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Technical standards represent the personal attributes and capabilities essential for admission, progression, and graduation in the Doctor of Pharmacy program. In order to be admitted, to successfully progress, and to be approved for graduation, applicants for admission and current students must demonstrate the qualifications described below. Students who are unable to meet the standards will be referred to the Scholastic Achievement and Progression Committee for review. The Committee will determine if the student should be sanctioned or dismissed from the PharmD program.


Academic Achievement and Proficiency Standards

Earning a Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) degree from The UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill requires the following academic standards:

  • Mastery of a coherent body of knowledge and skills. A pharmacy student must acquire substantial competence in the necessary knowledge and application of that knowledge in their professional practice.
  • Intellectual skills that allow the student to master the broad and complex body of knowledge that comprises a pharmacy education. This involves the assimilation of existing knowledge from a wide variety of sources and its application to professional practice. It also involves the synthesis of new knowledge through reasoning and the ability to think critically.
  • An approach to learning that is effective and efficient. The goal will be to solve difficult problems and make recommendations for therapeutic decisions. A pharmacy student must be able to memorize, describe mechanisms of drug action and clearance, perform scientific measurement and calculation, and ultimately critically evaluate biomedical literature.
  • Reasoning abilities must be sophisticated enough to analyze and synthesize information from a wide variety of sources. Pharmacy students must be able to gather data, develop a plan of action, establish priorities, and monitor treatment plans and modalities.
  • Ability to learn effectively through a variety of modalities. Modalities including, but not limited to classroom instruction, small group discussion/projects, individual study of materials, preparation and presentation of written and oral reports, and use of computer-based technology.
  • Ability to relate appropriately to patients, health care professionals, and to other ancillary personnel. Combinations of cognitive, affective, psychomotor, physical, and social abilities are required to perform these functions satisfactorily. These skills and functions are not only essential to the successful completion of the PharmD degree requirements, but they are also necessary to ensure the health and safety of patients, fellow students, faculty, and other health care providers. 


Non-Academic Standards

In addition to the academic achievement and proficiency requirements as stated above, the following technical standards describe non-academic qualifications that are essential for successful completion of the educational objectives of the PharmD curriculum. Non-academic qualifications of a PharmD Candidate include the attitudinal, behavioral, interpersonal, and emotional attributes required to successfully practice pharmacy.


Attitudinal, Behavioral, Interpersonal, and Emotional Attributes

Because the pharmacy profession is governed by ethical principles and by state and federal laws, a pharmacy student must have the capacity to learn and understand these values and laws and to perform within their guidelines.

Students must be able to:

  • Relate to colleagues, staff and patients with honesty, integrity, non-discrimination, self-sacrifice, and dedication.
  • Understand and use the power, special privileges, and trust inherent in the patient-provider relationship for the patient’s benefit and to know and to avoid the behaviors that constitute misuse of this power.
  • Understand and comply with all policies and procedures related to Protected Health Information.
  • Demonstrate the capacity to examine and deliberate effectively about the social and ethical questions that define pharmacy and the pharmacist’s role and to reason critically about these questions.
  • Identify personal reactions and responses, recognize multiple points of view, and integrate these appropriately into clinical decision-making.
  • Exhibit sufficient emotional health to utilize fully their intellectual ability, to exercise good judgment, to complete patient care responsibilities promptly, and to relate to patients, families, and colleagues with courtesy, compassion, maturity, and respect for their dignity.
  • Participate collaboratively and flexibly as a professional team member.
  • Display emotional health despite stressful working conditions, changing environments, and clinical uncertainties.
  • Modify behavior in response to constructive criticism.
  • Examine personal attitudes, perceptions, and stereotypes, which may negatively affect patient care and/or professional relationships.
  • Exhibit behavior and intellectual functioning which does not differ from acceptable standards.
  • Possess the physical and emotional stamina to maintain a high level of function in the face of stressful working conditions. The study and ongoing practice of pharmacy may involve taxing workloads, competing obligations, and stressful situations.
  • Be able to ask questions, to receive answers in an insightful manner, to record information about patients and to advise patients and other health care professionals.
  • Communicate effectively and efficiently with patients, their families, and with other members of the health care team. This must include spoken communications and non-verbal communications such as interpretation of facial expressions, affects, and body language. Mastery of both written and spoken English is required although applications from students with hearing and speech disabilities will be given full consideration. In such cases, use of a trained intermediary or other communications aide may be appropriate if this intermediary functions only as an information conduit and does not provide integrative or interpretive functions.
  • Possess sufficient visual, auditory, tactile, and motor abilities to allow the student to gather data from written reference material, from oral presentations, by observing demonstrations and experiments, by studying various types of medical illustrations, by observing a patient and the patient’s environment, by observing clinical procedures performed by others, and by reading digital or analog representations of physiologic phenomena.
  • Possess sufficient visual, auditory, tactile, and motor abilities to prepare medication dosage forms, administer medications to patients, and perform a basic physical examination of a patient.
  • Maintain appropriate professional hygiene and appearance.


Commitment to Non-Discrimination: The University is committed to equality of educational opportunity. The University does not discriminate in offering access to its educational programs and activities on the basis of age, color, creed, disability, gender, gender expression, gender identity, genetic information, national origin, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, or veteran status.

A candidate for the Pharm.D. degree with a diagnosed physical disability, psychiatric disorder, or other mental or emotional disability may participate in the Pharm.D. program so long as the condition is managed sufficiently with or without reasonable accommodation to permit the student to satisfy the requirements of the Pharm.D. degree, including these Technical Standards. Students who seek reasonable accommodations for disabilities must contact the University Office of Accessibility Resources and Services. In the event of deteriorating function, it is essential that a PharmD student be willing to acknowledge the need for and to accept professional help before the condition poses a danger to the student, client/patients, other students, faculty and staff members, or research participants.


Accommodations: Students are encouraged to seek the guidance of Accessibility Resources and Services (ARS) in determining reasonable accommodations to assist them in meeting the academic and technical standards of the program.

*Reasonable accommodation means services provided to individuals with disabilities, medical conditions or temporary injury/condition that remove or lessen the effect of disability-related barriers. Some individuals with disabilities may need reasonable accommodations to meet the School’s Technical Standards, while others may not.