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Our History

A Lasting Legacy

University of the Sciences has prepared students to be leaders and practitioners in the healthcare and science fields for nearly 200 years. Key to its distinctive education is a tradition of hands-on research and experiential learning that is evident in every graduate who has walked its campus. Since its founding in 1821 as Philadelphia College of Pharmacy, the first college of pharmacy in North America, USciences has grown to more than 30 degree-granting programs from bachelor’s through doctoral degrees in the health sciences, bench sciences, and healthcare business and policy fields.

Sustained Growth

The original objectives of the University, drafted in 1821, were based on the traditional roles of the academy—teaching, research, and service. The proud legacy of University of the Sciences began when 68 Philadelphia apothecaries met in Carpenters’ Hall in 1821 to establish improved scientific standards and to train more competent apprentices and students. These visionaries sought to enhance their vocation, as well as protect public welfare. A year later, they organized and incorporated the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy (PCP), the first college of pharmacy in the nation. Thus, education in the profession of pharmacy in the U.S. was born.

After its conception in 1821, the college began to grow in enrollment, curriculum, and stature. Although matriculation was originally limited to men, the college became coeducational in 1876. The college initially emphasized the biological and chemical sciences as mainstays of the curriculum in pharmacy but later instituted separate curricula in three other areas: bacteriology, biology, and chemistry.

In 1921, the name of the institution was changed to Philadelphia College of Pharmacy and Science, with state authorization to grant not only the baccalaureate degree, but also the master’s and doctorate in all four disciplines.

As the world of science continuously made advancements throughout the decades, the college evolved and expanded its curriculum to prepare students for the new wave of scientific breakthroughs. The college also enhanced the role of the humanities and social sciences in its science-based curricula. Primarily a commuter campus in its early days, the institution began to transform into one in which residential life and extracurricular activities played a larger role in student development.

The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania approved the institution’s application for university status in February 1997. In recognition of the broad spectrum of new health and science programs introduced by the institution, the college changed its name to reflect the broader range of academic opportunities offered to its students. On July 1, 1998, Philadelphia College of Pharmacy and Science officially unveiled its new identity as University of the Sciences in Philadelphia.

Contact:

Brian Kirschner

Address:

University of the Sciences
600 South 43rd Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104-4495

Phone:

215-895-1186

Email:

b.kirschner@usciences.edu