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About the College

History of the College of Pharmacy

Founded in 1859 as a private institution, the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) College of Pharmacy joined the University of Illinois system in 1896. Today, it is one of 15 Colleges on the Chicago campus, which stands as one of 88 leading research universities in the nation and one of only four universities with a full complement of six health science colleges.

The College was founded by a group of prominent Chicago druggists with a desire to improve the profession and promote competent and ethical practice. They
formed a society in downtown Chicago to offer a more formal means of training to supplement apprenticeship.

The 140-year college history is chronicled here within a framework of change--in governance, location and educational program, taking into account significant
external influences. Our institution has had four different names, a professional educational program that evolved through five major degree changes, and multiple
locations (permanent and temporary) in downtown Chicago and on the West Side Medical Center.

While founded as a private institution, the administration worked successfully to affiliate with the state landgrant institution in the 1890s. The complex of health science programs and health care at the Medical Center predated the University of Illinois at Chicago (circa 1965), formerly known as Circle Campus. Campus consolidation in the early eighties changed our name to UIC when the medical center became West Campus and Circle the East Campus of the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Strategically located in the Illinois Medical District - the world's largest concentration of advanced health care facilities - the UIC College of Pharmacy serves a racially and ethnically diverse student body of 614 students who are pursuing PharmD and graduate degrees. Pharmacy faculty and staff operate and manage pharmacy services at the UIC Hospital, providing comprehensive inpatient clinical pharmacy care, as well as ambulatory care services in the Pharmaceutical Care Center facility.

UIC College of Pharmacy is fourth among the nation's colleges of pharmacy in total National Institutes of Health funding, and it supports international collaborations with more than 20 countries. Its specialized research units include: Centers for Dietary Supplements Research on Botanicals, Pharmaceutical Biotechnology, Drug Information and Medication Use Outcomes; a Clinical Research Laboratory; an Institute for Tuberculosis Research; the Natural Products Alert; and a Program for Collaborative Research in Pharmaceutical Sciences. The College also houses the World Health Organization Center for Traditional Medicine.


1859 - Founding of the College
1871 - The Early Years
1884 - State Street Location
1896 - Affiliation with University of Illinois
1915 - Move to West Side Medical Center
1932 - Bachelor of Science Degree
1954 - Present Location
1984 - Doctor of Pharmacy Curriculum
1986 - Nontraditional PharmD
1988 - Graduation of PharmD Charter Class
1997 - PharmD curriculum revision
1999 - One hundred forty year anniversary
2009 - One hundred fifty year anniversary

Founding of the College


  • Chartered as a private institution in September 1859
  • Name: Chicago College of Pharmacy
  • Location: No permanent location--courses were offered at the sites of the professor's affiliations or in rented halls in downtown Chicago
  • Curriculum: 4 year apprenticeship + 20 weeks of evening lectures
  • Diploma: Graduate in Pharmacy (PhG)

The Early Years


  • The Great Chicago Fire


  • The College reopened in the rebuilt Rice?s Building on Dearborn between Washington and Randolph


  • Illinois Board of Pharmacy was established
  • First Pharmacy Practice law was enacted
  • After 1880 only Graduates in Pharmacy (PhG) could qualify for registration as pharmacists in Illinois


  • New location at 465-67 State Street


  • Two year course leading to Graduate in Pharmacy (PhG)
  • Three year course leading to Pharmaceutical Chemist (PhC)

Affiliation with the University of Illinois


  • Affiliation with the University of Illinois, the state landgrant institution
  • Special legislation required--state pharmacy professional association was instrumental in lobbying
  • Name changed to: "The University of Illinois School of Pharmacy"
  • "School" designation rather than "College" because program did not meet baccalaureate requirements of the university
  • Located on State St. in downtown Chicago until 1904


  • Move to Northwest corner of Michigan and Twelfth St.

Move from Downtown to West Side Medical Center


  • To increase prestige of the school, faculty wanted to locate at the medical center with the Colleges of Medicine and Dentistry
  • University of Illinois purchase and renovation of two buildings at 701-707 S. Wood St. to house the School of Pharmacy


  • The two year Graduate in Pharmacy course (PhG) was discontinued.
  • The three year Pharmaceutical Chemist (PhC) was introduced as the only degree program.

Recognition as a degree-granting academic unit of the University


  • Name change--"University of Illinois College of Pharmacy"
  • Program change--Bachelor of Science degree
  • Four year course: One year of college education + 3 year professional program


  • New location at 808 S. Wood with Colleges of Medicine and Dentistry in the same building


  • Introduced Graduate Study in Med Chem (MS & PhD)


  • Influence of WWII
  • Four year professional curriculum introduced
  • Quarter system
  • Accelerated three year baccalaureate

Moved to present location:
UIC West Campus at 833 South Wood St. in the Illinois Medical District


  • The College of Pharmacy moved into a newly constructed 6 story building.
  • Our name at this time: University of Illinois College of Pharmacy.

1960's & 1970's


  • 5 YR. Bachelor of Science degree
  • Five year course: One year of college education + 4 year professional program


  • New building addition provided auditorium, laboratory, classroom & office space
  • Clinical pharmacy introduced into pharmacy course sequence


  • Specialization tracks introduced

1980's: Doctor of Pharmacy Curriculum


  • College celebrates 125 year anniversary
  • Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) degree introduced as the only professional degree awarded
  • Curriculum change to six year program
  • 2 years pre-pharmacy + 4 year professional program


  • Continuation Curriculum Option nontraditional PharmD pathway introduced for practicing pharmacists


  • Graduation of the Doctor of Pharmacy Charter Class

Today: Planning for our future


  • College-wide Strategic Planning


  • College implemented revised PharmD curriculum (3-year phase-in beginning with Class of 2001)


  • Tuition increase to provide new program revenue to support clinical education and educational technology enhancements
  • One of four UIC units to offer degree courses online


  • Implement revised nontraditional PharmD pathway (Continuation Curriculum Option) curriculum--over 300 alumni from this pathway

Tomorrow: Beyond 2000


  • College will celebrate 150-year anniversary