2020-2021 Samford University Graduate Catalog 
    May 27, 2024  
2020-2021 Samford University Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Doctoral Pharmacy

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Doctoral Programs and Requirements

Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D.)  

Joint Degree Pathway Program
Doctor of Pharmacy/Master of Business Administration (Pharm.D./M.B.A.)

The McWhorter School of Pharmacy offers the doctor of pharmacy degree (Pharm.D.).

The department also offers a joint degree pathway program in cooperation with the Brock School of Business, leading to both a Pharm.D. and a master of business administration (M.B.A.). Some credit sharing is allowed and overall credits of the combined programs is reduced.

Additionally, the department offers several coordinated degree options in cooperation with other Samford schools/departments*: a Pharm.D. combined with a master of public health (M.P.H.), a master of science in health informatics (M.S.H.I.), a master of studies in law (M.S.L.) with a concentration in health law and compliance, or with graduate business minor. These degree combinations do not share credits.


*Pharmacy students must apply and meet the admission criteria, as well as adhere to the academic policies and standards, of the coordinated program. Students enrolled in these programs are still allowed to enroll in pharmacy didactic elective courses, but only PHRX courses count towards the student cumulative GPA. Full-time, first-year pharmacy students are not eligible to be enrolled in courses that fall under a coordinated program. For more information, contact the associate dean for academic affairs.

Admission Policies

All communications regarding admission should be directed to the director of pharmacy admissions in the McWhorter School of Pharmacy. Applications are considered on a competitive basis by the 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. At a minimum, applicants must be currently enrolled in the first course in organic chemistry by the spring semester of the current application cycle to be considered for admission.

For the most up-to-date information on admissions policies, please visit the website at www.samford.edu/pharmacy.

Time limit on science prerequisite coursework

Applicants who have earned a bachelor’s degree or higher may use a math and/or science prerequisite if the date of the pharmacy application is submitted within five years from the posting of the latest degree. Applicants who have not earned a bachelor’s degree may use a math and/or science prerequisite if 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-math or non-science prerequisite coursework. An appeal process is available for math and science prerequisites that fall outside the five-year window of completion.

For an applicant to be considered for admission, a PharmCAS application must be submitted by the date published by the school in PharmCAS. This deadline may be extended if the entering class is not filled. To make application to the McWhorter School of Pharmacy, the applicant must complete the national online application at www.PharmCAS.org. References are processed through PharmCAS. Official transcripts, essay, and letters of recommendations are sent to PharmCAS and then forwarded to every pharmacy school the applicant designates. Other requirements are listed on the pharmacy school’s website at www.samford.edu/pharmacy.

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.

When required, the ACT/SAT score should be uploaded directly into PharmCAS. Waiver of the ACT/SAT is granted to the applicant who took the ACT/SAT more than 12 years ago or who has English as his/her second language, and the applicant did not attend high school in the U.S. An interview at the applicant’s expense is required for applicants invited for admission consideration.

Criteria for being eligible to interview are published on the pharmacy website: www.samford.edu/pharmacy.

Decisions regarding admission are made on a rolling basis. Students may be accepted from a rank-ordered alternate list approved for admission 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 within a specified period of time to reserve a place in the class. The deposit is not refundable but will apply toward tuition for the first semester in residence.     

Students who have been accepted by the pharmacy school 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 GPA, (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.


A student enrolled in another ACPE-accredited* college/school of pharmacy may request a transfer into the McWhorter School of Pharmacy. Because of the highly integrated nature of the 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.

The student is required to submit the following to the school’s 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. One letter must be from the academic dean.
  • Any other materials requested by school’s admissions office and/or deans.

*ACPE=Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education

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) 726-4078. A faculty member will grant reasonable accommodations only upon written notification from Disability Resources.

Technical Standards for Admission

In order to comply and proceed with the mission of the McWhorter School of Pharmacy, technical standards for admission are a necessity, as they ensure the education of pharmacists who facilitate competent patient care and professional services in all facets of healthcare. Students admitted to the pharmacy school 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. Each applicant 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. program 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; conceptual, interpretative, quantitative, behavioral, and social skills; and physical abilities. 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, the pharmacy school has determined that those individuals currently impaired by alcohol or substance abuse cannot meet the technical standards.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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 school 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 the University and the pharmacy school.

    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 McWhorter School of Pharmacy 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 College of Health Sciences 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 their enrollment in the upcoming fall semester. Physical exams for newly admitted students 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 six 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 (CHS). 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 McWhorter School of Pharmacy.

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 McWhorter School of Pharmacy 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 six (6) months of their first day of class (after the initial TB skin test another TB skin test will be performed within one [1] to three [3] 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 McWhorter School of Pharmacy 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 program. 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 McWhorter School of Pharmacy 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 pharmacy school.
  • OSHA Training - All students enrolled in the McWhorter School of Pharmacy 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 program.
  • 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 McWhorter School of Pharmacy 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 pharmacy school 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 school 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 pharmacy school will cooperate with student athletes and ROTC candidates to accommodate class scheduling to the fullest extent possible. The school cannot, however, alter its program schedule for these students and the pharmacy school schedule takes precedence with any scheduling conflicts.


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 McWhorter School of Pharmacy is equipped with computers that contain various drug information databases for course work and research. Wireless computer access is available in the pharmacy school and across the University. The University also has several computer labs on campus.

Professional Pharmacy Curriculum

The professional pharmacy curriculum is designed to provide practical and innovative educational experiences for students. The curriculum name describes this endeavor: “Coordinated Topics with Integrated Applications: A Patient-Centered Approach Focusing on Drug-Related Problems and Pharmacy Applications.” One of the pharmacy school’s goals is to coordinate and integrate material for students to apply their knowledge.

As an overview, there are 146 total credit hours in this professional program. The first three years combine classroom instruction with direct patient interaction. The Introductory Pharmacy Practice Experiences (IPPE) occur each year during the first three years and 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 (APPE), in addition to the Capstone project, which provides 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 (IPA) course each semester of the didactic curriculum 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 students.

Pharmacy students will also participate each year in interprofessional education (IPE) sessions/activities. IPE occurs not only with Samford CHS students, but with students and healthcare providers from other institutions. The school’s IPE program conforms to the Interprofessional Education Collaborative (IPEC) standards and outcomes (communications, teamwork, roles and responsibilities, ethics). Students will be notified of IPE activities/events, and an unexcused absence may result in a student values violation being filed against him/her.

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 faculty, preceptors, and/or alumni. Feedback and advice are provided to the students.

Click at right for a detailed curriculum for the Doctor of Pharmacy program: Pharmacy (Pharm.D.)  

Delivery of Curriculum

The Department of Pharmacy Practice is comprised of approximately 28 full-time faculty, two post-graduate residents, four 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, 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 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 pharmacy students.

In addition to teaching, the McWhorter School of Pharmacy 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. Furthermore, the curriculum allows students to personalize their education via elective courses, dual degree options, co-curricular activities, and other unique features (e.g., innovation, leadership opportunities).

The McWhorter School of Pharmacy 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 50 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 McWhorter School of Pharmacy 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 on their preferences for non-specified PHRX 600-level APPE courses. Students also can complete a ninth APPE course at no extra cost. 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 Financial Information section of this catalog.

The professional pharmacy curriculum of the McWhorter School of Pharmacy follows the College of Health Sciences (CHS) calendar. 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. Also, the possible first day to begin the three-week IPPE course in the summer at the end of the first and second year is 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 electronic device (either laptop or tablet) to use for various learning and teaching activities throughout the curriculum. The school administers electronic exams in all required didactic courses. The electronic device will be used for all the exams and other assessments/activities (e.g., course and faculty evaluations, lab). The electronic device must meet the minimum specifications, which will be provided to the students by the pharmacy school’s Admissions Department in advance of the beginning of the first semester of the first year (i.e., with the acceptance notification). Mobile phones do not meet the electronic device requirement.

Academic Policies

The following policies apply to all students within the pharmacy program. 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.

  1. In order to receive a degree, candidates must satisfy all requirements of the pharmacy school 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. The school also has an academic advising program consisting of selected faculty who monitor the academic performance of first-year students and provide assistance to these students.
  2. 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. Students must pass all prerequisite and co-requisite 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 pharmacy courses until the failed pharmacy 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.
  3. 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 University 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.

  1. 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,” unless otherwise stated in the specific course syllabus. All required coursework must be completed at the McWhorter School of Pharmacy. Availability of courses is limited to what is published in the University Catalog and offered during the specified semesters.
  2. A student will be placed on academic probation when his/her cumulative professional GPA is less than 2.00 as a full-time student or after failing a single pharmacy course. 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.
  3. A student will be suspended any time his/her cumulative professional GPA is less than 2.00 after two semesters as a full-time student or after failing two pharmacy courses. Suspension results in the student being suspended 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.
  4. 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 dismissed, which results in permanent dismissal from the pharmacy school. Dismissal from the pharmacy school is without recourse. Dismissed pharmacy students desiring to remain at Samford University will become subject to University policies on academic progression and retention.
  5. Since the level of a student’s academic difficulty, i.e., academic probation, suspension, and dismissal, 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.
  6. 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.
  7. Students are held accountable to the Academic Eligibility for Participation in Activities Policy. Refer to the McWhorter School of Pharmacy Student Handbook for the details of this policy.
  8. Students must adhere to the Code of Ethical/Professional Conduct, as well as plagiarism and copyright laws, as outlined in the pharmacy school’s Student Handbook and the University Catalog. Failure to do so can result in consequences that range from a verbal reprimand to dismissal from the academic program and the University. This decision is made by the pharmacy school’s Student Affairs Committee and/or the University Values Council.
  9. Students enrolled at Samford University or other accredited institutions cannot audit courses in the pharmacy curriculum.


Doctor of Pharmacy
Required Courses
Summary - All Years
Total Required Credits
Year I, Total Required Credits 36
Year II, Total Required Credits 33-35
Year III, Total Required Credits 34-36
Year IV, Total Required Credits 41
Total Required Credits for All Years 146


Click at right for a detailed curriculum for the Doctor of Pharmacy program: Pharmacy (Pharm.D.)  




      PharmacyPharmacy Electives

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