» Pharm.D. - Doctor of Pharmacy Program

The Pharm.D. - Doctor of Pharmacy degree is a three-year, accelerated professional degree composed of eight, 15-week trimesters where students will begin in the fall of each year. Personalized education is a core value for Chapman University, therefore, for many pharmacy courses students will be broken up into smaller groups of 15 or 30. 

What Makes Us Unique?

This unique full-time program will have integrated “Study & Reflection” periods in the schedule to provide student pharmacists with the ability to prepare for classes, study new material, or reflect upon what they have learned within the day. This program is also unique in its delivery of innovative and student-centered flipped classroom methods of instruction. Instead of sitting in class listening to professors lecture, class time will be devoted to discussion and active learning exercises. To succeed at CUSP, students will be required to have viewed lectures and completed the assigned readings before coming to class. Quizzes will be given at the beginning of class to allow students to demonstrate the knowledge gained from the pre-class work, and allow faculty to tailor the discussion and active learning exercises to best meet student needs.

Team-Oriented Education

Learning to work with other health professionals on a health care team will be a major emphasis of the CUSP program. Students will spend time during the program learning and working beside physician assistant, nursing, or physical therapy students. This inter-professional environment will allow students to work on their communication and team-building skills, in addition to demonstrating the value that each profession brings to the patient care process.

+ - Prerequisites

Prerequisite coursework for admission requires 63 semester (95 quarter) credits as specified below, which may be accumulated within two years.

Pathways for entry to Pharm.D program include 2+3 Freshman Early Assurance Program through Chapman University, a 2+3 from internal and external transfer students, and students with a Bachelor’s degree, however a Bachelor’s degree is not required.

Course Semester Hours Quarter Hours
** Biology with Lab 4 6
Human Anatomy with Lab 4 6
**Physiology with Lab 4 6
Microbiology with Lab 4 6
**Chemistry (General with Labs) 8 12
Organic Chemistry with Labs 8 12
Physics with Lab 4 6
Genetics or Molecular Biology 3 4
***Calculus 3 4
**Statistics 3 4
Psychology or Sociology 3 4
Economics (Micro or Macro) 3 4
Communications/Speech 3 4
**English Composition 3 4
Electives 6 9
Total 63 95

** May be waived with a 4.0 on the AP or IB exam.

***May be waived with a score of “4 or higher” on Calculus AB, or with a score of “3 or higher” on calculus BC.

Contact Dr. Lawrence Brown, Associate Dean of Student & Academic Affairs, with any questions about pre-requisites

PCAT also required.  Click here for information about the PCAT, including exam dates and registration.

+ - Curriculum

TRIMESTER I
Intro to Health Care 3
Health Care Communications 2
Pharmacy Law & Ethics 2
Drug Administration, Immunization & Basic Life Support Cert (BLS) 1
Principles of Drug Action 4
Macromolecules in Life 3
Drug Delivery Systems I 2
Drug Delivery Systems I Lab 1
Capstone Project/Presentation
TOTAL TRIMESTER I UNITS 18
TRIMESTER II
Health Law and Ethics 1
Integrated Therapeutics: Psychiatry/Neurology 5
Self-Care & Health Assessment I 3
Intro Pharmacy Practice Experiences I 1
Drugs Delivery Systems II 2
Drugs Delivery Systems II Lab 1
Basic Pharmacokinetics 3
Immunologic Basis of Diseases and Drug Action 2
Capstone Project/Presentation
TOTAL TRIMESTER II UNITS 18
TRIMESTER III  
Health Law and Ethics - Team Case Work 1
Integrated Therapeutics: Dermatology/Otolaryngology 1
Integrated Therapeutics: Cardiology 5
Drug Information & Informatics 2
Self-Care & Health Assessments II 3
Applied Pharmacokinetics 2
Research Design, Statistics and Literature Evaluation 2
Capstone Project/Presentation 1
Electives 0 - 1
TOTAL TRIMESTER III UNITS 17
TRIMESTER IV
Health Care Delivery I 2
Motivational Interviewing 1
Integrated Therapeutics: Nephrology/Nutrition/Fluid & Electrolytes 3
Integrated Therapeutics: Endocrinology 4
Intro Pharmacy Practice Experiences II (Either Health System of Community) 3
Biopharmaceuticals 2
Pharmacogenomics & Personalized Medicine 2
Capstone Project/Presentation
Electives 0 - 1
TOTAL TRIMESTER IV UNITS 17
TRIMESTER V
Health Care Delivery II 2
Integrated Therapeutics: Gastronenterology 4
Integrated Therapeutics: Infectious Diseases I 3
Intro Pharmacy Practice Experiences II (Either Health System or Community) 3
Pharmacy Practice Management 3
Capstone Project/Presentation
Electives 0 - 1
TOTAL TRIMESTER V UNITS 16
TRIMESTER VI
Health Care Delivery III 3
Advanced Health Education Experiences 2
Integrated Therapeutics: Infectious Diseases II 4
Integrated Therapeutics: Rheumatologic Disorders 1
Integrated Therapeutics: Hematology/Oncology 4
Pharmacoeconomics and Pharmacoepdemiology 2
Capstone Project/Presentation
Elective Track 1 0 - 1
TOTAL TRIMESTER VI UNITS 16
TRIMESTER VII and VIII
Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experiences: Six 6-week rotations 36
Capstone Project/Presentation 1
TOTAL TRIMESTER VII and VIII UNITS 37
REQUIRED 140
ELECTIVES 3-5

+ - Technical Standards for Admission and Retention

Candidates for the Doctor of Pharmacy degree must be able to perform the essential functions in each of the following categories: Observation, Communication, Motor Function, Intellectual, and Behavioral/Social. However, it is recognized that degrees of ability very among individuals.

The educational objective of the Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) degree program at Chapman University School of Pharmacy is to prepare students for the practice of pharmacy. Students admitted to, as well as those continuing in the PharmD program, must have the intellectual, emotional, and physical abilities, with reasonable accommodations provided to those with disabilities, to acquire the knowledge, behaviors, clinical and technical skills to successfully complete the curriculum in preparation for licensure as a practicing pharmacist. Further, the safety of the patient, on whom the professional education process is primarily focused, must be ensured as the final and ultimate consideration. Therefore, it is essential for competent patient care to require students to meet minimum technical standards in their pharmacy education.

The five standards listed below describe the essential functions students must demonstrate in order to fulfill the requirements of a pharmacy education, and thus, are prerequisites for entrance to, continuation in, and graduation from the School of Pharmacy. The School of Pharmacy will consider for admission any applicant who demonstrates the ability to perform or to learn to perform the skills listed in this document. If you feel you are unable to meet these technical standards you are encouraged prior to application to discuss your disability with the Associate Dean of Student and Academic Affairs at in order to determine whether or not reasonable accommodations can be made. Students pursuing the academic program who lack the ability to appropriately comply with these standards and who do not seek accommodations may place themselves in academic jeopardy.

A candidate for the PharmD degree must meet or exceed the required aptitude, abilities, and skills, in the following areas:

I. Observation: Candidates must be able to observe demonstrations and experiments in the basic and pharmaceutical sciences. Candidates must be able to accurately observe a patient’s condition, must be able to obtain a history and perform appropriate assessments and to correctly integrate the information derived from these observations to develop and implement an accurate and therapeutically appropriate plan. They must be able to prepare medications for dispensing to patients and observe the activities of technical staff operating under their supervision in accordance with State law. These skills require the functional use of vision, verbal, hearing and somatic sensations.

II. Communication: Candidates must be able to communicate with, understand, and observe patients in a clinical setting. They must be able to record information accurately and clearly, communicate fluently in and understand the English language, and communicate effectively and sensitively with patients. Candidates must also be able to communicate effectively with other members of the healthcare team in oral and written form, and in patient care settings in which decisions based upon those communications may be made rapidly. They must be able to effectively communicate with and supervise technical support staff.

III. Motor function: Candidates must possess the motor function sufficient to direct and supervise the accurate compounding and preparation of medications for dispensing to patients. In addition they must have the motor skills to teach medication administration, including the monitoring and counseling of patients regarding their medication. They must be able to use computer-based information systems. They must adhere to universal precaution measures and meet safety standards applicable to inpatient and outpatient settings and other clinical activities. They must have sufficient health to be able to work competently and consistently in a stressful work environment, be able to attend classes regularly, and be able to take exams on schedule.

IV. Intellectual: Candidates must have effective and efficient learning techniques and habits that allow mastery of the pharmacy curriculum. They must be able to learn through a variety of modalities including, but not limited to, classroom instruction, small group activities, individual study, preparation and presentation of reports, and use of computer technology. They must be able to memorize, measure, calculate, reason, analyze, synthesize and apply information and concepts. They must also be able to comprehend spatial relationships and three-dimensional models.

V. Behavioral and social attributes: Candidates must demonstrate the maturity and emotional stability required for full use of their intellectual abilities. They must accept responsibility for learning, exercising sound judgment, and promptly completing all responsibilities attendant to the care of patients. Candidates must understand the legal and ethical aspects of the practice of pharmacy and function within the guidelines established by the law and by the ethical standards of the pharmacy profession. They must be able to relate to patients and their families, colleagues, and other members of the healthcare team with courtesy, maturity, and respect for the dignity of individuals. This requires that they place the welfare of their patients foremost, and demonstrate honesty, integrity, dedication, compassion and nondiscrimination in the care of their patients. They must, at all times, demonstrate the emotional stability to be able to exercise sound judgment, and carry out prompt completion of all of the responsibilities attendant to the care of their patients in a sensitive and effective manner. This sensitivity includes self-examination of personal attitudes, perceptions, and stereotypes in order to avoid potential negative impacts on relationships and patient care. Candidates must be able to adapt to changing environments, display flexibility and professional responsibility to their patients, and to learn to function in an environment of uncertainty, in which changes may occur rapidly and without warning. All of these personal qualities will be assessed during the admissions and educational process. Candidates must be able to contribute to collaborative, constructive learning environments; accept constructive feedback from others; and take personal responsibility for making appropriate positive changes.

+ - Estimated Cost of Attendance

The cost of attendance at Chapman University School of Pharmacy includes estimated tuition, living expenses, and other minor costs.

There is no campus housing near the Rinker Health Science Campus, therefore the housing costs are based on the typical cost of sharing a 2-bedroom apartment in the area.

For Financial Aid inquiries, please contact the Office of Graduate Financial Aid at (714) 628-2730.

 Total Annual Tuition and Fees Please note these figures may increase slightly on an annual basis.
Tuition for 2016-2017 Academic Year

Year 1: $69,750
Year 2: $69,750
Year 3: $46,500

Health Insurance $1455 (can be waived if student already has health insurance)
Background Check ~$100
Drug Screening $29
Immunization Verification Year 1: $25
Year 2: $10
Year 3: $10
Malpractice/Liability Insurance $26
California Intern Pharmacist License Up to $310
Campus Parking $350
Estimated Annual Living Expenses
Housing $10000
Transportation $1200 (Student is required to have a reliable form of transportation in
order to get to IPPE, APPE and other practice areas)
Personal/Miscellaneous $8000 

+ - Financial Aid

For Financial Aid Inquiries, please contact Graduate Financial Aid at (714) 628-2730 or gradfinaid@chapman.edu.

+ - Experiential Education

CUSP students will have opportunities to take their knowledge, skills, and attitudes and apply them in various direct patient care environments during their experiential education courses as they work to become competent and caring health care professionals. These courses will comprise nearly one-third of the entire curriculum.

Introductory experiential courses will expose students early to various pharmacy practice settings, practitioners, and community health needs during the first two professional years.  These introductory experiences, coupled with the other courses in the curriculum, will adequately prepare student pharmacists for advanced pharmacy practice experiences.

In the third year, advanced experiential courses will be composed of six 6-week rotations in required (community, health-system, ambulatory care and acute care practices) and elective (managed care, administrative, pharmaceutical industry) area of practice.

For more information about the Experiential Education program, please visit this page »

+ - Student Participation with Pharmacy Organizations

To help students better appreciate their role in the profession and how they can contribute to the larger community, students will be able to participate in national pharmacy organizations such as the American Pharmacists Association and the American Society of Health System Pharmacists and their respective state affiliates, as well as other pharmacy associations as part of their assimilation into the pharmacy profession. In addition, students will develop as leaders to advance the changes that will be required for health care in the future and will do so through their involvement in CUSP chapters of various student pharmacists association and local pharmacy associations. They will be encouraged to actively participate as a complement to their formal education and to extend participation throughout their entire career as a means to advocate for patients, themselves and the profession.

+ - FAQs - Frequently Asked Questions

Is the School of Pharmacy on the Chapman University Campus in Orange, CA?

No. CUSP is located on the Harry and Diane Rinker Health Science Campus in Irvine, CA. The campus is 15 miles south of the Chapman Campus and currently consists of 3 buildings at 9401, 9501 and 9701 Jeronimo Road.  CUSP is conveniently located 1.5 miles east of the I-5 Freeway, off of Alton Parkway, and within 2 miles of the Irvine Spectrum.

Is there student housing near the School of Pharmacy?

Currently there is no official Chapman student housing near CUSP. However, there are several apartment complexes within 1 to 3 miles of CUSP, including “The Park” and “The Village” apartment complexes located at the Irvine Spectrum. More housing is being developed commercially in the Great Park area of Irvine.

Does CUSP require a background check?

CUSP does not require a criminal background check to apply to the Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) program.  However, those individuals selected for admission to the program are required to complete one.  Additionally, the California State Board of Pharmacy requires fingerprints and a criminal background check to obtain a pharmacy intern license which will be required in the first year.  In addition, many of the clinical facilities affiliated with CUSP may require additional background checks and/or drug testing for student placements.

What are the criteria for admission?

The CUSP admission criteria include academic strength, motivation to pursue pharmacy, maturity, communication skills, special talents, achievements and the unique contribution you will be expected to make to the profession. Students who have a desire to use the clinical and communication skills they acquire during pharmacy school to provide medication therapy management to patients as part of a health care team within an Accountable Care Organization, Patient Centered Medical Home, Care Transition Organization, or a Medical Group, are highly encouraged to apply. For more information, see the CUSP admission requirements.

What is the School's likely SAT minimum and GPA requirements for admission and continuing work?

It is expected that students admitted will have verbal and math SAT scores greater than 1340 (ACT 30) with Critical Writing SAT of 670 (ACT 30) and a GPA of at least 3.75 for early action freshman admission (expected GPA of 3.5 or more for all other students). All prerequisites grades must be a C or better and students will be required to maintain a 3.0 average to continue to progress with no grade below a C in any course.

What are the options for admission?

CUSP has three different pathways to gain admission.

  1. Students can apply as a “Freshman Early Assurance” admission directly to the Doctor of Pharmacy Program via the Common Application with a guaranteed seat provided they maintain academic standards and complete their pharmacy school pre-requisite courses in two years at Chapman University. These students would then continue into the pharmacy program following a second interview in their third semester as long as they fulfill the pre-requisite requirements and Special Admission Requirements for Freshman CUSP Admission before starting the pharmacy program the next fall. Early Action Freshman applicants will not receive a Bachelor of Science (BS) degree and will receive the terminal Doctor of Pharmacy degree in 5 years if they continue to meet the academic and professional standards of the program.
  2. Students who are already attending Chapman could complete their pre-requisite courses at Chapman in any number of years and then apply to CUSP through PharmCAS. 
  3. Students who have completed their pre-requisites, with or without obtaining a BS Degree, at an institution other than Chapman can apply using the PharmCAS system and will be required to take the PCAT exam. For more detailed information, see the CUSP Admission page.

Do I need to send in my transcripts to CUSP?

If you are applying as a “Freshman Early Assurance” admission the Common Application system and our central admissions group will facilitate the transfer of the information required by CUSP. If you have completed all of your coursework at Chapman, your transcripts will be automatically transferred from the registrar’s office to CUSP. If you are an External student, you need to send in an official copy of all of your transcripts using PharmCAS when you apply.

When do I need to complete my pre-pharmacy courses?

All pre-pharmacy courses must be completed before you can start the pharmacy program.

How many students are accepted each year?

The CUSP program will accept 70 students for 2015, 80 students for 2016, and then 100 students per year, thereafter. Personalized education is a core value for Chapman University, therefore, for many pharmacy courses students will be broken up into smaller groups of 15 to 30.

Is preference given to California residents?

No. The School uses the same criteria to evaluate out-of-state applicants as California residents.

Do California residents pay less tuition than out-of-state students?

Chapman University is a private university; therefore, tuition and fees are the same for all students regardless of state or country of residence.

Is a bachelor's degree required?

No.

Can I enter with advanced standing status?

No. Due to the unique nature of our curriculum, CUSP is not able to accept students who will not be starting the pharmacy program from the first trimester.

Do you have a rolling admission?

Yes. It is advisable to submit your application as early as possible.  Freshman applying for a “Freshman Early Assurance” admission must apply by January 15th.

Do you give preference to any major?

No, CUSP does not give preference to any major. Most applicants are science majors. The most common majors are biology, chemistry, biochemistry and psychobiology.

I already have a bachelor's degree. Do I still need to complete all the prerequisites?

Yes, all applicants regardless of degree or major must complete all of the pre-pharmacy required courses before they enter the PharmD program.

Where do I take the pre-pharmacy courses? How do I know if my classes have met your pre-pharmacy requirements?

You may take your pre-pharmacy courses at any accredited institution in the United States, except vocational or technical schools. All pre-pharmacy coursework must be completed for a letter grade. The course descriptions must meet CUSP transfer requirements. You may contact the CUSP Office of Student and Academic Affairs if you have questions.

Can I meet with a counselor to go over my transcripts and application?

CUSP offers Information Sessions for prospective applicants. These sessions give you an opportunity to visit the Rinker Health Science Campus of Chapman University, meet with faculty and admission staff, and learn about the CUSP program and the application process. Your coursework/transcripts will be evaluated once your application is submitted.

Can I submit my application before I complete my pre-requisites?

Yes. You should have completed most of your pre-pharmacy coursework by the time you submit your application. You must indicate on your application when and where you will be taking the remaining pre-requisites. All pre-pharmacy courses must be completed before you can start the pharmacy program.

Do I need an interview?

To be accepted into the PharmD program, you must be interviewed.  However, due to the large number of students who apply, not all applicants will be invited to be interviewed.

Is there a minimum grade point average required for an interview?

Competitive applicants who meet a minimum 3.5 cumulative grade point average and above, possess strong communication and interpersonal skills, and have a general knowledge of the field of pharmacy are the most sought-after candidates. However, 3.0 is the minimum grade point average needed to apply. Unfortunately, CUSP is unable to interview all qualified applicants.

How do I know if I am selected for a CUSP interview?

If you are selected for an interview, you will receive an E-mail invitation two to three weeks prior to the interview date.

What should I expect during the CUSP interview?

The interview consists of two parts: the oral interview and a writing test. The purpose of the interview is to assess your oral communication skills, writing skills, leadership attributes and your motivation or potential to be a pharmacist.

Can I reschedule my CUSP interview appointment?

No. If you miss your assigned interview or arrive late, your application will be canceled. However, under some rare circumstances, such as a medical emergency, the CUSP Admission Committee will make an exception. If you know you will be attending an important event or studying abroad during one of CUSP's interview sessions, please inform us early so that we will not schedule your interview during that session.

How should I dress for the CUSP interview?

Professional attire is recommended.

When will I be notified of my admission status?

All applicants will be notified by mail or email approximately four weeks after the interview date. Status updates will be mailed to you about four weeks after each interview session or as soon as decisions are made. CUSP does not release status information over the telephone.

What does "active consideration" mean?

Active consideration is a status for those candidates who have been interviewed, but are not admitted after an interview. Candidates on active consideration are placed on hold/wait list until a final admission decision can be made. Active consideration candidates are re-evaluated after each subsequent interview session conducted by CUSP and could receive admission, denial, or continued active consideration status.

What can I do if I'm assigned "active consideration" status?

The CUSP PharmD program is highly competitive. Not all applicants are interviewed. When you are on active consideration status, you should continue with your unfinished coursework. When you finish an academic term, please send in your updated transcript(s) as soon as the grades and/or your degree are posted.

What if I have a change of address?

You should notify the CUSP Office of Student and Academic Affairs of all changes of mailing and e-mail addresses, as well as phone numbers.

How do I withdraw my application? Do I need to notify PharmCAS?

You should notify the admission office as soon as possible of your decision to withdraw. An explanation and/or information about what school you choose to attend is appreciated. You do not need to notify PharmCAS about your decision to withdraw.

May I apply again if I am denied the first time?

Yes. Re-applicants must submit following the same process as new applicants. However, you are required to send only one new letter of recommendation.

What is the Difference between a Pharmaceutical Scientist and a Pharmacist?

Pharmaceutical scientists are typically involved in the development of new drugs: discovery, drug delivery systems, characteristics related to drug absorption, distribution, metabolism, and elimination. They spend most of their time conducting research in a laboratory or office setting. Pharmaceutical scientists focus primarily upon the product design and development. Pharmacists work with existing drugs, patients, and other healthcare practitioners to advance health and patient care through the appropriate use of medications. They often work face-to-face with physicians (drug selection and use) and patients (appropriate medication use including adherence). However, there are an array of non-direct patient care roles for pharmacists including research. Pharmacists primarily focus on the patient.

Will I be able to work while I am enrolled in the Doctor of Pharmacy program?

While it is possible to work during the program, students will be expected to attend class for most of the day (8 a.m. to 5 p.m.), Monday through Friday.  Nights and weekends may be open, depending upon whether experiential educational requirements fall during the first two years of the program.  In some instances, student pharmacists may need to spend time in pharmacy practice setting depending upon the availability of teaching partners and practice sites.  

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