Pharmacy was first taught at the University of Michigan in 1868 in the College of Literature, Science and the Arts. A School of Pharmacy was established December 29, 1876, the first in a U.S. state university and one of the first in the nation. In 1916 the School was renamed the College of Pharmacy. Today, the College is an integral member of the top ranked University of Michigan campus and Health System, and is fully accredited by the American Council for Pharmacy Education.
No historical narrative about the University of Michigan College of Pharmacy would be complete without a respectful nod to Albert B. Prescott (1832-1905), MD, professor of organic chemistry and first dean of the College (1876-1905). Prescott insisted that a pharmacy education should be rooted in basic science. For taking this then-heretical stance in 1871 and announcing his intention to pattern a U-M pharmacy education in fact, not habit, Prescott and the U-M College of Pharmacy were ostracized by the educational and professional establishments. By the time of Prescott’s death 34 years later, nearly all U.S. pharmacy schools embraced his educational model, effectively elevating the practice of pharmacy from trade to science.
The College’s current departmental structure was established in 1999 by Dean George Kenyon. Dean Kenyon appointed Dr. Eddie Boyd the chair of the Department of Clinical Sciences, later renamed Clinical Pharmacy. As a discipline, Medicinal Chemistry in the United States started at the University of Michigan with Professor F. F. Blicke in 1926. The program evolved to the Interdepartmental Program in Medicinal Chemistry in 1967, the first such formal program in the country. In 1999, the Department of Medicinal Chemistry was established with Dr. Jim Coward as chair. At the same time, the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences was formalized with Dr. David Smith as chair.
Michigan Pharmacy has pushed pharmacy education and practice forward throughout its rich history, from the establishment of the first clinical pharmacy residency program to setting the CDC standard for collaborative hypertension care. Our College is a hub of intersecting basic, clinical, and social science disciplines, leading research centers, scientific institutes and a research-intensive health system that is consistently ranked among the best in the U.S. Indeed each of our three departments house faculty and students who are pushing their respective disciplines forward toward our ultimate goal: to revolutionize pharmacy practice and healthcare.
For a list of our notable alumni who have been recognized with an award from the College, visit: pharmacy.umich.edu/alumni-awards