Satisfactory Academic Progress - Pharmacy (3-Year Program)

  •  This policy applies to students who entered the PharmD program as of Summer 2018.
Purpose

To establish expectations governing satisfactory academic progress for UCSF PharmD students for the purposes of financial aid eligibility.


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

The academic requirements for the PharmD degree include the satisfactory completion of the curriculum designated by the faculty. Faculty on the Sub-Committee on Student Progress meet regularly to monitor the performance of all students in the PharmD program. This review includes an evaluation of performance for students who do not meet established academic standards. The Sub-Committee specifies conditions for progression and an academic plan to address specific areas of performance concern.

The PharmD degree is an integrated curriculum designed to be completed in three years. Students deviate from the three-year period only if they are subject to an alternate academic plan for academic, personal or health reasons, or are on an approved leave of absence. The maximum time to degree is four years excluding approved leaves of absence. Exceptions to this require approval of the Vice Dean.

Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)

Satisfactory Academic Progress is the successful completion of degree requirements in established increments that lead to completion of the PharmD degree within the three-year timeframe. The Student Progression Policy outlines policies governing student progression in the PharmD program.

Eligibility for Financial Aid is based on sound academic principles, which require that students maintain standards of satisfactory academic progress.

  • Satisfactory Academic Progress is reviewed at the end of every theme comprising the core curriculum and APPE term as outlined in the Academic Standing, Probation and Dismissal Policy. Financial aid eligibility is determined in accordance with Federal regulations and UCSF Student Financial Aid policies and practices.
  • Students who do not maintain satisfactory academic progress during any established increment designated by “academic probation not in good standing” are placed on financial aid warning or financial aid probation in addition to academic actions by the faculty (e.g. academic plan, probation).
  • Students are allowed one term of financial aid warning. If a student is not making satisfactory academic progress at the end of the term in which a warning was placed, the student may be placed on financial aid probation. Eligibility for continued financial aid under financial aid probation is measured in accordance with the established academic plan.
  • Students who are placed on financial aid warning or financial aid probation will be informed of their status in writing by Student Financial Aid.
Competency Requirements

Upon graduation, students are required to have demonstrated competence in all PharmD courses and meet all requirements designated by the faculty. Grading and assessment in the PharmD program are outlined in the School of Pharmacy Regulations and Grading Policy. Student performance evaluated on a competency based assessment framework; student performance is reported in terms of P/NP grades.

Minimum Units Per Quarter

The School of Pharmacy Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy requires that all students register for a minimum of 12 units per quarter. In exceptional situations - including quarters that fit only one seven unit APPE, and in situations approved by the Associate Dean of Student Affairs or as outlined in a student academic plan from the Committee on Academic Standards and/or Sub-Committee on Student Progress, students may register for fewer units.

Students who take 6-11 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.

Requirements for Graduation
  • Students must complete the requirements for the PharmD degree in accordance with the criteria set forth by the faculty of the School of Pharmacy.
  • Students must complete all courses and requirements prescribed in the PharmD curriculum with a passing grade.
Qualitative Measure (Satisfactory Academic Performance)
  • A student may be placed on academic probation with good academic standing:
    1. if the student has received one NP grade or two Y (non-passing provisional grades) in required courses (see Policy on Academic Standing, Probation and Dismissal).
    2. if the student has received 3 or more Professionalism Concerns Reports (PCRs), or 2 or more PCRs during IPPEs or APPEs, or a PCR of a serious nature that has been referred to the Sub-Committee on Student Progress for review, or who fails to engage in remediation for documented unprofessional behavior.

A student in good academic standing with probation is considered to be meeting satisfactory academic progress standards.

  • A student who meets the following criteria is not in good academic standing and is also on academic probation:
    • student has received two or more NP grades in required courses; or
    • student has received three or more Y grades in required courses; or
    • student demonstrates a continued pattern of documented unprofessional behavior despite attempts at remediation; or
    • student has not met the conditions associated with academic probation as outlined by the Sub-Committee on Student Progress; or
    • student has been on academic probation three out of four consecutively enrolled quarters; or
    • student has not completed all requirements for the Doctor of Pharmacy degree within 4 years of the date he/she entered as a 1st-year student, with the exclusion of approved leaves of absence.

A student not in good academic standing and on probation is not making satisfactory academic progress and is given a financial aid warning or financial aid probation.  

  • A student not in good academic standing and on academic probation will be given financial aid warning for one quarter only. If a student fails to make satisfactory academic progress after the warning period, they will lose their aid eligibility unless they successfully appeal and are placed on financial aid probation. 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 submit a letter of appeal approved by the Director of Financial Aid. If approved the student may receive financial aid for one quarter. At the end of the probationary quarter, he/she must have achieved a provisional passing grade and completed the coursework outlined in the education plan to complete the pharmacy program within the three-year period and/or as specified in the education plan by the Associate Dean, Student Affairs. 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 qualitative standard.
  • A student may be removed from probation following removal of all NP or Y grades as outlined by the Committee on Student Progress.
  • A student is removed from academic probation as outlined in the policy. When a student returns to good academic standing and removed from academic probation, the financial aid warning or probation is rescinded.
Quantitative Measure (Pace)

The expected time frame for completion of required course work is three academic years or twelve quarters. Students occasionally take longer because of academic or personal difficulties. For students with academic or personal difficulties, an academic plan may be established that departs from the standard curriculum. The plan may require the repetition of all or part of a year of study (i.e. based on incomplete or unsatisfactory course work or an approved leave).

Faculty of the Sub-committee on Student Progress in conjunction with the Associate Dean, Student Affairs monitor the student progress to ensure that the students are making sufficient progress to complete the PharmD program within the specified time. A student not meeting the established academic plan will be considered not to be making satisfactory academic progress and will be placed on financial aid warning (if appropriate) or placed on financial aid probation.

A student is eligible for university-funded financial aid for a maximum of 16 quarters of enrollment excluding time spent on approved leave of absence.

Students admitted to the PharmD curriculum are expected to complete the curriculum within three academic years from entry into the program.  Subject to review of individual circumstances by the Sub-Committee on Student Progress, the maximum time to completion of the requirements for the degree is four years (excluding approved leaves of absence).

A student whose pace of progress in the PharmD curriculum precludes the completion of all required coursework for the degree of Doctor of Pharmacy within the maximum time to graduation designated by UCSF School of Pharmacy policy is subject to dismissal.  Exceptions to the above may be approved by the Vice Dean upon recommendation of the Committee on Academic Standards, Sub-Committee on Student Progress, or Associate Dean, Student Affairs.

Financial Aid Warning and Probation

Students on financial aid warning 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 three year period or as specified in the education plan. A student who fails to do so is placed on financial aid probation, 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 financial aid warning because they have two or more NP grades in required courses or three or more Y grades may receive aid for the following quarter. A student may be removed from academic probation and returned to good academic standing following removal of all NP grades. A student who fails to do so is placed on financial aid probation. Students who are on financial aid probation will be suspended from financial aid eligibility until a letter of appeal is submitted and approved by the Director of Student Financial Aid. The student will also enter into an educational plan with the School of Pharmacy. If the educational plan is not achieved, the student will remain ineligible for financial aid until requirements of the plan are met. In most cases, the student will be removed from financial aid probation as soon as the School of Pharmacy has removed the student from academic probation.

Financial Aid eligibility for all students returning from a withdrawal or leave of absence is handled on a case-by-case basis in consultation with Student Financial Aid. At the end of the first and second academic year, students must have academic standing which meets the student’s approved academic plan.

Notification of Lack of Satisfactory Academic Progress

During the on-going review of a student’s academic progress by the Sub-Committee on Student Progress, progression to the next phase of the curriculum is based upon a review of academic performance - including incomplete, provisional non-passing, and failing grades, professional conduct, and other educational metrics.

Any student not making satisfactory academic progress receives a letter from the Associate Dean, Student Affairs copied to Student Financial Aid. The letter shall indicate the nature of the deficiency, conditions for continuation (e.g. faculty-mandated leave of absence, required remediation, repetition of courses), consequences such as academic probation, financial aid warning/financial aid probation, and/or referral to the Committee on Academic Standards.

Dismissal or Withdrawal

Students who are dismissed, withdrawn, or discontinued from the School are not making satisfactory academic progress and are not eligible to receive financial aid.

Appeals

Students who wish to appeal for reinstatement of financial aid eligibility may do so in writing in accordance with the appeal mechanism set forth in Appendix VII of the Academic Senate, and subject to Federal regulations with regard to any Federal Student Aid.

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.