Cedarville University School of Pharmacy

December 19, 2014

"Game changers" was the phrase Cedarville University School of Pharmacy Dean Marc Sweeney, PharmD, MDiv, used to describe his students.

Cedarville, Ohio

Founded: 2012

Class Size: 50

“Game changers” was the phrase Cedarville University School of Pharmacy Dean Marc Sweeney, PharmD, MDiv, used to describe his students.

The Christian learning community places an emphasis on nurturing tomorrow’s leaders in the pharmacy industry, Dr. Sweeney told Pharmacy Times. He said his school equips society with frontrunners who will identify gaps of care and create the positions, organizations, and companies that will fill those gaps. Dr. Sweeney maintained that his students will impact not only patients, but the profession and health care system as a whole.

Prospective students with strong faith may be attracted to the school’s daily chapels with biblical teaching and discipleship groups, where students can have open discussions, pray, and study the Bible.

Students who enter the pre-pharmacy program can earn a BS in pharmaceutical sciences after completing their first professional year of the PharmD program. Typically, incoming freshmen are part of a 7-year program in which the first 3 years are pre-pharmacy studies and the remaining 4 years follow professional pharmacy curriculum that culminates with a BS, PharmD, and a Bible minor. The school launched its pre-pharmacy program in 2009 and the professional program in 2012.

A PharmD and MBA dual-degree program is also available to Cedarville students.

Dr. Sweeney said academic standards are high at the pharmacy school, and its website lists the average GPA of its professional students as a 3.41.

In terms of internships and co-ops, students have a variety of choices in the region among pharmaceutical companies, pharmacies, hospitals, and clinics, according to Dr. Sweeney.

Students may also volunteer to serve in regional free clinics and pharmacies, international mission work, and collaborative projects with medical and nursing students. A recent article from the school referenced students providing flu vaccines to hospital employees. In its partnership with local hospitals, the pharmacy school does not charge a hospital for the students’ services.

“As a new school of pharmacy, we are always looking for ways to meet the needs of our community partners. It is our mission. That is who we are,” said Thad Franz, RPh, PharmD, assistant professor of pharmacy and director of experiential programs, in a school press release. “We want our students leaving here with a heart to meet needs here and around the world.”

Q: Dr. Sweeney, what advice do you have for students who will graduate this year?

A: There has never been a more exciting time to be part of the profession of pharmacy. The health care system has changed significantly in recent years, and this change has created significant challenges. Students graduating this year should consider embracing challenges as opportunities. Rather than react to challenges, embrace the challenges. For every position you create, you do not compete for that position.

Q: What is unique about your school/program?

A: Cedarville University School of Pharmacy is a unique, Christian learning community with biblical education, ethical deliberation, and service to underserved populations integrated into the curriculum. All students are required to take a business and leadership course during their third professional year. Because of this environment, the relationships between students and between students and faculty are very strong and encouraging.

Q: What is the teaching style or philosophy?

A: The teaching style includes significant active learning, team-based learning, team teaching, and simulation training. A variety of teaching styles are strategically implemented to engage a variety of learning styles.