Experiential education is hands-on learning that takes place outside of a classroom. The CU Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences Office of Experiential Programs focuses on providing clinical training opportunities for pharmacy students early and throughout the PharmD program. The goal is to ensure that students will have the self-confidence and ability to practice independently upon graduation.
To achieve that goal, students are placed in community pharmacies, hospitals, ambulatory care clinics, and other innovative interprofessional pharmacy practice settings in local, national and international locations. Students are supervised by licensed healthcare practitioners, the majority of whom are pharmacists.
Third year pharmacy students will complete a full 6-week immersive clinical experience in a practice setting of their choice to prepare them for their fourth and final year.
CU Pharmacy has relationships with healthcare practitioners all over the world. Students will have multiple opportunities to learn how pharmacy is practiced in other countries, and provide advanced level patient care.
Pharmacy students will interact with and be supervised by physicians, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, dentists in a variety of practice settings during the experiential phases of the program.
Exploration of pharmacy practice
The Introductory Pharmacy Practice Experience (IPPE) program exposes students to a wide variety of clinical experiences, with the primary focus balanced between community and health system practices. Students will apply concepts and skills learned in the classroom setting with real patients in various pharmacy practice settings under the supervision of licensed pharmacists.
When: P1 Fall – P2 Fall
Duration: 18 months, longitudinal
Where: Community, retail and independently owned pharmacies throughout Colorado, including metro Denver, rural Colorado, or, for distance-based students, in your home state!
When: P2 Spring – P3 Fall Duration: 12 months, longitudinal
Where: Hospitals and Ambulatory Care clinics throughout Colorado
Application of acquired knowledge and skills
The Advanced IPPE (aIPPE) allows the student to engage in clinical practice under the supervision of a preceptor during an extended and concentrated six-week experience, mimicking the experience of a fourth-year clinical rotation. Students choose which practice setting in which to complete the experience.
When: P3 Spring; 6-weeks, January-February
Where: Various practice settings including community pharmacy, hospital pharmacy, and ambulatory care clinics.
Delivery of direct patient care
The Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experience (APPE) program consists of a variety of extended pharmacy practice experiences throughout the fourth year. In contrast to the IPPE program, the APPE program allows the student to apply both the professional and technical skills needed to practice pharmaceutical care independently upon graduation.
When: May-May during P4 Year
Duration: Seven, 6-week APPEs
Where: Various practice settings including community pharmacy, hospital pharmacy, ambulatory care clinics, other national and international sites.
The Skaggs School of Pharmacy & Pharmaceutical Sciences gives back to Colorado by ensuring that rural areas of the state have access to healthcare and health professionals. Through our “Colorado Commitment”, students are given the opportunity to complete pharmacy rotations in underserved communities throughout the state. In these unique practice settings, students will become part of the community itself, experiencing the challenges and rewards of the expanded scope of practice required of rural pharmacists, many of whom serve as their community’s primary point of access to healthcare.
Through a partnership with the Colorado Area Health Education Center, the school is able to provide complimentary housing while students complete rural rotations.
Whether placed in the high plains or the high country, students will experience the beauty of Colorado firsthand, in places such as Alamosa, Aspen, Fort Collins, Fort Morgan, Durango, Grand Junction, Lamar, Montrose, Pueblo, Steamboat Springs, Telluride, and Vail—just to name a few! Colorado has so much to offer, and our program encourages you to get out and experience it all while giving back to our special state.
Rotations are an important part of the PharmD curriculum. They begin the summer following completion of the third year of studies and include real-life clinical experiences. Working under the supervision of preceptors, senior pharmacy students rotate through hospitals, pharmacies, and specialty clinics throughout the state. Spending six weeks at each rotation site, fourth year pharmacy students receive essential on-the-job training and experience and are exposed to a variety of fields.
Learn more about preceptors and specific rotations from our students.
The Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences recognizes the value of a global education. Academic learning experiences abroad expose students to pharmacy practice in a different cultural context and provide opportunities to experience healthcare from an international perspective.
When: During the P4 APPE year
In addition to the established international partner sites listed here, students can work with the Office of Experiential Programs to establish a new site. Contact the Office of Experiential Programs for more information.
General Preceptor Information
The work performed by preceptors in supervising and training pharmacy students is valued by the Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences. Accreditation standards require students to complete substantial amounts of experiential training and it is recognized that CU Pharmacy would not meet accreditation standards without the support of the practice community in providing practice sites and preceptors, including community pharmacists, health systems pharmacists and providers in the medical community.
Beginning July 1, 2012, the State of Colorado no longer requires preceptors to be licensed. CU Pharmacy asks that preceptors be practicing for at least 1 year before becoming a preceptor. Please contact Wendy Anderson to become a preceptor.
Did you know?
Preceptor Development (FREE CE!)
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) prohibits the release of information about a student to any person outside the university community or to any university personnel without a legitimate educational reason to know. Think of it as HIPAA for non-medical student records. More detailed information is available on the university’s FERPA page.
Preceptors and students may find the Experiential syllabi on CORE's home page in the Document Library tab on the left after logging in: https://www.corehighered.com/login-elms.