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Undergraduate Programs and Requirements
Pharmacy Studies Major (B.S.)*
Pre-Pharmacy Curriculum-Undeclared for Samford Students
Pre-Pharmacy Curriculum-Undeclared for Transfer Students
*The B.S. in pharmacy studies is for students accepted into the Pharm.D. program. It is not a stand-alone major.
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. Math and science courses must be completed with a grade of C or higher. All other prerequisite courses must be completed with a grade of C- or higher. 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 recommendation 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, holds a prior B.A. or B.S. degree in any major, 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 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.
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.
- 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 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  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.
- COVID-19 Vaccination - Strongly recommended. Although not required by the University, clinical sites may require this vaccination, and lack of vaccination may delay or prevent clinical placements.
- 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 the summer Introductory Pharmacy Practice Experience (IPPE) course, 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 P1 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-pharmacy 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.
Scholarship, Academics, and Mentoring (S.A.M.) Suite - The S.A.M. Suite is a dedicated resource center and work space in the CHS for faculty, staff, and students to fulfill many school and university activities. The Suite is available during normal CHS business hours and is frequently utilized for group work, including research collaborations, faculty meetings with students, journal clubs, and interprofessional educational activities. In addition to a variety of journals, books, and other printed materials, the Suite houses major pharmaceutical and medical databases and many electronic reference materials. The space contains several large tables, TV monitors, and plenty of charging stations, ideal for group projects.
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.
The doctor of pharmacy (Pharm.D.) 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 regionally-accredited junior or community college, or any regionally-accredited four-year college or university. Students entering Samford University as freshmen and intending to apply to pharmacy school 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 Samford should complete the pre-pharmacy curriculum for transfer students. Pre-pharmacy students at other institutions are encouraged to work closely with the pre-pharmacy or health sciences advisor to ensure that the courses they take are consistent with the pre-pharmacy curriculum. Students are encouraged to contact the director of pharmacy admissions for answers to specific questions at (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 Pharm.D. program. Math and science courses must be completed with a grade of C or higher. All other prerequisite courses must be completed with a grade of C- or higher. 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.
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 into pre-pharmacy if he/she has an overall GPA and math/science GPA of 3.00 or higher after two (2) semesters of coursework completed at Samford.
Incoming undergraduate transfer students must have a minimum total cumulative GPA of 3.00 to be eligible to declare pre-pharmacy as the plan of study. Incoming undergraduate transfer students with a total cumulative GPA below 3.00 may request to change into pre-pharmacy after two semesters of coursework at Samford if the student has earned an overall minimum GPA and math/science GPA of 3.00 for the Samford coursework.
Applicants are welcome to visit the school while their applications are under consideration.
A student from an 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. Please contact the associate dean for academic affairs at (205) 726-2526 for further information.
Early Assurance Fast-Track
Following admission to Samford University, students can apply to McWhorter School of Pharmacy’s Early Assurance Fast-Track program. Qualifying students will be invited to interview for the doctor of pharmacy (Pharm.D.) program as a high school senior and will be notified of acceptance before starting their freshman year. If these students meet all progression standards throughout the two-year pre-pharmacy coursework, they are guaranteed a seat in the first-year cohort.
- Enroll in Samford as a first time, full-time freshman.
- Must have a minimum 26 ACT composite (or SAT equivalent) and a 3.50 GPA (high school) at the time of application.
- Two letters of reference, with at least one being from a math or science teacher who has instructed the student. Letters from family members will not be accepted.
- Successful interview by the School’s Admission Committee. Following the interview, the Admissions Committee will make a decision for each applicant regarding an Early Assurance Program (EAP) admission to doctor of pharmacy program.
Benchmarks once enrolled at Samford:
- Achieve a 3.00 overall and math/science GPA each semester prior to enrollment at the McWhorter School of Pharmacy.
- Complete all University Core and science courses at Samford.*
- Enrollment in FOUN 102 (Vocations Exploration in Pharmacy).
- All prerequisite courses to be completed in two (2) academic years.*
- Not found responsible for any campus values or other conduct violations.
- Active participation in Samford’s Pre-Pharmacy Club and specific EAP events each semester.
*Waivers may be considered on a case-by-case basis for exceptional circumstances.
McWhorter School of Pharmacy’s Traditional Fast-Track program is for students who complete two years of the pre-pharmacy curriculum at Samford. During their sophomore year, students then apply and interview for the doctor of pharmacy (Pharm.D.) program.
ProgramsMajorRequirements - Undergraduate