KU Pharmacy students again rank among best in licensure exams

LAWRENCE — The University of Kansas School of Pharmacy posted the second-highest pass rate in the nation on the 2020 Multistate Pharmacy Jurisprudence Examination (MPJE). The school’s 2020 graduating class had a 99% first-time pass rate, compared to a national pass rate of 85% among all ACPE accredited programs.

This marks the second time in three years that the KU School of Pharmacy ranked second in the nation on the law exam, and the average pass rates of the classes of 2018, 2019 and 2020 combine to lead all U.S. schools of pharmacy.

“Our students have a long history of excelling on the license exams. They consistently score at or near the top in the country on both parts of the test. It is wonderful to be at the top in any year but even more impressive when students are at the top using a rolling average over a three-year window,” said KU School of Pharmacy Dean Ronald Ragan. “These data demonstrate that KU is one of the elite pharmacy programs in the nation and prepares graduates for all sorts of pharmacy settings.”

The Class of 2020 also scored in the top 21% of all school nationwide on the North American Pharmacist Licensure Exam (NAPLEX) with a 95% pass rate. The average pass rate among all ACPE accredited programs is 88%, according to the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP).

This year’s graduating class exceeded the national average for residency placement, according to the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists. Members of the Class of 2021 matched PGY1 (post-graduate year-one) residency programs at a rate of 71%, compared with a national rate of 65%. Of the 140 members of the Class of 2021, 72 sought a residency program.

Graduates seeking a residency often apply to multiple programs throughout the United States. Following an interview process, the students and the program directors rank one another. When the numbers line up, a match is made.

The number of pharmacy students applying to and securing residencies is on the rise nationwide. Settings are varied and include locations such as hospitals, community pharmacies, long-term care facilities and more.

Associate Dean Janelle Ruisinger, faculty adviser to the School of Pharmacy’s Residency Club, said residency programs allow newly graduated students the opportunity to expand upon the knowledge and skills learned in pharmacy school.

“Residency programs are not easy, and the workload is often intense,” Ruisinger said. “But the professional gains more than make up for the hard work. The consensus is that a one-year residency is equal to about three to five years of work experience.”

KU School of Pharmacy is currently ranked seventh in National Institutes of Health funding, marking the 25th consecutive year the school has been in the top 10, and the Pharm.D. program is ranked 23rd among all schools of pharmacy by U.S. News & World Report.

Updated on: 04/23/2021