College of Pharmacy Academic Policies

College of Pharmacy | Academic Policies

Degree Completion

The maximum length of time that will be allowed for a student to complete the four-year Doctor of Pharmacy program will be six consecutive academic years from the date of their original entry into the professional program. Any student who wishes to extend the time allowed for completion of the program beyond the six-year limitation will be required to submit a petition to the Scholastic Standing and Petitions Committee. The petition will be reviewed, and a decision made for a time extension based on the individual student circumstances.

Transfer Admission

Applications for transfer students from other accredited professional pharmacy programs into the college’s professional program will be evaluated on an individual basis. The student applying for transfer must be in good academic and professional standing in their current program and a position must be available in the MUSC program for any application to be considered. Transfer credits for coursework will be evaluated and considered for acceptance on an individual basis if taken within the last 5 years.

Academic Policies

The University’s Academic Policies are contained in the MUSC Bulletin. The College of Pharmacy uses the university’s grading system to assign merit grades for courses. For didactic coursework, merit grades are assigned on a continuous scale ranging from 0 to 4 points. If a student earns a merit grade less than a 2.0 in a required course, they must repeat that course. P (Pass) and NP (no pass – fail) indicate performance in courses offered as P - NP. The P - NP option is only used for introductory pharmacy practice experiences (IPPEs), advanced pharmacy practice experiences (APPEs) and courses specified as P - NP. Some courses offer the opportunity to earn an Honors Pass (HP), including advanced pharmacy practice experiences (APPEs). Course coordinators and course faculty will identify the specific course requirements that will be utilized to determine student performance (e.g., assessments, reports, class participation, group projects, etc.). This information should be provided to students in the course syllabus at the beginning of the course. A grade of incomplete cannot be carried into the fourth professional year. Requirements to remove the incomplete and receive a final course grade must be fulfilled prior to the start of advanced pharmacy practice experiences (APPEs). Students must have no course deficiencies and meet all progression requirements as defined in the Scholastic Standing Policies to begin their APPEs at the end of the third professional year.

Honor Graduates

The University’s policy on Graduation and Honors is contained in the MUSC Bulletin.The college may select up to two first and two second honor graduates. The first and second honor graduates for the College of Pharmacy are determined based on cumulative grade point averages (GPA) at the end of the third professional year. If there is a tie for either the first or second honor graduate, the student with the greatest number of credit hours will be selected as the honor graduate. If a tie still exists, the tie will be broken by vote of the college’s administrative team. Any individual eligible to receive a degree from MUSC can be a first or second honor graduate. The list of students and cumulative GPAs used to determine the honor graduates is provided by the MUSC Registrar’s Office. Students with an honor code or professionalism violation during the Doctor of Pharmacy program, or who receive an academic deficiency during the fourth professional year will not be considered for this designation.

Course Registration

Registration for all required courses is managed by the Student Affairs Office. Students self-register for laboratory course sections and elective courses (exception: the Student Affairs Office registers incoming students for their fall P1 lab section, P2 students for their fall P2 lab section and hospital calculations course, and students completing longitudinal IPPEs for their fall and spring P3 lab sections). P1s may take electives in the spring semester of their P1 year if they are in good academic and professional standing and with permission of the Dean for Student Affairs or Dean for Curriculum. Students are responsible for referencing their respective class schedule for the semester to ensure they are properly registered for all required and elective courses. The University’s Registration Policy, which includes drop/add timelines, is contained in the MUSC Bulletin.

Accommodating Students with Disabilities

MUSC’s policy for Accommodating Students with Disabilities is contained in the MUSC Bulletin. Requests for accommodations should be directed to the Director of Equity, EEO and University Accessibility Services (Basic Sciences Building Room 104; 843- 792-5733) or visit the ADA webpage for required forms and documentation guidelines. Faculty members and preceptors are required by Section 504 of the 1973 Rehabilitation Act and the 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act amended (ADA) to accommodate students with disabilities who have been granted reasonable accommodations or modifications through the Department of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. The student is responsible for submitting a request for each academic setting (classroom, laboratory/practice skills-based courses, experiential courses). Processing requests for accommodations may take up for four (4) weeks. The college’s ADA Liaison will ensure that both professors and preceptors are notified of the student’s Letter of Accommodations. The ADA Liaison will oversee the coordination of support for the student and work in collaboration with the student and faculty to discuss how the accommodation can best be made in each academic setting. The Letters of 3 Accommodations will be implemented in all courses in the setting designated unless otherwise indicated by the student. The student will meet with each course coordinator the first day of class each semester to determine how the accommodation will be managed throughout the semester for their course. For experiential rotations, the student is responsible for meeting with the Experiential Education Office and the preceptor prior to each rotation to determine if the site is able to implement the accommodation and determine how the accommodation will be managed during the rotation. Students receiving a new accommodation must meet with the course coordinator or Experiential Education Office within two university business days of receiving the accommodation. The course coordinator or site and site preceptor is responsible for ensuring that the site is able to implement the accommodation as described in the accommodation letter.

For academic accommodations, assessments will be taken during the regularly scheduled class time, if possible, depending on the accommodation. Students may be scheduled for an assessment during another class or during the assembly hour (12-1 PM) in order to implement their accommodation (e.g., facilitating time and one-half accommodations). Assessments will not be scheduled during a class with mandatory attendance. Students must take assessments in the same format as the entire class unless specified otherwise in the accommodation. Faculty must ensure that students who receive extra time on assessments are able to remain in one location for the entire time specified in the accommodation.

Scholastic Standing Policies

Academic Probation:

Academic probation status is intended to help students struggling with their coursework and should serve as a signal that their academic standing is in jeopardy and they may be in danger of not achieving progression or degree completion. Students in this status are advised to seek additional support from university and college resources, which may be facilitated through the Dean for Student Affairs. They will be required to complete the academic standing student self-assessment available from the Student Affairs Office and urged to meet with a faculty member at the Center for Academic Excellence to develop an academic enhancement plan for the upcoming year.

Students who earn a deficiency in one to two courses during the academic year will be placed on academic probation for the next semester (excluding the summer semester) and will be eligible for summer remediation. Course remediation plans for the summer semester are listed in the course syllabus. Students who earn a deficiency in three to four courses during the academic year will be placed on academic probation for the next academic year and will not be eligible for summer remediation nor promotion to the next academic year. These students will be required to meet with a faculty member at the Center for Academic Excellence to develop an academic enhancement plan for the upcoming year. Students on academic probation are not allowed to seek or hold office in any professional organization or class in the College or University. Students on academic probation must demonstrate their ability to consistently and satisfactorily progress in the curriculum by maintaining a minimum grade point average (GPA) of 2.0 and meeting 4 promotion requirements. Failure to satisfy the terms of academic probation will result in dismissal from the program.


To be eligible for promotion and graduation, students must obtain a merit grade of at least a 2.0 in each professional course and maintain a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of at least 2.0 by the end of each academic year (including the summer session for students eligible to remediate coursework). A course merit grade less than a 2.0 is considered a deficiency. Students must remove all course deficiencies by the end of the summer semester to be promoted to the next year. Students with one to two course deficiencies may be able to remove deficiencies during the summer semester at the discretion of the course coordinator, however this does not remove their academic probation status (see academic probation section). An additional tuition charge will be billed to the student’s account to remediate the course deficiencies in the summer semester. Course remediation plans for the summer semester are listed in the course syllabus. Requests to remediate coursework outside of the college and receive credit for these courses require the approval of the course coordinator and the curriculum committee. For urgent matters (< 48 hours) the course coordinator and Dean for Curriculum can approve the course.

Students may repeat a required course once to remove a deficiency. Failing to remove a course deficiency after the second attempt taking the course will result in dismissal from the program.

If a student has deficiencies (earns a merit grade less than 2.0) in more than four courses during any given academic year they will be dismissed from the program. No student will be allowed to take a required course (except an IPPE or APPE) for the first attempt in the summer semester. Students must remove all course deficiencies prior to progressing to IPPEs or APPEs.

All IPPE and APPE course deficiencies must be remediated at a site determined by the experiential education office. Students who elect to complete ten APPEs must complete an eleventh APPE in the event of an APPE deficiency. If a student earns an IPPE or APPE deficiency or is dismissed from an IPPE or APPE, an additional tuition charge will be billed to the student’s account to remediate the course deficiency. Students with a deficiency (earning a no pass grade) in more than one APPE will be dismissed from the program. If a student fails to achieve a passing grade in an elective course, the student is encouraged, but not required, to re-take the elective course. However, the student must successfully complete a minimum of eight hours of elective credit by the end of the third professional year to progress to the fourth professional year of the program. All APPE course deficiencies, including elective APPEs, must be repeated.

The Advanced Practice Experience (APPE) curriculum takes place in the student’s fourth year. Each fourth-year student is required to complete a total of at least 9 APPE rotations. The duration of each APPE rotation is one calendar month and consists of a minimum of 160 hours of experience. To graduate, the fourth-year student must 5 complete at least 1440 APPE hours over a period of 12 months. Fourth year students are required to complete and pass the following APPEs to graduate: 2 acute care, 1 ambulatory care, 1 hospital, 1 community and at least 4 other elective rotations. To achieve a passing grade in each APPE rotation, a student must meet a level of 3 or greater on 75% of the Entrustable Professional Activities (EPAs) for the rotation. In addition, to meet graduation requirements, the fourth-year student must achieve a level of 3 at least one time on each EPA over the 12 months.


Dismissal is the mandatory and permanent withdrawal of a student. After dismissal, the college will not accept any coursework from the student to complete the Doctor of Pharmacy program. A student will be dismissed if they fail to remove all course deficiencies, fail to maintain a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 2.0 or higher at the end of each academic year, fail to remove a deficiency after a second attempt taking a course, or fail to satisfy the terms of academic probation. If a student has deficiencies in more than four courses during any academic year, they will be dismissed from the program. If a student has a deficiency in more than one APPE they will be dismissed from the program A student may also be dismissed for lack of professionalism and/or professional misconduct.


The University’s Academic Review and Appeal policy is contained in the MUSC Bulletin. Any student seeking an exception to the academic standards may petition the College’s Scholastic Standing and Petitions Committee. The student has five university business days from the date they receive written notification of their course deficiency, academic probation status or dismissal to submit a petition to the Dean for Student Affairs, who serves as the administrative liaison and provides all documents to the Chair of the Scholastic Standing and Petitions Committee. The student may also submit any information they would like the committee to review in advance. Once the committee meeting date is established, the student will be notified and provided with the opportunity to meet with the committee. The student is expected to act as their own advocate during this process. This process is academic, not adversarial, and as such attorneys are not permitted to represent or advise students in scholastic standing reviews or appeals. [Note: The Scholastic Standing and Petitions Committee does not have the authority to change grades assigned by a faculty member or preceptor. Grading grievances are managed through the college’s grievance process.] A petition may be approved or denied based on the merits of the individual situation. The Committee communicates their decision in writing to the Dean for Student Affairs. The Dean for Student Affairs informs the student in writing of the final determination of the committee.

The student has the right to appeal the decision of the Scholastic Standing and Petitions Committee to the Dean. Appeals must be received in writing within five university business days of the notification of the committee’s decision. The Dean’s decision is final.

Didactic Course Policies

Students are obligated to complete all assigned work promptly, attend class regularly, and participate in class discussions and group exercises. In person attendance is expected for all classes. The course coordinator may choose to establish a specific attendance policy in an individual course. This policy, along with consequences for violating the policy, should be presented to students enrolled in the course at the beginning of the semester as part of the course syllabus. Recordings will be available for required courses except for laboratory courses; however, there may be some portions of classroom activities that are not recorded at the discretion of the instructor. Recordings are not to be used as a substitute for class attendance. Students are required to attend 100 percent of laboratory course meetings.

If a scheduled assessment or mandatory class must be missed due to unforeseen circumstances (e.g., sickness, death in the student’s immediate family), the student must notify the course coordinator and the Dean for Student Affairs by phone and email prior to the assessment or class. The student must submit appropriate documentation (e.g., medical excuse) or evidence (e.g., obituary) justifying the absence to the Dean for Student Affairs in order to be excused for the absence.

Absences may be considered excused in certain circumstances, such as but not limited to, illness, hospitalizations, medical conditions related to pregnancy, jury duty, military service, religious observances, bereavement, subpoenas, etc. Excused absences, however, do not entitle a student to make up in-class assessments, quizzes, assignments, and activities. Refer to individual course syllabi for details.

Students with extended absences from the program may jeopardize their ability to appropriately master material required to proceed in the curriculum. Students who have an excused absence of ≤ 5 university business days are expected to make up missed coursework within 5 university business days of their date of return. The date of return is defined as the date documented by a medical professional noting when the student is cleared to return to campus or the agreed upon date determined by the student and the Dean for Student Affairs. An extended excused absence is defined as missing ≥ 1 week of class consecutively across all classes due to unforeseen circumstances. Students that experience an extended excused absence of 1-2 weeks are expected to complete missed coursework within 10 university business days of their date of return. Failure to successfully meet expected deadlines for makeup work may result in adverse impacts on course grade(s) and the ability to proceed with the curriculum in a timely fashion. If a student requires an accommodation, they should contact the Director of Equity, EEO and University Accessibility Services (Basic Sciences Building Room 104; 843-792- 5733) or visit the ADA webpage resources/student-resources for required forms and documentation guidelines. Students that experience an extended excused absence of > 2 weeks or who experience more than one extended excused absence in a semester will be required to meet with the Dean for Student Affairs to determine if they are able to proceed in the program or if they will need to take a leave of absence.

Students who have a planned absence (e.g., approval to attend a professional meeting) must develop a written plan with the course coordinator in advance to make up missed coursework. This documentation must be filed with the Student Affairs Office in advance of the absence. Students who experience any unexcused absence may be subject to forfeiture of credit associated with the missed work. Please refer to individual course syllabi for additional details related to absences.

Mobile devices may be used only for legitimate classroom purposes such as taking notes, downloading class information, or working on an in-class exercise. E-mail, instant messaging, Facebook™, Twitter™, TikTok™, Instagram™, entertainment, and surfing the internet are not considered legitimate classroom purposes. This behavior is distracting and unprofessional to other students and the instructor. Complaints may be referred to the Professionalism Committee.

A major course assessment is defined as an assessment of course material usually administered no more frequently than every two weeks, except during the summer semester, when making up assessments following an excused absence, or for laboratory courses. Other assessments (e.g., written assignments, oral presentations) may be assigned more frequently. Students attending professional meetings or events may be excused from scheduled course assessments. The course coordinator must be notified in writing at least four weeks in advance for requests to reschedule an assessment to be considered. Failure to notify the course coordinator in the specified time frame may result in the request being denied.

The course coordinator will enter grades into the university records system for each specific course. After each major course assessment, the course coordinator is expected to contact individual students who earned merit grades less than 2.0 on the assessment and offer an opportunity to meet with them regarding their performance on the assessment. The Dean for Student Affairs monitors student performance on major course assessments to identify students with academic problems in multiple courses. They contact struggling students to schedule academic progress conferences and make referrals to the Center for Academic Excellence or Counseling and/or Psychological Services, as needed.

Incoming students are required to attend education technology orientation and confirm that the appropriate software is loaded onto their laptop for electronic assessments. Students are responsible for any lost time in completion of an assessment due to inexperience with the process for running the security software and/or accessing the assessment.

Final course assessments will be scheduled in accordance with the final course assessment schedule. For room scheduling purposes only, a three-hour block of time will be allotted for final course assessments. Course coordinators will determine a reasonable length of time for completion of the final course assessment. The course coordinators are not required to provide three hours for final course assessments if it is unreasonable given the assessment structure.

This policy for course assessments may be suspended due to severe weather or natural disaster to facilitate rescheduling of missed classes and assessments.

Minimum Required Assessment Procedures

Course assessments may be proctored by a faculty or staff member of the college. At least one proctor must present in the main assessment classroom.

No materials (including scratch paper) are to leave the room under any circumstances during the assessment period or during an assessment review.

Book bags are to be placed at the front or sides of the classroom away from all students for the duration of the assessment. The only items allowed at the student’s desk are writing instruments, scratch paper, and a laptop. Students must provide and use a privacy screen on their computer during assessments. Failure to bring a laptop and privacy screen to a scheduled assessment is considered an unexcused absence. A merit grade of zero will be recorded for an unexcused assessment absence, unless the student has contacted the course coordinator regarding extenuating circumstances, or the course coordinator or course syllabus has indicated an alternate policy. If a laptop is malfunctioning prior to an assessment, the student is required to provide proof that their computer is malfunctioning. Students who are aware of a computer problem prior to an assessment must contact the course coordinator at least 30 minutes prior to the assessment.

Cell phones, tablets, watches, headphones and similar electronic devices are to be turned off and stored in book bags during assessments and until exiting the room. Calculators are not allowed at the student’s desk if using the Exam Soft calculator for the assessment. Use of the Exam Soft calculator for the assessment is encouraged. At the course coordinator’s discretion, only non-programmable calculators are allowed - no cell phones, watches or similar devices are to be used as calculators during assessments. No additional notes or written materials may be engraved, adhered, or otherwise attached to a calculator being used during an assessment.

Hats are not to be worn during assessments (exception: visors and baseball caps - or similarly brimmed caps - may be worn with the brim turned around backward).

Students will be assigned a password to access electronic assessments. It is highly recommended that students use a power cord during assessments. If a student forgets their power cord, they assume responsibility for a lost assessment. For a student who has technical problems in accessing or completing an electronic assessment, a penalty may be given for providing them with a print copy. The penalty, if any, is specified in the course syllabus.

Students are expected to arrive on time for scheduled assessments. Arriving late to an assessment is unprofessional and considered a violation of the professionalism policy. Grade sanctions for students arriving late to an assessment are specified in each course syllabus. Students who are repeatedly late for assessments will be referred to the Professionalism Committee. If a student is late to an assessment for an extenuating 9 circumstance, proof must be provided to the course coordinator in order to prevent sanctions.

Questions relating to assessment content are strictly prohibited during the assessment. Questions regarding suspected typing errors on the assessment (e.g. omissions, misnumbering, defective assessment pages, etc.) are permitted.

Food and/or beverages are not allowed during assessments. All food containers and beverages should be stored in book bags while in the assessment classroom.

Restroom breaks are discouraged. If restroom breaks are needed during an assessment only one student at a time will be allowed to leave the assessment room with permission of the proctor.

Cheating in any form is not allowed and will be considered an honor code violation with immediate referral to the Academic Integrity Council.

Students must take all personal items and exit the assessment classroom upon completion of the assessment. Students are not permitted to re-enter the assessment classroom until all students have completed the assessment.

Experiential Course Policies

Pharmacy students complete a minimum of 11 pharmacy practice experiences which represents approximately 1/3 of the total pharmacy curriculum. They are required to complete two Introductory Pharmacy Practice Experiences (IPPEs), one in community pharmacy and the other in health-systems pharmacy. These IPPEs take place during the summers following the first and second professional years, or occur longitudinally during the second or third academic years, respectively. During the fourth professional year of the program, students complete nine Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experiences (APPEs), including five required and four elective courses in a variety of practice settings.

Experiential courses (rotations) are assigned using software designed for this purpose. Student preferences are not guaranteed. The Experiential Education Office will attempt to place students at a site that is within one hour driving distance each way from their permanent or temporary residence in South Carolina. All students should be prepared to arrange their own housing for IPPEs and APPEs, if necessary, due to the limited number of rotation sites in the state. Costs associated with experiential courses are the student’s responsibility.

Students must obey all laws, rules, policies, and regulations governing the practice of pharmacy and seek clarification from the Experiential Education Office (EEO) or preceptor regarding any professional, legal, or ethical issues. Students are to follow the professional requirements and policies of the Experiential Education Office, the site, and their College and University throughout their practice experiences. Students will be subject to sanctions or dismissal from the experiential course by the preceptor and/or the Experiential Education Office for failure to follow the policies and requirements of the 10 site, the program, and/or the college. The preceptor and/or site may dismiss the student for any reason at any time during an experiential course. Dismissal from an experiential course will result in the student repeating another complete experiential course for a minimum of 160 hours at a different site and/or preceptor which will be determined by the Experiential Education Office and may lead to other sanctions or consequences as determined by the College and/or University. Additional tuition and/or associated experiential course costs are the student’s responsibility.

Students must abide by all policies contained in the MUSC Bulletin, the College’s Student Handbook, and the IPPE and APPE experiential documents in CORE during all practice experiences.

Co-curriculum Policy

Co-curricular experiences are external to classroom, laboratory and practice site experiences, but complement and advance the learning that occurs within the formal curriculum, particularly learning related to personal and professional development. Like curricular activities, co-curricular activities must be completed to earn the Doctor of Pharmacy degree. Co-curricular activities are non-credit requirements for progression and graduation from the Doctor of Pharmacy program.

Certain co-curricular activities are required for all students (e.g., Leader Academy), while others allow students a diverse array of opportunities throughout their years in the program to enhance their professional development. Identifying and pursuing specific areas of interest will students build a sustainable pattern of professional engagement that will support their career.

Participation in Leader Academy is a requirement for all first and second-year students. Leader Academy participants must attend all scheduled meetings and complete all required monthly assignments by specified deadlines to progress in the program. Students who fail to attend scheduled meetings and/or meet assignment deadlines that do not proactively communicate their circumstances to the Dean for Student Affairs will be delayed from progressing in the program until all required activities have been completed.