Pharmacy Courses

Pharm D Syllabus in USA

The DOCTOR OF PHARMACY (PharmD) degree is a broad undifferentiated degree attesting to general knowledge in the field of pharmacy and the basic skills required for the practice of pharmacy. 

Pharm.D. curriculum is designed to prepare students to be practice ready upon arrival at their experiential sites, and ultimately undergo more robust clinical and professional growth during their patient care encounters and research activities.

Foundational courses in the pharmaceutical, biomedical, pharmaceutical chemistry, social-administrative and clinical sciences comprise the first three years of the program. Students also complete Introductory Pharmacy Practice Experiences (IPPE) along with classroom-based courses in the first and second year. The end of the third year and final (fourth) year of the program includes the Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experiences (APPE), which are set in healthcare setting throughout the greater Los Angeles area, along with a capstone course.

Introductory Pharmacy Practice Experiences (IPPEs)

Years 1-3 - Students complete a minimum of 300 hours of experiential learning in community, hospital and elective pharmacy practice. There will also be classroom instructions that have been designed to complement and enhance the experiences gained at the various practice sites. 

Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experiences (APPEs)

Years 3-4 - Students complete six advanced pharmacy practice experiences (APPE) spread across their final calendar year. APPE blocks are for six-weeks and are scheduled beginning in the last half of the year 3 spring semester, twice in the summer, three times in the fall, and twotimes in the final spring semester. Students are assigned to complete six of the eight blocks including either block 7 or 8.

The Courses of Pharm D Curriculum Include

  • Pharmacy Skills Program
  • Introduction to the Health Care System
  • Physiology
  • Pharmaceutics & Calculations
  • Social, Behavioral & Communication Aspects of Pharmacy Practice
  • Biochemistry
  • Patient Assessment
  • Immunology
  • Self-Care & Over the Counter Products
  • Foundations in Medicinal Chemistry, Microbiology & Receptor Action
  • Fundamentals of Pharmacy Practice
  • Patient, Medication Safety & Informatics
  • Community Introductory Pharmacy Practice Experience (IPPE)
  • Institutional Introductory Pharmacy Practice Experience (IPPE)
  • Module Related Skill Lab (MRSL) IV
  • Integrated Hematology/Oncology Module
  • Integrated Psychiatry Module
  • Complex Problems
  • Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experience (APPE)

The School of Pharmacy’s Curriculum Committee continuously reviews and enhances the curriculum to ensure students develop the competencies essential to the pharmacist’s expanding role as a health care provider. 

Related: Pharmaceutical Calculations for Pharmacy Students

Areas of Concentration

There are six Areas of Concentration available to PharmD students who may be interested. Students must complete six didactic elective units, six experiential units, and participate in co-curricular activities relevant to their chosen Areas of Concentration. 

  • Comprehensive Medication Management and High-Risk Populations 
  • Education 
  • Health Systems and Care Management
  • Pharmaceutical Industry 
  • Pharmacy Entrepreneurship
  • Research

Curriculum changes also reflect scientific advances, population profile changes, increasing health expectations, technological advances, the increasing role of the government in health services and other influences.


  • USC School of Pharmacy
  • University of Washington School of Pharmacy
  • University of Houston

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