Pacific launching immersive preparation program for pharmacy licensure exams

a professor stands next to a table with three seated students

University of the Pacific is launching a first-of-its-kind three-week immersive preparation program for newly minted graduates of the Thomas J. Long School of Pharmacy to prepare them for the state and national pharmacy licensure exams.

Pacific is creating the program in response to declines in passage rates among graduates of all California pharmacy schools, particularly for the California licensure exam, which has seen passage rates plummet from 91% to 61% in recent years. Graduates of Doctor of Pharmacy degree programs must pass both examinations to work as a pharmacist in California.

Pacific is offering the unique three-week residential program–along with on-campus housing adjacent to pharmacy classrooms and labs–free of charge for all PharmD graduates of the Thomas J. Long School of Pharmacy.

“At Pacific, our No. 1 goal is always the success of our students in all disciplines,” said interim Dean Berit Gundersen. “This exciting new post-graduate program is a tremendous opportunity for our new graduates to receive the extra preparation–and confidence–that will help them pass the licensure exams.”

Professor Raj Patel, who is leading the preparation program, said the new Pacific program will be distinctive in pharmacy education. 

“Preparatory courses that exist today are very expensive, less intensive and shorter in duration,” he said. “Our program–and accompanying app–will provide a more comprehensive review of material intentionally designed for our students to make sure they get the most benefit and place them in the best position to succeed.”

This new program complements other resources already available to pharmacy students at Pacific. “Rx Prep” is fully integrated in the year-long Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experiences Capstone courses taken by all students in their third year to give them an early start preparing for licensure exams.

The program will start shortly after the school’s May 13 commencement.

The Thomas J. Long School of Pharmacy has been a long-time leader in pharmacy education. The school was established in 1955, becoming only the third pharmacy school in California at the time.