First School of Pharmacy in Orange County

Chapman University’s School of Pharmacy has received precandidate accreditation status by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE)—a national agency for the accreditation of professional degree pharmacy programs. This status approves the opening of CUSP at the Harry and Diane Rinker Campus in Irvine in September 2015 for the 8 trimester accelerated Doctor of Pharmacy degree program. Established in 2012, Chapman University’s School of Pharmacy is the first such school in Orange County.

“We are investing more than $60 million in this school because it is central to our strategic plan to build a broad-based graduate health science program in Orange County,” said Ron Jordan, R.Ph. FAPhA, founding dean of CUSP. “We’ve established an extraordinary, high performing team and they continue to drive our program toward excellence; and we look forward to providing the Southland and beyond with highly capable pharmacists into the emerging team-based approach in health care and in the pharmaceutical industry,” continued Dean Jordan.


Ron Jordan, R.Ph. FAPhA, founding dean of CUSP

Chapman University’s School of Pharmacy offers two programs: an M.S. in Pharmaceutical Sciences program and a three-year accelerated Doctor of Pharmacy program. The ACPE accreditation is specific to the Doctor of Pharmacy program. The M.S. in Pharmaceutical Sciences Program is already accredited as a graduate program under the Western Association of Schools and Colleges and does not require ACPE Accreditation. Chapman University has been fully approved by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) to offer the professional doctorate PharmD program, the first step in the accreditation pathway. The School of Pharmacy applied to ACPE according to the new program standards and process timeline available from ACPE. The school is planning to have a Ph.D. program in the next several years.

“Chapman University continues to grow in health sciences and this announcement solidifies our pursuit to build a program of national stature,’ said Daniele Struppa, Ph.D., chancellor, Chapman University. “Already the School of Pharmacy has nearly $3 million in funded research committed to faculty demonstrating the high caliber of talent, resources and facilities the students will benefit from.”

With the ACPE accreditation, CUSP can begin student matriculation in the professional portion of the program starting September 2015. The pharmacy program will enroll approximately 60 students for 2015, 80 students for 2016, and then 100 students per year, thereafter. CUSP also offers a freshman pre-pharmacy program and accepted its first cohort of students in that program in the fall of 2014 who complete two years of undergraduate work at Chapman’s main campus in Orange before transferring into the PharmD program at the Harry and Diane Rinker Campus in Irvine. Admissions for the second pre-pharmacy cohort and the inaugural class of 60 in the PharmD program are underway.

The accelerated Doctor of Pharmacy degree program will involve eight year-round trimesters of professional didactic and experiential education. By studying for the full calendar year as opposed to a typical nine-month academic year commonly used in higher education and many colleges of pharmacy, students in the Chapman University School of Pharmacy will reach the work force sooner than their counterparts in more traditional Doctor of Pharmacy programs.

“Our health care system and biomedical industry need new practitioners as rapidly as possible. The demographic, disease, technology and scientific advances driving the demand for health care services have led to unprecedented rates of change in health delivery,” said Dean Jordan. “Pharmacists in health delivery practice, as well as the biopharmaceutical, biomedical and medical device research, and development industries will have enormous entrepreneurial opportunities in the future. We will prepare graduates to embrace these changes and improve lives and communities. We are working on developing valuable and unique learner-oriented partnerships with local health organizations, practitioners and industries who are all seeking to fill their growing personnel needs,” Jordan continued.

Chapman University’s School of Pharmacy is located in Irvine, CA, in conjunction with a new Master’s Physician Assistant program, the Doctor Physical Therapy program and developing health programs, in addition to the Doctor of Pharmacy Program.

The Irvine-based pharmacy program will admit students meeting prerequisite requirements in the fall of each year and include inter-professional education with the other health programs to facilitate experience working as a member of the health care team. The delivery of the curriculum will emphasize team work and use a “flipped classroom” active learning models where students conduct directed inquiry and knowledge acquisition outside of formal classes on their own.

A recent report from the National Governor’s Association called
The Expanding Role of Pharmacists in a Transformed Health Care System
, cites: “As the health care system undergoes a major transformation in both finance and the delivery of services, states are focusing on improved quality and health outcomes…Integrating pharmacists, who represent the third largest health profession, into the health care delivery system is one way to meet those goals.”

About the Accreditation Process

Chapman University School of Pharmacy’s Doctor of Pharmacy program
has been granted Precandidate status by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education, 135 South LaSalle Street, Suite 4100, Chicago, IL 60603, 312/644-3575; FAX 312/664-4652, web site
. With its approved Precandidate Status, Chapman’s School of Pharmacy is now prepared for the entry of students into the programs the following September. In the spring of the next year (2016), with the first students already in classes, the ACPE team visits again and determines if the school is prepared for Candidate status. The review involves observation of student progress, student interviews, closer review of the faculty and the curriculum and facilities. The school continues in Candidate Status with regular progress reporting and site team visits in each year until the first class of students graduate (2018). At its June 2016 meeting the ACPE Board then grants Accreditation Status or recommends further school preparations continuing to Candidate Status. The US Department of Education requires ACPE either grant or deny full accreditation within this time frame.

More information about the accrediting body can be found at:


As Orange County’s first school of pharmacy with entry of its first professional degree cohort of students in September of 2015, CUSP will empower graduates and faculty to develop a deep scientific foundation, the drive for lifelong learning, and the compassion to optimize delivery of health care for those with diverse and unmet needs in Orange County and beyond through inter-professional practice models and community outreach. CUSP creates the culture and environment necessary to conduct collaborative basic, translational, clinical education and outcomes research and learning that make a difference in people’s lives. CUSP intends to become a leader in innovative, inter-professional and personalized education of future pharmacists, pharmaceutical scientists and pharmacy educator’s, while being recognized for excellence in collaborative, impactful research, scholarship and practice models that advance global health. The program will deliver the Doctor of Pharmacy degree governed by the ACPE and lead to a license to practice pharmacy as governed by the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP). The school is located in Chapman University’s Harry and Diane Rinker Health Science Campus in Irvine, CA. For more information, visit

Consistently ranked among the top universities in the West, Chapman University provides a uniquely personalized and interdisciplinary educational experience to highly qualified students. Our programs encourage innovation, creativity and collaboration, and focus on developing global citizen-leaders who are distinctively prepared to improve their community and their world. Visit us at

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