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University of Colorado Denver

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Curriculum Detail by Year

Year 1


Fall Semester

PHRD 5000: Introduction to Pharmacy (2 Credits)

PHRD 5000: Introduction to Pharmacy (2 Credits)

The Introduction to Pharmacy course is a first year, two credit course that is completed within the first seven days of the pharmacy curriculum. During this time, first year pharmacy students are the only pharmacy students on campus and the focus of the course and the faculty is preparing the new students with everything they need to be successful in the pharmacy curriculum and profession. The course includes logistical items such as getting set up with computer access, electronic access to courses, the library and email, meeting all first year course directors, getting an overview of the courses, meeting fellow classmates and learning about the campus and school. The course also includes important introductions to the policies, procedures and resources associated with student life such as the academic advancement policies, the student ethics and conduct code and tutoring programs. One half day of the course is devoted to small group activities involving the first year health profession students from all disciplines on the campus (nursing, dental, medicine, physical therapy, etc) to begin their journey as part of interdisciplinary health care teams. Students have opportunities to learn about extracurricular pharmacy related activities such as involvement in any of the more than ten pharmacy profession, student governance or campus related organizations and activities. Finally, students obtain important information about their transition to becoming a part of the pharmacy profession by participating with members and staff of the Colorado State Board of Pharmacy and applying for their licensure as a practicing intern pharmacist. The course culminates in a formal White Coat Ceremony that welcomes and celebrates the students’ entry into the profession. Family members and friends are invited to join this celebration and the welcome picnic that follows.

PHRD 5100: Professional Skills Development I (3 Credits)

PHRD 5100: Professional Skills Development I (3 Credits)

This one-semester course is the first in a five-semester longitudinal course sequence intended to develop a broad range of skills necessary for current and future pharmacy practice. It is designed to parallel the didactic portion of the curriculum, integrating and applying essential knowledge, skills and attitudes required for a successful professional career. It is formatted to prepare students for more complex patient case scenarios presented in Comprehensive Patient Care (in semester 6) and in pharmacy practice.

PHRD 5200: Professional Career Development (1 Credit)

PHRD 5200: Professional Career Development (1 Credit)

The goal of this course is to introduce students to selected opportunities and issues related to professional careers in pharmacy. This course will therefore consist of a series of presentations by faculty and guest lecturers highlighting the multifaceted scope of contemporary pharmacy practice. These presentations will address practice and career opportunities as well as requirements, issues and challenges related to that professional area. These presentations will provide students with a basic, early perspective on various career options and alternative practice settings.

PHRD 5300: Experiential Practice I (1 Credit)

PHRD 5300: Experiential Practice I (1 Credit)

The objective of the four-year experiential program, in combination with all other courses in the curriculum, is to educate students to think and act as independent pharmacy practitioners. The primary strategy used in experiential training to achieve that objective is to give students increasing levels of responsibility for patient care throughout the program in a variety of practice settings. Students will encounter multiple and varied problems in all experiential courses and success in experiential training is largely measured by the way in which they demonstrate the characteristics of an independent learner in dealing with those problems. Preceptors are mentors responsible for coaching students rather than providing instruction. The benefit gained by each student from experiential education is directly related to the extent the student takes direct responsibility for her/his own learning.

PHRD 5400: Principles of Drug Information (1 Credit)

PHRD 5400: Principles of Drug Information (1 Credit)

This course is designed to introduce concepts and skills required to locate and interpret drug information literature and to respond to drug information requests in an efficient manner. Proficiency in utilization of these resources is a process. Outside practice on resources introduced will maximize the benefit received from this course. Skills introduced here will be an asset throughout your career. Course content will include the structure of the biomedical literature, an explanation of the hierarchy of medical literature and the process of systematic searching for drug information, basic evaluation skills of medical literature, and an understanding of the pharmacist’s role and responsibilities as a provider of drug information.

PHRD 5410: Public Health, Health Economics and Policy (2 Credits)

PHRD 5410: Public Health, Health Economics and Policy (2 Credits)

Knowledge of key concepts of health care economics is essential for successful career development. The purpose of this course is to introduce students to these concepts, and to provide the background necessary for future courses concerning the structure and financing of health care, technology assessment, public health, and health policy.

PHRD 5500: Pharmacy Law and Management (3 Credits)

PHRD 5500: Pharmacy Law and Management (3 Credits)

Legal and ethical issues in pharmacy practice are presented in this course in both lecture and discussion group formats. The course begins with an introduction to law, including the Constitution, the role of laws and regulations, the judicial system and process, and administrative agencies, with emphasis on regulation of business in general and pharmacy practice in particular.

PHRD 5600: Science Foundation I: Chemistry and Pharmaceutics (3 Credits)

PHRD 5600: Science Foundation I: Chemistry and Pharmaceutics (3 Credits)

The main goal of this course is to relate general principles of chemistry and energetics (thermodynamics and kinetics) to drug stability and bioavailability, pharmacologic action, and interactions with biological macromolecules.

PHRD 5610: Science Foundation II: Biochemistry and Cell Functions (4 Credits)

PHRD 5610: Science Foundation II: Biochemistry and Cell Functions (4 Credits)

The goals of this course are to build a strong knowledge base in biochemistry and cell biology, link biochemical principles to cellular function, describe how various diseases and errors in metabolism relate to biochemical defects in the cell, examine how selected drug-biomolecule interactions result in altered cellular metabolism, and recognize the processes that regulate cell communication and homeostasis. At the completion of this course, students should have a strong knowledge base regarding these concepts and should be able to apply them to more advanced topics in pharmacy practice.

Spring Semester

PHRD 5150: Professional Skills Development II (3 Credits)

PHRD 5150: Professional Skills Development II (3 Credits)

This one-semester course is the second in a five-semester longitudinal course sequence intended to develop a broad range of skills necessary for current and future pharmacy practice. It is designed to parallel the didactic portion of the curriculum, integrating and applying essential knowledge, skills and attitudes required for a successful professional career. It is formatted to prepare students for more complex patient case scenarios presented in Comprehensive Patient Care (in semester 6).

PHRD 5350: Experiential Practice II (1 Credit)

PHRD 5350: Experiential Practice II (1 Credit)

The objective of the four-year experiential program, in combination with all other courses in the curriculum, is to educate students to think and act as independent pharmacy practitioners. The primary strategy used in experiential training to achieve this objective is to expose students in various practice settings to multiple expected and unexpected problems. Success in experiential training is largely measured by the way in which students recognize, and think and act in response to these problems.

PHRD 5450: US Health Care Systems (2 Credits)

PHRD 5450: US Health Care Systems (2 Credits)

The goal of the course is to educate students about the complexities of the health care delivery system. With an increasing emphasis on prescription medications, now, more than ever, pharmacists are an integral part of the health care system. Subsequently they are required to understand what the optimal goals of the health care system, how it functions, who are the major stakeholders, how does it compare to other international systems and what are the role of pharmacists in this system. In addition, pharmacists need to be familiar with various terminology used in the current health care system as it relates to pricing of medications, structure of health care providers, models of health care delivery and the management of pharmaceutical benefits.

PHRD 5550: Health Care Ethics: Interdisciplinary (0.65 Credit)

PHRD 5550: Health Care Ethics: Interdisciplinary (0.65 Credit)

This course is the first of the two semester series in health care ethics. The course introduces students to key aspects of professional codes of ethics in addition to the identification of various ethical dimensions of heath care. Moreover, the course introduces students to central values, principles and virtues and how they apply in professional practice with the help of group discussions.

PHRD 5650: Principles of Drug Action (4.5 Credits)

PHRD 5650: Principles of Drug Action (4.5 Credits)

This course aims to introduce the student to basic pharmacodynamic and pharmacokinetic determinants of drug action, drug interactions, and the genetic basis for inter-individual differences in drug efficacy and toxicity. In addition, comprehensive aspects of medicinal chemistry will be covered for a number of therapeutic categories of drug agents.

PHRD 5750: Integrated Organ Systems I: Physiology (4 Credits)

PHRD 5750: Integrated Organ Systems I: Physiology (4 Credits)

This course introduces students to human physiology through a systematic study of the nervous, motor, cardiovascular, renal, endocrine and gastrointestinal systems. A dominant theme of this course is emphasis on the mechanisms involved in homeostasis and how various organ systems interact to maintain homeostasis. Integration of information in this course will enable the student to comprehend normal physiological function and the impact of disease processes or drug treatment on tissue and organ function.

PHRD 5760: Integrated Organ Systems II: Autonomics and Autacoids (3 Credits)

PHRD 5760: Integrated Organ Systems II: Autonomics and Autacoids (3 Credits)

The autonomic nervous system (ANS), autacoids and inflammatory mechanisms represent important regulators of homeostasis under physiological and pathophysiological conditions. Consequently, they impact many organ systems in the body. This course is intended to provide the student with an understanding of (i) the physiology and pathophysiology of the autonomic nervous system, the somatic nervous system, autacoids and cellular responses to injury, (ii) the mechanisms by which drugs influence these systems, and (iii) the therapeutic applications of drugs which influence or mimic these systems.