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School of Pharmacy and Health Professions (SPAHP): Indicators of Excellence

The professional doctorate degree has been the standard in the SPAHP for decades. Creighton was the first in the nation to offer professional doctorate degrees in occupational therapy and physical therapy. In 2001, Creighton established the nation’s first internet-based, entry-level distance pathway to the Doctor of Pharmacy degree. It is still the only school in the world to offer this degree via this pathway.

The SPAHP is known for excellence in teaching and mentoring relationships with faculty-student clinical ratios of 1:3, ensuring outstanding clinical experiences.

SPAHP students routinely earn nearly a 100 percent first-time pass rate on licensing exams in all three disciplines: pharmacy, occupational therapy and physical therapy.

The school is a national leader in leveraging technology to advance student learning. All occupational therapy, pharmacy and physical therapy students are issued computers when they begin their programs of study. Support for the technologies is provided by readily accessible and knowledgeable school-based technology professionals.

Pharmacy, physical therapy and occupational therapy students have access to an expansive array  of clinical training sites across the country in every healthcare category including pediatric, geriatric, mental health, acute care and long-term care, among others. Students hone clinical skills in large hospital settings as well as smaller rehabilitation or ambulatory care clinics. International clinical experiences are also available.

School of “Firsts”

  • First in the nation to develop and implement an Internet-based distance pharmacy pathway leading to the Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D.) degree.
  • First in the nation to develop the degree of Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT).
  • First in the nation to develop the degree of Doctor of Occupational Therapy (OTD).


Leaders in professional distance education

  • Access to a Creighton education via distance education is attracting quality students from remote areas who otherwise might not have been able to access professional education.
  • The University has a public/private partnership with the University of Alaska Anchorage and is using the distance education technology SPAHP developed to offer the OTD and Pharm.D. programs to address practitioner shortages in this geographic area.
  • The Office of Interprofessional Scholarship, Service and Education (OISSE) plays a significant role in connecting students with diverse and meaningful opportunities to serve others. In the Ignatian tradition, students and faculty are very service-minded. OISSE maintains a long-standing partnership with the Omaha and Winnebago Tribes of Nebraska, addressing health disparities. OISSE’s community engagement model also includes local opportunities in the Omaha metropolitan area, and international initiatives in the Dominican Republic and China. SPAHP students provided over 13,600 hours of service from July 2012 to June 2013, most to the local Greater Omaha community.


Center of Excellence:

  • The school’s Center for Health Services Research and Patient Safety is recognized nationally for its work in the area of patient safety and quality assurance. Areas of active research within the School of Pharmacy and Health Professions include:
    • Patient safety and quality assurance
    • Development of HIV drugs and dosage forms
    • Parkinson’s fatigue and underlining causes
    • Tracking health and clinical outcomes in diabetes patients
    • Drug development/clinical drug trials
    • Electronic health record use
    • Pharmacoeconomics
    • Drug delivery systems design and nanomedicine
    • Pathogenesis of prion diseases
  • For more than 25 years, the Creighton University Center for Drug Information and Evidence-Based Practice has provided evidence-based, timely and unbiased information to healthcare professionals. Drug information skills are critical to the practice of pharmacy. Fewer than 15 percent of pharmacy schools in the United States offer as much drug information expertise to the professional community as Creighton.
  • The graduate program in Pharmaceutical Sciences encompasses a multidisciplinary approach to graduate training, culminating in the M.S. degree. The program provides the opportunity for students to specialize in the following areas: pharmacology, toxicology, immunopharmacology, pharmaceutics, pharmacokinetics, medicinal chemistry and cell biology.
  • The SPAHP offers a state of the art pharmacy simulation laboratory.


Postgraduate Programs

  • The school offers several residency and fellowship opportunities and is affiliated with Alegent Creighton Health for residency training. There are currently 14 residency positions in the school: eight in pharmacy; five in physical therapy; and one in occupational therapy. Two pharmacy fellowships are also offered—one in cardiovascular therapeutics and one in drug informatics.