Student Progression Policy

Jump below to


The purpose of this policy is to identify key standards and requirements that affect student progression in the PharmD curriculum, and the requirements related to student progression. The Committee on Academic Standards and the Sub-Committee on Student Progress are responsible for faculty oversight of student progression in the PharmD curriculum.


The UCSF School of Pharmacy (SOP) supports the development in students of the professional knowledge, skills, behaviors, and aptitude to become outstanding patient-centered pharmacists. The PharmD curriculum and curricular outcomes provide a framework for assessment of student achievement toward this goal.

Student academic progression in the PharmD curriculum is based on student academic performance in didactic and experiential coursework as well as demonstration of the high standards of professional conduct required for the safe, patient-centered and ethical practice of pharmacy. Both are essential to the preparation of competent pharmacists.

The faculty of the SOP have a responsibility to the profession, the public, and to patients to uphold these high standards. The Committee on Academic Standards and the Sub-Committee on Student Progress carefully monitor student progress in the curriculum to insure students demonstrate the appropriate knowledge, skills, and behavioral and ethical characteristics essential for practice. 

Oversight of student progression is the responsibility of the Committee on Academic Standards and the Sub-Committee on Student Progress. Key requirements that affect student progress in the curriculum are provided as part of this policy.


Academic standing, probation and dismissal

The UCSF School of Pharmacy (SOP) faculty have established policies for Academic Standing, Probation and Dismissal to specify actions and consequences when a student’s performance does not meet the academic standards established by the faculty. 

Progression within the curriculum

The integrated nature of the PharmD curriculum in which each theme builds upon the other necessitates that student progression is predicated upon the student’s performance in prior coursework. Faculty on the Committee on Academic Standards and the Sub-Committee on Student Progress will consult with faculty across courses to determine whether a student has the requisite competencies to progress into the next course and identify an appropriate academic and remediation plan. The goal in making such determinations is to insure students have the foundational competencies necessary to be successful in subsequent courses.

When a student does not meet standards for progression forward within the PharmD curriculum, the Committee on Academic Standards will conduct an in-depth review of the student’s performance as set forth by and in a manner consistent with the UCSF Academic Senate Bylaws Appendix VII: 4.0 Step 2: In-Depth Review and Dismissal Action.

Time to graduation

The expected timeframe for completion of required course work is three academic years or twelve quarters from entry. Based on review of individual circumstances by the Sub-Committee on Student Progress and/or the Committee on Academic Standards and in accordance with an academic plan, 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 precludes the completion of all required coursework for the PharmD degree within the maximum time to graduation designated by SOP policy is subject to dismissal. Exceptions may be approved by the Vice Dean upon recommendation of the Committee on Academic Standards, Sub-Committee on Student Progress, or Associate Dean of Student Affairs.


Successful progression within the PharmD curriculum is contingent upon the student passing all didactic and experiential courses. The Grading policy outlines student assessment and grading in the PharmD curriculum.

Requirements for advanced pharmacy practice experiences

Student progression to APPEs is contingent upon meeting the Requirements for Advancement to Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experiences. Students who do not meet the requirements are not eligible to begin APPEs and will be delayed in graduation from the PharmD program.


Students in the PharmD program are required to meet the Co-Curriculum Progression Standards, which outline requirements for each year of the curriculum.

Technical standards

The School of Pharmacy faculty has approved Technical Standards, which outline essential abilities and characteristics for completion of the PharmD degree. To meet current practice requirements, the faculty may amend these technical standards. PharmD students must meet the Technical Standards at all times with or without institutionally approved accommodations. Students admitted to the PharmD program are required to affirm their ability to meet the Technical Standards.

A student seeking accommodations for protected disabilities must register with Student Disability Services to seek institutionally approved accommodations. Accommodations for protected disabilities must be secured in advance of the educational activities for which the accommodations are relevant. Failure to seek or to use institutionally approved accommodations will not be accepted as sufficient grounds to circumvent adverse action.

A student who is unable to meet Technical Standards may be subject to adverse actions, including dismissal, disqualification or discontinuance from the PharmD program.

Leave of absence

Students enrolled in the UCSF PharmD program may be approved for a leave of absence as outlined in the Withdrawal, Leave of Absence and Readmission policy. Students considering a leave of absence must meet with the Associate Dean of Student Affairs to discuss the leave of absence, implications for the curriculum and readmission process.

Financial aid eligibility – satisfactory academic progress

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 UCSF School of Pharmacy’s Satisfactory Academic Progress for PharmD Students applies to all students receiving financial aid and outlines how a student’s financial aid is affected when a student is not meeting academic standards.

Go to: Policies and Requirements