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Academic Program and Requirements
Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D.)
Bachelor of Science (B.S.)
Pharmacy Studies Major (B.S.)
Pre-Pharmacy Curriculum for Samford Students
Pre-Pharmacy Curriculum for Transfer Students
Doctor of Pharmacy/Master of Business Administration (Pharm.D./M.B.A.)
Doctor of Pharmacy/Master of Public Health (Pharm.D./M.P.H.)
Doctor of Pharmacy with Graduate Business Minor (Pharm.D.)
A student enrolled in another ACPE-accredited college/school of pharmacy may request a transfer into the McWhorter School of Pharmacy (MSOP). Because of the highly integrated nature of the MSOP curriculum, it may not be possible to grant credit for prior coursework completed in another ACPE-accredited professional program. The decision will be determined on a case-by-case basis. Any student requesting to transfer into MSOP must complete the MSOP admission process. The student is required to submit the following to the MSOP associate dean for academic affairs: Official transcript from the current college/school of pharmacy; current college/school of pharmacy curriculum from current catalog or first academic year enrolled; syllabus and learning objectives for each pharmacy course completed; two letters of reference from the current college/school of pharmacy, in which one letter has to be from the academic dean; and any other materials requested by MSOP admissions or deans.
All communications regarding admission should be directed to the director of pharmacy admissions in the McWhorter School of Pharmacy (MSOP). Applications are considered on a competitive basis by the MSOP Admissions Committee. The committee meets regularly beginning in September and notifies applicants as decisions are made. No student can be considered for admission to the program until 16 semester credits of prerequisite math and science coursework and 32 credits of total coursework have been completed. Applicants must be currently enrolled in or have satisfactorily completed the first course in organic chemistry by the Fall 2016 semester to be considered for admission.
For the most up-to-date information on admissions policies, please visit our Web site at http://www.samford.edu/pharmacy.
Time limit on science prerequisite coursework
Applicants who have earned a bachelor’s degree may use a science prerequisite if the date of the pharmacy application is submitted within five years from the posting of the degree. Applicants who have not earned a bachelor’s degree may use a science prerequisite is that coursework was completed within five years of the submission of the pharmacy application. For all applicants, there is no time limit on any non-science prerequisite coursework. An appeal process is available for science prerequisites that fall outside the five-year window of completion.
With the understanding that an applicant must have GPAs of at least 2.0 both overall and in the math/science prerequisites to be considered, the applicant can be invited for an interview if any of the following three (3) criteria is met:
- Overall GPA greater than or equal to 2.75, and MSOP math/science prerequisite GPA greater than or equal to 2.75
- PCAT Composite score greater than or equal to the 60th percentile
- GPA of most recent 30 credit hours greater than or equal to 3.20
Applicants who are international students, or American citizens who learned English as a second language, must demonstrate satisfactory written and verbal communication skills in English as a part of the admissions process.
For an applicant to be considered for admission, a PharmCAS application must be submitted by March 1. This deadline may be extended if the entering class is not filled. To make application to the MSOP, the applicant must complete the national online application at www.PharmCAS.org. References are processed through PharmCAS. Official transcripts, essay, and PCAT scores are sent to PharmCAS and then forwarded to every pharmacy school the applicant designates. The link to the online supplemental application is located at our Web site: http://www.samford.edu/pharmacy. The PCAT and ACT or SAT scores are required.
The ACT/SAT score should be sent directly to the MSOP and not PharmCAS. Waiver of the ACT/SAT is granted to the applicant who took the ACT/SAT more than 12 years ago, or has English as the applicant’s second language and the applicant did not attend high school in the U.S. An incoming freshman must have a minimum ACT (or SAT equivalent) score of 22 to be eligible to declare pre-pharmacy as his/her chosen field of study. An incoming freshman with an ACT (or SAT equivalent) score below 22 may request a change of major into pre-pharmacy if he/she has an overall GPA and math/science GPA of 3.0 or higher after two (2) semesters of coursework completed here at Samford. Applicants are welcome to visit the school while their applications are under consideration. An interview on campus at the applicant’s expense is required for applicants invited for admission consideration.
Initial decisions regarding admission are made by May 15. Students may be accepted from a rank-ordered alternate list approved for admission after this date if previously accepted students decline the opportunity to enter the program. Students who are notified of acceptance to the pharmacy school must return a deposit of $500 within a specified period of time to reserve a place in the class. The $500 deposit is not refundable but will apply toward tuition for the first semester in residence.
Students who have been accepted by the MSOP may be denied admission just prior to or at the time of matriculation for: (1) failure to submit final transcripts of all college work completed at another institution, (2) a significant drop in grade point average, (3) failure to meet any academic stipulations set forth in the letter of acceptance, and/or (4) proven behavior that is not well-suited for the responsibilities and privileges embodied in the practice of pharmacy.
After notification of admission to the pharmacy school, students are expected to learn medical terminology on a self-study basis and be prepared for a proficiency examination at the start of the fall semester.
Notice to ADA Students
Samford University complies with applicable provisions of the Rehabilitation Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act. Students with disabilities who seek disability accommodations should contact Disability Resources located in room 205 of the University Center, or call (205) 726-2980. A faculty member will grant reasonable accommodations only upon written notification from Disability Resources.
The doctor of pharmacy degree at Samford University requires a minimum of six years of college work consistent with the standards set by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE). Candidates have the option of enrolling in Samford University for the entire program or completing the pre-pharmacy studies elsewhere and then completing the professional curriculum at Samford. Pre-pharmacy courses equivalent to those listed in the program table may be completed at any accredited junior college, community college, college, or university. Students entering Samford University as freshmen and enrolling in the pre-pharmacy program must follow the Samford pre-pharmacy curriculum, which includes the core curriculum courses unique to Samford University. Students enrolling at other institutions and expecting to transfer to the MSOP should complete the prepharmacy curriculum for transfer students. Pre-pharmacy students at other institutions are encouraged to work closely with the pre-pharmacy or health sciences advisor to assure the courses they take are consistent with the pre-pharmacy curriculum. Students are encouraged to contact the director of pharmacy admissions at the MSOP for answers to specific questions at (205) 726-2982 or (205) 726-4242. It is the student’s responsibility to satisfy all prerequisite coursework requirements.
The pre-pharmacy curriculum includes courses in the arts, humanities, and sciences in order to provide students with a well-rounded liberal arts education. All pre-pharmacy courses must be completed prior to entry into the MSOP. Applicants holding a B.S. or B.A. degree and who have completed all mathematics and science requirements in the pre-pharmacy curriculum shall only be required to satisfy the speech and statistics requirement.
Veterans, students over 30 years of age, and students with physical disabilities may petition for special consideration concerning physical education requirements. You may also refer to the Transfer Guide from our Web site at http://pharmacy.samford.edu.
A student from an ACPE-accredited college/school of pharmacy may request a transfer into the MSOP. Because of the highly integrated nature of the MSOP curriculum, it may not be possible to grant credit for prior coursework. Please contact the associate dean for academic affairs (205-726-2526) for further information.
Samford University offers a select group of incoming freshmen, who enter Samford directly from high school, an opportunity to participate in the Early Assurance Program. After a minimum of two years of pre-pharmacy coursework, students selected for this program have the opportunity to earn a Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D.) degree at Samford, provided they meet the following requirements. The entering requirements are: enroll in Samford as a freshman; and must have a minimum 26 ACT and a 3.5 GPA (high school) at time of application. The student also has to achieve these benchmarks once enrolled at Samford: hold a 3.0 overall and math/science GPA at the time of application to the McWhorter School of Pharmacy; achieve a minimum PCAT composite in the 50th percentile; complete all University core and science courses at Samford*; complete a pre-pharmacy specific Foundations (FOUN) 102 course while enrolled in the pre-pharmacy program; complete a successful interview (that results in approval of admission by the admission committee); complete all prerequisite courses in two (2) academic years.*
*Waivers may be considered on a case-by-case basis for exceptional circumstances.
Technical Standards for Admission to MSOP
In order to comply and proceed with the mission of MSOP, noted earlier in this section, technical standards for admission are a necessity, which ensures the education of pharmacists who facilitate competent patient care and professional services in all facets of healthcare. Students admitted to MSOP must possess the intellectual, emotional, and physical abilities, with reasonable accommodations as needed for those with disabilities, to acquire the knowledge, behaviors, and skills needed to complete the curriculum. These standards are essential to ensure the competencies of graduates of MSOP. Each applicant to MSOP will be assessed in the academic and technical standards set forth by the admissions committee, notwithstanding reasonable accommodations, prior to matriculation.
The doctor of pharmacy (Pharm.D.) degree identifies persons who have completed the curriculum necessary to perform the functions of a pharmacist; thus, graduates must convey and demonstrate abilities to preserve the safety and protection of public interests. Moreover, applicants for the Pharm.D. degree must be able, with or without reasonable accommodations, to perform specific essential functions that the faculty deem requisite for the practice of pharmacy. These functions fall into several categories including: communication, physical abilities, conceptual, interpretative, quantitative, behavioral, and social skills. Applicants must also have the physical and emotional stamina to perform in a competent manner in practice settings that involve heavy workloads and/or stressful stimuli. Furthermore, MSOP has determined that those individuals currently impaired by alcohol or substance abuse cannot meet the technical standards.
- Communication: Candidates must be able to speak, hear, and observe patients in a practice setting. They must be able to record information accurately and clearly, speak fluent English, and communicate effectively and sensitively with patients. Candidates must also be able to communicate effectively-and accurately-with other members of the healthcare team in oral and written form, and in patient care settings in which decisions based upon those communications must be made rapidly. Students must also be able to both receive and deliver all necessary communication in an accurate, timely, and easily understood manner.
- Physical Abilities: Candidates must possess sufficient visual, auditory, tactile and motor abilities to allow them to gather data from written and electronic reference material, from oral presentations, by observing demonstrations and experiments, by studying various types of medical illustrations, by observing a patient and his/her environment, by observing clinical procedures performed by others, by reading digital or analog representations of physiologic phenomena, and by performing basic physical examination techniques on a patient. Candidates must have sufficient physical function to elicit information from patients by palpation, auscultation, percussion and other diagnostic maneuvers necessary to assess a patient. Candidates must have the physical ability and manual dexterity to compound sterile and non-sterile products in an environment and manner compliant with existing regulations.
- Interpretative, Conceptual, and Quantitative: Candidates must have effective and efficient learning techniques and habits that allow mastery of the complex curriculum. They must be able to learn through a variety of modalities including, but not limited to, classroom instruction, small group activities, individual study, preparation and presentation of reports, and use of computer technology. They must be able to measure, calculate, reason, analyze, synthesize, transcribe verbal messages accurately, and interpret written prescriptions accurately. Candidates must possess physical, emotional, and interpretative skills to complete examination and assessment requirements of the program in compliance with the curricular schedule. Candidates must possess like skills to be able to fully assess a patient with regard to physical status, patient communication, and behavior plus patient outward presentation which might be indicative of the patient’s status. Candidates must be able to read, comprehend and respond to serial information related to a medical situation or patient.
- Behavioral, Social and Emotional Attributes: Candidates must understand the legal and ethical aspects of the practice of pharmacy and function within the guidelines established by the law and by the ethical standards of the pharmacy profession. They must be able to relate to patients and their families, colleagues, and other members of the healthcare team with courtesy, maturity, and respect for the dignity of individuals. This requires that they place the welfare of their patients foremost, and demonstrate honesty, integrity, dedication, compassion and nondiscrimination in the care of their patients. Candidates must, at all times, demonstrate the emotional stability to be able to exercise good judgment, and carry out prompt completion of all responsibilities attendant to the care of their patients in a sensitive and effective manner. This sensitivity includes self-examination of personal attitudes, perceptions, and stereotypes in order to avoid potential negative impact on relationships and patient care. Applicants must be of sufficient emotional health to adapt to changing environments, display flexibility and professional responsibility to their patients, and learn to function in an environment of uncertainty, in which changes may occur rapidly and without warning. Candidates must have sufficient emotional health to perform to standard in all experiential settings and in all acceptable teaching practices. An individual with a diagnosed disability may function as a pharmacy student as long as the above technical standards are fulfilled.
- Stamina: The study and ongoing practice of pharmacy may involve taxing workloads and stressful situations. A pharmacy student must have the physical and emotional stamina to maintain a high level of function in the face of such working conditions. In the event of a deteriorating behavioral, social or emotional function, it is essential that a pharmacy student be willing to engage in dialogue with MSOP officials as soon as there is evidence that the student is not meeting the technical standards.
A pharmacy student whose actions or decisions pose a danger to self, patients and/or colleagues will not be allowed to continue in the program unless the student agrees to accept professional help under conditions acceptable to MSOP.
Applicants are advised to contact the board of pharmacy of the states in which they intend to practice to be aware of any technical standards of those states which might restrict options to practice pharmacy.
Required Health Data
All MSOP students are required to have health insurance and must register their current health insurance or enroll in the health insurance offered to Samford students within two weeks of the first day of class. Information about the registration of insurance or enrollment in the insurance offered to Samford University students is sent by postcard from the health insurance company to students each academic year by the Office of Risk Management. Deadlines for enrollment or registration of current insurance coverage (referred to as a “waive”) are set by Samford University. Once the deadline is passed any students not taking action (active enrollment or registration of current insurance) will be automatically enrolled in the plan offered to Samford University students. At that point, charges for the insurance are non-refundable. Students must also be able to provide proof of insurance on demand during any experiential course if requested by the experiential education site.
All pharmacy students accepted into the program will receive an e-mail notifying them of how to download a McWhorter School of Pharmacy Health Form and Immunization Record. Both forms must be completed and a copy of both forms uploaded to the credentialing Website maintained by Employment Screening Services (ESS) by the deadline provided. ESS will communicate with all incoming first-year students via e-mail during the spring semester prior to the student’s enrollment in the upcoming fall semester. Physical exams for newly admitted students must be conducted within four months of the first day of classes in the P1 year, must be performed by a physician or mid-level provider (nurse practitioner or physician’s assistant), and can only be submitted on the form provided. Tuberculin screening must be performed within the three months prior to enrollment and also submitted on the Immunization Record Form. Immunization history should be comprehensive and follow the requirements for students enrolled in the College of Health Sciences. Failure to submit both documents to ESS by their deadline, to therefore be available to University Health Services for review within two weeks of the first day of class, will result in a $150 fine and a registration hold on the student’s record. Students who fail to upload the required documentation on the ESS Website by the deadline will be unable to begin required experiential coursework and will jeopardize their enrollment in the MSOP.
On an annual basis, documentation of a current physical exam, tuberculin screening, and seasonal flu vaccination must be provided throughout enrollment in pharmacy school. Documentation of the physical exam must be submitted on the official College of Health Sciences form, available through the Samford Website.
The MSOP has the following additional specific requirements related to immunizations and health screenings:
- Tetanus Diphtheria Pertussis (Tdap) - All students are required to be immunized with adult Tdap vaccine due to the risk of transmitting pertussis. Only one dose of Tdap is required as an adult to provide protection from pertussis. Based upon guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for receipt of adult Tdap vaccine, even if you have received a tetanus antigen-containing vaccine (e.g. Td) within the past 10 years, you are required to receive the Tdap vaccine at this time. However, if it has been greater than 10 years since you received the Tdap vaccine you are required to provide documentation that you have received a tetanus booster (Td). Students who provide medical documentation from a physician of current uncontrolled seizure disorders are exempt from this requirement.
- Measles, Mumps, Rubella (MMR) - All students born on or after January 1, 1957 must provide documentation of either a) written documentation of two (2) live measles-antigen containing vaccines given no less than one month apart, and on or after the first birthday, or b) written documentation of immunity by blood test (titer) demonstrating protective antibody levels to measles, mumps, and rubella.
- Tuberculosis (TB) Screening - All P1 students must provide written evidence of two-step TB skin test within the past twelve (12) months of their first day of class (after the initial TB skin test another TB skin test will be performed within one  to three  weeks). If the second TB skin test is positive, an Interferon Gamma Release Assay (IGRA) test may be conducted to rule out a “false positive”and the test results provided as documentation. If the TB skin test is determined to be positive (10mm or greater), a letter from a physician must be submitted which addresses the health status of the student and includes a baseline chest x-ray report. For those students with a previously negative two-step TB skin test, a one-step TB skin test is required annually throughout the Pharm.D. program. International students with documentation of receipt of tuberculosis vaccine (Bacillus Calmette-Guérin, or BCG Vaccine) must provide a letter from a physician documenting that a chest x-ray and appropriate follow-up has been completed.
- Hepatitis B - All students must provide proof of immunity by quantitative blood titer or documentation of completed series of vaccinations. For those students who must begin the series, the first dose must be administered prior to the first week of class attendance. Completion of the full series is required by April 1 of the spring semester of the first year (P1).
- Varicella (Chickenpox) - All students must provide documentation of two doses of vaccine at least 4 weeks (28 days) apart. The first dose must be administered prior to the second week of class attendance. Documentation of immunity by blood test (titer) or documentation of disease (month/year) by physician is acceptable in lieu of vaccine administration dates.
- Flu Vaccinations - These are required on an annual basis. Students receive an e-mail in late summer with details about when new vaccines will be available. Documentation is due by October 1.
- Random Urine Drug Screening - All students enrolled in the MSOP will be subject to random drug urine screening until graduation from the program. The current policies and procedures for random urine drug screening are available in the Pharmacy Student Handbook. All fees associated with random urine drug screening are the sole responsibility of the student.
- Criminal Background Checks - All students are required to complete a criminal background check as part of the admissions process and periodically during their training. Criminal violations or failure to submit to background checks required by the experiential office may prevent enrollment in or result in suspension from the MSOP. All fees associated with criminal background checks are the sole responsibility of the student. Criminal background check “rechecks” will be conducted during the spring prior to enrollment in PHRX 401 and prior to the P4 year.
- Health Insurance Portability & Accountability Act (HIPAA) Training - All students enrolled in the MSOP will be required to complete an online training program for protection of patient-sensitive health information as required by HIPAA. Students will be notified on the first day of class of the details for completion of this training, and will be given two weeks from the first day of class to complete this training. Failure to do so will result in being unable to complete required experiential courses and will jeopardize enrollment in the MSOP.
- OSHA Training - All students enrolled in the MSOP will be required to complete an online training program for prevention of exposure to blood-borne pathogens as required by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). This training must be renewed annually throughout the time enrolled in the MSOP.
- CPR Training - CPR training must be kept current the entire time while enrolled in pharmacy school beginning in the P2 year. CPR training is received at the MSOP during the spring of the P1 and P3 years and is valid for two (2) years. At the end of this time the student is responsible for recertification. Each student is responsible for providing the active certification to the experiential program office prior to the P4 year.
Tuition and Financial Aid
Students may apply for federal and private financial aid through the University’s financial aid office. The MSOP has additional but limited funds available for loans and scholarships. A number of pharmacy scholarships are available and awarded on the basis of both merit and need. Applications for all MSOP scholarships are available in the spring.
Students who wish to take non-PHRX courses (undergraduate or graduate) during the academic year will be required to pay the undergraduate or graduate rate upon enrollment. This fee will be in addition to the normal pharmacy tuition. Students will not be allowed to take courses that interfere with pharmacy coursework.
Student Athletes and ROTC Candidates
The MSOP will cooperate with student athletes and ROTC candidates to accommodate class scheduling to the fullest extent possible. The MSOP cannot, however, alter its program schedule for these students and the pharmacy school schedule takes precedence with any scheduling conflicts.
Professional Pharmacy Curriculum
Our curriculum is designed to provide practical and innovative educational experiences for our students. The name of our curriculum describes this endeavor: “Coordinated Topics with Integrated Applications: A Patient-Centered Approach Focusing on Drug-Related Problems and Pharmacy Applications.” One of our goals is to coordinate and integrate material for students to apply their knowledge.
As an overview, there are 145 total credit hours in this professional program. The first three years combine classroom instruction with direct patient interaction. The Introductory Pharmacy Practice Experiences occurring almost every semester during these years are planned to augment learning that takes place through coursework as well as offer opportunities for students to put their knowledge to practical use to help patients. The fourth year includes Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experiences in addition to a culminating project to provide students with a variety of environments in which to synthesize and apply their educational preparation.
As a means to coordinate and integrate content, the Integrated Pharmacy Applications course each semester will link information both across courses in a given semester as well as between years in the curriculum. Students enrolled in the same courses will have opportunities to see how content from these various classes can benefit patients. Additionally, students in all four years will meet together periodically to discuss aspects of patient care that reflect their particular knowledge levels. This horizontally and vertically integrated approach is intended to make learning interesting and relevant for our students.
Another method of integrating course content and documenting accomplishments and outcomes is the compilation of the student portfolio. All students are required to complete their own portfolio according to the instructions and information provided to them by the school of pharmacy. Also, the portfolio is read by designated faculty and feedback and advice are provided to the students.
Delivery of Curriculum
The Department of Pharmacy Practice is comprised of approximately 28 full-time faculty, three adjunct faculty, four post-graduate residents, seven and a half staff support personnel, and nearly 770 external affiliate faculty preceptors. The department is responsible for executing the practice-oriented components of the curriculum, including courses in drug information, pharmacotherapy, self-care, preparation for patient care, integrated pharmacy applications, population health, disease prevention and health promotion, numerous specialty elective courses, as well as IPPE and APPE coursework. The department is home to the Center for Healthcare Innovation and Patient Outcomes and Research (CHIPOR), the school’s Experiential Program, Post-Graduate Programs in Pharmacy Practice (e.g. residencies and fellowships), the school’s International/Global Engagement Initiatives, and the school’s Continuing Education and Technician Training Programs. Furthermore, the department, in cooperation with numerous practice partners, carries out a rigorous program of clinical outcomes research, comparative effectiveness research, and educational research designed to improve medication use and enhance student learning.
The Department of Pharmaceutical, Social and Administrative Sciences (PSAS) is comprised of approximately 15 faculty, four adjunct faculty, and three staff. Faculty in the PSAS department deliver a wide variety of classroom-based and lab-based courses within the pharmacy curriculum. The biomedical sciences courses such as Cellular and Molecular Biochemistry, Pathophysiology, Pharmaceutics, Pharmacokinetics, and the integrated Pharmaceutical Sciences (Pharmacology and Medicinal Chemistry) lay the foundation for making rational decisions in the provision of medication therapy management. The social and administrative sciences aspect of this department addresses areas such as the patient care system, population health, financial management, ethics in Christianity and health care, human resources management, and pharmacy law. There is one social or administrative sciences course in each of the six didactic semesters to promote the building of knowledge in this area as students move through the curriculum. Laboratory instruction, such as sterile and non-sterile pharmaceutical compounding, is also delivered by faculty within the PSAS department. A broad range of research areas within the department exist, including cystic fibrosis, topical and ophthalmic drug delivery, antitumor immunotherapy, pharmaceutical analysis, drug metabolism, diabetes, pharmaceutical and patient care outcomes, ethical and moral reasoning, and pedagogical research. Many opportunities exist throughout the four-year Pharm.D. program for students to work closely with a PSAS faculty member on a research project. Additionally, many PSAS faculty provide experiential education opportunities for our students.
In addition to teaching, the MSOP faculty serves the School and University as advisors to professional, social, and honorary organizations encouraging student involvement in those organizations and developing professionalism and leadership among the students. The faculty exemplify leadership and professionalism through service in leadership roles in professional and scientific organizations. Furthermore, the faculty are engaged in a number of scholarly activities including research, writing, presentation, and publication.
The professional pharmacy curriculum is designed to impart in students the knowledge, skills, and attitudes essential for the practice of pharmacy today, as well as in the future. The doctor of pharmacy degree is a professional degree that requires basic educational preparation essential to provide patient-centered care and perform managerial functions.
The MSOP uses active learning (AL) concepts in its courses, with the percentage of time devoted to AL dependent upon the adaptability of the course material to these learning methods. Students in each professional year are divided into groups of four to nine students, and group work is periodically assigned. The percentage of the final grade for the course from group work is clearly stated in the syllabus for each course.
The professional curriculum includes 96 semester credits of didactic and laboratory instruction and approximately 49 semester credits (1900 contact hours) of experiential training in various practice settings. All required courses in the professional curriculum are to be completed at Samford University. Students may not receive an exemption waiver for a MSOP course based upon coursework completed at a non ACPE-accredited program.
The professional curriculum requires 40 credits of Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experiences (APPE), beginning in mid-May or immediately following the successful completion of all required coursework prior to the fourth professional year in the pharmacy curriculum. Eight (8) APPEs must be completed by all students, including PHRX 601 - Primary/Ambulatory Care I (5) , PHRX 620 - General Medicine I (5) , PHRX 650 - Community Pharmacy I (5) , PHRX 660 - Institutional Health Systems I (5) , and four additional PHRX 600-level APPE courses. Students will be allowed to provide input into their preferences for non-specified PHRX 600-level APPE courses; however, the director of experiential programs will have the final say in which specific courses the student will be registered based upon site availability and academic needs.
The maximum load for a pharmacy student is 21 semester hours. Full-time status is granted for students taking 10 semester hours. If, for compelling reasons, a student is enrolled in less than 10 semester hours, the university will classify the student as part-time. A student taking less than 10 hours during the fall or spring semester will pay tuition at the hourly rate specified in the Tuition & Fees - Undergraduate section of this catalog.
The professional pharmacy curriculum of the MSOP follows the pharmacy calendar listed in this section of the catalog. The School incorporates January in its spring semester. Therefore, students enrolled in the professional pharmacy curriculum cannot take courses offered in the University’s Jan Term. Furthermore, the first semester of the fourth professional year begins mid-May. Consequently, students enrolled in the last year of the professional curriculum cannot take courses offered during the summer terms at Samford (unless enrolled in one of the dual-track Pharm. D. programs), or another university, unless approved by the associate dean for academic affairs.
All incoming students are required to have their own personal laptop to use for various learning and teaching activities throughout the curriculum. The laptop must meet the minimum specifications, which will be provided to the students by the MSOP Admissions Department in advance of the beginning of the first semester of the first year (i.e., with the acceptance notification). Tablets and mobile phones do not meet the laptop requirement.
The following policies for students are also published in the McWhorter School of Pharmacy (MSOP) Student Handbook. Additional academic policies addressing Introductory Pharmacy Practice Experience (IPPE) and Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experience (APPE) courses are published in the master syllabus and program requirements for Introductory and Advanced Practice Experiential Courses.
- In order to receive a degree, candidates must satisfy all requirements of the MSOP and other applicable requirements of Samford University. A student must successfully complete the entire prescribed curriculum within six academic years from the original date of matriculation, and have a final cumulative GPA of at least 2.00 in order to be eligible for the degree. A student’s academic standing is monitored by the associate dean of academic affairs and the Academic Standards and Progression Committee. The associate dean advises any student who experiences academic difficulty. However, it is the responsibility of the individual student to ensure that all requirements have been met.
- Satisfactory academic progress is required of all students to remain in the pharmacy school. Academic standing is determined by the GPA and/or the number of failed courses. MSOP students must pass all prerequisite and corequisite courses to proceed in the curriculum. The prerequisite of all courses in the upcoming term is the successful completion of all required courses in the current term. Therefore, if a student fails a required course, the student will not take any required MSOP courses until the failed MSOP course is offered again. Students must complete all courses in the PHRX 300-500 level and achieve at least a cumulative 2.00 GPA in the professional curriculum before entering the APPE courses in the fourth professional year. If the student does not achieve the minimum GPA, the student will be withdrawn from the program and is not eligible for re-admission.
- Unless otherwise stated in the course syllabus, grades are assigned by instructors in the school according to the following scale:
|92-100 = A
||88-89 = B+
||78-79 = C+
||67-69 = D
|90-91 = A-
||82-87 = B
||70-77 = C
||< 67 = F
||80-81 = B-
Only grades earned in PHRX courses are used to calculate the professional GPA. The MSOP does not “round” the GPA. Other letter grades that may be assigned and the quality point system utilized by the University are described in the current University Catalog.
- A student may not repeat a pharmacy course unless there is a failure in the course. Both the failing course grade(s) and repeat course grade(s) are used to calculate the professional GPA. The minimum passing grade of “C” is required in IPPE and APPE courses, and the minimum passing grade in all other pharmacy coursework is a “D”. All required coursework must be completed at the MSOP. Availability of courses is limited to that published in the University Catalog and offered during the specified semesters.
- A student who fails a single course or whose cumulative professional GPA is below 2.00 in any academic term will be placed on academic probation. If academic probation is the result of failed coursework, then the student is cautioned that additional failed coursework will result in dismissal from the pharmacy school, either by academic suspension or expulsion, as delineated below. If academic probation is the result of the GPA being less than 2.00, then the student is cautioned that failure to achieve and maintain a cumulative GPA of at least 2.00 at the end of the remaining academic terms will result in academic suspension.
A student who fails two courses or whose cumulative GPA is below 2.00 for any two academic terms as a full-time student will be suspended, which results in dismissal from the pharmacy school. A student on academic suspension must apply in writing to the Academic Standards and Progression Committee ( the “Committee”) for readmission. The letter requesting readmission should explain the reasons for his/her academic difficulty and what measures have been taken to ensure his/her ability to succeed academically. A student file encompassing academic and behavioral performance will be reviewed by the Committee. Additional information may be requested by the committee. Should readmission be denied, that decision is not subject to review by the Committee or the associate dean for academic affairs. Should readmission be granted, the student shall be cautioned that further unsatisfactory academic performance may result in permanent dismissal from the pharmacy school. The Committee may require that a current criminal background check on the former student requesting readmission be completed at the former student’s expense. If academic suspension was the result of failed coursework, a student who is granted readmission shall be cautioned that future failed coursework will result in permanent dismissal from the pharmacy school. If academic suspension was the result of a GPA less than 2.00, a student who is granted readmission shall achieve and maintain a cumulative GPA of a least 2.00 at the end of all remaining academic terms or be subject to permanent dismissal from the pharmacy school.
A student who fails three or more courses or who fails the same course twice or whose cumulative GPA falls below 2.0 for any three full-time academic terms, either sequential or non-sequential, will be expelled, which results in permanent dismissal from the pharmacy school. Expulsion from the pharmacy school is without recourse. Expelled pharmacy students desiring to remain at Samford University will become subject to University policies on academic progression and retention. Students expelled from the MSOP are NOT allowed within the school buildings unless permission is granted in advance.
Since the level of a student’s academic difficulty, i.e., academic probation, suspension, and expulsion may be determined by the quantity of failed coursework, multiple failed courses in a given academic term may preclude the need for academic probation or suspension. In any regard, Samford University rules on continued enrollment at the University prevail.
The school has the right to implement assessments that evaluate student learning and curricular effectiveness. This may be in the form of formative and/or summative evaluations. Students may be required to complete assessments (each semester and/or yearly) that gauge student knowledge and/or skills. Successful completion of the assessments may be required to proceed into the next academic semester and/or year.
Students are held accountable to the Academic Eligibility for Participation in Activities Policy. Refer to the MSOP Student Handbook for the details of this policy.
Students must adhere to the Code of Ethical/Professional Conduct, as well as plagiarism and copyright laws, as outlined in the MSOP Student Handbook and the University Catalog. Failure to do so can result in consequences that range from a verbal reprimand to expulsion from the academic program and university. This decision is made by the pharmacy school’s Student Affairs Committee and/or the University Values Council.
Students enrolled at Samford University or other accredited institutions can not audit courses in the pharmacy curriculum.
World Wide Web - Students are invited to visit the McWhorter School of Pharmacy Web site for additional information regarding faculty, admissions, curriculum and other useful student information. Students may also visit the Samford University main Web site (www.samford.edu) for additional university information such as campus life, admissions, financial aid, and many other useful topics.
CHIPOR - The Center for Healthcare Innovation and Patient Outcomes and Research (CHIPOR) serves as a resource center, an advisory source for practitioners, and an information retrieval center for students, faculty, and practitioners. In addition to a variety of journals, books, and other printed materials, major pharmaceutical and medical databases and many electronic reference materials are available. The University’s Davis Library also provides online reference services.
Student Computer Facilities - The MSOP is equipped with computers that contain various drug information databases for course work and research. Wireless computer access is available in the MSOP and across the University. The University also has several computer labs on campus.
Coordinated Degree Programs - MSOP students may be eligible to also be enrolled in the master of business administration (M.B.A.) or master of public health (M.P.H.), or graduate business minor programs, which are offered by schools within Samford University. Pharmacy students must apply and meet the admission criteria of the coordinated program. In addition, students must adhere to the academic policies and standards of the coordinated program. Selected coordinated program courses can count towards the MSOP didactic elective course requirement. Students enrolled in either coordinated program are still allowed to enroll in MSOP didactic elective courses. Only PHRX courses count towards the student cumulative GPA. MSOP full-time students are not eligible to be enrolled in courses of either coordinated program during the first-year fall and spring semesters. For more information regarding either of these coordinated programs, please contact the MSOP associate dean for academic affairs.
Doctor of Pharmacy
|Total Required Credits
Year I, Total Required Credits
Year II, Total Required Credits
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|Total Required Credits for All Years
ProgramsMajorRequirements - UndergraduateDoctoral