Doctor of Pharmacy

If you are interested in becoming a pharmacist, a Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) degree is needed. PharmD degrees do not require a bachelor's degree first, but you do need to complete a set of college prerequisite courses and a specific number of college credits to apply to the PharmD degree program.

Our four-year Doctor of Pharmacy program is designed to prepare students for a successful career in the ever-changing world of health care. Our graduates have gone on to become top pharmacists in every health care setting, leading researchers, and senior executives overseeing pharmacy services or business units.

  • If you are a current or prospective UWMadison undergraduate student interested in entering the PharmD program, visit our pre-pharmacy webpage for more information on resources and pre-pharmacy advising available to you. 
  • If you are a high school student or a first-semester college freshman interested in becoming a pharmacist, learn about our PharmD Early Assurance program and how you can get conditional admission to UW–Madison's PharmD program.
  • For prerequisite and admissions information for all other students, visit the PharmD admissions webpage.
  • Current PharmD students may access their student handbooks and current student resources on the PharmD Student webpage.
  • Interested in customizing your degree and career path? We have numerous concentrations, paths, and cross-disciplinary study opportunities so you can build a career path based on your interests. Learn more about our Scholars in Pharmacy Programs

Learning Outcomes

  1. Information processing and provision: Retrieve, analyze, and interpret the professional and lay literatures while navigating professional uncertainty and emerging technologies to provide evidence-based drug and health information to healthcare professionals and the public.
  2. Drug properties: Apply knowledge of the physical, chemical, pharmacologic, and formulation properties of drugs and influence on drug parameters (such as pharmacology, pharmacodynamics, stability, drug/dose delivery design). Differentiate among the therapeutic classes based on mechanisms of action, clinical use, adverse effects, contraindications, interactions, and dosage forms, and regimens.
  3. Patient-centered care: Use the pharmacist patient care process (PPCP) to employ personalized medicine and social, behavioral, and other evidence-based principles to design and deliver individualized patient-care plans that optimize safety, efficacy, and medication use to improve therapeutic outcomes.
  4. Drug kinetics: Design or modify treatment regimens, including dose, schedule, and duration, using patient-specific or population pharmacokinetic data, plasma concentration-time profile of drugs, and factors that alter them.
  5. Pharmaceutical calculations and product processing: Ensure accurate and safe sterile and non-sterile compounding, calculation, labeling, and dispensing of medications.
  6. Communication: Communicate with empathy and active listening, using a variety of formats and methods with stakeholders (e.g., patients, caregivers, healthcare professionals, and communities) in a manner that ensures clarity, professionalism, and cultural sensitivity, adapting to the needs of the individual or audience to foster trust and rapport.
  7. Collaboration: Collaborate effectively with individuals, groups, organizations, and communities both within and outside of healthcare and the pharmacy profession to advance shared goals by employing principles of person-centered care and teamwork (e.g. inclusive communication, shared leadership, self-awareness, appreciation for diverse perspectives, conflict management, advocacy skills).
  8. Leadership and management of pharmacy services: Use management, economic, social, behavioral, and leadership principles to design, deliver, and evaluate pharmacy services that are safe, efficient, accessible, equitable, and effective both clinically and fiscally.
  9. Advocacy: Apply relevant legal, ethical and professional principles to advocate for the needs of patients and the pharmacy profession.
  10. Health equity and inclusion: Identify root causes of health disparities and incorporate principles of cultural and structural humility to promote access, inclusion, and equitable health outcomes.
  11. Public and population health: Maintain and promote public health and wellness by advocating for, designing, and evaluating population-specific, evidence-based disease prevention and control programs, and medication management policies and protocols.
  12. Problem solving and innovation: Use creativity and critical thinking skills to recognize and address the evolving challenges in pharmacy practice including emerging health-related issues, products, and services.
  13. Professionalism: Examine, reflect on, and exhibit attitudes and behaviors essential for self-awareness, personal growth and wellness, and professional identity formation in order to build and maintain trust with patients, colleagues, and other healthcare professionals, and society.


NAPLEX Licensure

The Doctor of Pharmacy program prepares students to take the North American Pharmacist Licensure Examination (NAPLEX) after graduation. This licensure exam evaluates general practice knowledge of new pharmacists.

MPJE Examination

A practicing pharmacist must also be assessed in the laws and regulations of each state in which they practice by taking the Multistate Pharmacy Jurisprudence Examination (MPJE). Graduates from the PharmD program are also prepared to take this exam. 

For more information on the NAPLEX or MPJE exams, please visit the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy website.

Professional Certification/Licensure Disclosure (NC-SARA)

The United States Department of Education (via 34 CFR Part 668) requires institutions that provide distance education to disclose information for programs leading to professional certification or licensure. The expectation is that institutions will determine whether each applicable academic program meets state professional licensure requirements and provide a general disclosure of such on an official university website.

Professional licensure requirements vary from state-to-state and can change year-to-year; they are established in a variety of state statutes, regulations, rules, and policies; and they center on a range of educational requirements, including degree type, specialized accreditation, total credits, specific courses, and examinations.  

UW-Madison has taken reasonable efforts to determine whether this program satisfies the educational requirements for certification/licensure in states where prospective and enrolled students are located and is disclosing that information as follows.

Disclaimer: This information is based on the most recent annual review of state agency certification/licensure data and is subject to change. All students are strongly encouraged to consult with the individual/office listed in the Contact Information box on this page and with the applicable state agency for specific information.

The requirements of this program meet certification/licensure requirements in the following states:

Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming, District of Columbia

The requirements of this program do not meet certification/licensure requirements in the following states:

Not applicable

Updated: 1 June 2024


Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education

Accreditation Status: Accredited. Next Accreditation Review: 2028.


Faculty belong to four divisions within the School of Pharmacy. See each division page for a list of the faculty and each faculty members' research and specializations.

Pharmacy Practice and Translational Research Division

Pharmaceutical Sciences Division

Social and Administrative Sciences Division

Division of Pharmacy Professional Development