The PharmD (Doctor of Pharmacy) program provides students with 44 weeks of hands-on clinical training over the course of their studies. The experiential learning component of this program means our students graduate with an extensive knowledge of pharmacotherapy and medication therapy management, based on the treatment of real patients. We want to emphasize the importance of pharmacy science facilitated by knowledge and research, and delivered with professionalism and compassion. Our graduates will deliver the enhanced scope of practice called for by the Canadian healthcare system. 

Early Practice Experience (Required Courses)

PharmD students generally undertake experiential education at the end of their first and second years and for the entirety of their final year of the program. 

Year 1 - Early Practice Experience (EPE-1) (May - August)

This course is the first of two early experiential rotations, each consisting of 160 hours of experiential education.

During the summer (May-August) of their first year, students begin engaging with and treating patients. Students will learn to apply their practical knowledge by actively participating in day-to-day services within a direct patient care pharmacy practice setting. This immersive application of knowledge, skills, and values learned in faculty-based courses and simulated practice environments (laboratories) allows students to build confidence early on in their studies.

Year 2 - Early Practice Experience (EPE-2) (PHM 251) (May - August)

This course is the second of two early experiential rotations, each consisting of 160 hours of experiential education in the summer after year 2. 

Building on their experience from the previous summer in EPE-1, students will complete this second rotation of direct patient care in a community or institutional setting. This rotation is typically accomplished within a 4-week time-frame. The additional experience gained during this rotation will help prepare students for their final Year 3 courses at the Faculty, and for their Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experience (APPE) rotation during Year 4.


Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experience (Required Courses)

Year 4 - Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experience (APPE)

Prior to commencing APPE rotations, students in the PharmD program will have completed three years of undergraduate pharmacy education, including a Preparation for APPE course. 

The APPE rotation occurs over 12 months starting in May of each year, and encompasses students’ final year of both the entry-to-practice PharmD program and the PharmD for Pharmacists (PFP) program. Students will be expected to travel to placement sites across Ontario. 

PharmD students will complete 35 weeks of APPE rotations, as well as an additional 15 weeks of independent study over the course of their 4th academic year. 

The PharmD APPE year consists of three components:

Direct Patient Care Rotations (25 Weeks)

The Direct Patient Care rotations provide experience in a variety of practice settings such as institutional, community and ambulatory care. 

  • Community Pharmacy Rotation (10 Weeks)
  • Institutional Rotation 1 (5 Weeks)
  • Institutional Rotation 2 (5 Weeks)
  • Selective Rotation (5 Weeks) *Direct Patient Care in any approved setting
Elective Rotations (10 Weeks)

The elective rotations can be Direct Patient Care (DPC) and/or Non-Direct Patient Care (NDPC) placements. 

  • Elective Rotation 1 (5 Weeks)
  • Elective Rotation 2 (5 Weeks)
Independent Study (15 Weeks)

Students will have the remaining three 5-week blocks defined as study blocks scheduled throughout their final year.

  • Independent Study 1 (5 Weeks)
  • Independent Study 2 (5 Weeks)
  • Independent Study 3 (5 Weeks)

In each rotation, students are guided, supervised, and assessed on a day to day basis by a preceptor. 

Students are supported by a team of Experiential Course Coordinators, Office of Experiential Education (OEE) staff, the Director of the OEE, and related Program Directors. This team provides academic oversight on all aspects related to experiential course delivery, and monitoring and assessment of students during rotations.


Students in APPE rotations are assessed according to the educational outcomes of the Association of Faculties of Pharmacy of Canada (AFPC) for First Professional Degree Programs in Pharmacy. These educational outcomes are care provider, communicator, collaborator, leader-manager, health advocate, scholar and professional. Please visit the AFPC website for more information.

Students are encouraged to have preceptors review the student’s resume to maximize learning opportunities based on their past experiences.