A Week in the Life of Pharmacy Student

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

  • Class Time & Team Assignments 25 hrs/wk
  • Studying 18 hr/wk
  • Working 17 hr/wk
  • Professional Development 1 hr/wk

Last Year and Half (52 weeks)

  • Advanced Pharmacy Practice Elective 12 wks
  • Advanced Elective 16 wks
  • Ambulatory Care Externship 6 wks
  • Ambulatory Care Clinical 6 wks
  • Institutional Medicine 6 wks
  • Institutional Clinical 6 wks
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.

Studying

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.

Practice

During your first year you will have a rotation at a community pharmacy as a part of your Introductory Pharmacy Practice Experience (IPPE). During a 4-week period between your second and third years you will complete a four-week, full-time, rotation in a hospital pharmacy as the remainder of your IPPE rotations. Starting in February of your third year, and continuing to graduation you will be expected to be at advanced rotation sites for full-time hours, except for a six-week “Off” rotation, 2 one-week rotation breaks, and a 2-4 week break for the end of year holidays during your fourth year.

As you complete your rotations through the curriculum at WesternU, you will be completing sufficient hours to meet accreditation standards and the requirements to sit for the North American Pharmacy Licensure Examination (NAPLEX) and the California Pharmacy Jurisprudence Examination (CPJE) examinations. Applications for licensure as a pharmacist in states other than California MAY require additional time in practice as an intern in order to be considered qualified to sit for their state’s licensing examination. You should consult the Board of Pharmacy(s) in the other state(s) in which you may be interested in pursuing licensure for their specific requirements.

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.

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.

Breaks

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.

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.

Studying

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.

Practice

During your first year you will have a rotation at a community pharmacy as a part of your Introductory Pharmacy Practice Experience (IPPE). During a 4-week period between your second and third years you will complete a four-week, full-time, rotation in a hospital pharmacy as the remainder of your IPPE rotations. Starting in February of your third year, and continuing to graduation you will be expected to be at advanced rotation sites for full-time hours, except for a six-week “Off” rotation, 2 one-week rotation breaks, and a 2-4 week break for the end of year holidays during your fourth year.

As you complete your rotations through the curriculum at WesternU, you will be completing sufficient hours to meet accreditation standards and the requirements to sit for the North American Pharmacy Licensure Examination (NAPLEX) and the California Pharmacy Jurisprudence Examination (CPJE) examinations. Applications for licensure as a pharmacist in states other than California MAY require additional time in practice as an intern in order to be considered qualified to sit for their state’s licensing examination. You should consult the Board of Pharmacy(s) in the other state(s) in which you may be interested in pursuing licensure for their specific requirements.

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 Years
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
Breaks

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.