Program Highlights

  • Accredited by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE)
  • Gain experiential education through Introductory Pharmacy Practice Experiences (IPPEs), simulations, and Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experiences (APPEs) designed to help you demonstrate Program Learning Objectives after graduation
  • Dynamic evidence-based curriculum combines hands-on practical experience with rigorous academic coursework
  • Practice alongside students in other disciplines, learning to work together and provide well-rounded care for every patient.
  • Get support as you prepare for the NAPLEX exam, including one-on-one guidance and tutoring.
  • Get career support beyond graduation from professional development to helping finding employment

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At West Coast University, we embrace a student-centric learning partnership that leads to professional success. We deliver transformational education within a culture of integrity and personal accountability. We design market-responsive programs through collaboration between faculty and industry professionals.


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Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD)

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Why?

A Strong Career Outlook

The career outlook for pharmacists remains strong, as a significant number of baby boomers will reach retirement age every day. The US Census Bureau estimates that the number of people aged 65 and older will more than double between 2015 and 2060 and those 85 and older will more than triple in the same time period. The aging population will have repercussions for the pharmacy field and healthcare in general.

Clinical pharmacists will be in greater demand to care for geriatric patients and partnerships between pharmacies and caregiving organizations (such as assisted living and long-term care facilities) will become more common. Additionally, healthcare reform will result in a larger population of insured in the US which in turn increases the demand on the healthcare system.

In addition, the number and complexity of available medication regimens continues to expand, and the challenges interpreting and navigating the Medicare Part D program are no less difficult today as when it was introduced in 2006. As such, this aging demographic is turning to their pharmacist more and more for assistance with these issues.

West Coast University's School of Pharmacy answers a critical workforce need by providing a pipeline of professional pharmacists into the community.

Professional Curriculum

Learn more about Tuition and Fees for this program by clicking here.

Accreditation Information

The West Coast University School of Pharmacy (PharmD) program is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE). The Doctor of Pharmacy program at WCU of received full accreditation in 2018.

The accreditation term granted for the Doctor of Pharmacy program extends until June 30, 2024. The professional program of the School and its accreditation status is designated on ACPE's web site.

West Coast University School of Pharmacy's Doctor of Pharmacy Program is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education.

190 S. LaSalle Street, Suite 2850
Chicago, IL 60603-3410
Phone: (312) 664-3575
Fax: (866) 228-2631
www.acpe-accredit.org.

Please note that licensure to practice as a Pharmacist is required in every state. However, the exam and licensure requirements vary by state. It is your responsibility to research the requirements in the state in which you plan to practice.

PharmD Student Handbook

Learn more about requirements in the catalog here.

Benefit from Experiential Education

The curriculum's Pharmacy Practice Experiences include IPPEs, simulations, and APPEs, each designed to provide a structured learning process for the students to eventually be able to demonstrate the PLOs upon graduation. They are designed as a continuum of developing the student's abilities (knowledge, skills, and attitudes/values) that evolves as the student progresses through the curriculum. With IPPEs and simulations integrated across the PY1-3, and APPE's, students will have significant, structured time across each year to integrate, apply, reinforce and reflect on their practice abilities.

The overall goals of the Experiential Program are to: (1) Develop entry-level pharmacists to practice at most major pharmacy sites; and (2) Prepare students to achieve the various competencies detailed in the Program Learning Outcomes.

Please feel free to contact the Office of Experiential Education to obtain further information:

Office of Experiential Education

Diem Thai, PharmD 
Assistant Dean, Experiential Education
Assistant Professor, Pharmacy Practice
dThai@westcoastuniversity.edu
DIRECT: 323-454-5028 Ext: 47028

Celeste M. Vinluan, PharmD, BCPS 
Director, Experiential Education 
Associate Professor, Pharmacy Practice

cVinluan@westcoastuniversity.edu
DIRECT: 323-454-5061 Ext: 47061

IPPE Overview

The IPPE program is designed as a three-week full-time experience over a 2-block schedule at the end of fall semesters and at the beginning of spring semesters. This schedule will be for the first three professional years (PY1 –PY3). Each student will complete his or her required IPPE in one of these blocks. In the other block during the same year, students not in practice sites will complete Community Outreach activities(PY1) or Patient Simulation/IPE (PY2 & 3).

 

YEAR EXPERIENTIAL CONTACT HOURS WEEKS
1 Community Pharmacy Practice 120 3
2 Institutional Pharmacy Practice 120 3
3 Selective Elective Pharmacy Practice 120 3
  TOTAL 360  

 

Students will be required to complete a number of internet-based reflection exercises throughout the 15 day experience. Students will be encouraged to share experiences from their practice site. Exercises will be designed to allow students to self-reflect on their own experiences, encourage discussion among students about what their IPPE means for them, and assist peers to make their own IPPE experience more rewarding. Reflection exercises will be monitored and moderated by the OEE.

APPE Overview

Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experiences (APPEs) begin in the summer semester after the PY3. Students must satisfactorily complete all didactic course requirements as well as IPPEs prior to the start of APPE. During the PY4, each student must complete four required rotations in specified areas of community practice, institutional practice, ambulatory care, and acute care medicine as well as two elective rotations, examples of which include: Academic Teaching, Long Term Care, Hospice, Home Infusion, Regulatory Affairs/Associations, Pharmaceutical Industry, Nuclear Pharmacy, Drug Information, Global Pharmacy, Institutional Pharmacy Management, as well as advanced clinical electives in geriatric, pediatrics, critical care, emergency medicine, infectious disease/HIV, cardiology, GI/Nutrition, psychiatry, and oncology.

The APPE calendar has been aligned with the other California Schools/Colleges of Pharmacy, to ensure ease of placement and integration with APPE students from neighboring schools. There are a total of eight APPE time slots during the calendar year, which will provide each student one “off” rotation. The eighth block will be used for remediation purposes to allow students to make up any failed APPEs prior to graduation. Each APPE is a six-week long intensive, hands-on experience designed to prepare the student for the practice of pharmacy. The APPE curricular components are designed to provide students with the opportunity to apply knowledge and skills gained in didactic courses and IPPEs to advanced pharmacy practice experiences.

 

APPE EXPERIENTIAL CONTACT HOURS WEEKS
1 Advanced Community Practice 240 6
2 Advanced Institutional Practice 240 6
3 Ambulatory Care 240 6
4 Acute Care 240 6
5 Elective 240 6
6 Elective 240 6
  TOTAL 1440  

 

Student Expectations when participating in the Experiential Education Program
The School of pharmacy expects its students to:

  • Always remember they represent West Coast University School of Pharmacy when visiting clinical practice sites and as such are expected to demonstrate professional and ethical behavior at all times.
  • Always be respectful and courteous to patients, other healthcare providers and all those you come into contact with as WCU-SOP representatives.
  • Be proactive about the opportunities to learn with their professional practice experiences, this will require students to actively participate and effectively communicate.
  • Always interpret the guidance and feedback from a preceptor as an opportunity to learn.
  • Actively engage in communications with physicians, patients, and other healthcare professionals, but only under the direct supervision and authorization of their Preceptor.
  • Never be afraid to admit they do not know the answer to a question or request, nor be afraid to ask for assistance when needed.
  • Never question the advice or directions given by a Preceptor in front of patients, or other healthcare providers.
  • Discuss any differences or conflicts with their preceptor in a timely fashion.

Information for Preceptors

Criteria for Preceptor Selection/Retention
The Preceptor should:

  1. Be a licensed pharmacist in good standing with the State Board of Pharmacy in the state in which they are practicing.
  2. Treat all patients ethically and with compassion.
  3. Demonstrate personal accountability for their clinical decisions and subsequent effect on patient outcomes.
  4. Utilize current clinical research and literature as a part of evidence-based clinical decision making.
  5. Have the appropriate professional training, experience and competence commensurate with their position.
  6. Demonstrate a commitment to their community professionally through participation and engagement.
  7. Engage in continuous professional development.
  8. Engage in the education of patients/caregivers, other healthcare providers, and student practitioners.
  9. Demonstrate efforts to collaborate interprofessionally with other healthcare professionals through effective communication and mutual respect.
  10. Serve as a mentor and role model for the student and be willing to provide quality learning experiences that emphasize continuity of care and optimization of patient health outcomes.
  11. Encourage self-directed learning, assess student performance, and provide ongoing constructive feedback
  12. Identify an acceptable replacement to supervise the student in the event of an absence.
  13. Communicate with the student in a timely manner regarding expectations, outcomes and evaluations.

Criteria for Practice Site Selection/Retention 
The practice site should:

  1. Meet all State and Federal legal and professional standard.
  2. Ensure that patient privacy and confidentiality are protected in compliance with HIPAA requirements.
  3. Portray a professional, ethical standard that is compassionate in its delivery of patient care.
  4. Have as its primary focus the provision of patient centered care and/or the achievement of positive health outcomes.
  5. Have a diverse patient population that can adequately support the learning outcomes of the experience.
  6. Have adequately developed technological capabilities as well as appropriate learning resources required to support an evidence-based practice-model.
  7. Have an administrative structure that is supportive and provides adequate staff time to support the learning outcomes of the experience.
  8. Be able to provide direct patient care responsibilities under the supervision of preceptor.
  9. Be able to provide communication opportunities for the student with patients and other members of healthcare team.
  10. Provide the student with access to all appropriate patient specific information.
  11. Support and engage in public health and wellness programs, and provide patient care services catering to the diversity of its patient population (only setting where applicable).

Preceptor Expectations
The School of Pharmacy expects its preceptors to:

  • Accept the responsibility and the challenge of guiding and training the student pharmacist in areas consistent with course learning objectives
  • Show a willingness to devote adequate time for proper instruction
  • Serve as a role model for the student pharmacist and exhibit exemplary professional ideals as reflected through appearance, attitudes, and accomplishments in practice
  • Assure that adequate practice opportunities are made available to the student pharmacist and that appropriate mentoring and supervision is provided
  • Follow the program outline to provide the student pharmacist with a consistent practice experience, and assess their performance relative to the course learning objectives
  • Set clear expectations for the student pharmacist regarding appearance, conduct, attitude, scheduling of hours, assignments and projects to complete, as well as general policies and procedures of practice
  • Work with the student pharmacist to identify his or her strengths and weaknesses
  • Routinely and frequently provide formative feedback to the student pharmacist on their performance
  • Provide a fair and constructive evaluation of the student pharmacist's ability (knowledge, skills and attitude/values) to perform designated activities
  • Complete evaluations in a timely manner at the mid and endpoint of each experience
  • Provide the student pharmacist access to professional references
  • Communicate any problems regarding the experience or significant behavioral deficiencies of the student pharmacist to the Office of Experiential Education

Preceptor Recourses and Benefits

  • WCU library access, including access to drug information resources and clinical research portals
  • After precepting students for two consecutive years, submission of an application, and review by the OEE, preceptors will be offered an adjunct faculty appointment and provided the title of Adjunct Assistant, Associate Professor, or Professor, commensurate to their practice experience.
  • To assist in program management, the Office of Experiential Education utilizes the Experiential Learning Management System (ELMS), RXPreceptor:

Download WCU Preceptor Site Profile

Download WCU Preceptor Application Form

Pharmacy Education at WCU-SOP would not be complete without the wisdom and expertise provided by our preceptors. The true success of WCU-SOP can only be fully realized when we consider the selfless contribution of our preceptors who appreciate the value of giving back to the profession they care so much about.

For additional information about being a preceptor for WCU-SOP, please contact us at:
West Coast University | School of Pharmacy
Office of Experiential Education
590 N. Vermont Ave Los Angeles CA 90004
Telephone Number: (323) 284-4799
eFax Number: (213) 377-5489
e-mail: expedu@westcoastuniversity.edu
Website: https://pharmacy.westcoastuniversity.edu/pharmacy-program/experiential-education.html

The Doctor of Pharmacy program combines a dynamic evidence-based curriculum with hands-on practical experience giving students a wider understanding of the entire healthcare field.

We use the combination of enhanced communication and teamwork skills, advanced technology and interprofessional education to educate and train students to become flexible, inspired and team-oriented pharmacists that improve patients' lives.

Mission

Our pharmacy school in California is a learning community that ensures its students receive the highest quality of education:

  • Delivers a dynamic curriculum emphasizing evidence-based practice
  • Prepares students to serve patients as a member of an interprofessional team
  • Engages in scholarship
  • Serves the community through outreach

Vision

In the Doctor of Pharmacy program, we are committed to providing students with a learning environment which emphasizes patient-centered care, interprofessional education, and leadership development. We are committed to fostering a culture of scholarship among faculty and students. We strive to lead the pharmacy profession to the forefront of an integrated and innovative practice.

Core Values

  • Professionalism
  • Collaboration
  • Integrity
  • Leadership
  • Compassion
  • Excellence
  • Diversity
  • Adaptability
  • Accountability

FAQs

Q. When will the program begin?

The Doctor of Pharmacy program seated its first cohort of students in the Fall of 2014.

Q. Is the Pharmacy program accredited?

West Coast University School of Pharmacy's Doctor of Pharmacy Program is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education.

190 S. LaSalle Street, Suite 2850
Chicago, IL 60603-3410
Phone: (312) 664-3575
Fax: (866) 228-2631
www.acpe-accredit.org.

For Programmatic Accreditation, click here

Q. What is the physical address of the program?

The School of Pharmacy is located at 590 North Vermont Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90004.

Q. What are the admissions requirements for the Doctor of Pharmacy Program?

Applicants must have evidence of successful completion of the required pre-pharmacy coursework from a regionally accredited college or university in the United States. All math / science prerequisites must be completed within the last 10 years. Entering students must complete all pre-requisite coursework by the end of the spring term preceding the Fall semester class start. The applicant must be in good academic standing at each college or university attended and must have a preferred grade point average (GPA) of 2.50 (4.0 scale) in the Sciences, Mathematics, and English plus an overall GPA of 2.50 (4.0 scale) in all pre-pharmacy prerequisite courses. The preferred overall cumulative GPA for admission is 2.50 on a 4.00 scale with no required course grade lower than a “C” grade (2.00 on a scale 4.00). For complete admissions information, please visit the School's PharmCAS page at: https://schoolpages.pharmcas.org/publishedsurvey/1750

Q. When can I apply?

Applications for the Doctor of Pharmacy program are only accepted through PharmCAS. Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis.

Q. Do you accept foreign credentials and/or coursework?

No, we only accept coursework from a regionally accredited college or university in the United States of America.

Q. What are the benefits of your program? 

West Coast University's School of Pharmacy will offer a professional Doctor of Pharmacy degree program which will help provide students with an educational experience that combines hands-on practical experience blended with rigorous academic coursework. This will allow the student to reinforce the theoretical framework and concepts with practical hands-on experience from the outset. Additionally, our program will provide interprofessional education, allowing for integration within a variety of healthcare professions. This approach will allow a wider breadth of understanding of the interconnectedness of pharmacy within the entire array of healthcare professions. Students will also benefit from the University's rich history and reputation in the healthcare field. West Coast University facilities offer advanced Simulation Centers, which provide the student with a wide variety of “real life” patient scenarios. This technology will further enhance the student's ability to recognize and experience a full range of patient related issues long before their clinical rotation experience.

Q. How long does the Doctor of Pharmacy program take to complete?

If all courses are completed successfully, the program can be completed in 4 years.

Q. Is student housing provided?

While WCU does not provide student housing, there are many housing opportunities in the area. Please contact the School of Pharmacy Office of Student Affairs for assistance.

Q. What are the job prospects for PharmD graduates?

Both the nation and California are in need of pharmacists due to an increased use of prescription medications and an aging population. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that employment of pharmacists nationally is expected to increase by 6 percent from 2016 to 2026, about as fast as the average for all occupations. (https://www.bls.gov/ooh/Healthcare/Pharmacists.htm)

 

  1. Provide optimal patient-centered care
    • Recognize and respect patient differences, values, preferences, and expressed needs.
    • Identify medication-related problems, formulate medication treatment plans, and monitor and evaluate patient response to pharmacotherapy.
    • Listen to and educate patients and/or caregivers to optimize health outcomes.
  2. Collaborate as a member of interprofessional health care teams
    • Demonstrate a climate of mutual respect and shared values within an interprofessional team.
    • Identify roles and responsibilities of interprofessional team members to optimize outcomes.
    • Communicate effectively in an interprofessional team.
    • Apply principles of team dynamics to perform effectively within interprofessional teams.
  3. Employ evidence-based practice
    • Integrate basic science knowledge into clinical practice.
    • Evaluate and assimilate scientific evidence to improve patient care.
  4. Utilize medication-use-systems, drug and health information, and other technologies
    • Utilize components of medication-use-systems (i.e. procuring, storing, furnishing, transcribing, compounding/preparing, dispensing, and administering) to provide safe, accurate, and timely medication distribution.
    • Apply relevant concepts in utilization of human, physical, fiscal, informational, and technological resources in the health care system in compliance with state and federal regulations.
  5. Promote public health through education and/or pharmacy services
    • Employ concepts of disease prevention, public health promotion, literacy, and/or wellness.
    • Evaluate population health issues by considering quality of care, access, and cost at the local, state, and federal levels.
  6. Demonstrate effective communication skills
    • Discuss ideas and concepts in audience-appropriate language and relay information in a logical and concise manner.
    • Convey proposals and recommendations persuasively.
  7. Demonstrate positive personal and professional aptitude
    • Demonstrate the ability to examine and reflect on personal knowledge, skills, and attitudes.
    • Apply values and principles of team dynamics to perform effectively in various team roles to achieve shared goals.
    • Demonstrate creative decision making when confronted with novel problems or challenges.
    • Exhibit behaviors and values that are consistent with the trust given to the profession.

Requirements:

Program applicants must have completed specific prerequisite coursework (63 semester credit hours or 94.5 quarter credit hour equivalents) from a regionally accredited institution in the United States.

Learn more about requirements in the catalog here.

Program Statistical Data


Graduation Data

Year

Students Entering/Graduating

On-Time Graduation Rate1

2020

60/53

88.3%

2019

54/43

79.6%

2018

42/33

78.6%

1Graduating during the same calendar year as declared upon matriculation.

Job Placement – Class of 2019

Overall job placement

% of Graduates in Position

All graduates (n=46)

63%

Board of Pharmacy Licensed Graduates (n=33)

87.8%


Job Placement – Class of 2018

Overall job placement

% of Graduates in Position1

All graduates (n=34)

38%

Board of Pharmacy Licensed Graduates (n=20)

65%

1Placement data last updated February 2019

NAPLEX Pass Rates

Year First time pass rate
2020 72.34%
2019 66.67%
2018 65.52%


CPJE Pass Rates

Examination Window

Overall Pass Rate1

West Coast University

October 2020 through March 2021
50.8%
48.6%
May 2020 through September 2020
63.7% 53.1%

December 2019 – April 2020

45.7%

37.5%

April 2019 - November 2019

67.0%

68.4%

October 2018 – March 2019

48.9%

63.6%

April 2018 – September 2018

78.2%

78.9%

1Pass rate for all CPJE test takers 

MPJE Pass Rates

Year

Overall Pass Rate1

2018

100%

1n = 1 attempt

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