APPE Rotation Procedures


APPE students will be assigned to seven six-week rotations at various practice sites with different preceptors. Each rotation is scheduled to end on Thursday of the sixth week.

Each APPE student is required to do each of the following rotations:  community practice, hospital/ health-systems, ambulatory care, and adult acute care. The remaining three rotations are electives. Two of the three electives must emphasize patient care.

Each year, preceptors are surveyed regarding their availability for student rotations during the next rotation year. Preceptors may specify available rotation dates and numbers of students that may be accommodated at their sites.

Students are given an opportunity to state their preferences for APPE rotation sites and preceptors. Based on preceptor availability, students are matched to their preferences as much as possible. However, there is no guarantee that a student will be assigned any particular rotation or preceptor as requested.

Once scheduling is completed, students and preceptors are notified. 

Students are expected to contact their assigned preceptors at least 6 weeks prior to the beginning of the rotation to make arrangements such as the initial meeting time/place, parking, and any required paperwork or check-in procedures at the site. Students are responsible for all additional fees (parking, additional background checks, drug screening, etc) when applicable.

Attendance Policies

Attendance is essential if academic credit is to be received and intern hours accrued.

The student is responsible for adhering to the rotation schedule agreed upon with the preceptor, including meetings and other activities that may occur outside usual business hours.  The holiday schedule of the rotation site will supersede the University holiday schedule.  This means that if a site is open during a University holiday, the preceptor can require the student to work that day.  Any questions or concerns should be directed to the Director of Experiential Education. 

In case of sickness or other emergency causing the student to be absent from or late to a rotation site, the preceptor should be notified by telephone as early as possible. Failure to do so will constitute unexcused absence. The Director of Experiential Programs must be notified of absences exceeding two days.

Students who cannot reasonably get to their rotation site due to inclement weather must notify their preceptor as soon as they realize that they will not be able to attend. Failure to do so will constitute an unexcused absence. Rotation time missed due to weather must be made up.

Professional leave from rotations may be granted to APPE rotation students. Professional leave includes college functions/meetings, professional meetings, and residency/job interviews. Professional leave must be requested using the Professional Leave Form and approved by both the preceptor and the Director of Experiential Programs prior to the leave dates. Requests should be made no later than the first day of rotation in which the absence will occur. Each student may use a maximum of four professional leave days per rotation, not to exceed a total of 10 days for the APPE rotation year. Although these absences are excused, the student may be required to make up absences in excess of one day for each rotation. Students do not accrue intern hours while away from the rotation site for professional leave.

Excused absences of more than one day during one rotation must be made up. At the discretion of the preceptor, making up time may include additional hours at the site or completion of additional projects for the site. Unexcused absences must be made up on an hour-per-hour basis.

Absences of any type may decrease a student's ability to achieve all the objectives of the rotations, and which may be reflected in his or her rotation grade.

The Friday of the sixth week of the rotation is usually scheduled off, but may be used as a make-up day if needed.

Students may lose one letter grade for each unexcused absence. Unexcused absences include failure to contact the preceptor (or site, as directed by the preceptor) in case of illness and failure to contact the preceptor (or site) if for any reason the student is unable to arrive at the site at the time agreed upon with the preceptor. Absences resulting from failure to obtain health screening or other rotation requirements are unexcused.

Dress Code

All students must wear neat, clean, white laboratory coats unless otherwise directed by the preceptors. 

Students should wear their College of Pharmacy ID as well as any nametag or badge issued by the rotation site. Nametags from places of employment should not be worn at a rotation site.

Female students may wear skirts, dresses, or dress slacks with appropriate hosiery and shoes. Closed-toe shoes are preferred in any practice site. Some sites require closed-toe shoes, and students must comply with that requirement at those sites.

Male students must wear dress slacks, collared shirts, ties, socks and appropriate shoes.

Jeans, shorts, mini-skirts, thong sandals, T-shirts, etc., are inappropriate dress at any rotation site, and are NOT allowed.

All students must maintain good personal hygiene.

Students may be asked to leave a rotation site due to dress code violations. This absence is unexcused.


Evaluations of Students

Preceptors are to complete a mid-point and final evaluation of each student. The midpoint evaluation should facilitate discussion between the student and preceptor regarding areas in which the student needs more practice and to determine what rotation goals still need to be met. The rotation grade will be assigned by the preceptor with the final evaluation. The preceptor should discuss the final evaluation and grade with the student at the end of the rotation. The same evaluation form may be used for the midpoint and final evaluations and is incorporated into RxPreceptor.  Rotation task checklists for required rotations may also be sent to the Director of Experiential Programs. 

For required rotations (community, hospital/ health-Systems, ambulatory care, and adult acute care), the extent to which students accomplish the goals/objectives on the rotation task checklist is reflected in the first two items (Knowledge/Application) of the evaluation form. For elective rotations, these evaluation items should reflect the extent of accomplishment of goals and objectives established by the preceptor and student at the beginning of the rotation.  The remaining items of the evaluation reflect the student's ability to communicate effectively, manage time and resources to accomplish tasks, professionalism, and ethics.

Expectations of the student with respect to grading should be made clear, and preceptors should maintain documentation to justify a final grade.

The grading scheme is as follows.

S: Superior (no grade point value)

Performance was exceptional and noteworthy for a student of this level

P: Pass (no grade point value)

Performance was appropriate and acceptable for  a student of this level

C: grade point value = 2

Although performance was below that expected for a student of this level, student showed improvement over time

D: grade point value = 1

Significantly, repeatedly performs below expectations without showing improvement

E: grade point value = 0

Fails the rotation


The preceptor should discuss the final evaluation and grade at the end of the rotation. Grade appeals will follow the procedure outlined in the University of Arizona  Academic Catalog.

Evaluation of Site/Preceptor 

Students are to complete an evaluation of their rotation experience on the last day of a rotation. Students are not expected to show this evaluation to the preceptor. These evaluations are not released until after the student’s class graduates from the program. Following graduation, preceptors may request a cumulative summary of student evaluations over the rotation year. The summary does not include student names.

Intern Hours

In APPE rotations, students are expected to function as full-time (at least 40 hours/week) interns at their assigned rotation sites.  This is 232 hours per rotation if no time is missed. In consideration of holidays, approved professional leave, and sites that may have shorter operating hours, a minimum of 232 hours is required to earn academic credit for an APPE rotation. All unexcused absences are to be made up. Excused absences in excess of one day from a rotation are to be made up at the preceptor's discretion, and in a manner that will achieve the minimum requirements. A rotation grade will not be recorded until the preceptor notifies the Director of Experiential Programs that the appropriate time has been made up.

At the end of each rotation, students must upload a signed Report of Intern Hours to CORE Elms. Additionally, students must enter their hours onto CORE for preceptor approval. Based on the information loaded into CORE, reports of intern training hours will be generated by the Director of Experiential Education and submitted to the Arizona State Board of Pharmacy. These hours, with the exceptions noted below, count toward the 1500 intern hours required for pharmacist licensure application. Click here for specific instructions about entering intern hours into CORE.

In order for the Director of Experiential Education to report hours from rotations in U.S. states outside of Arizona to the Arizona Board of Pharmacy, the student must comply with intern registration requirements in the state where the rotation was completed. The intern license for the other state needs to be submitted to the Director of Experiential Education in advance of the out-of-state rotation.

If a student is submitting intern hours to other state boards of pharmacy for credit for licensure in that state, it is that student's responsibility to find out the reporting procedures and regulations for intern hours set forth by that state board of pharmacy. Students requesting assistance from the Director of Experiential Education in submitting hours to other states need to provide such information along with their request.

Students will not receive intern hour credit for rotations done outside the United States.

Submission of an inaccurate Report of Intern Hours is a form of academic dishonesty. 

Academic Credit

Five academic credit units are awarded for each completed APPE rotation.

Originally posted: August 29, 2013
Last updated: August 30, 2017
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