The comprehensive curriculum for our accelerated, three-year Doctor of Pharmacy degree includes basic and pharmaceutical sciences, social and administrative sciences, pharmacotherapeutic sciences, intermediate and advanced clinical practice, as well as a global capstone course.  The didactic curriculum as well as the clinical practice component offers the student a premier professional study program. 

PY1 YearSemester Credits
Trimester 1
Pharmaceutics I + Lab3 + 1
Introduction to Physiology3
Introduction to Patient Care I 3
Introduction to Interprofessional Education1
Total Credits 14
Trimester 2
Pharmaceutics II + Lab3 + 1
Intro to Pharmacology, Medicinal Chemistry and Toxicology5
Introduction to Patient Care II + Lab2 + 1
Public Health & US Healthcare Systems2
Total Credits 14
Trimester 3
Pharmacokinetics + Recitation4
Self-Care Therapeutics3
Introduction to Patient Care III + Lab2 + 1
Drug Literature and Informatics I2
Service Learning 1
Total Credits 15
Trimester 4
Introduction to Pharmacy Practice Experience I (Community)5
Introduction to Pharmacy Practice Experience II (Institutional) 5
Total Credits 10

PY2 YearSemester Credits
Trimester 1
Principles of Drug Action I4.5
Pharmacotherapeutics I5
Patient Care Lab I1.5
Drug Literature and Informatics II2
Total Credits 13
Trimester 2
Principles of Drug Action II4.5
Pharmacotherapeutics II5
Patient Care Lab II1.5
Total Credits 13
Trimester 3
Principles of Drug Action III4.5
Pharmacotherapeutics III5
Patient Care Lab III1.5
Pharmacy Management and Entrepreneurship2
Total Credits 13
Trimester 4
Principles of Drug Action IV4.5
Pharmacotherapeutics IV5
Patient Care Lab IV1.5
Advanced Law and Ethics2
Total Credits 13

PY3 Experiential YearSemester Credits
Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experience  (Community) 6
Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experience (Institutional)6
Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experience (Ambulatory Care) 6
Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experience (Medicine)6
Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experience (Elective I)6
Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experience (Elective II)6
Global Capstone1
Total Credits 37
Total Semester Credits for Program142 + 4 (electives)*=146

Course Descriptions for 2018-2019 Coursework*


PHA 633          Pharmaceutics I + Lab (3 + 1 credits)

This course will briefly introduce the history, mission, standards, laws and regulations of pharmacy, pharmaceutical care, and pharmacy practice. It will introduce drug development processes, pharmaceutical studies and processes in pre-formulation. The course will emphasize an understanding of factors influencing formulation, stability, and packaging of various dosage forms. The course will examine simple dosage forms as a pretext to more advanced dosage formulation covered in Pharmaceutics II.  The course will contain a laboratory that introduces symbols, formats and operating procedures utilized in prescription and medication orders for commercially available and extemporaneously compounded products. This laboratory will include computations related to drug product formulation, dosing and biological activity, statistical data and medication orders for commercially available and extemporaneously compounded products.

PHA 614          Biochemistry (3 credits)

This course will provide students with an overview of the fundamental principles of biochemistry by relating molecular interactions to their effects on human health. The course will cover the structural properties, biological functions, and metabolism of proteins, carbohydrates, lipids, and nucleic acids.

PHA 616          Introduction to Physiology (3 credits)

This course will provide students with an understanding of how cells, tissues, organs, and organ systems function together to create one organism. It will expose the students to the normal functions of the major organ systems and lay the foundation for understanding diagnosis and treatment of diseases in those systems, which will be covered under pathophysiology in multiple future courses.

PHA 622          Introduction to Patient Care 1 (3 credits)

This course is designed to introduce pharmacy practice principles of patient care. Topics for discussion include the history and future of pharmacy and the role of pharmacist in different pharmacy settings. Other areas of discussion include introduction to prescriptions, medical terminology, calculations, introduction to Top 300 drugs, professionalism, and the Pharmacist’s patient care process.

PHA 624          Introduction to Interprofessional Education (1 credits)

This course is an introduction to interprofessional education, collaboration, and decision making. Students will study the makeup of healthcare teams, learn about the scope of practice and roles of the various members of the healthcare team, solidify their understanding of the role of the pharmacist as a member of the healthcare team, and participate in interprofessional activities.



PHA 653          Pharmaceutics II + Lab (3 + 1 credits)

This course is a continuation of Pharmaceutics I with emphasis on the scientific principles involved in the formulation and application of specific dosage forms.  The principles used to compare and contrast different dosage forms will also be presented along with relationships between dosage forms and biopharmaceutics.  The principles, procedures and techniques used for extemporaneous compounding of sterile and non-sterile products will be presented in the laboratory sequence.  In addition, students will study the biopharmaceutical and pharmacokinetic principles of drug-exposure, bioavailability and assessment of bioequivalence.

PHA 634          Intro to Pharmacology, Medicinal Chemistry and Toxicology  (5 credits)

This course will provide students with the basic pharmacologic principles of pharmacodynamics and cellular processes and an introduction to structure activity relationships. It will also provide the necessary information required to bridge fundamental chemistry principles with application to medicinal chemistry. Students will use their newly acquired knowledge base in the evaluation of drug classes according to receptor type, location, and control function.

PHA 642          Introduction to Patient Care II + Lab (2 + 1 credits)

This course and the associated Lab is designed to introduce pharmacy practice principles of patient care. Topics for discussion include patient centered communications, motivational interviewing, patient counseling, health literacy and cultural competence, and inter-professional communications. Students will also discuss pharmacy law as it pertains to patient counseling.

PHA 666          Public Health and US Healthcare Systems (2 credits)

This course is an overview of the complex issues, policies, controversies and proposed solutions that surround public health and healthcare systems in the United States.


PHA 636          Immunology (2 credits)

This course will be an introduction to immunology at the molecular and cellular level and will focus on the role of the innate and adaptive immune response in health and disease.

PHA 655          Pharmacokinetics + Recitation (4 credits)

This course builds on the biopharmaceutical and pharmacokinetics principles taught in Pharmaceutics I. The course is designed to deliver the concepts of pharmacokinetics with clinical applications. Necessary mathematical expressions and equations needed to calculate pharmacokinetics parameters describing absorption, distribution, metabolism, and excretion of drugs will be focused. The course will also address clinical application of the basic pharmacokinetic principles and mathematical equations to safe and effective patient care with emphasis on design of dosage regimens and therapeutic drug monitoring, adjustment of drug dosages in selected disease states and significant drug-drug interactions scenarios. Additionally, the course will introduce the influence of pharmacogenetics in pharmacokinetics and concepts in pharmacokinetic - pharmacodynamic relationship. The course intercalates practice problems and assignments to enable students to nurture interpersonal skills through team activities.

PHA 662          Self-Care Therapeutics (3 credits)

This course is designed to introduce the principles and application of self-care treatment of common diseases using over the counter medications. Emphasis will be on the role of the pharmacist in determining the appropriate use of over the counter medications for self-care therapy. Students will learn to use the patient care process to determine if self-care is appropriate for the individual patient, select an appropriate product, counsel the patient on the use of the product, and establish follow-up and monitoring parameters. Students are expected to model professional behavior in the application of their knowledge to patient care simulations.

PHA 664          Introduction to Patient Care III + Lab (2 + 1 credits)

This course is designed to introduce students to the basic aspects of pharmacy operations and pharmaceutical care in the institutional and community settings. Topics for discussion include assessment of drug safety and efficacy, ensuring accurate and timely dispensing of medications, optimizing patient outcomes, and communications with patients, caregivers, and other healthcare providers. This course provides 8 hours of IPPE simulation credits.

PHA 644          Drug Literature and Informatics I (2 credits)

This course is designed to introduce the retrieval and use of medical literature to later answer clinical questions and problems. Students will be presented with drug information questions to address by systematic retrieval and evaluation of relevant literature.

PHA 695          Service Learning (1 credits) 

This course balances experiential learning in the form of community service with didactic learning, shared reading, reflection, and simulation to create a meaningful learning experience. Students will prepare and deliver interactive educational presentations to a pediatric population in a classroom setting such as primary, middle or high school or after-school care center.  Two (2) hours of pharmacy practice experience and are designed to introduce the basic aspects of ethics in healthcare, health advocacy, preventive health, and the varying roles of pharmacists in healthcare.



PHA 696          Introduction to Pharmacy Practice Experience I (Community)       (5 credits)

PHA 698          Introduction to Pharmacy Practice Experience II (Institutional)     (5 credits)

The Introductory Pharmacy Practice Experience (IPPE) at the William Carey University School of Pharmacy (WCUSOP) occurs at the end of the first professional year. The two 5-week rotations provide 400 hours of pharmacy practice experience and are designed to cover basic aspects of community and institutional pharmacy practice, such as prescription orders and order entry, compounding and dispensing, sterile products and large volume parenterals, record- keeping, patient interviewing and counseling, patient profiles and medical records, prescription benefit programs and reimbursement, legal requirements and regulatory issues, communications with patients and other health professionals, and inventory control and purchasing. Students will attend IPPE Forum to discuss their experiences and to assess their progress towards achievement of their pre-defined professional competencies and outcomes.


PHA 810Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experience (Community)6 credits
PHA 820Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experience (Institutional)6 credits
PHA 830Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experience (Ambulatory Care)6 credits
PHA 840Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experience (Medicine)6 credits
PHA 850Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experience (Elective I)6 credits
PHA 860Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experience (Elective II)6 credits

The Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experiences (APPE) provide 1440 hours of pharmacy practice experience and are designed to ensure students obtain the knowledge, skills, and abilities needed to competently practice as an entry level pharmacist in a variety of settings. Preceptors will provide opportunities for students to be exposed to and participate in activities in a progressive fashion, as allowed by law, to enable the students to achieve the professional competencies. Students will attend APPE Forum to discuss their experiences and assess their progress towards achievement of pre-defined professional competencies and outcomes. The APPE sequence is structured with outcome expectations designed to reflect the attainment of practice related competencies.


PHA 905          Advanced Pharmacy Management and Entrepreneurship

This course builds on the principles of community pharmacy management taught in Pharmacy Management and Entrepreneurship. This course is designed to provide the student with information necessary to become an independent community pharmacy owner through either establishment of a new pharmacy or acquisition of an existing pharmacy business. The course will progress from pharmacy startup to pharmacy operations. Topics covered include business plan development, location analysis, operating cost, human resources, and other topics related to the establishment and management of a successful community pharmacy business.

PHA 910          Drugs in Pregnancy and Lactation Elective

Women taking any kind of medication has more than doubled in the last 30 years.  Current evidence suggests that that the majority of women take at least one prescription drug during pregnancy, with many taking the medications during the first trimester when organogenesis is occurring. Not only do these include prescription medications, but over the counter medications and herbal supplements. This course will provide information on teratogenesis during pregnancy, a review the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) pregnancy and lactation categories, and up to date information about medication use in pregnancy and lactation and methods for mitigation of risk.

PHA 915          Preparing for Pharmacy Residency Program Elective

The purpose of this course is to help pharmacy students navigate through the process of selecting a pharmacy residency that is the right fit for them. The students will understand that advancing to post graduate program will assist them in becoming a highly qualified independent practitioners able to provide patient care in a variety of environments, apply skill in medication related education, serve as leaders within the profession of pharmacy, and excel during further post-graduate training.

PHA 920          Introduction to Medical Microbiology

This course is an introduction to the basic principles of microbiology and the spread of infection. It introduces the student to the classification, pathogenesis, and diagnosis of several microorganisms responsible for human infection including bacteria, viruses, and other microorganism.

PHA 925          Composition and Function of the Human Microbiome

This course challenges students to explore and understand emerging science and clinical applications of human symbiotic relationships with viruses, protozoa, bacteria and fungi.

PHA 930          Pharmacogenomics

This course covers the essential fundamentals of pharmacogenomics within the context of the pharmaceutical sciences and care. Emphasis is devoted to the application of pharmacogenomic principles and techniques to contemporary drug development practices, and drug treatments for diseases. The course also outlines the regulatory as well as ethical, legal, and social aspects of pharmacogenomics. The main goal of this course is to provide pharmacy students with the knowledge and skills to use genomic information in their future clinical practice in an interprofessional learning environment.

PHA 935          Veterinary Pharmacy

This course reviews disease and pharmacotherapy options common to companion, farm, and food animals.

PHA 940          History of Pharmacy

This course will provide students with an overview of the practice of pharmacy, particularly as it pertains to the historical development of pharmacy as a distinct profession through the ages.  Students will learn about the evolving role of the pharmacist over the past three centuries, including the shift from a focus on the drug to a focus on the patient and pharmacist-provided patient care.  Students will learn about how the training and education of pharmacists have changed, as well as about the historical significance of several major milestones and contributors in the evolution of pharmacy.

PHA 945          Drugs of Abuse

The course will explore the epidemics of substance abuse and addiction and how they profoundly impact society and health care. The course objectives will focus on the chemistry, pharmacology and toxicology of abused drugs, which are foundational to understanding their effects on public health and safety.

PHA 950          Opioid use disorder

This course serves as an overview of opioid use disorder (OUD) and how pharmacists can impact those affected.  Topics include prevention, identification, treatment options, clinical aspects of treatment, and an understanding of support systems available for those (patients and co-workers) in recovery.

PHA 955: Philosophy of Medicine

This is an elective course designed to prepare students to think critically and understand the central problems of contemporary philosophy of medicine. The specific problems under consideration include: concepts of health and disease, medical decision making, how to read and write a paper, evidenced-based medicine, and philosophical issues in medical treatment and research.

PHA 960, Development of Community-Based Ambulatory Services

This elective course builds on the principles of implementing value-added pharmacy services taught in PHA 766: Pharmacy Management and Entrepreneurship. This course is designed to provide the student with information necessary to implement community-based ambulatory care pharmacy services, develop collaborative practice agreements with providers, and develop sustainable pharmacy practice business models unrelated to dispensing of medication in the community setting. Topics covered include business plan and collaborative practice agreement development, billing practices and reimbursement strategies, credentialing and certifications, professional development resources, and other topics related to the establishment and management of a successful community-based ambulatory care pharmacy practice business.

PHA 965, Introduction to Critical Care

This elective course will focus on the pathophysiology and pharmacotherapeutics of disease states encountered in critical care areas in the hospital setting. The course will be a discussion-based, team-taught design encouraging the students to apply and integrate knowledge about patients prior to the Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experiences. Enrollment in this course is limited to 12 students. 

PHA 970          Financial Freedom Pharmacist

This course serves as a brief introduction to financial planning needs a pharmacy student, resident, or pharmacist may encounter in their career lifetime. Topics include what is financial freedom, budgeting, school loans and repayment options, retirement, investing, types of insurance, and resources to use.

PHA 999          Special Topics in Pharmacy

Student will work independently with a faculty member on a research project or a topic related to pharmacy or pharmacy education. Faculty members will assist students with their projects and guide their course study on a topic of mutual interest.

*Future Course catalog entries and updates will be found in the WCU Graduate Catalog

Our Program utilizes PioneerRx as our pharmacy management system.

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