Our accredited Doctor of Pharmacy program requires three years of pre-pharmacy studies followed by four years of professional education, regardless of prior degrees.
Students spend the first three years of the Doctor of Pharmacy program on the WSU Health Sciences campus in Spokane or the WSU Doctor of Pharmacy program extension on the Pacific Northwest University of Health Sciences campus in Yakima.
The fourth year is a series of six Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experiences (APPE) in assigned geographic locations across Washington and in northern California. A seventh rotation is optional. Read more about our rotations on the Office of Experiential Services webpage.
Innovation in teaching
The College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences (CPPS) takes seriously our mission to develop outstanding health care professionals. We have a long history of being committed to preparing pharmacists not only to enter the practice of pharmacy today, but to lead the changes in the practice of pharmacy that are certain to come in the future. Student pharmacists begin interacting with patients and other health care professionals in their first year, and direct patient care opportunities continue throughout the curriculum.
We measure student performance based on a competency-based assessment model. What this means is our grading model is “Honors-Satisfactory-Fail” (HSF) as opposed to a GPA grading model. This emphasis on demonstration of learning and mastery of skill prepares graduates to become competent pharmacy practitioners and takes the focus off the attainment of a course grade. Within our HSF grading model nearly all student pharmacists have progressed through to the spring semester in their first year (“fall behind” rate is less than 0.5 percent). The national average is around 10 percent.
Student pharmacists begin interacting with patients and other health care professionals in their first year, and direct patient care opportunities continue throughout the curriculum.
A better teaching model
New pharmacists are entering a world of constant change and collaboration; competent graduating pharmacists must therefore also be lifelong learners and collaborators. Our active-learning based curriculum prepares you for this environment. We flip the traditional learning model and put the focus on the successful development of the student. As the name “active” describes, you will be expected to be actively involved and take ownership in the learning process both inside and outside the classroom.
We pair this teaching model with a system of support and learning resources to ensure each student has the greatest opportunity for learning success. Student ambassadors, student mentors, student-led organizations, student services resources, free campus tutoring, alumni mentoring, and faculty advisors provide a network that contributes to student achievement.
Our active-learning and competency-based curriculum places WSU among the most progressive pharmacy programs in the country and aligns with our commitment to the best possible educational experience for all students.
This classroom model follows a clear trend in higher education toward learner-centered teaching, and is built upon sound research based educational practices. Integrating this flipped classroom with a competency-based HSF grading model equates to a learning environment that is truly innovative and effective.
“One of the greatest aspects of my position is the variety. On any given day I may research information about a new drug for a monograph I am writing, answer questions from pharmacists and patients, and help teach a class.”
– Terri Levien, Drug Information Pharmacist & Clinical Professor