Summer Program for High School Sophomores and Juniors

***See Program Update Regarding COVID-19*** 

Dates for Summer 2020:
Monday, June 22nd through Wednesday, July 1st, 2020
Weekdays only   8:30am - 4:00pm

** Registration is now open **

Program Overview

Discover if Pharmacy is the Career for You

This program offers a fun and comprehensive learning experience about the diverse career paths in pharmacy from expert pharmacy faculty and researchers. During this program, students will spend eight days on the Midwestern University campus learning from faculty, practicing pharmacists, and current pharmacy students, as well as enjoying campus life. The summer session will take place on weekdays only, from 8:30am to 4:00pm.

The program includes:   

Activities in Pharmacy Practice:

  • Pediatric medication administration
  • Blood pressure assessment
  • IV admixture lab
  • Compounding lab
  • Infection control
  • Veterinary medicine
  • Cardiac arrest/simulation lab
  • Oncology care pharmacy
  • Auscultation and asthma devices
  • Diabetes glucose assessment
  • Opioid overdose and rescue devices
  • MyDispense prescription fill
  • Pharmacy information technology

Laboratory Exploration:

  • Bacterial DNA amplification & purification
  • Cell transformation and transfection
  • Kirby-Bauer test
  • Bio Art

Additional Activities:

  • Communication/soft skills exercises
  • Team building exercises/Escape room
  • Roundtables with various pharmacists
  • Public health poster development

For all of these activities, participants will visit multiple areas of the Midwestern University campus including the lab facilities and Clinical Simulation Center.  

Midwestern University has been offering a summer pharmacy program for high school students for 20 years. Most of the past participants have gone on to pursue various careers in pharmacy.

As the profession continues to evolve, there are numerous career paths in pharmacy. So each day in the program will offer different activities, lab explorations, and discussions about various topics in pharmacy practice. A typical day may be scheduled as follows:  

DAILY SAMPLE SCHEDULE (Times noted are subject to change. Topics and activities change daily.)  
8:30am Welcome/Day's Overview 
Morning Curriculum 9:00am - 12:00pm 
            PEP Talk* (Diabetes/Heart Disease)
            Mini-Exercise (Glucose Monitoring) 
            Pharmaceutical Science Lab (Bacterial DNA Transformation) 
Lunch 12:00pm - 1:00pm 
Afternoon Curriculum 1:00pm - 4:00pm
            PEP Talk* (Opioid Epidemic)
            Mini-Exercise (Naloxone Rescue Devices)
            Clinical Simulation Center (Mock Code Blue) 
4:00pm Wrap-up/Adjourn  
*PEP: Pharmacy Engagement and Participation: 15-20 minute influential and interactive presentations from faculty experts on pharmacy-related topics.

PharmAcademy Program Flyer for 2020

Pharmacy Careers

Did You Know? Pharmacists Today...

  • Are at the forefront of healthcare and its innovations
  • Merge science, patient care, technology, business, and math skills
  • Practice in a variety of settings including hospitals, clinics, corporate offices, etc.
  • Earn an average annual salary of $126,120, per the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2019
  • Are the medication experts on healthcare teams
  • Are one of the most highly trusted professionals
  • Have good communication, team work, and leadership skills
  • Are in demand with job security  

A Pharmacy Career Has Many Options 

Hospital: Emergency Medicine • Oncology • Infectious Diseases • Cardiology • Pediatrics • Critical Care • Organ Transplant • Nuclear • Specialty • Drug Information 
Community: Chain and Independent Pharmacies • Compounding • Community Health Center • General Medicine • Long-term Care • Veterinary 
Corporate: Pharmaceutical Research and Development • Translational Research • Information Technology • Consulting • Government Agencies 
And many more ...

Learn more about:

Pharmacy as a career
Early assurance admissions programs for high school students
Pre-Pharmacy Course Guides (for traditional admissions)


PharmAcademy participants must have:

  • Completed their sophomore or junior year in high school (graduating classes of 2021 or 2022)
  • A weighted cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher (on a 4.0 scale)

Program Update Regarding COVID-19

Due to the current health crisis, we are closely monitoring the situation to determine if it is safe to continue with the PharmAcademy program as originally planned. By Friday, May 1st, we will post our decision on this Webpage. We will not be considering alternative dates for this year's program.

If we do find it necessary to cancel this year's PharmAcademy program in its entirety, then we will issue full refunds to all paid registrants. Currently, we are also considering a virtual option for this program, which may be available for a reduced fee. If this alternative is possible, broad details may also be announced on May 1st.

Dr. Sheila Wang, Director of the PharmAcademy program and a board-certified infectious disease pharmacist, is highly sensitive to the safety issues this health crisis presents. As such, this decision will be made with the best interests of all participants in mind.

We thank you for your interest in this program and hope that we can meet you this summer in the best of circumstances.

Fee and Registration

The fee for participation is $250 per student for the full eight days, which includes all activity costs, as well as lunch each day. This fee is payable online with a credit card, or you can mail a check made payable to Midwestern University. Please note: Participants are responsible for their daily transportation to campus.

*** If this program is later cancelled in its entirety, notification will be issued and registrants will receive a full refund.***

There are two options to submit registration (please select one):

Online option:
Click this link to the PharmAcademy Online Registration Form. It includes both the registration form as well as a link to and acceptance of the "Consent for Program Participation" Agreement. Submission of transcripts is additionally required.

Hard-copy option:
Please complete the following:

  1. Complete the PharmAcademy Printed Registration Form. This form may be completed electronically and then printed for submission (additionally sign, if paying by credit card). Or, this form may be printed first and then completed. Please print legibly.
  2. Print and complete the Consent for Program Participation Form.

These two forms must be submitted with payment, which can be via personal check or credit card information. Forms and payment must be mailed together (or may be faxed to 630-971-6097, if paying by credit card). Submission of transcripts is additionally required.

For both options, enrollment will be confirmed upon receipt and review of official high school transcripts, which must include the weighted cumulative GPA. (Website printouts and scans are not accepted.) In addition, transcripts must be received by our office within two weeks of receiving the registration and consent forms. If transcripts are not received within two weeks, then the participant will be placed on the wait list until this information is received. Seats in the program may not be held for those with incomplete registration. Please have transcripts forwarded to:

Midwestern University
Chicago College of Pharmacy
Attn: Ms. Cheryl Elder
555 31st Street
Downers Grove, IL 60515

Alternatively, school registrars may email official transcripts directly to Ms. Elder at These must come directly from the Registrar's email address. We cannot accept forwarded emails from other sources. 

Transcripts are reviewed as they are received, and registration confirmations are sent soon after. Enrollment occurs on a first-come-first-served basis, and there is a maximum of 48 seats in the program. Because there will be additional communications before and during the program, please be sure that email addresses entered on the Registration Form are ones that are checked frequently in the summer.

Program FAQs

Q: What is the schedule for the program?
Students will spend each of the eight days (June 22-26 and June 29-July 1) on the Midwestern University campus in Downers Grove. Each day will be filled with various fun activities that will help students learn more about a career in pharmacy. Please see the sample schedule posted above.

Q: How does the student get to campus?
Very important: Transportation is the sole responsibility of the student/family. Pace bus service offers limited accessibility, so please review such schedules thoroughly. The campus is not located near the Downers Grove train station. Parents may drive their teens to campus and pick them up at the end of the day. However, due to security restrictions, parents may not spend the day on campus. Parking is free on campus, and students who drive themselves each day will be issued temporary parking passes on the first day of the program (proof of auto insurance required).

Q: Will parents have the chance to see what their teen has done in the program and see the campus?
On the final day of the program, Wednesday, July 1st, we will invite parents to campus for the Closing Ceremony at Noon, when Certificates of Completion will be awarded and photos from the program will be shared. The research posters done by the students will also be displayed. Afterwards, parents are welcome to speak with some of our faculty members, as well as see our beautiful campus.

Q: How does the registration process work?
You may register and pay for the program either online, or you may print the registration form (found on the Webpage) and mail in your payment. Complete instructions are available on the form.

Also required as part of the registration process is the parent- or guardian-signed consent for participation. If registration is done online, then this electronic agreement is included in the online form. If the registration is done with hardcopies that are faxed or mailed, then there is a separate form that will need to be printed, signed, and included in the submittal.

Regardless of which registration method you use, all participants will need to have official high school transcripts sent to Midwestern University, as noted in the registration form. The transcripts must be official; we cannot accept Website printouts or scans. In addition, the cumulative GPA must be indicated. Students must have at least a 3.0 weighted cumulative GPA to participate in the program (on a 4.0 scale).

Once we receive all components (registration form, payment, signed waiver/online agreement, and official transcripts), we will process the registration and confirm enrollment via email to both the parent and student. Transcripts must be received by our office within two weeks of receiving the registration and consent forms. If transcripts are not received within two weeks, then the participant will be placed on the wait list until this information is received. Seats in the program may not be held for those with incomplete registration. Enrollment occurs on a first-come-first-served basis, and there are 48 seats in the program.

Please note: In addition to the confirmation email, there will be other emails sent in the month of June regarding other program details. Please be sure that the email addresses entered in the registration form are addresses that are checked frequently during the summer months.

Q: What if the program is filled to capacity? How will I know and what are my options?
In the online sign-up: when the program reaches capacity, the system will no longer accept new registrations. If you would like to be added to the wait list, please send an email to Ms. Cheryl Elder at to indicate your interest in being added to the PharmAcademy’s wait list. If space becomes available, she will notify you. If you are doing registration via fax or email, then we will not process your payment until you accept an available seat in the program.

Q: What is your cancellation policy?
If there is a need to withdraw from the program, we ask that you notify us as soon as possible. If we receive notice of withdrawal before May 22nd, then we will refund all monies paid, minus a $30 processing fee. After May 22nd, we will not be able to issue any refunds. We are not able to pro-rate any fees, so the cost for each registered participant is $250, which includes all activity costs and lunch each day.

Q: Is there any on-campus housing available for participants in this program?
No, there is not. Participating students/parents must plan to commute daily to campus from their own home or the home of a nearby adult family member who can provide the minor with supervision and guardianship for the duration of the program’s eight days. Our campus is located 20 miles straight west of downtown Chicago in the Oak Brook area, where there is an abundance of shopping, dining, and entertainment options.

Contact Us

Ms. Damienne Souter 
PharmAcademy Program Manager  

Ms. Cheryl Elder 
PharmAcademy Program Coordinator  

Midwestern University 
Chicago College of Pharmacy 
555 31st Street 
Downers Grove, IL 60515 

The Director of PharmAcademy is Sheila K. Wang, Pharm.D., BCPS, AQ-ID.  Dr. Wang is an Associate Professor in Pharmacy Practice at Midwestern University, and a Clinical Infectious Disease Pharmacist at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago.

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