Administrative Unit: School of Pharmacy
College/School: School of Pharmacy
Admitting Plans: M.S., Ph.D.
Degrees Offered: M.S. in Pharmaceutical Sciences; M.S. in Pharmacy; M.S. in Social and Administrative in Pharmacy; Ph.D. in Pharmaceutical Sciences; Ph.D. in Social and Administrative Sciences in Pharmacy
Minors and Certificates: Doctoral Minor in Pharmaceutical Sciences; Doctoral Minor in Social and Administrative Sciences in Pharmacy

Pharmaceutical Sciences

The pharmaceutical sciences division at the School of Pharmacy offers the doctor of philosophy (Ph.D.) degree in pharmaceutical sciences (students are accepted only for the Ph.D. program; the master of science degree is awarded only under special circumstances). The program provides a rigorous background in a range of scientific disciplines that are critical to the success of modern pharmaceutical scientists. The program’s interdisciplinary design combines pharmaceutically relevant aspects of classical disciplines such as chemistry, biology, and engineering. Students concentrate in one of three research cores: drug discovery, drug action, or drug delivery. Extensive communication and collaboration occur between these cores, mirroring the importance of interdisciplinary research teams in the pharmaceutical field.


The pharmacy master's program is a two-year, combined pharmacy administrative residency (ASHP Accredited PGY1 and PGY2) and academic degree program, which culminates in a master of science degree, emphasizing health system pharmacy management and leadership. Applicants to the pharmacy M.S. program must be eligible for licensure as a pharmacist in the State of Wisconsin. The program is designed to provide the resident/student with a solid academic foundation and experience in the administration of exemplary pharmaceutical services across an integrated health system.

Social and Administrative Sciences in Pharmacy

The graduate program in social and administrative sciences in pharmacy (SAS) provides a rigorous background in a range of disciplines critical to preparing the next generation of health services researchers. The program focuses on scientific and humanistic bases for understanding and influencing interactions involving patients, medications, pharmacists, other caregivers, and health care systems. Further, it evaluates the need for pharmacists to fulfill various roles, such as clinical practitioner, drug consultant, and drug distribution system manager, in order to meet the needs of diverse patients, providers, and organizations that utilize pharmacy services.


The pharmaceutical sciences division is housed in Rennebohm Hall, a seven-story, state-of-the-art facility that opened in 2001 and offers 120,000 assignable square feet. The pharmaceutical sciences division comprises floors 4 to 7 of  Rennebohm Hall and features 34 laboratories; affiliate Pharmaceutical Sciences graduate faculty are housed at other campus buildings . Located on the northwest edge of campus, Rennebohm Hall is in close proximity to the Health Sciences Learning Center (home of the UW School of Medicine and Public Health), UW Hospital and Clinics, the UW Institute for Clinical and Translational Research (ICTR), the Waisman Center, the Wisconsin Institutes for Medical Research (WIMR), the School of Veterinary Medicine, the School of Nursing, and Ebling Library for the Health Sciences. Many researchers affiliated with Wisconsin's Carbone Comprehensive Cancer Center work within these adjacent facilities.

Exceptional research facilities and equipment are highlighted by the school's Analytical Instrumentation Center (AIC), comprising mass spectrometry, nuclear magnetic resonance, spectroscopy, and spectrophotometry facilities. The AIC's high-tech instrumentation expedites the isolation and full structural elucidation of small molecules. These chemical entities can be subsequently evaluated via high throughput screening toward lead generation, or specifically utilized to prove novel biological phenomenon toward in-depth mechanistic study. The division offers centralized facilities for computer-aided drug and catalyst design, real-time PCR, gene array detectors, gas chromatographs, high-pressure liquid chromatographs, cell culture, ultra-centrifuges, scintallation counters, and animal care for a variety of species.

The school's Lenor Zeeh Pharmaceutical Experiment Station is a not-for-profit, self-sustaining center of expertise serving faculty researchers across the UW–Madison campus as well as private-sector drug product development. The station provides laboratory services related to compound physical/chemical characterization and basic formulation development to support preclinical development of promising drug candidates and other unmet pharmaceutical-related needs. Pharmaceutical sciences graduate students are eligible to participate in summer internships at the station. Pharmaceutical sciences also houses the university's Medicinal Chemistry Center (MCC), whose mission is to provide drug discovery expertise to the UW medical community and drive translational research at UW–Madison through designing and synthesizing novel small molecule based therapeutics.  Pharmaceutical sciences faculty direct the MCC.