2022-2023 Samford University Graduate Catalog 
    Jun 19, 2024  
2022-2023 Samford University Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Pharmacy (Doctoral)

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Doctoral Programs and Requirements

The information contained within this catalog pertains to students enrolled in the pharmacy program consisting of courses with the prefix “PHAR.” Students enrolled during the pharmacy program consisting of courses with the prefix “PHRX” are referred to previous catalog editions for policies and procedures plus other information. A few policies and/or activities listed in this catalog may supersede prior catalog editions for students enrolled in PHRX courses.

Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D.)  

Joint Degree Pathway Programs*
Doctor of Pharmacy/Master of Business Administration (Pharm.D./M.B.A.)
Doctor of Pharmacy/Master of Healthcare Administration (Pharm.D./M.H.C.A.)
Doctor of Pharmacy/Master of Public Health (Pharm.D./M.P.H.)
Doctor of Pharmacy/Master of Science in Health Informatics and Analytics (Pharm.D./M.S.H.I.A.)
Doctor of Pharmacy/Master of Science in Nutrition (Pharm.D./M.S.)
Doctor of Pharmacy/Master of Studies in Law (Pharm.D./M.S.L.)
The McWhorter School of Pharmacy offers the doctor of pharmacy degree (Pharm.D.).

The department offers several joint degree programs in cooperation with other Samford University schools:

  • Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.) with the Brock School of Business
  • Master of Healthcare Administration (M.H.C.A.) with the School of Public Health
  • Master of Public Health (M.P.H.) with the School of Public Health
  • Master of Science in Health Informatics and Analytics (M.S.H.I.A.) with the School of Public Health
  • Master of Science in Nutrition (M.S.) with the School of Public Health
  • Master of Studies in Law with a Concentration in Health Law and Compliance (M.S.L.) with Cumberland School of Law

Some credit sharing is allowed and overall credits of the combined programs is reduced.
*Pharmacy students must apply and meet the admission criteria, as well as adhere to the academic policies and standards, of the joint degree program. Students enrolled in these programs are still allowed to enroll in pharmacy didactic elective courses, but only PHAR courses count towards the pharmacy cumulative GPA. Full-time, first-year pharmacy students are not eligible to be enrolled in courses that fall under a joint degree 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. Math and science courses must be completed with a grade of C or higher. All other prerequisite courses must be completed with a grade 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 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.

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

Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)

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

Students in the College of Health Sciences are required to provide proof of current personal health insurance coverage by the deadline provided. Students must also be able to provide proof of insurance on demand during any experiential course if requested by the experiential education site. Likewise, international students with “F” or “J” visas are required to provide proof of health insurance. Each year, students are automatically enrolled in the university-sponsored student health insurance plan and charged for this coverage. To have the charge removed from his/her Samford account, a student must provide proof of insurance by completing the insurance waiver at SAMFORD | Opt-Out/Waiver (myahpcare.com). Deadlines for enrollment or registration of current insurance coverage (referred to as an “Opt-Out/Waiver”) are set by Samford University. Without the waiver, the charge will remain on the student account and the student will be covered with health insurance from August 2022 to August 2023.

All pharmacy students accepted into the program will receive an email notifying them of how to download a College of Health Sciences (CHS) Physical Examination Form, Tuberculosis Testing Form, and Immunization Record/Titer History Form. All three forms must be completed and a copy of each uploaded to the credentialing website maintained by E*Value by the deadline provided. The Office of Experiential Education will communicate with all incoming first-year students via email upon enrollment prior to 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 official CHS Physical Examination Form provided. Tuberculin testing must be performed within the 12 months prior to enrollment and submitted only on the official Tuberculosis Testing Form, which must be completed by a physician, mid-level provider (nurse practitioner or physician’s assistant), registered nurse, or licensed practical nurse. Immunization history should be comprehensive and follow the requirements for students enrolled in the College of Health Sciences. The Immunization Record/Titer History Form must be completed by a physician, mid-level provider (nurse practitioner or physician’s assistant), registered nurse, licensed practical nurse, or pharmacist. Failure to upload all three documents to E*Value by the deadline provided will result in a $150 fine and a registration hold on the student’s record. Additionally, students who fail to upload the required documentation on the E*Value website by the deadline will be unable to begin the required experiential course and will jeopardize their enrollment in the McWhorter School of Pharmacy.

On an annual basis, documentation of a current physical exam, tuberculin testing, and seasonal flu vaccination must be provided throughout enrollment in pharmacy school. Documentation of the physical exam and tuberculin testing 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) Vaccination - 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 the Tdap vaccination is over 10 years ago, a repeat vaccination with Tdap must be performed. Students who provide medical documentation from a physician of current uncontrolled seizure disorders are exempt from this requirement.
  • Measles, Mumps, Rubella (MMR) Vaccination - 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) Testing - 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 [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 Vaccination - All students must provide written documentation of having completed the series of three (3) injections or documentation of immunity by blood test (titer) is acceptable in lieu of vaccine administration dates. 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) Vaccination - All students must provide documentation of two doses of vaccine at least 4 weeks (28 days) apart or (b) documentation of immunity by blood test (titer) or (c) written date of disease (month/year) by physician. If vaccination is required, the first dose must be administered prior to the second week of class attendance.
  • Influenza (flu) Vaccination - All students are required to provide documentation of immunization of a yearly flu vaccination. Students will be provided information via email when current seasonal flu vaccinations are available. Documentation must be provided by October 1st each year while enrolled in pharmacy school.
  • 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 PHAR 430  and prior to the P4 year.
  • Health Insurance Portability and 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.
  • Blood Borne Pathogen 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.
  • Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) Training - All students must keep CPR certification 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. The student is responsible for providing documentation to the Office of Experiential Education via their account within E*Value, and/or site upon request.

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 scheduling (e.g., labs, makeup exams) 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 collaborative 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.

Professional Pharmacy Curriculum

The professional pharmacy curriculum is designed to provide practical and innovative educational experiences for students, so that Samford pharmacy students are truly “Practice and Team Ready.” One of the pharmacy school’s goals is to coordinate and integrate material for students to apply and practice plus readily recall their knowledge.  The school of pharmacy curriculum competencies are based primarily upon the Center for Advancement in Pharmacy Education (CAPE) 2013 outcomes, Entrustable Professional Activities (EPAs), and the College of Health Sciences Interprofessional Education framework.

As an overview, the professional program consists of 146 total credit hours. The first two and a half years combine classroom instruction with direct patient interaction. The Introductory Pharmacy Practice Experiences (IPPE) occur each didactic year 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 in caring for patients. Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experiences (APPE) start in the spring of the third year and continue throughout the fourth year of the pharmacy program. In the summer of their fourth year, students will complete the comprehensive Professional Activities and Competencies Evaluation (PACE) course to ensure they can demonstrate skills and apply other learning acquired during APPEs. During this time, students will also complete a research project through their Applied Pharmacy Research and Service course. After APPEs have concluded, students will complete the Capstone module, which consists of coursework specifically designed to prepare and transition students to the profession.

As a means to coordinate and integrate content, the Integrated Pharmacy Lab (IPL) 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 courses can benefit patients. Additionally, students will participate in layered learning in which students from multiple 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. A unique feature of the lab sequence is scheduled DASH (Developing Academic Success and Health) and SPRINT (Simulating Practice ReadiNess and Teamwork) weeks. DASH weeks focus on preparing first- and second-year students and orienting them to the rigors of the PharmD program and feature a wide variety of content ranging from professional development to academic content. In SPRINT weeks, students will perform by applying and integrating course content, practicing skills, and recalling prior learning via lab assessments, simulations, and interprofessional education (IPE). Other activities include OSCE (Objective Structured Clinical Examination), standardized patients, critical thinking/problem solving, and reflections/student self-awareness. DASH and SPRINT weeks are required attendance for students; an unexcused absence may result in student values violations filed against the student and/or lab course failure.

Pharmacy students also will participate each year in 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) as well as additional CHS outcomes (faith and healing, safety). Students will be notified of IPE activities/events in advance. An unexcused absence may result in a student values violation being filed against the student and/or course failure.

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. Students are required to add various course items into their portfolio (e.g., course items mentioned in syllabi, reflections, artifacts, co-curricular activities). Also, the portfolio is read by faculty, preceptors, and/or alumni. Feedback and advice are provided to the students. Students who do not complete their portfolio are subject to sanctions, which includes not progressing in the curriculum or not meeting the program requirements for graduation. 

Delivery of Curriculum

The Department of Pharmacy Practice is comprised of approximately 24 full-time faculty, 3 post-graduate residents, 4 staff support personnel, and 1,200 affiliate clinical instructors. The department is responsible for executing the practice-oriented components of the curriculum, including courses in Applied Biostatistics and Drug Literature Evaluation, Applied Science and Pharmacotherapy, Nonprescription Medicines, Pharmacist Patient Assessment, Integrated Pharmacy Labs, numerous specialty elective courses, as well as IPPE and APPE coursework. The department is home to the school’s Office of Experiential Education and two residency programs. Furthermore, the department, in cooperation with numerous practice partners, carries out a rigorous program of clinical 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 17 faculty and two 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 Drug Delivery Systems, Pharmaceutical Calculations, Pharmacokinetics and Pharmacogenomics, and the Integrated Biomedical Sciences establish 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 Pharmacy Informatics, Pharmacy Financial Management and Pharmacoeconomics, Ethics in Health Care and Christianity, Human Resource Management for Pharmacy, Professional Development and Wellness and Pharmacy Law. One social or administrative sciences course is within 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 foundational plus advanced education to prepare Practice and Team Ready pharmacists. Furthermore, the curriculum allows students to personalize their education via elective courses, joint degree options, co-curricular activities, and other unique features (e.g., international education opportunities, focused continuous professional development).

The pharmacy curriculum has various pedagogic approaches and learning activities. The classroom is a place for meaningful engagement (e.g., blended learning, coaching, examples, case studies, collaborative learning), not just for content delivery. Instructional methods in the courses include more than lectures; students will be engaged so they are cognitively challenged and intrinsically interested in the course content (i.e., stimulate interest, which enhances memory). Assessments are wide ranging and may consist of more than just multiple choice questions and traditional exams.

The professional curriculum includes 98 semester credits of didactic and laboratory instruction and approximately 48 semester credits (over 1,740 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-spring of the P3 year or immediately following the successful completion of all required coursework prior to beginning APPEs. Eight (8) APPEs must be completed by all students. The four required APPEs are PHAR 601 (Primary/Ambulatory Care I), PHAR 620 (General Medicine I), PHAR 650 (Community Pharmacy I), and PHAR 660 (Institutional Health Systems I). Students will be allowed to provide input on their preferences for the four elective/selective PHAR 600-level APPE courses. Students also can complete a ninth APPE course at no extra cost. 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, unless approved by the pharmacy school office of academic affairs. 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 spring semester may begin sooner than the CHS for APPEs and special pharmacy learning activities or programming (e.g., Jan week). The pharmacy school summer semester begins mid-May for courses that include IPPEs and APPEs. Also, the three-week IPPE course in the summer at the end of the first- and second-years has various start dates. Students enrolled in the last year of the professional curriculum cannot take non-pharmacy courses offered at Samford (unless enrolled in one of the joint degree Pharm.D. programs) or another university, unless approved by the pharmacy school office of 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). The student is required to ensure the electronic device enables the student to complete all program requirements. A screen privacy filter that meets the school specifications also is required for the electronic device during all examinations/quizzes. Mobile phones do not meet the electronic device requirement. In addition to the personal electronic device, students are required to use only one specific external calculator for exams/quizzes. The school will provide instructions regarding the specific color and type of calculator that the students are required to purchase.

Academic Policies

The following policies apply to students who matriculated in the pharmacy program as of Fall 2021 and/or enrolled in the Practice and Team Ready curriculum. 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. Under special circumstances, a student may be allowed more than six years to complete the program; this is determined on a case-by-case basis by the office of academic affairs in consultation with the dean and the university. A student’s academic standing is monitored by the Office of Academic Affairs and the Academic Standards and Progression Committee. The Office of Academic Affairs advises any student who experiences academic difficulty. However, the individual student is responsible for ensuring 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 cumulative GPA, the number of courses failed, the number of final grades of “D” in an academic year, and/or the number of unsuccessful remediations. Students must pass all prerequisite and co-requisite courses to proceed to the next professional year in the curriculum. The prerequisite of all courses in the upcoming academic year is the successful completion of all required courses in the prior academic year. Co-requisite courses means students must be enrolled in all required courses of a semester. Students must complete all courses in the PHAR 300-500 level and achieve at least a cumulative 2.00 GPA in the professional curriculum before entering the APPE courses. 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:
    90 to 100=A 80 to <90=B 70 to <80=C 65 to <70=D <65=F

    The minimum passing grade of “C” is required in all PHAR courses, including IPPEs and APPEs. The grading scale for the IPPE and APPE courses do not include a “D” grade.  The PHAR didactic laboratory courses are assigned either a pass (at least 70%) or fail grade and no remediation option is available for lab courses. A “D” course grade shall require formal remediation and successful assessment; the student must earn a “C” or better on the final remediation grade.

    The student is responsible for utilizing the resources (e.g., faculty office hours, tutoring, electronic library resources, course active learning sessions) offered by the school and university to reduce the risk of not achieving at least a “C” final course grade. Please refer to the school’s student handbook for specific resources and details.

    A student may not repeat a pharmacy course unless there is a failure in the course or unsuccessful remediation. Both the failing course grade(s) and repeat course grade(s) are used to calculate the professional GPA; both grades will remain on the student’s academic record. All required coursework must be completed at the McWhorter School of Pharmacy. Availability of courses is limited to what is published in the Samford University Catalog and offered during the specified semesters.

    Only grades earned in PHAR courses are used to calculate the professional GPA. Thus, grades from non-PHAR courses (e.g., joint degree courses, pre-pharmacy courses) are not used to calculate the professional GPA or determine academic standing within the pharmacy program. The minimum cumulative GPA during the program is 2.00; all cumulative GPAs will be reviewed each semester by the Office of Academic Affairs. The university does not “round” the GPA. The quality point system utilized by the university is described in the current Samford University Catalog.
  1. Students who achieve a PHAR course grade of “D” are required to remediate the course. The original “D” grade of the remediated course(s) remains on the student’s academic record, regardless of successful or unsuccessful remediation. No new course grade will be added to the student’s academic record after successful course(s) remediation.

    Unsuccessful remediation (< 70% final remediation grade) shall require repeat of the course; the original “D” course grade remains on the student’s academic record along with the repeat course grade. If a student repeats a course due to unsuccessful “D” remediation and does not achieve at least a “C” grade, the student will be suspended. The repeat course grade will be failing on the academic record. If the student is readmitted, the course must be repeated again. If students do not achieve a final course grade of at least 70% on this second repeat course, they are dismissed from the school.

    The remediation plan is individualized for each student, depending upon the student’s areas of academic deficiencies. The course coordinator will be the primary person collaborating with the student in developing their individualized plan, which may include consultation with the academic advisor. Remediation will consist of more than just retesting course content. The student may need to use university break time to work on his/her remediation plan. Student tutors can be available to assist during the remediation process.  Remediation for all courses should be completed no later than June 1.
  2. A student will be placed on academic probation when any of the following four criteria are met: cumulative professional GPA is less than 2.00 as a full-time student; failing a single course; three course grades of “D” in one academic year; or up to two unsuccessful remediations at any time. Students can continue in the academic year but have to resolve the reason for probation (e.g., repeat and pass failed course, successful remediation). Student sanctions are outlined in the school’s student handbook. 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 dismissal, 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 any remaining academic term will result in academic suspension. Additional course grades of “D” and/or unsuccessful remediations can result in further academic penalties as described below.
  3. A student will be suspended when any of the following six criteria are met: cumulative professional GPA less than 2.00 after two semesters, either sequential or non-sequential, as a full-time student; fails two different courses; first time repeating a course due to unsuccessful “D” course remediation and does not achieve at least a “C” grade; earns four of more course grades of “D” in one academic year; achieves two course grades of “D” and one course grade of “F” in one academic year; or three unsuccessful remediations at any time. 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 or not achieving a passing course grade after unsuccessful remediation, 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 will be dismissed when any of the following four criteria are met: fails three or more courses; does not earn at least a “C” course grade in repeated failed course(s); has a cumulative GPA below 2.00 for any three full-time academic terms, either sequential or non-sequential; or does note achieve a “C” on a second course repeat after not achieving a “C” on first course repeat due to unsuccessful D remediation. Dismissal results in permanent dismissal from the pharmacy school and 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 (e.g., academic probation, suspension, and dismissal) may be determined by the quantity of failed coursework, multiple failed courses in a given academic term may lead to dismissal and 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/year or to graduate.

  7. Students are held accountable to the University Academic Integrity Policy and Academic Eligibility for Participation in Activities Policy. Refer to the Samford University Catalog and McWhorter School of Pharmacy Student Handbook, respectively, for the details of these policies.

  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 Samford University Student Handbook.  Failure to do so can result in consequences that range from a verbal reprimand to dismissal from the academic program and 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 37
Year II, Total Required Credits 35-39
Year III, Total Required Credits 29-36
Year IV, Total Required Credits 38-43
Total Required Credits for All Years 146




      PharmacyPharmacy - ElectivesPharmacy - Advanced Special TopicsPharmacy - Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experiences (APPEs)

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