Academic Policies and Procedures

Academic Standards

University regulations on scholastic probation and dismissal are given in the General Information Catalog. In addition, the following academic standards are in effect in the College of Pharmacy.

Academic Progress

  1. The student must repeat a required pharmacy course in which he or she earns a grade of F. The student who earns a grade of D+, D, or D- in a required pharmacy course becomes subject to the policies on academic probation and dismissal described below.
  2. The student must earn a grade of at least C- in each elective pharmacy course. If the student fails to earn a grade of at least C- in an elective pharmacy course, he or she may repeat the course or may take another elective course in its place, but only courses in which the student has earned a grade of at least C- may be counted toward the professional elective requirement.
  3. The student must earn an average of at least two grade points (2.00) a semester hour on all courses undertaken at the University, whether passed or failed in order to graduate. The student must also earn an average of at least two grade points (2.00) a semester hour on all required pharmacy courses undertaken, whether passed or failed.
  4. The student may not repeat for credit a course in which he or she has earned a grade of C- or better, except under circumstances approved by the dean. 
  5. ​Pharmacy elective courses and laboratory problems courses can be take on the letter-grade or pass/fail basis, unless otherwise stated in the Course Schedule. However, the student must complete the Professional Electives Course Requirement with approved elective courses taken for the letter grade basis.

Academic Probation and Dismissal

A student is placed on academic probation in the College of Pharmacy if he or she receives a grade of D+, D, D-, or F in any required pharmacy course. If the grade received is an F, the student must repeat the course and may not progress to courses for which it is a prerequisite until he or she has earned a grade of at least C- in the failed course. If the initial grade received is a D+, D, or D-, the student may progress to courses for which the course is a prerequisite. The student may choose to repeat a course in which he or she received a D+, D, or D-, if the course does not conflict with other courses the student would normally take in the same semester; however, this choice affects the student’s release from academic probation as described in the following section.

If the student receives more than two incompletes in required pharmacy courses, regardless of the grades ultimately awarded, he or she is subject to review by the Academic Performance Committee. The committee may choose to place the student on academic probation.

A student is subject to dismissal from the college if he or she receives more than one D+, D, D-, or F in required pharmacy courses in one semester. The student is also subject to dismissal if he or she receives an additional D+, D, D-, or F while on academic probation or conditional academic probation.

Students on academic probation are expected to focus on academic improvement and thus are not allowed to hold student offices (elected, appointed, or committee chairmanship) or receive college stipends for travel to professional meetings or other college-sponsored events.

Release from Academic Probation

After receiving a grade of F, the student must repeat the course and earn a grade of at least C-. If the failed course is a prerequisite for another course, the student must repeat the course and earn a grade of at least C- before taking the course for which the failed course is a prerequisite. In the semester or summer session in which he or she repeats the course, the student must complete a full academic load, including at least five hours in required pharmacy courses and/or other courses recommended by the academic adviser. A full academic load is defined for this purpose as 12 hours in a long-session semester and six hours in the summer. The new grade is averaged with the grade of F when the student’s pharmacy grade point average is calculated. If the new grade is C- or better, the student is released from academic probation if and only if he or she has earned no further grades of D+, D, D-, or F while on academic probation or conditional academic probation. If the student does not earn a grade of at least C- upon repeating the course, he or she is subject to academic dismissal.

After receiving a grade of D+, D, or D-, the student chooses whether or not to repeat the course, if the course does not conflict with other courses the student would normally take in the same semester. He or she may progress to courses for which the course in question is a prerequisite. If the student chooses to repeat the course, he or she must earn a grade of at least C-. If the new grade is a C- or better, the student is released from academic probation only if he or she has earned no further grades of D+, D, D-, or F while on academic probation or conditional academic probation. If the student does not earn a grade of at least C- upon repeating the course, he or she is subject to academic dismissal. The new grade is averaged with the grade of D+, D, or D- when the student’s pharmacy grade point average is calculated.

If the student chooses not to repeat the course, he or she remains on academic probation (or conditional academic probation, described below) through completion of the P4 advanced pharmacy practice experiential courses in the final semester. To take the P4 experiential courses, the student must have a grade point average of at least 2.00 in required pharmacy courses. If the student earns the symbol CR in each P4 advanced pharmacy practice  course, he or she is released from probation and graduates in good academic standing with the college.

Conditional Academic Probation

If a student on academic probation receives no grade lower than C- in required pharmacy courses during the following semester or summer session in which he or she takes a full academic load, the student may be placed on conditional academic probation. This status allows the student to hold student office (elected, appointed or committee chairmanship) and to receive college stipends for travel to professional meetings or other college-sponsored events. The student remains on conditional academic probation until graduation and is subject to dismissal if he or she receives a second grade of D+, D, D-, or F.

Calculation of the Grade Point Average

  1. The student’s University grade point average includes all courses taken at the University for which a grade or symbol other than Q, W, X, or CR is recorded. If the student has repeated a course, including those courses for which he or she earned a grade of D+, D, D-, or F, all grades earned are included in the University grade point average.
  2. The student’s College of Pharmacy grade point average includes all required professional courses (excluding ALL elective courses) taken at the University for which a grade or symbol other than Q, W, X, or CR is recorded. When a student repeats a required pharmacy course, the second grade in the repeated course is averaged with the previous grade when the student’s College of Pharmacy grade point average is calculated.

The Academic Performance Committee

The College of Pharmacy Academic Performance Committee monitors the academic progress of students in the professional program. The committee makes recommendations to the dean regarding students’ academic progress and academic probation and dismissal. The committee also makes recommendations to assist students who may be in academic difficulty. Any student in academic difficulty may be asked to appear before the committee for guidance. The committee hears all student appeals regarding academic progress and academic probation and dismissal. The committee aids the Admissions Committee in the evaluation of students who wish to return to the college after having been dismissed.

Course Load and Sequence of Work

  1. To progress to the final-year experiential courses, the student must have successfully completed all basic education requirements and all required and elective pharmacy courses except those in the internship year.
  2. Because final-year experiential courses are offered on the pass/fail basis only, students must have attained both the University and the College of Pharmacy grade point average of at least 2.00 required for graduation before they begin the P4 advanced pharmacy practice experiential year.
  3. If a conflict arises between University requirements and a student’s employment, the student must resolve the conflict in favor of the University requirements.
  4. A student who is not on academic probation must take at least 12 semester hours during any long-session semester, at least six hours of which must be for a letter grade (not pass/fail).
  5. A student on academic probation must take at least 12 semester hours during any long-session semester or at least six semester hours during the summer session in order to clear academic probation.
  6. Students may not take courses for degree credit at another institution without prior approval from the dean of the College of Pharmacy.
  7. All students seeking to reenter the College of Pharmacy after having been placed on academic dismissal must make formal application through the Admissions Committee. The application is processed through the Admissions Committee with recommendations from the Academic Performance Committee and the approval of the dean.

Early Practice Experience

All students must participate in an early practice experience, which consists of at least 200 hours in either a community pharmacy or a hospital pharmacy practice setting. Since the student must be registered with the Texas State Board of Pharmacy as a student-intern before gaining these hours, and since that registration requires that students have completed the first year of the professional sequence, students may not begin accruing these hours until after the first professional year. The early practice experience must be completed before the student begins the fourth professional year.

Additional information is provided to students during the first professional year.

Standards of Ethical Conduct

Pharmacy practitioners enjoy a special trust and authority based on the profession’s commitment to a code of ethical behavior in its management of client affairs. The inculcation of a sense of responsible professional behavior is a critical component of professional education, and high standards of ethical conduct are expected of pharmacy students.

Toward that end, the faculty and students of the College of Pharmacy have pledged their support to the Policy Statement on Ethical Conduct and Scholastic Integrity and the Code of Ethics that implements this Policy Statement. Upon entering the College of Pharmacy, and each academic year thereafter, students are asked to recite and sign the following pledge:

“As a student of the University of Texas College of Pharmacy, I have reviewed and hereby pledge my full support to the Honor Code. I pledge to be honest myself, and in order that the spirit and integrity of the Honor Code may endure, I pledge that I will make known to the appropriate authorities cases of dishonesty which I observe in the College of Pharmacy.”

In addition, the following oath, which students will be asked to sign, is included at the end of all class examinations: “I have neither participated in nor witnessed any acts of academic dishonesty pertaining to this assignment.” At the discretion of the instructor, the oath may also be included for other assignments such as quizzes, written reports, or papers.

Students are also required to adhere to the University's Student Honor Code which states "As a student at The  University of Texas at Austin, I shall abide by the core values of the University and uphold academic integrity." The entire text of the Student Honor Code and the University's Code of Conduct can be found at http://www.utexas.edu/about/mission-and-values.

The entire text of the Policy Statement on Ethical Conduct and Scholastic Integrity and the Honor Code are available at http://www.utexas.edu/pharmacy/students/handbook98/3code.html.

Students who violate University rules on scholastic dishonesty are subject to disciplinary penalties, including failure of the course involved and dismissal from the college and/or the University. Since dishonesty harms the individual, fellow students, and the integrity of the University and the College of Pharmacy, policies on scholastic dishonesty are strictly enforced.

Attendance in Class and Laboratories

Students in the College of Pharmacy are expected to attend all scheduled class and laboratory sessions in courses for which they are registered. If attendance is a course requirement that can impact the student's grade, the criteria for assessing attendance and consequences for nonattendance must be specified in the syllabus.

Honors

University-wide honors are described in General Information. In addition, the College of Pharmacy encourages academic excellence through Rho Chi, the national pharmaceutical honor society, described in Student Organizations, and through the Pharmacy Honors Program.

University Honors

The designation University Honors, awarded at the end of each long-session semester, gives official recognition and commendation to students whose grades for the semester indicate distinguished academic accomplishment. Both the quality and the quantity of work done are considered. Criteria for University Honors are given in General Information.

Graduation with University Honors

Students who, upon graduation, have demonstrated outstanding academic achievement are eligible to graduate with University Honors. Criteria for graduation with University Honors are given in General Information.

Pharmacy Honors Program

Criteria for Admission

Students who plan to seek special honors in pharmacy should apply to the chair of the Honors Program Committee after they have completed the fall semester of the first professional year; they must apply before they begin the second professional year. Students interested in the Pharmacy Honors Program are strongly encouraged to enroll in PHM 181R Research Opportunities in the Pharmaceutical Sciences in the spring semester of their first professional year. The criteria for admission to the program are (1) admission to the professional curriculum; (2) a grade point average of at least 3.00 in all required professional coursework completed at the time of application to the program; and (3) approval of the Honors Program Committee.

Requirements for Completion

Requirements for the completion of the honors program are (1) a grade point average of at least 3.00 in all required professional courses; (2) a grade point average of at least 3.00 in all professional courses, including required professional elective coursework; (3) completion of Pharmacy PharmD 187R at least twice; (4) completion of at least one honors elective; (5) completion of Pharmacy PharmD 288H and 489H; and (6) completion of the regular curriculum for the degree.

The statement “Research Honors in Pharmacy” appears on the transcript of each graduate certified to have completed the honors program.

College of Pharmacy Recognition Awards

The Highest GPA Award is given to the graduate(s) with the highest grade point average in required PharmD courses.

The Second Highest GPA Award is given to the graduate(s) with the second highest grade point average in required PharmD courses.

The College of Pharmacy Award for Outstanding Research is given to a graduate who has demonstrated outstanding ability in areas of pharmacy research.

The College of Pharmacy Award for Excellence in Patient Care is presented to a graduate who has demonstrated excellence in patient care while pursuing the PharmD degree.

The College of Pharmacy Award for Dedicated Service is presented to a graduate who has shown a commitment to service above and beyond the norm.

The College of Pharmacy Award for Exemplary Leadership is presented to a graduate who has excelled in leadership while pursuing the PharmD degree.

The College of Pharmacy Alumni Association Mortar and Pestle Award for Leadership, Service, and Patient Care recognizes an exceptional graduate who has demonstrated outstanding leadership, service, and patient care in the college, the University, and the community while pursuing the PharmD degree. The award is a hand-carved mortar and pestle.

College of Pharmacy Class Officers are elected by their classmates and serve as permanent officers of their class.

Students’ scholarly accomplishments are also recognized through election to Rho Chi, the national pharmaceutical honor society, and through admission to the Pharmacy Honors Program. Students’ leadership accomplishments are recognized through election to Phi Lambda Sigma, the national pharmacy leadership society.