The UCSF School of Pharmacy’s education agenda includes graduate and postdoctoral degree programs in pharmacy and science for students who have the potential to excel in their respective fields. In addition, short courses prepare leaders in industry, regulatory agencies, academia, and health care to lead in medical product development and to apply advanced knowledge of pharmacokinetics.

Degree programs

PharmD program and combined degree programs

PharmD Degree Program

The UCSF doctor of pharmacy (PharmD) degree curriculum is a science-based, integrated, experiential course of study that prepares ambitious minds for diverse and dynamic careers in pharmacy and beyond.

Students are at the center of their own learning in this curriculum, as they question the status quo, identify and solve problems, and explore the latest developments in science and the latest innovations in practice with renowned research and clinical faculty members. Ultimately, the curriculum prepares students to lead in a constantly changing health care environment while developing into skilled, compassionate, patient-centered pharmacists.

Faculty members in the three School of Pharmacy departments develop and deliver the PharmD degree program, which is administered by the Dean’s Office. Faculty members outside the School also teach in the program.

UCSF PharmD students are an important part of the entire body of health professions students at UCSF, along with those studying dentistry, medicine, nursing, and physical therapy.

The School also offers combined degree programs in association with the PharmD.

  • PharmD/MSCR - The Training in Clinical Research (TICR) program offers students in our PharmD program the opportunity to earn a master of science in clinical research (MSCR) degree.
  • PharmD to PhD career path - There is a growing need for clinical scientists in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries to design and carry out clinical studies. UCSF is one of only a few universities in a position to train top-flight PharmD/PhD scientists.

Program leadership

  • Vice Dean: Sharon L. Youmans, PharmD, MPH
    • Experiential Programs Director: Valerie Clinard, PharmD
    • Regional Program Directors:
      • Fresno: Samantha Valle-Oseguera, PharmD
      • Greater Sacramento: Tiffany Pon, PharmD
      • Southern California: Yvette Hellier, PharmD
      • North Bay: Kirsten Balano, PharmD
      • San Francisco Bay Area: Tram Cat, PharmD

Master of translational medicine degree program

The School codirects the Master of Translational Medicine (MTM) degree program, designed to train students to apply translational research and engineering approaches to solve fundamental problems in health care delivery. The program links the Department of Bioengineering and Therapeutic Sciences at UCSF with the Department of Bioengineering at UC Berkeley. A department faculty member codirects this program.

PhD degree programs

The School of Pharmacy administers five PhD degree programs, all of which promote an interdisciplinary approach to science and education. The programs are delivered by faculty members in the School of Pharmacy and the School of Medicine. All are offered by the Graduate Division.

  1. PhD in Bioengineering (BioE)
    Interim Program Director: Tejal Desai, PhD; Program Codirector: Duan Xu, PhD
  2. PhD in Biological and Medical Informatics (Bioinformatics pathway) (BI)
    Director: Ryan Hernandez, PhD
  3. PhD in Biophysics (BP)
    Director: Tanja Kortemme, PhD
    Associate Director: James Fraser, PhD
  4. PhD in Chemistry and Chemical Biology (CCB)
    Director: Jason Gestwicki, PhD
    Associate Director: Danica Galonić Fujimori, PhD
  5. PhD in Pharmaceutical Sciences and Pharmacogenomics (PSPG)
    Codirector: Su Guo, PhD
    Codirector: Rada Savic, PhD

See all: Graduate Division Programs

The five PhD degree programs administered by the School sit under the broader umbrella of the Quantitative Biosciences Consortium (QBC).

Postdoctoral programs

Pharmacy residency program

  • Director: Mandy Brown, PharmD, BCPS, BCCCP

The Pharmacy Residency Program offers first-year general practice and second-year specialty residencies, administered by the UCSF Health Pharmacy Enterprise in partnership with Department of Clinical Pharmacy faculty.

Postdoctoral scholars, including fellows

Postdoctoral scholars add to the intellectual rigor of the School’s three departments while furthering their own research.

The departments welcome inquiries from postdoctoral research fellows who have received fellowship funding for postdoctoral study by an extramural agency.

Faculty members usually prefer to receive directly from respected research colleagues the names of prospective postdoctoral scholars. See Office for Postdoctoral Scholars.

Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics (CPT) Postdoctoral Training Program

  • Codirectors: Leslie Floren, PharmD, MA, DABCP, and Esteban G. Burchard, MD, MPH

The goal of the Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics (CPT) Postdoctoral Training Program is to develop clinical scientists who will be experts in clinical pharmacology research. The program trains PharmD, MD, and PhD scholars in laboratory and clinical investigations focused on therapeutics.

Supported by the National Institutes of Health, this training program is a cornerstone for the development of future clinical and translational scientists.

PrOPEPS/Biogen Pharmacoeconomic Fellowship

  • Contact: Leslie Wilson, PhD

The Program for Outcomes, Pharmaceutical Economics, and Policy Studies (PrOPEPS) aims to meet the needs of patients, caregivers, health care systems, and industry to determine the best use of pharmaceutical care resources in the management of disease in the current health care environment of scarce resources. The program is research- and teaching-focused and concentrates both on theoretically based economics research and health care system-based clinical outcomes research. Economic research impacting health policy, new technology, new payment systems, and outcomes of clinical practice are major goals of the research program.

UCSF-Genentech Clinical Development Fellowship Program

  • Contacts: Leslie Floren, PharmD, MA, DABCP and Jennifer Cocohoba, PharmD

The UCSF-Genentech Clinical Development Fellowship Program partners two top leaders in academic research and the biotechnology industry to provide an immersive, innovative, mentored, two-year experience combining academic clinical investigation and pharmaceutical industry training for PharmDs in early postdoctoral years. The objective of this program is to provide training in proper conduct of clinical trials, safety surveillance and risk management, methodologies, and exposure to scientific and ethical issues in research and development.

Postdoctoral Fellowship in Regulatory Science

  • Educational Program Director: Natalia Khuri, PhD, MBA

The Postdoctoral Fellowship in Regulatory Science offered by the UCSF-Stanford Center of Excellence in Regulatory Science and Innovation (CERSI) is an experiential program that provides our most outstanding postdocs with unique immersion experiences in regulatory science research.

Career-development courses

The School shares its expertise nationally and internationally through the following courses, offered to professionals in industry, regulatory agencies, academia, and health care.

Medical product development

American Course on Drug Development and Regulatory Sciences (ACDRS)

  • Executive Board Members: Kathy Giacomini, PhD

This course provides education and training in the field of medical product development at an advanced level. It provides an opportunity to gain in-depth knowledge while building an international network. See American Course on Drug Development and Regulatory Sciences.


Pharmacokinetics for Pharmaceutical Scientists (PK Course)

  • Directors: Leslie Benet, PhD, and Robert Upton, PhD

This course covers the basic principles of pharmacokinetics with emphasis on physiologic conceptualization and problem solving. Course content aims to greatly enhance pharmacokinetic knowledge and to integrate pharmacokinetic principles and concepts into everyday practice. See Pharmacokinetics for Pharmaceutical Scientists.

Tobacco cessation

Rx for Change: Clinician-assisted tobacco cessation

  • Contact: Robin Corelli, PharmD

A comprehensive tobacco cessation training program that equips health professional students and practicing clinicians, of all disciplines, with evidence-based knowledge and skills for assisting patients with quitting. See Rx for Change.

Interdisciplinary approach

PhD education is a highly interdisciplinary endeavor at UCSF—a natural outgrowth of UCSF’s hallmark interdisciplinary approach to research.

The education of health professional students is becoming increasingly interdisciplinary as issues of health care cost, quality, access, and disparities in the United States call for dramatic changes in how care is delivered.