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Curriculum

Examine The Curriculum

The three-year PharmD curriculum offers a patient-centered approach to pharmacy clinical practice.  The success of WesternU’s PharmD curriculum is demonstrated by an average first time pass rate of 98% for the past five years.

For more detail regarding the curriculum, please review the course descriptions in our University catalog.

Student is looking at the research project

The Block System

WesternU was one of the first to develop the highly effective block system of learning. In your second year and half of your third year, you will study one subject intensively during a period that we call a “block.” During each block you will learn through: Lecture, group work/discussion, student presentations, peer learning, and teaching activities. There are a total of 16 blocks, with a two- to four-day break at the conclusion of each one. Total immersion allows you to achieve mastery in one subject before moving to the next.

Early clinical experiences give students a real-world understanding of what they’re learning in the Early clinical experiences give students a real-world understanding of what they’re learning in the classroom. At the end of your first year, you will be required to participate in the Introductory Pharmacy Practice Experience (IPPE) program, where you will be assigned your first “rotation” in either a community or hospital pharmacy.

Rotation Sites

With 350 rotations sites and 750 preceptors, we provide a wide range of rotation options to our students. Sites include: private hospitals, county hospitals, Veterans Administration hospitals, military hospitals, long-term-care facilities, rehabilitation hospitals, compounding pharmacies, managed care facilities, psychiatric facilities, children’s hospitals, chain drug stores, and independently-owned pharmacies.

Although most students rotate through Southern California sites, some have had clinical experiences In Hawaii, Illinois, New York, Arizona, Utah and even Thailand.

Learning Along Side Students in Other Health Professions

WesternU’s interprofessional curriculum provides a forum for you to collaborate and learn from students in eight other health-care programs. This curriculum provides an opportunity for early networking with other health professionals and ultimately prepares you to better serve your patients through interprofessional collaboration and referrals.

  • Student-Centered Learning

    The new classrooms in the College of Pharmacy reflect an innovative design intended to foster student-centered learning, where students are actively engaged in their learning process. The large classrooms, with a capacity to seat up to 144 students, are designed with six three-leaf-shaped tables, each leaf can accommodate seating for a team of eight students. The state of the art technology in each of the classrooms allows for easy facilitation of active learning and transition between individual team activities to class-wide sharing. Large screens are strategically placed surrounding the classroom, in addition to the smaller screens at each leaf to provide multiple ergonomically comfortable viewing angles. The small screens placed at each leaf also serves to promote individual group activities by allowing customized input for each group. The podium console is placed at the center of the classrooms to minimize the physical distance between the instructor and all students.

    The first year classroom is designed with a Skyfold wall that divides the class into two smaller classrooms, sound proofed, and each equipped with separate podium consoles, to facilitate the teaching strategies that need to be done when involving a smaller number of students. In addition to the three large classrooms, there are twenty individual breakout rooms that will be utilized to facilitate activities or assessments that require students or student teams to be in private rooms. All of the breakout rooms are also equipped for direct audio and visual communication with each of the classrooms.

  • Innovative Classrooms

    Hexagonal classrooms with a central podium minimize the distance between instructor and students. Six projection screens give an unhindered view of the visual material being displayed. Each class seat has a LAN connection to the WesternU computer system so you can download lecture notes and view online presentations during class.

    Each classroom is surrounded by a number of smaller “breakout” rooms, where you participate in group discussions and team activities. Required laptop computers are utilized extensively in the curriculum.

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    Faculty

    Our faculty are diverse – in ethnic representation, experience and areas of expertise. Faculty members are trained in a broad spectrum of specialties.

    Our faculty are experienced in practice – most practice at institutional, ambulatory or community sites and bring the richness of their experiences into the classroom.

    Our faculty are engaged in scholarly activities – Faculty members:

    • Write and procure grants
    • Present abstracts at national and international meetings
    • Speak at local, regional and national forums
    • Publish the results of their research in peer-reviewed pharmacy and medical journals
    • Involve students in their research.

    Our faculty are committed to students – Our faculty genuinely care about your success. They will treat you as a colleague and give you the tools you need to succeed. Faculty often participate in student organizations and service projects.

    Major Research Initiatives

    Members of WesternU’s pharmacy faculty are currently pursuing research in the areas of cardiovascular and neurological pharmacology and physiology, pharmaceutical formulation development, pharmacokinetics and immunology.

    Please join us for information session where you can tour the facilities, chat with faculty and students,
    and learn more about WesternU’s pharmacy curriculum and admission requirements.