A Week in the Life of Pharmacy Student

First Two and a Half Years (61hrs/wk)

Last Year and a Half (52 weeks)

Pie chart depicting time spent in first 2 and a half years

Pie chart depicting time spent in the last 2 and a half years

First Two and a Half Years

Class Time and Team Assignments: Consist of lectures, skill and practice workshops, participating in assignments, discussing case studies with our teams, giving team presentations, and taking exams and quizzes.

Pharmacy classroomStudying: Professors provide you with electronic copies of the lectures, so studying often consists of reviewing these handouts along with class notes, reviewing case studies, studying in groups, and reading assigned chapters in textbooks.

Introduction to Practice: During both of your first two semesters you will have a rotation at a community pharmacy as a part of your Introductory Pharmacy Practice Experience (IPPE). You will gain experience in a hospital pharmacy (also as part of your IPPE) in the summer between your second and third years in the curriculum.

Practice: During your first year you will have a rotation at a community pharmacy as a part of your Introductory Pharmacy Practice Experience (IPPE).

Before taking the North American Pharmacy Licensure Examination (NAPLEX) and the California Pharmacy Jurisprudence Examination (CPJE), you will complete a total of 1,500 hours of pharmacy work. Six hundred hours are incorporated into the pharmacy curriculum, leaving a total of 900 additional hours you will have to complete to sit for the NAPLEX and CPJE upon graduation. Most students try to distribute the 900 hours evenly over the last four years of the curriculum.

Professional Development: Activities sponsored by the California Pharmacists Association (CPhA) and the California Society of Health-System Pharmacists (CSHP) provide an opportunity to network with pharmacists from a variety of specialties, connect with other pharmacy students, and fine-tune communications skills. As members of various pharmacy organizations, you will have the chance to participate in local community health fairs, performing glucose, cholesterol, and blood pressure screenings with faculty supervision.

Last Two YearsStudent on rotation

Clinical Blocks: In your third and fourth year you will complete seven 6-week clinical rotations, plus a 16-week advanced elective clinical. Rotations are available in hospitals, long-term-care facilities, compounding pharmacies, managed-care facilities, psychiatric facilities, children’s hospitals, chain drug stores, and independently owned pharmacies. A limited number of rotation sites are available outside of California, and a few outside of the US. The Office of Experiential Education can provide more information about these opportunities.

Working While in Pharmacy School: Although the California Board of Pharmacy no longer requires candidates for licensure to have completed internship hours outside of a pharmacy in order to take the licensing examination, many student pharmacists find it helpful to work part-time while in school. This helps to provide the opportunity to reinforce many concepts learned in the class in a real-life situation, while earning extra money. Additionally, residency programs and future employers like to see a work history. However, keep in mind that school should always be the higher priority.

Non-Academic Time

For long weekends or during spring and winter breaks, you can go home to see your family, ski, or maybe take a trip to Las Vegas. There are many cultural and recreational things to do when you live in Southern California, so our students try to take advantage of them when they can.