» Experiential Education

The Office of Experiential Education creates and coordinates the clinical and practice related experiences that are a valuable part of professional preparation.  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.

Every effort is made to ensure preparedness and success along the way for both student pharmacists and those serving as preceptors. 

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Purpose for Experiential Education

The purpose of experiential education is to provide an opportunity for active participation in patient care responsibilities designed to develop and hone attributes required for student pharmacists to evolve into practice-ready pharmacists upon completion of the program.  These attributes include:

  • practice skills,
  • judgment,
  • professional behavior, attitudes, values
  • confidence,
  • personal responsibility, and
  • accountability 

Experiential education aims to integrate and reinforce knowledge gained in the classroom component of the curriculum to clinical practice and through interactions with preceptors, other health care professionals, peers and other health profession students.


Introductory Pharmacy Practice Experiences (IPPEs) and Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experiences (APPEs). 

The courses that comprise experiential education will comprise nearly 1/3 of the entire curriculum. Student pharmacists will be exposed to a variety of pharmacy practice experiences.

Years 1 and 2: IPPEs

Introductory experiential courses will expose students early to various pharmacy practice settings and 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.  Technical and professional practice skills needed to be effective in various practice settings are the focus for these early experiences.   

Year 3: APPEs

In the 7th and 8th trimester of the program, advanced experiential courses will be comprised of six, 6-week rotations in required and elective rotations.  The hours accumulated in APPEs = 1440.

Required Areas

Elective Examples

• Community pharmacy practice

•  Managed care

• Health-system pharmacy practice

•  Academia

• Acute care (i.e., managing patients during short stay in a hospital)

•  Pharmaceutical industry

• Ambulatory care (i.e., managing patients in an outpatient clinic)

• Drug information

• Drug safety

• Regulatory affairs

During this time, student pharmacists are exposed to a host of practice experiences of greater complexity with increasing levels of responsibility so that they are:

  • eligible to graduate and,
  • well prepared to sit for licensure examinations and,
  • able to take a number of different professional paths
    • participate in post-graduate year 1 general residency programs or
    • initiating graduate programs in basic sciences, pharmacy administration, health policy, business and education or
    • seek other professional doctoral programs (medicine or law) or
  • join the professional practice workforce 

It is not uncommon for the advanced pharmacy practice experiences to influence the direction a student pharmacist heads through exposure to the many possible career opportunities available to a pharmacist professional.                

Visit and explore often as the pages expand in order to discover information specific to the experiential portion of the CUSP program including career development information.  

Experiential Education Faculty

Full-time faculty and adjunct faculty serve as experiential educators for both IPPE and APPE courses.  The Office of Experiential Education is responsible for identifying adjunct faculty and working collaboratively to develop impeccable pharmacy practice experiences which fulfill student pharmacists’ needs. 

Providing exemplary educational support to student pharmacists as they progress through the CUSP Doctor of Pharmacy program can be a professionally rewarding and satisfying experience.  The Office of Experiential Education recognizes the value of dedicated and talented role models for CUSP student pharmacists and is committed to their continuing professional development. 

Visit and explore often as the pages expand in order to discover information specific to the experiential portion of the CUSP program including experiential educator resources, continuing professional education and professional development opportunities.