This is the preliminary (or launch) version of the 2024-2025 VCU Bulletin. Courses that expose students to cutting-edge content and transformative learning may be added and notification of additional program approvals may be received prior to finalization. General education program content is also subject to change. The final edition and full PDF version will include these updates and will be available in August prior to the beginning of the fall semester.

Advanced study in pharmacy and aging studies is available through a dual degree and certificate program co-sponsored by the School of Pharmacy and the Department of Gerontology in the College of Health Professions.

The program allows students to earn a Doctor of Pharmacy and a Certificate in Aging Studies with a minimum of 167 credits rather than the 170 credits necessary if the two degrees were pursued separately. This efficiency lowers the overall cost of tuition while also reducing time to earning both degrees.

Program goals

The objectives of this dual degree and certificate program are to:

  • Prepare graduates to address the complex needs of a diverse aging population using holistic knowledge of the biopsychosocial aging process
  • Provide graduates with an understanding of empirically and theoretically based components contributing to optimal aging using evidence-based, best-practice approaches
  • Prepare graduates to develop skills in comprehensive geriatric care to promote well-being among older adults
  • Prepare graduates with an understanding of the interrelationship between pharmacology and social issues and aging (e.g., family, cultural, community, housing, access to care, policy issues)

Among the many benefits offered by participation in the dual degree and certificate program is the following:

  • Students holding these degrees will be more competitive in obtaining a pharmacy residency or employment caring for older adults in the community, ambulatory care or hospital settings.

The diplomas for this dual degree and certificate program may be awarded simultaneously. Students must complete a separate graduation check out for each program.

Student learning outcomes

See the individual program pages for student learning outcomes.


The student is assigned an adviser from each program to develop a plan of study. Advisers from each program will provide guidance on course requirements for their respective programs.

Admission requirements 

Students must meet the admission requirements for each program. Admission into one program does not guarantee admission into the other. 

The Certificate in Aging Studies program is open to qualified students who have earned a baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university or the equivalent and who have met all general admission requirements of the VCU Graduate School.

The admission requirements for the Pharm.D. can be found on the program page.

Application procedure

Applicants may apply after completion of their first or second professional year. Applications are made through the Graduate School and are due by May 15.

Students do not need to take any additional tests as part of the application process. There is a fee associated with applying to the VCU Graduate School.

Dual degree and certificate requirements

As standalone programs, the Pharm.D. comprises 155 credits while the certificate requires 15 credits. The dual degree and certificate program allows students to share three credits, therefore decreasing total credits to completion from 170 to 167.

Students are advised that based on the equivalent knowledge acquired by successfully completing PHAR 670 and PHAR 691 (with appropriate topic) as electives in the Pharm.D. program, the elective requirement is satisfied in the certificate curriculum.

Curriculum requirements

Course Title Hours
Pharm.D. requirements
IPEC 501Foundations of Interprofessional Practice1
IPEC 502Interprofessional Quality Improvement and Patient Safety1
IPEC 561IPE Virtual Geriatric Case2
MEDC 527Basic Pharmaceutical Principles for the Practicing Pharmacist3
MEDC 533Pharmacognosy2
MEDC 542Biotechnology-derived Therapeutic Agents1
MEDC 553Concepts in the Medicinal Chemistry of Therapeutics Agents1
PCEU 507Pharmaceutics and Biopharmaceutics I3
PCEU 508Pharmacokinetics3
PCEU 509Pharmaceutics and Biopharmaceutics II3
PCEU 615Applied Pharmacokinetics2.5
PHAR 501Pharmaceutical Calculations1
PHAR 509Evidence-Based Pharmacy I: Introduction to Pharmacy Information Skills1.5
PHAR 513Contemporary Pharmacy Practice2
PHAR 515Continuous Professional Development I1
PHAR 523Foundations I1.5
PHAR 524Foundations II1.5
PHAR 526Community Pharmacy Practice2
PHAR 529Clinical Therapeutics Module: Introduction to Special Populations2
PHAR 530Introductory Pharmacy Practice Experience: Community Practice4
PHAR 532Introductory Pharmacy Practice Experience: Hospital Practice3
PHAR 533Introductory Pharmacy Practice Experience: Patient Care.5
PHAR 534Foundations III1.5
PHAR 535Foundations IV1.5
PHAR 540Self-Care and Alternative and Complementary Treatments2.5
PHAR 541Patient Assessment in Pharmacy Practice2
PHAR 544Clinical Therapeutics Module: Cardiovascular4.5
PHAR 545The U.S. Health Care System2
PHAR 546Pharmacy-based Immunization Delivery1.5
PHAR 549Personalized Medicine1
PHAR 551Pharmacy-based Point of Care Testing1.5
PHAR 555Clinical Therapeutics Module: Endocrinology2.5
PHAR 556Clinical Therapeutics Module: Neurology4
PHAR 565Evidence-based Pharmacy II: Research Methods and Statistics2.5
PHAR 566Evidence-based Pharmacy III: Drug Literature Evaluation2
PHAR 602Clinical Therapeutics Module: Psychiatry3
PHAR 603Clinical Therapeutics Module: Respiratory/Immunology2.5
PHAR 604Clinical Therapeutics Module: Infectious Diseases4.5
PHAR 605Clinical Therapeutics Module: Hematology/Oncology2.5
PHAR 606Clinical Therapeutics Module: Nephrology/Urology2
PHAR 607Clinical Therapeutics Module: Dermatology/EENT2
PHAR 615Continuous Professional Development II1
PHAR 618Clinical Therapeutics Module: Gastrointestinal/Nutrition2.5
PHAR 619Clinical Therapeutics Module: Women's Health/Bone2
PHAR 620Clinical Therapeutics Module: Critical Care/Toxicology and Complex Patients2.5
PHAR 621Pharmacoeconomics2
PHAR 640Foundations V1.5
PHAR 645Foundations VI1.5
PHAR 652Health Promotion and Communication in Pharmacy Practice2.5
PHAR 660Community Pharmacy Practice Management II1.5
PHAR 715Continuous Professional Development III1
PHAR 724Pharmacy Law2.5
PHAR 730Continuous Professional Development IV.5
PHAR 760Acute Care Pharmacy Practice I5
PHAR 761Advanced Hospital Pharmacy Practice5
PHAR 763Ambulatory Care Pharmacy Practice5
PHAR 765Elective I5
PHAR 766Elective II5
PHAR 767Clinical Selective I5
PHAR 768Advanced Community Pharmacy Practice5
PHAR 773Acute Care Pharmacy Practice II5
PHTX 606Introduction to Pharmacology of Therapeutic Agents1
Electives (three credits will satisfy certificate electives)5
Certificate requirements
GRTY 601Biological and Physiological Aging3
GRTY 602Psychology of Aging3
GRTY 603Social Gerontology3
GRTY 606Aging and Human Values3
Restricted elective (satisfied by three credits of Pharm.D. electives)3
Total Hours167

The minimum number of credit hours required for this dual program is 167.

Sample plan of study

P1 year
IPEC 501 Foundations of Interprofessional Practice 1
MEDC 527 Basic Pharmaceutical Principles for the Practicing Pharmacist 3
MEDC 533 Pharmacognosy 2
PCEU 507 Pharmaceutics and Biopharmaceutics I 3
PHAR 501 Pharmaceutical Calculations 1
PHAR 509 Evidence-Based Pharmacy I: Introduction to Pharmacy Information Skills 1.5
PHAR 515 Continuous Professional Development I (continues) 1
PHAR 523 Foundations I 1.5
PHAR 545 The U.S. Health Care System 2
PHAR 652 Health Promotion and Communication in Pharmacy Practice 2.5
 Term Hours: 17.5
MEDC 553 Concepts in the Medicinal Chemistry of Therapeutics Agents 1 1
PCEU 508 Pharmacokinetics 3
PCEU 509 Pharmaceutics and Biopharmaceutics II 3
PHAR 513 Contemporary Pharmacy Practice 2
PHAR 515 Continuous Professional Development I 1
PHAR 524 Foundations II 1.5
PHAR 526 Community Pharmacy Practice 2
PHAR 529 Clinical Therapeutics Module: Introduction to Special Populations 1 2
PHAR 530 Introductory Pharmacy Practice Experience: Community Practice 4
PHTX 606 Introduction to Pharmacology of Therapeutic Agents 1 1
 Term Hours: 20.5
P2 year
GRTY 602 Psychology of Aging 3
PHAR 534 Foundations III 1.5
PHAR 541 Patient Assessment in Pharmacy Practice 2
PHAR 544 Clinical Therapeutics Module: Cardiovascular 1 4.5
PHAR 546 Pharmacy-based Immunization Delivery 1 1.5
PHAR 551 Pharmacy-based Point of Care Testing 1 1.5
PHAR 555 Clinical Therapeutics Module: Endocrinology 1 2.5
PHAR 565 Evidence-based Pharmacy II: Research Methods and Statistics 1 2.5
PHAR 603 Clinical Therapeutics Module: Respiratory/Immunology 1 2.5
PHAR 615 Continuous Professional Development II (continues) 1
 Term Hours: 21.5
GRTY 601 Biological and Physiological Aging 3
IPEC 502 Interprofessional Quality Improvement and Patient Safety 1
MEDC 542 Biotechnology-derived Therapeutic Agents 1 1
PCEU 615 Applied Pharmacokinetics 2.5
PHAR 532 Introductory Pharmacy Practice Experience: Hospital Practice 3
PHAR 535 Foundations IV 1.5
PHAR 566 Evidence-based Pharmacy III: Drug Literature Evaluation 2
PHAR 604 Clinical Therapeutics Module: Infectious Diseases 1 4.5
PHAR 606 Clinical Therapeutics Module: Nephrology/Urology 1 2
PHAR 615 Continuous Professional Development II 1
 Term Hours: 21.5
P3 year
GRTY 603 Social Gerontology 3
PHAR 540 Self-Care and Alternative and Complementary Treatments 2.5
PHAR 549 Personalized Medicine 1
PHAR 556 Clinical Therapeutics Module: Neurology 1 4
PHAR 602 Clinical Therapeutics Module: Psychiatry 1 3
PHAR 605 Clinical Therapeutics Module: Hematology/Oncology 1 2.5
PHAR 640 Foundations V 1.5
PHAR 660 Community Pharmacy Practice Management II 1.5
PHAR 715 Continuous Professional Development III (continues) 1
Elective 2 2-3
 Term Hours: 21
GRTY 606 Aging and Human Values 3
PHAR 533 Introductory Pharmacy Practice Experience: Patient Care 0.5
PHAR 607 Clinical Therapeutics Module: Dermatology/EENT 1 2
PHAR 618 Clinical Therapeutics Module: Gastrointestinal/Nutrition 1 2.5
PHAR 619 Clinical Therapeutics Module: Women's Health/Bone 1 2
PHAR 620 Clinical Therapeutics Module: Critical Care/Toxicology and Complex Patients 1 2.5
PHAR 621 Pharmacoeconomics 2
PHAR 645 Foundations VI 1.5
PHAR 715 Continuous Professional Development III 1
PHAR 724 Pharmacy Law 2.5
Electives 2-3
 Term Hours: 22.5
P4 year (over 45 weeks)
IPEC 561 IPE Virtual Geriatric Case 2
PHAR 730 Continuous Professional Development IV 0.5
PHAR 760 Acute Care Pharmacy Practice I 5
PHAR 761 Advanced Hospital Pharmacy Practice 5
PHAR 763 Ambulatory Care Pharmacy Practice 5
PHAR 765 Elective I 5
PHAR 766 Elective II 5
PHAR 767 Clinical Selective I 5
PHAR 768 Advanced Community Pharmacy Practice 5
PHAR 773 Acute Care Pharmacy Practice II 5
 Term Hours: 42.5
 Total Hours: 167

Course will be taught as a module.


Students will complete five total credits of electives over the course of the year.

The minimum number of credit hours required for this dual program is 167.

Jennifer Pryor
Program director, Department of Gerontology
(804) 828-1565

Additional contact
Krista L. Donohoe, Pharm.D., BCPS, BCGP
Associate professor, Department of Pharmacotherapy and Outcomes Science
(804) 628-4551