PROGRAM OVERVIEW The practice of pharmacy is an integral part of total health care. The pharmacist serves as a vital source of drug use information for other health care professionals and members of the community. The special knowledge of the pharmacist can maximize the effectiveness of disease treatment and minimize the possibility of adverse effects that could develop during drug therapy of diseases.
Pharmacy practice environments are diverse and challenging. While many graduates pursue careers in community and hospital pharmacy, others choose careers in the pharmaceutical industry, research, government service, consultant pharmacy or diverse professional specialties.
The principal goal of the pharmacy program is to provide an educational experience that prepares graduates for careers in pharmacy. The curriculum provides a balance between theoretical principles, practical applications and structured practice experience. Since 1984, pharmacy graduates have enjoyed a nearly 100% placement rate.
FACULTY Over 95% of the 30 faculty hold doctoral degrees including Pharm.D., Ph.D., Ed.D. Several areas of interest are explored through faculty research: cardiovascular medicine, biotechnology, neuroscience, and diabetes among others. All faculty are committed to providing activities and structure to their courses that maximize learning. Faculty honors include the Madelyn M. Levitt Outstanding Teacher of the Year and Outstanding Mentor of the Year Awards, American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy Innovations in Teaching Award, Iowa Pharmacy Association’s “Young Pharmacist of the Year,” “Health-Systems Pharmacist of the Year,” "President," “Honorary President” and “Innovative Practice” Awards.
ACADEMIC PREPARATION Although no specific high school classes are required for first-year students applying for pre-pharmacy admission into the College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, four years of English, science and mathematics are highly recommended. Students should take the most challenging courses available through their high school careers to best prepare themselves for the first year of pre-pharmacy coursework.
ADMISSION REQUIREMENTS Students may apply to and enter pre-pharmacy direct from high school and, upon completion of established criteria, may apply to enter into the Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) professional program. Students admitted directly from high school into Drake’s pre-pharmacy program are offered the Drake PharmD Difference, through which students are guaranteed consideration for the professional program. Additional information regarding the Drake PharmD Difference may be found at the college website. In addition, they are assigned a pharmacy faculty advisor, are able to belong to professional student organizations, and participate in orientation courses and interview preparation activities. The PCAT is not required for students who are admitted Drake’s pre-pharmacy program.
REQUIREMENTS FOR MAJOR The PharmD requires 209 semester credit hours and is a four-year professional program completed after pre-pharmacy. The four-year professional program is preceded by two years of pre-professional coursework. Pre-pharmacy students enroll in a series of courses, CAPS (Career, Academic, and Professional Success) that provide connections to the campus, community, careers, and the profession. Students also study a wide variety of foundation courses to prepare them for the professional program. Once in the professional program students will enroll in courses such as Principles of Drug Action, Pathophysiology, Pharmacokinetics, and Pharmacotherapeutics.
DRAKE CURRICULUM The Drake Curriculum, required of all undergraduates and pharmacy students, is designed to help students meet personal and professional goals as they acquire fundamental knowledge and abilities in ten Areas of Inquiry, including communication, critical thinking, artistic experience, historical consciousness, information and technology literacy, international and multicultural experiences, scientific and quantitative literacy, values and ethics and engaged citizenship. Students work closely with their academic advisers to craft a program of study in general education that prepares students for civic and professional leadership.
The Drake Curriculum also requires completion of a first-year seminar, which foster development of critical thinking and written and oral communication skills through a topical focus; and a Senior Capstone, in which students demonstrate the capacity to bring information, skills and ideas to bear on one project. Students entering the professional program after earning a bachelor's degree are not required to complete the Drake Curriculum.
INTERNSHIPS & OPPORTUNITIES Students generally obtain internships after their first year of the professional program. Internships are required for students who wish to be licensed to practice in the state of Iowa. Pharmacy students have interned at public health agencies, national organizations and pharmaceutical companies. Examples include Federal Drug Administration, U.S. Public Health Service, National Association of Chain Drug Stores, Iowa Pharmacy Association, Astra-Zeneca, Osco Drug, Walgreen’s, Wal-Mart, Hy-Vee, CVS, National Community Pharmacy Association, Indian Health Service, and Mayo Clinic.
CAREER OPTIONS Traditional careers in pharmacy are in community and hospital settings. Additional career tracks include regulatory affairs, federal and state agencies, long-term care, clinical practice, consulting, academia and industry.
HONORS Numerous awards and scholarships are available to students in the professional program.
STUDENT ORGANIZATIONS AND ACTIVITIES Students have the opportunity to belong to the unified pharmacy student organization, Drake University Pharmacy (Rx) Unified Group of Students (DRxUGS). As members of this organization, students also are members of the Iowa Pharmacy Association and one of the following national organizations: American Pharmaceutical Association (APhA), American Society of Health-Systems Pharmacists (ASHP), Christian Pharmacists Fellowship International (CPFI), National Pharmaceutical Association (NPhA), Association of Managed Care Pharmacy (AMCP), National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA). Professional fraternities include: Kappa Psi, Lambda Kappa Sigma, and Phi Delta Chi. Honorary societies include Phi Lambda Sigma (leadership) and Rho Chi (academic). Other opportunities include positions on the Student Government Association, Pharmacy & Health Sciences Day Committee, Honor Code Committee, Student Senate, or as student representatives to various college faculty and staff committees.