Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD)


  • What is the demand for the PharmD for Practicing Pharmacists? What is the projected enrollment (capacity) for the PharmD for Practicing Pharmacists?

    The PharmD for Practicing Pharmacists program was implemented in 2013 on a full-time basis. Enrollment has increased each year. The Faculty anticipates enrolling up to 25 students in the full-time pathway of the program (Fall 2017).

    The part-time pathway of the PharmD for Practicing Pharmacists program was implemented in January 2016 with an initial enrollment of 14. The faculty anticipates enrolling up to 20 students annually in the part-time pathway.

    Enrollment is based on two main factors: demand for the program (number of qualified applicants) and capacity for experiential rotations (preceptor and practice sites). Enrollment capacity is reassessed annually.

  • How long will the PharmD for Practicing Pharmacists program be offered at the University of Alberta?

    The program aims to provide a bridge for practicing pharmacists who wish to pursue a PharmD degree. There is no end date determined for this program.

  • How long will the PharmD for Practicing Pharmacists program be offered as a full-time program?

    The decision to continue the full-time pathway of the program will be reassessed based on a number of factors including applicant demand and available resources.

    The part-time pathway of the program will continue to be offered based on demand. This is similar to other Faculties of Pharmacy in Canada such as the University of Toronto and the University of British Columbia.

  • Is the tuition for the PharmD for Practicing Pharmacists competitive with other programs?

    Yes. In fact, the tuition is significantly lower than other programs. A comparison of PharmD programs Practicing Pharmacists programs (as of 2016) is outlined below.

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  • Why is there is a difference in tuition between the PharmD for Practicing Pharmacists and the proposed PharmD for BSc in Pharmacy Students (PBS) programs?

    The PharmD for Practicing Pharmacists program is an optional second degree program. This program is not funded by the Government of Alberta. The PBS program is a first professional degree and is funded the same way as the BSc in Pharmacy program.

    The funding model for the PharmD for Practicing Pharmacists is called “cost-recovery”. This means that tuition is based on the actual cost to deliver the program to students (e.g. instructors, staff to support the program, etc.). The tuition was proposed at the time the program was introduced and reviewed by a Committee at the University of Alberta prior to approval by the Provost.

    The Faculty plans to determine tuition for the PBS program early in 2017. However, it is anticipated that the tuition will be around $5,000 in addition to what is paid for the BSc in Pharmacy degree.

  • Why does the University of Alberta PharmD proposal include a PharmD for BSc in Pharmacy Students (PBS)?

    The approved PharmD program was developed in consultation with University of Alberta, Government of Alberta, pharmacists, pharmacy students, alumni and employers over the last few years. The Faculty was encouraged by the University of Alberta Provost’s Office and the Government to develop a program to bridge the implementation of the PharmD degree for students enrolled in the BSc in Pharmacy program at the time the PharmD degree is implemented.

    The Faculty proposed offering PharmD programs for three different audiences:
    (1) students entering the program (entry-to-practice PharmD),
    (2) students in the BSc in Pharmacy program at the time of implementation (PBS), and
    (3) graduates of a BSc in Pharmacy program (PharmD for Practicing Pharmacists).

    For more information on other approaches to bridging:

    Smith, A. 2014. Postbaccalaureate PharmD Programs for Canadian Pharmacists: Options and Considerations. The Canadian Journal of Hospital Pharmacy. 2014:67(4).

    Breault R, Hall J, Kehrer JP. More Information about Postbaccalaureate PharmD Training. The Canadian Journal of Hospital Pharmacy. 2014;67(6):460.

  • Is it possible for students who enrol in the MBA/Pharmacy combined program to re-enter into the PBS program?

    No, it is not possible to complete an MBA and be enrolled in the PBS program in 2017-2018. However, this option will be explored further with the School of Business.

  • Will graduates of the PharmD/PBS programs be granted Additional Prescribing Authorization (APA) upon entry to practice?

    No. Eligibility for APA is determined by the Alberta College of Pharmacists and has not changed. Pharmacists on the Clinical Register must practice at least one year and submit a portfolio, which is assessed by a panel of standardized peers.

  • Can students in the BSc in Pharmacy Program enroll in the PharmD for Practicing Pharmacists courses as electives in the 4th year to count toward the PharmD degree?

    No, the PBS and PharmD for Practicing Pharmacists courses are restricted to students admitted to those programs.

  • How does the PharmD for BScPharm Students (PBS) program differ from the BSc Pharmacy program for current students?

    The final year of the program changes:

    The 4th year of the BScPharm program includes 3 electives, 2 options, and 2 x 8 week experiential education rotations.

    The final year in the PBS program changes to a full-year of courses starting in May after 3rd year and consists of 5 courses: 3 required courses and 1 elective (Spring/Summer) along with a distance-learning "seminar" course that runs concurrently with the 4 x8 week experiential courses (across Fall and Winter).

  • How will students be accepted into the PBS program?

    The PBS program is an option for BScPharm students who have completed their 3rd year and are in good academic standing. There will be a quota on the number of students accepted into the PBS program (2017: 65 students) based on a cumulative GPA (Year 1 through Fall of Year 3, with all semesters weighted equally).

    Acceptance to the PBS program will be an internal transfer process. Students will be required to formally indicate their interest in the PBS program by February 1, 2017.  There will be no interview process and no application fee.  Students will be notified of conditional acceptance by the end of February 2017; transfer to the PBS will be effective May 1, 2017 and is dependent on successful completion of Year 3.

    Once you enter the PBS program, you cannot go back into the BSc in Pharmacy program.  

  • What GPA do I need to apply for the PBS program?

    There is no set GPA requirement because the threshold is ultimately dependent on the number of students that apply PBS program. 

    If all eligible BScPharm students express interest in the PBS program, then it would seem unlikely for a student with a cumulative GPA of less than 3 to fall within this year’s quota of 65. However, recognizing that not everyone will apply, it is not possible to directly state a median or estimate GPA.

  • Will the PBS program program be accredited?

    Yes. The faculty is renewing its accreditation in Winter 2018 and this will include the BScPharm, PBS, and the new entry level PharmD program.

  • Will the BScPharm students and the PBS students graduate at the same time?
    Yes. Both programs will be complete at the end of the Winter semester (April 2018). Convocation will be the same day for both streams.
  • Why would it benefit me to take the PBS program?
    Pharmacy practice is continually evolving and as professionals, you will continue to develop knowledge and skills throughout your career. Having a broader depth of experience with critical appraisal, patient assessment, and critical thinking may help you better manage complex patients and be more confident in making decisions based on your assessment. Two additional experiential rotations allows for more opportunity to practice and learn with a preceptor.
  • What is the schedule for classroom courses in the PBS program?

    There will be a one-week break after the second semester of 3rd year with the 4th year starting in May.

    The schedule for 2017 is as follows:

    Elective Block: May 1 to May 26
    PHARM 531: May 29 to July 7 (6 weeks + final exam)
    PHARM 532: May 29 to July 7 (6 weeks + final exam)
    PHARM 547: June 12 to August 4 (8 weeks + final exam)

    The experiential education courses will begin on August 28 and run through the Fall 2017 and Winter 2018 semesters, along with the PharmD Seminar course.

  • What electives are available for me to take in the PBS program?

    Spring Term:

    PHARM 453        Intercultural Exploration of Pharmacy and Health (Italy)

    INT D 375            Intercultural Exploration of Health and Practice in Italy

    PHARM 498        Research and Directed Studies
    ONCOL 475/575  Fundamentals of Radiopharmaceutical Sciences
    Further courses are being developed and information will be forthcoming as soon as it is available.

  • What additional rotations are added to the PharmD PBS program?
    Two rotations are identical to the BScPharm program – community practice (PHARM 426) and acute care/inpatient (PHARM 428). There are two additional rotations in the PBS. PBS will include an 8-week Selective (PHARM 536) in any patient care environment (e.g., Community, long-term care/supportive living, PCN, ambulatory clinics). The 8-week Elective (PHARM 537) will explore various components of practice (e.g., Leadership/management, patient care, drug information services, government work, drug regulation, research.)