When viewed from the perspectives of federal science funding and national rankings, the UCSF School of Pharmacy is a long-time world leader in research, innovative and high-quality doctor of pharmacy (PharmD) and PhD education, and patient care. The School’s drive to seek and apply new knowledge underpins everything it does. Despite its many successes, though, the School has faced challenges in differentiating itself in a highly competitive academic environment.
The demand and role of pharmacy in health care have evolved rapidly in recent decades. A rising demand for retail pharmacists in the recent past led to an explosion in doctor of pharmacy (PharmD) degree programs, more program choices for applicants, and an overall decline in applicants per school.
All PharmD programs graduate PharmDs who then become licensed to practice pharmacy. The UCSF PharmD Program does the same, but its graduates are distinguished as highly-trained, critically-thinking pharmacists who assume leadership roles not only in pharmacy practice but in government, industry, and academia.
As part of an effort to further assert its leadership and better articulate its bold, forward-looking and public-minded approach to education, the UCSF School of Pharmacy undertook a major redesign of its PharmD curriculum and will welcome its first class under the new curriculum in later summer 2018. Marshall Strategy was asked to develop strategic positioning and audience messaging for the new PharmD curriculum as well as for the School of Pharmacy as a whole. This strategic work would become the launch pad for major initiatives and campaigns, such as student recruitment, fundraising, and alumni engagement.