Pharmacy

Introduction

E. Paul Larrat, Interim Dean
Brian J. Quilliam, Associate Dean
Bongsup P. Cho, Associate Dean

Entering freshmen are admitted to URI’s six-year entry-level Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D.) degree or the 4-year Bachelor of Science in Pharmaceutical Sciences (B.S.P.S.) degree. The college also awards two graduate degrees: the Master of Science (M.S.) and the Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in pharmaceutical sciences, offered by both departments, Biomedical and Pharmaceutical Sciences and Pharmacy Practice.

Faculty

Biomedical and Pharmaceutical Sciences: Professor Rosenbaum, chairperson. Professors Akhlaghi, Chichester, Cho, Kislalioglu, Parang, Rodgers, Shaikh,  Yan, and Zawia; Associate Professors Deng, King, Kovoor, Rowley, Seeram, and Slitt; Assistant Professors Dong, Lu and Worthen; Professors Emeriti Lausier, Needham, Shimizu, Swonger, and Zia.

Pharmacy Practice: Professor Barbour, chairperson. Professors Dufresne, Hume, Kogut, Larrat, Owens, and Willey; Clinical Professor MacDonnell; Associate Professors Cohen, Goren, LaPlante, Quilliam, and Taveira; Clinical Associate Professors Bratberg, Charpentier, Estus, Feret, Marcoux, Matson, Orr, Pawasauskas, and Ward; Associate Research Professor Goldstein; Assistant Professor Caffrey; Clinical Assistant Professors Asal, Eisenhower, Jackson, Lemay, and Thomas; Clinical Instructor DeAngelis-Chichester.

Admission Requirements

Each admission candidate is given individual consideration. However, a minimum of 18 units of college (secondary school) preparatory work are expected:

4 in English

3 in algebra and plane geometry

2 in a physical or natural science

2 in history or social science

2 in the same foreign language

5 additional units to total 18

Successful candidates typically have high grades in science and mathematics, do well in SATs or ACTs, and often have earned advanced placement or college credit while in high school.

Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D.)

The six-year Doctor of Pharmacy curriculum is patterned on accepted programs of study recommended by the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy, the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education, and other interested organizations. The Doctor of Pharmacy is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (135 S. LaSalle Street, Suite 4100, Chicago, Illinois, 60603; https://acpe-accredit.org/).

Medication therapy management is the responsible provision of drug therapy to achieve specific outcomes that improve a patient’s quality of life. A pharmacist, in cooperation with a patient and other healthcare professionals, designs, implements, and monitors a plan of care that will produce desired patient outcomes. A key element in medication therapy management is that the pharmacist accepts personal responsibility in achieving the desired outcomes. In learning to provide medication therapy management, pharmacy students must exhibit the highest level of ethical behavior and moral values in all of their decision-making, as well as in their actions both in and outside of the college. Furthermore, students must acknowledge that the profession and medication therapy management are based foremost on caring, trust, and communication for the benefit of patients and society in general. All students must be committed to maintaining these standards, to fostering the professional development of other pharmacy students, and to responding appropriately when the ethical and moral standards of the profession have been breached.

Graduates of our program have a strong record of passing the national licensing examination (NAPLEX). Average scores over the past five years are above the 90 percentages, with a 100% passage rate for 2011 graduates and a 99% passage rate for the 2012 graduates taking the exam for the first time. The program in pharmacy provides preparation for community and institutional pharmacy practice. Students have the opportunity to take professional electives that will advance their knowledge in different areas of pharmacy, including hospital, clinical, manufacturing, managed care, drug analysis, administration, and research.

A recent survey of graduates (AACP) indicates that 62% work in a community practice setting, while 10% work in hospitals. Others are pursuing advanced training in residencies (20%) and graduate studies (6%). Job responsibilities vary from staff pharmacists, manager, clinical specialist, consultant, executive, to professor. Ninety-nine percent of graduates indicate that they would select the URI College of Pharmacy if they were starting their pharmacy programs over again.

Technical Standards

Technical Standards. In addition to the academic requirements for admission, applicants must also meet the technical standards that the college deems essential for training and practice in the profession of pharmacy. Students who have concerns about their ability to meet these standards should contact the associate dean of the college. When requested, the college will provide reasonable accommodation to otherwise qualified students with disabilities. Disabled students must work with and be approved by URI’s Disability Services for Students.

These functions include, but are not limited to:

Observation: A candidate with or without accommodations must be able to observe demonstrations and experiments in the basic sciences. A candidate must be able to observe a patient accurately at a distance and close at hand. The candidate must be able to visually observe and interpret presented information. This will necessitate the functional use of vision, hearing, and somatic senses.

Communication: A candidate with or without accommodations must be able to communicate effectively and sensitively with patients, caregivers, faculty/staff, and all members of the healthcare team. The focus of this communication is to elicit information, describe changes in mood, activity, and posture, and perceive nonverbal communication. An applicant must be able to communicate effectively and efficiently in oral and written English.

Sensory/Motor: The candidate with or without accommodations must have sufficient motor function and skills necessary to perform basic tasks in the practice of pharmacy. Examples of such tasks may include the compounding of medicinals, physical assessment, the administration of drugs, and the provision of basic cardiac life support. Such actions require the coordination of both gross and fine muscular movements, equilibrium, and functional use of the senses.

Intellectual: A candidate must have the ability to measure, calculate, reason, analyze, synthesize, and integrate information that is essential to fully develop these skills. A candidate must be fully alert and attentive at all times in clinical settings.

Behavioral/Social: A candidate must be of sufficient emotional health to utilize fully his or her intellectual abilities, the exercise of good judgment, and the prompt completion of all patient care responsibilities. A candidate must possess the ability to develop mature, sensitive, and effective relationships with patients. A candidate must be able to tolerate physically and emotionally taxing workloads and to function effectively under stress. A candidate must be able to adapt to changing environments, to display flexibility and learn to function in the face of uncertainties inherent in the clinical problems of many patients. A candidate must possess compassion, integrity, interpersonal skills, and motivation to excel in pharmacy practice.

Health: Certain illnesses impair a student’s performance. These include, but are not limited to, active drug and/or alcohol addiction, severe depression, and other psychiatric illnesses. It is not permissible for students to interact with patients while impaired by these conditions. It is the policy of the College of Pharmacy to encourage recognition of these conditions and to support treatment so that the student may resume his or her studies in the college.

Selection Factors

Selection Factors: Due to the large number of applications received for a limited number of spaces, admission to URI’s College of Pharmacy is highly selective. The Admission Office carefully evaluates each candidate’s strength in the following areas:

High School Transcript including the rigor of the high school curriculum and academic performance.

Standardized Test Scores (only SAT or ACT results are reviewed).

Personal Essay (including an additional paragraph required of all Pharmacy applicants—details are available on the application).

Letters of Recommendation (a minimum of two letters is required: one from a science or math teacher and one from a guidance counselor or a teacher from another subject area).

Extracurricular Activities (including employment experiences) and unique talents.

Pharmacy applicants are strongly encouraged to submit all of their application materials by the Early Action deadline. The Admission Committee makes every effort to notify pharmacy applicants of their admission status by January 31.

Professional Standards of Behavior

Professional Standards of Behavior For Pharmacy Students. The College of Pharmacy demands that its students adhere to the highest standards of professional behavior. Specific requirements include the following:

Pledge of Professionalism: The College of Pharmacy expects all students to sign a pledge of professionalism when they enter the professional program.

Honesty and Academic Integrity: Students are expected to abide by the University of Rhode Island’s Community Standards of Behavior as outlined in the University of Rhode Island Student Handbook. Pharmacy students are expected to adhere to the highest standard of academic integrity in both the pre-professional and professional programs. Any evidence of cheating or plagiarism may be grounds for dismissal from the program (see URI Student Handbook for definitions of cheating and plagiarism).

Ethical Values: Students must demonstrate the highest level of professional demeanor and behavior, and must perform in an ethical manner in all dealings with peers, faculty, staff, preceptors, and patients.

Students who violate these standards of behavior may be given a reprimand, placed on probation, suspended for a period of time, required to acquire professional evaluation and counseling or other medical care, required to complete community service, or dismissed from the program. Incidents including, but not limited to, academic dishonesty, violation of HIPPA or privacy regulations, chemical impairment, violation of state and federal laws, sexual harassment, may delay or permanently prohibit progression in the Pharm.D. curriculum.

Requirements for Progression to the Professional Program

Requirements for Progression to the Professional Program. Pharm.D. students must request transfer from University College to the College of Pharmacy at the end of three semesters. During their sophomore year, all students are required to have a formal interview. The student’s progression to the professional program will be contingent upon a successful interview. The interview is designed to assess students’ commitment to the profession of pharmacy, knowledge of the profession, and ability to communicate with patients.

After three semesters, only those pharmacy students having a 2.50 grade point average or better in 11 of the 15 required preprofessional courses (BCH 311; BIO 101, 121, 242, and 244; CHM 101, 102, 112, 114, 226, 227, and 228; MIC 201; MTH 131; and STA 307) with no grade less than C- in any of these courses, and an overall grade point average of 2.00, will be admitted at this time, provided they have successfully completed the interview. Successful candidates must maintain a grade point average of 2.50 in the remaining four prerequisite courses. Students who lose their seat at the end of three semesters will be considered for admission on a competitive basis along with other URI undergraduate students and transfer students from other institutions at the end of four semesters. Applicants with a grade point average of less than 2.50 for the designated preprofessional courses will not be considered for admission to the college. For purposes of admission among transfer students (both internal and external), all of the preprofessional courses listed above (or equivalent courses) must be completed. All applicants must have a 2.50 in these courses, and successful candidates will be competitively selected from the applicant pool. They must also successfully complete a formal interview. In addition, all students must complete WRT 106, ECN 201, COM 100, and PHL 212 as a specific component of their general education prior to admission to the professional curriculum. PCAT exams, work experience, and letters of recommendation are required for all transfer applicants. Please note that it is a competitive program and seats are limited. For a more detailed description of these requirements, see the Admission website.

Beginning in the professional curriculum third year (P1) students should have their own laptop computer for use in the classroom. There are lease and purchase options at the University Bookstore for interested students.

Unless otherwise indicated, courses offered by the college are restricted to pharmacy majors.

Retention and Graduation Requirements

Retention and Graduation Requirements. Starting with the first professional year (P1), the College of Pharmacy calculates a Quality Point Average (QPA) for all students, which differs from students’ GPA calculated by the University. The QPA calculated by the College includes only required pharmacy courses. Students must earn a minimum QPA of  2.30 in all required professional courses in order to qualify for graduation in the Pharm.D. program. Students can repeat up to 6 credits per semester, up to a maximum of fifteen credits of pharmacy courses, in which they received a C- or less, in order to achieve the 2.30 QPA graduation requirement. Students who have reached the 15 credit maximum repeats without achieving the 2.30 QPA required for graduation will be dismissed from the program.

A student who receives any grade of less than a C- in any required pharmacy course or whose cumulative QPA in professional courses falls below 2.30 at the end of any semester will be reviewed by the scholastic standing committee and presented with a remediation plan that must be successfully completed to progress in the curriculum.

The student whose cumulative QPA in professional courses falls below a 2.20 at the end of any semester may be dismissed from the program. Students will not be allowed to proceed into Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experiences (APPE) without at least a 2.30 QPA in required professional pharmacy courses. Students must earn a C- or better for any APPE rotation.

Professional and/or legal exigencies arise from time to time which may necessitate changes in a pharmacy course, progression, and/or graduation requirements. Students should review their status with academic advisors on a timely basis and refer to current publications for updated information.

Students in certain other New England states may enroll in pharmacy at a discounted tuition rate (see New England Regional Student Program).

Six-year Entry Level Pharm.D. Curriculum Requirements

Six-year Entry Level Pharm.D. Curriculum Requirements. A total of 203 credits is required for graduation. Proficiency in American Red Cross standard first aid, community CPR, and physical assessment (PHP 900) is also expected of each student prior to initiating advanced pharmacy practice experiences.

Experiential Rotations. Introductory and advanced pharmacy practice experiential rotations may be scheduled at a distance from the Kingston campus. These rotations contribute importantly to the depth and breadth of the experiential program. While the college makes every effort to accommodate student requests regarding rotations, students should anticipate having some rotations assigned at a distance. For these rotations, students are responsible for their costs of transportation and housing if needed.

Criminal Background Check. Certain hospitals, clinical facilities, and other professional sites that participate in both the introductory pharmacy practice experiences (IPPE) and advanced pharmacy practice experiences (APPE) require students to undergo a criminal background check. Students with criminal records may be denied positions at these sites. As a result, their progression to meet the degree requirements will be impeded.

Drug Testing. Many hospitals, clinical facilities, and other professional sites that participate in both the introductory practice experiences (IPPE) and advanced practice experiences (APPE) require students to undergo a drug test. Students who test positive for an illegal drug will be denied positions at these sites. As a result, their progression to meet the degree requirements will be impeded.

Intern License Requirement. All students in the professional Pharm.D. program must obtain an intern license through the board of pharmacy of the state(s) in which they have their introductory and advanced pharmacy practice experiences. Registration as a Rhode Island pharmacy intern is a requirement of the program; students must apply for a license prior to the fall semester of their first professional year and maintain it throughout the professional program.  A Massachusetts pharmacy intern license is recommended as well.

To be eligible for an intern license, students must be currently enrolled in a pharmacy program. Intern licenses must be returned to the board if a student withdraws or takes a leave of absence from the college.

Application for a license requires disclosure of any convictions of federal, state, or local statutes (including driving under the influence).

Pre-Professional Curriculum

First Year
First semester: 15 credits

CHM 101 (3), 102 (1); COM 100 or WRT 106 (3); BIO 101/103 (4); one 3-credit elective or PHL 212 (3); and URI 101 (1).

Second semester: 17 credits
CHM 112 (3), 114 (1); MTH 131 (3); COM 100 or WRT 106 (3); BIO 121 (4), and one 3-credit elective or PHL 212 (3).

Second Year
First semester: 17 credits
CHM 227 (3); ECN 201 (3); MIC 201 (4); BIO 242 (3), 244 (1), and one 3-credit elective.

Second semester: 17 credits
BCH 311 (3); CHM 228 (3), 226 (2); STA 307 (3), and 6 credits of electives.

Professional Curriculum

First Professional Year (P1)

First semester: 16 credits

PHP/BPS 311 (2); BPS 301 (2), 303 (2), 305 (2), 313 (2), 318 (1), 321 (2); PHP 317 (3).

Second semester: 18 credits

PHP/BPS 310 (2); BPS 325 (2), 334 (2); PHP 305 (3), 316 (3), 332 (3), 340 (1); PHC 316 (1), 327 (1)*.

Second Professional Year (P2)
First semester: 15 credits

PHP/BPS 409 (2), 418 (3); BPS 421 (2); PHP 401 (3), 413 (3), 450 (0); PHC 415 (1), 417 (1)*.

Second semester: 17 credits

PHP/BPS 412 (2); BPS 432 (2), 403 (3); PHP 424 (2), 451 (0); NFS 444 (3); professional elective (3); PHC 416 (1), 427 (1)* .

Third Professional Year (P3)
First semester: 16 credits

PHP/BPS 410 (2); BPS 422 (2), 504 (3); PHP 414 (3); professional elective (3); PHC 515 (2), 517 (1)*.

Second semester: 16 credits

PHP/BPS 526 (2); BPS 521 (3); PHP 504 (3), 513 (2); professional elective (3); PHC 516 (2), 527 (1)*.

Fourth Professional Year (P4)
Combined summer, first, and second semester: 36 credits

To complete the curriculum, students must complete six 6-week advanced pharmacy practice experiences in community (PHP 591), ambulatory care (PHP 595), inpatient (PHP 592), institutional (PHP 594), and two different elective areas (PHP 593) for a total of 36 credits. The rotations will take place over summer, fall, and spring semesters in any order and are all capstone requirements in the program.

* Interactive learning courses will be shared by PHP and BPS under the code of PHC.

Doctor of Pharmacy Professional Electives

Doctor of Pharmacy Professional Electives. As part of the College’s professional curriculum, students may select three courses to improve their knowledge and understanding in a variety of areas including pediatric pharmacotherapy, geriatric pharmacotherapy, advanced topics in self care; specialty clinical areas such as infectious diseases, endocrine, neuropsychiatry, and cardiology; pharmacoepidemiology and pharmacoeconomics; and research.

Students desiring to expand their understanding in pharmacy practice may consider courses from the following sections: PHP 430, 440, 460, 505, 520, 540, 542, 550, 555, 560, and 580; PHP/BPS 519; HSS 530; PSY 460; NFS 551 and 552; and MSI 310.

Students desiring to expand their understanding in biomedical, pharmaceutical, and pharmacy research may select professional electives that focus learning on the theory and practice of laboratory research techniques, the evaluation and quantification of results, and on the understanding and interpreting of scientific literature. They will develop skills for oral and written communication of hypotheses, methods, and interpretations, and will carry out basic scientific research in one of the following four areas of specialization: medicinal chemistry and pharmacognosy, pharmaceutics and pharmacokinetics, pharmacoepidemiology and pharmacoeconomics, or pharmacology and toxicology. Students will develop a program of study in conjunction with a faculty advisor in their area of interest. All students will take 9 credits of course work at the graduate level and may take an elective APPE in research. Students focusing their elective professional courses in this manner may also be able to apply and work toward an M.S. degree with a focus in one of the following areas:

Medicinal Chemistry and Pharmacognosy: Molecular mechanisms of chemical carcinogenesis; combinatorial chemistry; solid-phase peptide synthesis; screening, isolation, and structure elucidation of physiologically-active natural products; biosynthesis of microbial and plant natural products; herbal medicine.

Pharmaceutics and Pharmacokinetics: Design, development, production, evaluation, and regulatory approval of pharmaceutical and self care products as well as pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic studies using virtual, clinical, and preclinical data, often with an emphasis on population approaches.

Pharmacoepidemiology and Pharmacoeconomics: Health and economic outcomes research pertaining to pharmacotherapy as used in human populations. Specializations include medication adherence, decision and cost-effectiveness analyses, post-marketing surveillance, epidemiologic methods, and quality improvement and measurement.

Pharmacology and Toxicology: Research projects explore the mechanisms involved in various disease states and their pharmacological intervention, and mechanisms of toxicity of various environmental agents. Ongoing topics include the effects of hormonal imbalances and antihypertensive agents on cardiac function and metabolism in hypertension, diagnosis and treatment of arthritis, effect of septic shock on drug metabolism, developmental neurotoxicity of environmental agents, hepatoxicity and nephrotoxicity of heavy metals, interindividual variation in metabolism of heterocyclic amine carcinogens, regulation and genetic heterogeneity of enzymes involved in drug and xenobiotic metabolism, calcium- and non-calcium mediated pathways of cell death, and the development of inhibitors to cell signaling events.

Pharmacy and French

Pharmacy and French. Qualified students can graduate in six years with both a Pharm.D. degree and a B.A. degree in French. Students complete two six-week rotations in a French-speaking country and earn 30 credits of French, as defined by the language department. It is recommended that students wishing to double major come to URI with four years of high school French and advanced placement credits.

B.S. in Pharmaceutical Sciences (B.S.P.S.)

The four-year program offers students a solid foundation in the basic sciences, broad exposure to the liberal arts, and expertise in one of several areas of specialization within the pharmaceutical sciences. It is designed to provide educational and training experiences that prepare students for careers in the pharmaceutical, consumer product, and health care industries. Graduates of the B.S.P.S. program will be qualified to seek a diverse range of career options that include: research and development, manufacturing, product marketing, sales, testing, and administrative positions within the pharmaceutical industry; research and regulatory oversight careers within government agencies; and research and teaching positions in academia. As a prelude to many of these career opportunities, the program prepares students for graduate studies in the expanding fields of pharmaceutical and biomedical sciences.

The first two years of the program include rigorous basic science requirements plus a broad exposure to the humanities, arts, and social sciences. The science component of the curriculum is consistent with the admission requirements of most basic science graduate programs and professional schools. Courses offered in the third and fourth year will be drawn primarily from our existing curriculum, and will be taught by Department of Biomedical and Pharmaceutical Sciences (BPS) and Department of Pharmacy Practice (PHP) faculty. They provide solid, fundamental training in the pharmaceutical sciences. The fourth year curriculum also includes BPS course offerings and selected electives from other departments on campus, such as the basic sciences and business. Students may also elect to obtain course credits for laboratory research performed under the guidance of a faculty mentor. These fourth year offerings will present students with the opportunity, under the supervision of the B.S.P.S. program advisor, to tailor their academic program to prepare them for the specific career paths that they choose. The 120-credit requirement for graduation provides education and training comparable to that offered by similar B.S.P.S. programs, and conforms to University credit requirements for four-year degree programs.

B.S.P.S. Curriculum Requirements.

B.S.P.S. Curriculum Requirements. The curriculum contains four distinct components. The first component consists of 35 credits of general education requirements that will provide broad exposure to the humanities, arts, and social sciences. The second component consists of 41 credits of basic science and mathematics courses that will deliver a firm foundation in the sciences, and satisfy admission requirement for most basic science graduate programs and professional schools. The third component is the B.S.P.S. core requirement, consisting of 38 credits of new and existing BPS/PHP courses, which will offer students a strong, basic, and applied understanding of the pharmaceutical sciences. The fourth component of 6 credits, comprising B.S.P.S. electives, is drawn from upper level B.S.P.S. courses and selected electives from other programs on campus, particularly those from the basic sciences and business. These courses allow our students to tailor a program of study to suit their specific career goals.

Freshman Year
First Semester: 15 credits

CHM 101 (3), 102 (1); BIO 101/103 (4); COM 100 (3); URI 101 (1); general education elective (3)

Second semester: 14 or 15 credits

CHM 112 (3), 114 (1); BIO 121 (4); MTH 131 (3) or 141 (4); WRT 106 (3)

Sophomore Year
First Semester: 17 credits

CHM 227 (3); MIC 201 (4); BIO 242 (3); PHY 111 (3), 185 (1); ECN 201 (3)

Second semester: 17 credits

CHM 226 (2), 228 (3); BCH 311 (3); STA 308 (3), general education electives (6)

Junior Year
First Semester: 15 credits

BPS 301/303/305 (6); 311 (2); 313 (2); 321 (2); B.S.P.S. or general education elective (3)

Second semester: 13 credits

BPS 325 (2), 443 (2), 445 (3); general education electives (6)

Pharmaceutics Specialization
Senior Year
First semester: 15 credits

BPS 425 (3), 487/587 (3), 503 (3); PHP 580 (3); CHM 522 (3)

Second semester: 13 credits

BPS 405 (3), 442 (3), 451 (4); B.S.P.S. or general education elective (3)

Natural Products Specialization
Senior Year
First semester: 15 credits

BPS 425 (3), 487/587 (3), 503 (3); PHP 580 (3); CHM 551 (3)

Second semester: 13 credits

BPS 442 (3), 451 (4), 535 (3); B.S.P.S. or general education elective (3)

Cosmetic Specialization
Senior Year
First semester: 15 credits

BPS 425 (3), 487/587 (3), 503 (3), 530 (3); PHP 580 (3)

Second semester: 13 credits

BPS 442 (3), 451 (4), 560 (3); B.S.P.S. or general education elective (3)

Pharmacology/Toxicology Specialization
Senior Year
First semester: 15 credits

BPS 425 (3), 487/587 (3), 503 (3), 551 (3); PHP 580 (3)

Second semester: 13 credits

BPS 442 (3), 451 (4), 533 (3); B.S.P.S. or general education elective (3)


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