University of Texas at El Paso Academic Catalog

Academic Catalog

School of Pharmacy

The below School of Pharmacy polices are currently being revised. The most up-to-date version of all polices can best be found on the School of Pharmacy website, in the Student Handbook.

The UTEP Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) degree requires at least 2-years of pre-professional (undergraduate) coursework followed by a four-year Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) degree program designed to prepare students to provide pharmacy practice and patient-centered care to an underserved US-Mexico border region with a critical need for increased public access to quality pharmaceutical care. The PharmD degree will prepare students to practice pharmacy in contemporary settings, such as community or hospital pharmacies, primary care clinics, long-term care facilities, and the pharmaceutical industry.  To prepare pharmacists to meet the health needs and challenges of a 21st century population, the PharmD curriculum aligns and integrates pharmaceutical sciences (e.g. medicinal chemistry, pharmaceutics, pharmacology, toxicology, pharmacokinetics), patient care, pharmacy practice, pharmacy administration, social sciences, technical Spanish for the pharmacy professional, and an extensive experiential education program that will provide students with the necessary foundational knowledge and contemporary practice skills for pharmacists.

Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE) Accreditation Status

The University of Texas as El Paso Doctor of Pharmacy program has been granted Candidate Status by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education, 135 South LaSalle Street, Suite 4100,  Chicago, IL., 60603, 312/644-3575; FAX 312/664-4652, web site

Precandidate status denotes a developmental program that is expected to mature in accord with stated plans and within a defined time period.  Precandidate status is awarded to a new program of a College or School of Pharmacy that has not yet enrolled students in the professional program and authorizes the school to admit its first class.  Candidate status is awarded to a Doctor of Pharmacy program that is currently recognized by ACPE with Precandidate status and has students enrolled but has not yet had a graduating class.  Accredited status is awarded to a program that has met all ACPE standards for accreditation and has graduated its first class.  Graduates of a class designated as having Candidate status have the same rights and privileges of those graduates from an accredited program.  ACPE conveys its decisions to the various boards of pharmacy and makes recommendations in accord with its decisions.  It should be noted, however, that decisions concerning eligibility for licensure by examination or reciprocity reside with the respective state boards of pharmacy in accordance with their state statutes and administrative rules.  

Admission Requirements

Admission requirements are designed to ensure academic success in the professional Doctor of Pharmacy curriculum.

  • Preferred minimum overall GPA: 2.75
  • Preferred minimum Math and Science GPA: 3.2
  • Preferred PCAT Composite Score: 40%
  • Prerequisite Coursework: It is highly recommended that applicants take required courses in science and math within seven years of applying for admission to pharmacy school.
  • Summer courses before enrollment: All prerequisite courses should be completed by the end of the Summer semester prior to matriculation into the PharmD program.  All prerequisites must be completed with a C or better.  Submission of final official transcripts from all colleges/universities attended is required prior to enrollment.
  • GPA Calculations: GPA for cumulative and science/math grades are calculated using a four-point scale.  An A = 4, B = 3, C = 2, D = 1, F = 0.  Grades with pluses or minuses will be converted to the corresponding A, B, C or D letter grades.  Course grades indicating a failure, e.g., an F, no credit (NC), will be calculated as an "F" in the GPA calculations. 
  • Repeated Coursework: Applicants may retake any prerequisite course. The SoP will calculate the most recent grade in a course, if it is repeated, towards the GPA. PCAT: Applicants should take the PCAT within the last 24 months of applying.
  • Meet Professional Technical Standards for Admission, Matriculation, and Graduation: The Professional Technical Standards are established by the SOP based on the physical and mental attributes required of applicants to function competently as a pharmacist upon graduation..  Students with disabilities are welcome to apply and consult with the Director of Student Affairs and the Center for Accommodation and Support Services regarding accommodations that may be available to meet the Professional Technical Standards. 
  • Eligibility for Admission to UTEP: Admission to the SOP is contingent on admission to UTEP.  For example, students that have been barred from applying to UTEP or who are ineligible for readmission to UTEP will not be considered for admission to the School of Pharmacy. 
  • Official U.S. Transcripts: Must be submitted with application.
  • Foreign transcripts: Transcripts not in English or Spanish must have an official evaluation by WES to be accepted.
  • Letters of Recommendation: Three (3) letters of recommendation must be submitted along with the application. These letters should discuss the applicant’s professional career, communication skills, academic aptitude, and service/civic experiences.  Letters of recommendation from family members and friends should not be submitted. It is strongly suggested that at one letter be from a faculty member (all disciplines accepted, but a science faculty member is preferred), or healthcare professional.
  • Supplemental Application (Personal Statement):  A supplemental personnel statement is submitted to PharmCAS.  The vision of the UTEP School of Pharmacy is to be a pioneer of excellence in pharmacy education for Innovation, Diversity, Engagement, Access, and Leadership (IDEAL). Students should tell how they meet the IDEAL through their education, in their professional involvement, and/or in their own personal life. The student should explain how they see themselves continuing, developing, and/or sharpening their IDEAL talents, skills, and service during the Doctor of Pharmacy education and as a graduate of the School of Pharmacy. This statement is the student’s opportunity to share more about themselves-- to describe how their hopes, ambitions, life experiences, and/or inspirations have shaped them. They need to remember this personal statement is exactly that - personal. The personal story is an important component of the application and will help put the entire application in context.
  • Additional Requirements: Accepted students must comply with all requirements regarding health insurance, Texas State immunization mandates and CDC immunization requirements for healthcare providers, background checks and drug screens prior to enrollment.  Failure to submit any required items for enrollment by the deadline may result in the offer of admission being rescinded.
  • Applicants from countries where English is not the first language are required to demonstrate English proficiency. Please consult the graduate school website for required scores.

Recommended Attributes for Application

Competitive candidates, in addition to the required minimum requirements, are recommended to have the following attributes that meet our IDEAL (Innovation, Diversity, Engagement, Access, and Leadership):

  • Extracurricular participation and/or leadership
  • Experience in health-related fields
  • On-going community engagement/service
  • Ability to work with diverse populations
  • Demonstrated leadership

In a holistic review, other attributes, skills, and experiences may also be considered (for example: research experience, understanding of pharmacy profession, life experiences, empathy, teamwork, work experience).  All applicants are required to have completed at least a semester’s worth of college-level Spanish or equivalent (e.g., coursework, AP credit, UTEP Spanish placement exam)Please note, fulfillment of these recommendations does not guarantee admission into the SOP.

Required Prerequisite Pre-Pharmacy Coursework​​​

See bottom of this page of the School of Pharmacy website for prerequisite list.

Transfer Students

A transfer student is any student who has been enrolled in a professional Doctor of Pharmacy degree program at another college or school of pharmacy.  If a student wishes to transfer into the UTEP School of Pharmacy four-year PharmD degree program from an Accreditation Council of Pharmacy Education accredited pharmacy college or school, the transferring applicant must send a letter of intent to transfer to the Director of Student Affairs of the UTEP School of Pharmacy.  In addition, the transferring applicant must submit a complete PharmCAS application including PCAT scores.  The Director of Student Affairs must also receive a letter from the transferring applicant’s Dean’s Office at the college or school granting approval of the transfer which states that the student is in Good Standing and is eligible to continue or return.

Transfer students must satisfy UTEP School of Pharmacy pre-pharmacy course requirements and admission standards in order to be considered for transfer.  An on campus interview will be required.  If the transfer applicant meets the requirements, after the interview, the Director of Student Affairs will make a recommendation to the Admission Committee for final action.

Because curricula are different between colleges and schools, some credit may not be transferred.  Students may not be eligible for professional year placement/advancement equivalent to their current institution.  In addition, the possibility of transfer depends on the space availability.

Academic Integrity

The University of Texas at El Paso prides itself on its standards of academic excellence.  In all matters of intellectual pursuit, UTEP faculty and students must strive to achieve excellence based on the quality of work produced by the individual.  In the classroom and in all other academic activities, students are expected to uphold the highest standards of academic integrity.  Any form of scholastic dishonesty is an affront to the pursuit of knowledge and jeopardizes the quality of the degree awarded to all graduates of UTEP.  It is imperative, therefore, that the members of this academic community understand the regulations pertaining to academic integrity and that all faculty members insist on adherence to these standards.
Any student who commits an act of scholastic dishonesty is subject to discipline.  Scholastic dishonesty includes is not limited to cheating; plagiarism; collusion; the submission for credit of any work or materials that are attributable in whole or in part to another person; taking an examination for another person; and any act designed to give unfair advantage to a student or the attempt to commit such acts.  Proven violations of the detailed regulations, as printed in the Handbook of Operating Procedures (HOP) and available in the UTEP Office of Student Life and the homepage of the Office of Student Life, can result in sanctions ranging from disciplinary probation, to failing a grade on the work in question, to a failing grade in the course, to suspension or dismissal, among others. (See the UTEP School of Pharmacy Student Handbook for further details on academic policies such as remediation and attendance).


José Rivera
Contact Information:; 915-747-8535
Education: BS, Universidad de Puerto Rico; Pharm D, University of Kentucky; Residency, University of Kentucky Medical Center

Associate Dean

 Mary Chavez
Contact Information:; 915-747-8242
Education: Pharm D, Purdue University


Marc Cox
Contact Information:; 915-747-5429
Education: BS, University of Missouri; MSPH, Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine; Ph D, Tulane University; Postdoctoral Fellowship NRSA (NIH/NIDDK), Mayo Clinic

Weiqin Lu
Contact Information:; 915-747-8542
Education: Ph D, University of Texas Health Science Center

José Rivera
Contact Information:; 915-747-8535
Education: BS, Universidad de Puerto Rico; Pharm D, University of Kentucky; Residency, University of Kentucky Medical Center

Grady Weston
Contact Information:;
Education: B.Pharm., The University of Mississippi; Ph D, The University of Mississippi

Assistant Professor

Mohammad Iqbal Bhuiyan
Contact Information:;
Education: BS, Khulna University; MS, Asian Institute of Technology; Ph D, University of Science and Technology

Gabriel Frietze
Contact Information:; 915-747-8344
Education: BA, University of Texas at El Paso; MA, University of Texas at El Paso; Ph D, The University of Texas at El Paso

Yupeng Li
Contact Information:; 915-747-7202
Education: BS, Tongji Medical School, Huazhong University of Science and Technology; Ph D, Guangzhou Institutes of Biomedicine and Health, Chinese Academy of Sciences

Ian Mendez
Contact Information:; 915-747-8216
Education: Ph D, Texas A&M University

Md Nurunnabi
Contact Information:; 915-747-8335
Education: B.Pharm., University of Development Alternative; MS, Korea National University of Transportation; Ph D, Korea National University of Transportation

Yong Qin
Contact Information:;
Education: B.Pharm., Shenyang Pharmaceutical Univer; MS, Peking Union Medical College; Ph D, University of Arizona; Postdoctoral Fellow, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center

Faculty Member Test User SOP
Contact Information:;

Professor of Practice

Didier Hernandez
Contact Information:; 915-747-5973
Education: BA, Universidad Autonoma de Chihuahua; MA, University of Texas at El Paso

Assistant Professor of Instruction

Laura Mendoza
Contact Information:; 915-747-7024
Education: BA, The University of Texas at El Paso; MA, The University of Texas at El Paso; Ph D, University of Texas at El Paso

Clinical Instructor

Boa Choi
Contact Information:;
Education: Pharm D, Texas A&M University - Rangel College of Pharmacy

Nicole Davis
Contact Information:; 915-747-8519
Education: Pharm D, The University of Texas at Austin

Perla Martinez
Contact Information:; 915-747-8549
Education: MD, Universidad Autonoma de Ciudad Jurarez; MPH, The University of Texas at El Paso; Ph D, The University of Texas at El Paso

Cristina Ortega
Contact Information:;
Education: Pharm D, University of Texas at El Paso

Sandy Salazar
Contact Information:;
Education: BS, University Central of Venezuela

Sara Smith
Contact Information:; 915-747-8241
Education: Pharm D, University of Texas at Austin

Clinical Associate Professor

Emily Christenberry
Contact Information:; 915-747-5675
Education: Pharm D, Butler University; Post-Graduate Year 1 Pharmacy Residency, St. Vincent Hospital Indianapolis; Post-Graduate Year 2 Pharmacotherapy Residency, University of Texas at El Paso/UT Austin Cooperative Pharmacy Program

Amanda Loya
Contact Information:; 915-747-8534
Education: BS, The University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP); Pharm D, The University of Texas at Austin; Registered Pharmacist (RPh), Texas State Board of Pharmacy; Ambulatory Care Pharmacy Practice Residency, Scott & White Medical Center, University of Texas at Austin

Clinical Assistant Professor

Alaa Abdelhakiem Mahmoud
Contact Information:;
Education: Pharm D, University of Missouri-Kansas City

Mandi Bever
Contact Information:; 915-747-8284
Education: BS, Southwestern College; MBA, Southwestern College; Pharm D, University of Kansas School of Pharmacy; BS, University of Kansas School of Pharmacy

Natalie Gordon
Contact Information:; 915-747-8557
Education: Pharm D, Drake University

Vicki Howe
Contact Information:; 915-747-8270
Education: Pharm D, South Dakota State University

Christopher Medlin
Contact Information:; 915-747-8551
Education: Pharm D, The University of Texas at Austin College of Pharmacy

Jacquelyn Navarrete
Contact Information:; 915-747-8520
Education: Pharm D, University of Texas at Austin; PGY-1 Community Practice Residency, Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences

Sebastian Perez
Contact Information:; 915-747-8184
Education: Pharm D, Texas A&M University; Post-Graduate Residency Training, Barnes Jewish Hospital

Denise Pinal
Contact Information:; 915-747-5884
Education: Pharm D, University of Texas at Austin; Pharmacy Practice Residency - Pediatric Focus, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center School of Pharmacy

Jessica Shenberger-Trujillo
Contact Information:; 915-747-8518
Education: BA, University of Illinois at Chicago; MA, The University of Texas at El Paso; Ph D, The University of Texas at El Paso

Rafael Sánchez
Contact Information:;
Education: BA, University of North Carolina; Pharm D, University of Florida

The University of Texas at El Paso
Mailing Address: 500 W. University El Paso Texas, 79968
Physical Address: 1101 N. Campbell St.
El Paso, Texas 79902

Phone: 915.747.8519
Fax: 915.747.8521

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