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University of Pittsburgh    
2016-2017 Graduate & Professional Studies Catalog 
  Jul 14, 2024
2016-2017 Graduate & Professional Studies Catalog [Archived Catalog]

School of Pharmacy

 Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) Program
 PhD and MS Programs

The School of Pharmacy has been developing leaders who have been driving the future of pharmacy for over 135 years.  We investigate, discover, and create ways to improve patient health and, through partnerships, change practice and improve efficiency of care.  Pitt Pharmacy ranks in the top ten in NIH funded research and in US News and World Report among schools of pharmacy.  The School of Pharmacy leads the way in education, personalizing education and getting students to expert faster. Chartered in 1878, the School of Pharmacy is among the oldest pharmacy schools in the country.

Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) Program

The professional curriculum is configured in a course of study requiring two years (62 credits) of pre-professional study followed by four years of professional courses. The four-year professional curriculum emphasizes problem solving and critical thinking, blending classroom and laboratory learning with experiential learning practice. The required component of experiential learning is designed to facilitate progress from initial stages of making meaningful connections with patients to caring for complex patients with acute and chronic diseases. Experiences include patient care in communities, in hospitals, and during transitions of care. This experiential education begins in the first weeks of your P1 year.

Through our commitment to personalizing education, PittPharmacy inspires students to use their unique interests and talents to improve the lives of people through the safe, effective, and responsible use of medications and other interventions.

The PharmD program prepares students to be practitioners who advance the profession by fostering innovation, leadership, interprofessional collaboration, civic engagement, advocacy, life-long learning, and a professional attitude of inclusion.

Contact Information

School of Pharmacy
904 Salk Hall
Admissions: 412-383-9000
Fax: 412-383-9996


The School of Pharmacy admits students to its programs under one of two statuses-guarantee or open. Those two admission statuses are detailed below:

Pharmacy Guarantee Freshman Admission

All students should first submit an application to the University of Pittsburgh, Office of Admissions and Financial Aid. The School offers a guaranteed acceptance to a limited number of high school seniors who enroll at one of the University of Pittsburgh campuses. The number of guaranteed offers is limited and offered on a rolling basis. Students who have demonstrated academic success in high school, score 1360 or higher on the SAT I (Math and Critical Reading sections), with a minimum of 690 in the Math section, and specify Pharmacy on the application will be offered the guaranteed admission, if available.

Students who receive the guaranteed admission are expected to perform well in their pre-professional courses regardless of SAT I scores. In order to secure a place in the PharmD Program, students must earn:

  • a letter grade of a C or better in all pre-professional courses with no repeat of pre-professional courses
  • a 3.25 or greater overall GPA in pre-professional courses
  • a 3.25 or greater GPA in the required Math and Science courses
  • Note: Math and Science required courses must be taken at the University of Pittsburgh (AP credits are acceptable)

To exercise the guaranteed admission, all applicants, must:

  • Submit the Pharmacy College Admissions Test (PCAT) scores
  • Submit a completed PharmCAS application and fee
  • Submit a completed Supplemental Application and fee
  • Participate in a satisfactory interview prior to the School of Pharmacy admission
  • Students who meet these performance criteria will be admitted into the PharmD Program.

Open Admission

All other students admitted to the program through open admission compete for remaining spaces in the class. The requirements to be considered a competitive applicant for the School of Pharmacy’s professional program are:

  • completion of the preprofessional requirements
  • science GPA of at least 3.0
  • submission of the Pharmacy College Admission Test (PCAT) scores
  • submit a completed PharmCAS application and fee
  • completion of a Supplemental Application and fee
  • selected applicants will be required to participate in a satisfactory interview (Interviews are by invitation only)

More information about PharmCAS and deadlines for application can be found at

Students applying for admission must apply through PharmCAS, the Web-based Pharmacy College Application Service.

Visit the School of Pharmacy Web site at

Application Procedures and Deadlines

All applicants must file an application through PharmCAS, a Web-based Pharmacy College Application Service, by December 1, 2016 and submit the Supplemental Application by January 5, 2017.

The application process, application deadlines, and other admission requirements are summarized on the School of Pharmacy Web site.

For all steps in the application process, it is your responsibility to follow all instructions and meet all deadlines. Failure to do so might result in your application being canceled. It is highly recommended that you apply early to ensure that all of your application materials are received by the December deadline.

Preparing to Complete the Application

We recommend that you review the application process completely before entering data or filling out forms so that you’re aware of all the information you need to gather and how much time the entire process will take. Visit the PharmCAS Web site at and review the “Before You Apply” tab. Then review the Checklist, PharmCAS Instructions, and the Applicant Code of Conduct links. Review the time line for the application process: Admissions Calendar

Complete Pre-professional Courses and Minimum Eligibility Requirements: Math & Science course requirements must be completed by the end of spring term of year of admission and all other courses must be completed before the fall term. NOTE:  Early Decision applicants must have all of the preprofessional required course work completed and letter grades recorded on official transcripts by the PharmCAS Early Decision deadline of September 9, 2016.

Register to take the PCAT (Pharmacy College Admission Test): Visit the PCAT web site for registration deadlines for test dates and register as early as possible since the test sites have a limited number of examinee seats for each exam date. Register to take the PCAT (recommended test dates include July and/or September, October/November) and have your scores sent to PharmCAS, code 104. Applications are not complete until PCAT scores are received. Only completed applications are eligible for review for an interview invitation. NOTE: January PCAT scores will not be received until after interviews are offered.

Completing the Application Process

The application process consists of 2 applications. Both applications are required.

PharmCAS (Pharmacy College Application Service): This is a service that enables you to generate one primary application that can be submitted to multiple PharmD degree programs. For the University of Pittsburgh School of Pharmacy the application must be electronically submitted on or before midnight Eastern Standard Time on December 1.

To eliminate any unforeseen problems, it is recommended that you submit your application early; i.e., November 1. This will ensure eligibility to update fall grades and if any issues arise, they can be investigated and resolved before the December deadline.

Supplemental Application: This is an online application that the University of Pittsburgh School of Pharmacy requires. The supplemental application must be submitted online by January 5. A supplemental application fee of $65.00 must be submitted to the School of Pharmacy via credit card, check or money order by January 5. Check or money order must be made payable to the University of Pittsburgh and mailed to:

University of Pittsburgh School of Pharmacy
Curran Center for Pharmacy Students
3501 Terrace Street
904 Salk Hall
Pittsburgh PA 15261

It is beneficial to submit an application early so that any problems or discrepancies can be resolved before the deadline. NOTE: Late supplemental applications are not accepted under any circumstances.

After electronically submitting the PharmCAS application and the Supplemental application and fee for the PharmD program, there are follow-up steps that applicants must address to be certain that all the required documents (such as transcripts to PharmCAS) have been received on time.

Tuition and Financial Aid

The University offers scholarships, grants-in-aid, tuition loans, and student employment for undergraduate students. Students should investigate with the University of Pittsburgh’s financial advisors their eligibility for federal and state programs by calling the Office of Admissions and Financial Aid at 412-624-PITT or e-mail

The University’s financial advisors are the best source of information about local grants or scholarships that go beyond federal and state programs. Students are encouraged to look outside of the health professions for additional support. Students may be able to compete successfully for economically or academically awarded scholarships from private groups and associations.

In addition, the School of Pharmacy has a number of general scholarships provided through the generosity of the school’s alumni and friends. These are described in detail on the school’s Web site at

Academic Year 2016-2017 Tuition Rates:

Tuition Per Academic Year $30,284 (in-state) $33,908 (out-of state)
 University and Professional Fees per year $1,514-$1,536

Academic and Professional Standards

Academic Integrity

School of Pharmacy students are responsible for upholding the standards of behavior outlined in the University’s Guidelines on Academic Integrity, the University’s policy on sexual harassment, and other policies related to student behavior.

Enrollment in the School of Pharmacy carries with it obligations of conduct within and outside of the classroom. Professional students are expected to have the highest standards of personal integrity and conduct themselves in a manner that is a credit to themselves, the school, and the profession.

Each year, students will be asked to sign a copy of the University of Pittsburgh School of Pharmacy Code of Conduct that reaffirms their commitment to ethical and professional behavior. Details of the Code are outlined on the school’s Web site.

Grading System

Doctor of Pharmacy students are subject to the provisions of the Guidelines and Regulations for the Promotion of Students in force at the time. All students will be given a copy of these guidelines and regulations upon entry into the program.

Calculation of grade point average (GPA) will include all required professional courses and approved electives taken while enrolled in the PharmD program. Cumulative GPA will be calculated at the end of each term. All PharmD students must maintain a cumulative GPA of 2.00. Students who fail to maintain a cumulative GPA of 2.00 or above will be placed on academic probation and given one opportunity to repeat selected courses in order to raise their cumulative GPA above 2.00. Students failing to increase their cumulative GPA above a 2.00 during this period of academic probation will be dismissed from the PharmD program. Term GPA will be calculated at the end of each term. Students with a term GPA under 2.00 will be placed on academic probation and must achieve a GPA of 2.00 or above during the following term. Students failing to achieve a term GPA of 2.00 or above during this period of academic probation will be dismissed from the PharmD program.

Immunization Policy

The School of Pharmacy requires proof of immunization against measles, mumps, rubella, varicella, hepatitis B, tetanus, diphtheria, and polio. In addition, all students are required to provide the results of a two-step tuberculin skin test prior to enrollment and each year thereafter. In order to ensure that students will be able to participate in experiential learning at pharmacy practice sites, students must complete all of the immunization requirements by two weeks prior to the start of classes. Affiliation agreements between the School and sites providing experiential rotations require that all students must comply with public health policies in effect for persons involved in patient care activities at those sites. Therefore, the School cannot place students in experiential learning sites without having documentation of the immunization history as outlined above.

Program Accreditation

University of Pittsburgh’s Doctor of Pharmacy Program is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education, 135 South LaSalle Street, Suite 4100, Chicago, IL  60603, 312/664-3575; FAX 312/664-4652, web site

PhD or MS in Pharmaceutical Sciences

The School of Pharmacy offers training at the graduate level to highly motivated individuals. Our mission is to train the next generation of leaders and decision makers seeking to improve the health of the community through outstanding basic and clinical research. Major strengths include highly accomplished, well funded research faculty, multidisciplinary training opportunities, and cutting edge technologies.

Training consists of required core courses, elective courses, journal clubs, research presentations, and an original faculty-advised research project leading to a final thesis or dissertation. Students may select to enroll in one of five Primary Tracks: medicinal chemistry, biochemical pharmacology, pharmaceutics, clinical pharmaceutical sciences, or health outcomes and policy research.

Contact Information

Lori Altenbaugh
Graduate Program Coordinator
University of Pittsburgh
School of Pharmacy
904 Salk Hall
Pittsburgh, PA 15261

Application Process

Applications must be submitted electronically. Application to our program requires a $75.00 fee which cannot be waived.

Applications for the fall term must be submitted no later than January 6. Applications are reviewed on a first-come, first-served basis so it is wise to apply as early as possible. No applications are accepted for spring term admission.

It is highly recommended that applicants to the PhD program have research experience. It is also recommended that students mention specific faculty in the Personal Statement.

Students applications are reviewed once the application has been completed. No preliminary assessments are made on individuals applying to the program until all application requirements are complete. The GRE is required in order to submit your application. Subject-specific tests are not required. GRE scores are good for five years; the ETS will not release GRE scores after 5 years from the date of the exam. We do not state a minimum GRE or GPA as we prefer to look at the entire representation of the applicant. The average GRE score for those students admitted for 2016 is 160 (85th percentile).

We require three references that MUST be submitted online. Written references are not accepted.

IMPORTANT: WE DO NOT ACCEPT ANY DOCUMENTS SENT VIA MAIL TO OUR DEPARTMENT. You will be notified if your application is reviewed and you are invited for an interview. At that time you will need to supply an official copy of your transcript.

International Students

For the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), a minimum result of 100 on the iBT (Internet-based test) is required.  For IELTS the minimum acceptable score is 7.0. You must submit GRE and TOEFL (or IELTS) scores to the University of Pittsburgh, institution code is 2927. You do not need a department code. TOEFL scores are good for two years; the ETS will not release TOEFL scores after 2 years from the date of the exam. If you have graduated from a U.S. institution OR if English is the official language of your country then proof of English proficiency is not required.

Financial Assistance and Tuition

Most students accepted to our PhD program are offered full tuition scholarship plus a teaching assistant stipend. Teaching assistant experience is not necessary as you will be trained upon acceptance into the program.

For the 2016-2017 academic year we granted scholarships and TA positions to eight new admissions from pool of approximately 100 applications. No financial assistance is available to MS students. For the MS degree the estimated costs for tuition, fees, REQUIRED health insurance, and living expenses are here (based on 2016-1017 tuition; subject to change):

Tuition $25,500 (in-state) $26,484 (out-of state)
Fees $830.00 (in-state and out of state)
Living Expences $16,000.00
Insurance $3,500.00 (student only)
Total/Year $42,912.00 (in-state) $44,294.00 (out-of-state)

All fees are the same for the PhD program for those students who are not offered a scholarship.

Length of Programs

The PhD Program requires a minimum of 72 credits. Most students complete the PhD degree within five years. The statute of limitations for completion of the PhD degree is ten years. (See Statute of Limitation/Leaves of Absence in the University catalog for more information.)

The MS (thesis-based) program requires a minimum of 30 credits. Most students complete the MS degree in two academic years. The statute of limitations for completing the MS degree is four consecutive calendar years from the first term of registration.

The Non-Thesis MS program requires a minimum of 34 credits and is usually completed within one calendar year (three semesters). The statute of limitations for completing the MS degree is four consecutive calendar years from the first term of registration.

Academic Standards

School of Pharmacy students are responsible for upholding the standards of behavior outlined in the University’s Guidelines on Academic Integrity,  the University’s policy on sexual harassment, and other policies related to student behavior.

MS Pharmacy Business Administration

The 12-month executive style Master of Science in Pharmacy Business Administration (MSPBA) program consists of 36 credits that build critical skills and expertise for pharmacy professionals seeking to substantially increase their business acumen and marketability.

Contact Information

Amy Giles
Program Coordinator
University of Pittsburgh
School of Pharmacy
724 Salk Hall
Pittsburgh, PA  15261

Application and Requirements

  • Two years of professional experience is recommended.
  • Candidates with a PharmD or BS in Pharmacy will receive preferential admission.
To apply to the program, you must complete the following requirements:
  • Completed Application Form (Application PDF)
  • Résumé or CV
  • One self-nomination letter describing:
  • Current job responsibilities and assignments
  • Finest achievements and greatest disappointments
  • Challenges met within current organization
  • Civic and community activities and any offices held
  • Reasons and motivations for entering the MSPBA program
  • Professional and personal goals and plans
  • Two letters of professional reference
  • College or university transcripts
  • Graduate school admission exam scores (recommended)
  • GMAT
  • TOEFL or the IELTS examination (for anyone who speaks English as a second language)
  • In-person interview with MSPBA program representatives.

Applicants will be contacted for scheduling of an on-site interview following receipt of complete packet of information

Tuition and Financial Aid


The investment for the University of Pittsburgh MSPBA program is $58,050, paid in equal parts of $19,350 per term.

Students traveling in from out of town are responsible for all travel expenses.

The MSPBA faculty will have a list of hotels and University pricing from which students can select and reserve rooms for the scheduled days of class.

Financial Aid

Federal Stafford loans are available to U.S. citizens for up to $20,500 per academic year. Refer to the University’s Office of Admissions and Financial Aid for information on how to apply. U.S. citizens who are funding the degree in full, in part, or whose employer reimburses only after the end of a term, may consider financing. Furthermore, students may also finance their costs through standard loans.

Tuition Covers
  • All books, cases, and simulations; meals during class sessions
  • Microsoft Windows and Program Bundle software packages
  • Access to all University of Pittsburgh student resources such as libraries, fitness facilities, and public transportation while on campus

School of Pharmacy Faculty

Dean Patricia D. Kroboth, PhD, (University of Pittsburgh)

Senior Associate Dean, Professor Randall B. Smith, PhD (University of Texas)

Associate Dean for Community Partnerships, Associate Professor Melissa A. McGivney, PharmD (University of Pittsburgh)

Associate Dean for Education, Professor Susan M. Meyer, PhD (Purdue University)

Associate Dean for Graduate and Postdoctoral Programs, Professor Samuel M. Poloyac, PhD (University of Kentucky)

Associate Dean For Business Innovation, Associate Professor Gordon J. Vanscory, MBA (University of Pittsburgh)

Associate Dean for Research Innovation, Professor Xiang-Qun Xie, MD, PhD (Second Military Medical University in Shanghai China;University of Connecticut)

Assistant Dean of Students, Professor Sharon E. Corey, PhD (West Virginia University)

Assistant Dean for Academic Affairs, Associate Professor Denise L. Howrie, PharmD (University of Cincinnati)

Chair of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Professor Barry Gold, PhD (University of Nebraska-Lincoln)

Chair of Pharmacy and Therapeutics, Associate Professor Amy L. Seybert, PharmD (University of Pittsburgh)

Assistant Professor Olufunmilola Abraham, PhD (University of Wisconsin-Madison)

Instructor Ameer Ali, PharmD (University of Pittsburgh)

Associate Professor Sherrie L. Aspinall, PharmD (Duquesne University)

Associate Professor Neal J. Benedict, PharmD (Duquesne University)

Assitant Professor Lucas A. Berenbrok, PharmD (University of Pittsburgh)

Associate Professor Jan H. Beumer, PhD (University of Utrecht, Netherlands)

Professor Kim C. Coley, PharmD (University of the Sciences in Philadelphia)

Assistant Professor Sharon E. Connor, PharmD (Creighton University)

Associate Professor James C. Coons, PharmD (University of Pittsburgh)

Associat Professor Colleen M. Culley, PharmD (Butler University)

Associate Professor Amy C. Donihi, PharmD (The State University of New York at Buffalo)

Associate Professor Scott R. Drab, PharmD (Duquesne University)

Assistant Professor Kerry M. Empey, PhD (University of Kentucky)

Assistant Professor Philip E. Empey, PhD (University of Kentucky)

Assistant Professor Christopher E. Ensor, PharmD (University of Rhode Island)

Associate Professor Tanya J. Fabian, PhD (University of Pittsburgh)

Assistant Professor Bonnie A. Falcione, PharmD (Duquesne University)

Assistant Professor Roberta M. Farrah, PharmD (University of Pittsburgh)

Assistant Professor Christian A. Fernandez, PhD (University of Iowa)

Assistant Professor Mary M. Folan, PhD (University of Pittsburgh)

Clinical Assistant Professor Carl Gainor, JD, PhD (University of Pittsburgh)

Professor Robert B. Gibbs, PhD (University of California, Irvine)

Associate Professor Sandy Kane Gill, PharmD (University of Toledo)

Instructor Lorin B. Grieve, PharmD (University of Pittsburgh)

Associate Professor Deanne L. Hall, PharmD (University of Pittsburgh)

Assistant Professor Inmaculada Hernandez, PhD (University of Pittsburgh)

Research Professor Donna Huryn, PhD (University of Pennsylvania)

Research Assistant Professor Prema C. Iyer, PhD (University of Mumbai, India)

Assistant Professor Heather Johnson, PharmD (University of Minnesota)

Research Associate Professor Paul A. Johnston, PhD (University of East Anglia, England)

Lecturer Stanton Jonas, MPH (University of Pittsburgh)

Assistant Professor Lauren Jonkman, PharmD (University of Pittsburgh)

Research Assistant Professor Galina P. Kirillova, PhD (Moscow State University)

Professor Levent Kirisci, PhD (University of Pittsburgh)

Assistant Professor Amanda S. Korenoski, PharmD (University of Pittsburgh)

Research Assistant Professor Jiang Li, MD, PhD (Hunan Medical School, China)

Professor Song Li, MD, PhD (Fourth Military Medical University, China)

Associate Professor Xiaochao Ma, PhD (Chinese Academy of Sciences, China)

Assistant Professor Lee A. McDermott, PhD (Brown University)

Research Assistant Professor Terrance F. McGuire, PhD (University of Pittsburgh)

Assistant Professor M. Beth Minnigh, PhD (University of Pittsburgh)

Associate Professor Thomas D. Nolin, PhD (University of Pittsburgh)

Assistant Professor Karen S. Pater, PharmD (University of Tennessee)

Associate Professor Brian A. Potoski, PharmD (University of Pittsburgh)

Associate Professor Janice L. Pringle, PhD (University of Pittsburgh)

Assistant Professor Jennifer A. Pruskowski, PharmD (Wilkes University)

Assistant Professor James J. Pschirer, PharmD (University of Arkansas)

Assistant Professor Bridget T. Reagan, MBA (University of Pittsburgh)

Research Assistant Professor Maureen D. Reynolds, PhD (University of Pittsburgh)

Professor Lisa C. Rohan, PhD (University of Pittsburgh)

Assistant Professor Shilpa Sant, PhD (Univeristy of Montreal, Canada)

Assistant Professor Vinayak Sant, PhD (University of Mambai, India)

Assistant Professor Christine M. Scelsci, PharmD (University of Pittsburgh)

Professor Paul L. Schiff, PhD (The Ohio State University)

Assistant Professor Kristine S. Schonder, PharmD (Duquesne University)

Associate Professor Michael A. Shullo, PharmD (University of Pittsburgh)

Professor Susan J. Skledar, MPH (University of Pittsburgh)

Associate Professor Pamela Smithburger, PharmD (University of Pittsburgh)

Assistant Professor James A. Stevenson, PharmD (University of Michigan)

Professor Dennis P. Swanson, MS (University of Southern California)

Professor Ralph E. Tarter, PhD (University of Oklahoma)

Assistant Professor Carolyn T. Thorpe, PhD (University of North Carolina)

Associate Professor Joshua M. Thorpe, PhD (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill)

Assistant Professor Lauren Trilli, PharmD (The Ohio State University)

Professor Michael M. Vanyukov, PhD (USSR Academy of Medical Sciences Institute of Medical Genetics)

Professor Raman Venkataramanan, PhD (University of British Columbia, Canada)

Assistant Professor Margaret Verrico, BS (University of Pittsburgh)

Assistant Professor LiRong Wang, PhD (University of Science and Technology of China)

Professor Wen Xie, MD, PhD (Peking University; University of Alabama at Birmingham)

Assistant Professor Da Yang, MD, PhD (Harbin Medical University, China)

Assistant Professor Peng Yang, PhD (Tsinghua University, Peking Union Medical College, China)

Professor Michael A. Zemaitis, PhD (Pennsylvania State University)

Program and Course Offerings

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