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Doctor of Pharmacy Curriculum

The core curriculum of The University of New Mexico College of Pharmacy Doctor of Pharmacy program is structured to provide a thorough scientific foundation necessary for achievement of the professional competencies. The curriculum of the professional degree program provides foundations in:

  • biomedical sciences,
  • pharmaceutical sciences,
  • social/behavioral/administrative sciences, and
  • clinical sciences

These foundational sciences are integrated, applied, reinforced, and advanced throughout the curriculum, including the pharmacy practice experiences, to provide the student with the knowledge, practice skills, and professional attitudes and values necessary to perform the functions described in the educational outcomes listed below.              

Curricular Overview

The Doctor of Pharmacy curriculum consists of four years of full-time study aimed at developing pharmacists whose leadership, dedication and innovation will improve health in our communities. Students are provided a solid foundation in biomedical, pharmaceutical, clinical, social, behavioral and administrative sciences.

Students have the opportunity to integrate, apply, reinforce and refine their skills and knowledge through practice laboratories and experiences in the field. They learn to work with members of a health care team in in our state-of-the-art interprofessional simulation center.

Our Curricular Philosophy

The curricular philosophy of the University of New Mexico College of Pharmacy is to provide students with a strong foundation in the biomedical, pharmaceutical, social/administrative and clinical sciences. This is accomplished in a logical, integrated and progressive manner to allow our graduates to enter contemporary practice prepared to meet the challenges of a dynamic health care environment. The curriculum will instill a patient-centered and evidence-based approach to problem solving and clinical application that fosters the development and integration of knowledge, skills, attitudes and values required in the profession while emphasizing lifelong learning, professionalism, integrity and diversity.


Program-Level, Ability-Based Outcomes for Doctor of Pharmacy Education

1. Provide Patient Centered Care: Design, document, implement, monitor, evaluate, and adjust an individualized evidence-based, pharmaceutical care plan that will ensure patient safety and optimal therapeutic outcomes

1.1 Collect and organize patient information to identify, prioritize, and assess medication/disease related problems necessary to formulate evidence-based, patient-specific medication treatment plans.

1.2 Communicate and collaborate with patient(s), healthcare providers, caregivers, and administrative & support personnel to ensure a multidisciplinary team approach to an individualized evidence-based pharmaceutical care plan.

1.3 Design, monitor and/or modify individualized dosage regimens and treatment approaches using pharmacokinetic, pharmacodynamic, and/or pharmacogenomic data.

1.4 Select the appropriate dosage form, formulation, route/method, and schedule of drug administration.

1.5 Prepare/ compound, dispense, and/or administer safe and effective pharmaceutical products.

1.6 Perform activities for which the New Mexico Board of Pharmacy grants specific prescriptive authority certification.

2. Promote Public Health: Promote wellness, disease prevention, management of medical conditions, and reduction of health disparities through education, advocacy, and other activities at the population and individual patient levels.

2.1 Educate the public and other healthcare providers regarding health and wellness prevention and treatment of diseases, medical conditions, adverse drug events; and

optimal use of medications, medical devices, natural products and nutritional supplements.

2.2 Participate in health policy decision-making processes based on analysis of epidemiologic and pharmacoeconomic data, patient access to care, medication use criteria, and medication review and risk-reduction strategies.

2.3 Develop and provide collaborative interprofessional services to prevent, detect, and manage disease and optimize patient outcomes through effective drug management.

3. Manage medication use systems: Participate in the management of systems that promote and control safe, accurate, efficient, timely and cost-effective distribution of medications and related devices.

3.1 Explain the key features of private and public payers of health care, differentiatin between health insurance and managed health programs.

3.2 Communicate and collaborate with patients, prescribers, professional colleagues, andsupport / administrative personnel to prevent, identify, and resolve problems related to medication distribution and use.

3.3 Participate in the use and evaluation of systems to identify and prevent potential medication misuse, medication errors and adverse drug events.

3.4 Apply pharmacoeconomic principles and health-related quality-of-life concepts to improve patient care and allocation of health care resources.

3.5 Review, interpret and apply practice guidelines and medication use policy in accordance with appropriate organizational and legal requirements.

4. Manage pharmacy operation systems: Participate in the safe and effective management of operational systems to provide drug products to patients.

4.1 Provide safe, cost-effective, quality patient care using appropriate resource management practices

4.2 Promote human resource practices that contribute to an efficient, cost-effetive, safe, and satisfactory workplace for professional and technical staff.

4.3 Utilize electronic resources to optimize accurate, appropriate, and timely delivery of medication and services.

5. Manage drug and health information, informatics, and other technologies: Use information and communication technology to improve patient care and manage the practice of pharmacy.

5.1 Use information technology systems to retrieve data and literature to assist in drug information provision, patient care, drug distribution, patient safety, and compensation.

5.2 Interpret, evaluate, and apply information from primary literature as well as secondary and tertiary resources to effectively manage patient care.

5.3 Provide appropriate health and drug-related information to patients, professional colleagues, other health professionals, and community members.

5.4 Use various electronic technologies to :

a. access and manage scientific/clinical information and data;
b. document and manage patient care;
c. maintain practice management records;
d. support professional communication;
e. support education of patients, families, and professional associates; and
f. support safe and effective drug distribution.

6. Communicate and collaborate: Demonstrate effective communication, collaboration, and interpersonal skills for effective information exchange and team work with patients, caregivers, prescribers and other healthcare providers.

6.1 Use oral, written, and multimedia skills to effectively communicate with patients, prescribers, other health professionals, caregivers, and members of the community.

6.2 Provide patient counseling about life-style and medication therapy management in a manner demonstrating sensitivity and responsiveness to culture, race/ethnicity, age, socioeconomic status, gender, sexual orientation, spirituality, disabilities, and other aspects of diversity and identity.

6.3 Document and present patient or drug information in an organized, logical manner appropriate for the clinical situation.

6.4 Assess and adapt communication to the ability of patients and care givers to obtain, process, understand, and use health or medication related information.

6.5 Cooperate, collaborate, and communicate with interprofessional teams to insure that healthcare is integrated, continuous, and reliable.

7. Practice professionalism: Demonstrate the attributes of a professional, including a commitment to, and accountability for, carrying out professional responsibilities, maintaining professional competence, and adhering to legal and ethical principles.

7.1 Perform all professional duties in accordance with legal, social, and economic guidelines.

7.2 Exhibit behavior supporting the ethical tenets of autonomy, beneficence and justice.

7.3 Demonstrate the traits of professionalism. 1

7.4 Develop, acquire and maintain personal and professional development through ongoing self-directed learning and reflection.

7.5 Maintain professional awareness by identifying emerging health-related issues, products and services, and analyzing potential implications for:

a. disease prevention and treatment services;
b. management of resources used in providing patient care; and
c. patient-specific and population-based therapeutic outcomes.

7.6 Develop appropriate leadership strategies that promote safe and optimal use of medications

7.7 Engage in innovative activities by using creative thinking to envision better ways of accomplishing professional goals.

1. APhA-ASP—ACCP Council of Deans Task Force of Professionalism. White Paper on Pharmacy Student Professionalism. Journal of American Pharmaceutical Association 2000; 40(1): 96-102

Pharmacy Practice Experiences


The experiential education component of the Doctor of Pharmacy program accounts for more than 30 percent of the curriculum and is a vital component in integrating classroom learning into real-world application. These Pharmacy Practice Experiences, also called “rotations,” are designed to give students the opportunity to work under the supervision of licensed health care professionals known as preceptors to learn key aspects of the profession, including traditional roles of a pharmacist, clinical pharmacy services, patient counseling, disease state management, professionalism and overall quality drug therapy. 

UNM student pharmacists have the opportunity to practice pharmacy skills learned in the classroom in a variety of different practice settings throughout their pharmacy school careers.  Early in the curriculum, student pharmacists participate in Introductory Pharmacy Practice Experiences (IPPEs), which take place in both community pharmacy settings and institutional pharmacy settings. 

The Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experiences (APPEs) take place during the entire fourth year of the program, after students have completed the didactic/classroom phase of the curriculum.  

All Pharmacy Practice Experiences are required, unpaid experiences, for which students receive academic credit. The UNM College of Pharmacy Office of Experiential Education provides oversight of all experiential learning, including coordination of all scheduling.

Introductory Pharmacy Practice Experiences (IPPEs)

As a UNM student pharmacist, you will complete a Community Pharmacy IPPE during the first professional year. This experience will introduce you to basic pharmacist functions in a community pharmacy. The primary emphasis will be on drug dispensing, obtaining a drug and medical history and communicating drug and health prevention information to patients.    

You will also complete an Institutional Pharmacy IPPE during the second professional year. This experience will introduce you to drug dispensing, distribution, clinical activities and administration in a hospital setting. You will refine your skills to evaluate drug orders for completeness and accuracy, prepare sterile products for administration to patients and perform calculations required to compound, dispense and administer medications.

You are expected to complete a total of 160 hours for each IPPE.

Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experiences (APPEs)

The APPEs take place during the entire fourth year of the Doctor of Pharmacy program and are designed to provide more advanced and specialized experiences. Student pharmacists will have an opportunity to experience a variety of rotation types throughout the fourth year based on their individual interests, including: cardiology, geriatrics, pediatrics, nephrology, infectious disease, critical care, emergency medicine, diabetes, primary care and much more. UNM student pharmacists are also required to complete at least one APPE rotation in a rural New Mexico setting.  Student pharmacists have the opportunity to select nine APPEs throughout their fourth year.

 During these experiences you will be a member of an interprofessional team of health care providers. You will:

 Consult with patients.

  • Recommend appropriate prescription and non-prescription medications and dosing.
  • Provide pharmacist-delivered patient care to a diverse patient population.
  • Prepare and administer medications.
  • Work with the technology used in pharmacy practice.
  • Participate in discussions and assignments concerning key health care policy matters that may affect pharmacy.
  • Participate in managing the use of investigational drug products and, in some cases, the management of medical emergencies.

 You are are expected to complete a total of 160 hours for each APPE.