Our History

A rich history of excellence in education, care and research

Originally established in 1911 as a department of the School of Medicine at the University of Colorado at Boulder, the School of Pharmacy opened its doors with two students and one faculty member. The school became an independent college in 1913, the same year it awarded its first degree, and CU Pharmacy became a school in 1957. The school held its first classes at the former Health Sciences Center campus in 1992.

In 2008, the school moved to the CU Anschutz Medical Campus, a comprehensive health center where teaching, research and health care combine.

Embracing diversity

For more than a century, the school has been breaking barriers, embracing diversity and making groundbreaking discoveries.

Here a just a few important milestones:

  • In 2008, CU Pharmacy alumna and Navy Capt. Katherine “Kay” Keating was inducted into the Colorado Women’s Hall of Fame. She actively served in three wars, starting with World War II, and was the first woman to rise from Seaman Recruit to Captain.
  • In 1953, the school’s first African-American student, Daniel Brockman, graduated.
  • In 1920, a class comprised only of women graduated.

Leading the way in pharmacy education

Ranked in the top 15 percent of pharmacy schools in the U.S., the school has a reputation for preparing students for high levels of success. In addition to traditional on-campus pharmacy education, CU Pharmacy has also been the global leader in online pharmacy education for more than 20 years.

  • In 2019, a team of three students won the American College of Clinical Pharmacy (ACCP) Clinical Pharmacy Challenge.
  • In 2016, two students beat students at 130 other schools of pharmacy to win the American Society of Health System Pharmacists (ASHP) Clinical Skills Competition.
  • In 2014, the school’s International-Trained PharmD became the first and only Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE)-accredited PharmD pathway with an international focus.

Home of innovators

In 1961, the school achieved a milestone by growing from one faculty member to nine. Over the next 50 years and beyond, the school continued to grow. As of 2020, the school has 109 faculty members who make groundbreaking discoveries and lead the way in clinical care.

  • In 2019, Professor Sunny Linnebur became the first female pharmacist to serve as president of the American Geriatrics Society.
  • In 2016, CU Pharmacy researchers developed a lotion that prevents and repairs sun damage.
  • In 2014, Professor Joe Saseen was recognized by the American College of Clinical Pharmacy as Educator of the Year.

The Skaggs legacy

At the school’s home on the CU Anschutz Medical Campus, innovation continues. Thanks to a $10 million gift from the Skaggs family and the ALSAM Foundation, the school built a 165,000 square foot building to house faculty offices, student services and research laboratories allowing the school to grow its pharmaceutical biotechnology program and create a drug-development center to focus on new medications.

Dedicated in 2011, the school was renamed the Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences in recognition of the family’s long-standing support. The Skaggs family is nationally recognized as pioneers in the retail drug and grocery business and as generous philanthropists.

The building is located at 12850 East Montview Boulevard, between the AMC Library and the Henderson Parking Structure on the north edge of the Anschutz Medical Campus.

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