UCI Dean of School of Pharmaceurtical Sciences Jan Hirsch
“The profession of pharmacy has undergone a transformation from a focus on product delivery to providing direct patient care. Our inaugural Pharm.D. class comprises highly qualified and diverse students who will exemplify professionalism, leadership, cultural competence and compassion to care for all patients in the community,” says Jan Hirsch, founding dean of UCI’s School of Pharmacy & Pharmaceutical Sciences. Steve Zylius / UCI

Irvine, Calif., Sept. 14, 2021 – The inaugural class of Pharm.D. students at the University of California, Irvine will begin their journey Sept. 24 at a White Coat Ceremony, a rite of passage marking the transition from the study of preclinical to clinical health sciences. The white coat is universally recognized as a symbol of the commitment students are making in joining a trusted health profession.

“We are thrilled to welcome the first cohort of Pharm.D. students, who are the next generation of pharmacists who will help people live healthier, better lives,” said Jan Hirsch, founding dean of UCI’s School of Pharmacy & Pharmaceutical Sciences. “At UCI, we will prepare our future pharmacists to have a strong science background so they can become medication experts for treating complex patients and diseases of the future. Our students will also be trained in an interprofessional environment that will focus on providing cost-effective healthcare as medication experts for patients and healthcare team members.”

The School of Pharmacy & Pharmaceutical Sciences is part of the Susan & Henry Samueli College of Health Sciences, founded in 2017 with a $200 million gift to coordinate conventional and evidence-based complementary approaches to achieving peak health and well-being. The college also includes the School of Medicine, the Sue & Bill Gross School of Nursing, the future School of Population & Public Health (currently the Program in Public Health) and the Susan Samueli Integrative Health Institute.

“As one of only a few schools in California to be part of an academic health center, UCI offers a unique education that provides a wide range of interprofessional and experiential opportunities,” Hirsch said. “Our students will be taught by scientists who are pioneers in the discovery, development and delivery of new drugs, devices and diagnostics. As members of healthcare teams that include doctors, nurses, and public health and integrative health professionals, they will learn to treat the whole patient in a wide variety of medical settings, ranging from primary to specialized care.”

All 41 members of UCI’s Pharm.D. Class of 2025 are California residents, 83 percent of them UC graduates and 46 percent UCI graduates. Of the 23 women and 18 men, 56 percent are first-generation college students.

“This class reflects UCI’s history of attracting and educating first-generation students and our school’s commitment to increasing diversity in pharmaceutical sciences and the pharmacy profession,” Hirsch said. “We are educating the future leaders and problem-solvers who will bring progressive changes to the healthcare system that reduce inequities and expand access. Our graduates will make a positive impact in society, and they will enter the profession as well-qualified, highly sought-after pharmacists.”

With the Pharm.D. program, UCI’s School of Pharmacy & Pharmaceutical Sciences offers four degrees, the others being a B.S. in pharmaceutical sciences, an M.S. in pharmacology and a Ph.D. in pharmacological sciences. The White Coat Ceremony will take place from 2 to 3:30 p.m. Pacific time on Friday, Sept. 24, at the Irvine Barclay Theatre on campus. It will be livestreamed at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aO2jXcmjHHo.

About the University of California, Irvine: Founded in 1965, UCI is the youngest member of the prestigious Association of American Universities and is ranked among the nation’s top 10 public universities by U.S. News & World Report. The campus has produced three Nobel laureates and is known for its academic achievement, premier research, innovation and anteater mascot. Led by Chancellor Howard Gillman, UCI has more than 36,000 students and offers 224 degree programs. It’s located in one of the world’s safest and most economically vibrant communities and is Orange County’s second-largest employer, contributing $7 billion annually to the local economy and $8 billion statewide. For more on UCI, visit www.uci.edu.

About UCI’s Brilliant Future campaign: Publicly launched on Oct. 4, 2019, the Brilliant Future campaign aims to raise awareness and support for UCI. By engaging 75,000 alumni and garnering $2 billion in philanthropic investment, UCI seeks to reach new heights of excellence in student success, health and wellness, research and more. The School of Pharmacy & Pharmaceutical Sciences plays a vital role in the success of the campaign. Learn more by visiting https://brilliantfuture.uci.edu/school-of-pharmacy-and-pharmaceutical-sciences.

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