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Experiential Education in Pharmacy

Experiential education is a major component of the Pharm.D. degree, comprising over 30% of the total curriculum, and is best be defined as practical or real-life experience in a variety of pharmacy settings.

Experiential education, often referred to as "rotations," gives you the opportunity to apply knowledge gained in the classroom to a clinical setting. During these experiences you work with practicing pharmacists or faculty members who are commonly referred to as "preceptors."

IPPE and APPE Rotations

There are two levels of experiential education incorporated into the program: Introductory Pharmacy Practice Experiences (IPPE) and Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experiences (APPE).

The IPPE program, which is comprised of 4 rotations or blocks, is designed for you to develop fundamental practice skills in your 2nd and 3rd years:

  • IPPE-I (fall of the 2nd year) introduces you to outpatient and community pharmacy practice
  • IPPE-II (summer after the 2nd year) introduces you to hospital pharmacy practice
  • IPPE-III (fall of the 3rd year) introduces you to long term care pharmacy practice
  • IPPE-IV (spring of the 3rd year) introduces you to the advanced practice rotations

The APPE program, comprised of 4 core required rotations (community, hospital, internal medicine, and ambulatory care) and 3 elective rotations, occurring in the 4th year, requires you to apply the concepts you have learned and to demonstrate the skills needed to become a practicing pharmacist.

Schedule of Experiential Rotations

Schedule of Experiential Rotations for Pharmacy
Rotation Type
Time Frame
IPPE I Outpatient (Community) P2 fall semester 8 hrs/wk x 15 wks (120 hrs total) + 1 hr class/wk Adjunct faculty
IPPE II Institutional (Hospital, VA, etc) Summer between P2 and P3 years 8 hrs/day x 5 days/wk (M-F) x 4 wks (160 hrs) Adjunct faculty
IPPE III Long Term Care P3 fall semester 2 hrs/wk x 5 wks (10 hrs total) + 1 hr class/wk Adjunct faculty
IPPE IV Introduction to APPE P3 spring semester 2 hrs/wk x 15 wks (30 hrs total) + 1 hr class/wk Full-time faculty
APPE 4 Core Advanced Rotations + 3 Elective Advanced Rotations (7 total) P4 year 7 six wk rotations
40 hrs/wk x 6 wks x 7 rotations (1680 hrs total)
Full-time and adjunct faculty

For additional information on IPPE and APPE course content, rotation requirement and manuals, scheduling of rotations, and available rotation site locations, see the following resources:

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