PharmD Program

Post-graduate PharmD Program FAQs

Post-graduate PharmD Program Degree and Faculty

Q: Who is the Program Director and what is his role?
A: Dr. Peter Loewen has been the Program Director since July 2012.  Dr. Loewen is an Assistant Professor at UBC and Pharmacoetherapeutic Specialist in general medicine at Vancouver General Hospital. Prior being Director, he held roles as a Clinical Coordinator, Education & Research Coordinator, and Residency Program Coordinator.  Dr. Loewen is also Chair of the UBC Clinical Research Ethics Board, Vice-Chair of the BC Ministry of Health's Drug Benefits Council, Chair of the BC Ministry of Health's Drug Review Resource Committee, and a member of several boards, incuding the CSHP Board of Fellows and Canadian Hospital Pharmacy Residency Board.  The Program Director assumes overall administrative responsibility for the Doctor of Pharmacy program. His role is to coordinate the application and selection process for the Program, act as a liaison with other faculties, provide guidance to course coordinators, and provide academic, professional and career guidance to the PharmD students.

Q: How do I contact the Program Director?
A: | 604-827-1814.

Q: As a PharmD student, will I meet regularly with the Program Director?
A: Yes. During the first year, students will meet with the Program Director several times. These meetings are scheduled to discuss general issues including progress and problems as well as topics not covered in detail in courses (e.g., research, career options, precepting, publishing tips, other topics as requested by students.). Individual meetings also can be arranged as needed.

Q: Who is the Clinical Coordinator for the PharmD program and what is her role?
A: The Clinical Coordinator for the PharmD Program is Dr. Patricia Gerber, who obtained her PharmD from UBC in 1997. She has been involved in the Program for many years: precepting students while working at the Children’s & Women’s Health Centre of BC, teaching and coordinating PHAR 501 sessions in Pediatrics and Neurology, coordinating and participating in the second year oral comprehensive exams, and supporting students in the role of Faculty Advisor.  As the Clinical Coordinator, Dr. Gerber's main role is to coordinate all aspects of PHAR 501 (Advanced Pharmacotherapeutics), and all aspects of the development, scheduling, and monitoring of the students’ second year of rotations (PHAR 533/534).

Q: How do I contact the Clinical Coordinator for the PharmD program?
A: | 604-813-5390.

Q. Is the UBC Post-graduate PharmD program still taking in new students now that UBC and other Canadian universities are moving toward entry-to-practice PharmD degree programs?
Yes. We expect to take in classes in August 2014, 2015, and probably 2016 as usual.  Beyond that, we will continue to reassess the program in light of when our entry-to-practice PharmD launches, the job market for graduates of the Post-graduate PharmD program, rotation capacity, and other factors.

Q. As a PharmD student, will I meet regularly with the Clinical Coordinator?
A: Yes. The Clinical Coordinator will provide an orientation session to PHAR 501 and rotation selection at the start of the Program.  During the academic year, students will meet with the Clinical Coordinator regularly to discuss issues including progress in Pharmacy 501 and to discuss plans for rotations based on availability and student preferences.

Q: What is the role of Faculty Advisors?
A: Each PharmD student is assigned a Faculty Advisor.  You can review all the details about our Faculty Advisor Program.

Q: Where can I find information about critical University dates/events?
A: UBC Calendar.

Q: As a PharmD student, am I in the Faculty of Graduate Studies or Pharmaceutical Sciences?
A: When the PharmD program was initiated in 1991, students were enrolled in the U.B.C. Faculty of Graduate Studies. Since 2005, the PharmD program has been within the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, as was originally intended.

Q: Is there a TOEFL English language requirement for PharmD students?
A: No. We select our class through an extensive review of written application materials, academic transcripts, an oral interview, and assessment of multiple written references.  Consequently, a TOEFL assessment is not required unless the selection committee recommends it for a specific applicant.

Q: What about entry-to-practice PharmD degrees?
A: The UBC PharmD program is not an entry-level/entry-to-practice PharmD program.  It is a post-graduate program designed to train outstanding pharmacists to fulfill advanced practice roles.  This is a different purpose and goal from entry-to-practice PharmD degrees.  The UBC PharmD program's entry requirements, program duration, class size, depth and individualization of training, and expected level of proficiency of graduates differs markedly from entry-to-practice programs. Ask the Director other questions about the UBC PharmD program in relation to E2P and non-traditional PharmD programs.

Q: What job opportunities are available to the graduates of the UBC PharmD program?
A: Just about anything you want to do within the profession of pharmacy.  Program graduates typically secure a position prior to or within 1 month of graduation.  Graduates often to secure positions in hospitals or health authorities, sometimes with a cross-appointment to a University.  Some graduates do post-doctoral fellowships or MSc/PhD degrees.  Our graduates have roles in many other sectors as well, including government, primary care, health authority-based ambulatory care, regulatory bodies, and industry.  Refer to our Alumni page for further information.

Q: I understand that there are standards, learning outcomes and competencies that pertain to the PharmD program and its students. What are these?  Is the PharmD program at UBC accredited?
A: Yes. Our program meets or exceeds the standards & competencies required
by accrediting bodies in Canada. We were awarded 6-year full
accrediation by CCAPP in 2013.  The UBC PharmD program first received full accreditation by the Canadian Council for Accreditation of Pharmacy Programs (CCAPP) in June 2000 has has remained fully accredited since. It was the first accredited postgraduate PharmD program in Canada.

Q: As a student, am I expected to be a CSHP member?
A: CSHP membership is not a requirement of the program.  For students who are interested, discounted memberships are available for those enrolled in the PharmD program. One of the available awards for PharmD students requires CSHP membership (see below).  PharmD students are considered "active-in- training (AIT)" members; this is different from the "student" membership category, but the fees are lower than for a regular member. The BC Branch of CSHP is active and students are encouraged to attend the local educational events when feasible.

Courses and Rotations

Q: Is there a web-based schedule for our courses?
A: Yes. Your eValue online schedule is your official schedule. Students should visit the site at least every two to three days to scan for updates.

Q: The Faculty took care of my initial course registration. Can I expect the same for the balance of the program?
A: No. You are responsible for arranging and ensuring your registration status is accurate and complete. Keep on top of this.

Q: What is the attendance policy?
A: Regular attendance is expected of all students in all classes. Students who are (or will be) unavoidably absent because of illness or unavoidable circumstances must immediatly notify the relevant instructor/preceptor and Clinical Coordinator. At the discretion of the course coordinator / preceptor / Clinical Coordinator, you may also be required to provide a physician's note and/or complete remedial activity.

Q: What do I need to successfully complete this program? What are typical grades achieved by previous students?
A: Doctoral students must achieve a minimum of 68% (B-) in all course work taken for credit. A student who obtains more than one grade below 68% will normally be required to withdraw. You also need to pass each of your clinical rotations (12 in total) to achieve a passing grade for P533 and P534. As of 2013, 142 students have commenced the Program and 141 students have graduated from it.

Q: What is the expectation regarding exam scheduling and attendance?
A: First-year students are required to be available from the first day of class to the end of the final exam periods (in December and April). Students should not make travel plans until the exam schedules are confirmed.  Course coordinators are not expected to alter their exam schedule on the basis of an individual student's request. Any such incidents should be referred to the PharmD Director for resolution.

Q: How do I register for my 2nd year courses? When is this done?
A: PharmD students are responsible for their own registration for 2nd year courses. Registration is done online through the UBC Student Service Centre. Registration for the summer term of 2nd year (May - August) is typically done at the beginning of May; at this time, register for PHAR 535 only). Registration for the winter term (September - April) is done mid-June; register for PHAR 533, 534, and 535). Please consult the UBC Calendar for dates and details for paying the registration deposit.

Q: How do the students choose their rotations?
A: Students meet with the Clinical Coordinator at various times during Term 1 to discuss a number of issues that relate to the selection of rotations, including sites of previous residency and/or work experience, nature of rotations, pool of preceptors, list of available mandatory and elective rotations and their descriptions. The Clinical Coordinator contacts all preceptors soliciting their availability for the up-coming cycle of rotations. Once these data are collected (typically mid-February), the Coordinator solicits students’ choices of elective rotations and proceeds to develop the rotation schedule by making scheduling decisions for mandatory rotations and matching students with their elective rotations. The Coordinator works to make final scheduling decisions to ensure that:

a. Available mandatory rotations in BC are used up prior to scheduling students for out-of-province rotations.
b. Whenever possible, out-of-town rotations are scheduled during the summer months to ensure student attendance at Academic 1⁄2 Day and for ease of scheduling of Oral Comprehensive Exams.

The rotation scheduling process, typically completed by the middle of March, will be explained in more detail during program orientation.

Q: Am I expected to be licensed in B.C. for my second year clinical rotations?
A: No. The College of Pharmacists of BC makes specific provisions for PharmD students who are performing pharmacist functions while under the supervision of licensed pharmacy preceptors. Refer to the current P533/534 Clerkship Rotation Guide under “Specific Policies” for details.  An ID/PW is required (provided at program start) to access the course files.

Q: What is the "Consent for Disclosure of Criminal Record Information"?
A: The UBC PharmD Program requires that each student have a criminal record search performed prior to the start of the second year, and sent to the Clinical Coordinator to remain on file for the duration of the year of rotations. The Clinical Coordinator will provide students with details on how to ensure the process is completed in a timely manner during program orientation. Students are responsible for the CAN ~$20.00 cost of their criminal record check.

Q: What immunization requirements exist for the Program?
A: Students must comply with the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences Immunization Policy by demonstrating record of compliance with all required immunizations. The process will be explained during program orientation.

Q: Will I require a specific ID badge for my second year rotations?
A: Yes. Each student will supply the Clinical Coordinator with a passport-size photo which will be used to develop student badges to be used as identification during the second year of rotations. The Clinical Coordinator will go over this requirement with the students as the end of the first year of the Program approaches.

Q: What is the Instructional Skills Workshop?
A: The UBC Centre for Teaching, Learning, and Technology will deliver an Instructional Skills Workshop (ISW) for PharmD and Pharmacy Graduate Students in August, prior to the start of the orientation week. This is a 3 day interactive workshop aimed at increasing graduate students’ confidence and ability in their teaching skills and their ability to apply new approaches in the delivery of presentations. All 1st Year PharmD students are required to attend this ISW normally scheduled  for the Friday, Saturday, and Sunday immediately prior to program Day 1 in August.

Tuition, Fellowships, and Awards

Q: What is the tuition for this program?
A: The total tuition fee (non-international students) is approximately CDN$46,688.70 for the 20-month program. Students receive a billing notice from UBC Finance for payment in 5 installments, the first of which is due in September. Please sign on to Student Services for further information as required. Students are advised of  their total tuition amount in their Letter of Admission in Spring prior to program start.

Q: Are funds available to defray tuition costs? 
A: Each year, the Program attempts to secure modest fellowship funds for students, and the amount varies from year to year.  It is approximately $2,500 paid in two installments (September and January) or three installments (September, January and March). 

Q: Are there any additional awards available to UBC PharmD students specifically?
A: Yes.  There are three such awards.

1. The CSHP BC Branch PharmD Award is provided annually to the student with the highest PHAR 501 final grade. Recipients must be CSHP members.

2. The Merck Frosst Pharmacy Doctoral Prize is awarded to the student standing at the head of the graduating class.

3. The Peter Jewesson Graduate Scholarship in Pharmacy is awarded to one or two second-year students who have outstanding professional leadership potential in clinical pharmacy.

4. The Dr Dario Albertson PharmD Scholarship is awarded to the top-ranked candidate in the program entry selection process.  

Students should also check with their provincial organizations to determine whether you qualify for any awards. Finally, talk with the second year students about their experiences with other award applications.

Q: What about other awards and financial aid?
A: Much information is available in the UBC Calendar and at Graduate Studies


Q: Do I need a UBC Card?
A: Yes. PharmD students need a UBC Card for a variety of things, including accessing the building. You will also need it to access student recreation facilities, events and discounts and to purchase prepaid e-Money at UBC businesses and food vendors  UBC Cards are obtained at the UBC Bookstore or online.  

Q: What parking facilities are available?

A: PharmD students are graduate student and therefore, are eligible for a faculty/staff parking pass.  Visit UBC Parking.

Q: What office space is available for PharmD students?
A: PharmD students have dedicated office and learning space in the new Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences building on the 3rd floor.  2405 Wesbrook Mall | Vancouver, BC  Canada | V6T 1Z3 

Q: What about building access?
A: PharmD students will require a UBC Card to access the building.  UBC Cards are obtained at the UBC Bookstore or online.

Q: What computer hardware and software should I purchase?
A: Students will need to have a mobile computer [notebook, iPad (preferably with bluetooth keyboard), or similar] to be able to complete the program. Please discuss with the Director, Clinical Coordinator, or consult with your 2nd year student colleagues if you have questions about this. The Faculty provides up to $300 to each student at the end of their program to offset costs associated with the purchase of a device or monthly ISP expenses if the student already possesses a device. Please keep your receipts.

Q: What about email?
A: Students require an active legitimate email account as prior to beginning the program and are advised to set up and use a UBC Student email.   If you change your current email address, please contact.  


Social Events

Q: What social events are pre-scheduled?
A: A number of social events are scheduled to provide the student with opportunities to meet other students and faculty.

  • A PharmD student-faculty get-together is held in August soon after program start.
  • Career Avenues Night is usually scheduled in late October to permit interested students to meet and discuss career choices. First year students traditionally man the PharmD program display. This evening event is coordinated each year to provide students the opportunity to talk with representatives from various career paths (e.g. academia, industry, community, hospital, associations, regulation). The first year PharmD class and the Director attend to answer questions about the program and ensure encourage students to consider a PharmD degree. This is a good opportunity to meet with Faculty members and undergraduate students.
  • many other social events are organized by the students and faculty

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