What is an Area of Emphasis?

An Area of Emphasis provides students with the opportunity to concentrate their elective courses and one or more experiential rotations in a specific area of study within pharmacy. An Area of Emphasis requires between six (6) to sixteen (16) credit hours. Each of the Areas of Emphasis available to Pharm.D. students are designed to be completed during the Pharm.D. program, and require no additional semesters of coursework. Successful completion of an Area of Emphasis will be indicated on the student’s transcript at graduation.

Currently, the School of Pharmacy offers three Areas of Emphasis for students. Please review the requirements for each program as application requirements vary for each of the programs.

Area of Emphasis in Clinical Pharmacy Practice

This program is designed to provide student pharmacists with the content and skills necessary to successfully complete post graduate year 1 (PGY-1) residency training and to enhance the clinical and professional development of student pharmacists as preparation for PGY- 1 residency training. Students complete a research project under the mentorship of a faculty member and present their research findings at a national meeting or publication in a peer-reviewed journal. Students apply to the program in the second year of the professional program through a competitive application process. 

Clinical Pharmacy Practice

Graduate Certificate in Gerontology

This program is offered as a collaborative program through the School of Social Work. It provides students an opportunity to explore the basic biological, psychological, and sociological processes of aging, the effects on needs and experiences of older people, and the impact of social policies related to human aging. Students can apply to the program in their first or second professional year through the School of Social Work. All courses in this program taught through the School of Social Work have been approved as electives by the WVU School of Pharmacy.

Certificate in Gerontology

Area of Emphasis in Research

This program is offered to students to expose them to the research process through research-related coursework and to engage future pharmacists in research relevant to the profession. The program will increase competitiveness for residency programs, further prepare individuals for academic careers, foster critical thinking and problem solving skills, and contribute to new knowledge to the profession of pharmacy. It is composed of core research courses that are approved as electives and which include a Pharmacy Research course, where students complete a research project under the guidance of a faculty mentor over one or several semesters. In addition, students may complete one experiential rotation in their fourth year that would be devoted to full-time research. Completion of an original research project and oral defense of the project are components of this pathway.