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Introduction and Purpose

The American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy (AACP) recommends that schools of pharmacy obtain a criminal history check for students admitted to doctor of pharmacy programs. Criminal history checks are, in some circumstances, required by UNC System policy and are also standard for many health care facilities. The practice of performing a criminal history check helps protect the safety and well-being of the University community and patients, and it allows schools to ensure that students are able to complete their studies. It is therefore the policy of the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy Doctor of Pharmacy Program (Program) to obtain a criminal history check for every applicant who is admitted to the program.

I. Applicability to Applicants and Students

A. Program Applicants

  • Applicants to the Program will be notified of the criminal history check requirement as a part of the admissions process.
  • All offers of admission to the Program will be contingent upon the results of the criminal history check.
  • When applicants are offered admission to the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy and notify the School that they intend to enroll in the Program, they will receive an email from the Program’s third party screening organization. The email will be sent to the address that the applicant specified in his or her PharmCAS application. The message will contain a link to an online form that the applicant will use to provide basic identifying information and consent for the criminal history check to be completed.
  • When the criminal history check has been completed, the applicant will receive an email requesting that he or she review the report. The applicant will have ten calendar days to review the report and dispute its accuracy before it is made available to the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy. If the applicant does not review the report within the specified ten days, it will be distributed to the School after the ten calendar days has elapsed.
  • Fees for the individual background checks are included in the PharmCAS application. This fee is nonrefundable.
  • Students should consult with the PharmCAS Web site ( for more details about the criminal history check procedures.

B. Enrolled Program Students

  • Some pharmacy practice sites may require additional or alternate background screening in order to meet a specific timeline and/or satisfy state, organization or federal laws and regulations. As a result of this, affected students (PY4 in APPE as well as rising PY1/2/3 in early immersion) may be required to complete further checks as part of their rotation compliance.
  • Students that take a semester or longer leave of absence from the Program for any reason must submit a new criminal history check before they can return to the Program.
  • Fees for the background checks must be remitted by the student directly to the agency performing the screening. This fee is nonrefundable.
  • Students are required to provide practice experience sites with a copy of their criminal history check results upon request by the practice site.
  • If at any point during enrollment a student is charged with or convicted of any criminal act that may or not have been on a previous criminal background check, that student should contact the director of student affairs immediately to self-disclose. Failure to self-disclose could lead to an honor court violation as well as referral to the Progressions Committee.

II. Procedures for Review by the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy

Students will be notified in writing if their background check reports any offenses beyond minor traffic violations.

  • Students will have ten calendar days after receipt of notification to submit an explanatory statement. If a statement is not received within this ten-day period, the process will continue without consideration of an explanatory statement.
  • The Doctor of Pharmacy Criminal History Check Committee (Committee), composed of faculty and staff from the Office, will review these reports and statements.
  • The Criminal History Check Committee shall notify individuals of its decision, in writing, within thirty calendar days of the submission of the explanatory statement.

A. Program Applicants

  • The Committee may rescind an offer of admission to the Program if an applicant’s criminal history check reveals that the applicant has committed a serious offense. Serious offenses include, but are not limited to, felonies, drug offenses, forgery, assault, abuse and neglect.
  • All determinations of eligibility or disqualification will be made in light of each individual case (i.e., no single type of offense will be used as an automatic rescission of acceptance or reason for dismissal).
  • The dean of the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy shall have the sole authority to rule on any appeals by Program applicants regarding the decisions made by the Criminal History Check Committee. A decision of the Committee may be appealed in writing by the applicant, if done so within 5 business days of the receipt of the letter notifying them of the decision. The written appeal should be addressed and delivered to the dean of the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy.

B. Enrolled Program Students

  • If at any time a student’s criminal history check reveals serious offenses, the Committee may refer the student to the Honor Court System, when appropriate, or refer the student to the School’s Scholastic Achievement and Progression Committee in cases where the University’s Honor Code is inapplicable.
  • Pharmacy practice experience sites (health system and community) have the discretion to deny a request for a student to be placed at that site based on the results of a criminal history check. This discretion is independent of any decision made by the Criminal History Check Committee. The student shall provide the background check and his or her explanatory statement to the facility upon request.