We are committed to excellence and innovation in professional, graduate and post-graduate education; scholarship and research; patient-centered care; public health advocacy; and societal leadership and engagement.

Together, our innovation, discoveries and engagement with our communities improve the health and well-being of society.

In fulfilling our mission, the faculty, staff, and students of the University of Colorado Skaggs School of Pharmacy & Pharmaceutical Sciences are committed to the following values as an institution and in our actions as individuals:

  • Accountability
  • Collaboration
  • Diversity & Inclusiveness
  • Entrepreneurism
  • Integrity
  • Professionalism
  • Respect
  • Leadership
  • Discovery & innovation
  • Social responsibility

At the CU Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, we're proud of our programs. We are a top tier school (ranked #20 out of 143 pharmacy schools in the country). Our faculty are invited to write the textbook that all students learn from, our students consistently outperform other schools by winning national competitions and surpassing national licensing pass rates and faculty are lauded nationally with education and clinical awards.

Nationwide school rankings, licensing pass rates, employment and residency outcomes, and on-time graduation rates show that our school is exceptional.

  • CU Pharmacy is ranked in the top 15 percent of pharmacy schools in the country.
  • CU Pharmacy is recognized as a #13 NIH-funded research school.
  • The pass rate for all first-time NAPLEX test-takers was 91.4 percent for 2019 graduates.
  • The January 2020 issue of the Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences was dedicated to Professor John Carpenter, PhD, and his collaborator CU Boulder Professor Ted Randolph, PhD. The dedication marked a rare honor in pharmaceutical sciences.
  • Associate Professor Sarah Anderson, PharmD, was named a Fellow of the Association of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP), joining an elite group of 957 other pharmacists across the U.S.
  • Dean Ralph Altiere, PhD, was named the interim chair of the International Pharmaceutical Federation (FIP) Education Initiative.
  • Professor Joe Saseen, PharmD, was named president of the National Lipid Association.
    He was the recipient of the American Pharmacists Association (APhA) Daniel B. Smith Practice Excellence Award.
  • Assistant Professor Sara Wettergreen, PharmD, received the Distinguished New Practitioner Award from APhA.
  • Alumnus Robert Willis, PharmD, (Class of 2007) was awarded the Community Pharmacy Residency Excellence in Precepting Award from APhA.
  • Professor Sunny Linnebur, PharmD, was named Pharmacist of the Year by the Colorado Pharmacists Society (CPS).
  • Alumna Debra Devereaux, PharmD, (Class of 1976) received the CPS Bowl of Hygeia Community Service Award.
  • Graduate Kelli Rourke, PharmD, (Class of 2020) was named the Student Pharmacist of the Year by CPS.
  • 93% of students in the class of 2019 completed the curriculum within four years; 98% graduated in five years.
  • CU Pharmacy was ranked in the top 15 percent of pharmacy schools in the country
  • CU Pharmacy is recognized as a #11 NIH-funded research school.
  • 95% of the Class of 2018 were employed in a full-time or part-time pharmacy position,
  • Graduates from the class of 2019 who applied and participated in the PGY1 2019 Residency Match, matched at a 70% success rate for combined Phase I and Phase II. (National match rate was 67%)
  • Professor Sunny Linnebur, PharmD, became the first female pharmacist​ to be the president of the American Geriatrics Society
  • CU Pharmacy continued to help people with breakthrough technology. Tom Anchordoquy, PhD, is part of a groundbreaking clinical trial​ to treat patients with a debilitating form of epilepsy.
  • Assistant Dean for Clinical and Professional Affairs Gina Moore, PharmD, became president of the Colorado Pharmacists Society, continuing a legacy of CU Pharmacy’s commitment to the organization.
  • The International-Trained PharmD program graduated its largest class to date.
  • Dean Ralph Altiere, PhD, was awarded the George Spratto American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy (AACP) Biological Sciences Section Distinguished Service Award.
  • Alumna Sandra Leal, PharmD, was named president-elect of the American Pharmacists Association.
  • Associate Professor Sarah Anderson, PharmD, was named Pharmacist of the Year by the Colorado Pharmacists Society.
  • Assistant Professor Morgan Payne, PharmD, won the Distinguished Young Pharmacist of 2019 Award from the Colorado Pharmacists Society.
  • CU Pharmacy students earned leadership positions with the American Society of Health System Pharmacists.
  • The Ambulatory Care Residency was recognized as the best in the U.S. The program, led by Professor Joe Saseen, PharmD, was awarded the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP) overall program award. Additional Associate Professor Joel Marrs, PharmD, was presented with the Preceptor Award.
  • Associate Professor Sarah Anderson, PharmD, Assistant Professor Rhianna Fink, PharmD, and fourth-year student Nashel Patel were each honored at the national level with Next-Generation Pharmacists Awards. Anderson won the Health-System Pharmacist 2019 Award. Fink and Patel were honored as award finalists.
  • Three fourth-year students, Kyle Coronato, Armen Fstkchian and Mary Reilly won the American College of Clinical Pharmacy’s Clinical Pharmacy Challenge, after challenging pharmacy schools from across the nation.
  • 94% of students in the class of 2018 completed the curriculum within four years; 96% graduated in five years.
  • 96.6% of recent graduates from our program who took the NAPLEX for the first time passed, the national pass rate is 88.5%
  • American College of Clinical Pharmacy (AACP) Award for Excellence in Assessment
  • Faculty member Dr. Joel Marrs was recognized by the Colorado Pharmacists Society (CPS) as Pharmacist of the Year
  • Faculty member Dr. Cathy Jarvis was recognized by the Colorado Pharmacists Society (CPS) with the Bowl of Hygeia Award
  • Alum Dr. Jeremy Vandiver was recognized by the Colorado Pharmacists Society (CPS) with the Distinguished Young Pharmacist Award
  • Alum Dr. Michelle Anderson was recognized by the Colorado Pharmacists Society (CPS) and the National Community Pharmacists Association with the Leadership Award and McKesson Leadership Award
  • American College of Clinical Pharmacy (AACP) Lawrence C. Weaver Transformative Community Service Award for commitment to our community through innovative programs that go above and beyond the traditional role of academic pharmacy
  • Faculty member and Department of Clinical Pharmacy Department Chair Dr. Doug Fish was recognized by the American College of Clinical Pharmacy (ACCP) with the Education Award
  • 95% of students in the class of 2017 completed the curriculum within four years; 97% graduated in five years.
  • 90.32% of recent graduates from our program who took the NAPLEX for the first time passed
  • 95% of the Class of 2017 were employed in a full-time or part-time pharmacy position, or in a residency/fellowship program after graduation. (100% of all graduates were contacted and the remaining 5% could not be contacted, did not respond or confirmed unemployed)
  • Ranked 6th in the nation for National Institutes of Health (NIH) funding among pharmacy schools
  • The school's Applied Biological Chemistry course was selected as one of the best in the nation among all schools of dentistry, medicine and pharmacy by the Association of Biochemistry Educators
  • Faculty member James Roede, PhD, was selected by NIEHS (National Institutes of Environmental Health Sciences) as an Outstanding Environmental Health Science "ONES" award recipient
  • Reuters names the University of Colorado among world's top 100 innovative institutions. The University of Colorado system ranked 29th, up from 45th in 2016
  • Ranked 22nd on U.S. News & World Report's most recent list of best pharmacy schools in the country (moving up 2 spots in the rankings)
  • For nine years, our school has surpassed the licensing national pass rates. In 2016, 85.23% of recent graduates from our program who took the NAPLEX for the first time passed the exam
  • 96% of the Class of 2016 were employed in a full-time or part-time pharmacy position, or in a residency/fellowship program after graduation
  • Ranked 5th in the nation for National Institutes of Health (NIH) funding among pharmacy schools
  • Competing against teams from more than 130 schools of pharmacy, fourth-year students Jillian Bishop and Chelsea Mitchell took home first place in the 2016 American Society of Health System Pharmacist (ASHP) Clinical Skills Competition
  • Students placed third in the Clinical Skills Competition during the SNPhA national conference in Atlanta where they competed against 64 pairs of participants from pharmacy schools throughout the country
  • 92% of students in the class of 2016 completed the curriculum within four years; 96% graduated in five years.
  • Eight students were awarded with Kent M. Nelson Scholarships from Kaiser Permanente Colorado (KPCO). Congratulations Jillian Bishop, Lindsay Case, Michelle Gaynor, Aubrey Jones, Chelsea Mitchell, Kyle Troksa, Rachel Visage and Anna Zhou. The scholarship is awarded annually to deserving pharmacy students from Regis University and the CU Skaggs School of Pharmacy
  • According to the Blue Ridge Institute for Medical Research, our school ranked 4th in the nation for National Institutes of Health (NIH) research funding of all U.S. pharmacy schools (2015)
  • Fourth-year students Jillian Dann and Kailynn DeRonde received silver in the 2015 American Society of Health System Pharmacist (ASHP) Clinical Skills Competition
  • A team of students won the national Student Compounding Competition in 2014, followed by a second place finish in 2015
  • 92% of students in the class of 2015 completed the curriculum within four years; 95% graduated in five years.
  • 100% of the students from the class of 2015 passed the Clinical Capstone
  • In 2015, 94.8% of our recent graduates who took the NAPLEX for the first time passed the exam, making 2014 the 8th year in a row that our graduates have surpassed the national pass rate for the NAPLEX licensing exam
  • 4th in the nation for National Institutes of Health (NIH) funding among pharmacy schools and 5th in the nation for grant funding from all sources among pharmacy schools (fiscal year 2013-2014)
  • Faculty member Dr. Joseph Saseen was recognized by the American College of Clinical Pharmacy (ACCP) as the Educator of the Year (Dec. 2014)
  • NAPLEX (North American Pharmacist Licensure Examination) pass rates show that our graduates are some of the best in the nation. In 2014, 96% of our recent graduates who took the NAPLEX for the first time passed the exam, making 2014 the 7th year in a row that our graduates have surpassed the national pass rate for both the NAPLEX and MPJE (Multistate Pharmacy Jurisprudence Examination) licensing exams.
  • 90% of the students from the class of 2014 completed the curriculum within 4 years; 97% are anticipated to graduate within 5 academic years
  • Ranked 24th on U.S. News & World Report's most recent list of best pharmacy schools in the country
  • Over the past three years, an average of 70% of students who applied for PGY1 residency matched
  • 100% of the students from the class of 2014 passed the Comprehensive Patient Care capstone
  • Fourth-year students Joselyn Benabe and Ashley Huntsberry captured the 2014 American Society of Health System Pharmacist (ASHP) Clinical Skills Award

To achieve its vision and mission, the school is committed to:

  • Recruiting, developing and retaining innovative and productive faculty and staff members who contribute to the advancement of pharmacy education, research, scholarship and practice.
  • Providing expanded and innovative educational opportunities that develop outstanding entry-level pharmacy practitioners who are motivated to advance pharmacy practice and the profession and to prepare scientists who are motivated to contribute to health and well-being through scientific research and scholarly pursuits.
  • Advancing the practice of pharmacy through development of innovations in pharmacy practice and delivery of superior patient care, including serving as active members of collaborative healthcare care teams committed to patient care and well-being.
  • Improving health through research and scholarship by being the innovators and leaders in research that promotes basic discovery, translation to clinical practice, medication evaluation and optimization of medication use. Through communication of research findings, foster enhanced knowledge in professional, graduate and post-graduate learners.
  • Providing leadership and service to our communities by actively engaging with its many communities and local, national and global communities that would derive substantial benefit from the school’s collective knowledge and expertise.
  • Achieving excellence through continuous quality improvement.
  • Develop innovative strategies to identify and exploit opportunities that allow the school to make major advances in its mission areas.

The Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences was fully re-accredited in 2016 for eight years by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE), the national agency for the accreditation of professional degree programs in pharmacy and providers of continuing pharmacy education.

What is Accreditation?

Accreditation is a voluntary, non-governmental process of external quality review used by higher education to inspect colleges, universities and higher education programs for quality assurance and improvement.

Aside from the promise of overall quality educational opportunities, an institution’s accreditation status provides students with the ability to qualify for federal funding and financial aid and to transfer credits to other programs that are also accredited. Accreditation can be required for professional licensure and is extremely appealing to employers.

Like all schools of pharmacy in the U.S., the University of Colorado Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE), a national agency for the accreditation of professional degree programs in pharmacy and providers of continuing pharmacy education. ACPE was established in 1932 for the accreditation of pre-service education, and in 1975 its scope of activity was broadened to include accreditation of providers of continuing pharmacy education.

Once accredited, a school or college undergoes periodic renewal reviews. Our school recently underwent a renewal review, spearheaded by Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Associate Professor David Thompson, PhD, and received a full eight year accreditation by ACPE – the maximum level that a school can attain.

Obtaining Accreditation

The process of accreditation is quite involved requiring the school to complete several steps in the accreditation process including:

  • Preparation and self-examination
  • Written self-study report of accomplishments
  • Site visit by a team comprised of peer reviewers, and a representative from the accrediting body
  • Judgment by the accrediting body
  • Continuous review

By accepting accreditation status, a school agrees to uphold the quality standards set by the accreditation organization and agrees to periodically submit to accreditation renewal review.

More about ACPE

ACPE is an autonomous and independent agency whose board of directors is derived through the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy, the American Pharmacists Association, the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (three appointments each), and the American Council on Education (one appointment).

Read an abbreviated short version of our accreditation self-study report. To learn more about our school's accreditation status or about the accreditation process, contact ACPE.

Assessment is the systematic collection, review, and use of information about educational programs undertaken for the purpose of improving student learning and development. (Palomba and Banta 1999)

Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences assessment activities emphasize the collection and reporting of data to support decision making and continuous quality improvement.

Assessment activities support

  • tracking and reporting achievement of the School’s strategic plan
  • assessment and reporting on student learning, curricular effectiveness, and program outcomes
  • evaluation of institutional effectiveness
  • providing data to support compliance with accreditation standards