Pharmacy Professional Program
The Professional Program is four years and leads to the Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D.) degree. Graduates of the program are eligible for state examination to become licensed pharmacists after completing appropriate internship hours. The four years of education consist of three years of in-class (i.e., lecture, laboratory, discussion group) introductory pharmacy experiences and one final year of advanced experiential education.
Admission to the Professional Program (Enrollment limit: 62)
To be admitted into the Professional Program of the School of Pharmacy, a student must have either enrolled in and successfully completed the Pre-Pharmacy Guaranteed Seat Program at Wilkes University as outlined above or have submitted a successful application to the School of Pharmacy.
I. Admission through the Pre-Pharmacy Guaranteed Seat Program
Students enrolled in the Wilkes University Pre-Pharmacy Guaranteed Seat Program who meet all of the following conditions are directly admitted to the Professional Program. As a matter of record, PPGS students are required to enter their information into PharmCas using the voucher provided by the School of Pharmacy.
- You must complete four semesters as a full-time pre-pharmacy student and complete all prerequisite courses within 2 years. All prerequisites must be completed by the end of the spring semester prior to admission.
- A maximum of 8 credits for prerequisite courses may be transferred to Wilkes University while enrolled in the pre-pharmacy program. The Registrar Office will determine course equivalency for transferred courses. The remaining prerequisite courses must be completed at Wilkes University. Prerequisite courses taken must include 8 credits of general chemistry, 8 credits of organic chemistry OR 4 credits of Essentials of Organic Chemistry at Wilkes University, 3-4 credits of general physics, 8 credits of general biology, 4 credits of calculus, 3 credits of elementary statistics, 3 credits of microeconomics and 3 credits of oral communications. High school advanced placement test scores or dual enrollment courses may be accepted in fulfillment of some of these requirements. These courses will not be counted in the 8 credit transfer maximum for prerequisite courses. The Admissions Office can provide the list of eligibility requirements for AP credit. The Registrar Office will determine if a dual enrollment courses is equivalent to a Wilkes course.
- You must achieve a prerequisite cumulative GPA of 3.0 or better in the prerequisite courses listed above by the end of spring in your fourth semester (sophomore year). Grades for the prerequisite courses transferred to Wilkes University will be included in the school of pharmacy prerequisite cumulative GPA but only course credit will appear on the Wilkes transcript.
- Failure to achieve your prerequisite cumulative GPA of 3.0 or better in the prerequisite courses listed above by the end the spring in your fourth semester (sophomore year) will result in forfeiting your guaranteed seat.
- You must earn grades of 2.0 or greater in all prerequisite courses. One prerequisite course grade of less than 2.0 may be repeated. If the course is repeated at Wilkes the new grade will be used to calculate your overall and prerequisite GPA. If the course is repeated at another approved institution the new grade will only be used in your prerequisite GPA calculation by the school of pharmacy, but only credits will appear on your official University transcript. Your original grade will remain on your transcript for University purposes including overall GPA calculation. Prerequisite courses must be recorded with a grade of 2.0 or greater by the end of the spring semester prior to admission. Earning a grade of less than 2.0 in a prerequisite course that cannot be repeated by the end of the spring semester prior to admission will result in forfeiture of the guaranteed seat.
- Earning two or more prerequisite course grades less than 2.0, even if one is successfully repeated, will result in forfeiting your guaranteed seat.
- You must maintain a cumulative overall GPA of 3.0 or better in all courses taken. Although non-prerequisite course credit hours may be transferred to Wilkes from other colleges, you should be aware that grades do not transfer for these courses. Grades for the General Education courses transferred to Wilkes University will not be included in the school of pharmacy overall cumulative GPA and only course credit will appear on the Wilkes transcript.
- Failure to achieve a cumulative overall GPA of 3.0 or better in all courses taken through the spring of your fourth semester (sophomore year) will result in forfeiting your guaranteed seat.
- If you feel you can complete ALL prerequisite courses and all except two General Education courses by the end of your spring freshman semester, or you have extenuating, non-academic, circumstances that will prevent you from completing the program within two years, you should contact your advisor and the Associate Dean of Admissions and Student Affairs to discuss the appeal process and possibly obtain a modified Pre-Pharmacy Guaranteed Seat contract detailing the conditions for admission.
- You must maintain the highest levels of academic and personal honesty and be free from criminal or drug/alcohol related offenses throughout the pre-pharmacy and pharmacy program.
- Students caught in the act of cheating, collusion, plagiarism or other and all acts in violation of the Wilkes University policy on Intellectual Responsibility and Plagiarism or the Student Code of Conduct may be subject to dismissal from the Pre-pharmacy Guaranteed Seat Program.
- You must receive a favorable recommendation from your pre-pharmacy advisor at the end of your Spring sophomore semester. Failure to receive a favorable recommendation from your pre-pharmacy advisor will result in forfeiting your guaranteed seat.
- You must complete a central database profile (as identified and instructed by the Nesbitt School of Pharmacy) and submit all required documentation and pay the applicable fee during the sophomore year.
- You must meet all the criteria set forth in the Technical Standards Document.
- Failure to meet the criteria set forth in the Technical Standards Document may delay or prevent graduation from the Nesbitt School of Pharmacy.
A maximum of two uncompleted General Education Curriculum requirements will be considered for admission into the Professional Program in Pharmacy. Pre-Pharmacy Guaranteed Seat students with more than two uncompleted General Education courses may appeal to the Student Affairs Committee of the School of Pharmacy for consideration. There is limited room in the Pharmacy Curriculum to complete General Education requirements. General Education Curriculum requirements may be completed at other accredited colleges or universities and transferred into Wilkes University with proper approval.
Students in the Wilkes University Pre-Pharmacy Guaranteed Seat Program who do not meet these conditions must compete for available seats in the Professional Program through the application process. Only applications submitted through PharmCas will be considered.
II. Admission through the Application Process
Faculty reserve the right to select from among the applicants who will have the best opportunity to complete the curriculum within four years and have productive professional lives. Admission is based upon the student’s academic ability as reflected in pre-requisite and overall GPA, grades from Pre-Pharmacy courses, number of courses repeated, typical course loads, and total academic career. If applicable, the committee will also consider the most recent academic performance for those non-traditional students returning to college life after a hiatus. The Statement of Purpose, references and results from the interview are also included in the evaluation of the applicant. Each spring, a select group of applicants is invited for an interview based upon a complete evaluation of all submitted application materials. Any missing documentation will compromise the application.
The number of seats in the professional program available through the application process is dependent on the number of Pre-Pharmacy Guaranteed Seat students able to claim a seat. A portion of remaining seats is available on an academically competitive basis to Wilkes Students with overall and prerequisite GPAs above a 2.5, and a portion of seats is available to direct professional applicants that are non-Wilkes transfer students with overall and prerequisite GPAs above a 2.5 on a competitive basis. To be classified as a Wilkes student, the student 1) must complete and be enrolled at Wilkes University for two full-time consecutive semesters before enrollment in the Professional Program AND 2) must complete 18 credits of prerequisite courses at Wilkes University by the end of the spring semester prior to enrollment in the Professional Program. Failure to meet both of these criteria will result in classification as a “transfer student.”
Applicant should review the Technical Standards set forth by the School of Pharmacy, which are available here.
These Technical Standards describe non-academic abilities that are required for admission to, continuation in, and graduation from the School of Pharmacy to obtain a Pharm.D degree.
Pharmacy Professional Program - Minimum Admission Requirements
To be considered for admission to the Professional Program of the School of Pharmacy, the applicant
- should complete the Wilkes University General Education course requirements or have completed a baccalaureate degree. A maximum of two deficient General Education courses will be considered for admission into the pharmacy program. Students with more than two deficient General Education courses may appeal to the Student Affairs Committee of the School of Pharmacy for consideration.
- By the end of the spring semester prior to admission, Professional Program applicants must earn:
- a grade of C (2.0) or better in each of the Pharmacy Prerequisite Courses listed below. Prerequisite grades of less than 2.0 must be repeated and the higher grade will factor into the GPA.
- cumulative GPA of 2.5 or better for Pharmacy Prerequisite Courses listed below
- an overall GPA of 2.5 or better for all courses (Pharmacy Prerequisite, General Education, etc.)
- preferential consideration will be given to non-Wilkes professional applicant students with GPAs of 3.0 or higher;
- We will evaluate the grades of higher-level courses;
- Applications will be placed at a lower priority if grades less than 2.0 in prerequisite courses are remediated and recorded.
- Students repeating fewer than 4 or more prerequisite courses will be given preference during the application process.
- Repeating courses in which a grade above a 2.0 was earned will not factor into the GPA.
- However, exceptions to the above rules will be considered on an individual basis and only if students can provide written explanation of extenuating circumstances;
- must maintain the highest levels of academic and personal honesty and be free from criminal/drug-related offenses throughout the pharmacy program.
- Students caught in the act of cheating, collusion, plagiarism, or other and all acts in violation of the Wilkes University policy on Intellectual Responsibility and Plagiarism or the Student Code of Conduct maybe subject to dismissal from the Pharmacy program;
- Students will be required to submit, and clear per site requirements, various types of criminal background checks annually as specified by external practice sites. Violations may result in prevention or delays in graduation;
- must meet all the criteria set forth in the Technical Standards Document. Failure to meet the criteria set forth in the Technical Standards Document may delay or prevent graduation from the Nesbitt School of Pharmacy;
- must provide three completed recommendation forms;
- must submit a Statement of Purpose;
- must successfully complete the interview process;
- NOTE: Admission into the Professional Program in Pharmacy is competitive. Earning the minimum academic criteria necessary to submit an application does not in any way infer or promise an interview or admission into the program.
Pharmacy Professional Program - Prerequisite Courses
- Two semesters (8 credits) of General Chemistry with labs
- 4 credits of CHM 235 - Essentials of Organic Chemistry , and CHM 237 - Essentials of Organic Chemistry Lab , at Wilkes University OR Two semesters (8 credits) of Organic Chemistry I/II with Organic Chemistry I/II labs
- Two semesters (8 credits) of General Biology with labs
- One semester (3-4 credits) of General Physics withor without lab
- One semester (4 credits) of Calculus
- One semester (3 credits) of Statistics
- One semester (3 credits) of Microeconomics
- One semester (3 credits) of Oral Communications
III. Pharmacy Organization
Students enrolled in the program of the School of Pharmacy are expected to endorse professional standards by subscribing to the Oath of the Pharmacist. Students are also expected to abide by the American Pharmacists Association’s Code of Ethics of the Profession.
Students applying to and enrolling in the School of Pharmacy are expected to read, acknowledge, and understand the Technical Standards. These Technical Standards describe non-academic abilities that are required for admission to, continuation in, and graduation from the School of Pharmacy to obtain a Pharm.D. degree.
A candidate must have abilities and skills in the following five areas: 1) observational skills; 2) communication skills;3) motor skills; 4) intellectual, conceptual, integrative, and quantitative skills; and 5) behavioral and social skills. Detailed descriptions of the Technical Standards are provided in the School of Pharmacy Application or by contacting the School of Pharmacy Dean’s office.
All students in the Professional Program of the School of Pharmacy are required to meet minimum standards for progression. Academic progression requirements include a minimum semester and cumulative pharmacy GPA of 2.0. In addition, no student shall be allowed more than three courses with less than 2.0 grades in required professional courses both inside and outside of the school. Any course with a grade of 0.0 must be repeated. At the end of each semester the progress of each student in the Professional Program will be reviewed. Students failing to meet minimum academic standards at the end of any semester must petition the Committee on Progression and Professionalism through the Associate Dean of Student Affairs to progress further in the School. More inclusive policies, including, but not limited to, Technical Standards, acceptable classroom and experiential site behavior, alcohol and substance abuse, and other issues impacting the image of the professional program and the student, adopted within these guidelines are distributed annually to all students in the Nesbitt School of Pharmacy Student Handbook. Introductory Practice Expericences (IPPE) and Advanced Pharmacy Practice Expereinces (APPE) progression policies are described in their respective Course Manuals.
The Nesbitt School of Pharmacy (NSoP) does not replace grades for courses in which a 2.0 or higher passing grade has been earned. If the first time taking a course results in a passing grade of 2.0 or higher, this grade will be used to calculate prerequisite and overall GPA for all purposes in the NSoP. This policy applies to the pre-professional and professional programs.
Experiential Curriculum Component
Experiential learning is a critical component of the curriculum at Wilkes. Before being placed in an experiential setting, all students are required to:
- possess an active Pennsylvania Pharmacy Intern License;
- possess professional liability insurance,
- have documentation of immunizations,
- pass a physical examination,
- be certified in Basic Cardiac Life Support (healthcare provider with live component) and Basic First Aid,
- have criminal background checks complete and clear, per site requirements, by an approved provider; and
- complete and clear other site-specific requirements, such as FBI fingerprint check, PA child abuse background check, drug screen, TB testing, etc.
- complete HIPAA and OSHA training
- maintain personal health insurance
- At this time, the COVID vaccine is required to matriculate through the professional curriculum due to clinical policies for students. We will continue to monitor clinic site policies regarding the COVID vaccine and, if applicable, update requirements.
These criteria are fully described throughout the curriculum, including deadlines and ramifications of non-compliance.
The Introductory Pharmacy Practice Experience (IPPE)
The Introductory Pharmacy Practice Experience (IPPE)consists of a number of different experiences. During the summer following successful completion of the P-1 year, students will complete a 2-week (90-hour) IPPE I. The second professional year, the P-2 year, includes 50 hours of IPPE II during the fall and/or spring semesters. In addition, students will complete a 2-week (90-hour) IPPE III during the summer following the P-2 year. In the third year of the Professional Program, the P-3 year, the curriculum includes IPPE IV (75 hours). IPPE V is a self-directed IPPE and consists of 20hours of independent pharmacy-related, service-oriented learning earned during the P1 through P3 years. Other discreet introductory experiences, including Interprofessional Education (IPE) simulations, will be dispersed throughout the P1-P3 years. IPPE’s occur at practice sites and in the community in the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton area, not on campus.
The Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experience (APPE)
The fourth year of the Professional Program, the P-4 year, is devoted to Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experience (APPE).Each student will be assigned to one six-week rotation, plus six five-week rotations, some of which may be at some distance from Wilkes-Barre. To the extent possible, the School of Pharmacy will assist in locating safe, affordable housing for APPE’s. Since patient care is a continuous activity, some experiences may be conducted outside of regular school and business hours. Note also that the APPE rotation dates do not adhere to the regular University calendar.
NOTE: The student is responsible for paying all transportation and housing costs associated with all experiential components of the curriculum, except where noted.
Graduation, Degree, and Licensure Requirements
It is the student’s responsibility to comply with all graduation requirements, and it is expected that all students accepted into the Pharm.D. Program will meet regularly and frequently with their advisors to ensure timely progress toward their Doctor of Pharmacy degree. Graduation is dependent on successful completion of all required and elective course requirements in the School of Pharmacy (see Progression Requirements) AND completion of all General Education Requirements mandated by Wilkes University.
A student entering the Professional Program with a bachelor’s degree from a four-year accredited U.S. college or university is exempt from the University’s General Education Requirements but is not exempt from the prerequisite entry requirements prescribed by the School of Pharmacy for entry into the Professional Program. Students applying with degrees or courses from foreign Colleges or Universities will be evaluated to ensure significant portions of the General Education Requirements are satisfied. Applicants missing two or more General Education requirements can appeal to the School of Pharmacy for consideration.
All non-degreed students entering the Professional Programs are encouraged to complete the General Education Requirements prior to beginning the Professional Curriculum. As mentioned, a student may be deficient in two General Education Requirements and be granted admission into the program. Students will receive consultation and documentation from their advisor that these courses must be completed prior to graduation. Students with more than two deficient General Education courses may appeal to the Student Affairs Committee of the School of Pharmacy for consideration. This requirement is in place since there is limited room within the professional curriculum, including summers, to complete the courses.
As a matter of record, non-degreed students who have successfully completed the second professional year (P-2) in the School of Pharmacy AND completed all General Education Requirements will be awarded a Bachelor of Science degree. Earning this degree is a rerquirement for students who are prusuing the Pharm.D. and have not previously earned a bachelor’s degree. The pass-through B.S. degree does not meet eligibility requirements for licensure as a pharmacist; itis only intended to acknowledge the academic achievement of students completing four years of university-level education.
Pharmacy licensure is governed by state law. All states require graduation from an accredited School or College of Pharmacy. Additional requirements for licensure should be requested from the state in which licensure is sought. It is the student’s responsibility to fulfill all requirements for the state in which they seek licensure. Students must contact the State Board of Pharmacy for all appropriate paperwork. For further information, please contact the Dean’s Office in the School of Pharmacy.
The School of Pharmacy reserves the right to revise the Pharmacy Curriculum at any time in order to prepare students for future practice roles, meet new accreditation requirements and to incorporate innovations in instruction.