Skaggs School of Pharmacy

Patient care is at the center of pharmacy practice. As the medication experts on the health care team, our students will be prepared to promote the health and well-being of individuals and communities.  Our curriculum supports interprofessional education and focuses on the development of professional leaders engaged in service.

The Skaggs School of Pharmacy was established in 1907 at Montana State College, was transferred to the University of Montana in 1913, and resides in the College of Health Professions and Biomedical Sciences. The Skaggs School of Pharmacy consists of two departments, Pharmacy Practice and Biomedical and Pharmaceutical Sciences, and is a member of the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy. The entry-level doctor of pharmacy program is fully accredited by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education, 135 S. LaSalle Street, Suite 4100, Chicago IL 60603-4810, telephone (312) 664-3575, (800) 533-3606; FAX (312) 664-4652; Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education website (

The curriculum offered by the Skaggs School of Pharmacy consists of a six-year program leading to the entry-level Pharm.D. degree. The first two years, or pre-professional portion of the curriculum, are spent in studies of the basic biological and physical sciences, and in course work necessary to satisfy the University general education requirements. During the first three years of the professional program, students devote their time to the study of the biomedical and pharmaceutical sciences and pharmacy practice. Areas of study include biochemistry, microbiology, medicinal chemistry, pharmaceutics, pharmacology, social and administrative pharmacy, and therapeutics. The final professional year is entirely experiential and designed to fully prepare students to enter the profession as pharmacist patient care providers.

A program of selected electives allows the student to obtain further educational experience in specialized areas. Students in the professional program may choose elective courses in community pharmacy practice, management, research and teaching, hospital and institutional pharmacy practice, and a variety of therapeutic-based topics.

In addition to their formal educational program, to become registered pharmacists, students must complete practical experience under the direction of registered pharmacists and pass the NAPLEX and MPJE exams administered by the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy.

Career opportunities exist in the fields of community pharmacy, ambulatory care pharmacy, hospital and other institutional pharmacy, federal or state government service, public health agencies, and with the pharmaceutical industry. Those with advanced degrees or residency training are in demand for research positions and in pharmaceutical education.

High School Preparation: In addition to the general University admission requirements, algebra, trigonometry, biology, chemistry, physics and a course in computers are recommended.

Pre-pharmacy Program:  The pre-pharmacy curriculum, which requires a minimum of two years of full-time study, may be taken at any accredited college or university. Students at the University of Montana-Missoula may enter the pre-pharmacy program during any semester. It is recommended that students considering pharmacy as a major declare a pre-pharmacy major as early as possible in order to receive appropriate advising. Upon designating pre-pharmacy as a major, students will be assigned an advisor within the pharmacy program.

Professional Pharmacy Program:  Students must apply for admission to the professional program. Class size in the professional pharmacy program is restricted and admission to the program is competitive. For information on program requirements and the application procedure, refer to Prospective Students on the pharmacy program website(

Department of Pharmacy Practice

Vincent J. Colucci, Chair

The Department of Pharmacy Practice provides academic course work for the Doctor of Pharmacy degree conducts research in the broad area of health care, and provides service to the profession of pharmacy and other health care disciplines.

Department of Biomedical and Pharmaceutical Sciences

Elizabeth A. Putnam, Chair

The Department of Biomedical and Pharmaceutical Sciences offers a curriculum in support of the Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D.) degree and graduate programs in the biomedical and pharmaceutical sciences. Degree programs include the M.S. in

  • Neuroscience,
  • Pharmaceutical Sciences and Drug Design
  • Toxicology and
  • Medical Chemistry;

and the Ph.D. in

  • Neuroscience,
  • Pharmaceutical Sciences and Drug Design,
  • Toxicology, and
  • Medical Chemistry.

These programs provide education and training in pharmacology, toxicology, neurobiology, neurochemistry, medicinal chemistry, and molecular genetics. Program graduates are well prepared for careers in academia, government and industry.