (DPS) and the Department of Pharmacy Practice and Pharmacy Administration (DoPP/PA), and is fully accredited by ACPE (Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education). DPS also supports two undergraduate programs, the BS in pharmacology and toxicology and the BS in pharmaceutical sciences, as well as graduate level (MS, PhD) programs in pharmaceutics, pharmacology/toxicology, and industrial pharmacy. DoPP/PA also supports the MS in pharmacy administration as well as several postgraduate (residency and fellowship) training opportunities for advanced pharmacy training.