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Earning a Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) degree from The UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill requires mastery of a coherent body of knowledge and skills. A pharmacy student must acquire substantial competence in the necessary knowledge and application of that knowledge in their professional practice and must be able to relate appropriately to patients, health care professionals, and to other ancillary personnel. Combinations of cognitive, affective, psychomotor, physical, and social abilities are required to perform these functions satisfactorily. These skills and functions are not only essential to the successful completion of the PharmD degree requirements, but they are also necessary to ensure the health and safety of patients, fellow students, faculty, and other health care providers.

In addition to required academic achievement and proficiency, the following technical standards describe non-academic qualifications the School considers essential for successful completion of the educational objectives of its curriculum. Therefore, in order to be admitted, to successfully progress, and to be approved for graduation, applicants for admission and current students must demonstrate the qualifications described here. Students who are unable to meet these standards will be referred to the Scholastic Achievement and Progression Committee for review. The Committee will determine if the student should be sanctioned or dismissed from the PharmD program.

Because the pharmacy profession is governed by ethical principles and by state and federal laws, a pharmacy student must have the capacity to learn and understand these values and laws and to perform within their guidelines. Students must be able to relate to colleagues, staff and patients with honesty, integrity, non-discrimination, self-sacrifice and dedication. They must be able to understand and use the power, special privileges, and trust inherent in the patient relationship for the patient’s benefit and to know and to avoid the behaviors that constitute misuse of this power. A pharmacy student must understand and comply with all policies and procedures related to Protected Health Information. They must demonstrate the capacity to examine and deliberate effectively about the social and ethical questions that define pharmacy and the pharmacist’s role and to reason critically about these questions. Students must be able to identify personal reactions and responses, recognize multiple points of view, and integrate these appropriately into clinical decision-making.

Pharmacy students must be of sufficient emotional health to utilize fully their intellectual ability, to exercise good judgment, to complete patient care responsibilities promptly, and to relate to patients, families, and colleagues with courtesy, compassion, maturity, and respect for their dignity. The ability to participate collaboratively and flexibly as a professional team member is essential. The pharmacy student must display this emotional health in spite of stressful working conditions, changing environments, and clinical uncertainties. The pharmacy student must be able to modify behavior in response to constructive criticism. A pharmacy student must be open to examining personal attitudes, perceptions, and stereotypes which may negatively affect patient care and professional relationships. An individual with a diagnosed mental health condition may function as a pharmacy student as long as the condition is managed sufficiently to allow accomplishment of the above goals with or without reasonable accommodation.* A pharmacy student must exhibit behavior and intellectual functioning which does not differ from acceptable standards. In the event of deteriorating emotional function, it is essential that a pharmacy student be willing to acknowledge the occurrence and/or accept professional help before the condition poses danger to self, patients, and/or colleagues.


*Reasonable accommodation means services provided to individuals with disabilities, medical conditions or temporary injury/condition that remove or lessen the effect of disability-related barriers. Examples include providing sign language interpreters, furnishing written materials in large print, and making a facility or event physically accessible. Some individuals with disabilities may need reasonable accommodations to meet the School’s Technical Standards, while others may not.

Students who seek reasonable accommodations for a disability, medical condition or temporary injury/condition must contact UNC’s Office of Accessibility Resources & Service ( The Office will determine a student’s eligibility for and recommend appropriate accommodations and services.


The study and ongoing practice of pharmacy may involve taxing workloads, competing obligations, and stressful situations. A pharmacy student must possess the physical and emotional stamina to maintain a high level of function in the face of such working conditions.


A pharmacy student must possess a range of intellectual skills that allows the student to master the broad and complex body of knowledge that comprises a pharmacy education. This involves the assimilation of existing knowledge from a wide variety of sources and its application to professional practice. It also involves the synthesis of new knowledge through reasoning and the ability to think critically.

The student’s learning style must be effective and efficient. The ultimate goal will be to solve difficult problems and make recommendations for therapeutic decisions. A pharmacy student must be able to memorize, describe mechanisms of drug action and clearance, perform scientific measurement and calculation, and ultimately critically evaluate biomedical literature. Reasoning abilities must be sophisticated enough to analyze and synthesize information from a wide variety of sources. Pharmacy students must be able to gather data, develop a plan of action, establish priorities, and monitor treatment plans and modalities. A pharmacy student must be able to learn effectively through a variety of modalities including, but not limited to: classroom instruction, small group discussion/projects, individual study of materials, preparation and presentation of written and oral reports, and use of computer-based technology.


A pharmacy student must be able to ask questions, to receive answers in an insightful manner, to record information about patients and to advise patients and other health care professionals. They must be able to communicate effectively and efficiently with patients, their families, and with other members of the health care team. This must include spoken communications and non-verbal communications such as interpretation of facial expressions, affects, and body language. Mastery of both written and spoken English is required although applications from students with hearing and speech disabilities will be given full consideration. In such cases, use of a trained intermediary or other communications aide may be appropriate if this intermediary functions only as an information conduit and does not provide integrative or interpretive functions.



A pharmacy student must possess sufficient visual, auditory, tactile and motor abilities to allow the student to gather data from written reference material, from oral presentations, by observing demonstrations and experiments, by studying various types of medical illustrations, by observing a patient and the patient’s environment, by observing clinical procedures performed by others, and by reading digital or analog representations of physiologic phenomena. Additionally, pharmacy students must possess sufficient visual, auditory, tactile, and motor abilities to prepare medication dosage forms, administer medications to patients, and perform a basic physical examination of a patient.