Skaggs School of Pharmacy

Marketa Marvanova, Associate Dean for Pharmacy

The Skaggs School of Pharmacy, established in 1907 at Montana State College, was transferred to the University of Montana in 1913, and currently resides in the College of Health. The Skaggs School of Pharmacy has two departments: Pharmacy Practice and Biomedical and Pharmaceutical Sciences. The School offers professional and graduate degree programs including the entry-level doctor of pharmacy program which 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 (

Doctor of Pharmacy: 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. The final four years are in the professional program, which is divided into three years of didactic coursework followed by a year of direct practice in patient care through the experiential courses. 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. The professional curriculum includes required and elective coursework. Students admitted to the Doctor of Pharmacy program also have the opportunity to pursue a dual degree (MBA, MPH, MS Pharmaceutical Sciences) or a BS in Pharmaceutical Sciences degree.

To practice as a pharmacist, one must become a registered pharmacist. This requires graduating with a Pharm.D. degree from an accredited doctor of pharmacy professional program, completing practical experience under the direction of registered pharmacists and passing both 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, specialty clinical practice, and clinical faculty positions.

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

Pre-professional Program: The pre-pharmacy (pre-professional) 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 pre-pharmacy major as their major as early as possible to ensure appropriate advising. Upon designating pre-pharmacy as a major, students will be assigned an advisor from within the pharmacy school.

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(

Graduate Degrees in Pharmaceutical & Biomedical Sciences: The School offers graduate degree programs in several areas of pharmaceutical and biomedical sciences. These are research-oriented degrees designed to prepare graduates to create new knowledge and medications for future use in patient care. Students interested in a research career should review the specific requirements for seeking a graduate degree. These graduate-level 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.

Graduate Programs: Students interested in pursuing a graduate research degree should have completed a baccalaureate degree program. Students must apply to the graduate program. Information about the admission requirements and application process are posted on the BMED graduate programs webpage (

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. Graduate degree programs include the M.S. and Ph.D. in:

  • Medical Chemistry

  • Neuroscience

  • Pharmaceutical Sciences and Drug Design

  • Toxicology