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Frequently Asked Questions

What campus is notated on my transcript and diploma?  

The PharmD degree is awarded by the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC).  It will not state the campus where a student attended classes.

 Are the lectures lives or will I be watching a recording?

Lectures are live and taught via state-of-the-art videoconferencing. Lecturers instruct from Chicago or Rockford depending on the topic. As the live lectures are also recorded and viewable on-demand online, both Chicago and Rockford students benefit in being able to review the class instruction again at their leisure. Many electives are taught locally. During the live lectures, students have the ability to ask the professors questions if further clarification is needed. Also, many of the lectures involve the use of i-clickers to enhance student participation and encourage audience interactivity.

What lifestyle can I expect when attending pharmacy school?

The PharmD program is rigorous and very demanding. That being said many students still find time to work part-time, participate in research and/or be involved in one of the many professional student organizations.  As a full-time professional student, you will be in class M-F from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and expect 2-3 days to also be in class, lab or recitation from 1:30 pm - 4:30 p.m. In addition to attending class regularly, you can expect to invest at least 4–6 solid hours of study time each night. This prevents you from falling behind. Cramming last minute is not recommended, as the curriculum is intense. The College of Pharmacy offers many opportunities for students to be engaged in organizations and community activities, which is a wonderful way to network and take a break from studying.

Are there research opportunities available?

Our faculty engage in a robust research environment, with many faculty offering opportunities and experiences for our students to partake in. These opportunities are available during the regular semesters, as well as the summer. No previous research experience is required, however you are expected to be dedicated to your work.

Will I have access to faculty if I have a question?

Yes. Our faculty are student-centered and have a vested interest in ensuring that our UIC graduates perpetuate our strong legacy of academic excellence. To that end, faculty are accessible by their provided contact information (Skype, email, Blackboard, phone, video conference, office hours), and generally make themselves available before or after class. Also, every class has a set of graduate students who serve as teacher aids to help answer any questions/concerns if a professor is not accessible. As an additional method of support, there are Course Coordinators in Chicago and Class Coordinators in Rockford. These coordinators are full-time faculty and staff that are dedicated to ensuring that all students receive the proper materials, they provide continuity between guest lecturers and rotating faculty, and they are able to answer a number of student questions on the spot. The College of Pharmacy also provides student tutors for certain classes.

What is the difference between the Chicago campus and the Rockford campus?

We are truly one college, two campuses, same education.  This means that students in Chicago and Rockford share faculty and the same classroom experience. The major difference is in the surrounding community, class size, and the cost of living.

Will I need to provide my own transportation to rotation sites?

Yes.  Our students complete rotations periodically during their first 3 years and in their P4 year, our students will complete their Advance Pharmacy Practice Experiences (APPE).  These rotations will take place in a variety of different settings and locales. Access to car transportation is highly recommended.  

Are there opportunities to get involved?

Both campuses boast multiple student organizations, including but certainly not limited to American Pharmacists Association (APhA), Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy (AMCP), Illinois Council of Health-System Pharmacists (ICHP), Kappa Psi Pharmaceutical Fraternity, Phi Delta Chi, National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA), Pharmacy Leadership Society (Phi Lambda Sigma, PLS), Student National Pharmaceutical Association (SNPhA), and Pharmacy Student Council (PSC). With representatives on both the Chicago and Rockford campuses, students may meet between campuses via videoconference occasionally, or host events together in the suburbs. There are also many meetings and events that occur locally on each campus. Many of these organizations are highly involved with community health events, which serves as a training opportunity for our students to become better healthcare providers, as well as receive hands-on experience as early as their first year!

Tell me about the campus and surrounding communities of each UIC College of Pharmacy location.

Chicago: The College of Pharmacy building in Chicago is just west of  downtown Chicago and is part of the Illinois Medical District, one of the largest in the nation. Chicago is known for its world-class entertainment and access to a variety of cultural opportunities. Chicago is the third most populous city in the United States, with 2.7 million residents.

Rockford: The College of Pharmacy in Rockford, along with the College of Medicine and College of Nursing, comprises the UIC Health Sciences Campus - Rockford. Nestled in a 20-acre tree-lined site, the College of Pharmacy state-of-the-art facilities were completed in 2010. The city of Rockford is home to 150,000 residents, and when coupled with the surrounding towns, boasts an outlying metropolitan area of almost 350,000. Rockford is a stop for many traveling performers, is home to a number of culturally enriching opportunities, and is attractive to nature enthusiasts with its many trails, parks, water sports, and bike paths. Rockford residents also enjoy a 13% lower cost of living in comparison to the Illinois average. Our students have the luxury of not having to worry about rush-hour traffic. Curious about life in Rockford?  Videos regarding the City of Rockford can be found here and here

Do the UPHARM and RPHARM concentrations determine the student population?

Chicago: Chicago is home to the concentration in Urban Pharmacy Services (UPHARM)

Rockford: Rockford is home to the concentration in Rural Pharmacy Services (RPHARM)

To some extent, yes. A percentage of our students elect to enroll in either the UPHARM or RPHARM concentration and will choose the Chicago or Rockford campus for this reason. However, these concentrations do not impact the education of students who do not elect to partake in these concentrations. The core education on the Chicago and Rockford campuses is identical.

What is the cost and availability of housing on each campus?

Chicago: University housing is available, and information can be found at http://www.housing.uic.edu.  About 1/3 of the students opt to live on campus or live within walking distance of the campus, 1/3 live in one of the many other neighborhoods in Chicago which are easily accessible by CTA trains or busses and 1/3 commute from neighboring suburbs.

Rockford: We do not offer university housing in Rockford, but in return, our students enjoy a very cost-efficient lifestyle. It is very easy to rent an apartment or house within 5 miles of campus, with some students being fortunate enough to be within walking distance of campus. We have developed a great relationship with the community members in our neighborhood, and many prefer to rent to University of Illinois Rockford students. A 3-4 bedroom house may cost roughly $900 to $1400 a month for rent, with many offering garages and backyards.  With the cost split between 3-4 roommates, this independent lifestyle is more affordable and more spacious than other cities of Rockford’s size. The College of Pharmacy Office of Student Affairs in Rockford, in collaboration with the College of Medicine Office of Student Affairs in Rockford, maintains a Facebook page to advertise available properties as community members inform us: https://www.facebook.com/UIRockfordHousing?fref=ts

If admitted to the PharmD program, students at each campus are assigned peer advisors who are excellent resources for incoming students to provide housing recommendations. 

Will I ever have to travel to the other campus?

Chicago: No. However, a student may request to complete an Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experience (APPE) during their fourth year outside of the Chicago area.

Rockford: Our commencement ceremonies are held in Chicago upon completion of the P4 year, so graduation attendees will need to travel to the activities held in Chicago. Besides this instance, all other academic activities are conducted on the Rockford campus or at rotation sites. Students may request to complete an Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experience (APPE) during their fourth year outside of the Rockford area.

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