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Academic Programs

Doctor of Pharmacy Curriculum

The purpose of the Doctor of Pharmacy curriculum is to prepare students to be leaders in the profession of pharmacy and to provide them with the tools to effectively practice in a wide variety of currently existing and potential future roles in hospitals and medical centers, community pharmacy settings, academia, government and the pharmaceutical industry. It is expected that the emerging fields of pharmacogenomics and bioinformatics will have a profound influence on the future practice of pharmacy. Graduates of the UCSD School of Pharmacy are in an excellent position to bring these advances to the patient care setting.

The curriculum is dynamic and under frequent revision. Presently, the four-year Doctor of Pharmacy curriculum is as follows:

Year 1 includes courses in anatomy, histology, pharmaceutical chemistry, pharmaceutics, bioinformatics, law and ethics and an introduction to the practice of pharmacy.

Year 2 is devoted to pre-clinical biomedical and biological subjects. Pharmacy students are enrolled in courses with first year medical students. These courses include foundations of human biology, cardiovascular, pulmonary, gastrointestinal, renal, endocrinology, reproduction, metabolism, microbiology, immunology and hematology. Supplementary courses specific to the needs of pharmacy students, such as additional coursework in pharmacology and physiology, laboratory medicine, drug study design, health policy and drug information are also offered.

Year 3 builds on the integrated sciences provided in Year 2 with courses in microbiology and infectious diseases, human disease, neurology, pharmacogenomics, pharmacology and pharmacoeconomics. A course series in therapeutics begins the process of applying the knowledge gained in the basic and integrated sciences to the clinical management of patients.

Students are expected to engage in IPPEs in the areas of community pharmacy, institutional health-system pharmacy, health-related service learning, and simulated activities during the first three years of the pharmacy curriculum. These experiences are intended to serve as a bridge between didactic courses and fourth-year Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experiences (APPE). Students must complete 300 IPPE hours by the end of the Winter Quarter of the P-3 year in order to progress to fourth-year APPEs.

Introductory Pharmacy Practice Experiences (IPPEs)

Year 4 is devoted entirely to clinical clerkships where students learn to apply the skills and knowledge obtained in the curriculum in a variety of clinical settings. Many of these clerkship experiences take place at UCSD-affiliated medical centers, such as UCSD Medical Center - Hillcrest, UCSD Medical Center - La Jolla, The Veteran's Administration Medical Center in La Jolla, and Rady Children's Hospital. In addition, many other facilities throughout the region are utilized and clerkship experiences in the biotechnology companies and research facilities adjacent to the UCSD campus are being implemented.

Completing a research project is required of all students and is a prerequisite for graduation. Students are encouraged to consider potential projects beginning in their first year. Students will be allowed to complete their research project in any academic year. For Pharm.D./Ph.D. program students, completion of the Ph.D. thesis project will satisfy this graduation project requirement.

Pharm.D. Required Student Research Project

The common required and elective coursework taken by pharmacy and medical students and clerkship experiences where medical and pharmacy students work closely together have been created to foster the development of cooperation between the professions as well as develop an appreciation for the unique roles that each provides to the care of patients.