Pharmacy Program Frequently Asked Questions

How long is the pharmacy program?

USciences’ Pharmacy program can be completed in as little as 6 years. The length of the pre-professional phase is flexible, as short as two years or up to four years in length. This ‘Ready + 4’ construct provides ample opportunity for personalization of education to meet individual student needs and circumstances. The leading edge, competency-driven, professional curriculum requires four years to complete.

Why would I choose to complete the pre-professional phase over 3 or 4 years?

The flexible pre-professional, or “Ready,” phase allows students to take advantage of study abroad opportunities, work toward a minor or even pursue a dual degree. Additionally, we recognize that adjustment to college life and learning varies for each student. Our pre-professional accommodates every student’s learning style and pace, without penalty of losing their direct-entry seat in the 4-year professional phase of the program.

What is a competency-driven curriculum?

A competency-driven curriculum is focused on the progression of knowledge, skills, attitudes and behaviors expected of a pharmacist in the 21st century. Medical schools have been using competency-based or-driven education for years, and we are proud to be the first pharmacy school to offer this pedagogy. This curriculum is student centered, and is delivered as modules, allowing students to focus on just one or two courses at a time. Periodic competency assessments shift the focus from grades to personal and professional development. Just-in-time personalized support along the way helps students gain confidence, master the outcomes of each module, and stay on track for timely completion of the program and achievement of their goals.

Our professional curriculum combines the science and practice of pharmacy, and offers a variety of interprofessional experiences, clinical rotations, and elective coursework, allowing students to tailor their program to match their unique interests. Our innovative approach prepares students to be leaders in the dynamic field of pharmacy.

What is the profile of a typical student accepted directly from high school into the pharmacy program?

The most important item reviewed by the Admission Committee is the high school transcript. A strong math and science background provides an excellent foundation for professional study. To be considered for admission students should have a minimum of a 3.0 GPA and a 540 CR, 540 M, 500 W on the SAT or a 25 composite on the ACT. In the fall of 2015 the admitted student profile was: an averaged 3.86 GPA, and an averaged SAT/ACT score of 1861 (CR + M + W) or a 28 composite ACT.

Is a Pharmacy College Admission Test (PCAT) required for admission into the professional program?

Through the direct-entry admission option available at USciences, a PCAT test is not required. Students applying directly to the professional phase of the pharmacy program will need to submit a PCAT score.

Don’t computers and pharmacy technicians do all the things a pharmacist can do?

No. Pharmacists provide patient care that ensures optimal medication therapy outcomes. All questions related to prescriptions, health matters or drug information must be referred to the licensed pharmacist. Such counseling cannot be done by either pharmacy technicians or computers.

Can you describe the fourth professional year advanced pharmacy practice experiences (APPE)? In what areas of pharmacy will I be working?

Rotations opportunities are available in a variety of settings, representative of all areas of pharmacy. They include settings such as, clinics, community chain and independent pharmacies, drug information centers, government and public health service agencies, hospital pharmacies, managed care organizations, medical education and communication companies, nuclear pharmacy, pharmaceutical companies, regulatory agencies, research laboratories and pharmacy administration. In addition, most settings provide you the opportunity to work with a wide spectrum of types of patients as well as with various conditions including, infectious diseases, critical care, ambulatory care, oncology, psychiatry, pediatrics, nutrition, geriatrics and many more.

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