Examine the Curriculum

The success of WesternU’s PharmD curriculum is demonstrated by an average
first time pass rate of 98% for the past five years

The three-year PharmD curriculum offers a patient-centered approach to pharmacy clinical practice. 

Review the Course Listing in our Catalog For more detail regarding the curriculum, please review the course descriptions (PDF) in our University catalog.

Block System
WesternU was one of the first to develop the highly effective block system of learning. In your first year and half of your second year, you willStudents learning 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 Introduction to Clinical Work
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.

For more information on clinical experiences and third and fourth year rotations, please visit the clinical experiences page.

“I chose WesternU because of the block system, diverse student body,
great board pass rate, and job prospects upon graduation ”
-Ray Morita, PharmD Class of 2008

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 Egypt.

Students attending to a patientLearning 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.

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.

Outstanding Support Services
Not only will you receive faculty and peer support, you can also draw on the Learning Enhancement & Academic Development Office (LEAD) as a resource.  LEAD staff arrange for individual and group peer-tutoring sessions, one-on-one stress relief sessions, and workshops on topics such as time management, test-taking skills, and learning styles.

Pharmacy classroomInnovative 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. 

 

Working with my classmates on case studies that pertain to our subject material really enhances the learning process. It helps to bring the classroom into a real-world perspective
-Danielle Dishmon, PharmD Class of 2010

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.