Mercer University’s College of Pharmacy is ranked the No. 1 private pharmacy school in the Southeast, according to 2016 and 2020 U.S. News & World Report.
The College offers doctoral degrees in pharmacy (Pharm.D.) and pharmaceutical sciences (Ph.D.). Founded in 1903 as the independent Southern School of Pharmacy, the school merged with Mercer University in 1959 and in 1981 became the first school in the Southeast to offer the Doctor of Pharmacy degree as its sole professional degree. With an enrollment of more than 600 students and a distinguished faculty of basic scientists and clinicians, the College houses four centers focusing on research, teaching and learning. The College’s motto, “A Tradition of Excellence, A Legacy of Caring,” frames its philosophy of providing excellent academic programs in an environment where every student matters and every person counts.
The College of Pharmacy had its beginnings in 1903 as an independent college in Atlanta and was first known as the Southern College of Pharmacy. The original charter was granted to Dr. R.C. Hood, Dr. Edgar A. Eberhart and Dr. Hansell Crenshaw, all outstanding leaders in the fields of medicine and pharmacy.
In 1938 the College was transferred from private ownership to a Board of Trustees and was operated on this basis until July 1959. At that time, a merger with Mercer University was completed, and the Southern School of Pharmacy became a part of this Baptist-affiliated institution.
The School operated from the Walton Street building in downtown Atlanta for many years. In 1972, the Henry R. Herold Building was completed on Boulevard, across from the Georgia Baptist Medical Center, approximately one mile east of downtown. In 1991, the Southern School of Pharmacy relocated to the Cecil B. Day Campus of Mercer University, 15 miles northeast of downtown Atlanta.
In September 1981, the Southern School of Pharmacy became the first pharmacy school in the Southeast and fifth in the nation to offer the Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D.) as its sole professional degree. The Pharm.D. is the highest level of professional education offered in pharmacy.
The University’s first Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degree was launched the College of Pharmacy in 1988. Graduate students in the Ph.D. Program specialize in areas of pharmacology, pharmaceutics, toxicology or medicinal chemistry. A dual Pharm.D./Ph.D. program began in 1993, allowing highly qualified students to obtain both degrees in a shortened period of time. Students in the Pharm.D./Ph.D. program are able to specialize in an additional area of experimental pharmacotherapeutics.
On July 1, 2006, the Southern School of Pharmacy changed its name to the College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences. This name change characterized the College as a nationally recognized institution and provided the infrastructure to add future health science programs. In January 2008, the College began enrolling students in the Physician Assistant Program. In January 2010, the College started the first residency program in Orthopaedic Physical Therapy in the state of Georgia. The College began enrolling students into the Doctor of Physical Therapy Program in August 2010. In July 2013, the College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences name changed to the College of Pharmacy as the College of Health Professions formed to include the departments of Physical Therapy, Physician Assistant Studies and Public Health and their programs.
Throughout its long history, the College has developed a tradition of excellence and a reputation for producing outstanding leaders throughout the United States and in several foreign countries. Visit the College of Pharmacy’s historical website for more information.