Pharmacy, PharmD—Direct Entry

The School of Pharmacy (SOP) offers the professional Doctor of Pharmacy degree (PharmD). The direct-entry admission pathway for this program requires that students complete a BS or BA from an accredited institution with a preferred prerequisite grade-point average (GPA) of 3.000. The following prerequisite courses and credits are required:

Requirements Credits
Chemistry 1 with lab 4
Chemistry 2 with lab 4
General Biology 1 with lab 4
General Biology 2 with lab 4
Calculus 4
Organic Chemistry 1 with lab 4
Organic Chemistry 2 with lab 4
Biochemistry 4
General Psychology 4
English—writing-intensive 4
Human Physiology 1 with lab 4
Human Physiology 2 with lab 4
Physics with lab 4
Arts or humanities electives 4

Direct entry into the first professional year of the PharmD program offers students a four-year graduate course of study that fully integrates campus-based learning with experiential learning, including the university’s signature cooperative education (co-op) program, to provide students with the knowledge, skills, and abilities necessary to succeed in the pharmacy profession. Our students promote and ensure the safe and effective use of drugs and provide medication therapy management services. In addition to preparing and dispensing prescribed medications, our students provide information to patients about medications and their uses; advise physicians, other prescribers, and other healthcare practitioners on medication selection, dosages, interactions, and adverse effects; and monitor patient responses to drug therapy.

Our students are well equipped to provide patient care services in a variety of settings. Most of our graduates work in community pharmacies or in healthcare facilities such as hospitals and ambulatory clinics. Additional practice opportunities exist in health maintenance organizations, private practice groups, long-term-care facilities, home healthcare, the Public Health Service, the armed services, and law enforcement agencies such as the Federal Drug Enforcement Administration. Graduates may also find employment in drug development, marketing and research within the pharmaceutical industry, colleges of pharmacy, and professional association management. In addition, many of our graduates go on to pharmacy practice residencies, fellowships, and leading graduate programs.

Doctor of Pharmacy students are admitted with the expectation that by working with faculty, staff, and each other, they will develop the knowledge, skills, and attitudes necessary for academic and professional success. Students follow academic progression plans for their respective years of graduation. Any deviation from the prescribed curriculum will require faculty/staff permission and an approved plan of study from the SOP Academic Standing Committee.

The pharmacy curriculum includes introductory (cooperative education) and advanced pharmacy practice experiences (IPPEs and APPEs). These pharmacy practice experiences are provided primarily under the direct supervision of qualified pharmacist preceptors and occasionally with other qualified healthcare professionals. The school is affiliated with many world-class practice sites throughout the United States, providing students with access to experienced clinicians and scholars. Although every effort is made to accommodate individual circumstances and requests, students should be prepared to travel outside the Boston area to complete some of their pharmacy practice experiences. Availability of a car may be required, as some sites are not accessible by public transportation. All expenses associated with pharmacy practice experiences, including travel and housing, are the responsibility of the student.

IPPEs are competitive placements that are based on job availability in a geographic region. The placements are facilitated by SOP cooperative education coordinators. Students are required to earn a satisfactory (S) grade on one IPPE in a community setting and on one IPPE in an institutional/hospital practice setting.

APPE placements are provided based on site/preceptor availability and the final approval of the SOP Office of Experiential Education (OEE). Students may be able to petition the OEE for out-of-system APPEs; however, availability for such requests is limited.

To be eligible for a PharmD, a student must successfully complete all courses in the curriculum, including the IPPEs (co-op) and APPEs; meet the academic progression standards of the program; meet the technical standards of the program; and satisfy all other requirements as stated in the Bouvé College of Health Sciences Undergraduate Student Information Manual. The pharmacy program, which is fully accredited by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE), subscribes and adheres to the standards established by ACPE.

Pharmacy graduates must meet specific requirements to qualify for professional licensure in the state where they plan to practice as a registered pharmacist. These requirements include graduating from an accredited school of pharmacy, passing national and state board examinations, and completing internship hours. The internship is a period of practical experience conducted under the supervision of a registered pharmacist. Massachusetts requires 1,500 internship hours, all of which are satisfied through IPPEs (co-op) and APPEs.

Professional and/or legal exigencies arise from time to time, which may necessitate changes in a pharmacy course, progression, and/or graduation requirements. Students should review their status with academic advisors on a timely basis and refer to current publications for updated information.

Requirements for the PharmD Pharmacy Practice Experiences (PPEs)

Requirements for the successful completion of the PharmD PPEs include:

  1. Evidence of health clearance from University Health and Counseling Services before placements at any PPE site.
  2. Satisfactory completion of any additional site-specific requirements including, but not limited to, criminal record information (CORI), urine drug screens, and verification of immunization status. All fees associated with these requirements are the responsibility of the student.

    If the student learns the urine screen (aka test #1) is positive, the student will notify the OEE ( and immediately complete a second urine screen (test #2). A professional concern form will be completed based on test #1 results.
  • If that urine screen (aka test #2) is negative (-), the student will be allowed to continue the PPEs. However, the student will be asked to complete a random urine screen (aka test #3) at a time determined by the OEE. If this urine screen ( test #3) is positive (+), the student will be administratively removed from the active PPEs and graduation may be delayed. A second professional concern form will be completed, based on test #3 results. The return to PPEs will occur once a repeat urine test is negative. That repeat negative test will be followed up by a random urine screen at a time determined by the OEE.
  • If the urine screen (aka test #2) is positive (+), the student will be administratively removed from the PPEs and graduation may be delayed. The return to PPEs will occur once a repeat urine screen is negative. That negative screen will be followed up by a random urine screen at a time determined by the OEE. A second professional concern form will be completed based on a positive test #3 result.     
  1. Adherence to the school's code of professional conduct and university’s code of conduct policies while off-campus. 
  2. Maintenance of an active, pharmacy intern license in every state where the student completes an experience. 
  3. Compliance with site-specific requirements (via site descriptions) and completion of site requests within specified deadlines. Failure to complete these requirements as directed will likely result in delay of graduation.
  4. Maintenance of a portfolio throughout the professional years and completion of all portfolio submission requirements within specified deadlines.
  5. Students are expected to adhere to the policies and standards of their program major as stated to progress through their curriculum as planned. Students seeking any exceptions to the program policies and standards specified for their program major must present a petition before the School of Pharmacy Academic Standing Committee. 

    Given programmatic requirements, coupled with concerns over the loss of therapeutic knowledge, requests for a general leave of absence: 
  • Must comply with all stated Northeastern University general policies, regardless of the academic year. 
  • May be made at any time period during the freshman through P2 years. 
  • During the P3 academic year, any request for a general leave must be made no later than February 1 of the given academic year. Requests after this date for students in the P3 year will not be permitted. 
  • During the P4 academic year, requests for a general leave cannot be made at any time.

Technical Standards

The Doctor of Pharmacy program at Northeastern University is a rigorous and challenging academic program that requires students to possess specific characteristics and abilities within the cognitive, affective, and psychomotor domains, referred to here as technical standards. To successfully progress in and ultimately complete the didactic, laboratory, and experiential components of the Doctor of Pharmacy program, students must meet the standards described below.

Intellectual Abilities

Students must have well-developed problem-solving and critical-thinking skills. Cognitive function must be appropriate to integrate, evaluate, and apply information gained through measurement, analysis, calculation, and reasoning. Students must have the capacity to learn efficiently in classroom, laboratory, small group, and experiential settings and through independent study. Students are required to demonstrate the ability to integrate course content knowledge with clinical practice applications to optimize medication therapy management.

Communication Skills

Students must be able to communicate effectively with colleagues, professors, patients, families, and healthcare providers. This includes efficiently comprehending, speaking, reading, and writing in English. Students must be able to process and use appropriate nonverbal cues and be proficient in the use of electronic communication media.

Behavioral and Social Attributes

Students must demonstrate professionalism, maturity, integrity, honesty, compassion, and respect when relating to others. Students must have sufficient mental and emotional health to complete work and responsibilities using good judgment. Students must be able to tolerate and adapt to stressful workloads and situations and modify behavior based on constructive criticism. Students must be able to function in accordance with the legal, ethical, and professional standards of practice.

Observation and Motor Skills

Students must have functional use of visual, auditory, and tactile senses. Students must be able to observe and perform experiments, physical assessments, patient interviews, and medication order processing. Students must be able to distinguish physical characteristics of medications by inspection. Students must have coordination of gross and fine muscular movements sufficient to perform pharmacy-related tasks including compounding and dispensing medications, administering medications, and using computers and other technology necessary for learning and professional practice.

College Academic Standards—Professional Courses

PharmD students must receive a grade of C or better in professional courses.

  • Professional courses are those required courses taught within the major/college as identified by course subject code: PHMD, PHSC.
  • Courses in the above-listed subjects that are taken as electives are exempt from the C or better rule, and the university’s minimum satisfactory grade will be accepted.
  • For PharmD students, failure to earn a satisfactory grade (S) in a co-op will be counted as a professional course failure.

Progression within Bouvé

The requirements for any graduate degree or certificate of advanced study must yield a cumulative GPA of 3.000 or higher as stated in this catalog.

  • To progress into the subsequent year of professional courses, students must have completed all professional prerequisites with the required minimum passing grade.
  • To progress into the subsequent semester of professional courses, students must have completed all professional courses with a grade of C or better.
  • Students who incur an incomplete grade in a prerequisite course must obtain approval from their academic advisor, upon consultation with the department faculty, prior to progression into the subsequent course(s).

Academic Dismissal from Major

PharmD students in the Bouvé College of Health Sciences will be dismissed from their major effective the following academic semester for any of the reasons noted below:

  • Failure to earn a grade of C or better in three professional courses, regardless of remediation. Lecture and clinical/lab components for the same class are considered as one professional course failure. Within the PharmD program, each specific professional course (with separate registration number) will be counted as a separate failure even if content is related.
  • Failure to earn the minimum required grade in the same course twice.
  • Failure to maintain a GPA of 3.000 after one semester of probation.
  • For PharmD students, the expected graduation date may not be changed more than twice.
  • The PharmD program monitors and promotes the development of professional behaviors in its students in order to ensure appropriate professionalism in the classroom, local and global communities, and clinical settings. Breach of adherence to these standards may result in dismissal from the program.

Academic Appeals

Students who believe that they were erroneously, capriciously, or otherwise unfairly treated in an academic or cooperative education decision may petition to appeal the decision. Refer to the Bouvé Graduate Student Policies and Regulations Manual, which details the Bouvé College of Health Sciences Appeals Process, and the University Graduate Student Academic Appeals Procedures.

Complete all courses and requirements listed below unless otherwise indicated.

Core Requirements

Required Core
ENGW 3306Advanced Writing in the Health Professions4
PHMD 2350Healthcare Systems3
PHMD 3450Research Methodology and Biostatistics3
PHMD 5223Evidence-Based Medicine2
PHMD 5250Pharmacy Care Management3
PHMD 5330Jurisprudence3
PHSC 2330Immunology3
PHSC 3411Pharmaceutics 14
PHSC 3412Pharmaceutics 24
PHSC 3419Pharmaceutics Laboratory1
PHSC 3430Pharmacokinetics and Biopharmaceutics3
PHSC 5360Anti-Infectives4
Pharmacology/Medicinal Chemistry
PHSC 4501Pharmacology/Medicinal Chemistry 15
PHSC 4502Pharmacology/Medicinal Chemistry 25
Disease Management
PHMD 4611
and PHMD 4612
Comprehensive Disease Management 1
and Comprehensive Disease Management 1 Seminar
PHMD 4621Comprehensive Disease Management 26
PHMD 4622Comprehensive Disease Management 2 Seminar1
PHMD 4623Comprehensive Disease Management 2 Skills Lab0.5
PHMD 4631Comprehensive Disease Management 36
PHMD 4632Comprehensive Disease Management 3 Seminar1
PHMD 4633Comprehensive Disease Management 3 Skills Lab0.5
PHMD 4641Comprehensive Disease Management 46
PHMD 4642Comprehensive Disease Management 4 Seminar1
PHMD 4643Comprehensive Disease Management 4 Skills Lab0.5
PHMD 1201
and PHMD 1202
Introduction to Pharmacy Practice
and Lab for PHMD 1201
PHMD 2310
and PHMD 2311
Educational and Behavioral Interventions in Pharmacy Practice
and Lab for PHMD 2310
PHMD 5270Economic Evaluation of Pharmaceuticals and Pharmacy Practice2
PHMD 5450Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experience Preparatory Seminar1
Advanced Practice Experiences


Complete 36 semester hours in the following range:36

Program Credit/GPA Requirements

132 total semester hours required
Minimum 3.000 GPA required

Year 1
FallHoursSpringHoursSummer Full SemesterHours
ENGW 33064Advanced Practice Experience2.5PHSC 34124
PHMD 1201
and PHMD 1202
3 PHSC 34191
PHSC 34114 PHSC 45025
PHSC 45015 PHMD 2310
and PHMD 2311
  PHMD 23503
 16 2.5 15.5
Year 2
FallHoursSpringHoursSummer Full SemesterHours
Advanced Practice Experience2.5PHMD 34503PHMD 46216
 PHMD 4611
and PHMD 4612
7PHMD 46221
 PHSC 23303PHMD 46230.5
 PHSC 34303PHMD 52232
  PHMD 53303
  PHSC 53604
 2.5 16 16.5
Year 3
FallHoursSpringHoursSummer Full SemesterHours
PHMD 46316PHMD 46416Complete 12 semester hours in the following range:12
PHMD 46321PHMD 46421PHMD 6440 to PHMD6474
PHMD 46330.5PHMD 46430.5 
PHMD 52503PHMD 52702 
 PHMD 54501 
 10.5 10.5 12
Year 4
Complete 12 semester hours in the following range:12Complete 12 semester hours in the following range:12 
PHMD 6440 to PHMD 6474PHMD 6440 to PHMD 6474 
 12 12 
Total Hours: 126