Doctor of Pharmacy

Experiential Education

Pharmacy students in hospital
Plentiful Options to Gain Real World Experience
The Experiential Education component of the Doctor of Pharmacy program is the opportunity for students to step out of the classroom and academic laboratory and into a variety of real-world practice settings, putting the knowledge they have gained to use in hands-on pharmacy practice experiences.

These practice experiences, also known as rotations, make up 30% of the pharmacy student’s curriculum.

The College has helped secure practice experiences for students at approximately 600 pharmacy and clinical sites across the Northeast and throughout the world.

These experiences not only expand students' knowledge of pharmacy, but often lead to job opportunities after graduation.

Practice sites include community pharmacies, hospitals, ambulatory care clinics, research laboratories, managed care facilities, academia, government agencies and the pharmaceutical industry.


IPPEs are designed for pharmacy students in their first three professional years of the Pharm.D. program. By the time they enter their final professional year, students will have gained 320 hours of “hands‑on” practice experiences by meeting the IPPE requirements detailed below. 

Each pharmacy student is required to complete three (3) rotations which total eight (8) credits and 320 hours. All IPPE requirements must be met prior to beginning APPEs and must be completed in the United States (in accordance with ACPE Standard 13.8).

Community Pharmacy IPPE (four weeks)
Under the direct supervision of a registered pharmacist, students will demonstrate proficiencies in a skill set that includes: dispensing prescriptions, utilizing patient profiles, monitoring drug interactions, pharmacy operations, and basic communication with patients and physicians. This IPPE is scheduled following the first professional year (P1).

Institutional IPPE (three weeks)
This course is designed to introduce students to hospital pharmacy practice. Students will be introduced to distributive and clinical functions including review and evaluation of medication orders, identification and resolution of medication related problems, interactions with non-pharmacy departments, observation of the order entry process and preparation of sterile products, performing patient-specific calculations necessary for dosing medications, and presenting a patient case or disease topic. This IPPE is scheduled in the summer following the second professional year (P2).

Team-Based Care IPPE (one week)
Formerly titled the Patient Assessment IPPE, this course will expose students to the basic day-to-day operations of an outpatient care setting. Students will gather and organize information from patient medical charts, conduct patient interviews to obtain an accurate medication history, present a patient case in a structured format (e.g., SOAP note), and prepare responses to drug information inquiries. This IPPE is scheduled in the summer following the second professional year (P2).


APPEs are "hands-on" experiences (called rotations) designed to build upon the academic base obtained in the classrooms, laboratories, and IPPE portions of the Pharm.D. program.

APPEs are subdivided into modules, each 6 weeks in length. They begin each May and continue through May of the following year. One week of an APPE is equal to one semester hour of academic credit.

Each student is required to complete 42 weeks (42 credits). APPEs are scheduled by the College and typically require the student to be at the practice site at least eight hours daily.

Each student must successfully complete five (5) core rotations and two (2) elective rotations.

Required Core APPEs

Students must complete each of these rotations for a total of 30 credits. All required core rotations must be completed in the United States (in accordance with ACPE Standard 13.8).

  1. Community Pharmacy
  2. Ambulatory Care*
  3. Inpatient Care*
  4. Institutional Pharmacy
  5. Flexible Core - Students select a second rotation from core categories 1-3 as listed above.

* Inpatient Care and Ambulatory Care rotations are direct patient care rotations in settings including but not limited to anticoagulation; critical care; diabetes/endocrinology; emergency medicine/toxicology; family practice; gastroenterology; geriatrics; hematology/oncology; HIV pharmacotherapy; homecare; infectious diseases; internal medicine; nephrology; neurology; nutrition; pain management; pediatrics; primary care; and psychiatry.

Elective APPEs

Students must choose two elective rotations from the below categories to complete their APPE requirements. Each rotation is six weeks in length and six (6) academic credits. Elective APPEs may be completed outside of the U.S.

Elective options include Compounding; Drug Programs Management; Governmental Affairs/Regulatory; Health Information Management; Home Infusion Pharmacotherapy; International Pharmacy; Long-term Care; Medication Safety; Military Pharmacy; Nuclear Pharmacy; Pharmaceutical Industry; Pharmacogenomics; Pharmacy Administration; Pharmacy Association Management; Pharmacy Education and Research, and many others.

international rotations

The College provides students with opportunities to study overseas to earn a portion of their required Elective APPE rotation credits.

International rotations offer students the experience of working alongside practicing professionals while serving communities abroad. In doing so, they not only expand their knowledge and skills but also gain a global perspective on health care.

In conjunction with the clinical or research aspects of the experience, students are given opportunities to broaden their understanding of a given region by learning about traditional approaches to medicine and exploring historical and cultural sites.

Limited international APPE opportunities are available and have recently included Italy, Japan, China, South Korea and Canada. More information is shared with students during the APPE Orientation course offered during the P3 year.


Prior to any rotation, students must register as pharmacy interns in the state where the rotation will be performed, if applicable.

Prior to APPEs, students must have successfully completed their IPPE requirements.

Prior to IPPEs and APPEs, students must have the following:

  • A copy of personal immunization records, which is on file at the College (in the event a site requests to see them).
  • Proof of a recent physical exam, completed within a specific timeframe prior to the end of the academic year preceding the start of rotations (timeframe will be communicated to students at an appropriate time during the academic year.)
  • Tuberculosis Screening test (PPD skin test or IGRA blood test) - Students must provide medical documentation showing results of a negative TB skin or blood test, or chest x-ray report following a positive test result. The screening must be completed within a specific timeframe prior to the end of the academic year preceding the start of rotations (the timeframe will be communicated to students at an appropriate time during the academic year.)
  • CPR or Basic Life Support Certification, valid for the duration of all rotations
  • Seasonal influenza (flu) vaccination

Some clinical sites may have their own requirements as well, including a criminal background check, a drug screen, or an antibody titer (laboratory blood test, which indicates proof of immunity, as opposed to providing proof of having received the vaccine), etc.

Specific requirements, if any, would be noted in the rotation site’s record within the CoreELMS database, and would be communicated to the appropriate students via email in advance of the rotation by Experiential Education staff.

Institutions hosting experiential education rotations may deny a student’s participation in the experiential program because of the inability to produce an appropriate health clearance, which could result in delayed graduation or in the inability to graduate from the program.


Individuals who have been convicted of a felony or misdemeanor may be denied certification or licensure as a health professional. Information regarding eligibility for licensing in a particular jurisdiction may be obtained from the appropriate credentialing body of that jurisdiction.

Rotation sites may deny a student's participation in the experiential program because of a felony or misdemeanor conviction, failure of a required drug test, or inability to produce an appropriate health clearance, which would result in delayed graduation or in the inability to graduate from the program.

Because institutions hosting experiential education may require a criminal background check in order to permit students in their facility, the College will conduct background checks on all students entering clerkship, using the Health and Human Services/Office of Inspector General (HHS OIG) database.

The goal of the HHS OIG background check website is to identify individuals and businesses excluded from Federally funded health care programs. This includes individuals convicted of fraud related to federal programs, patient abuse, licensing board actions and default on health education assistance loans.

If a student is identified via the use of this database, the matter is referred to a Committee appointed by the Department of Pharmacy Practice for action.

Student Testimonial

“There were no other colleges that I had been looking at, that had opportunities for international travel. Talking to other pharmacy students from other colleges and preceptors outside of ACPHS, they were always shocked that I had this opportunity.”

- Lauren Hom, Doctor of Pharmacy Candidate 2023