UCSF School of Pharmacy ranked 1st in California, 2nd in nation

The School of Pharmacy at UC San Francisco has ranked second place nationally and first place in California in the 2024 U.S. News & World Report survey of best accredited pharmacy schools and programs. The rankings are based on peer assessments and are published every four years.

The latest ranking among the nation’s more than 140 schools of pharmacy validates the School’s shift toward a new Strategic Plan, developed in 2022 and 2023 by School leadership under the direction of Dean Kathy Giacomini, PhD, BSPharm. It also reflects the ongoing transformation of the School’s PharmD curriculum that began with the entering Class of 2018.

“Our curriculum challenges students to think scientifically and with the patient top of mind––a philosophy that stands out among pharmacy schools nationwide,” said Giacomini. “Our ever-evolving course of study prioritizes new combinations of instruction and experiential learning in a way that keeps pace with diverse and dynamic careers in pharmacy and beyond.”

Groundbreaking research excellence

In 2023, and for the 44th consecutive year, the School received more research funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) than any other pharmacy school in the country. School researchers netted $36,769,061 million to fuel their efforts spanning drug discovery, bioengineering, pharmacokinetics, clinical pharmacy, and more.

Recognizing UCSF’s research excellence, several faculty members from the School have been included in the Clarivate 2023 list of Highly Cited Researchers, underscoring the School’s commitment to fostering groundbreaking research that addresses critical issues in health care and biomedical sciences. Of all the world’s scientists and social scientists, Highly Cited Researchers are 1 in 1,000.

Empowerment through innovation

Based in the technology hub of San Francisco and the greater Bay Area, the School focuses on cultivating leaders and innovators in the health science careers of the future.

For example, a new Master of Science (MS) graduate degree program in the field of Artificial Intelligence and Computational Drug Discovery and Development (AICD3)––the first of its kind in the United States and the School’s first master’s program––will enable graduates to gain a competitive edge for some of the most desirable jobs in the biopharmaceutical industry and in academia. It is administered by the Department of Bioengineering and Therapeutic Sciences (BTS), a joint department of the UCSF Schools of Pharmacy and Medicine.

A new Center for Collaborative Innovation is designed to stimulate teamwork in teaching and research among basic, translational, clinical, and discovery sciences, serving as a nexus of cross-departmental collaborations. Also creating teams between scientists in diverse disciplines is the Quantitative Biosciences Institute (QBI), which has been driving forward the application of computation, mathematics, and statistics toward a deeper understanding of complex problems in biology. QBI has been building effective connections between the discovery research and clinical worlds since 2016, enabling novel therapies for disease.

“I’m incredibly proud of our exceptional community’s dedication to the School’s mission of expanding knowledge and improving the health of people everywhere,” said Giacomini. “We’re very excited to continue harnessing innovations in artificial intelligence to accelerate and integrate discovery and translational research. And we continue to broaden our existing strengths to deliver advanced specialized training.”

Expanded opportunities and partnerships

Against the backdrop of a constantly changing health care environment, the School offers dual- and joint-degree programs, as well as expanded rotation slots at Genentech and Pfizer. Partnerships with national and international organizations, including other academic and health institutions, governmental agencies, non-profit entities, professional organizations, and for-profit companies, enable unique opportunities that set the School apart as a world-class institution, and an important part of UCSF, the leading university exclusively focused on health.

“This highly interdisciplinary education highlights the latest developments in science and the latest innovations in practice, as students engage with renowned research and clinical faculty members,” said Giacomini. “By integrating new programs and focus areas, we continuously develop cutting-edge skills and research paths that support the school’s top-ranked reputation for cultivating compassionate, patient-centered pharmacists.”


School of Pharmacy, PharmD Degree Program

About the School: The UCSF School of Pharmacy aims to solve the most pressing health care problems and strives to ensure that each patient receives the safest, most effective treatments. Our discoveries seed the development of novel therapies, and our researchers consistently lead the nation in NIH funding. The School’s doctor of pharmacy (PharmD) degree program, with its unique emphasis on scientific thinking, prepares students to be critical thinkers and leaders in their field.