Apr 21, 2024  
2021-2022 Graduate Catalog 
2021-2022 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Doctor of Pharmacy

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The Doctor of Pharmacy degree is a three-year, accelerated professional degree composed of eight, 15-week trimesters, with 2 week breaks between the trimesters. Students will begin in the fall of each year, and successful students graduate 2 and 2/3rd years later. Personalized education and team-based care are core values for Chapman University School of Pharmacy (CUSP). Therefore, for many pharmacy courses students will be broken up into smaller groups of 6 or 7. 

Pharmacy is a lifelong learning profession that requires professional commitment and demands beyond many degree programs. 

The curriculum is designed to ensure learners have the knowledge, skills, attitudes, and behaviors that will ensure they can optimize patient medication therapies and above all keep patients safe.

The CUSP approach to assessing these areas is different. We use an integrated exam process of 4 multi-hour exams per trimester, which cover all the content from all the courses from the previous three weeks. 

This process discourages cramming and encourages life-long learning. We strive to utilize much of the classroom time for active learning purposes, so that students can apply what they have learned. CUSP’s approach to developing students may not be appropriate for all learners. Applicants are encouraged to ensure they are ready for the commitment and rigor required.

Starting from the first trimester, the Pharm D. program also requires students to complete patient care activities in various health care settings.

CUSP requires class attendance and timely regular attendance at all required Introductory Pharmacy Practice Experiences (IPPEs) and Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experiences (APPEs). Because we must certify the time spent in the classroom as well as at IPPE & APPE sites to licensing agencies, skipped or missed sessions for any reason may lead to a delay in graduation and additional cost. Students must also have access to dependable transportation and may be required to spend time at IPPE experiential sites that are up to 40 miles away from campus. APPE sites are mostly within Orange County; however, students may be assigned to sites outside Orange County.

Although most classes and experiential sites occur between 8am and 5pm Monday through Friday, there may be some that start before 8am and end after 5pm, or occasionally include a weekend day.

Admission requirements

To be considered for admission, the applicant must meet the following requirements:

  1. Be able to complete all 62 semester credits of prerequisite courses by the end of the Spring semester before pharmacy school starts. (Typically all prerequisite courses must have been taken within 7 years of applying to CUSP. Contact pharmacyadmissions@chapman.edu to request a waiver of the 7-year policy.)
  2. Letter grade of “C” or higher for all prerequisite courses.
  3. Two letters of recommendation - one must be from a math or science professor.
  4. Personal statement/essay.
  5. List of employment and extracurricular activities.
  6. A cumulative GPA of 3.0 and prerequisite GPA of 3.0 is preferred. (Lower GPAs may be considered if student excels in other areas.)
  7. A PCAT composite score of 50th percentile or higher is preferred. (Lower composite PCAT score may be considered if student excels in other area.) Note: PCAT score must be from a test taken during the prior two years before January 30th of the year school starts.
  8. Meet and comply with the School of Pharmacy Technical Standards. Information on these standards and requirements, as well as such information as program costs, financial aid and acceptance and matriculation rates may be found on the department’s website at www.chapman.edu/pharmacy.

Selection Criteria for Admission

Chapman University School of Pharmacy (CUSP) utilizes a holistic approach, both for invitations to interview as well as admission decisions. We take into consideration various combinations of a student’s GPA’s, PCAT scores, student’s work history, extracurricular/leadership activities, communication and teamwork skills, and additional factors.

Prerequisite Courses (62 credits)

  Course Required Semester Credit Hours
  Biology (General Biology w/Lab) [*] 4
  Human Anatomy w/Lab 4
  Physiology w/Lab [*] 4
  Microbiology 3
  Chemistry (General w/Labs) 8
  Organic Chemistry w/Labs 8
  Physics w/Lab 4
  Intro to Genetics or Molecular Biology 3
  Calculus [#] 3
  Statistics [@] 3
  Psychology or Sociology [@] 3
  Economics (Micro or Macro) 3
  Communications/Speech 3
  English Composition [*] 3
  Electives 6
Total 62

[*] May be waived with a 5.0 on the AP exam.
[#] May be waived with a score of “4 or higher” on Calculus AB, or with a score of “3” or higher” on Calculus BC.
[@] May be waived with a score of “4 or higher” on the AP exam.

Additional Information

  • Physics can be non-calculus based.
  • Genetics should be human genetics.
  • Economics can be micro or macro.
  • Statistics can be biostatistics.
  • If a combined anatomy/physiology course is taken, two semester or three quarter courses are required.
  • All prerequisite courses must have been taken within the last 7 years.
  • Students who are offered admission are required to financially commit an enrollment deposit of $500.00. Generally, the deposit must be received within two weeks of notification of admission.
  • Chapman University considers all applicants without regard to race, religion, sex, gender identity, gender expression, pregnancy, national origin, ancestry, citizenship status, age, marital status, physical disability, mental disability, medical condition, sexual orientation, military or veteran status, genetic information or any other characteristic protected by applicable state or federal law. Some information requested in the application is requested for federal or accreditation reporting and will not be used in a discriminatory manner.
  • Applicants who decline or are denied admission may reapply in any subsequent year. Admission requirements are subject to change and admission in one year does not guarantee admission in any subsequent year.
  • Accepted students must pass a criminal background check and drug screening, and be up-to-date with their immunizations before starting the pharmacy program.
  • Persons who have been convicted of a felony or misdemeanor may not be eligible for licensure in any or some states even after successful completion of a pharmacy program. Contact the appropriate state licensing board for additional information.


Applicants who have prerequisite courses that are over 7 years old may seek an exception. A written request stating the extenuating circumstances supporting the exception should be submitted with the application or within ten days of notification that the requirements are not met.

Applicants who have completed all math and science courses can request a waiver of the math/science professor Letter of Recommendation requirement.

Students who feel they were denied admission due to an error or feel they were treated arbitrarily or capriciously should appeal to the Dean of the School of Pharmacy.

How and When to Apply

Applicants must apply through the PharmCAS website at www.pharmcas.org. The applicant will be evaluated only when ALL application materials have been received and verified.

  1. Submit your Chapman University School of Pharmacy Application for Admission through the PharmCAS website at: http://pharmcas.org
  2. To complete your Application for Admission, you must provide these required materials:
  • PCAT score.
  • 2 letters of recommendation, with one from a math or science professor (students who are no longer taking classes can request to be able to replace the math or science professor letter with another letter).
  • Personal statement/essay.
  • Details related to work experience and extracurricular activities.
  • Official transcripts from each college or university attended, including college courses taken during high school.

Application Deadlines

Early Decision Deadline is September 4th
Regular Deadline is July 1st

Technical Standards

A candidate for the Pharm.D. 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 and General Health: 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 be able to approach and effectively communicate with patients of any race, religion, national origin, age, sex, marital status, citizenship, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, disability, veteran status, medical condition, socioeconomic status or political beliefs, or any status protected by law or executive order. 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.

Professional Conduct Policy and Procedures

Chapman student pharmacists are expected to take the Oath of a Pharmacist seriously and strive each day to follow the oath, and in all things remain professional. However, when students are involved in unprofessional behavior, it must be addressed. Students are required to notify the Associate Dean of Student Affairs immediately when the student is charged with any criminal offense, when an offense shows up on the student’s Criminal Background Check, and/or when a student’s Drug Screen comes back positive or negative dilute. When faculty members become aware of unprofessional behavior by a CUSP student pharmacist and feel that the behavior needs to be addressed, they should follow the process outlined in this policy.

The CUSP Professional Conduct Policy applies to all student pharmacists. In addition, the policy is applicable to all nonacademic and extracurricular student activities (regardless of whether such activities take place on or off campus) that have had or have the potential to have an adverse impact on Chapman University, CUSP, faculty, staff, students, or patients and staff at affiliated experiential education sites, or may affect students’ eligibility for continued enrollment in the school or entry into professional practice in pharmacy.

Academic Dismissal

Doctor of Pharmacy students are eligible for academic dismissal for any of the following:

  • Receiving 2 or more of the following: final grade less than a 70%, or grade of NP, or final average Integrated Exam score of less than 65% in a course or rotation, in any one trimester.
  • Receiving 3 or more of the following: final grade less than a 70%, or grade of NP, or final average Integrated Exam score of less than 65% in a course or rotation during the program.
  • Failure to make satisfactory progress during a period of academic probation.
  • Demonstrating academic deficiencies that preclude continuation in the prescribed program of study and may not reasonably be expected to complete the requirements for the degree.
  • Being placed on academic probation for two consecutive trimesters or placed on academic probation more than twice while in the Pharm.D. program.
  • Inability to obtain a California Intern Pharmacist License.
  • Loss of California Intern Pharmacist License.
  • Failure to meet and comply with the School of Pharmacy Technical Standards.

In addition, as the following may affect student’s ability to complete experiential learning in required health care sites, the following three items may lead to dismissal:

  • Failure to maintain clean criminal background check.
  • Failure to maintain clean drug screening.
  • DUI conviction or drug-related misdemeanor or felony conviction.

Student pharmacists dismissed from CUSP may seek re-entry by applying for re-admission through the Academic Progression Appeal Process.

Accelerated Doctor of Pharmacy/Doctor of Philosophy in Pharmaceutical Sciences Pathway

Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D.) students interested in the Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Pharmaceutical Sciences degree are encouraged to pursue this option as early as possible, preferably by the end of the first year in Pharm.D. program. The coursework taken during the Pharm.D. program can be adjusted toward future requirements of the Ph.D. program. Pharm.D./Ph.D. students are required to complete their Capstone projects and perform at least one of the elective APPE rotations in research labs. The graduates from Chapman University School of Pharmacy Pharm.D. program can be credited for up to 20 core and/or elective course credits towards the core and/or elective lecture courses in the Ph.D. program. It is expected that Chapman Pharm.D. graduates will complete all the requirements of the Ph.D. program in 3 years.

Admission and course requirements for the Ph.D. program are listed under the Pharmaceutical Sciences, Ph.D.  

Requirements for the Doctor of Pharmacy degree

Students pursuing the Doctor of Pharmacy degree are held to the University’s Academic Policies and Procedures . In addition, these specific Doctor of Pharmacy degree standards apply:

  • Completion of at least 142 credits.
  • Minimum grade “2.000” or above required in all coursework.
  • Maintain 2.400 cumulative GPA in the degree.
  • Maintain a California Intern Pharmacist License.
  • Maintain clean criminal background check throughout the program.
  • Maintain clean drug screening throughout the program.
  • No DUI conviction or drug-related misdemeanor or felony conviction.
  • Meet and comply with the School of Pharmacy Technical Standards and Professionalism policy.

The following courses make up the Doctor of Pharmacy curriculum:

requirements (142 credits)

total credits 142


Students in the Doctor of Pharmacy program may purse a Leadership emphasis. Please refer to the Doctor of Pharmacy, Leadership Emphasis  page.

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