Doctor of Pharmacy Overview
The Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D.) curriculum offered by the South College School of Pharmacy is designed as an accelerated, three calendar year curriculum. The curriculum offered includes all content and delivers all practice competencies required by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE). The Pharm.D. degree curriculum can be completed by one of two available pathways: an on-ground, campus-based pathway or a hybrid/online pathway (Pending the ACPE Board’s approval in January 2024, this pathway will begin in Summer 2024). The curriculum of the hybrid/online pathway will closely mirror that of the on-ground campus-based pathway, except for some active learning and assessment sessions which will be administered during on-campus immersion sessions and through asynchronous and synchronous distance education. Students can expect the same quality, content, and rigor regardless of pathway.
Upon successful completion of the Pharm.D. curriculum and fulfillment of all graduation requirements, students will be conferred a Pharm.D. degree and will be able to apply for licensure as a pharmacist. The South College program design, requiring 178 quarter credit hours in 36 months (effective for students entering Summer 2021 or later), meets institutional requirements, state requirements, accreditation requirements, and fits within the typical length required by other accelerated Pharm.D. programs.
Student Learning Outcomes (aka Programmatic Outcomes)
The South College School of Pharmacy faculty have developed curricular abilities that are individualized, focused, and consistent with the Center for the Advancement of Pharmaceutical Education (CAPE) educational outcomes, the American Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE) 2016 Standards, and the North American Pharmacist Licensure Examination (NAPLEX and MPJE) competency statements.
- Demonstrate Fundamental Knowledge and Skills
- Apply Critical Thinking, Problem Solving, and Decision Making Abilities
- Exhibit Professional Behavior and Ethical Conduct
- Engage in Continuing Professional Development
- Communicate and Collaborate Effectively
- Provide Patient-Centered Care
- Manage Healthcare Systems
- Promote Public Health and Wellness
Doctor of Pharmacy Admission Requirements
The School of Pharmacy has established the following admission requirements for the Doctor of Pharmacy program.
- The applicant should have a preferred cumulative grade point average of 2.5 on a 4.0 scale in all coursework from all colleges or universities attended. A grade of “C” or higher in each course is required for the following pre-pharmacy courses taken at a college or university that is accredited by a regional accreditation agency that is recognized by the United States Department of Education. International coursework must be evaluated by a credential evaluation service that is accepted by PharmCAS.
|General Biology with Lab
||8 semester or 12 quarter hours
|Anatomy and Physiology with Lab
||8 semester or 12 quarter hours
|General Chemistry with Lab
||8 semester or 12 quarter hours
|Organic Chemistry with Lab
||8 semester or 12 quarter hours
|Microbiology with Lab
||4 semester or 6 quarter hours
||3 semester or 4.5 quarter hours
||3 semester or 4.5 quarter hours
||6 semester or 9 quarter hours
||3 semester or 4.5 quarter hours
||3 semester or 4.5 quarter hours
|Electives in Humanities2
||9 semester or 13.5 quarter hours
|Electives in Social/Behavior Sciences3
||6 semester or 9 quarter hours
69 semester or 103.5 quarter hours
1For applicants who have successfully completed a bachelor’s degree, the pre-requisite requirements of speech and economics can be considered for substitution if competency in these content areas can be sufficiently demonstrated throughout the application and/or interview process.
2Electives in Humanities include fine arts, literature, philosophy, religious studies, and foreign language.
3Electives in Social/Behavior Sciences include psychology, history, sociology, anthropology, and political science.
Although not required for admission, students may benefit from additional courses in the sciences. The recommended areas of study are Immunology, Cell Biology, Biochemistry, Analytical Chemistry, Medical Terminology, and Pathophysiology.
- Applicants whose first language is not English may be required to demonstrate proficiency in the English Language by scoring a minimum composite of 80, but 100 or higher is preferred, on the computer-based Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL iBT).
- It is strongly preferred the applicant submit three letters of recommendation. Two letters of recommendation are required. One letter must be submitted by the applicant’s pre-professional adviser at the college or university where the applicant completed the pre-pharmacy curriculum or by a faculty member who taught the applicant in the pre-pharmacy curriculum. It is preferred that one letter be submitted by a pharmacist who supervised the applicant in an employee or volunteer capacity. One letter may be submitted by any person chosen by the applicant, except that the letter may not be from a member of the applicant’s family, whether related by blood or marriage.
- The applicant must submit an application for admission through the Pharmacy College Application Service (PharmCAS) conducted by the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy. The applicant must pay the fees associated with submitting the PharmCAS application. The PharmCAS application is available at www.pharmcas.org.
- The applicant must meet the following technical requirements for admission. The technical requirements set forth the non-academic abilities that are considered imperative for students to progress at the level of competence required by the faculty and by ACPE. It is the responsibility of the applicant to notify the School of Pharmacy in writing if the applicant cannot meet one or more of these technical requirements. Medical documentation describing the inability to meet one or more of the requirements should be provided. The School of Pharmacy, together with the South College Student Services Department, will review the information provided by the applicant to determine what, if any, reasonable accommodations might be possible to facilitate successful completion of the degree requirements if the applicant is admitted. The results of the review will be provided in writing to the applicant.
- Observation. The candidate must possess the ability to accurately make observations at a distance and close at hand. Observation requires a functioning level of use of the sense of vision and somatic sensation which is enhanced and supported by a functioning level of use of touch, hearing, taste, and smell. Candidates must possess the ability to directly observe demonstrations and experiments in the classroom, as well as patients’ physical conditions for the provision of their care. Candidates must be capable of remaining alert and attentive while in educational and clinical settings. Inherent in this observation process is the use of the senses and sufficient motor capability to carry out the necessary assessment activities.
- Communication. Candidates must possess the ability to effectively communicate with instructors, healthcare practitioners, patients, family members, caretakers and other members of the community. The candidate must possess the ability to use English to effectively communicate in both oral and written form and the ability to interpret forms of nonverbal communication.
- Motor skill. The candidate must possess the ability to effectively coordinate both gross and fine muscular movement, sustain equilibrium, and have intact functioning of all of the senses. The candidate must possess the ability to maintain postural control and neuromuscular control and possess a level of eye-to-hand coordination that is essential to competently performing pharmacy-based practice skills and tasks. These tasks include, but are not limited to, using computer-based information systems, preparing and dispensing medications, accurately compounding sterile and non-sterile dosage forms, providing emergency care (first aid treatments, Basic Life Saving skills, etc.) performing basic health monitoring tests and the administration of immunizations.
- Intellectual, Conceptual, and Quantitative. The candidate must be able to think critically and analytically, solve problems, demonstrate reasoning and analysis, and synthesize information in an appropriate manner. Candidates must be able to interpret information through a variety of methods including the use of electronic information systems, classroom education, group activities, independent learning, and individual instructions in a clinical setting. In addition, the candidate should be able to comprehend three-dimensional relationships and understand the spatial relationships of structures. All candidates should possess effective learning techniques which allow for the successful completion of an accelerated pharmacy curriculum.
- Behavioral and Social Attributes. The candidate must possess the emotional health necessary to demonstrate academic abilities, exercise judgment, and complete activities. The candidate must recognize how behavior affects performance and relationships. The candidate must possess the ability to endure the time commitment and stresses associated with the pharmacy curriculum and adapt to change. Personal attributes and characteristics, including but not limited to compassion, empathy, and motivation, are essential. Integrity, concern for others, effective interpersonal skills, willingness and ability to function as an effective team player, and interest and motivation to learn are all personal qualities required during the educational process.
- Professionalism. The candidate must demonstrate the ability to act with professionalism and integrity in all aspects of the admissions process, and if admitted to the School of Pharmacy, throughout matriculation in the curriculum leading to the Doctor of Pharmacy degree. Candidates must continually exhibit professionalism in their appearance, attitude, behavior, and interactions with their peers, colleagues, patients, and instructors.
- Special Students. Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to apply to the program. However, it is the responsibility of the candidate to notify South College in writing with medical documentation from their provider, (South College School of Pharmacy, 400 Goody’s Lane, Suite 1010, Knoxville, TN 37922) and verbally if there is any reason why the abilities and/or expectations described cannot be met. Candidates will be presented with these technical standards during the interview process. At that time, they will review these standards with the program faculty and sign a form. Candidates who indicate verbally and in writing (with medical documentation) that they cannot meet one or more of these requirements will have their situation reviewed by the School of Pharmacy to determine what, if any reasonable accommodations might be possible to facilitate successful completion of the degree requirements if they are admitted into the program.
- The applicant must participate (at the applicant’s expense) in an on-campus interview with representatives of the Admissions Committee of the South College School of Pharmacy. On-campus interviews are preferred, but the South College School of Pharmacy will consider interviews conducted via video calling software in certain situations. Not all applicants will be extended an offer to interview and offering of an interview is not an indication that the applicant will be accepted. Offers to interview will be determined by the Director of Admissions and the Admissions Committee. The procession for offering an interview will be from those applicants judged most qualified (based on cumulative grade point average and other measures) to those judged less qualified until the class is admitted. A result of this procession is that some applicants who meet the minimum requirements for admission may not be extended an offer to interview. Whether a particular applicant will be offered an interview will be affected by how a particular applicant compares to the other applicants in the current pool of applicants. The interview will include an evaluation of verbal communicate on skills, understanding of the pharmacy profession, and commitment to patient care, among other areas of importance to the School of Pharmacy.
- If the applicant is granted admission to the South College School of Pharmacy, the admission is contingent on the applicant completing the following.
- Provide certification that the applicant has complied with all requirements for admission. Any applicant uncertain as to compliance with all requirements must contact the Director of Admissions to verify that compliance has been achieved, or in the alternative, what steps must be taken to achieve compliance.
- Provide all documents that may be required to complete the process for admission to the South College School of Pharmacy.
- Complete a criminal background check and urine drug screen.
- Submit deposits by the dates designated. The entire amount deposited is applied toward the tuition for the first quarter but is forfeited if the student decides to not attend.
- Because PharmCAS does not provide transcripts to the South College School of Pharmacy, the applicant shall comply, if needed, with a request from the Director of Admissions that the applicant request official final transcripts from some or all colleges attended following high school graduation to be submitted to the School of Pharmacy by established deadlines.
- Complete immunization and medical requirements, which include documentation of compliance with health and medical history, required immunizations, and proof of comprehensive health and medical insurance coverage.
- Sign the authorization form to allow the South College School of Pharmacy to use academic information for assessment and quality improvement.
- Sign the authorization form to allow the South College School of Pharmacy to access national licensing examination scores for assessment and quality improvement.
Failure to comply with any of the above requirements by the established deadline will result in the applicant forfeiting the applicant’s place in the class.
Admission Related and Course Credit Policy
- All courses required for the Doctor of Pharmacy degree program, both didactic and clinical, must be completed at the South College School of Pharmacy.
- The South College School of Pharmacy does not grant advanced placement, credit for experiential learning, or transfer credits from another program or institution.
The South College Doctor of Pharmacy program is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education, 190 South LaSalle Street, Suite 2850, Chicago, IL 60603, 312-664-3575, FAX 866-228-2631, web site www.acpe-accredit.org.
Pharmacists must be licensed by the state in which they intend to practice. Licensure laws and regulations for Pharmacists vary from state to state. Statutory and regulatory requirements for initial licensure and license renewal can be found at each state’s Board of Pharmacy website. A reference for each state Board of Pharmacy is available at the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP) website located here - https://www.aapa.org/download/19739/. In general, the North American Pharmacist Licensure Examination (NAPLEX) and the Multistate Pharmacy Jurisprudence Examination (MPJE) are required prior to licensure. Exceptions to this can be found here - https://nabp.pharmacy/programs/mpje/. Graduation from an ACPE-accredited program is a requirement for licensure in all 50 states and U.S. jurisdictions. The South College School of Pharmacy program is accredited by ACPE. We work diligently with all students in preparation for licensure examinations.
NAPLEX is designed to measure the graduate’s knowledge of the practice of pharmacy and assess the graduate’s competence to practice as a pharmacist. As stated on the NABP website (www.nabp.net), the examination specifically assesses whether the graduate can:
- identify practice standards for safe and effective pharmacotherapy and optimize therapeutic outcomes in patients;
- identify and determine safe and accurate methods to prepare and dispense medications; and
- provide and apply health care information to promote optimal health care.
The MPJE combines federal- and state-specific questions to test the graduate’s knowledge of pharmacy jurisprudence and serves as the pharmacy law examination in participating jurisdictions. As stated on the NABP website, the examination specifically assesses the graduate on:
- legal aspects of pharmacy practice, including responsibilities with regard to the distribution and dispensing of pharmaceuticals and for the care of patients;
- licensure, registration, certification, and operational requirements; and
- regulatory structure and terms of the laws and rules that regulate or affect pharmacists, pharmacies, manufacturers, and distributors.
Students participating in clinical learning experiences outside of Tennessee must comply with each state’s rules for intern licensure. The South College School of Pharmacy Office of Clinical Education requires that students attain intern licensure prior to any out of state learning experiences. Information on intern licensure requirements can be found at each state’s Board of Pharmacy website.
Minimum Requirements for Progression
At minimum, a letter grade of “C” in any course attempted and a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 2.50 are required for advancement from one academic quarter to the next academic quarter. This requirement applies to all courses, whether didactic, laboratory, or experiential education rotations, provided by the School of Pharmacy. Students can carry an incomplete into the subsequent quarter until completed.
Any student who fails to achieve a minimum letter grade of “C” in a course will be allowed one opportunity to successfully complete a comprehensive re-examination (not applicable for PSC laboratory courses) for the course before the first day of classes in the next academic quarter, or if an incomplete has been registered, until the end of the subsequent quarter.1 To successfully complete a re-examination, a score of 70 percent (70%) or higher must be achieved. Students are allowed a maximum of two (2) re-examinations in each didactic year. For Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experiences (APPEs), no more than two (2) makeup rotations are allowed, subject to cause of removal from rotation and logistical considerations set forth in the School of Pharmacy Clinical Education Handbook. Notwithstanding the score earned on a comprehensive re-examination, the grade of “C” will be recorded for any course in which a student passes the course by means of a comprehensive re-examination.
At the conclusion of each academic quarter, each course director will notify the director’s academic department Chairperson of any student(s) who failed to achieve a grade of “C” and their eligibility for a comprehensive re-examination to remediate a failed course.
1 A student may contest the score received on an individual assessment or the final course grade by submitting a request for review of a course issue (using the online form and procedure in adherence to the time frame stated in the instructions with the form) before administration of the re-examination. If not successful with the request for review the re-examination will be promptly administered to the student on a date and time agreed to between the student and the relevant academic department Chairperson. Nothing herein is to be interpreted as a requirement for a student to submit a request for review of a course issue.
Automatic eligibility to remediate a course failure is determined by a course average of 60-69% and fewer than maximum re-exams already taken. Students seeking an exemption from the eligibility requirement may appeal to the course director’s academic department chair, who will make a final decision as to eligibility for remediation of course failure by re-examination. If student is deemed ineligible to remediate a course failure by comprehensive re-examination, they will be placed on a delayed graduation pathway. Students who are not successful on the re-examination will be dismissed from the program by way of correspondence from the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Assessment or placed on a delayed graduation pathway, depending on when in the subsequent quarter the re-examination result is determined and where the student is within the program. If dismissed, the student will receive counseling from the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Assessment regarding possible readmission pathways. One option is petitioning the Academic Progression and Professional Conduct Committee (APPCC) for readmission with delayed graduation to the School of Pharmacy, without reinstatement of any used allotment of re-examinations to remediate course failures. The student will have a right to be heard before the APPCC, and the hearing will be conducted in accordance with the hearing procedure established by the APPCC. The decision of the APPCC may be appealed to the Dean of the School of Pharmacy within five business days of the notification. A denial of readmission may then be appealed to the Vice Chancellor of Institutional Advancement and Effectiveness of South College within five business days of the notification. The Vice Chancellor has the discretion to refer any appeal to the South College Academic and Conduct Appeals Committee. A second option for readmission is via application to the program through PharmCAS for entry with a new cohort and full access to all comprehensive re-examinations allowed for that cohort.
A comprehensive re-examination is not permitted for a course where failure of the course is the result of a finding that the student violated an applicable academic honor or conduct code. For the purpose of this policy, a finding means any incident as defined by the applicable academic honor or conduct code. If at the conclusion of all appeals a student is found to have not violated an applicable academic honor or conduct code, the re-examination will be promptly administered to the student on a date and time agreed to between the student and the relevant academic department Chairperson.
Students who fail to comply with any policies and procedures of South College, the School of Pharmacy or an experiential education rotation site, will be subject to disciplinary action by the APPCC. The APPCC may impose disciplinary action and/or penalties on the student, including but not limited to, the following.
- Implementation of a Behavioral Corrective Action Plan
- Limited Participation in Non-Academic Activities
- Withhold Approval and Funding Support for Student Travel
- Removal from Student Office
- Limit Eligibility for Awards, Honors, and Scholarship
- Issue a Formal Warning
- Impose a Suspension and/or Probation
- Order Dismissal from the School of Pharmacy
- Deny a Petition for Readmission
- Deny Out-of-Area APPE rotations
- Mandate Class Attendance
- Disclose Disciplinary Action and Violations to Faculty and Assigned Preceptors and Rotation Sites
- Mandate Counseling and/or Psychiatric Evaluation
- Mandate a Substance Abuse Evaluation and/or Treatment
- Disclose Disciplinary Action and Violations to a State Board of Pharmacy
- Notify Campus Security and/or Filing a Police Report
- Notify Healthcare Licensing Authorities
School of Pharmacy Grading System
Course directors will determine the means by which the final course grade will be computed, which may include exam scores, oral presentations, written assignments, laboratory exercises, practical examinations, class participation, clinical participation, clinical performance, and other means of assessment. Except in the case of a clerical error on the part of faculty, preceptors, or administration, and in the case of a successful re-examination, no grade changes will be honored after the end of a course. If a student formally submits a request for a review of a course issue, the result of the review may require a grade change. All didactic courses, Introductory Pharmacy Practice Experiences (IPPEs) and Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experiences (APPEs) will be graded with a letter grade of A, B, C, or F (does not pertain to Pass/Fail courses). The School of Pharmacy grading scale is provided below.
||Percentage Score Range
At the beginning of each academic quarter, the Academic Affairs and Assessment Office will review the Doctor of Pharmacy program cumulative GPA of each current student in the School of Pharmacy to identify any student with a cumulative GPA of less than 2.50. Any identified students will be placed on academic probation. They and their faculty mentor will be notified, and they will be required to enter into an individualized education plan (IEP) intended to improve the student’s academic performance and meet minimum standards for progression in good standing. In most cases, the IEP for academic probation limits a student’s participation in professional organization and volunteer opportunities so as to focus on academic performance, plus required meetings with Academic Affairs, peer tutors, course directors regarding exams with poor performance, and/or faculty mentors. Failure of a student to follow through with the corrective action plan may result in referral to the APPCC and/or be considered by APPCC in any future reviews of the student’s progression.
Two consecutive academic quarters on academic probation (as defined above), or three non-consecutive academic quarters on academic probation, may result in academic dismissal unless significant progress is demonstrated or there are documented extenuating circumstances. The dismissed student may then petition the APPCC for readmission to the School of Pharmacy. The student will have a right to be heard before the APPCC, and the hearing will be conducted in accordance with the hearing procedure established by the APPCC. The decision of the APPCC may be appealed to the Dean of the School of Pharmacy. The decision of the Dean of the School of Pharmacy may be appealed to the Vice Chancellor for Institutional Advancement and Effectiveness of South College. The Vice Chancellor has the discretion to refer any appeal to the South College Academic and Conduct Affairs Committee.
The Academic Affairs and Assessment Office will also identify any student who in the previous quarter was on academic probation due to a cumulative GPA of less than 2.50 but who at the end of the current quarter has a cumulative GPA of 2.50 or higher and notify the student and their faculty mentor that academic probation has been lifted and the student is back in good academic standing.
The Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Assessment may order the dismissal of a student where the student fails to achieve the expectations for progression as stated in the Minimum Requirements for Progression section. Academic dismissal may occur upon the occurrence of any one of the following grounds:
- Violation of the South College Student Conduct Standards and Regulations, the South College Honor Code, or the South College School of Pharmacy Clinical Education Handbook.
- Two consecutive academic quarters on academic probation as defined above, or three non-consecutive academic quarters on academic probation.
- A grade of “F” in any course.
The student will be notified of this academic dismissal in writing by the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Assessment and will be informed of the appeal procedure. Also included in the notice will be information regarding loss of all privileges and services from the School of Pharmacy and South College.
Appeal of academic dismissal will be heard and decided by the APPCC. The decision of the APPCC may be appealed to the Dean of the School of Pharmacy within five business days of notification. The decision of the Dean of the School of Pharmacy may be appealed to the Vice Chancellor for Institutional Advancement and Effectiveness of South College within five business days of notification. The Vice Chancellor reserves the right to refer any appeal to the South College Academic and Conduct Appeals Committee. The decision of the Vice Chancellor or South College Appeals Committee is final and not subject to further appeal. Students with a final dismissal from the School of Pharmacy may reapply for admission through the regular admissions process.
Doctor of Pharmacy Graduation Requirements
In order for a student to graduate from the Doctor of Pharmacy degree program, the student must be in a good academic and professional standing, have had satisfactory progress in all quarters of the academic program, and satisfactorily complete the following:
- A total of 178 required credit hours including experiential pharmacy practice experiences (IPPEs/APPEs) for students entering summer 2021 or later.
- All required and elective courses with a minimum letter grade of a “C” or with a “Pass” whenever indicated.
- All required and elective courses with a cumulative grade point average of 2.50 or above.
- All required documents in preparation for graduation.
- All professional and financial obligations to South College as published in the South College and School of Pharmacy Handbooks, and as specified in any written communications from the School’s administrators.
South College reserves the right, and the student, by the act of matriculation, concedes to South College the right to require withdrawal at any time the college deems it necessary to safeguard the standards of scholarship, conduct, and compliance with regulations, or for such other reasons deemed appropriate by South College as set forth in the South College Student Handbook, School of Pharmacy Student Handbook and/or the South College Catalog.
1Some textbooks do not require purchase. They are available via technology platforms in place at South College through APhA and Access Pharmacy through the South College Library Resources site.
2Not eligible for student loan valuation.
3This does not include the cost of a computer, tablet, smartphone, or any other devices deemed necessary by the School of Pharmacy.
These are estimated costs for the entire program. Tuition, fees, and all other costs are subject to change. Tuition for in-state and out-of-state residents is the same.
Students are required to have their own health insurance prior to entering the program; many plans offer this service. Costs will vary according to the plan.
Students are required to have their own transportation both to and from clinical locations.
Students are required to have a laptop and mobile device that meets South College School of Pharmacy specifications.
School of Pharmacy Student Handbook
In addition to the South College Catalog and South College Student Handbook which contain policies and procedures pertaining to all South College students, the School of Pharmacy has a Student Handbook. This Handbook communicates additional policies and procedures relating to pharmacy students.