Satisfactory Academic Progress - Pharmacy

Federal law and regulations require that all students receiving financial assistance maintain satisfactory academic progress according to both qualitative (GPA) and quantitative (pace) measures. The following policy presents the standards adopted by the UCSF School of Pharmacy and the Student Financial Aid Office and applies to all students receiving financial aid.

The academic requirements for the Pharm.D.degree include the satisfactory completion of the curriculum designated by the faculty. Once a quarter, the Student Welfare Committee will meet to assess the performance of each student. The review may include an assessment of any incomplete grades or any classes from which the student has withdrawn and their impact upon the student's progress.

Students take a specific set of courses and do not deviate from the four-year time-frame unless they are put on a special academic plan, in which case they complete the program in five years.  In rare cases, a student may be allowed to take six years to complete the PharmD degree if there are mitigating circumstances.  Approved Leaves of Absence (LOA) are not included in the time frame. 

Qualitative Measure (GPA)
Students must have a 2.00 cumulative grade point average (GPA) at the end of each quarter of enrollment to be considered in good standing. If a student's cumulative GPA at the end of any given quarter is below 2.00, he/she will be placed on academic and financial aid probation for the following quarter. All students ending their second or subsequent academic year must have a cumulative grade point average of at least 2.00. Students who do not meet this requirement will be placed on financial aid probation for the following quarter and must submit an education plan approved by the Associate Dean and may receive financial aid for one quarter. At the end of the probationary quarter, he/she must have achieved a 2.0 cumulative GPA or completed the coursework outlined in the education plan with a quarterly GPA of at least 2.0 to complete the pharmacy program within the four-year period and/or as specified in the education plan by the Associate Dean. . A student who fails to do so is suspended from financial aid eligibility and may not receive additional funds. A student shall regain financial aid eligibility when he/she is again meeting the GPA standard.

Grading System (for more details, please see): http://pharmacy.ucsf.edu/pharmd/students/policy/grading/

Students receiving a grade of I or Y in any course must complete the course requirements by the time determined by the faculty of record but not later than by the end of the next quarter in which the course is given. A grade of Y is automatically changed to grade F and an I to grade F or NP if the requirements stated above are not met. A petition for extension of time may be submitted, and if approved by the Dean, must be filed with the Office of the Registrar before the end of the above stated terms. Grade I may only be assigned when students' work is of passing quality but is incomplete for good cause. Students may replace this grade with a passing grade and receive unit credit provided they satisfactorily complete the coursework in a way authorized by the instructor. Appropriate grade points will be assigned only if students establish that their work is incomplete for good cause. The grade Y is a non-passing provisional grade that may be raised to grade D if students satisfactorily meet the requirements designated by the instructor. Additional work assignments or reexamination may revise no quarter grade except I or Y. Unless authorized by the Dean, students may repeat only those courses in which they have received a D, F, or NP. (Exception for those courses normally offered for repeat credit.)

Students may not repeat a course more than once in which they originally received a grade of D, F, or NP. When a course is repeated, the units shall be credited toward a degree only once. Students' grade-point averages shall be computed on the total number of units attempted and completed (successfully or unsuccessfully). At each repetition, students shall receive the grade and corresponding grade points assigned by instructors. Students may drop a given course only with the consent of the instructor and only once with a non-passing grade; students may drop an APPE only once.

 Quantitative Measure (pace)
The normal time frame for completion of required course work is four academic years or twelve quarters. Students occasionally take longer because of academic or personal difficulties. The Associate Dean may then establish an education plan for the student which departs from the norm and extends graduation.  The education plan may require repeating all or part of a year of study (subsequent to incomplete or unsatisfactory course work or an approved leave) and or involve a reduced course load. The Associate Dean will monitor the student's progress to ensure that he/she is making sufficient progress to complete the pharmacy program within the specified time. A student not doing so will be viewed as not making satisfactory academic progress and will be placed on financial aid probation. 

Financial Aid Probation

Students on financial aid probation for not meeting pace standards may receive financial aid for one quarter. At the end of the probationary quarter, he/she must have completed enough course work to complete the pharmacy program within the four-year period or as specified in the education plan by the Associate Dean. A student who fails to do so is suspended from financial aid eligibility and may not receive additional funds. A student shall regain financial aid eligibility when he/she is again meeting the progress standard.

Students placed on academic and financial aid probation because their cumulative grade point average falls below 2.00 may receive aid for the following quarter. As long as the quarterly GPA for that, and subsequent quarters, is 2.00 or above the student may continue to receive aid even though the cumulative GPA has not yet reached 2.00. Students who are on financial aid probation will be suspended from financial aid eligibility and may not receive funds for the following quarter anytime a quarterly GPA is below 2.00. The student will be removed from financial aid probation as soon as the cumulative GPA returns to 2.00 or above, and the School of Pharmacy has removed the student from academic probation.

Students enrolling for the first time may generally receive financial aid during their first three quarters of pharmacy school even if they do not meet the GPA requirements stated above. If the cumulative GPA after the first year is below 2.00 and the GPA is below 2.00 for each of the first three quarters, the student will be suspended from financial aid and may not receive funds for the fourth quarter. If the GPA for winter or spring is 2.00 or above, students can receive financial aid for the fourth quarter upon the recommendation of the Associate Dean. Financial Aid for all students returning from a withdrawal or leave of absence will be handled on a case by case basis.  At the end of the second academic year, students must have a GPA of 2.0 or have academic standing consistent with the student’s approved education plan.

Appeals
Students who deviate from the normal curriculum for either GPA or pace reasons must have approval from the Associate Dean. This approval is considered to be the equivalent of a student appeal to receive financial aid during the probationary term.  In addition, the School of Pharmacy is ready to respond to mitigating circumstances which may arise in individual situations through the development of an education plan. . Students may appeal loss of eligibility for financial aid to the Student Financial Aid Director, who will consider whether the mitigating circumstances offer justification for altering customary standards of academic progress.

Maximum Time
Students required by the School of Pharmacy to repeat course work or extend their program may receive financial aid for a maximum of five years or 15 quarters of enrollment. This limit includes any quarter the student was enrolled, whether or not the student received financial aid. If a student temporarily withdraws from School of Pharmacy, the quarter in which (or after which) he/she withdraws will be considered a quarter of enrollment if the student attended long enough to keep his or her financial aid. If the student was not enrolled long enough to keep his or her financial aid, it will not be considered a quarter of enrollment.

A student may be granted a leave of absence for a variety of reasons and is not eligible for financial aid during such a leave. The time period of an approved leave shall be excluded from the maximum time frame in which an individual student will be expected to complete the program.

Full-Time Enrollment
The normal Pharm.D. curriculum is a full-time program and students are expected to attend school on a full-time basis. Full-time attendance is generally defined as satisfactorily completing at least twelve units per quarter. Students who take six-11 units in a quarter may apply for a Federal Direct Loan but will not receive campus-based funding. During the clinical portion of the program, students complete Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experiences (APPEs) which are offered in two six-week blocks per quarter. Full-time attendance for the APPE portion of the program is defined as satisfactorily completing at least six units in a six-week block; 12 units for two blocks (or one quarter). Students who take only one block in a quarter are considered full time if they complete at least six units. In these instances, students may receive funding for living expenses for the six-week period of attendance only. In individual situations, fewer than twelve units may be considered a full-time load (for example, if there are health or serious academic problems) if this enrollment is part of the approved education plan.

Implementation
The Director of Student Financial Aid and the School of Pharmacy shall have joint responsibility for implementation and enforcement of the satisfactory academic progress policy. The Director shall provide in writing to each student at the time of initial enrollment a copy of the policy and changes to the policy will also be sent to all students.  Students placed on financial aid probation shall receive notification. The School of Pharmacy will monitor the student's performance and will notify the Student Financial Aid Director of any students who are on academic probation or are not completing the program within the required time frame. The Director will notify students of implementation of probationary status and/or suspension.

Return to Top