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Experiential Education

The Personal Side of Professional Care

Experiential education provides students with hands-on experiences in pharmacy practice settings, preparing them for their role on the patient’s health care team. Through firsthand opportunities under the mentorship of expert preceptors, student pharmacists learn the responsibility and commitment to service that makes patient-centered care a reality.

Pharmacy Rotations

Throughout your pharmacy education, you will complete a number of rotations where you will gain experience in a variety of health care settings. 

Concentrated IPPEs

Concentrated introductory pharmacy practice experiences (IPPEs) are required courses designed to introduce you to working in community and health system settings while emphasizing safe medication use.

You will complete these summer rotations between the P1 and P2 (community) and P2 and P3 (health system) years. You will complete 120 hours in each setting, observing and participating in the daily activities of the facility. Over the course of the rotation, you’ll gain hands-on knowledge of such topics as:

  • Drug distribution and mediation use systems
  • Order processing within various computer systems
  • Order preparation and quality assurance processes
  • Company structure and roles of personnel
  • Policies and procedures
  • Accreditation
  • Patient care

Longitudinal IPPEs

These required courses will introduce you to population and patient health care principles, transitions of care within the health care continuum and interprofessional collaboration. These rotations will be completed during your P1, P2 and P3 years. For each longitudinal IPPE course you take, you must complete 20 hours in the field and eight hours in the classroom.


During your P4 year, you will complete eight, five-week advanced pharmacy practice experiences (APPEs) with each consisting of 200 hours. You will have one, five-week module off, as well as one week off in fall and spring and a winter break between semesters.

Building on the general and professional abilities you develop in your first three years of the professional curriculum, APPEs will prepare you to provide patient care by practicing in a variety of environments.

You will complete 1,600 hours over the course of the year under the supervision of approved preceptors. As a student pharmacist, you will serve as part of an interprofessional team engaging in a variety of activities, depending on the rotation type.

extensive international rotations

University of Health Sciences and Pharmacy in St. Louis boasts one of the most extensive selection of international pharmacy rotations in the Midwest, with sites in Belize, Ireland, France and 11 other countries.

Practice Environments

UHSP currently offers rotations throughout Missouri, Illinois and 39 other states, as well as 16 countries across three continents. Our health system partners range from small community hospitals to large teaching institutions. Community settings of all sizes are available across the country, many serving communities with diverse cultures and health concerns.

While the availability of rotation sites is subject to change, the Office of Experiential Education works with students and preceptors to identify ideal training locations to expose students to new career possibilities while strengthening their ability to provide patient care. Based on your interests, you will rank rotation sites and preceptors for five core and three elective rotations.

Sample Rotation Settings

  •  Academic
  • Administrations, Management or Corporate
  • Ambulatory Care Clinics
  • Anticoagulation
  • Association Management
  • Bone Marrow Transplant
  • Cardiology
  • Clinical Services Development
  • Compounding
  • Consulting Pharmacy
  • Critical Care
  • Drug Information
  • Emergency Medicine
  • Family Medicine
  • FDA
  • Geriatrics
  • Hematology
  • HIV
  • Home Health/Home Infusion
  • Hospice
  • Hospital/Health System (Academic, Community, Rural)
  • Independent Community Pharmacy
  • Indian Health Service
  • Industry
  • Infectious Diseases
  • Informatics/Technology
  • Internal Medicine
  • Investigational Drug Service
  • Large Chain Community Pharmacy
  • Law/Regulatory Affairs
  • Long Term Care
  • Mail Order
  • Managed Care/Pharmacy
  • Benefit Management
  • Medication Safety/Quality
  • Medication Therapy Management
  • Military
  • Nephrology
  • Nuclear
  • Nutrition Support
  • Oncology
  • Pain Management
  • Pediatrics
  • Poison Center
  • Psychiatry
  • Pulmonary
  • Regional Chain Community Pharmacy
  • Research
  • Specialty Pharmacy
  • Surgery
  • Transitions of Care
  • Transplant
  • Trauma
  • Veterinary
  • Women’s Health

Preceptors: Teachers, Mentors, Leaders

Preceptors are practicing, licensed pharmacists who teach our experiential education rotations. Learn more about these essential leaders in pharmacy education and how you can become one.

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