Wilkes University

Pharm.D. Program

Wilkes University’s Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D.) degree serves as an entry point to the world of pharmacy and encourages students to enhance their patient care skills.

The Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm. D.) degree is the primary entry-level pharmacy practice degree in the United States.

As early as 2000, when the Wilkes University's Nesbitt School of Pharmacy graduated its first doctors of pharmacy, the school has had a national reputation for providing exemplary education for its students.

Who Will Be Considered

The Pharm. D. program is open if you
  • Are currently enrolled at Wilkes University.
  • Are currently enrolled in a 2-year or 4-year college or university and are interested in transferring to Wilkes University.
  • Have already completed a degree at a 2-year or 4-year college or university.

If you are a high school student expected to graduate in the spring/summer, or a high school graduate who has not enrolled in a 2-year or 4-year college or university, you may apply to the Pre-Pharmacy Guaranteed Seat Program (PPGS).

Program Description

  • Two semesters (8 credits) of General Chemistry with labs
  • One of the following:
    • Four credits of CHM-235 (Essentials of Organic Chemistry) and CHM-237 (Essentials of Organic Chemistry lab), at Wilkes University
    • 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 (4 credits) of General Physics with 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

Applicants who have previously completed a physics or macroeconomics course may submit a request for the admissions committee to review the course to determine if it fulfills the prerequisite requirement. Please note that a course description and syllabus will be required for review.

The main focus of Pharm. D. education is on the development of patient care skills. This means that, in addition to imparting a thorough knowledge of medications, the program must devote substantially more time to teaching applied therapeutics, patient communications, and physical assessment.

Our graduates are expected to help prevent medication problems when possible and when medication-related health problems do occur, to identify them and find appropriate solutions.

The Pharm. D. requires four years of professional study following completion of all pre-pharmacy course requirements. The first year is devoted to classroom and laboratory work. Each subsequent year introduces more direct patient care and practical learning opportunities. The capstone fourth year is devoted exclusively to clinical education.

The first professional year includes education in biomedical and pharmaceutical science areas. One of the highlights of the first-year experience is electronic "dissection" via sophisticated computer simulation. Experiential learning begins and provides opportunities for the socialization of students into the health care environment. Professional experiences progressively increase in complexity and require more in-depth knowledge of therapeutics and patient management as the student advances in the curriculum.

During the first professional year, students participate in the White Coat Ceremony. This ceremony is an annual event where each entering student is presented with a white coat, symbolic of the professionalism, integrity, and caring values of the pharmacy profession.

The White Coat ritual got its start in 1989 at the University of Chicago when a professor complained that students often were dressed inappropriately when interacting with patients.Putting on white coat

The Dean of Students initiated a ceremonial program in which students were given physician coats and instructed to wear them for any session where patients were present. A few years later the ceremony spread to the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons where it included the recitation of the Hippocratic Oath.

Over the years other professional schools have adopted their own White Coat Ceremonies to mark students’ shift from preclinical to clinical study and practice. The white coats which physicians have traditionally worn have been adopted by other health professions and the ceremonies involve a formal donning of the garment.

Dean Scott Stolte presides over the School of Pharmacy’s Annual White Coat Ceremony. During this event, team advisors will present each entering student with a white coat, symbolic of the professionalism that is expected of them not only during their school years, but also throughout their careers. Students will also gain a sense of the respect, integrity and caring values of pharmacy, and acknowledge the responsibilities of the profession when they recite the Oath of a Pharmacist.

In the second professional year, students are assigned to real-world practice sites for early exposure to pharmacy practice. Problem-based case studies facilitate application of learning to lifelike situations. Students are introduced to therapeutic decision making.

The third professional year is devoted to practice-related training. The pharmacy practice sequence emphasizes development of communication and counseling skills, patient assessment, prospective drug review, and non-prescription products.

The culmination of the pharmacy curriculum occurs in the final academic year, which is composed entirely of full-time clinical experience in various practice environments. Students complete five-week rotations in inpatient general medicine, hospital/health system, ambulatory care and community practice. Students select three additional rotations in practice areas of interest.

A formal hooding ceremony takes place the night before commencement. The Dean and advisor 'hood' each student, recognizing his or her achievements.

Graduation with the Pharm.D. degree, completion of state internship requirements, and passage of a state-administered two-part examination, known as the Pharmacy Boards, will allow you to enter practice as a Registered Pharmacist. The National Association of Boards of Pharmacy administers two Pharmacy Boards which are comprised of the Pharmacy Licensure Exam (NAPLEX) and the Pharmacy Law Exam (MPJE).

Technical Standards

These technical standards describe non-academic abilities and skills that are required for admission to, continuation in and graduation from the School of Pharmacy to obtain a Pharm.D. degree.

Observation necessitates the functional use of all senses. Students are expected to utilize such senses in order to make observations at a distance and close at hand. Throughout the pharmacy curriculum, students will be required to observe demonstrations and experiments in the basic and pharmaceutical sciences, in addition to displayed medical illustrations. With respect to patient care, students must be able to observe verbal and non-verbal signals. Observational abilities include discerning sounds related to patient assessment and treatment, as well as evaluating physical patient signs and symptoms.

Effective communication involves utilizing knowledge acquired during the pharmacy education process to elicit, convey, clarify, and communicate information in oral and written English quickly, effectively, efficiently, and sensitively. Students are expected to partake in such communication with patients, health care providers, educational staff, and fellow students. Students must possess the ability to appropriately recognize and respond to nonverbal and emotional communication cues. Furthermore, students must provide educational and instructional information to patients and caregivers in an appropriate manner, considering health literacy, cultural, and socioeconomic factors.

In order to execute gross and fine muscular movements, students must possess necessary hand eye coordination and neuromuscular control. Students must be able to execute motor movements, in a timely fashion, necessary for routine care and emergency situations, including but not limited to cardiopulmonary resuscitation and first aid. Necessary motor functions include capabilities utilized to perform physical assessment activities, such as auscultation, percussion, and other diagnostic maneuvers. Students are expected to perform basic lab tests, such as lipid and blood glucose screenings, as well as administer immunizations. In order to fulfill the functions of a pharmacist, students must be able to execute the motor movements necessary to compound, prepare, and dispense sterile and non-sterile dosage forms. Motor skill requirements include the utilization of current computer-based technology for drug information retrieval and evaluation, as well as the preparation and presentation of oral and written reports.

In order to successfully navigate a rigorous and intense didactic and experiential curriculum, students must be able to effectively learn through a variety of educational modalities such as didactic classroom instruction, small group discussion, and independent study. A rigorous and intense curriculum necessitates the ability to think quickly and accurately in an organized manner, while mastering the broad and complex body of knowledge that comprises pharmacy education. Students are expected to synthesize, analyze, interpret, integrate, process, measure, and calculate scientific and clinical information, as well as comprehend three dimensional relationships and understand the spatial relationships of structures, which are embedded in laboratory and clinical settings. In order to ensure self-assessment and improvement, students must be able to recognize personal knowledge deficits and limitations, and identify situations in which such deficits or limitations require further study as well as develop and carry out an improvement plan.

Students are expected to exhibit professional demeanor at all times and adhere to the Code of Ethics, with emphasis on integrity and honesty. In order to progress through a rigorous didactic and experiential curriculum, students must possess a high level of motivation. Furthermore, students are expected to be able to endure and function effectively during physically, intellectually, and emotionally taxing workloads and situations. The nature of pharmacy education necessitates the ability to adapt to changing environments and display flexibility in various educational settings, while accepting constructive criticism maturely and modifying future behavior accordingly. Students must demonstrate empathy, patience, respect, and genuine interest in the well-being of others while providing care to a diverse patient population. Students will communicate and care for persons whose cultural, sexual orientation, or spiritual beliefs are different from their own in a non-judgmental way. The development of strong interpersonal skills is expected in order to build meaningful relationships with patients. 

During the Pharm.D. curriculum, students will be required to provide health and vaccine records, complete tests to assess the health status for communicable diseases (i.e. PPD testing), submit and clear (per individual site requirements) all required criminal background checks and drug testing. The Compliance Requirements for Professional Student Experiences Policy contains additional information. It is located online in the Nesbitt School of Pharmacy Handbook or may also be requested by reaching out to the Pharmacy Dean's Suite at 570-408-4298. Students are responsible for their transportation to clinical experiential sites.

Candidates must acknowledge, upon acceptance of admission to the School of Pharmacy, that they understand the technical standards and additional requirements for experiential education.

The School of Pharmacy is committed to helping students with disabilities complete the course of study leading to the Doctor of Pharmacy degree by reasonable means or accommodations. Reasonable accommodations are services provided to individuals with disabilities that remove or lessen the effect of the disability-related barrier. Individuals without documented disabilities are not eligible for accommodations.

Candidates with disabilities, in accordance with Wilkes University policy, and as defined by section 504 of 1973 Vocational Rehabilitation Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1993, who may seek accommodations in order to meet the technical standards are encouraged to contact University College to discuss what reasonable accommodations, if any, the School of Pharmacy could make in order for the candidate to meet the standards. A student with a disability who requests accommodations will be required to submit this request in writing and provide pertinent supporting documentation in accordance with Wilkes University policies. Candidates are not required to disclose any information regarding technical standards to the Admissions Committee.

For More Information, Contact

Karen Atiyeh