Philosophy of the Curriculum

The educational philosophy of the Doctor of Pharmacy program at Ferris State University aligns with the College mission to educate and support professionals who positively influence and impact the health outcomes of the people they serve. Built from the Doctor of Pharmacy ability-based outcomes designed to prepare students with the knowledge, skills and behaviors necessary to meet this mission, the curriculum provides students with a balanced foundation in the biomedical, pharmaceutical, social and administrative, and clinical sciences. Integration of these sciences throughout the didactic curriculum, co-curricular activities and a progressive experiential sequence ranging from rural corner drug stores to urban level I trauma centers, culminates in a learning experience that is balanced, patient-focused, team-based and diverse. A variety of learning and assessment techniques are strategically integrated throughout the program to ensure students’ progressive attainment of the ability-based outcomes. Methods utilized to facilitate student learning include: lecture, case studies, simulation, written assignments, reflections, presentations, and formative, summative and clinical examinations. Upon successful completion of the curriculum, graduates are prepared to be responsible, lifelong learners who are able to practice as entry-level pharmacist practitioners in any setting.

Upon completions of the foundational sciences of pharmacy, the student is then transitioned to the clinical science of pharmacotherapeutics. Pharmacotherapeutics deals with how we clinically apply drug therapy to a given disease state in the context of the patient. Each patient possesses a unique set of characteristics (age, gender, genetics, additional disease states, organ function, etc.), which must be considered when selecting drug therapy. The pharmacy student learns to make drug therapy recommendations with consideration of these characteristics. In addition to the clinical sciences, students learn valuable communication, drug literature evaluation, pharmacy management, pharmacy law and practice skills.

The classroom and laboratory education and training is augmented with over 1,700 hours of field experience for each student in an array of pharmacy practice settings including a rich balance between community-based and institutional (e.g. hospital) sites. Elective experiences also exist in a diversity of pharmacy settings including:

  • How complex biochemical systems of the human body operate and how medications and their chemical properties can be used to modify these processes.

  • The identification of how the structure of organic molecules affect how they will act on the human body; as well as the design and synthesis of unique new molecules to treat specific human diseases. In other words, how drug products are "put together" at the molecular level.

  • The study of how molecular compounds interact with human physiologic processes. Every drug we take affects most, if not all human organ systems. In pharmacology, we study this interaction.

  • How drug products and drug delivery systems are built. This discipline deals with the process of how a new drug molecule is incorporated into a dosage form (e.g. tablet, capsule, transdermal patch, inhalation, injectables) to deliver it safely and effectively to the human body.
  • How the human body absorbs, distributes, metabolizes and eliminates medications.