Frequently Asked Questions - PharmD for Pharmacists

Last updated: October 20, 2016

General

1. What is the difference between the PharmD for Pharmacists program and the PharmD program offered by Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy at the University of Toronto?

The PharmD for Pharmacists program is specifically designed for experienced pharmacists and recent graduates who have a Bachelors’ degree (or equivalent) in Pharmacy degree and wish to obtain a Doctor of Pharmacy degree.

The Faculty’s PharmD program is the first professional degree for incoming students with no previous training in pharmacy.

2. What is the difference between the previous post-Bachelor PharmD and the current program called PharmD for Pharmacists, also a post-Bachelor degree?

The previous version of the post-Bachelor PharmD program offered by the University of Toronto, which was a two (2) year program, will not be returning.

All Canadian universities will be offering a first-professional degree by 2020, so this program offers practicing pharmacists with a Bachelors’ degree (or equivalent) in Pharmacy the opportunity to enhance their skills to that educational level.

The main differences between the previous program and our new program are:

  1. Different educational outcomes, as defined by the Canadian Council for Accreditation of Pharmacy Programs (CCAPP), to meet first professional degree PharmD level
  2. Increased flexibility for courses completion, with ability to complete almost all didactic coursework online
    1. Foundations for Advanced Pharmacy Practice is a hybrid course with one-week onsite in your first term and other work completed throughout the semester
  3. Designed to be completed by practicing pharmacists with a shortened duration

3. Why should I choose the PharmD for Pharmacists program?

The University of Toronto has offered a full-time PharmD program since 1992 and a part-time online PharmD program since 2004. It offers a depth and breadth of experience and expertise that is unmatched by other programs with a proven record of success in online and part-time delivery. Our graduates are trained to be leaders in patient care, pharmacy, and healthcare. The PharmD for Pharmacists program will help you develop advanced clinical expertise and experience in a flexible and customizable way, regardless of your location.

4. How many students do you admit?

Our program currently has over 100 students enrolled, we have admitted up to 40 students in each intake. The high quality of the applications received has allowed us to admit the majority of the candidates.

Admission Requirements

5. Can you tell me who to choose as a reference? Or review my transcript and/or CV to let me know if I am a good candidate?

We do not advise applicants on application procedures or screen any documentation prior to the entire application package being received by our program. Due to the high demand for this program, we are not able to do individual pre-screening before the application procedure. Please review all admission requirements, including forms and documentation required to self-assess that you are eligible to apply.

6. Can I send unofficial transcripts (copies/previously submitted) with my application?

No. These will not be reviewed. You must have your post-secondary institution send your official transcripts directly to our program. If you have exceptional circumstance and are unable to comply with this criteria, please contact our office directly (pfp.adm@utoronto.ca) and discuss your situation. An inability to meet our intake deadlines is not an acceptable reason for unofficial transcript.. 

7. I do not live or practice in Toronto. Will I have to come to Toronto to interview?

No. Interviews will be arranged with each applicant directly, either virtually or on-site, depending on the availability of the applicant and the Admissions Committee. 

8. Is there a confirmation deposit?

Yes, a non-refundable $500 deposit (applied to tuition fees) will be required once you accept the Offer of Admission. Payment is required by certified cheque/money order (Payable to University of Toronto) by the date specified in the Offer of Admission.

9. I applied last year and wasn't accepted. Do I have to resubmit my application?

We keep your transcripts on file so you do NOT need to have those re-sent. Minimally, you must re-submit your application form and $200 application fee. We encourage students to update their CV/resume and references based on the feedback from their unsuccessful application.

10. May I defer admission to the PharmD for Pharmacists program?

No. Admission to the PharmD for Pharmacists program cannot be deferred.

Courses

11. How many courses will I need to take each year?

In order to ensure your progression through the program, you are required to take four (4) courses annually (one year is equivalent to 3 consecutive terms: winter, spring/summer, fall).

12. What is the maximum length of time allowed to complete degree requirements?

Four (4) years. 

13. Do I need to come to Toronto for courses?

There are two mandatory courses that require students to come to Toronto: Foundations for Advanced Pharmacy Practice and Physical Assessment and Findings. The Foundations for Advanced Pharmacy Practice course starts with one week of intensive instruction in Toronto scheduled at the beginnig of your first term in the program. The remainder of this course is delivered on-line throughout the semester. The Physical Assessment and Findings course is a fall term course delivered mostly on-line that requires a weekend in Toronto for its practical component. This section is usually scheduled at mid-point in the course.

14. Will I have to take time off from work to complete this program?

To make the PharmD for Pharmacists program as flexible as possible for practicing pharmacists, we have designed the didactic coursework to be undertaken while you are working. However, Foundations for Advanced Pharmacy Practice course and Experiential Rotations are a mandatory part of this program and will require time away from your usual practice site. Foundations for Advanced Pharmacy Practice requires one week (Monday – Friday) in your intake term AND Experiential Rotations are offered Monday – Friday during business hours for 5 continuous weeks.

15. Can I take courses on-campus?

We offer enough didactic courses on-line to meet all program requirements, although the Foundations for Advanced Pharmacy Practice and the Physical Assessment and Findings courses each require an on-site visit. In addition, our students are eligibile to take some courses on-campus through the PharmD program towards their pharmacotherapy and social administrative course requirements in the  PharmD for Pharmacists program.

16. Can I keep my appointment at the Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy?

If you currently hold an academic appointment (lecturer, assistant professor, associate professor) with the Faculty it will be temporarily suspended upon your acceptance into the PharmD for Pharmacists program. Your appointment will be reactivated after graduation as long as you continue to contribute to the Faculty.

Experiential Rotations

17. Since I am already practicing, can I opt out/ get credit for specific rotations?

Students must complete all degree requirements. We recognize our applicants will be highly skilled pharmacists upon admission. The largest changes for the new first-degree to practice PharmD is greater emphasis on pharmacotherapy and experiential learning. We designed our curriculum balancing our need to ensure all applicants meet the educational outcomes for a Doctor of Pharmacy degree, with the anticipated knowledge and skill level of our applicants.

18. What rotations are required?

The required rotations include three direct patient care clinical rotations, and one elective (e.g. drug information, research, industry, global health, home care, and consulting). Students may choose to do one additional elective rotation to fulfill the elective requirement.

20. Where can I complete my rotations?

Rotations are offered in many different practice settings across Canada, as well as in the United States and other countries. Once you are admitted to the program, you can meet with Experiential Education Coordinator from the Office of Experiential Education (OEE) to discuss your requests/ preferences for location or types of rotations.  The PharmD for Pharmacists program and OEE do not guarantee accommodation for students’ requests/ preferences for experiential rotations, and students may be required to travel for these rotations.

Financial

21. What is the tuition for this program?

Tuition fees are posted on the Student Accounts website. Please note that fees are subject to an increase of no more than 5% every summer term as per the University's tuition policy.

22. Is financial assistance available?

There are no bursaries available from the PharmD for Pharmacists program. As a student in an academic degree program, you might be eligible for provincial or federal student loan programs. If you do not qualify for student loan funding, you may apply for a loan through your banking institution. Two common loan options are: the ScotiaBank Professional Loans Program or the Royal Bank Financial Services for Students in Professional Practice program. Please note that we cannot guarantee your eligibility for any of these sources of funding as they will process your application based on their own criteria.

23. Can you suggest options for short-term housing while attending classes or completing rotations in Toronto?

Students are responsible to secure their own accommodations/ housing for any classes or rotations. Assistance with housing is part of an array of services the University of Toronto has available for students. For more information, please visit http://www.housing.utoronto.ca/

Licensure

24. Will a PharmD for Pharmacists degree from the University of Toronto allow me to be licensed as a pharmacist in other provinces?

The PharmD for Pharmacists program prepares participants to practice pharmacy as a skilled clinician. Every jurisdiction has its own licensing body to determine who may and may not practice pharmacy, all questions regarding licensing should be directed to the relevant authority in the jurisdiction.

If you are an internationally trained student who wants to practice pharmacy in Canada, you would be better served by our International Pharmacy Graduate (IPG) program, please review their website.

International Students

25. I am a foreign trained pharmacist who wishes to expand my practice as a pharmacist and expand pharmacy practice in my home country. Why should I choose the PharmD for Pharmacists?

This is the best program for you at the Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy. Our internationally recognized pharmacy faculty has a long history of graduating skilled patient care providers. Our graduates are trained to be leaders in patient care, pharmacy and health care. Our PharmD for Pharmacists program meets the same rigorous requirements as our PharmD program, with greater flexibility for working pharmacists. The skills, knowledge, and experience acquired through participation in the PharmD for Pharmacists program will prepare you to deliver the enhanced scope of practice and serve you well wherever you go.

26. I am a foreign trained pharmacist who wishes to move to Canada and practice as a pharmacist in Canada. Why should I choose the PharmD for Pharmacists?

The PharmD for Pharmacists may not be the best program for you. Please go to our International Pharmacy Graduate (IPG) program, which consists of programs designed to assist pharmacists trained in countries outside Canada. You can get further information at http://cpd.pharmacy.utoronto.ca/programs/categories/internationallyeducatedpharmacists.html

27. My name on my official transcripts is different from the names on my other documents. Should I provide a document explaining this discrepancy?

Please ensure that you complete the previous and preferred names sections on the application form so that we can reconcile the discrepancy. If there is a specific issue, please contact the Admissions Office directly at pfp.adm@utoronto.ca.

28. My academic records are in a language other than English. Should I also submit English translations of my documents?

Notarized/Certified English translations are required for all international documentation written in a language other than English or French. Translations do not replace the original documents. Both the original documents and notarized/certified translations must be submitted.

29. I do not intend to practice pharmacy in Canada. Do I still need to pass the Pharmacy Examining Board of Canada (PEBC) Evaluating and Qualifying Examinations before applying to the PharmD for Pharmacists program?

If you have graduated from an international faculty of pharmacy (Not a Canadian (CCAPP) or American (ACPE) faculty) and are not currently licensed to practice pharmacy in Canada (except Quebec), you must pass the PEBC Evaluating Examination (but not the Qualifying Examination) before applying to the PharmD for Pharmacists program.

30. English is not my first language. Do I need to take the TOEFL/TWE exam?

English facility testing is not required if you meet any of the following:

  1. Primary language is English;
  2. Currently licensed as a pharmacist in a Canadian jurisdiction (except Quebec) or an American jurisdiction (except Puerto Rico);
  3. Graduated from a Pharmacy school which was not accredited by CCAPP or ACPE school but where the language of instruction and examination was English;
  4. Completed four (4) or more years in post-secondary training where the language of instruction and examination was English; or
  5. Previously registered in a degree program at the University of Toronto previously.

If you do not meet any of these requirements, then an English facility test must be completed before you submit your application. Applications will not be reviewed until all requirements are submitted.

The TOEFL is just one of the many tests that we accept. For more information, including minimum required scores, please see the English Language Proficiency Testing page.

31. Where can I find more information about the PharmD for Pharmacists program?

For more information, please visit our website or contact our Admissions team.