Pharm.D. Professional Program
Students are responsible for assuring the faculty that they satisfy the qualifications for the profession of pharmacy. The faculty reserves the right to dismiss from the college at any time a student who, in its judgment, is academically unqualified or is mentally or morally unsuited for a career in pharmacy.
Student Recovery Program
The University of Houston College of Pharmacy Student Recovery Program is designed to assist students who are experiencing impairments due to inappropriate alcohol and/or chemical use and physical and mental issues. A seminar provides education about abuse and dependency issues and referral resources and other avenues of help. This seminar is required and is offered as a part of the Skills program in the first professional year.
Texas Board of Pharmacy State Registration
Students graduating with the Doctor of Pharmacy degree are eligible to sit for the Multi-State Pharmacy Jurisprudence Examination (MPJE) and North American Pharmacist Licensure Examination (NAPLEX). examination.
Under the Texas State Board of Pharmacy Rules and Regulations. a student is required to register as a student pharmacist-intern prior to performing student internship duties and only after successfully completing the first year and 30 credit hours of work towards a professional degree in pharmacy. The agreement for registration requires a student to reveal personal history (i.e. conviction of a felony or any misdemeanor other than a minor traffic violation and finger printing). For more information contact:
Texas State Board of Pharmacy
William P. Hobby Building, Tower 3, Suite 600
333 Guadalupe Street
Austin, Texas 78701-3942.
Requirements for Pharm.D. Progression
- A grade of C or better must be earned in all pharmacy courses and pharmacy practice experiences to apply toward progression or graduation.
- The college will not grant credit for any course taken without the proper prerequisites.
- Professional coursework attempted during summer sessions I, II, III, and/or IV counts as a semester.
- Students must have prior permission to register for less than a full load as published in the university catalog. In addition, a student wishing to drop a course or courses during the semester may do so in accordance with the college policy (see College Student Handbook, pages 10-12). Students will also need permission from the Assistant Dean for Student and Professional Affairs and approval of the associate dean for academic affairs.
- At the end of each semester, the Admissions and Progression Committee will review the academic records of all students with a cumulative grade point average below 2.00 or with one or more grades below a C or with one or more grades of U (unsatisfactory) in required courses.
- Students will not be permitted to register for any course in the professional program more than two times. The student who fails a course twice or whose grade fails to meet minimum grade requirements, as described in rule 1 of this section or as specified by the Admissions and Progression Committee, is ineligible to continue in the professional program.
- Students must satisfactorily complete all required second-year courses with a grade of S or C or better, excluding electives, to be eligible for the Introductory Community Practice Experience, PHAR 5493.
- Students must satisfactorily complete all required courses during the first three professional years with a 2.00 minimum grade point average to progress to the final professional year.
- Milemarker I (after the first professional year) and II (after the second professional year) are given annually to assess Pharm.D. student learning in order to determine areas of strength and weakness in preparation for subsequent courses and MileMarker III. Students who pass MileMarker I and II receive credit towards Milemarker III and students who are unsuccessful are required to remediate areas of weakness.
A student must successfully pass Milemarker III in order to progress to the final year of curriculum.
- A grade of S (satisfactory) must be earned in the Introductory Community Practice Experience course (PHAR 5493), and a grade of C or better must be earned in Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experiences (PHAR 5600s) to apply toward progression or graduation.
- All students must complete the professional course work for the Doctor of Pharmacy program within a period of six years from the time of admission, including remediation, withdrawals, and progression problems. The Associate Dean for Academic Affairs will withdraw the student from the professional program when appropriate. Exceptions to this policy will be considered by the dean of the college on a case-by-case basis. This policy applies to students entering in fall 2007 or later and those students progressing with the entering class of fall 2007.
- Criminal Background Check and Drug Screening Policy
All students admitted into the University of Houston College of Pharmacy Doctor of Pharmacy program are required to participate in pharmacy practice experiences for graduation. Many hospitals and other health care organizations operating under the Joint Commission of Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations are requiring criminal background checks and/or drug screenings for all individuals who have direct contact with patients, including pharmacy students placed in early/introductory pharmacy practice experience (IPPE) and/or advanced clinical pharmacy practice experience (APPE) assignments at these sites. As a result of these requirements, a student with disqualifying criminal conviction(s) and/or drug screening results may be prevented from undertaking clinical rotations that are required to complete the pharmacy program at the University of Houston.
Criminal Background Check Policy
All applicants accepted to the College of Pharmacy (hereinafter referred to as “College of Pharmacy” or “College”) must satisfactorily complete (submit to and pay for) a criminal background check from a vendor approved by the College of Pharmacy. Adverse information that is found in a criminal history background check may result in the withdrawal of the applicant’s offer of admission or dismissal from the program.
Generally, applicants will receive notice of this policy at the time of acceptance into the professional program. An accepted applicant is responsible for contacting the approved vendor and complying with the vendor’s and/or hospital/health care facility’s instructions concerning completing a criminal background check within fourteen (14) calendar days of receiving the notice of this policy. Failure to request a criminal background check in a timely manner and by the timeline specified in this policy is grounds for withdrawal of the offer of admission.
After acceptance the applicant shall provide written self-disclosure to the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs of any new criminal history record information no later than five (5) business days following the
charge of any crime. Failure to disclose information that is subsequently found on a background check may
result in withdrawal of the offer of admission from the College or dismissal from the program.
Criminal Background Check
The criminal background check will include a review of the student’s or accepted applicant’s criminal history for at least the seven (7) years prior to the date the student applies for admission into the program. The following criteria for suitability will be considered: o Social Security Number validation o Criminal history search, including o Misdemeanors or felony convictions, or deferred adjudications o Pending criminal charges/convictions o National Sexual Offender Registry o Office of the Inspector General (OIG) List of Excluded Individuals/Entities o General Services Administration (GSA) List of Parties Excluded from Federal Programs o Employee Misconduct Registry o U.S. Treasury, Office of Foreign Assets (OFAC), and List of Specially Designated Nationals (SDN) search o Nationwide Healthcare Fraud and Abuse scan o Applicable State Exclusion list
Currently enrolled students
Currently enrolled students in the College of Pharmacy professional program must annually (and at other times as requested in writing by a hospital or health care organization) satisfactorily complete (submit to and pay for) a criminal background check from an approved vendor prior to participating in IPPE and/or APPE assignments at these sites. Students must contact the designated vendor and comply with its instructions in authorizing and obtaining a background check within the prescribed timeframe. Students successfully completing the first year and progressing to the second year and students successfully completing the second year and progressing to the third year must request and satisfactorily complete an additional criminal background check review no earlier than July 1st, and no later than August 1st, prior to beginning the fall semester of the second and third year. Students successfully completing the third year and progressing to the fourth year must request another criminal background check review no earlier than April 1st, and no later than May 1st during the spring semester of their third year. An additional background check may be required if there is a break in enrollment in the professional program. A break in enrollment is defined as nonattendance of one long-term semester (Fall or Spring) or more and will be verified by the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs.
Some criminal offenses preclude students from participating in on-site professional experiences. In addition, some professional licensure boards include specific offenses that constitute those crimes for which licensure is prohibited. Thus students in these situations are subject to the statutory or regulatory requirements independently imposed by law, or as required by affiliating entities.
If an affiliated practice facility requires detailed criminal background check information regarding an individual student assigned to a rotation at the facility as a condition for placement, the College will notify the student of such a requirement when notified by the facility. Results of the background check(s) may be submitted directly to the hospital/heath care facility or to the College by the vendor. Upon receipt of criminal history information by the College, the College will pass on the results to the requesting hospitals or health care organizations. The hospital or health care organization will be responsible for determining whether an enrolled student is eligible to participate in the clinical practice experience assignment at the site, and will notify the student and the College of its decision. Students whose criminal background is determined as unacceptable by a hospital/health care organization may be unable to complete the curriculum (pharmacy practice experiences) required for graduation by the College of Pharmacy.
Failure to request a criminal background check in a timely manner may delay the student’s matriculation into the second, third, and/or fourth year and delay the start of his/her IPPEs and/or APPEs. A student may not be allowed to start a specific IPPE/APPE late due to a delay in criminal background check information being received by the site.
Students enrolled in the College of Pharmacy shall self-disclose to the Associate Dean for Student Affairs any new criminal history record information as outlined in the criminal background check criteria no later than five (5) business days following the charge of any crime. Failure to disclose information that is subsequently found on a background check may result in dismissal from the College. Criminal activity that occurs while a student is in attendance at the College may result in disciplinary action, including dismissal, and will be addressed according to the College of Pharmacy Honor Code.
Accepted applicants and currently enrolled students have the right to review the results of the criminal background check performed by the designated vendor and to request that the designated vendor verify that the background information provided is correct. Prior to making a final determination that may adversely affect the applicant or student, the Associate Dean for Student Affairs will notify the student or applicant, in writing, of his/her right to review and correct inaccurate information in the report, the process for contacting the designated vendor to challenge the accuracy of the report and the affect an adverse criminal history report may have on his/her continued enrollment in the pharmacy program.
If an adverse criminal history is returned on an applicant or student, the Admissions and Progression Committee will review the report and may request that the applicant or student submit additional information related to the finding (such as court documents and police records), at the applicant’s expense. The applicant or student shall be given a reasonable time, generally not less than five (5) business days, to provide documentation establishing that the report is inaccurate, that a reported felony conviction is a lesser violation under the laws of the charging jurisdiction, that a disposition was the subject of a subsequent expungement or sealing order by a competent court, or that the report is otherwise unreliable. The Committee will review all information available to it to determine whether the offer of admission should be withdrawn from the accepted applicant or if dismissal from the program is warranted.
Applicants who are denied enrollment or students who are dismissed from the program may appeal the decision of the Admissions and Progression Committee to the Dean of College of Pharmacy within 15 business days of the date the student received notice of his/her dismissal from the program. The decision of the Dean of the College of Pharmacy will be final and may not be appealed.
If the background check uncovers a question which can be cleared by the applicant or student, matriculation can be deferred up to one year while the matter is being resolved. However, a student may be granted permission to re-enroll in (IPPE/APPE) after the background check has been cleared if space is available and any applicable tuition and fees are paid.
Drug Screening Policy
The University of Houston College of Pharmacy will not require students to participate in a drug screen. However, the College will inform students that they may be asked by the facility to submit and comply with a drug screen before participating in clinical experiences at certain facilities. If an affiliated practice facility requires drug screening of an individual student assigned to rotate there as a condition for placement in that facility, the College will notify the student of such a requirement in advance. The student will be responsible for contacting an approved vendor, paying for expenses for the drug screen, and insuring that the results of the drug screen are forwarded directly to the facility.
Any students with questions concerning impairment issues while in the professional program should review The University of Houston College of Pharmacy’s Student Pharmacist Recovery Program (UHSPRN) in the College of Pharmacy Student Handbook.
Confidentiality of Records
Background check reports and all records pertaining to the results of these processes are considered confidential with restricted access. The results and collateral information are considered educational records and are subject to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act.
Access to records and reports outside of the Associate Dean for Student Affairs and any employee designated as backup must be approved by the Dean of the College of Pharmacy or his designee, prior to granting access. Requests for criminal history and drug screening information must be made in writing on a form approved by the Office of General Counsel. Information contained in the reports/records will not be shared with facilities participating in the clinical rotations unless a legitimate need is demonstrated and approved by the Dean or his designee
Any background check reports that are retained by the College of Pharmacy shall be placed in a secure location determined by the Associate Dean Students Affairs. These records shall be maintained for the duration of the student’s enrollment or until the applicant is removed from the accepted student list or as provided by the UH records retention policy, whichever is the greater length of time. The reports and records shall be physically destroyed thereafter.
Falsification of Information
Falsification of information will result in immediate removal of an applicant from the accepted applicant pool or an enrolled student from the degree program.
An applicant accepted into the University of Houston College of Pharmacy program must present proof of adequate immunization against rubeola (common measles), rubella (German measles), mumps, varicella (chicken pox), and tetanus prior to the beginning of the first professional year. The Hepatitis B immunization series must be initiated prior to the beginning of the first professional year and completed by January 31 of the second semester of the first professional year.
A negative TB skin test or chest clearance must be documented no sooner than three months prior to beginning the fall semester of the first professional year. Thereafter, a student must submit documentation of a negative TB skin test or chest clearance annually to the University of Houston College of Pharmacy Student Services office.
Probation and Suspension
The following guidelines apply to students in the professional program.
Doctor of Pharmacy students are placed on academic probation at the close of the semester if they earn the following:
- Less than 2.00 semester grade point average or;
- A grade of D or F or U in any professional course or;
- Less than 2.00 cumulative grade point average.
These students may be required to repeat a course or courses specified by the Admissions and Progression Committee prior to progression into the next professional semester, or the student may be suspended at that time (according to the suspension rules). If the student earns a grade of D or F or U after repeating the designated course or courses, the student may be suspended from the pharmacy program. If after repeating the designated courses the student’s cumulative grade point average in required courses is below 2.00, the student may be suspended from the pharmacy program. A student normally will not be allowed to repeat courses in which they have made a grade of C or better.
Doctor of Pharmacy students are considered ineligible to progress in the professional program and placed on academic suspension under any of the following conditions:
- Receipt of a grade of D or F or U in any course in a semester while on academic probation or;
- Receipt of less than 2.00 semester grade point average while on academic probation or;
- Receipt of less than 2.00 semester grade point average for more than one semester whether consecutive or non-consecutive semester or;
- Placement on academic probation more than once or;
- Receipt of grade of D or F or U after repeating a course or;
- Receipt of 1.00 semester grade point average (all digits significant) or less.
All such cases of academic probation and academic suspension will be reviewed carefully by the College’s Admissions and Progression Committee. The college dean may place on probation, or suspend any deficient student. Similarly, the college dean may remove from academic probation or suspension any student whose academic progress warrants such action.
Any student placed on suspension must apply to the Admissions and Progression Committee for readmission into the college. Suspension lasts for a period of at least one semester. A student may be denied re-admission to the college but granted a re-admission to the university to pursue a different major, provided the general university requirements have been met.
Should a student decide to leave the program for personal or medical reasons, an appointment should be made with the College’s Director of Counseling and Advising to address options and review university policy and requirements.
Probation and Dismissal Rules
- Every graduate student must maintain a ‘B’ average or 3.00 GPA throughout the MS and PhD program curriculum. Failure to do so will automatically put the student on probation for the following semester. Once on probation, the student has one semester (Fall or Spring) to improve their grades, after which if their GPA is still below 3.00 the student may have to withdraw from the program. Students who are on probation and who show dramatic improvement in course grades, may petition for an extension to the Director of Graduate Studies.
- Graduate students are allowed only 3 ‘C’ grades throughout the PhD program. Students will be automatically put on probation upon receipt of their second ‘C’ grade and will be withdrawn from the program upon receipt of their third ‘C’ grade.
- In addition, the student will be automatically put on probation if they receive a grade below a ‘C’ in any core course. Individuals who receive a grade below ‘C’ have one semester to improve their grades. Students who are on probation and who show dramatic improvement in course grades may petition for an extension to the Director of Graduate Studies.
- Additionally, students receiving a grade below ‘C’ in any core course is required to repeat the course during its next offering. A student with a D, F, or I as the most recent grade in a graduate level course for a degree plan will not be eligible for graduation.