The AUHS School of Pharmacy offers a three-year accelerated Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) program in a highly student-focused learning environment. The PharmD curriculum is designed to instill students with strong Christian values, to prepare them to practice evidence-based patient care, to foster the culture of research and scholarship, and to enable them to meet the healthcare needs of diverse patient populations. The curriculum fulfills recommendations provided by accreditation standards and professional guidelines including the ACPE Standards 2016, JCPP Pharmacists’ Patient Care Process, CAPE Educational Outcomes 2013, and licensure examination content outlines.
The three-year curriculum consists of the equivalent of 12 quarters (four quarters per year). Each quarter is 11-weeks (consisting of 10 weeks of instruction and one week of final assessments) and is followed by a recess before the next quarter begins. The minimum credit hours required for program completion is 183. The curriculum is a combination of required and elective didactic and experiential courses.
The first-year didactic curriculum consists of foundational biomedical and pharmaceutical science courses (e.g., biochemistry, immunology, medicinal chemistry, microbiology, pathophysiology, pharmaceutics, pharmacokinetics, pharmacology), introductory clinical courses (e.g., patient care process, physical assessment, self-care), and fundamental courses in social and administrative science (e.g., biostatistics, communications, ethics, healthcare systems, health informatics, Judeo-Christian values in healthcare, medical illustration).
A substantive portion of the second-year didactic curriculum consists of the Integrated Pharmacotherapy course series. “Integrated” refers to the combination of basic sciences and clinical sciences and other topics. Instead of using separate courses to teach various topics in isolation, the Integrated Pharmacotherapy courses uses a model in which topics, such as medicinal chemistry, pharmacology, and pharmacotherapy are taught together within the context of disease states. This integration makes learning more relevant, encourages critical thinking, enables the development of more robust mental models, fosters longer term retention of material, and makes it easier to transfer learning to real-life patient care situations.
Along with classroom-based courses, students complete four Introductory Pharmacy Practice Experience (IPPE) rotations during first- and second-year of the program. In the final year, students complete 36 weeks of Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experiences (APPEs). The APPEs are comprised of a sequence of six rotations with each rotation being six weeks.