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pharmacy schools' curriculum


Full Member
Moderator Emeritus
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Feb 7, 2007
    Are all the pharmacy schools have the same curriculum? Do we all learn the same thing regardless of what pharmacy schools we go to?

    Of course not. You will receive the same core curriculum (i imagine every pharmacy school has pharmacology and therapeutics), but some schools are very much focused on clinical practice, while others provide courses that are more appropriate for community-based practice. Other schools provides large numbers of electives, and the number of hours of experiential learning and the level of support you have varies. University of Maryland, for instance, has a well-organized experiential learning program which matches students to a large number of rotations throughout all four years. Many other schools do not offer a matching program.

    However, all programs will prepare you to take the NAPLEX; it's just a question of whether you will pass on the first try. Some schools have a 99% pass rate; others....it varies.

    Artful Dodger

    Membership Revoked
    10+ Year Member
    Aug 12, 2007
    1. Pre-Health (Field Undecided)
      Technically, no.

      However, every accredited school must have a curriculum strong enough for people to pass the NAPLEX. In essence, we all learn the universal language of pharmacy (in the United States of course), but it may have been learned a different way...or something else was emphasized more than others.


      10+ Year Member
      5+ Year Member
      Jan 2, 2006
      1. Pharmacy Student
        At Michigan, the curriculum focuses towards a well rounded clinician, though one can definitely detect the directionality towards clinical practice given the resources of the world class hospital next door. Different schools vary in quality not necessarily in the course offerings, but most distinctly in rotation quality and breadth. One of the advantages of being a part of a research hospital is that students often get to see odd cases while on rotation that normally might not be seen in rural areas (due to referrals).

        Structures of curricula may also vary in emphasis. Michigan definitely needs work on preparing better community pharmacists, and has adjusted its curriculum thus far. Our program also forces all students to do a research project our P4 year with research proposals, mentors, and big long presentations. We also have two whole years of therapeutics compared to other programs that usually do 1. We also have a lot of random seemingly unnecessary courses in case students are also interested in the research/academia route, and they're required in order to make us 'well rounded.' We also have opportunities to sometimes take electives, but our core curriculum is rather constricted so specialization-tailored curriculum seekers wouldn't necessarily find themselves experts upon graduating from our PharmD program. The Michigan philosophy maintains strong core knowledge while more can be learned from residencies and fellowships. While this can obviously be a pain, the school definitely takes its standards very seriously. There are students who fail classes and are either forced to repeat the year or take it in addition to the subsequent year's class load (and sadly some students fail out - my main gripe with this school is that they don't coddle you. If you don't pass their strict standards, you're kicked out. The school at times seems obsessed with producing brilliant clinicians of the next pharmacy generations that it leaves behind a couple of stragglers. I used to think I was pretty smart prior to coming to Michigan, my opinion has dramatically changed since...). However, the reputation we've created helps us get places in residencies should we choose to pursue one after graduation - I think the recent graduating class had 60% or so enter a residency program? It gives some of us with low GPAs hope after all :)
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