Non-Traditional Doctor of Pharmacy Program
This academic program is intended for practitioners holding a Bachelor's degree in Pharmacy who desire the opportunity to earn the Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D.) without returning full-time to the campus. The practitioner/student will complete individualized didactic course requirements through correspondence, using video-taped lectures, detailed syllabi and textbooks. At the completion of all didactic requirements, the practitioner/student will be required to complete 28 weeks of clerkships.
To be admitted to the program, students must hold a valid pharmacy license in one of the states or territories of the United States. There is no minimum accumulative grade point average required for the program. In determining admission status, the Admissions Committee will weigh all evidence each student provides including their academic record and the documented achievements s/he has received as a pharmacy practitioner. Students are encouraged to apply regardless of present residence, but admission priority will be given to individuals who practice in Idaho.
Students may enroll in two courses prior to full admission to the program. This Conditional Enrollment will allow students to determine their interest in pursuing the entire program.
The application process is in two phases:
Phase I - Submission of Documents
Students must submit the following documents to the College of Pharmacy at least three months prior to their intended enrollment date, even if they desire the Conditional Enrollment option:
Submission of the above documents does not ensure admission to the program. An assessment process will be initiated to review the documents. If the student meets the academic and professional assessment criteria, s/he will be encouraged to participate in Phase II of the application process.
- Completed application form.
- Designated application fee.
- A complete, official transcript of all college course work.
- Proof of current licensure in one of the states or territories of the United States.
- Three letters of recommendation--one from the applicant's current supervisor or employer and two from professional colleagues.
- A personal, typewritten statement of approximately 100 words in response to the question: "Why are you seeking admission to the Pharm.D. program?"
Phase II - Assessment
Once the student has completed the first phase of the admissions process, a notice will be sent from the College to proceed with the second phase. The second phase contains two assessment activities.
- Each student must schedule an on-campus interview. This will allow students to meet members of the faculty with whom they will be interacting throughout their studies, and ask questions about the program. The interview will give faculty an opportunity to meet each student and learn about their professional achievements and goals.
- During the student's visit to campus, s/he will be asked to take a knowledge examination designed as a diagnostic tool to assist both the student and the Admissions Committee in evaluating the student's abilities to perform in specific courses in the curriculum. The examination is not an admissions test in that there is no minimum score that must be met for admission to the program. The results of this test will guide the advisor in placing the student in the appropriate courses if s/he is admitted to the program.
Dates to Begin The Program
The non-traditional program does not follow the usual academic calendar of the University. Students will be enrolled and initiate the courses once official notification of admission has been received.
The official notice of admission will include the name and telephone number of the Director, Office of Practitioner Affairs. Students should contact their advisor to plan their course of study. The advisor will have all the information about the program including any deficient courses students may be required to complete.
The courses students will take are competency based. This means the student will not receive a passing grade in the course until s/he has achieved the minimum level of knowledge and skills required for the course.
Students must complete all didactic courses within three calendar years after enrolling in the program. Before beginning clerkships, a second on-campus visit is required during which the student must complete a comprehensive examination of the didactic curriculum. A physical assessment practicum will also be administered at this time. Following successful completion of these evaluations, students will be given one calendar year to complete the clerkship requirements. All educational requirements for the degree must be completed by the end of the fourth year after enrolling in the program.
The College will provide students the opportunity to complete the clerkship experiences over a one-year interval so the need to be away from the home/family/job can be minimized. Every effort will be made to place each student in an appropriate clerkship site convenient to their residence; however, the right must be retained to assign a student to a site away from his/her residence if local accommodations are not available or will not meet the requirements specified by the faculty of the College.
The minimum didactic courses students will be required to complete are as follows:
These didactic courses constitute 30 credits of academic work. If students have certain deficiencies as noted in the assessment examination, s/he may be required to complete other courses prior to enrolling in these courses. Note that time spent in completing deficiency courses will not be counted towards the four calendar year time limit in completing the degree.
- PSCI 569 Pathophysiology 3 cr
- BIOS 351 Immunology 3 cr
- BIOS 355 Pathogenic Microbiology 3 cr
- PSCI 529 Clinical Pharmacokinetics, 3 cr
- PSCI 457 Clinical Chemistry 2 cr
- PPRA 518 Clinical Research Design
and Analysis 4 cr
- PPRA 538 Drug Information
and Literature Analysis 2 cr
- PPRA 534, 535 Therapeutics I and II 4 cr ea.
- PPRA 539 Quality Assurance and Cost
Containment Strategies 1 cr
- PPRA 550 Physical Assessment 1 cr
In addition to the didactic courses, students will be required to complete 28 weeks of full-time clerkship experiences. These include:
PPRA 543 Ambulatory Care
Clerkship 8 weeks
PPRA 544 Medicine Clerkship 8 weeks
PPRA 547 Psychiatry Clerkship 4 weeks
PPRA 546 Geriatrics Clerkship 4 weeks
PPRA 545 Pediatrics Clerkship 4 weeks
All students will be required to complete 28 weeks of clerkship regardless of the experiences s/he has had in their practice. However, if a student has specialized experience in one or more of these areas, s/he may be allowed to select an elective clerkship in another area of interest or complete an advanced rotation in one of the core areas.
Clerkship sites have been established in Idaho and Nevada. Other clinical sites throughout the United States can be approved provided that they meet the requirements specified by the faculty of the College. Students will not be required to locate their clerkship sites, but we will explore potential sites that students may recommend to their advisor.
Note that students will be awarded ACPE accredited continuing education credits in addition to academic credits for successfully completing the didactic and clerkship courses.
The Idaho State University College of Pharmacy is approved by The American Council on Pharmaceutical Education as a provider of Continuing Pharmaceutical Education.
Sequence of Study and Time Allowed To Complete A Course
- Students may complete any of the didactic courses, except Drug Information and Therapeutics, in any order with no sequence necessary. Clinical Research and Design and Analysis must be completed before Drug Information, followed by Therapeutics. Therapeutics should be taken immediately prior to starting the first clerkship. Clinical Chemistry must also be completed before Therapeutics.
- Students will be required to complete each didactic course within four months after they register.
Format of Didactic Instruction
Each course will be assigned an instructor who will be available to students by telephone conference. The instructor will also be responsible for administering examinations and assigning final grades.
Didactic courses will be taught using video tapes or suitable self-study methods and detailed content syllabi. Each course will utilize a textbook suitable for the non-traditional learner.
Placement of Non-traditional Pharm.D. Students in Clinical Clerkships
The process by which clerkship sites and clinical preceptors for students enrolled in the non-traditional pathway for the Pharm.D. program will be guided by the procedures outlined below.
Non-traditional students who desire to complete clinical clerkships at facilities currently affiliated with the ISU College of Pharmacy will be incorporated into the clerkship placement process employed for traditional students.
Criteria for Clerkship Sites and Preceptors
The clerkship component of the non-traditional Pharm.D. curriculum provides the mechanism whereby students are given experiential education in several important areas of clinical pharmacy practice. It is essential that this education be provided in facilities where high standards of pharmaceutical care and instruction are available. Therefore, certain qualifications must be met by clerkship preceptors and sites.
Qualifications of Preceptors. Preceptors are expected to be clinical pharmacists actively engaged in the delivery of high quality pharmaceutical care. These individuals typically will have completed the Pharm.D. degree and may have residency and/or fellowship training. These individuals will spend the majority of their time providing pharmaceutical care in their facility but will be able to commit sufficient time to the education of student(s). Preceptors must be eligible to receive faculty appointment at Idaho State University College of Pharmacy.
Qualifications of Facilities. Facilities will be licensed and accredited by appropriate agencies which govern pharmacy practice and/or health care delivery in respective geopolitical regions. Clinical services will be integrated into the routine practice of pharmacy; mechanisms to assure the quality of these services will be in place. An understanding and commitment of the pharmacy service director to the ISU educational program will be documented and the facility will establish an "Educational Affiliation Agreement" with the University.
Students who are Idaho residents or non-residents may request to complete clinical clerkships at sites in close proximity to their home but which are not currently affiliated with the ISU College of Pharmacy. Clerkship sites requested by students may require that a representative of the College visit the facility to validate the acceptability of the site for clinical instruction before the site can be approved.
Students who request non-affiliated clerkship sites must follow the steps outlined below:
Notify the Director, Office of Practitioner Affairs of the desire to complete clerkships at alternative sites. The Director will give the student permission to make initial contact with the facility(ies) and preceptor(s). This step ensures that the College is aware that its students are making initial educational contacts on its behalf. If a student wants to complete clerkships at a facility(ies) or with a preceptor(s) unacceptable to the College, the Director will deny permission.
Contact the facility(ies) and preceptor(s) to determine if they have interest in having the student complete clerkships at their site.
Report to the Director the results of contact(s) with proposed facility(ies) and preceptor(s).
College of Pharmacy Responsibilities
Assuming the student has successfully identified facilities and preceptors which are tentatively acceptable to the College, the following steps will occur:
- The Director will contact the preceptor(s) and/or facility(ies) to confirm the interest in affiliation with the College. This contact by the Director will document the ability of preceptor(s) and facility(ies) to fulfill the educational requirements of clerkships.Preliminary discussions regarding affiliate/adjunct faculty appointment(s) and payment for clerkship supervision may also occur.
- Provided mutual interest in an academic affiliation is sustained, the Director may schedule a visit to the facility(ies) and preceptor(s) to confirm the acceptability of the site(s) for clinical instruction.
- Acceptable facilities will be engaged by the University using "Educational Affiliation Agreements" and contracts for payment of facilities and/or preceptors. These agreements and contracts will be negotiated by the Director. Affiliate/adjunct faculty appointments will be designated by the Director. All agreements and contracts will be executed prior to student placement at a facility.
- Clerkship rotation schedules will be developed by the Director in conjunction with specific student requests. Schedules will be communicated to students by the Director.
- The Director will communicate with preceptors, monitor student progress, receive grades, receive student evaluations of preceptors, and visit sites during clerkships as needed.
The Director of the Office of Practitioner Affairs will be the advisor. This office will also be responsible for registration, delivery of course materials (video tapes, syllabi, examinations, etc.), and any other administrative details associated with the program.
Application materials and other information may be obtained by writing or telephoning:
College of Pharmacy
Campus Box 8288
Idaho State University
Pocatello, ID 83209