New Seven-Year Program
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):
Why is the program changing?
The curriculum has been redesigned to achieve the vision of STLCOP 20/20 and establish St. Louis College of Pharmacy as a global leader in pharmacy education. STLCOP faculty looked at the landscape of pharmacy education in the U.S. and found there was a need to prepare our students for the expanding role of pharmacists in patient-centered, inter-professional health care teams.
What has changed in the practice of pharmacy that requires an additional year of education?
The pharmacy profession has evolved significantly over the past decade. Pharmacists are now assuming roles in team-based, patient-centered care settings as the health care professional responsible for improving medication therapy outcomes. Enhancing the curriculum and lengthening the program will provide students time to explore their passions and interests and become more competitive in the marketplace; as well as mature and develop into pharmacists prepared to not only advance their patientsí health and well-being but also the profession of pharmacy through research, community outreach and advocacy.
Are other colleges of pharmacy extending their degree programs?
Yes. Thirty-nine percent of U.S. pharmacy schools have a minimum requirement or preference of three pre-professional years for admission into a four-year Doctor of Pharmacy program. The new STLCOP curriculum surpasses recently updated standards set by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE).
What sets St. Louis College of Pharmacy apart from other colleges of pharmacy?
For almost 150 years, the College has educated and graduated outstanding health care professionals who are leaders in pharmacy and in their community. Our goal is to educate and develop cutting-edge practitioners who are caring and passionate about the role of pharmacists in an ever-changing health care environment. The Collegeís location in one of the worldís finest biomedical research and patient-care centers offers unparalleled education and research opportunities for students.
What are the advantages of enrolling in pre-professional studies at STLCOP?
Admission to the professional program is guaranteed without additional testing, such as the PCAT, as long as progression requirements are met. There is also more flexibility with electives and more pharmacy-related topics, applications and examples integrated into the pre-pharmacy coursework at STLCOP, which students might not benefit from at other schools.
Will the College continue to admit students directly from high school?
Yes. STLCOP will continue to admit students directly from high school without taking the PCAT entrance exam.
How will the program help students while they are enrolled in the program?
Students will have more time for elective coursework to explore their interests and gain practical experience through service projects and volunteering or get involved in traditional campus activities such as theater or athletics. Students can opt to tailor their professional electives into one of several unique specialty areas, which will prepare them for the wide variety of career options available to pharmacists. The seven-year program will also allow students to achieve a Bachelor of Science degree, seamlessly integrated into the curriculum, after completing three pre-professional years and the first year of the professional program.
How will a Bachelor of Science degree benefit students?
The expertise required to practice pharmacy in the future will require significant preparation in the sciences, including basic and advanced courses in chemistry, biology, and pharmaceutical sciences. The bachelorís degree will include strong math and science preparation with a well-rounded education in the arts, humanities, and social and behavioral sciences. A bachelorís degree recognizes the work required to complete four years of higher education. It will also give students more options. According to the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, more pharmacy resident applicants are completing a Bachelor of Science degree prior to applying for post-graduate pharmacy residency. Students who decide that pharmacy is not the career for them will have the option to complete a bachelorís degree at the College and continue on to other degree programs at medical, dental, veterinary, or optometry schools.
Will students enrolled in fall 2012 or 2013 be affected?
No. The change to a seven-year program will begin for students entering the College in fall 2014. Students who enter the College in 2012 or 2013 will still graduate in six years.
Will students still be able to transfer into St. Louis College of Pharmacy?
Yes. STLCOP will allow students who have completed sufficient prerequisite coursework or degrees to transfer into the pre-professional years of the program. Transfer students who meet our prerequisites will be accepted for direct entry into the first professional year.
When will the professional portion of the program begin?
The new curriculum includes three years of pre-professional studies. A bachelorís degree will be awarded after completing the first year of the professional program. Students will then earn a Doctor of Pharmacy degree after successfully completing all four years of the professional program.
Will Advanced Placement (AP) and dual college credit still be accepted?
Yes. Dual college credit courses must have a grade of C or higher (we do not accept dual enrollment credit for pre-calculus or calculus). AP classes must have a minimum score of three, except for calculus and AP English language and composition, which require a minimum score of four. A decision on whether to accept science courses is under review and should be made in fall 2012.
Can students still graduate in six years if they want to?
Yes. STLCOP will offer an accelerated six-year option for select students who meet specific requirements. Completion of the accelerated program will require students to attend classes year round for the pre-professional program. This means that for the first two years of the accelerated program, students will complete 15-week fall and spring semesters in addition to a 15-week summer session for each of those two years.