Early Practice Experience

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The goal of the Early Practice Experience is to expose students to entry-level pharmacy practice through working in a community or hospital pharmacy practice site. This experience is designed to help students perform at a higher level in didactic and laboratory work, prepare them to enter introductory and advanced pharmacy practice experiences, and help them make more informed career decisions.

Required number of hours

Two hundred (200) hours as a student pharmacist-intern in a pharmacy practice site are required. 

Deadline for completion of hours

May 1 preceding the senior internship year (May 1 of the P3 year).

When experience may begin

After successful completion of the first year of the professional pharmacy program (to include 30 hours of professional pharmacy program coursework), and possession of a Texas State Board of Pharmacy student-pharmacist internship card.

Where hours may be gained

  • community pharmacy in Texas (Class A pharmacy)
  • hospital pharmacy in Texas (Class C pharmacy)
  • by petition only, and only for a limited number of hours, a competitive state or national summer internship in a pharmacy practice site2
  • by petition only, and only for a limited number of hours, another type of pharmacy practice site not listed above1
  • in a professor’s research lab, up to a maximum of 100 hours, only if the student is enrolled in the Pharm.D./Ph.D. program.1,3

Who may supervise experiential hours

Only a pharmacist who is registered as a preceptor with the Texas State Board of Pharmacy may supervise a student pharmacist-intern. You may check preceptor status on the Texas State Board of Pharmacy web site at http://www.tsbp.state.tx.us/dbsearch/pht_search.asp


by petition, the supervisor of a state or nationally competitive summer internship 1, 2, or a research mentor1,3.

Schedule of hours

  • full-time or part-time
  • summers, semester breaks, fall of third professional year if taking off, or during the academic year


Documentation of Experience

Students MUST submit the following completed and signed forms by May 1 of the P3 year in order to progress to the senior internship year:

  1. the Early Experience hour sheet(s)
  2. the Early Experience evaluation form

Waiver of Early Practice Experience

Students may waive all or part of the Early Practice Experience under the following circumstances:

  1. Fifty (50) hours of credit toward this experience will be granted if the student has achieved over 500 hours of pharmacy employment prior to the summer following the first professional year. This includes pre-pharmacy and first-year employment; however, it does not include ANY hours earned in PHR 249 Introduction to Pharmacy, or hours gained in PHR 176P Experiential Pharmacy Practice and Patient Counseling.
  2. All 200 hours of required early practice experience will be met if the student has worked as a PCTB-certified pharmacy technician for at least 200 hours prior to the summer following the first professional year. These hours do not necessarily need to have been accomplished under a TSBP-certified preceptor.

Students who waive the total Early Practice Experience are strongly encouraged to seek additional pharmacy practice experience, preferably in one or more different practice settings, to assist in the career decision-making process as well as gain professional practice experience.

Reporting of hours for early experience credit

Once the Evaluation Form and Hour Sheet are received, both the student and the College will verify that the Early Practice Experience has been completed.

These hours will be reported to the Texas State Board of Pharmacy as internship credit for those students having completed the Early Practice Experience with a TSBP-certified preceptor. Hours cannot be reported for students submitting the 200 hour waiver; however, enough hours are earned through other practical experience courses that Early Practice Experience hours are not necessary to sit for licensure in Texas. They may be useful outside the curriculum if a student is applying for licensure in another state that requires internship hours other than those earned in the pharmacy curriculum.

1This experience may not be counted for internship credit with the Texas State Board of Pharmacy if the supervisor is not a preceptor with the TSBP.

2Additional documentation may be required.

3One hundred additional hours must still be completed in a pharmacy practice site. Should the student decide to withdraw from the Pharm.D./Ph.D. program, the 100 hours originally worked in the research lab must be completed in a pharmacy practice site.

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