The pharmacy master's program is a two-year, combined pharmacy administrative residency (an ASHP Accredited PGY-1 and PGY-2, hosted by the UW Health Department of Pharmacy) and academic degree program, which culminates in a MS 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. 

See the detailed program overview (including a description of rotations; program strengths; resident competency objectives; projects; presentation, teaching, and travel opportunities).

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.


Please consult the table below for key information about this degree program’s admissions requirements. The program may have more detailed admissions requirements, which can be found below the table or on the program’s website.

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

Fall Deadline April 1
Spring Deadline This program does not admit in the spring.
Summer Deadline This program does not admit in the summer.
GRE (Graduate Record Examinations) Not required.
English Proficiency Test Every applicant whose native language is not English, or whose undergraduate instruction was not exclusively in English, must provide an English proficiency test score earned within two years of the anticipated term of enrollment. Refer to the Graduate School: Minimum Requirements for Admission policy: https://policy.wisc.edu/library/UW-1241.
Other Test(s) (e.g., GMAT, MCAT) n/a
Letters of Recommendation Required 0

This is a combined MS degree and post-graduate residency training program.  Thus, two applications must be submitted. Applicants without a bachelor’s degree may still be considered for admittance with an earned Doctor of Pharmacy or other professional graduate degree.

  1. Pharmacy Online Residency Centralized Application Service (PhORCAS)
    1. Applications are due in early January; the exact date will be listed on the PhORCAS website.
    2. For additional details of this application process, see the area regarding "pharmacy administrative residency--applying to the program" on the UW Health website.
  2. UW-Madison Graduate School and MS Pharmacy
    1. See the above table for application due date.
    2. Only those selected for the residency program through the PhORCAS application may apply for this program.
    3. Applications are not reviewed at any other time during the year.
    4. Applicants to the MS program must be eligible for licensure as a pharmacist in Wisconsin due to the program's pharmacy residency requirements.

The program begins in mid-June and MS coursework begins in early September.


Pharmacy MS Stipend/Benefits

Students received an annual stipend while participating in this program. Stipends are updated annually and commensurate with other pharmacy residency positions.

Each resident receives 144 hours of PTO (paid time off) annually, inclusive of vacation, holiday, and sick time. As employees of the School of Pharmacy, residents receive health, dental, and vision 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. Funding is available for attendance at professional meetings.

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 restrictions related to funding.

Minimum Graduate School Requirements

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

Major Requirements

Mode of Instruction

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

Mode of Instruction Definitions

Accelerated: Accelerated programs are offered at a fast pace that condenses the time to completion. Students typically take enough credits aimed at completing the program in a year or two.

Evening/Weekend: ​Courses meet on the UW–Madison campus only in evenings and/or on weekends to accommodate typical business schedules.  Students have the advantages of face-to-face courses with the flexibility to keep work and other life commitments.

Face-to-Face: Courses typically meet during weekdays on the UW-Madison Campus.

Hybrid: These programs combine face-to-face and online learning formats.  Contact the program for more specific information.

Online: These programs are offered 100% online.  Some programs may require an on-campus orientation or residency experience, but the courses will be facilitated in an online format.

Curricular Requirements

Minimum Credit Requirement 36 credits
Minimum Residence Credit Requirement 36 credits
Minimum Graduate Coursework Requirement 18 credits must be graduate-level coursework. Refer to the Graduate School: Minimum Graduate Coursework (50%) Requirement policy: https://policy.wisc.edu/library/UW-1244.
Overall Graduate GPA Requirement 3.00 GPA required.
Refer to the Graduate School: Grade Point Average (GPA) Requirement policy: https://policy.wisc.edu/library/UW-1203.
Other Grade Requirements Candidates may 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.
Language Requirements No additional language requirements.

Required Courses

Fall Semester (Year 1)
PHM PRAC 961 Graduate Seminar in Health-System Pharmacy1
PHM PRAC 999 Advanced Independent Study1
M H R 705 Human Resource Management3
I SY E 515 Engineering Management of Continuous Process Improvement3
Spring Semester (Year 1)
PHM PRAC 962 Graduate Seminar in Health-System Pharmacy1
PHM PRAC 999 Advanced Independent Study1
S&A PHM 999 Advanced Independent Study2
I SY E/​PSYCH  859 Special Topics in Human Factors Engineering (Consult with Director of Graduate Studies prior to enrollment)1-3
PHM PRAC 617 Health System Pharmacy Data Analysis and Informatics2
Fall Semester (Year 2)
PHM PRAC 961 Graduate Seminar in Health-System Pharmacy1
PHM PRAC 999 Advanced Independent Study2
ACCT I S 710 Managerial Accounting3
OTM 752 Project Management (OTM 753 can be taken in place of OTM 752 if schedule conflict exists.)3
Spring Semester (Year 2)
PHM PRAC 962 Graduate Seminar in Health-System Pharmacy1
PHM PRAC 999 Advanced Independent Study2
S&A PHM 716 Advanced Hospital Pharmacy Administration2
M H R 728 Bargaining, Negotiating and Dispute Settlement for Managers3
Total Credits36-38

Elective Courses

I SY E 520 Quality Assurance Systems3
I SY E 555 Human Performance and Accident Causation3
I SY E/​PSYCH  653 Organization and Job Design3
I SY E/​PSYCH  859 Special Topics in Human Factors Engineering (as approved by advisor)1-3
I SY E/​POP HLTH  875 Cost Effectiveness Analysis in Health and Healthcare3
M H R 628 Negotiations3
M H R 700 Leading People and Organizations3
M H R 704 Managing Behavior in Organizations3
M H R 706 Leading and Working in Teams1
M H R 722 Entrepreneurial Management3
M H R 728 Bargaining, Negotiating and Dispute Settlement for Managers3
OTM/​MARKETNG  421 Fundamentals of Supply Chain Management3
OTM/​MARKETNG  722 Logistics Management2-3
OTM 753 Healthcare Operations Management3
OTM 758 Managing Technological and Organizational Change3
POP HLTH 795 Principles of Population Health Sciences1-3
POP HLTH/​SOC  797 Introduction to Epidemiology3
POP HLTH/​ECON  848 Health Economics1-3

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

Prior Coursework

Graduate Credits Earned at Other Institutions

No coursework taken outside of UW–Madison may be used to fulfill course requirements in the MS degree.

Undergraduate Credits Earned at Other Institutions or UW-Madison

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

Credits Earned as a Professional Student at UW-Madison (Law, Medicine, Pharmacy, and Veterinary careers

Refer to the Graduate School: Transfer Credits for Prior Coursework policy.

Credits Earned as a University Special Student at UW–Madison

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


Refer to the Graduate School: Probation policy.

The UW Health Department of Pharmacy also has a disciplinary policy for its residents; contact the Department of Pharmacy for details.

Advisor / Committee

Students/residents are regularly reviewed by the UW Health Senior Director of Pharmacy, the HSPAL Residency Program Director, and program preceptors.

Credits Per Term Allowed

15 credits; students must maintain a minimum of 8 credits per semester.

Time Limits

Refer to the Graduate School: Time Limits policy.

Grievances and Appeals

These resources may be helpful in addressing your concerns:

Grievance Policy for Graduate Programs in the School of Pharmacy

Any student in a School of Pharmacy graduate program who feels that they have been treated unfairly by a faculty member, staff member, postdoc, or student has the right to have a complaint heard about the treatment and to receive a prompt hearing of the grievance, following these grievance procedures. Any student who discusses, inquires about, or participates in the grievance procedure may do so openly and shall not be subject to intimidation, discipline, or retaliation because of such activity. The person whom the complaint is directed against must be an employee of the School of Pharmacy. Any student or potential student may use these procedures unless the complaint is covered by other campus rules or contracts.


This policy does not apply to employment-related issues for Graduate Assistants in TA, PA, and/or RA appointments. Graduate Assistants will utilize the Graduate Assistantship Policies and Procedures (GAPP) grievance process to resolve employment-related issues.

Requirements for Programs

The School of Pharmacy requires that each director of graduate studies (DGS) serve as a grievance advisor for the school. The program must notify students of the grievance advisors, including posting the grievance advisor’s names in the program handbook. The student will be able to select the grievance advisor of the student’s choice and does not need to use the grievance advisor from the student’s program.

A grievance advisor may be approached for possible grievances of all types. They will spearhead the grievance response process described below for issues specific to the graduate program, including but not limited to academic standing, progress to degree, professional activities, appropriate advising, and a program’s community standards. They will ensure students are advised on reporting procedures for other types of possible grievances and are supported throughout the reporting process. Resources on identifying and reporting other issues have been compiled by the Graduate School.


  1. The student is advised to initiate a written record containing dates, times, persons, and description of activities, and to update this record while completing the procedures described below.
  2. If the student is comfortable doing so, efforts should be made to resolve complaints informally between individuals before pursuing a formal grievance. If students would like to seek guidance at this informal step, the student can contact the Assistant Dean of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, the DGS for the student’s program, or the UW Ombuds Office.
  3. Should a satisfactory resolution not be achieved AND the complaint does not involve an academic program, the procedure outlined in Step 6 below should be followed. Should a satisfactory resolution not be achieved in step 2, the student should contact an SOP grievance advisor of one’s choice to discuss the complaint. The grievance advisor should keep a record of contacts with regard to possible grievances. The first attempt is to help the student informally address the complaint prior to pursuing a formal grievance and should occur within 10 days of notifying the grievance advisor. The student is also encouraged to talk with their faculty advisor regarding concerns or difficulties.
  4. If the issue is not resolved to the student’s satisfaction, the student may submit a formal grievance to the grievance advisor in writing, within 60 calendar days from the date the grievant first became aware of, or should have become aware of with the exercise of reasonable diligence, the cause of the grievance. To the fullest extent possible, a grievance shall contain a clear and concise statement of the grievance and indicate the issue(s) involved including individuals, the relief sought, the date(s) the incident or violation took place, and any specific policy involved.
  5. On receipt of a written grievance, the following steps will occur. The final step must be completed within 30 working days from the date the formal written grievance was received. The program must store documentation of the grievance for seven years. Significant grievances that set a precedent may be stored indefinitely.  
    1. The grievance advisor will convene a SOP faculty committee with at least three members to facilitate the grievance following Steps b, c, and d. The grievance advisor assumes the role of coordinator. Any faculty member involved in the grievance or who feels that they cannot be impartial may not participate in the committee. Committee composition will include at least one member from outside the student’s home program.
    2. The faculty committee, through the grievance advisor, will obtain a written response from the person or persons toward whom the grievance is directed. The grievance advisor will inform this person that their response will be shared with the student filing the grievance.
    3. The grievance advisor will share the response with the student filing the grievance.
    4. The faculty committee will make a decision regarding the grievance. The committee’s review shall be fair, impartial, and timely. The grievance advisor will report on the action taken by the committee in writing to both the student and the person toward whom the grievance was directed.
  6. If either party (the student or the person or persons toward whom the grievance is directed) is unsatisfied with the decision of the program’s faculty committee, the party may file a written appeal to the SOP Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Education within 10 working days from the date of notification of the program’s faculty committee. The following steps will occur:
    1. The grievant will be notified in writing, within five business days of the written appeal, acknowledging receipt of the formal appeal and establishing a timeline for the review to be completed.
    2. The associate dean or their designee may request additional materials and/or arrange meetings with the grievant and/or others. If meetings occur, the associate dean or their designee will meet with both the grievant and the person or persons toward whom the grievance is directed.
    3. The associate dean or their designee will make a final decision within 20 working days of receipt of the committee’s recommendation.
    4. The SOP Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Education must store documentation of the grievance for seven years. Significant grievances that set a precedent may be stored indefinitely.  
  7. The student may file an appeal of the School of Pharmacy decision with the Graduate School.  See the Grievances and Appeals section of the Graduate School’s Academic Policies and Procedures.



Professional Development

Graduate School Resources

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

Program Resources

Professional development opportunities for residents/students include those in the following presentation, teaching, travel, and other categories:

Presentation Opportunities

  • Weekly resident seminars
  • Resident report presentations, educational presentations and in-services on clinical rotations
  • Team and staff meeting leadership
  • Leadership of monthly journal club discussions
  • Nursing and pharmacy student orientation to pharmacy services
  • Major projects are presented at the ASHP Midyear Clinical Meeting, Great Lakes Pharmacy Resident Conference, and Pharmacy Society of Wisconsin (PSW) Annual Meeting and Educational Conference

Teaching Opportunities

  • Clinical Instructor status at the University of Wisconsin School of Pharmacy
  • Lecturer and small group discussion leader for Drug Information class and participant in a Leadership Course led by our department within the UW School of Pharmacy
  • Preceptorship of 4th year students on clinical rotation at UWHC
  • Contribution to clinical faculty discussions with students
  • Optional teaching certificate program for residents at area hospitals

 Other Activities

  • Weekly resident lunch seminars with hospital administrators to discuss administrative topics
  • Patient and medication safety involvement
  • Participation on various patient care committees
  • Participation in resident community service projects
  • Opportunities to interact with residents in the pharmacy practice, community practice, ambulatory, critical care, infectious disease, medication systems and operations, oncology, transplant, and specialty pharmacy residency programs
  • Monthly coffees with the Senior Director of Pharmacy for UW Health


  • ASHP Midyear Clinical Meeting
  • Great Lakes Pharmacy Residents Conference
  • Pharmacy Administrative Residency Exchange
  • Site visits to other health systems and residency programs
  • ASHP Leadership Conference
  • Pharmacy Society of Wisconsin (PSW) Annual Meeting and Educational Conference

Learning Outcomes

  1. Demonstrates the ability to design, implement, evaluate, optimize, and manage the medication use process using technology, automation, workflow design, application, and optimal skill mix.
  2. Thoroughly understands the components of an integrated health system and the role of pharmacy across the continuum of care.
  3. Displays knowledge and expertise in the development and coordination of medication use policy to standardize practice, provide optimal patient care, and impact the financial performance of the organization.
  4. Demonstrates the ability to manage the supply chain, including inventory analysis, contract negotiation, purchasing, and drug shortage management.
  5. Comprehends medication safety principles to ensure safe medication practices.
  6. Effectively monitors the financial performance of the pharmacy department, including knowledge of budgeting concepts, reporting of variances, and revenue cycle optimization.
  7. Understands the principles of human resource management, including recruitment, interviewing, hiring, performance management, discipline, and effective day-to-day supervision.
  8. Demonstrates personal leadership qualities essential to operate effectively within a health system and advance the profession and practice of pharmacy.