Office of Academic Affairs
The Office of Academic Affairs is responsible for all academic aspects of the Pharm.D. program. This includes curriculum issues, notification of students achieving Dean’s List, compilation, distribution and oversight of the class and examination schedule, and implementation of recommendations from the Academic Progression Committee. The office is located in Room 204, Building 7 on the James H. Quillen Veterans Affairs Medical Center campus (VA). Students can also reach the office by calling 423-439-6334.
Students are required to pass all courses applicable towards the Pharm.D. degree with a minimum grade of “C” during each semester of enrollment. Students failing to meet this standard shall be subject to the action of the Academic Progression Committee (APC).
Students enrolled in the Gatton College of Pharmacy are registered for a pre-determined set of courses each semester during the didactic years (P1-P3) of the curriculum by the Admissions and Records Office. Elective options exist within the P2 and P3 year. Courses during the didactic portion of the curriculum are offered once a year, and latitude within the curriculum is not allowed (i.e., reduced class schedule, or withdrawing from a semester) except in cases of extenuating circumstances and with approval. Students have the opportunity to request specific practice experiences during the Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experience year (P4) according to location and scheduling preferences.
The College of Pharmacy utilizes a standard letter grading system of A, B, C, D and F. Faculty for an individual course may elect to augment the grading system through use of the plus/minus system; however, the grades of C-, D+, and D- are not used. The method by which letter grades are assigned is determined by the course coordinator for each course and is included in the course syllabus. Once the method for assigning letter grades is in place for a course during a given semester, it cannot be made more stringent; however, the grading scale can be altered provided the scale is not made more difficult. Grades of D and F are not considered passing grades and require that a student receiving such grades remediate the course (see Academic Progression policy for definition of remediation).
The GPA is the weighted average of quality points earned relative to the number of credit hours attempted on a 4.000 scale. To calculate a GPA, the point value of the grade received in a course (see below) is multiplied by the number of credit hours the course is worth to determine the quality points for a course. The sum of quality points earned is then divided by the sum of credit hours attempted.
Letter grade point-values are as follows:
The GPA is calculated utilizing grades received in all courses attempted. Class rank based upon GPA is determined at the end of each semester, and is used for internal purposes only.
Other grades utilized by the College of Pharmacy are P (pass), I (incomplete) and W (withdraw). A grade of I is a temporary grade that may be assigned in cases in which a student, for acceptable reasons, is unable to complete all the requirements of a course. A student must make arrangements to complete the course within twelve months or the grade of I automatically becomes an F. A grade of W is assigned in cases in which a student has been granted permission by the Office of Academic Affairs to withdraw from a course according to the following. A student approved to withdraw from a course up to one-quarter of the course’s duration will receive no penalty (i.e., no record of enrollment). Approved withdrawals occurring after one-quarter of the course’s duration will result in a grade of W. Grades of P, I, and W carry no quality points and have no bearing on the GPA.
Grading symbols of + and * are also utilized. A “+” symbol indicates that a course continued beyond the current semester. An “*” symbol indicates that additional work was required by a student to obtain the specified course grade.
Grading policies apply to elective courses taken outside of the College of Pharmacy.
Grades are available to students online via GoldLink, the University’s student information system. Academic departments retain grade documentation for a period of one year. Student concerns regarding academic records will only be addressed within one academic year from the date when the grades in question were posted.
The Academic Affairs office will publish an honor roll each semester (Dean’s List), consisting of students who demonstrated academic excellence by achieving a 3.5 GPA or better (with no grade below a B-) while enrolled full-time in the Gatton College of Pharmacy with at least twelve hours taken for a letter grade. For each semester in which this is accomplished, the student will receive a letter of recognition signed by the Dean. The student’s name may also be published in the College newsletter or other publications.
The Gatton College of Pharmacy confers three academic distinctions at graduation which will appear on student diplomas:
Summa Cum Laude - students graduating with a pharmacy GPA of 3.900 to 4.000
Magna Cum Laude - students graduating with a pharmacy GPA of 3.750 to 3.899
Cum Laude - students graduating with a pharmacy GPA of 3.500 to 3.749
The grade appeal process affords students the opportunity to pursue a formal course of action to dispute a final course grade. This process does not apply to erroneous grades that result from mistakes in transcription, data entry, simple calculations or other unintentional causes. Changes of erroneous grades are handled quickly and informally, without the need for a grade appeal.
A student may appeal a final course grade if the student has evidence that the grade was assigned in a malicious, capricious, or arbitrary manner. The grade appeal process is outlined in Gatton College of Pharmacy Student Handbook. Students wishing to appeal a grade must begin the process within 21 days of when the final course grade is reported to the registrar. Note that the timeframe may be adjusted due to extenuating circumstances, such as university closings or holidays, at the discretion of College of Pharmacy administration.
Academic Progression Committee
The Academic Progression Committee (APC), in consultation with the Office of Academic Affairs, is charged with monitoring students’ performance during each semester and progress throughout the curriculum. The APC acts on behalf of the faculty as an advocate for student learning, faculty teaching and academic integrity. The committee serves to mediate and facilitate student remediation and retention issues, within the boundaries of academic standards. The emphasis is on learning, understanding and applying the material and skills that are taught throughout the curriculum. The APC becomes involved in academic issues when a student’s academic performance falls below the level needed for the successful completion of one or more courses and makes decisions regarding student’s retention and progression in the program. The APC Policy, including the composition and function of the APC, is detailed in the Gatton College of Pharmacy Student Handbook.
Course Credit and Student Compensation Policy
Students on pharmacy practice experiences may not be paid for their activities by the site to which they are assigned. This is an accreditation standard and cannot be waived. Students may receive housing, meal and travel allowances from the experiential site for off-campus educational experiences.
Students who work on research projects with faculty or in summer internship experiences with off-campus pharmaceutical companies, regulatory agencies or professional societies/associations, may receive either Independent Study course credit or payment for their work, but not both. Further information about the credit and compensation policy can be found in the Gatton College of Pharmacy Student Handbook.