The School of Pharmacy

Since its founding in 1885, the University of Kansas School of Pharmacy has been a leader in pharmacy education. Since 1996, the school has offered only the Doctor of Pharmacy degree as the entry-level practice degree. The curriculum gives the student the knowledge, skills, and ability required of the pharmacy practitioner; it is comprehensive and produces a highly competent general practitioner.

About 60 full-time faculty members teach in the undergraduate professional Doctor of Pharmacy program and in the graduate programs. 3 departments (Pharmacology and Toxicology, Medicinal Chemistry, and Pharmaceutical Chemistry) offer Master of Science and Doctor of Philosophy degrees. Pharmacy Practice offers the master’s degree.

Both the undergraduate and graduate divisions have outstanding national and international reputations based on the excellence and productivity of the faculty. KU is consistently ranked in the top 5 among colleges/schools of pharmacy that receive National Institutes of Health research funding. KU’s School of Pharmacy was awarded more than $22 million in research grants and contracts from the NIH in fiscal year 2011.

The School of Pharmacy is fully accredited by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education, 135 S. LaSalle St, Suite 4100, Chicago, IL 60603-4810, (312) 664-3575, info@acpe-accredit.org, the official accrediting body for American schools of pharmacy.

Undergraduate Advising

On admission to the school, undergraduates are assigned faculty members as their advisors. The advisor serves continuously during the student’s tenure in the school. Students are expected to meet with their advisors at least once each semester and are encouraged to meet more often to discuss academic issues and career and professional development.

Undergraduate Admission to KU

To qualify for undergraduate admission to KU, Kansas resident first-year applicants must meet 1 of the following requirements:

To qualify for admission to KU, out-of-state first-year applicants must meet 1 of the following requirements:

  • Complete the Kansas Board of Regents’ Qualified Admission curriculum with at least a 2.5 grade-point average on a 4.0 scale or
  • Achieve an ACT score of 24 or above or an SAT score of 1090 or above with a cumulative 2.0 or higher grade-point average on a 4.0 scale or
  • Rank in the top 1/3 of your high school graduating class.

Prospective students should request applications from the University of Kansas Office of Admissions, KU Visitor Center, 1502 Iowa St., Lawrence, KS 66044-7576, 785-864-3911, adm@ku.edu. Return completed applications to that office with necessary transcripts and records. Prospective pharmacy students should declare prepharmacy as the major field of study. Visit the Office of Admissions for further information. Visit the Office of International Student and Scholar Services for information about international admissions.

Pre-pharmacy students are advised by faculty members from the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences while they complete their pre-pharmacy course work. All pre-pharmacy students are strongly encouraged to make appointments in the office of the dean of the School of Pharmacy, 2010 Becker Drive, Room 2050, for co-advising services and when they have questions concerning specific course requirements or appropriate electives or any other concerns about their preparation for pharmacy admission. Pre-pharmacy students are also encouraged to participate in the pre-pharmacy club. Email pharmacy@ku.edu to request to be added to the club's e-mail distribution list.

Undergraduate Admission to the School of Pharmacy

Students should apply to the School of Pharmacy during the application period (October 1 through February 1) for admission the following fall semester. When they apply, they should have completed, or be about to complete, the 68 credit hours of required pre-pharmacy courses. The required pre-pharmacy curriculum may be completed at accredited schools other than KU. KU students should submit a change of school form. Students transferring from other schools should submit an application for transfer student undergraduate admission.

Requirements

Applying students should meet the following requirements:

  • Complete the required pre-pharmacy courses and provide the required transcripts as documentation of the course work. One official copy of your transcript should be sent to the Office of Admissions.
  • Take the Pharmacy College Admissions Test, preferably in October. January test results also are accepted and considered. Have the results of the PCAT sent to KU.
  • Complete and return the Applicant Profile Form to the School of Pharmacy with a $75 nonrefundable application fee.
  • Maintain a grade-point average of 2.5 or higher overall and in the sciences. This is the minimum grade-point average acceptable for admission; the average is generally much higher.
  • Arrange for 3 letters of recommendation, including the school’s standard reference forms, to be sent to the School of Pharmacy by the persons serving as your references.
  • An interview is held with selected applicants.

Procedures

The School of Pharmacy admissions committee, consisting of at least 2 faculty members from each department and representation from the office of the dean, determines admissions. A file consisting of the required documentation is created for each applicant when the application is received. Consideration is given to a student’s grade-point average overall and in all science courses in the pre-pharmacy curriculum. The average grade point of previous entering classes has been 3.5 or higher. Good scholarship is considered a predictor of success in the pharmacy curriculum. However, good communication skills, emotional maturity, leadership ability, professional attitude, an understanding of the pharmacy profession, work experience in a pharmacy, and interest in service to the community are also important. These additional skills may outweigh very high grades or choice of pre-pharmacy courses. Applicant PCAT scores also are considered in the admission process. Admission is competitive and depends on the number of applications received and the qualifications of the applicants.

The admissions committee begins to consider applications in January each year. The application deadline is February 1, and most decisions are made by April. As a condition of matriculation into the KU School of Pharmacy, all admitted students must successfully clear an investigative criminal background check and successfully obtain pharmacy intern status with the Kansas Board of Pharmacy. Successful clearance of the background check and attainment of pharmacy intern status with the Board of Pharmacy is required to enroll in the School of Pharmacy and to participate in curricular and extracurricular curricular activities including interacting with patients. Instructions for completing the background check are provided with the letter of acceptance.

Doctor of Pharmacy Degree Requirements

Prepharmacy Requirements

The Doctor of Pharmacy degree requires completion of all of the required pre-pharmacy and professional courses and a total of 208 credit hours with an overall and professional grade-point average of at least 2.5.

The pre-pharmacy requirements of 68 credit hours include a year each of English, general chemistry, and organic chemistry. Other required courses include calculus, interpersonal communication, molecular and cellular biology, microbiology, human anatomy, physiology, statistics; and 15 credit hours of general studies that satisfy the following KU Core Curriculum requirements: goal 1 outcome 1; goal 3 humanities; goal 3 social science; goal 4 outcome 1; and goal 4 outcome 2. The KU Core Curriculum goals 1 through 4 must be satisfied during the completion of the pre-pharmacy curriculum requirements. KU Core goals 5 and 6 are satisfied during the professional curriculum. A course in college physics is required if the student did not complete physics in high school with a grade of B or higher. The college physics credit hours, if required, do not count toward the 208 credit hours required for the degree.

Students are expected to have or to develop basic competence with personal computers, including word processing and spreadsheet software. All students are required to own an Apple iPad capable of running the most current operating system (iOS). These skills and equipment are necessary for some class assignments, assessments, as well as for professional work assignments.

Courses in other professional schools (e.g., engineering, education) may not be counted toward the degree unless the student can show that such courses are directly relevant to pharmacy. For example, a course in business law taken in the business school may count (consult with the office of the dean in the school of pharmacy).

Prepharmacy Curriculum

Year 1
FallHoursSpringHours
ENGL 1013ENGL 1023
CHEM 130 (formerly CHEM 184)5CHEM 135 (formerly CHEM 188)5
BIOL 1504BIOL 2403
MATH 1153MATH 365 (approved alternatives include BIOL 570, PSYC 210, DSCI 202)3
General studies13General studies13
 18 17
Year 2
FallHoursSpringHours
CHEM 330 (formerly CHEM 624)3CHEM 335 (formerly CHEM 626)3
CHEM 331 (formerly CHEM 625)2CHEM 336 (formerly CHEM 627)2
BIOL 4003BIOL 6464
BIOL 4022BIOL 6472
COMS 130 (approved alternatives include COMS 131-132, JOU 150, THR 120, and PHIL 150)3General studies16
General studies13 
 16 17
Total Hours: 68
 
1

Select a course that satisfies KU Core Curriculum requirements: goal 1 outcome 1; goal 3 humanities; goal 3 social science; goal 4 outcome 1; or goal 4 outcome 2. All of the above need completed.

Professional Requirements

The Doctor of Pharmacy degree requires completion of all the required prepharmacy and professional courses and a total of 208 credit hours with an overall and professional grade-point averages of 2.5.

The curriculum includes instruction in the 3 basic sciences: medicinal chemistry, pharmaceutical chemistry, and pharmacology and toxicology. It also includes courses in the various aspects of pharmacy practice, including the health care system, law, and emerging roles for pharmacy practitioners. The curriculum integrates course material among departments. Assignments within the curriculum foster development of independent learning, communication skills, problem solving, and professional motivation. The professional curriculum includes a requirement that each student must complete a minimum of 4 elective credit hours within School of Pharmacy. One credit hour must be completed from the pharmacy practice department, 1 credit hour must be completed from a basic science department (either medicinal chemistry, pharmaceutical chemistry, and pharmacology and toxicology) and the remaining two credit hours are left to the students discretion.

Students enroll in introductory pharmacy practice experiences during the summer following the first and second years. These experiences are located throughout the state of Kansas and vary in the type of professional setting.

The final year of the curriculum consists of nine 4-week advanced experiential practice rotations with faculty preceptors at pharmacy practice sites throughout Kansas. Students must have their own transportation to reach their assigned sites. Housing at these sites is also the student’s responsibility.

Professional Program

The following curriculum is applicable to the graduating class of 2019 (matriculating in the fall of 2015) and later. See http://pharmacy.ku.edu/academics for the curriculum for the graduating classes of 2016, 2017, and 2018.

Year 1
FallHoursSpringHoursSummerHours
MDCM 6013MDCM 6033PHAR 5504
MDCM 6021P&TX 6313 
P&TX 6304PHCH 5183 
PHCH 5172PHPR 6614 
PHCH 6672PHPR 6193 
PHPR 6202PHAR 5151 
PHAR 5001  
PHAR 5101  
 16 17 4
Year 2
FallHoursSpringHoursSummerHours
MDCM 6254MDCM 6264PHAR 5604
P&TX 6323P&TX 6333 
PHCH 6253PHCH 6263 
PHPR 6624PHPR 6634 
PHAR 6001PHAR 5251 
PHAR 5201Elective option (1 of 4 required credits)1 
Elective option (1 of 4 required credits)1* BSPS awarded  
 17 16 4
Year 3
FallHoursSpringHours 
PHCH 6932PHPR 6654 
PHPR 6644PHPR 6702 
PHPR 6132PHPR 6212 
PHPR 6143PHPR 6303 
PHPR 6252P&TX 6402 
PHAR 5301PHAR 5351 
Elective option (1 of 4 required credits)1Elective option (1 of 4 required credits)1 
 15 15 
Year 4
FallHoursSpringHours 
PHPR 6014PHPR 6064 
PHPR 6024PHPR 6074 
PHPR 6034PHPR 6084 
PHPR 6044PHPR 6094 
PHPR 6054  
 20 16 
Total Hours: 140

* Bachelors of Science in Pharmaceutical Studies (BSPS) awarded to students who complete all required coursework (at a GPA of 2.0 or higher) through the spring of professional year 2. 

Fourth Year

The fourth year is composed of 36 credit hours of advanced experiential pharmacy practice rotations (nine 4-week assignments). The required experiential rotations include advanced hospital, advanced community, ambulatory care, and acute care/inpatient general medicine. The remaining 5 clerkships/externships are assigned as elective clerkship courses. Assignments are made on the basis of the student’s preference, and site availability. The five 4-week rotations of the fall semester begin in July and conclude at the end of November. The four 4-week spring semester rotations begin in January and conclude in April. See the Pharmacy Practice (PHPR) courses with Clerkship titles for a complete listing.