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Division of Drug Information

FDA Pharmacy Student Experiential Program

The Food and Drug Administration is one of the nation's oldest and most respected consumer protection agencies.  FDA's mission is to promote and protect the public health by helping safe and effective products reach the market in a timely way, and monitoring products for continued safety after marketing.

Goals and Objectives

The FDA Pharmacy Student Experiential Program provides an opportunity to learn about the FDAs multidisciplinary processes for addressing public health issues involving drugs, biologics, and medical devices.  Pharmacy students who participate in the FDA Pharmacy Student Experiential Program acquire knowledge, skills, and abilities beneficial to their professional career.  

Each FDA rotation site has its own list of objectives which will be provided on the first day of the rotation. An FDA rotation allows pharmacy students to become familiar with:

Other Program Activities

The FDA Pharmacy Student Experiential Program includes opportunities to attend FDA advisory committee hearings, congressional hearings, and a monthly lecture series.  In addition to learning about FDA operations, students interact with other pharmacy students from schools across the country and learn about pharmacist career opportunities available in government.

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The FDA Pharmacy Student Experiential Program is part of the FDA Volunteer Program for Students. The positions are unpaid. However, the program provides academic credit hours required for the Pharm.D. Degree.

Housing, transportation, and parking are not provided by the program. It is the responsibility of the student to make arrangements prior to the rotation.


If you do not reside in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area, the following websites may help you find temporary housing:

Parking and Transportation

The FDA has office buildings located in several sites in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area. Most of the FDA Pharmacy Student Experiential Program opportunities are available in Rockville, MD. Free parking is limited, and paid parking can cost up to $7 per day. There are shuttles between some of the buildings and others are accessible by Metro rail and bus systems.

Legal Requirements

Students are prohibited from releasing, publishing, or disclosing non-public information, specifically any confidential commercial or trade secret information obtained while serving as an FDA student. Students will be subject to a background check in order to obtain security clearance before their rotation.

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How to Apply

Students in their last year of pharmacy school are eligible to apply. If you are interested in an experiential rotation at FDA, please submit an application containing the following:

  1. Resume or curriculum vitae
  2. One-page paper focusing on how a rotation at FDA would facilitate achievement of your career goals
  3. Three potential time slots for your rotation, keeping in mind that flexible rotation slots will expand placement opportunities
  4. Rank order of top three preferred rotation sites:

Applications are to be submitted electronically by each school's experiential coordinator to PharmacyStudent@fda.gov Applications must be received by January 31, 2005. Students who are selected will be notified directly by their preceptor on or before March 31, 2005. Those that are not selected will receive notification via email by March 31, 2005.

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Created: 3/5/2004
Updated 9/13/2004
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