Three Chapman University School of Pharmacy faculty members
School of Pharmacy

» Pharm.D. 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. 

What Makes Us Unique?

Students receive an iPad or MacBook since exams are taken using the electronic device, and all textbooks are available free of charge in electronic format. Assigned readings can be downloaded to the students electronic device for ease of use. This program is also unique in its delivery of innovative and student-centered flipped classroom methods of instruction. Instead of always sitting in class listening to a professor lecture, many class sessions will be devoted to discussion and active learning exercises. To succeed at CUSP, students are required to have viewed lectures and completed the assigned readings before coming to class. Quizzes may be given during class to allow students to demonstrate the knowledge gained from the pre-class work, allowing 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 is a major emphasis of the CUSP program. Students spend time during the program learning and working beside physician assistant, nursing, physical therapy, and communication sciences disorder 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.

How Can I Learn More about the Pharm.D. program?

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+ - 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 3 4
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 8
Total 62 88
  • Physics can be non-calculus based
  • Genetics should be Human Genetics
  • Economics can be Micro or Macro
  • Statistics can be BioStatistics

Chapman University School of Pharmacy only recognizes the following AP test scores in lieu of the equivalent prerequisite class:

AP Test

Minimum Score

Chapman Prerequisite

Calculus BC


MATH 110

Calculus AB


MATH 110



MATH 203



BIOL 204



PSY 101

Please contact us for questions regarding IB equivalencies.

PCAT also required. Learn more about the PCAT, including exam dates and registration.


Contact the Office of Student Affairs if you have any questions about prerequisites: or 714-516-5600.

+ - Curriculum


Intro to Health Care


Health Care Communications


Pharmacy Law & Ethics


Principles of Drug Action


Macromolecules in Life


Drug Delivery Systems I


Drug Delivery Systems I Lab


Professional Development


Drug Administration, Immunization & Basic Life Support Cert (BLS)


Total Trimester I Units



Health Law and Ethics


Integrated Therapeutics: Psychiatry/Neurology


Drugs Delivery Systems II


Drugs Delivery Systems II Lab


Basic Pharmacokinetics


Immunologic Basis of Diseases and Drug Action


Self-Care & Health Assessment I


Intro Pharmacy Practice Experiences I


Total Trimester II Units




Integrated Therapeutics: Dermatology and Rheumatology


Integrated Therapeutics: Cardiology


Applied Pharmacokinetics


Drug Information & Informatics


Research Design, Statistics and Literature Evaluation


Self-Care & Health Assessments II


Intro Pharmacy Practice Experiences II


Capstone Project/Presentation



0 – 2

Total Trimester III Units



Health Care Delivery I


Heath Belief Models & Motivational Interviewing


Integrated Therapeutics: Nephrology/Nutrition/Fluid & Electrolytes


Integrated Therapeutics: Endocrinology




Pharmacogenomics & Personalized Medicine


Intro Pharmacy Practice Experiences II (Either Health System of Community)


Capstone Project/Presentation



0 – 2

Total Trimester IV Units



Health Care Delivery II


Integrated Therapeutics: Gastroenterology


Integrated Therapeutics: Pulmonology


Integrated Therapeutics: Infectious Diseases I


Intro Pharmacy Practice Experiences IV (Either Health System or Community)


Pharmacy Practice Management


Capstone Project/Presentation



0 – 2

Total Trimester V Units



Health Care Delivery III


Clinical Pharmacy Review


Pharmacist Care Lab


Integrated Therapeutics: Infectious Diseases II






Integrated Therapeutics: Oncology


Pharmacoeconomics and Pharmacoepidemiology


Capstone Project/Presentation



0 – 2

Total Trimester VI Units



Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experiences: Six 6-week rotations


Total Trimester VII and VIII Units












* Does not include capstone and elective units 

+ - 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

It is important to take into account the following expenses. Since actual student expenses vary, these are provided to assist in cost planning and may not reflect all of the actual expenses.

The Graduate Financial Aid Office can assist students in finding resources to meet their financial needs. For inquiries, please contact the Office of Graduate Financial Aid at (714) 628-2730.

Tuition and Fees

Living Expenses – Including room/board, transportation, personal expenses, etc…

Background Check ~$100
Drug Screening $29
Immunization Verification Year 1: $25
Year 2: $10
Year 3: $10
BLS Training $35
Malpractice/Liability Insurance $26
California Intern Pharmacist License Up to $310
Health Insurance - REQUIRED

Please see Tuition and Fees (can be waived if student already has health insurance) 

+ - Financial Aid

For Financial Aid Inquiries, please visit Graduate Financial Aid, (714) 628-2730, or

+ - 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.

Learn more about the Experiential Education program.

+ - Student Organizations

To help students better appreciate their role in the profession and how they can contribute to the larger community, students are 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.

CUSP supports member students attending state, regional or national conferences by providing partial reimbursement of registration and travel cost, when students are eligible for reimbursement.

Chapters of National Pharmacy Organizations

  • American Pharmacists Association-Academy of Student Pharmacists/California Pharmacists Association (APhA-ASP/CPhA)
  • American Association of Pharmaceutical Science (AAPS)
  • California Society of Health System Pharmacists/American Society of Health System Pharmacists (CSHP/ASHP)
  • Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy (AMCP)
  • Student College of Clinical Pharmacy (SCCP-ACCP)
  • International Society for Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Research (ISPOR-CU)

Organizations Focusing on Specific Patient Populations

  • Hispanic Pharmacists Association (HAP)
  • Korean Pharmacy Student Association (KAPSA)
  • Vietnamese Pharmacy Student Association (VAPSA)
  • Middle Eastern Pharmacists Association (MePA)
  • Chinese American Pharmacy Student Assoc (CHAPSA)


  • Phi Delta Chi - Epsilon Delta Chapter (PDC)
  • Kappa Psi - Zeta Tau chapter (KY)

Leadership & Honor Societies

  • Phi Lambda Sigma (PLS)
  • Rho Chi Pharmacy Honor Society

+ - 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.

How long is your pharmacy program?

We are a three year program, Students complete the eight semesters of pharmacy school by going year round. There are three 15-week trimesters the first two years, with a two week break between trimesters, and two 15-week trimesters the last year when you complete your Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experiences.

Does the School of Pharmacy consider applications from international students?

No. Chapman University School of Pharmacy only accepts applications from U.S. citizens or applicants with Permanent Resident Status.

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 a criminal background check and a drug screen the summer before starting pharmacy school. Additionally, the California State Board of Pharmacy requires fingerprints and a criminal background check to obtain a pharmacist intern license which will be required in the trimester of pharmacy school. In addition, many of the clinical facilities affiliated with CUSP may require additional background checks and/or drug testing for student placements.

How do I apply to your program?

Students must apply via the PharmCAS website. Learn more about the application process.

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, team work, and communication skills, they learn during pharmacy school, to keep their patients safe are strongly encouraged to apply. For more information, see the CUSP admission requirements.

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

CUSP reviews all applicants in a holistic manner, which means we consider all elements of your application. Preferred applicants have a PCAT composite percentile score of 50 or higher and both overall and prerequisite GPA’s of 3.0 or greater. Please note that these are not requirements nor minimums.   

Do I need to send in my transcripts to CUSP?

Initial, fall, and spring transcripts should be sent by your schools directly to PharmCAS. Fall and spring transcripts must be sent during the appropriate update periods. Check the PharmCAS website for the timelines. If any courses are completed after PharmCAS’ spring transcript upload date, you can send them directly to CUSP at the following address:


Office of Student Affairs
9401 Jeronimo Rd.
Irvine, CA 92618

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

Typically, all pre-pharmacy courses must be completed by the end of the Spring Term before the start of the pharmacy program. However, you can apply for admission before completing all of your pre-requisite courses or the PCAT exam. On a case-by-case basis, we can allow students to complete their last class over the summer, as long as the course will complete by the end of the second week of August.

How many students are accepted each year?

Our target enrollment is 100 students, however, at least 30 seats are reserved for the students who are matriculating from our FEAP Pre-pharmacy program.

Is preference given to California residents?

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

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?


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.  Applications via PharmCAS typically open in the middle of July. Interviews start in late August or early September.

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. However, students who have completed a different major, but gone back to school to complete their pre-requisites are highly encouraged to apply. We also have a very supportive environment for non-traditional students.

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, as well as take and get a sufficient score on the PCAT exam.

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

You may take your pre-requisite 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, and a course grade of C (3.0) or better is required for the course to fulfill a pre-requisite requirement. You may contact the CUSP Office of Student and Academic Affairs if you have questions or you would like us to review your transcripts for you.

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. You can also email your unofficial transcripts to and request a transcript review. We can let you know which courses we can accept and which courses, if any, you still need to take. We highly recommend that you take advantage of this free service before you apply.

How do you approach repeated coursework?

All previous attempts at a course where you received a grade of C- or less are averaged with the course grade of C or better. However, if you get a C in a course and retake the course for a better grade, we only include the better grade since you were not required to retake the course.

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. Typically, all pre-pharmacy courses must be completed by the end of the Spring term before pharmacy school starts in the Fall.

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 have a 3.0 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, students with less than a 3.0 may be invited to interview if they have a recent upward grade trend or excel in other areas like the PCAT. 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 at least two to three weeks prior to the interview date.

What should I expect during the CUSP interview day?

The interview consists of four main parts: two one on one interviews with a faculty member, a group session, an info session, and a tour. There is also a welcome from our Dean. The purpose of the interview is to assess your oral communication skills, writing skills, leadership attributes, ability to work in a team, critical thinking, and your motivation or potential to be a pharmacist.

Can I reschedule my CUSP interview appointment?

We understand that sometimes things happen, so we will be glad to work with you if we can to reschedule your interview. The more advanced notice you can give us, the easier it will be to accommodate you. Please be aware that we are required to report students to PharmCAS for unprofessional behavior if they do not attend their interview day without prior notice.

How should I dress for the CUSP interview?

Professional attire is expected.

When will I be notified of my admission status?

Typically, all applicants will be notified by email within two weeks of the interview date. Admission statuses include admitted, denied, or pooled.

What does "Pooled" mean?

Pooled is a status for those candidates who have been interviewed, but who didn’t do well enough to be admitted or poorly enough to be denied. Sometimes, students will be pooled if the admission committee would like to wait for Fall grades or a PCAT score. Most of the time pooled students are eventually offered admission.

What if I have a change of address?

You should update your information in PharmCAS.

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.

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?

Unless a student has years of previous experience working a full time job, we suggest students wait until they successfully complete the first trimester of class before getting a part-time job. Although working as a pharmacist intern can give you valuable pharmacy experience, it also can eat up valuable study time. Each student needs to judge for themselves if they can handle a job in addition to a rigorous pharmacy program.

Request Information about Chapman University School of Pharmacy Pharm.D. Doctor of Pharmacy Program.

+ - Vital Statistics

Pharm.D. Class 2018

On-Time Graduation Rate: 96%


First-time NAPLEX Pass Rate [Calendar Year 2018]

CUSP: 71.23%
National Average: 89.46%

California Pharmacist Jurisprudence Examination (CPJE) [April 1st, 2018-September 30th, 2018]

CUSP: 84.0%
California Average: 89.7%

Multistate Pharmacy Jurisprudence Examination (MPJE) [Calendar Year 2018]

CUSP: 91.0%