Experiential Learning

At the University of Cincinnati's James L. Winkle College of Pharmacy, experiential learning is more than just a component of the curriculum; it's a transformative journey that prepares students to excel in the dynamic field of pharmacy. With a focus on hands-on practice, dedicated preceptors, and a commitment to excellence, our experiential program stands out as a beacon of pharmacy education. 

Hands-On Learning in the Skills Lab

Step into a world of practical learning excellence within our state-of-the-art Skills Lab. Here, students undergo immersive hands-on experiences, especially in simulated community and hospital pharmacy environments. These carefully crafted settings serve as the ideal bridge between theoretical knowledge and practical application. In our mock community and hospital pharmacy settings, students:

  • Simulated Community and Hospital Pharmacies: Step into realistic pharmacy settings equipped with actual dispensing systems, comprehensive drug inventories, and counseling bays. Engage in role-playing exercises and patient interactions to hone your pharmacy practice skills.
  • Advanced Compounding Lab: Master the art of pharmaceutical compounding using cutting-edge equipment, including electronic balances, capsule filling machines, and more.
  • Patient Care Simulation Activities: Enhance your patient care skills in breakout rooms equipped with simulation manikins. Practice blood pressure assessment, diagnostic sample collection, and cardiopulmonary resuscitation to develop your clinical expertise.
  • Pharmacy Practice Skills Development (PPSD) Course Series: Participate in our comprehensive PPSD course series spanning all three professional years. Gain exposure to diverse pharmacy practice environments, including community, hospital, ambulatory care, compounding, palliative care, specialty, and more.
  • Industry-Recognized Certifications: Complete the American Pharmacists Association (APhA) Pharmacy-Based Immunization Delivery certificate program and explore the option of pursuing APhA's Pharmacy and Patient-Centered Diabetes Care certificate training program. These certifications enhance your skillset and make you stand out in the job market.

Our commitment to maintaining the influence of history and traditions in our curriculum ensures that our students receive a comprehensive education that combines the best of the past with the innovation of the future. This balanced approach is what sets our College of Pharmacy apart and prepares our graduates for successful careers in pharmacy.

Year-by-Year Experiential Highlights

This experiential journey begins with Introductory Pharmacy Practice Experiences in the first three years of the curriculum, followed by Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experiences in the fourth year.

  • P1 Year: Early Professional Summer Shadow Experience
    In the P1 year, students embark on an Early Professional Experience during the summer before officially entering the College of Pharmacy. This experience includes shadowing at both community and institutional sites for one day, where students engage in reflective assignments. These early experiences set the stage for their pharmacy education and career path.
  • P2 Year: Ambulatory/Institutional Introductory Pharmacy Practice Experience
    During the P2 year, students undergo a two-week-long immersion IPPE in both community and institutional settings. They gain hands-on training and real-world exposure to sharpen their professional skills. This dual-setting approach provides a holistic view of pharmacy practice.
  • P3 Year: Peer-Mentored Introductory Pharmacy Practice Experience
    The P3 year introduces a peer-mentored IPPE, where students are paired with P4 PharmD students. They spend time together in advanced pharmacy practice experiences, ensuring a well-rounded exposure. Students accomplish various learning objectives and engage in activities that align with their career goals.
  • P4 Year: Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experiences
    The pinnacle of the experiential program is the P4 year, where students undertake full-time practical experiences. These experiences not only earn academic credit but also contribute towards internship hours required for licensure. Students participate in nine 1-month APPEs at a diverse range of sites, ensuring comprehensive exposure.

APPE Core Rotations

  • Hospital Medicine
  • Hospital Medical-Surgical Specialty
  • Ambulatory Care Clinic
  • Community Pharmacy
  • Health-System Drug Policy Development/Medication Safety Management
  • Direct Patient Care Elective

Advanced Elective Rotations
Students have the opportunity to delve into practice settings that align with their individual interests. These rotations provide additional learning experiences, allowing students to become well-rounded practitioners.

The Cosmetic Science program at the University of Cincinnati's James L. Winkle College of Pharmacy is renowned for its global reach and commitment to innovation. We prioritize practical, hands-on experiences that enrich students' understanding of cosmetic formulation and product development. Our state-of-the-art facilities, coupled with dedicated instructors, equip students with the skills and knowledge essential for success in the dynamic cosmetic industry. Here's an overview of our program:

  • Flexible Online Learning: Our Cosmetic Science programs offer online courses in an asynchronous format, providing students worldwide with convenient access to course materials and lectures, catering to a diverse student body, with over 70% balancing full-time employment with their studies.
  • Hands-On Training: Recognizing the importance of practical experience in cosmetic science, we introduce intensive one-week lab courses on our Cincinnati campus.
  • Comprehensive Training: In our cosmetic formulations lab, students start with fundamental measurement and characterization techniques, progressing to formulate various products like emulsions, creams, gels, and face masks. They explore diverse formulation and characterization techniques, gaining insights into ingredient selection and their advantages and disadvantages.
  • Creating Real Products: Each student has the opportunity to develop their unique cosmetic product, utilizing a wide range of active ingredients available in the lab. The experience includes in-vivo skin measurements, covering aspects like skin hydration, color, and elasticity.
  • Exploring New Approaches: These hands-on experiences push students beyond their comfort zones, encouraging them to experiment with fresh ingredients and techniques. This enriches their learning, enhances problem-solving skills, and fosters creativity.

Laboratory Facilities

Our program boasts a modern and well-equipped laboratory space designed to simulate real-world cosmetic formulation environments. This facility includes cutting-edge equipment and resources tailored to cosmetic science, allowing students to delve into the intricacies of product creation. Key features of our laboratory space include:

  • Cosmetic Formulation Lab: Equipped with advanced tools such as electronic balances, capsule filling machines, electronic mortar and pestle, and an ointment mill, this lab enables students to master the art of cosmetic product formulation.
  • Cosmetic Characterization Lab: Here, students can explore various measurement and characterization techniques, gaining insights into product quality and performance.

One-Week Intensive Lab Courses

As part of our dedication to hands-on learning, our one-week intensive lab courses, held on campus, provide students with a unique opportunity to apply their theoretical knowledge in a practical setting. These immersive experiences encompass a wide range of activities, including:

  • Formulating cosmetic products such as emulsions, creams, lotions, gels, deodorant sticks, face masks, shampoos, and hair conditioners.
  • Learning about ingredient selection and the advantages and disadvantages of various components in cosmetic formulations.
  • Conducting product characterization and measurement techniques, including in-vivo skin assessments.

These intensive lab courses challenge students to step out of their comfort zones, encouraging them to experiment with new ingredients and techniques. This practical approach significantly enriches their understanding of cosmetic science and product development. The schedule is intensive, spanning from 9 AM on Monday to 5 PM on Friday of that week.

Global Reach and Industry-Relevant Training

Our Cosmetic Science program is designed to accommodate students from around the world. Our asynchronous online coursework allows students to access lectures at their convenience, making it ideal for those working full-time or studying from a distance. Approximately 70% of our students are working professionals, and our flexible format ensures accessibility.

To complement online learning, we offer one-week intensive lab courses in Cincinnati, attracting students from diverse geographical backgrounds. These on-campus experiences provide essential hands-on training, bridging the gap between theory and practice.

Enhancement Through Strategic Partnerships

At the University of Cincinnati's James L. Winkle College of Pharmacy, we prioritize enriching our students' experiential learning through strategic partnerships. Located in the vibrant Cincinnati-Dayton-Northern Kentucky metropolitan area, we've established collaborations with local pharmacies and health systems that set us apart from traditional co-op programs.

Our partnerships seamlessly align with our curriculum, offering students access to cutting-edge facilities where they work alongside fellow healthcare professionals. This interprofessional approach ensures that our graduates emerge well-rounded and prepared for dynamic healthcare careers.

Additionally, we stay industry-relevant by collaborating with organizations like PCPC to launch innovative programs, such as the Graduate Certificate in Hygienic Manufacturing of Cosmetic Products. These initiatives equip students with practical skills, meeting industry demands and reinforcing our commitment to comprehensive, industry-aligned education.

Notable Success Stories and Outcomes

Our experiential program has yielded numerous success stories that showcase the tangible benefits of hands-on learning. Students who have completed our program emerge as confident and competent pharmacy practitioners, well-prepared for their careers.

Through our experiential program, students have achieved:

  • Clinical Competence: Our hands-on experiences have honed students' clinical skills, enabling them to participate in patient care in various settings actively. This competence extends to managing patients with diverse diseases, disorders, symptoms, and complications.
  • Professional Growth: Experiential learning encourages personal growth and professionalism among our students. They engage in direct patient care, management, and professional service activities, all of which contribute to their overall development.
  • Innovation: Students in our program participate in the development, implementation, and evaluation of innovative pharmaceutical care models within traditional pharmacy settings. This exposure fosters innovation and helps advance the pharmacy profession.
  • Global Reach: The breadth of our experiential program attracts students from around the world, making it a globally recognized initiative. We provide online coursework that accommodates diverse schedules, while our one-week intensive lab courses held in Cincinnati offer valuable hands-on experience. These intensive courses have garnered interest from students worldwide, adding to the program's global appeal.

Our experiential program prepares students not just for their careers but for leadership roles in the evolving healthcare landscape. It's a testament to our commitment to providing a well-rounded education that combines practical skills training with a deep understanding of the profession's history and evolution.

Staying at the Forefront of the Industry

With a history dating back to 1973, our program has maintained its position as the largest globally, attracting students and faculty from prestigious industry organizations, including P&G, Kao, Unilever, Mary Kay, Pfizer, L'Oréal, Johnson & Johnson, Estée Lauder, and more. We continually update our course materials and expand our offerings to incorporate the latest research and industry trends, ensuring that our students are well-prepared to excel in the dynamic field of cosmetic science. Our strong collaborations with professional organizations like the Society of Cosmetic Chemists and Personal Care Product Council further contribute to our program's success. Join our Cosmetic Science program to gain the practical skills and industry knowledge needed for a rewarding career in the world of cosmetics.

The mission of the College's Office of Experiential Education is clear: to provide students with various pharmacy practice experiences in progressive settings, guided by high-quality preceptors. These experiences not only prepare students to practice at the highest level but also to become sought-after practitioners in the ever-evolving healthcare landscape.

The vision is equally ambitious, aiming to develop a premier experiential program that garners national recognition for its excellence in training, practice, service, and scholarship. This vision is powered by the dedication of preceptors and faculty members who are committed to advancing pharmacy practice and improving community health.

The experiential program serves a crucial purpose: to prepare students for pharmacy practice. It does so by immersing them in various facets of pharmacy practice and healthcare systems. Students gain invaluable experience serving diverse patient populations, applying classroom knowledge to real-world scenarios. The program nurtures the development of students into skilled pharmacy practitioners who can assess therapeutic problems, recommend optimal drug regimens, and provide pharmaceutical care in a patient-centered manner.

A Glimpse into Our Profound Heritage

Stepping into the Winkle College of Pharmacy is like taking a journey through the rich history of our noble profession. We believe in understanding how pharmacology and pharmacy practice have evolved over time, and our commitment to preserving this history is evident through various historical displays gracing our campus. Many of these invaluable artifacts and items were generously donated by our dedicated alumni and those closely connected to the college.

The Changing Face of Pharmacy

Pharmacy has undergone remarkable transformations, and our students embark on a captivating journey of discovery as they explore these advancements throughout their coursework. We hope that the stories of our profession's evolution will inspire our students to become catalysts for change and lead our field into an even brighter future.

Historical Displays at Your Fingertips

During your visit to the college, don't miss the opportunity to explore our historical display cases thoughtfully located throughout Kowalewski Hall. These showcases illuminate different facets of pharmacy's rich past, offering fascinating insights into our profession's growth and development.

  • Main Lobby Displays: Discover unique items reflecting the history of the college and Cincinnati itself. These include artifacts from local pharmacies and past manufacturers like Lloyd Brothers, Merrell, and Dow. The displays also feature old class notes, laboratory supplies, and graduation memorabilia, offering a glimpse into our institutional heritage.
  • Third-Floor Hall Displays: Here, you'll find two display cases preserved from a mid-1800s pharmacy, integrated into the building itself to ensure that our heritage is cherished for generations to come. One case showcases dispensing bottles that were once a staple in pharmacies until the mid-1900s, known for their decorative designs and labels safeguarded beneath a layer of glass. The other cabinet proudly houses our collection of Schering Plough Commemorative Mortar and Pestles, a series that commemorates significant figures and milestones in pharmacy history.
  • Room 360 - The Third-Floor Conference Room: This space houses a wall adorned with display cases, each containing notable medications, compounding equipment, and reference books from pharmacy's bygone eras. You'll also find two magnificent mid-1800s hanging show globes, complete with their original wall brackets, which were once symbolic of pharmacy in the past, akin to the "Rx" symbol and mortar and pestle that we recognize today. 

Our commitment to preserving and sharing the history of our profession is a testament to the enduring legacy of experiential learning at the College of Pharmacy. As we honor our past, we inspire our students to shape a future where pharmacy continues to evolve and thrive.

Preserving Legacy and Connecting Generations

The Winkle College of Pharmacy, as the fifth oldest college of pharmacy in the United States, proudly carries forward a rich legacy dating back to 1850 when it was situated atop a downtown Cincinnati pharmacy. This tradition of excellence in pharmacist education remains a guiding force in shaping our curriculum and enhancing the student experience.

One of the hallmarks of our heritage is our extensive alumni network. These dedicated individuals actively engage with our college, providing invaluable contributions to our students' education. Alumni serve as IPPE and APPE preceptors, mentors, and guest speakers, generously sharing their insights and experiences. Our students have frequent opportunities to interact with these esteemed alumni, gaining wisdom from their journey in the pharmaceutical field.

This enduring connection between past and present strengthens our commitment to providing a well-rounded and forward-looking education in pharmacy. It instills in our students a deep appreciation for the college's history while equipping them with the knowledge and skills needed to lead the profession into the future.