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 UW-Madison 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. 
  • 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 in 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
  1. Information processing and provision: Retrieve, analyze, and interpret the professional and lay literatures and provide drug and health information (such as evidence-based drug information) to healthcare professionals and the public.
  2. Drug factors: Apply knowledge of the physical, chemical, pharmacologic, and formulation properties of drugs and relate how these properties influence drug parameters (such as kinetics, pharmacodynamics, stability, dosage form design, and treatment-related outcomes).\\nDifferentiate among the major therapeutic drug classes based on mechanisms of action, clinical use and adverse effects, contraindications, drug interactions, dosage forms, and dosing regimens.
  3. Patient factors: Collect, integrate and apply knowledge of a patient’s biochemistry, anatomy, physiology, genomics, culture, socio-behavioral characteristics, and pathophysiologic states to develop an individualized patient care plan using drug factors that will improve therapeutic outcomes, minimize drug reactions, reduce adverse events, and increase adherence.
  4. Drug kinetics: Design or modify dosage regimens using patient-specific or population pharmacokinetic data, plasma concentration-time profile of drugs, and factors that alter them.
  5. Product preparation: Compound parenteral and non-parenteral drug products using appropriate calculations, pharmaceutical components, and techniques. Demonstrate a commitment to patient safety by assuring total accuracy in calculation, preparation, labeling and dispensing of prescription and medication orders.
  6. Communication: Communicate effectively in oral and written forms with patients, caregivers, healthcare professionals, and others. Demonstrate empathy, listening skills, and altruism in interactions.
  7. Teamwork: Collaborate effectively with pharmacy colleagues, other healthcare professionals and patients and/or their caregivers.
  8. Behavioral principles: Apply social and behavioral principles and theories in the design, delivery, and evaluation of pharmaceutical care.
  9. Management principles: Use management principles to analyze and evaluate pharmacy operations and personnel, including optimizing physical and technological resources, to assure safe, efficient and effective management of medication distribution, control, and use systems.
  10. Practice evaluation: Apply patient- and population-specific data, quality assurance strategies, and evaluation to develop and implement practice-based drug use strategies and public health policies to assure that medication use systems minimize drug misadventuring, optimize patient outcomes, and address public health problems.
  11. Professional standards: Apply relevant legal, ethical, social, historical, economical, and professional principles to perform all professional activities.
  12. Health disparities: Identify causes of health disparities and incorporate principles of cultural awareness, sensitivity, and competence into plans to address these issues in practice.
  13. Public Health: Identify and address public health problems and promote health and wellness. Design individual and population-specific, evidence-based disease prevention and disease management programs (such as medication therapy management) and protocols based upon analysis of epidemiologic and pharmacoeconomic data, medication use criteria, medication use review, and risk reduction strategies.
  14. Professional awareness: Identify emerging health-related issues, products, and services and analyze their potential implications for: disease prevention and/or treatment services; management of human, physical, medical, information, and technological resources involved in providing patient care; and patient-specific and population-based therapeutic outcomes.
  15. Lifelong learning: Create and enhance a personal plan for continuing professional development to promote lifelong learning and ensure maintenance of professional competence.


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.


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 requires institutions that provide distance education to disclose information for programs leading to professional certification or licensure about whether each program meets state educational requirements for initial licensure or certification. Following is this disclosure information for this program:

The requirements of this program meet Certification/Licensure 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 in the following states:

Not appliable

The requirements of this program have not been determined if they meet Certification/Licensure in the following states:

American Samoa, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands 


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