Western University of Health Sciences College of Pharmacy Western University of Health Sciences
College of Pharmacy

Doctor of Pharmacy Program

Pharmacy students in various instructional settingsThe PharmD professional program at Western University of Health Sciences is a four year program designed to train students for the degree of Doctor of Pharmacy. Students will need to complete a minimum of two years of preprofessional education at an accredited college or university before being admitted to the Pharm.D. program (see View Requirements).

Program Structure – First Year

For a complete listing of the course descriptions and structure for the entire PharmD program, please see the details listed in the course catalog.

The curriculum encompasses both academic and experiential learning. Academic course work in the PharmD program is delivered in two ways. The first year integrates the science foundation courses with laboratory and practice components. Students in the first year will participate in the College’s Introductory Pharmacy Practice Experience (IPPE) Program. Students will be assigned their first “rotation” in a community pharmacy. The experiential learning component (IPPE) gives you an opportunity to put into practice what you are learning in the classroom (*see pharmacy intern license requirement at the bottom of this page).

Students in the first year will take three courses each day (see schedule below). While the Foundations of Pharmacy Practice and Self-Care Therapeutics courses will encompass the entire academic year, the science courses will be spread throughout the semester. The IPPE rotation will occur during each semester over a four week period. Foundations of Pharmacy Practice and Self-Care Therapeutics courses focus on small group discussion on current issues in pharmacy, lectures on over the counter medications, and team assignments or projects.

 

First Year Pharmacy Curriculum

Fall Semester

Foundations of Pharmacy Practice and Self-Care Therapeutics I – 19 weeks
Pharmacological Basis of Therapeutics I – 9 weeks
Immunology – 9 weeks
Pharmacological Basis of Therapeutics II – 8 weeks
Pharmaceutics/Biopharmaceutics – 8 weeks
Introductory Pharmacy Practice Experience (IPPE) – 4 weeks

 

Spring Semester

Pharmaceutics/Pharmacogenomics – 8 weeks
Pharmacological Basis of Therapeutics III – 8 weeks
Foundations of Pharmacy Practice and Self-Care Therapeutics II – 19 weeks
Pharmacological Basis of Therapeutics IV – 11 weeks
Pharmacokinetics – 11 weeks
Research Methods & Biostatistics – 1 week
Introductory Pharmacy Practice Experience (IPPE) – 4 weeks

Program Structure – Second & Third Years

The second way that academic course work is delivered is in individual blocks of instructional time, wherein each block builds upon the learning that has occurred in preceding blocks. This method of delivery occurs in the second year and the first half of the third year. This 1½ year period is composed of sixteen blocks, each of which is 15 or 18 working days (3 – 3½ weeks) in duration, with a 2- to 3- day break between blocks.

You will be in class for six hours a day. This total immersion in a subject allows you to achieve mastery in one subject before moving on to the next. Additionally, ample class time is devoted to discussion, student presentations, and peer learning and teaching activities with emphasis placed on both verbal and written communication skills.

In the summer between the second and third year courses, students will take IPPE-II. This four week rotation will expose students to pharmacy in a hospital setting.

The second half of the third year and the entire fourth year is devoted to student rotations in the Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experience (APPE). Students will complete six six-week rotations and one sixteen-week advanced elective.

Typical Day in the Block System

 

First Year
Time Activity
8:00-12:00 Lecture with breaks or team activities,
case-based studies & problem assignments
12:00-1:00 Lunch
1:00-3:00 Discussions, presentations and Q&A,
Self Study – clear concepts with faculty
OR
1:00-6:00 Community Pharmacy Assignments (IPPE)
Classes end at 3:00 pm if assignments are on-campus; IPPE ends at 6:00 pm
Second Year and Fall Term of Third Year
Time Activity
8:00-12:00 Lecture with breaks or team activities,
case-based studies & problem assignments
12:00-1:00 Lunch
1:00-3:00 Discussions, presentations and Q&A

 

*Pharmacy Intern License Requirement: All students are required to be licensed interns with the California State Board of Pharmacy during all phases of the experiential program (IPPE, APPE, and AE). Students unable to obtain a valid pharmacy intern license will not be permitted to begin any clincial practice experience. Students found not eligible for an intern license by the State Board of Pharmacy will be dismissed from the PharmD program. The California State Board of Pharmacy is a body independent of the College of Pharmacy. The College of Pharmacy assumes no liability for decisions made by the Board regarding the status of a student’s intern license.