Introductory Pharmacy Practice Experience

Interact with patients and professionals during the School of Pharmacy IPPE program

USJ’s School of Pharmacy Introductory Pharmacy Practice Experience (IPPE) program allows you to interact with health care consumers (the patients) and health professionals (pharmacists, physicians, nurses, and others) in actual practice settings in the community and institutional settings.

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Under appropriate supervision and within practice regulations, this helps you acquire the knowledge necessary for providing patient-focused pharmaceutical care. These introductory experiences:

  • Begin very early in the curriculum
  • Are interfaced with didactic course work that provides an introduction to the profession
  • Continue in a progressive manner
  • Provide the foundation necessary to begin advanced pharmacy practice experiences in the P3 year


The IPPE program is composed of five segments. Four of these – IPPEs 1, 2, 4 and 5 – occur during the fall and spring semesters of the P1 and P2 years.

  • During these rotations, you spend one 8-hour day per week in either a community (retail) or institutional (hospital) pharmacy over a five-week period.
  • The class is divided into smaller groups of students (four in the P1 year and two in the P2 year).
  • One group is assigned to a retail pharmacy; another group is assigned to an institutional pharmacy.
  • You complete a total of 160 hours of pharmacy practice experience during these four rotations.

The fifth rotation, IPPE 3, occurs during the summer immediately following spring semester of the P1 year:

  • You spend 40 hours (eight hours a day for five days) per week in either a community or institutional pharmacy practice setting.
  • During this segment, you will complete 160 hours of experience.


  • IPPEs may only be completed in community and hospital pharmacy sites in Connecticut and surrounding communities who have affiliation agreements with the USJ School of Pharmacy and have preceptors in good standing with the Commission of Pharmacy.
  • All experiential components are intended to help students to integrate classroom training with actual pharmacy practice and may provide networking opportunities for future employment.
  • Preceptors must be licensed pharmacists in good standing and registered with the Connecticut Commission of Pharmacy.
  • Non-Connecticut preceptors must meet the requirements for the state in which they are licensed to practice.


Preceptors are an integral part of the student’s learning. They:

  • Facilitate educational outcomes
  • Provide guidance, assessment, and assistance
  • Supervise the pharmacy-related tasks students perform during the day
  • Assess student performance following each experience
  • Help ensure USJ’s School of Pharmacy graduates competent pharmacists prepared to deal with the demands and rewards of contemporary pharmacy practice

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