University of Tennessee Health Science Center College of Pharmacy


Be the change you wish to see in health care.

Memphis, Nashville, and Knoxville, Tennessee

Founded: 1898

Class size: Around 180

Be the change you wish to see in health care.

That’s the advice of University of Tennessee Health Science Center College of Pharmacy (UTCOP) dean Marie Chisholm-Burns, PharmD, MPH, MBA.

In an interview with Pharmacy Careers, Dr. Chisholm-Burns recommended that pharmacy students dare to take the road less traveled and set themselves apart from others though educational paths, experiences, and networking.

“Focus on promoting relationships and excellence,” she advised.

UTCOP carries a reputation of excellence of its own. U.S. News & World Report ranked the school 17th among the country’s Doctor of Pharmacy programs in 2012.

Q: What is unique about your school/program?

A: Student pharmacists at UTCOP can experience our exceptional program at 1 of 3 campuses across the state of Tennessee.

After the first academic year in Memphis, students have the opportunity to continue their didactic coursework in Memphis, Nashville, or Knoxville. They then go on to complete their degree with 1.5 years of advanced pharmacy practice experience offered at locations across the state, the nation, and abroad.

Our excellent faculty and staff prepare student pharmacists to be successful, whatever their career path. Our student pharmacists have a very strong track record matching for institutional postgraduate residency programs, and the university supports a statewide community pharmacy residency program, as well.

All student pharmacists earn American Pharmacists Association (APhA) certification for medication therapy management and immunizations as part of our curriculum. Student pharmacists can further enhance their pharmacy education by enrolling in one of several dual degree or certificate programs we offer.

Those programs are:

• PharmD/PhD, PharmD/MBA, and PharmD/Master in Health Informatics and Information Management dual degrees

• Health Informatics and Information Management Certificate

• Nuclear Pharmacy Certificate

Q: What is the teaching style or philosophy?

A: UTCOP uses a variety of [styles of] pedagogy in the delivery of our curriculum. The specific teaching method employed is individualized to subject matter to enhance student learning.

Some teaching methods include lecture, recitation, and small-group, team-based learning. In addition, clinical simulation using standardized patients, standardized colleagues, and high-fidelity manikins provides student pharmacists with opportunities for application of knowledge and skills.

We are committed to enhancing curricular and cocurricular experiences involving interprofessional education among student pharmacists and students enrolled at the 5 other colleges that make up the University of Tennessee Health Science Center, which include nursing, dentistry, medicine, health professions, and graduate health sciences.

Finally, the college and its faculty are committed to providing as much experiential learning as possible. Student pharmacists are assigned patients as early as the first professional year and conclude their education with 13-month-long pharmacy practice experiences.

Q: What are some community outreach activities or programs the school participates in?

Our leadership-track students, with introductory pharmacy practice experiences and advanced pharmacy practice experiences, work toward possible internships. Our research component also allows for possible internships in laboratories, especially during the summer months.

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

Our 2 largest student organizations, the Student National Pharmaceutical Association (SNPhA) and APhA—Academy of Student Pharmacists (APhA-ASP), are instrumental in providing community outreach activities and give our student pharmacists the opportunity to make a difference.

• SNPhA 2014-2015:

Shot@Life fundraiser earned recognition as the top fundraising chapter in the nation.

Hosted 190 events.

Participated in all 6 SNPhA national initiatives, reaching thousands of patients in our communities across the state:

• APhA-ASP 2014-2015:

Operation Heart: screened 1383 patients for hypertension, 60 for hyperlipidemia, and 266 for overall cardiac risk. Students also provided diet and lifestyle modification education to 363 patients.

Operation Immunization: immunized 6812 patients and reached another 411 through education.

Operation Diabetes: reached 670 patients through diabetes education and counseling.

Advocacy events: bus ads and billboards for American Pharmacist Month, plus World AIDS Day participation.

Community Service events: Compounding Day and Northhaven Elementary Career Fair.

Fundraising events: Race for the Summitt (Memphis and Knoxville) for Pat Summitt Foundation

to benefit Alzheimer’s research, raising around $10,000 total. Also, the PARscription Golf Tournaments (Memphis and Knoxville) and fundraising for chapter activities, raising around $8000 total.

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

Student pharmacists can choose from more than 50 different types of advanced practice experiences with more than 300 preceptors in Tennessee. We also offer government experiences with the Indian Health Service, US Air Force, and the Army across the country.

Our student pharmacists also have the opportunity to study abroad in 1 of 12 countries through a months-long international program.

In addition, our strong relationships and large alumni base allow students to gain work experience as interns across the state.

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