This online program utilizes world-class faculty who have decades of expertise in leading and managing complex health-systems and in training and mentoring future leaders who will be steering these entities into the next decade. This program is modeled after the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy’s Master of Science Degree in Pharmaceutical Sciences residential program, however the online program does not require a two-year residency. Integrating literature and experience with robust student engagement provides a rich training ground for leadership development, that is applicable in all sectors of health-system.

Our program allows for online classroom instruction that recognizes students who are employed and have many demands on their time. Students will engage in a rigorous and in-depth study of leadership in health-system pharmacy administration and the principles of the medication use process. Students will also work within multiple health systems and practice settings and network with leaders across those spaces.


The core curriculum consists of course work in advanced topics with human resource management, health-systems financial management, medication safety, and quality improvement, health-system pharmacy operations and much more.

Health-System Pharmacy Administration Master’s Degree

Courses are taught within the Division of Practice Advancement and Clinical Education (PACE) through synchronous education.


Fall Year 1
Credit Hours
PACE 815 Evaluation Research and Project Design (McLaughlin) 3
PACE 833 Overview to Health Systems (Savage / Fortier) 3
PHRS 899 Seminar (Sheldon / Tryon) 1
PHRS 991 Research in PACE 3
Cumulative Total 10

Spring Year 1
Credit Hours
PACE 820 Health-System Pharmacy Leadership (Granko / Eckel) 3
PACE 825 Foundational Practices of a Successful Health-System Department of Pharmacy (Kessler / Morbitzer / Forshay) 3
PHRS 899 Seminar 1
PHRS 991 Research in PACE 3
Cumulative Total 20

Fall Year 2
Credit Hours
PACE 860 Advanced Hospital Pharmacy Operations (Eckel) 3
PHRS 899 Seminar 1
PHRS 992 Thesis Substitute 3
Cumulative Total 27

Spring Year 2
Credit Hours
PACE 832 Financial Management of Health-System Pharmacy (Bush / Rhea) 3
PHRS 899 Seminar 1
PHRS 992 Thesis Substitute 3
PHYC 434 Teaching Assistant (UNC only) 0
Grand Total 34

Course Descriptions

PACE 815 Evaluation Research and Project Design: This course provides formal instruction on critical components of evaluation research, study design, and data analyses that a Master in Pharmaceutical Sciences with a specialization in health system pharmacy administration graduate will need in the workplace.

PACE 820 Health-System Pharmacy Leadership: This course focuses on principles of leadership and strategies used by leaders, with an emphasis in health-system pharmacy. Active learning strategies are used to examine and model leadership principles.

PACE 825 Foundational Practices of a Successful Health-System Department of Pharmacy: This course focuses on the Foundational Practices of a Successful Health-System Department of Pharmacy. Topics covered include medication safety, pharmacy informatics, and human resources management.

PACE 832 Financial Management of Health-system Pharmacy: This course provides an overview of the current financial environment in the health care industry and is intended to familiarize students with general accounting principles and financial management skills required to lead and manage pharmacy services in a health care organization.

PACE 833 Overview to Health Systems: This course is designed to expose participants to real world issues facing health system pharmacy leaders and to teach participants to work through concepts, processes, and challenges that are and will be faced.

PACE 860 Advanced Hospital Pharmacy Operations: This course is intended to build on the basic principles of pharmacy operations learned through coursework and experience as professional students as well as work experience.

PHRS 899 Seminar: This course includes the entire MS group including first and second years and covers a range of topics such as Pharmacy Disaster Planning, Crucial Conversations, Pharmacy Financial Billing, and Human Resources. Class format consists of topical readings or assignments prior to a seminar presentation and discussion.

PHRS 991 Research in PACE: This is a variable credit course required for all Pharmaceutical Sciences graduate students by their second semester. Teaching/learning methods consist of a pharmaceutical sciences-based mentored research training experience involving independent work and research reports that must be filed at the end of the semester.

PHRS 992 Thesis Substitute: Prerequisite PHRS 991 or equivalent. Students register for thesis credits after successfully passing their comprehensive written examination. A minimum of 3 credit hours of thesis research and writing is required for Pharmaceutical Sciences graduate students.

  • In-depth knowledge, understanding, and application of core principles, content, and skills unique to health systems pharmacy administration: to demonstrate an in-depth understanding of health care and the principles and practice of pharmacy to advance human health and health systems.
  • Accessing and Analyzing Information: to identify, locate, critically evaluate, and process information to arrive at an informed opinion; identify the important information and be able to say “here is what we need to do about it”.
  • Critical Thinking/Problem Solving: to take an issue or a problem, learn about it, understand it, examine other ways of thinking about it, bring it all together and frame it, come up with creative solutions and new ideas (important characteristics of critical thinker: asks really good questions, is curious, approaches problems as learners not knowers).
  • Communication: to develop and express ideas and thoughts clearly and concisely in a way that fosters understanding, inspires, and creates focus; communicate effectively in written and oral form.
  • Collaboration and Influence: to work effectively with others and understand and respect differences; create networks and groups who work together toward a common goal.
  • Adaptability: to change (or be changed) to fit new surroundings and ideas; being willing and able to adapt your behavior (adaptability is a two part process that combines flexibility and versatility. Flexibility is your willingness to adapt-this is your attitude; versatility is your ability to adapt-this is your aptitude).
  • Initiative: to be self-directed, take initiative to seek out new opportunities, ideas, and strategies; and find creative solutions.
  • Curiosity and Inquisitiveness: to demonstrate a drive to learn and understand more in an effort to improve or make something better; the habit of curiosity is a constant wonder of how something might be improved or even reinvented and then coming up with creative solutions; curiosity enables life-long learning.
  • Professionalism: to uphold the highest standards of professional and ethical behavior and act appropriately, thoughtfully, and with integrity at all times.
  • Innovation: Ability to create and implement new technologies, services, programs, etc, to meet the pharmacy needs of today and tomorrows health systems.
  • Our approach to teaching and learning is student-centered – we will develop our graduate students to reach their full potential
  • To learn, one must do – immersive learning in the patient care and real-world setting is a primary laboratory for learning
  • The process of scientific inquiry, engagement, and discovery is critical to the development of our graduate students as problem solvers and critical thinkers – scholarship is central to our mission
  • We will expose our graduate students to a breadth of knowledge and experiences necessary to shape their development as pharmacist leaders in an evolving health system landscape
  • We will ensure a rigorous and intensive curriculum that deepens the graduate student’s understanding of the many facets of health-system pharmacy administration and challenges them to think critically and solve complex problems
  • We are flexible and responsive – continually positioning our graduate students to meet the emerging needs of society
  • We will continually innovate and evaluate, learning from our experiences and striving for continuous quality improvement and sustained innovation
  • We will develop and position our faculty to reach their full potential as educators and mentors
  • We will develop and nurture our students as critical thinkers, problems solvers, team players and professionals – entrusting them to a career of life-long learning and leadership
  • We will work collaboratively across all of the different partners, exposing our graduate students to the different systems, preceptors, and challenges that exist in them
  • We strive to enlighten, differentiate, and position our graduate students to bring about leadership for the betterment of health care delivery and a safe medication use system
  • Advances and innovations in technology will be interwoven, where appropriate, throughout our curriculum to enhance the learning experience

Class Lectures

Courses are taught within the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy’s Division of Practice Advancement and Clinical Education (PACE) through digital (online) education. Class lectures are led by UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy faculty and other leaders in health-system pharmacy. 

Supervised Project in Health-System Pharmacy

Students are encouraged to develop extensive skills and expertise in specific segments of pharmacy administration that are of personal interest. The chosen areas of interest will be emphasized throughout both the didactic and experiential portions of the program over the two years of study with the guidance of their mentor and academic and experiential program advisers. Students will take a minimum of four credit hours of Supervised Project in Health-System Pharmacy during their second year to accomplish the project objectives, which is a requirement for the master of science. This project will serve in lieu of a master’s thesis.

Final Written Comprehensive Examination

A comprehensive examination will be administered to all students before the completion of the last semester of their program. The examination is intended to validate students’ ability to apply the knowledge and experience gained throughout the program in coursework and experiential components of their education and training.

Tuition and Fees