The University of Illinois at Chicago College of Pharmacy


The University of Illinois at Chicago College of Pharmacy shapes pharmaceutical science and clinical practice around the world, with international collaborations in more than 20 countries.

Chicago and Rockford, Illinois

Size: Around 200

Founded: 1859

The University of Illinois at Chicago College of Pharmacy (UIC COP) shapes pharmaceutical science and clinical practice around the world, with international collaborations in more than 20 countries.

At home and abroad, UIC COP alumni are leaders and change agents who are loyal to the students and new graduates entering the field, dean and professor Jerry Bauman, PharmD, FCCP, FACC, told Pharmacy Times.

“Our students and faculty are incredibly diverse, reflecting the patients we serve in Chicago, Rockford, and around the world,” Dr. Bauman said.

Learn more about the fifth-oldest pharmacy school in the following Q&A with Dr. Bauman:

Q: What is unique about your school/program?

A: A number of important factors make the UIC COP unique: our history, the contributions of our robust research programs, cutting-edge clinical pharmacy programs, and our diversity.

The UIC COP is the flagship pharmacy college in the state of Illinois. We’re a public pharmacy school with campuses located in Chicago and Rockford, Illinois. We offer a 4-year professional degree program that leads to the PharmD, plus programs leading to 6 Master’s degrees and 4 PhD degrees. More than 185 faculty conduct research and provide training to more than 160 graduate students, as well as postdoctoral trainees and 650 professional students.

Beginning as the Chicago College of Pharmacy in 1859 (and joining the University of Illinois in 1896), we are the fifth-oldest pharmacy college in the nation. The Chicago campus is located within the University of Illinois Health Science Center and Illinois Medical District, and as such, it has an urban mission and educational programs tailored to that, such as our Urban Pharmacy Program.

The Rockford campus works closely with the regional college of medicine to satisfy a mission of serving rural communities throughout Illinois. The parallel educational programs in Rockford are designed to provide pharmacists and physicians for smaller communities. Our students, whether in Chicago or Rockford, receive the same sophisticated instruction thanks to our state-of-the-art distance learning technology.

Our clinical faculty members are the most comprehensive in the nation. Nearly 100 clinical pharmacists practice and teach our students in virtually every subspecialty within the University of Illinois Health Science Center. Students also have the opportunity to train at partner medical centers, such as Stroger Cook County Hospital, Rush Medical Center, Jesse Brown Veterans Affairs Medical Center, and Northwestern Memorial Hospital.

Within the University of Illinois Health Science Center, the COP is administratively and fiscally responsible for operating the inpatient pharmacy and 7 on-campus ambulatory pharmacies. This offers our students access to community pharmacy and cutting-edge clinical pharmacy without ever leaving campus. We also have a top-ranked, large, and comprehensive residency program with its own rich history of intense but balanced training.

Our faculty have made and are making major scientific discoveries; we’re certainly one of the top research-intensive colleges of pharmacy in the nation, and that’s reflected not only in our scientific contributions and papers, but also in our grant funding, invention disclosures, and startup companies. Students reap the benefit by being instructed by those who made the discoveries and wrote the textbooks or textbook chapters used in class.

Q: What is your teaching style or philosophy?

A: I do enjoy teaching immensely, although my load has decreased substantially since I’ve taken on various administrative duties at UIC and in the University of Illinois system. Teaching is one of the most rewarding activities of a professor.

I try to do several things: 1) make complex topics understandable to students, 2) make the class something that students want to come to, and 3) stimulate students’ curiosity so that they want to deepen their knowledge and experiences.

I’ve experimented with using a flipped classroom, where I tape my lecture ahead of time and then ask the students to watch it and come to class prepared for exemplary case studies and questions and answers. Of course, I don’t practice in the University of Illinois Hospital any longer, but there are students and residents who did my cardiology rotation and are spread around the country in practice.

A: We take our commitment to underserved communities very seriously. The mission statement of UIC compels us to “train professionals in a wide range of public service disciplines, serving Illinois as the principal educator of health science professionals and as a major health care provider to underserved communities.”

Every year, student organizations led by faculty advisers do countless service projects in underserved communities. Projects like blood pressure screenings, health presentations, and student mentoring help our students becoming strong leaders. We also provide flu vaccines for all of our state employees and offer services at the UIC-operated clinic at O’Hare International Airport.

Q: What advice do you have for students who will graduate this year?

A: As dean, I give them lots of advice, whether they ask for it or not. I recommend that they always consider taking on new opportunities. It’s best to put your foot in the bucket, even though you may feel insecure doing so.

I ask them to get involved with their communities and pharmacy organizations. The profession needs and requires young leadership.

I also strongly advise that they keep up with the literature and the changes that occur in drug therapy and the understanding of disease since these things occur rapidly. Similarly, I ask that they push the boundaries of practice and always be ready to expand their scope of practice.

We stress professionalism and social intelligence. Being a pharmacist means you’re sometimes held to higher ethical standards in both your personal and professional life; that goes with the job.

In addition, social skills in any work setting are crucial, as it’s often not who’s the smartest individual in the room who matters most, but rather someone who can work effectively with groups of individuals and in teams.

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