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

The primary objective of the program is to develop health system pharmacy administrators who are trained and prepared to immediately assume administrative leadership positions within large, integrated health care delivery systems at the level of managers and assistant directors, and eventually as directors of pharmacy. These positions include oversight of pharmacy operations, clinical programs, medication safety, new business development, supply chain, etc. Residents complete clinical and management rotations in the first year of the program, and advanced administrative and elective rotations in the second year (chosen from a variety of settings, as desired by the resident). The curriculum's flexibility allows for specialization in administrative areas that best complement the student's career goals. Resident activities are varied in scope, depending on each individual's background and areas of interest. 

A detailed program overview (including a description of rotations; program strengths; resident competency objectives; projects; presentation, teaching, and travel opportunities) is available here.

The UW Health Department of Pharmacy is a leader in the profession, and a leader within the University of Wisconsin Hospital & Clinics in the areas of technology assessment, new business development, information technology, patient safety, resource utilization and regulatory compliance.  In 2006, this residency program proudly accepted the inaugural ASHP Foundation Pharmacy Residency Program Excellence Award for producing leaders across the profession.

Applicants should submit through the standard Pharmacy Online Residency Centralized Application Service (PhORCAS). For details on the requirements of this application process, including supplemental information required by PhORCAS, see the area regarding "pharmacy administrative residency--applying to the program" on the UW Health website. Included in these instructions are the procedures one must take to apply to the UW Graduate School.  Applications must be received by the end of the first Monday in January; the residency historically begins the third full week of June and M.S. coursework begins in early September. Applications are not reviewed at any other time during the year. Applicants to the M.S. program must be eligible for licensure as a pharmacist in Wisconsin due to the program's pharmacy residency requirements.

Graduate School Admissions

Graduate admissions is a two-step process between academic degree programs and the Graduate School. Applicants must meet requirements of both the program(s) and the Graduate School. Once you have researched the graduate program(s) you are interested in, apply online.  

Graduate School Resources

Resources to help you afford graduate study might include assistantships, fellowships, traineeships, and financial aid. Further funding information is available from the Graduate School. Be sure to check with your program for individual policies and processes related to funding.

Program Resources


First year of residency:  $47,500 (2017–8)
Second year of residency:  $47,500 (2017–18)

16 paid vacation days, 6 legal holidays, and 9 sick days. As employees of the School of Pharmacy, residents receive health insurance benefits and full access to the University of Wisconsin–Madison's recreational, educational, and cultural facilities. Tuition costs and university "segregated fees" are paid for by the UW Health Department of Pharmacy.

Minimum Graduate School Requirements

Review the Graduate School minimum academic progress and degree requirements, in addition to the program requirements listed below.

Major Requirements


Face to Face Evening/Weekend Online Hybrid Accelerated
Yes No No No No

Mode of Instruction Definitions


Minimum Credit Requirement 36 credits
Minimum Residence Credit Requirement 36 credits
Minimum Graduate Coursework Requirement Half of degree coursework (19 credits out of 36 total credits) must be completed graduate-level coursework; courses with the Graduate Level Coursework attribute are identified and searchable in the university's Course Guide (
Overall Graduate GPA Requirement 3.00 GPA required.
Other Grade Requirements Candidates will be dropped from the program if they receive more than 7 credits of grades at the BC level or lower. This applies to formal courses, seminars, and research credits.
Assessments and Examinations A master’s research project is required. Contact the School of Pharmacy graduate programs coordinator or the program for more information.
Language Requirements None.

Required COURSES

First Semester (FALL)

PHM PRAC 617 Health System Pharmacy Data Analysis and Informatics2
PHM PRAC 961 Graduate Seminar in Health-System Pharmacy1
PHM PRAC 999 Advanced Independent Study2
I SY E 515 Engineering Management of Continuous Process Improvement3
M H R 705 Human Resource Management3

Recommended 1st-semester FALL Electives

I SY E 555 Human Performance and Accident Causation3
I SY E/​PSYCH  653 Organization and Job Design3
POP HLTH 795 Principles of Population Health Sciences3
POP HLTH/​SOC  797 Introduction to Epidemiology3

Second Semester (SPRING)

PHM PRAC 699 Advanced Independent Study (Teaching: Drug Literature)3
PHM PRAC 962 Graduate Seminar in Health-System Pharmacy1
PHM PRAC 999 Advanced Independent Study1
OTM 753 Healthcare Operations Management3
Elective Credits (see SPRING electives course list below)3

Recommended 2nd-semester SPRING Electives

M H R 628 Negotiations3
M H R 700 Organizational Behavior3
M H R 704 Managing Behavior in Organizations3
M H R 722 Entrepreneurial Management3
M H R 728 Bargaining, Negotiating and Dispute Settlement for Managers3
POP HLTH/​ECON  848 Health Economics3

Third Semester (FALL)

PHM PRAC 961 Graduate Seminar in Health-System Pharmacy1
PHM PRAC 999 Advanced Independent Study2
OTM 758 Managing Technological and Organizational Change3
Elective Credits (see FALL electives course list below)3

Recommended 3rd-Semester FALL Electives

ACCT I S 710 Managerial Accounting3
I SY E 555 Human Performance and Accident Causation3
I SY E/​PSYCH  653 Organization and Job Design3
I SY E/​PSYCH  854 Special Topics in Organization Design (Human Factors in Health Care and Patient Safety)1-3
M H R 722 Entrepreneurial Management3
POP HLTH 795 Principles of Population Health Sciences3

Fourth Semester (SPRING)

PHM PRAC 962 Graduate Seminar in Health-System Pharmacy1
PHM PRAC 999 Advanced Independent Study2
POP HLTH 785 Health Systems, Management, and Policy3
S&A PHM 716 Advanced Hospital Pharmacy Administration2
Elective Credits (see SPRING electives course list below)2

Recommended 4th-Semester SPRING Electives

I SY E 520 Quality Assurance Systems3
I SY E/​MED PHYS  559 Patient Safety and Error Reduction in Healthcare2
M H R 628 Negotiations3
M H R 700 Organizational Behavior3
M H R 704 Managing Behavior in Organizations3
M H R 722 Entrepreneurial Management3
POP HLTH/​I SY E  875 Cost Effectiveness Analysis in Health and Healthcare3

Further, pharmacy residency requirements are presented at this link.

Graduate School Policies

The Graduate School’s Academic Policies and Procedures provide essential information regarding general university policies. Program authority to set degree policies beyond the minimum required by the Graduate School lies with the degree program faculty. Policies set by the academic degree program can be found below.

Major-Specific Policies

Graduate Program Handbook

A Graduate Program Handbook containing all of the program's policies and requirements is forthcoming from the program.

Prior Coursework

Graduate Work from Other Institutions

With program approval, students are allowed to count no more than 3 credits of graduate or Pharm.D. coursework from other institutions (so long as the credits are earned post-baccalaureate) toward the M.S. in pharmacy. The coursework should be presented to program administrators in the first semester of enrollment for evaluation. Coursework earned five or more years prior to admission to a master’s degree is not allowed to satisfy requirements.

UW–Madison Undergraduate

No coursework taken as a UW–Madison undergraduate may be used to fulfill course requirements in the M.S. degree.

UW–Madison University Special

No coursework taken as a UW–Madison University Special student may be used to fulfill course requirements in the M.S. degree.


The status of a student can be one of three options:

  1. Good standing (progressing according to standards; any funding guarantee remains in place).
  2. Probation (not progressing according to standards but permitted to enroll; loss of funding guarantee; specific plan with dates and deadlines in place in regard to removal of probationary status).
  3. Unsatisfactory progress (not progressing according to standards; not permitted to enroll, dismissal, leave of absence or change of advisor or program).

The UWHC Department of Pharmacy also has a disciplinary procedure/policy for its residents; contact the graduate programs coordinator or the UWHC Department of Pharmacy for details.


Students/residents are regularly reviewed by the UWHC Director of Pharmacy and the program’s other preceptors.


15 credits

Time Constraints

Master’s degree students who have been absent for five or more consecutive years lose all credits that they have earned before their absence. Further, that coursework may not count toward Graduate School credit requirements.


Find information about the program's accreditation here.

Graduate School Resources

Take advantage of the Graduate School's professional development resources to build skills, thrive academically, and launch your career. 

1. Thorough understanding of the organization and the components of an integrated health care system as they relate to the continuum of pharmaceutical care across the health system including acute care, ambulatory care, home care, and other settings.

2. Administration of pharmacy service networks as part of the integrated health system and the relationships of the components of the pharmacy regional health system (e.g.: inpatient care, retail and mail service pharmacy, managed care pharmacy programs, specialty pharmacy services, hospice care, home care and pharmacy consulting programs).

3. Thorough understanding of how to design, implement, manage and improve a safe and effective medication use system. This includes an understanding of information technology and other automated systems required to support comprehensive pharmacy services across the integrated health system.

4. Ability to perform technology assessment studies for new systems technology.

5. Knowledge and expertise in managing drug policy including an understanding of the importance of such a program in supporting evidence-based care throughout an integrated health system.

6. Role of pharmacy in conducting and supporting drug research as well as understanding principles of conducting research in administrative science and pharmacy practice.

7. Development of personal leadership qualities and business acumen essential to operate efficiently within a hospital and health system and advance the profession and practice of pharmacy.

8. Development of business knowledge and skills in the following areas: communication techniques, problem identification and solving, project management, decision making, productivity management, quality methodologies, organizational design and behavior, cost/benefit analysis, technology assessment and strategic planning.

9. Administrative skills in the principles of supply chain management, human resource management, financial management, pharmaceutical reimbursement, revenue cycle management, narcotic control, labor relations and pharmacy regulations and law.

10. Understanding the role of pharmacy in education and research as part of an academic medical center as well as the integration of education and research into practice. This involves the provision of evidence-based, patient centered medication therapy management with various members of the health care team in an interdisciplinary fashion and teaching of pharmacy students. In addition, residents will develop an understanding of the importance of public service and education in an academic medical center.

11. Ability to create, promote, and market the pharmacy's role within integrated health care systems thorough understanding of medication safety standards required to ensure a safe medication use system across the integrated health system.