Pharmacy Student Rotation Opportunities

College of Pharmacy, Glendale Campus

In This Section

Experiential education courses, commonly referred to as “rotations,” comprise roughly one-third of your pharmacy education. At CPG, you will have an abundance of unique rotation opportunities available to you, as you explore which area of pharmacy practice you’d like to pursue in your career.

Experiential Education allows you to:
 knowledge learned in the classroom, labs, and workshops.
Practice under the guidance of a pharmacist (preceptor) who shares knowledge and experiences with you.
Network with pharmacists that have unique backgrounds and professional experiences.
Explore a variety of practice settings.
Care for a variety of patient populations.
Collaborate with other healthcare professionals.

The Office of Experiential Education (OEE) has been coordinating rotations for our pharmacy students for more than 20 years, so we have a depth of partnerships with premier medical centers in the Phoenix area for the benefit of your pharmacy education. Key partnerships include:

  • Mayo Clinic Hospital
  • Banner Health
  • HonorHealth
  • VA Phoenix Health Care
  • Phoenix Children’s Hospital
  • Abrazo Health
  • Phoenix Indian Medical Center
  • … and many more, as shown in this map

We offer a wide range of locations for student rotations. This map shows the local hospitals and large clinics where our students may be assigned for various Introductory and Advanced rotations. It's important to note that this map does not include community pharmacy rotation sites and is a snapshot in time: new hospital and clinic sites may be added, or current ones shown may not be utilized for a given rotation block.

Introductory Pharmacy Practice Experiences (IPPEs)

You will begin two introductory rotation courses in the summer after your first full year in our pharmacy curriculum.

During this 12-week summer curriculum, there are a total of three rotation blocks that are four weeks each.  Your assigned IPPE rotations will take place during two of the blocks: one for IPPE - Community and one for IPPE – Health Systems/Institutional (in either order).  Therefore, you will enjoy a four-week break from all coursework during one of the three IPPE rotation blocks.  Each IPPE rotation is four weeks long, and attendance at your assigned site is full time (40 hours per week). 

To begin IPPEs, you will need an Arizona State Pharmacist Intern License.  Details provided during first-year orientation.

IPPE – Community:
Local community pharmacies, such as CVS, Costco, Fry’s Food and Drug, Safeway, Walgreens, etc.

IPPE - Health Systems/Institutional:
Local hospitals/health systems throughout the Phoenix metro area.

To maximize your experiences, you will rotate at a practice site that is new to you. This will complement your education and experiences, as well as offer new networking opportunities.

Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experiences (APPEs)

Beginning in your final year, these rotation courses will be taken one at a time, in successive blocks of six-week time periods.

Four Core APPE Rotations:

APPE - Community – This is the advanced experience that builds upon your IPPE – Community rotation. This practice experience will enable you to develop your skills and gain experience in a variety of patient-oriented services in the community setting.

APPE – Health Systems/Institutional – This is an advanced experience that builds upon IPPE – Health Systems/Institutional rotation. This experience will enable you to develop your skills and gain experience in hospital practice or other system of integrated pharmacy services.

Ambulatory Care – This practice experience will enable you to develop your skills and gain experience related to ambulatory care practice and disease state management. You will participate in drug therapy assessment and intervention, identify drug related problems, develop therapeutic care plans, and effectively communicate with patients and other healthcare professionals to achieve optimal drug therapy outcomes.

General Medicine/Acute Care – This practice experience will enable you to develop your skills and gain experience related to general medicine in an acute care setting.

Two Elective Rotations:

Patient Care – In this experience you will select a rotation with a patient care focus. You may select an additional experience from one of the four required experiences, or you may choose a rotation with a clinical pharmacist who specializes in a specific disease state, such as oncology, cardiology, critical care, or pediatrics.

Elective – Elective rotations are most often non-patient-care-oriented, such as management, pharmaceutical industry, academia, managed care, mail order, or pharmacy benefits management (PBM).

Crafting Your APPE Experiences

Because there are numerous career paths for practicing pharmacists, our various opportunities for unique rotation sites will allow you to explore directions that may be of interest to you. Our staff will work with you to help accommodate your preferences for rotations in specific Phoenix-area regions, in urban, suburban, and rural settings, as well as specific clinical sites that interest you most.

Making your APPE rotation choices begins with a one-hour classroom session that discusses the lottery process, provides details on each of the six APPE rotation courses, and offers guidance on selecting sites and preceptors. In addition, 15-minute one-on-one meetings are available for you to review your options with a member of the Office of Experiential Education (OEE) professional staff.

With each of the six rotation types noted above, you will designate in rotation site and/or preceptor for that type of APPE rotation. Although the final assignment of APPE rotations is based on a lottery system, roughly 85% of our students receive their top choices in all six rotation blocks. In addition, we offer the following options:

Distant rotations (detailed below) – You may do a combination of local and distant rotations.  For your convenience, these will be most often in adjacent rotation blocks, so that you can plan your living arrangements accordingly and minimize your relocation time.

Longitudinal rotations – These are back-to-back rotations at the same clinical site, with different preceptors for each type of APPE rotation. For instance, your General Medicine/Acute Care and APPE – Health Systems/Institutional rotations could be at the same location. Longitudinal rotations are available at only select Phoenix area medical centers. These rotations allow you to spend less time in orientations and learning computer systems, and more time becoming part of the healthcare team, particularly in the second block. They also allow you to build relationships with pharmacy staff, which could help in the eventual job search process. A separate application process is required.

Premier/unique rotations – Core and elective rotations are offered at unique sites like Banner Drug & Poison Center, Cleveland Clinic, and Yale New Haven. Applications may be required.

Academic rotations – This Elective campus-based APPE option offers you the opportunity to learn about teaching the next generation of pharmacists. Whether you plan to become a preceptor in the future, or occasionally teach classrooms of pharmacy students, or just wish to work closely with our faculty, this rotation will allow you to understand the teaching environment.

Indian Health Service (IHS) rotations – This Ambulatory Care option allows you to learn about providing patient-centered care to people in Native American cultures.  Separate application may be required.

Food & Drug Administration (FDA) and Center for Disease Control (CDC) rotations – These are highly competitive opportunities.  Separate application is required.  You may apply to only one of these.

Pharmaceutical Industry rotations – This Elective is currently available with Janssen and Bristol Myers Squibb.  Separate application is required.


All students are required to have an Arizona State Pharmacist Intern License by the end of the first quarter of enrollment.  Instructions for this license application will be provided. This registration must be maintained for the entire enrollment period.

Distant Rotations

Distant Introductory and Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experiences (IPPE/APPE) are defined as rotations that are at practice sites outside the greater Phoenix area.  Distant rotations begin 60 miles or more from Midwestern University, Glendale Campus. 

Students in good academic and disciplinary standing, as determined by the College, may participate in distant rotations. Distant rotations are subject to final approval on an individual basis by the Director of the Office of Experiential Education (OEE). Students must attend all mandatory distant rotations meetings and adhere to all assignment deadline dates. All requests will be considered.

All distant rotation sites and preceptors must be approved by OEE, and the standard University affiliation agreement must be completed prior to the student beginning the rotation. There is no guarantee that requested distant rotations will be approved and scheduled. Schedule changes resulting from preceptor changes may result in a denied distant request. Students doing distant rotations are also responsible for contacting the Board of Pharmacy in the state where they are placed to determine the licensure requirement(s).  The student must comply with the requirements for that state and provide proof of compliance to OEE. All travel and living expenses are the student's responsibility.



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