Midwestern University Chicago College of Pharmacy

Midwestern University Chicago College of Pharmacy is celebrating its 25th year of providing pharmacy education.

Downers Grove, Illinois

Founded: 1991

Class Size: Around 200

Midwestern University Chicago College of Pharmacy (CCP) is celebrating its 25th year of providing pharmacy education.

Over the years, the college has swelled its alumni ranks to 3500 pharmacists who practice in all areas of pharmacy across the nation.

“While the campus has changed over the past 25 years, our core values of learning and discovery, professionalism and excellence, and collegiality remain true,” Nancy Fjortoft, PhD, Midwestern University CCP dean and professor, told Pharmacy Times. “Our faculty are committed to these values and to helping our students embrace these values while at Midwestern University and throughout their career.

Dr. Fjortoft provided Pharmacy Times with a closer look into what Midwestern University CCP offers to students interested in pharmacy school.

A: Midwestern University was founded in 1900 as a medical school. To this day, health care education is all we do and now includes pharmacy, dentistry, optometry, physical therapy, and many more graduate-level professional programs.

In the fall, CCP is rolling out a revised curriculum to meet the new Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education standards for the Doctor of Pharmacy program. The revised curriculum features a professional development course sequence, a clinical skills and simulation course sequence, as well as more interprofessional learning opportunities.

In addition, our students complete all degree requirements by the end of February, which will enable them to get a head start on their careers.

Q: What is the teaching style or philosophy?

A: Our faculty are the cornerstone of our pharmacy program. Students are mentored by a CCP faculty adviser and also work in small groups with other students in order to collaborate on projects, complete assignments, and build communications and teamwork skills.

Our curriculum integrates content from multiple disciplines, and our Introductory Pharmacy Practice Experiences are woven into the first through third years of the program. The fourth professional year provides immersion in hands-on learning at diverse clinical rotation sites all over the Chicago area, including major medical centers. Out-of-state and international rotation sites are also available on a limited basis.

Q: What are some community outreach activities or programs the school participates in? What volunteer opportunities are available to students?

A: There are numerous opportunities for our students to get involved in the 20 pharmacy-related student organizations, as well as campus-wide special interest groups. All of our organizations reach out to serve the community in various ways. We have 2 pharmacy student organizations that have won national awards for their service to those who need it most.

The university is committed to community service in Illinois. It has been recognized for 7 years in a row with the President’s Award for outstanding community service.

Q: What opportunities do students have for internships or co-ops?

A: In developing our revised curriculum, it was our priority to maintain free summers for our students after their first and second years in the program, so that they have ample opportunity to engage in learning opportunities outside of the classroom, which include summer internships, exchange programs, and faculty-led/mentored research opportunities. We also facilitate searches for these opportunities.

Q: What advice do you have for students who will graduate this year?

A: Leverage all of your experiences outside the classroom to your advantage. Use the leadership experiences you gained in student organizations to show that you can lead when needed. Network with alumni whenever you have the opportunity.

In addition, keep in touch with the faculty who mentored you. They will always have helpful advice.