Sep 29, 2020  
2008-2009 Student Handbook 
    
2008-2009 Student Handbook [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Academics


2008-09 Student Handbook 

ACADEMICS

Graduate Students 

ENTRY-LEVEL PROGRAMS

Philadelphia College of Pharmacy
Misher College of Arts and Sciences
College of Health Sciences
Mayes College of Healthcare Business and Policy 

MAJORS

Declaring a Major
Changing a Major 

MINORS

Eligibility
Requirements 

DOUBLE DEGREES AND DOUBLE MAJORS 

THE CORE CURRICULUM/GENERAL EDUCATION  

TRANSFER CREDIT 

PARTNERSHIP INSTITUTIONS  

ENROLLING IN COURSES

Registration Dates
Administrative Holds
Dropping/Adding Course
Course Withdrawal
Audit
Pass/Fail Option
Repetition of a Course
Grade Replacement 

TAKING AND COMPLETING COURSES

Attendance Regulations
Absence from Examinations
Absence Due to Athletic Contests
Rules Governing Examinations
Student Participation in Experiential Education 

GRADES

Grading and Point System
Grade Point Average
Incomplete Policy
Grade Change Policy 

PROGRESS TOWARD THE DEGREE

Satisfactory Academic Progress and Financial Aid
Definition of Full-Time Status for Academic Purposes
Academic Standards and Academic Progress
Length of Time to Complete Program of Study
Academic Probation
Program Probation
Dean’s List
Writing Proficiency Examination
Catalog Year for Degree Requirements
Bachelor Degrees for Students in Professional Programs
Requirements for Graduation
Graduation Honors
Transcripts
Student Comments and Complaints 

SEPARATION FROM THE UNIVERSITY

Dropped from the Rolls
Leave of Absence
Bereavement Policy
Advised to Withdraw
Voluntary Withdrawals from the University
Administrative Withdrawal
Readmission to the University
Fresh Start Readmission


                  Title         Name Location
     
MISHER COLLEGE OF ARTS AND SCIENCES
     
Dean (Interim) of Misher College of Arts and Sciences;
Director of Pre-Health Professions Program
Suzanne Murphy , PhD GH-212A
Assistant Dean (Interim) of Misher College of Arts and Sciences;
Director of Center for Interdisciplinary Studies
Leslie Bowman, AMLS LIB
Director of Teacher Certification Program Lois Peck , EdD STC-378
Director of Writing Center Justin Everett, PhD 4140-1105
Director of Writing Program Deidre Pettipiece, PhD EAST-102
Chair of Department of Bioinformatics and Computer Science James Pierce, PhD STC-246
Director of Bioinformatics Graduate Program Randy J. Zauhar, PhD STC-222
Chair of Department of Biological Sciences; Director of Forensics Program William R. Law , PhD STC-342
Director of Cell Biology and Biotechnology Graduate Program John Porter, PhD STC-371
Director of Environmental Sciences Program Kevin Wolbach, MS STC-375
Chair of Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry Edward R. Birnbaum , PhD GH-140A
Director of Biochemistry, Chemistry and Pharmacognosy Graduate Program James McKee, PhD McN-205
Chair (Interim) of Department of Humanities Mignon S. Adams , MSLS EAST-106
Chair of Information Science; Director of Library and Information Services Charles Myers, MA, MLS LIB
Chair of Department of Physical Education Paul E. Klimitas , MEd ARC-212
Chair of Department of Mathematics, Physics, and Statistics Elia Eschenazi, PhD STC-242
Chair of Department of Social Sciences Claudia Fishman Parvanta, PhD KH-209
Director (Acting) of Undergraduate Psychology Program Stephen Moelter, PhD KH-209
Director of Health Psychology Graduate Program TBA KH-214
Director (Interim) of Honors Program Roy Robson, PhD EAST-210
     
COLLEGE OF GRADUATE STUDIES
Dean of College of Graduate Studies Rodney J. Wigent, PhD McN-104
Associate Dean of College of Graduate Studies Shanaz Tejani-Butt , PhD PTC-245
 
COLLEGE OF HEALTH SCIENCES
Dean (Interim) of College of Health Sciences Margaret R. Kasschau, PhD GLH-408
Associate Dean of College of Health Sciences Peter Miller, PhD WH-2300
Director of Fitness and Health Management Program; Director of Health Sciences Program Karin M. Richards, MS GLH-407
Director of Medical Technology Program; Coordinator of Clinical Education Margaret Reinhart, MS STC-377
Chair of Department of Occupational Therapy Paula Kramer , PhD GH-110
Chair of Department of Physical Therapy Marc Campolo , PhD GLH-104
Vice Chair of Department of Physical Therapy Susan Wainwright , PhD GLH-109
Academic Coordinator of Clinical Education Megan Schaefer, DPT GLH-108
Chairman of Department of Physician Assistant Studies (based at Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine-PCOM) John Cavenagh, PhD PCOM
Academic Coordinator of Physician Assistant Studies Janet DeSipio , MS GLH-406
     
MAYES COLLEGE OF HEALTHCARE BUSINESS AND POLICY
Dean (Interim) of Mayes College of Healthcare Business and Policy William Ashton, MEd FOC-3208
Associate Dean of Mayes College of Healthcare Business and Policy;
Chair of Department of Pharmaceutical and Healthcare Business
Glenn Rosenthal, MA, MBA, EdD FOW-147
Assistant Dean of Mayes College of Healthcare Business and Policy Stephanie A. Zarus, PharmD FOC-3207
Director of Undergraduate Business Program Melanie Oates, PhD FOW-145
Chair of International Business Program Bruce Rosenthal , MBA FOW-146
Director of Graduate Business Program Donald L. Zimmerman, PhD FOW-148
Director of Senior Health Program Richard I. Stefanacci, DO, MGH, MBA, AGSF, CMD FOW-132
Director of Health Policy Graduate Program Robert I. Field, JD, PhD FOW-127
Director (Interim) of Public Health Program Ruth L. Schemm , EdD FOW-126
Director of Biomedical Writing Graduate Program Danny Benau, PhD FOW-141                           
 
PHILADELPHIA COLLEGE OF PHARMACY
Dean of Philadelphia College of Pharmacy Russell J. DiGate , PhD GH-218
Vice Dean of Philadelphia College of Pharmacy Lisa A. Lawson , PharmD GH-218
Assistant Dean of Student Development William Cunningham, PhD GH-216
Assistant Dean of Operations and Finance Jill Pfeiffenberger, PharmD GH-216
Assistant Dean of Pharmacy Programs;
Director of Doctor of Pharmacy Program;
Director of BS Program in Pharmaceutical and Healthcare Studies
Laura Mandos, PharmD GH-108P
Director of Pharmacy Student Advising Patricia J. Acton, MEd GH-216
Chair of Department of Pharmacy Practice/Pharmacy Administration Andrew M. Peterson, PharmD GH-108E
Vice Chair of Research TBA GH-108N
Vice Chair of Teaching Cathy Poon , PharmD GH-208
Vice Chair of Experiential Learning Steven L. Sheaffer, PharmD GH-120B
Director of Clerkship Programs Thomas C. Bernhardt , BS GH-120C
Director of Experiential Resources TBA GH-120A
Director of Residency and Fellowship Programs Sarah Spinler , PharmD GH-108T
Director of Pharmacy Administration Graduate Program William McGhan, PhD GH-108J
Chair of Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences; Director of Pharmacology/ Toxicology Graduate Program Adeboye Adejare , PhD PTC-242
Director of BS Pharmaceutical Sciences Program Anil D’mello, PhD McN-109A
Director of BS Pharmacology/ Toxicology Program Diane Morel, PhD PTC-239
Director of Pharmaceutics Graduate Program Clyde Ofner , PhD McN-109B
Director of Industrial Pharmacy Research Steven H. Neau, PhD AH-2

ACADEMICS

The information, academic policies, and procedures outlined below are designed to guide students during their studies. They do not constitute a binding contract and may be changed at any time. For assistance with these policies and procedures, students should consult with their advisor or college dean.

Please note that some academic departments (e.g., pharmacy, occupational therapy, physical therapy, physician assistant studies) have additional requirements that are delineated in department handbooks or publications. Comprehensive information on academic requirements, clinical education, and professional behavior is available from the individual departments.

Graduate Students

All graduate students are expected to abide by all University policies, including the Student Code of Conduct outlined in the USP Student Handbook. Academic policies and procedures specific to graduate students, however, are cited in the College of Graduate Studies Policies and Procedures Handbook, which is available in the Office of the Dean of the College of Graduate Studies, located in the McNeil Building, Room 105.

Entry-Level Programs

A total of 22 enty-level programs of study are available to undergraduates at University of the Sciences in Philadelphia (USP).

Philadelphia College of Pharmacy – Offers the entry-level Doctor of Pharmacy program, a six-year program. Other majors offered are four-year programs leading to the BS degree in Pharmacology and Toxicology, and Pharmaceutical Sciences.

Misher College of Arts and Sciences – Offers programs in biochemistry, bioinformatics, biology, chemistry, computer science, environmental science, humanities and science, microbiology, pharmaceutical chemistry, premedical track, psychology, and science teacher certification. All are four-year programs leading to the BS degree, except that the premedical track and science teacher certifications are offered in the context of a major such as biology or chemistry. Students who are undecided about their major may enter the undeclared major for no more than two years. See “Declaring a Major” on the next page.

College of Health Sciences – Offers four-year Bachelor of Science in Health Sciences programs in fitness and health management, health science, and medical technology. There is a five-year program of study offered in occupational therapy, leading to the BS degree in Health Science and the MS degree in Occupational Therapy. For students with a bachelor’s degree, a two-and-a-half-year program leading to the MS degree in Occupational Therapy is offered. In 2004, the physical therapy program changed from a five-year master’s program to a six-year program, leading to the BS in Health Science as well as the MS in Physical Therapy (MPT). A transitional Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) program offers students with an MPT from USP the opportunity to earn their DPT by taking four online courses. The program in physician assistant studies leads to the BS in Health Science from USP and the MS from Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine.

Mayes College of Healthcare Business and Policy – Offers one undergraduate program with a BS degree in Pharmaceutical Marketing and Management. The other programs in the Mayes College are at the graduate level and consist of business and public health programs. The business program consists of two MBA tracks, an entry level evening program and a combination online and weekend program for students with a minimum of two years of work experience in the healthcare industry. In addition, the college offers two MS degree programs, one in Health Policy and the second in Public Health. The last program offered is a PhD program in Health Policy.

Majors

Declaring a Major

Students attending USP usually declare a major field of study during the admission process. All degree programs are described in detail in the University Catalog.

Qualified students may also enroll at USP in the undeclared major program. This option enables students to gain more information on which to base a decision regarding a specific major field of study. In consultation with the Dean of the Misher College of Arts and Sciences, each student in the undeclared program is encouraged to apply for a specific major by April 15 (April 1 for Philadelphia College of Pharmacy). Students may continue undeclared status into a second year with approval of the Dean of the Misher College of Arts and Sciences. At the end of the second year, students will need to select one of various other majors available at USP and be accepted into that major. Students can remain in the undeclared option program no longer than four full-time (12 credits or more) semesters (excluding summer sessions) or through the end of the U3 year, whichever comes first. At this time, students must declare a major or they will be dropped from the rolls. More information on the undeclared option can be found in the section on the Misher College of Arts and Sciences in the University Catalog. Students may elect the undeclared major while considering a new choice of major.

Changing a Major

Changing from one major field of study to another major at this University is often possible, but it is neither automatic nor guaranteed. Following consultation with his or her academic advisor, the student intending to change his or her major should meet with the college dean or program director responsible for the degree program into which the student desires to transfer.

Formal requests for change of major must be submitted to the student’s prospective college dean by the following dates: no later than April 15 for the fall semester, no later than October 15 for the spring semester, and no later than February 15 for the summer session for programs that accept summer changes. Programs offered in the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy accept applications for change of major only for April 1 (all programs) and October 15 (all programs except pharmacy) consideration.

A change of major is subject to approval of the appropriate program director(s) and college dean(s) and is based on a review of the student’s academic record, other qualifications for acceptance into the degree program under consideration, and space availability.

Students who change their major while being enrolled in a minor program must be reevaluated and approved to continue the minor by the minor advisor, chair of the minor department, and chair/program director/dean of the new major program.

Minors

An academic minor is a selection of courses, usually with a common theme, that enables the student to develop a degree of formal expertise in an area outside of the student’s major. It is intended to supplement the student’s academic training by broadening the scope of knowledge and experience beyond that obtained from courses required for the student’s major degree.

While obtaining a minor is not a requirement, a minor can offer several advantages, such as enhanced job opportunities, increased potential for advancement and/or greater opportunity for more challenging assignments, and the demonstration of a broader academic background that may increase the student’s chances of being accepted into graduate or professional school. The student’s transcript will note that the student is enrolled in a minor program. Satisfactory completion of the requirements for the minor will be noted only on the student’s transcript, not on the student’s diploma.

Eligibility

To be eligible for acceptance into a minor program, a student must

  • Be in good academic standing
  • Obtain the approval of the student’s academic advisor and major program director and/or dean
  • Obtain the approval of the chairperson of the department offering the minor program

A student should apply to participate in a minor program early in his or her academic career, usually by the fifth semester of college work, but no later than the end of the drop/add period of the first semester of the last year of didactic work. A student may enroll in a minor program offered by his or her major department as long as the requirements for the minor (listed below) are met. 

Requirements

In addition to any introductory courses (course numbers ranging from 100-199) in the area of the minor, a minimum of 18 credit hours of coursework having a common intellectual bond is required for a minor. Of the 18 credits, a minimum of 12 credits of minor coursework must be completed in addition to any courses (required courses or program electives) included in the major curriculum. Students may complete more than one minor, provided a minimum of 12 credits of coursework be completed in addition to any courses required in the major curriculum and any other minor curriculum(s). General education coursework may be used to fulfill minor requirements without restriction. Anacademic minor is designed by the faculty of the offering department(s) and approved by the appropriate Subcouncil(s). The student must achieve a cumulative average of 2.0 in all of the courses taken as part of the minor. 

Up to six semester hours of coursework, with an earned grade of “C” or better, taken at another accredited institution may be applied to the course requirements of the minor upon prior approval of the chairperson(s) of the department(s) offering the minor.

Information regarding the academic status of a student in a minor program should be forwarded by the chair of the department offering the minor to the faculty advisor, program director, appropriate college dean, and registrar. 

The requirements for the minor must be completed before graduation. Determination of successful completion of the minor will be accomplished by the department chair(s) and college dean(s) of the minor program.

Students who change their major while being enrolled in a minor program must be reevaluated and approved to continue the minor by the minor advisor, chair of the minor department, and chair/program director/dean of the new major program.

Double Degrees and Double Majors

Students wishing to earn two degrees or pursue two majors must be accepted by both of the degree programs. Addition of the second major requires the approval of the dean(s) and program directors of each major. Students may earn two baccalaureate degrees, one baccalaureate and one entry-level professional degree, or one degree with two majors by completing the following:

1.        Core Curriculum/General Education Requirements

  1. The Core Curriculum (first-year students entering USP prior to the 2007 academic year): Courses taken to fulfill the Core Curriculum requirements may be used for both degrees or both majors. Courses taken to fulfill the Core Distribution Elective(s) may not be required by either degree program or major and may not be from the department(s) offering the degree programs or majors.
  2. General Education (first-year students entering USP in 2007 and thereafter): Courses taken to fulfill General Education requirements may be used for both degrees or both majors. Courses taken to fulfill the General Education Unrestricted Elective may not be required by either degree program or major and may not be from the department(s) offering the degree programs or majors.

2.        Required Courses of the Degree Programs or Majors: All required courses for both degrees or both majors must be completed with the exception of when the degree programs or majors require different courses (or course sequences) on the same topic. In such cases, the student must take the course (or course sequence) with the higher number of credits. If both courses have the same number of credits, the course selected must have written approval of both program directors.

3.        Elective Courses of the Degree Programs or Majors: Students pursuing two degrees or two majors may not use courses required by one of the degree programs or majors to fulfill elective requirements of another degree program or major. Courses that are electives in both degree programs or both majors may be used to fulfill the elective requirements of both degrees or both majors. Exceptions may be made only with the permission of both program directors and of the college dean(s) to whom they report.

Completion of Degrees

  • A degree may be awarded once all requirements for that degree are met. A double major is awarded when the student has satisfied the requirements for earning a degree and all requirements for both majors are met.
  • The first degree of the double degree may be awarded when the student has completed the requirements of that degree. The second degree may be awarded once the student has earned the credits for the second degree, including the minimum 30 credits beyond what is required for one of the degrees.

Limitations

Neither double degrees nor double majors may be earned for programs that are offered within the same department. An exception is made for semi-autonomous, cross-disciplinary programs that have an affiliation with one of the departments in which the other major or degree is being sought, such as Bioinformatics or Medical Technology.

The Core Curriculum/General Education

Education at USP is founded on the philosophy that educated persons attain a broad understanding of the human experience through exposure to diverse ideas, perspectives, and modes of thinking; and they attain a depth of knowledge, skills, and abilities through specialized study in their chosen discipline. Education at USP fosters development of values important to students as responsible citizens and professionals. The USP experience enables our students to take responsibility for their continued learning throughout their professional and personal lives.

The Core Curriculum applies only to undergraduate students who entered USP as first-year students prior to the 2007 academic year. The new General Education curriculum applies to all first-year undergraduates entering the University in 2007 and thereafter. Transfer students will be required to meet Core Curriculum or General Education requirements based on their designated catalog year (see p. 91).

For further details on either the Core Curriculum or General Education, see the 2008-2009 University Catalog online.

Transfer Credit

Recognizing that students often study at more than one college, transfer credit may be awarded for courses completed at another accredited institution. Credit may be granted for courses taken prior to matriculation at the University. After matriculation, entry level Doctor of Pharmacy program students must take all first- and second-year required courses at USP. Upon progression into their first professional year, Doctor of Pharmacy program students may take elective courses at other institutions and transfer in credit with the prior approval of the chair of the teaching department and program director or dean. The course must be comparable in content and depth to a course offered at the University. All College of Pharmacy professional courses (courses with prefixes PA, PC, PH, and PP) must be taken at USP. In the physician assistant program, transfer credit is accepted in courses earning a “C” or better in first-year required program curriculum and general education courses. Students wishing to transfer second-year required course credits must earn a “B” or better. All third-year required courses must be taken at USP. Students in other programs may take courses at other institutions and transfer in credit with the prior approval of their department chair or program director and the approval of the teaching department. The course must be comparable in content and depth to a course offered at the University.

Transfer credit will only be awarded for a course in which a grade of “C” or greater has been achieved and after submission of an official transcript.

Transfer credits awarded will be entered on the student’s record and transcript with the source and number of credits granted. The GPA will reflect only courses completed at USP.

For students matriculating in fall 2007 and thereafter who are subject to the general education requirements, the following regulations apply to transfer credit. 

  • Students who matriculate into USP with an earned baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution recognized by USP will be approved as fulfilling the general education requirements of USP; an official transcript from the institution that conferred the degree is required
  • A course approved for transfer will be awarded the same number of credits and fulfill the same general education requirements (e.g., Disciplines, Electives, Skills) as the comparable course at USP
  • Advanced Placement (AP) course, International Baccalaureate (IB) course, and College Level Examination Program (CLEP) course credits will be awarded the same number of credits and fulfill the same general educationrequirements (e.g., Disciplines, Electives, Skills) as the comparable course at USP

                Advanced Placement Program (AP)

The University participates in the College Board’s Advanced Placement Program (AP). Credit will be awarded for scores on Advanced Placement Examinations that meet the minimum acceptable score and content as determined by the teaching department. When credit is awarded, a student’s University record will carry notation of credit and the comparable USP course, but no grade will be recorded. The teaching department will determine the comparable USP course. Credit awarded will not affect a student’s grade point average at USP. Only official grade reports from the College Board sent directly to the Admissions Department will be used to document AP examination results. No AP credit will be awarded after the last day of the drop/add period of the first semester of enrollment at USP. 

A student who wishes to decline AP credit for which they qualify and take the comparable course at USP must submit to the Registrar’s Office a completed Request for AP Credit Removal form that includes the signatures of their academic advisor and their program director/department chair/college dean. The request to remove AP credit must be submitted to the Registrar’s Office by the student prior to registering for the comparable USP course. The Registrar’s Office will then permanently delete the AP credit from the student’s record. Once deleted, AP credits cannot be re-awarded. AP creditsawardedfor two-semester sequenced courses or courses with a separate laboratory component are awarded for both courses and the corresponding laboratory only and will not be awarded for only one part of the course sequence. For example, AP credit for Chemistry would be awarded for CH101 General Chemistry I, CH102 General Chemistry II, CH103 GeneralChemistry Lab I, and CH104 General Chemistry Lab II. After discussion with their advisor, students may audit courses for which they receive AP credit.

Implementation: Students entering the University in fall 2008

                International Baccalaureate Organization (IB)

The University recognizes the International Baccalaureate Organization’s IB Diploma Programme (IB). Credit will be awarded for scores on International Baccalaureate Examinations that meet the minimum acceptable score and content as determined by the teaching department. When credit is awarded, a student’s University record will carry notation of credit and the comparable USP course, but no grade will be recorded. The teaching department will determine the comparable USP course. Credit awarded will not affect a student’s grade point average at USP. Only official grade reports from the International Baccalaureate Organization sent directly to the Admissions Department will be used to document IB examination results. No IB credit will be awarded after the last day of the drop/add period of the first semester of enrollment at USP.   

A student who wishes to decline IB credit for which they qualify and take the comparable course at USP must submit to the Registrar’s Office a completed Request for IB Credit Removal form that includes the signatures of their academic advisor and their program director/department chair/college dean. The request to remove IB credit must be submitted to the Registrar’s Office by the student prior to registering for the comparable USP course. The Registrar’s Office will then permanently delete the IB credit from the student’s record. Once deleted, IB credits cannot be re-awarded. IB credits awarded for two-semester sequenced courses or courses with a separate laboratory component are awarded for both courses and the corresponding laboratory only and will not be awarded for only one part of the course sequence. For example, IB credit for Chemistry would be awarded for CH101 General Chemistry I, CH102 General Chemistry II, CH103 General Chemistry Lab I, and CH104 General Chemistry Lab II. After discussion with their advisor, students may audit courses for which they receive IB credit.

Implementation: Students entering the University in fall 2008

                College Level Examination Program (CLEP)

The University participates in the College Board’s College Level Examination Program (CLEP). Credit will be awarded for scores on CLEP examinations that meet the minimum acceptable score and content as determined by the teaching department. When credit is awarded, a student’s University record will carry notation of credit and specific USP course equivalency, but no grade will be recorded. Specific USP course equivalencies are determined by the teaching department. Approved CLEP credit will be awarded the same number of credits and fulfill the same general education requirements (e.g., Disciplines, Electives, Skills) as the comparable course at USP. Credit awarded will not affect a student’s grade point average at USP. Only official score reports from the College Board sent directly to the Registrar will be used to document CLEP examination results.  Awarding of CLEP credits must be complete no later than the end of the drop/add period of the first semester of the last year of didactic work. After that time, no additional CLEP credit will be awarded. USP awards credit for examinations in the subject areas of Business, Composition and Literature, Foreign Languages, and History and Social Sciences. Credit will not be awarded for Science and Mathematics subject areas.

For more information on CLEP, see their website at www.collegeboard.com/student/testing/clep.   

Partnership Institutions

Course Credits and Grades with Partnership Institutions

From time to time, USP will form partnerships with other accredited institutions, such as the NYU Study Abroad Program and the University of the Arts Exchange Program. Upon approval of partnership programs by appropriate faculty and administration, the partnership coordinator may petition Executive Council of Faculty Council to have all courses in the partnership program be treated in the students’ educational records as USP courses in terms of credit, grades including grade point system, grade point average, academic progress, and academic standards. Approval by Executive Council of Faculty Council is required in order for partnership courses to be treated as USP courses.

Under this policy, two programs have been approved:

NYU Study Abroad Program

University of the Arts Exchange Program

Treatment of Partnership Courses for Core Curriculum/General Education Requirements

A course taken at an institution with which USP has established an approved academic partnership may be used to meet the Core Curriculum or General Education requirements at USP. The chair (or designee) of the USP teaching department will determine if a given partnership course is comparable to a particular USP course. The approved partnership course will fulfill the same Core Curriculum or General Education Requirements (e.g., Disciplines, Electives, Skills) as the comparable course at USP. The approval will be communicated to the Registrar’s Office using a form designated for that purpose.

Enrolling in Courses

Registration Dates

Registration is conducted for all students (with the exception of those entering their first semester at the University) twice during each academic year: during April for the summer sessions and fall semester and during November for the spring semester. The April and November registration dates are listed each year in the Academic Calendar. The most updated version of the schedule of classes is available on WebAdvisor at https://webad.usp.edu. First- and second-year students are required to obtain the signature of their advisor on the registration forms prior to submission.

Administrative Holds

A student may be kept from registering for classes, dropping or adding courses, attending classes, receiving grades, or graduating if the student has not complied with any University requirement.

Administrative holds include conduct, health, library, Registrar, Dean, and financial holds. If left unresolved, a hold will result in administrative withdrawal.

Students may be informed of an administrative hold by the appropriate administrative unit. The dean of the student’s college will maintain a record of administrative holds and their resolution by the return to good standing or administrative withdrawal.

Dropping/Adding Courses

Students may drop and/or add courses only during the period designated for that purpose as listed in the academic calendar.

Drop/add forms, available in the Registrar’s Office, must be completed by the student and returned to the Registrar’s Office within the designated drop/add period. First- and second-year students are required to obtain the signature of their advisor on drop/add forms; other students may use WebAdvisor for dropping or adding classes, but they are encouraged to consult their advisor regarding course deletions and/or additions. All changes will be made on a space-available basis.

Note: A change in lecture, laboratory, or recitation section in a course for which the student is officially registered may be transacted at the student’s request by the Registrar. Permission from the instructor may be necessary for section changes in some courses. This transaction must occur during the drop/add period.

Course Withdrawal

Students are permitted to withdraw officially from a course after the drop/add period but before completion of the sixth week of the semester. To withdraw officially from a course, the student must submit to the Registrar’s Office a completed Request for Course Withdrawal form that includes the signatures of the course instructor and the department chair or program director. First- and second-year students are required to obtain the signature of their advisor on withdrawal forms. The student must discuss the withdrawal with the course instructor, advisor, and department chair or program director. (Third-year and above students do not require an advisor’s signature, but they are strongly encouraged to consult their advisor regarding course deletions and/or additions since withdrawal can impact both financial aid and progress in the program.) The designation “W” (for withdrew; no point value; not included in calculation of the GPA) will be assigned after completion of the official withdrawal from a course. Except in special circumstances as determined in consultation with the program director or college dean, a student may not withdraw officially after the sixth week of a semester. Special circumstances for a late course withdrawal may include accident, injury, illness requiring hospitalization, or distress from bereavement. This is intended as partial relief from a full academic course load. A student who fails to complete the Request for Course Withdrawal form and either discontinues attendance or exceeds the number of absences permitted in a course is not officially withdrawn from the course. Such students may, at the discretion of the instructor, receive a final grade of “F” for the course.

A student who withdraws officially from a course and subsequently registers for the same course a second time will not be permitted to withdraw from that course after the drop/add period except in special circumstances as determined in consultation with the department chair, program director, or college dean.

Audit

A student may audit a course with the written permission of the appropriate college dean. Students who audit a course do not take examinations and do not receive a grade for the course. The audit symbol “AU” is entered for the registered course on the student’s record. Students cannot convert from audit to credit status, or the reverse, after the designated drop/add period. The audited course may be subject to additional charges based on the student’s total credit load.

Pass/Fail Option

An instructor may designate an elective course as being available as a pass/fail elective for some or all students taking the course. Some required courses such as a professional orientation course or clinical experience course, may also be designated pass/fail for all students. A student who wishes to take, on a pass/fail basis, a course that has been designated as a “pass/fail election” must make all necessary arrangements with the instructor and submit a Pass/Fail Election form to the Registrar’s Office prior to the end of the drop/add period. After the drop/add period, the election is irrevocable. A student may make only one pass/fail election per semester.

All pass/fail courses will appear on a student’s transcript; for those pass/fail courses a student passes, credits will count toward the minimum number of semester hours required for a degree.

Final grades for courses taken as pass/fail are either “P” (pass) or “F” (failure). The grade of “P” has no assigned quality point value and, therefore, is not included in the calculation of the GPA. The grade “F” carries a point value of zero (0) and is included in the calculation of the GPA. A grade of “F” for a pass/fail course or election is taken into account with respect to the provisions of academic probation and other academic policies.

Repetition of a Course

Students may register for a course taken previously, provided all course eligibility criteria and prerequisites have been satisfied. The grades for both the original and all repeated course(s) will appear on the student’s transcript and be counted in the grade point average. Credit toward graduation requirements will be counted only once for the repeated courses. When a course is failed at this University but successfully completed with a grade of “C” or better at another accredited institution, credit may be granted. However, the repeated off-campus course grade is not computed in the USP GPA and does not appear on the USP transcript. The original grade remains on the USP transcript.

Grade Replacement

Students eligible for grade replacement are those whose course load, at the time the course was originally taken, consisted of 50% or more of the credits required in the first-year curriculum of their program major. Courses eligible for grade replacement must be repeated (completed) within 12 months of the end of the semester in which the original course was taken. This time frame is suspended for those students on approved leave of absence. The courses eligible for grade replacement must be repeated (completed) before progressing to any other course for which the repeated course is a prerequisite. For example, a student cannot grade replace MA101 while enrolled in or having completed MA102. A maximum of two course grades may be replaced. An approved Repeat Course form must be submitted to the Registrar’s Office no later than the last day of the drop/add period for the term in which the course is being repeated. If the above criteria are not satisfied, the Course Repetition policy will be applied. When a course is repeated for grade replacement at this University, each course will appear on the transcript and academic record. The data will appear such that one will be able to distinguish a replaced grade from the original. The higher of the two course grades will be used in calculating the grade point average. Credit toward graduation requirements will be counted only once.

Taking and Completing Courses

Attendance Regulations

There are certain kinds of information and certain intangible values gained by attendance in classes that are not capable of being measured by examinations and which a student will lack as a result of excessive absence. Accordingly, attendance in all classes is strongly encouraged. University-wide attendance regulations are listed below; additional requirements for attendance are determined by course instructors and will be included in the course syllabus.

  • Attendance is required in laboratory classes; for absences from laboratory classes, penalties and makeup procedures are at the discretion of the instructor and department and a fee may apply
  • Attendance may be required in non-laboratory classes at the discretion of the instructor
  • Attendance is required in all clinical rotations

Absence from Examinations

Each instructor must include his or her makeup examination policy in his or her course syllabus. It is at the discretion of the instructor to decide which makeup reasons are valid. Each instructor may schedule his or her own makeup exams or take advantage of the makeup exam day scheduled by the Registrar at the end of each semester.

Absence Due to Athletic Contests

The University maintains that students have the responsibility to attend classes regularly so as not to jeopardize their understanding of the material. The University also recognizes that athletes who compete in varsity sports on behalf of the institution provide recognition and value to the University community. In order for athletes to meet the requirements for contractually obligated athletic contests with other institutions, under NCAA Division II standards, they are afforded class release time. To obtain release time, athletes must provide the course instructor with written notification prior to the competition date. The course instructor has the right to require documentation (e.g., competition schedule, letter from the Athletic Director) before release time is granted.

It is the responsibility of the student to provide each course instructor with a schedule of competition dates and times at the beginning of each semester. Should contest dates be added once the schedule is printed, it is the responsibility of the student to provide an amended schedule to his or her course instructors as soon as the additional dates and times are available from the Department of Athletics and Recreation. Students are advised to interact with a course instructor in advance and determine a plan to meet the learning outcomes for the time the student is likely to miss. Should a contest conflict with an exam or other graded in-class activity, the student must make arrangements with the course instructor to establish an alternative method and/or date for testing or grading.

The Athletic Director is available to answer questions and assist in the coordination and implementation of this policy.

Rules Governing Examinations

Rules governing the administration of examinations and examination policies are determined by course instructors and will be included in the course syllabus. Graded examinations and assignments will be available for student review for a minimum of 10 business days after the grades are made available to the students. The individual instructor may elect to provide a longer period of time for review of graded materials. However, as a general policy, faculty members are not expected to retain graded materials for more than 45 days beyond the end of the semester.

Student Participation in Experiential Education

Students and the University must satisfy certain requirements imposed by training sites as a condition of student participation in experiential education. Additionally, prior to being permitted to begin or continue rotations at off-campus training sites, students may be required to:

  • Provide a medical history, including immunity to infectious diseases by documented history of infectious diseases (e.g., measles, rubella, hepatitis B) or vaccination, including titers for certain agents
  • Have a negative PPD or chest x-ray if indicated
  • Complete a physical examination
  • Submit to a criminal background check with disclosure to site of any convictions consistent with their criteria
  • Submit to a drug screen with disclosure to site of any positive findings for drugs that are taken without medical supervision
  • Provide evidence of and maintain personal medical insurance coverage at all times while at off-campus training sites
  • Provide first aid, CPR, and other clinical training certifications as required by site

Depending on the requirements of the affiliation agreement between the site and the University, the documentation requested may be coordinated by or at the training site or facilitated by the University using campus-based programs or by an external agency. In all cases, the student is ultimately responsible for ensuring the requirements have been satisfied.

Doctor of Pharmacy students are expected to agree and comply with the conditions of the Pharmacy Practice Professionalism Agreement during pharmacy practice experiential coursework. A student unable to comply with the agreement may be removed from a rotation, fail a rotation, or may be administratively withdrawn from the Doctor of Pharmacy program.

Grades

Students in advanced degree programs under the jurisdiction of the College of Graduate Studies should refer to the Graduate Student Handbook for information on grading. Academic departments may also have additional handbooks containing information relevant to the discipline or the profession. Students should check with their academic departments.

Grading and Point System

The following grading system is used to indicate the quality of academic performance at USP:

A-

to

A+

Excellent

B-

to

B+

Good

C

to

C+

Fair or satisfactory

D-

to

C-

Unsatisfactory, but passing

F

   

Failure

The quality point values assigned to these letter grades are:

A and A+

4.00 points

A-

3.70 points

B+

3.30 points

B

3.00 points

B-

2.70 points

C+

2.30 points

C

2.00 points

C-

1.70 points

D+

1.30 points

D

1.00 points

D-

0.70 points

F

0.00 points

For courses taken on a “pass/fail” basis, the final course grade will be either “P” (for Pass, which has no point value and is not included in the calculation of a grade point average) or “F” (for Failure, which has a value of “0” but is included in the calculation of the grade point average).

Grade Point Average

A semester grade point average (GPA) is computed at the conclusion of each academic semester. Course grades are assigned “quality point values.” Grades of “IF” and “F” (in a pass/fail course) are considered equivalent to a failing grade of “F” (0) and are included in the calculation of the GPA. Grades of “W,” “I,” “AU,” “IP,” “P,” “S,” “U,” “PRG,” “NC,” and “NG” are not included in the calculation of a GPA.

The following illustrates how a semester GPA is computed:

NOTE: For each course, the quality point value is multiplied by the number of course credits to obtain the course quality points.

Course

Course Grade

Quality Point Values

 

Course Credit

Course Quality Points

PCP 001

C+

2.30

x

5 =

11.5

PCP 002

B

3.00

x

3 =

9.0

CAS 003

W

0.00

x

1 =

0.0

CAS 004

B-

2.70

x

3 =

8.1

CHS 005

A

4.00

x

4 =

16.0

Total

     

16-1 (W) = 15

44.6

The semester GPA is calculated by dividing the total number of course quality points by the total number of course credits and rounding to two decimal points. In the example given above, the 1 course credit for CAS 003 is not counted because of the “W” grade; therefore, the calculation is 44.6/15 = 2.97.

The cumulative GPA (the average of grades from two or more semesters) equals the sum of the course quality points of all grades received at the University divided by the total number of course credits for courses receiving quality points.

Incomplete Policy

Occasionally, a student is unable to complete all of the work for a course during the semester in which it is offered. In this circumstance, a student may request an “Incomplete” grade. Whether or not a student is granted an “Incomplete” grade will be determined by the course instructor. It is the student’s responsibility to request an “Incomplete” from the course instructor. It is the faculty member’s prerogative to approve or refuse the request.

Students not fulfilling course requirements at the completion of the semester may be assigned an “Incomplete” or “I” designation on their transcript. The instructor is required to replace this “Incomplete” designation with a final grade as soon as possible, but no later than 42 calendar days from the end of the semester or the end of the drop/add period of the next semester, whichever comes first. If the instructor has not entered a final grade within the prescribed limit, the Registrar will automatically enter a grade of “F” and inform the instructor and student. Extension beyond 42 calendar days may be granted by the course instructor in consultation with the student’s college dean in exceptional cases.

Students will sign an “Incomplete” contract for each course in which an extension is approved. The instructor will determine what the student must do (e.g., take one or more examinations, perform laboratory work, turn in reports, turn in notebooks, perform library assignments) in order to meet contract requirements. Information regarding requirements to complete the course will be supplied to the student directly by the instructor. The student is responsible for completing the work in the time allotted.

When an “Incomplete” grade is converted to a letter grade, the GPA is recalculated retroactive to the end of the semester in which the course was originally taken. University or program academic policies and procedures governing probations, dismissal, etc., apply to GPA changes resulting from conversions of “Incomplete” grades. For example, should a converted “Incomplete” result in a GPA warranting dismissal from the University or program, the student’s dismissal would be effective retroactive to the end of the semester in which the course was originally taken. It is the student’s responsibility to estimate and calculate the results of a converted “Incomplete” on the retroactive GPA. Should the dismissed student be registered for, and/or attending classes, taking exams, etc., in the semester or summer session subsequent to the semester in which the “Incomplete” was assigned, the courses for the subsequent session will be deleted from the student’s record. No academic credit will be granted for the courses; refunds will be made according to the tuition refund schedule.

Grade Change Policy

Course grade changes shall be permitted by an instructor currently employed by the University for up to six months after the end of the term in which the student was registered for the course. Changes in course grades originally assigned by an instructor who is no longer an employee of the University may be made by the department chair of the department who has responsibility for teaching the course for up to six months after the end of the term in which the student was registered for the course. After six months, all grade changes must be approved by the instructor (if still employed by the University) and the chair and dean of the department and college that offers the course.

Students requesting changes in course grades must present to the instructor (or to the department chair if the instructor is no longer employed by the University) a copy of the course syllabus or other documents describing how final grades are determined, copies of all available graded materials, and a record of all communications between the student and the instructor regarding the course grade.

Progress Toward the Degree

Satisfactory Academic Progress and Financial Aid

Students attending the University must maintain satisfactory academic progress. Additionally, as requirement for eligibility for financial aid, a student must maintain academic progress. Academic progress is measured at the end of each academic year (or its equivalent).

A student maintains satisfactory academic progress if he or she:

  • Completes the minimum number of credits each academic year; undergraduate students must complete at least 24 credits
  • Maintains the minimum GPA standard

If a student does not meet these academic progress requirements for financial aid, the student may petition the Director of Financial Aid for a waiver of academic progress if there are unusual circumstances relating to the student’s academic progress.

Definition of Full-Time Status for Academic Purposes

For first-year (U1) students entering fall 2009 and later years (Catalog Years 2009 and later

Full-time status for undergraduate students for academic purposes is defined as 12 or more credits of registered coursework at the end of the drop/add period. 

Exception: Doctor of Pharmacy program students in the sixth year (P4) of the program are defined as full-time with a minimum of 10 credits of registered coursework at the end of the drop/add period.

Academic Standards and Academic Progress

General Information

The minimum passing grade in all courses taken at the University is “D-.” At the conclusion of each semester of study, students are expected to have a cumulative GPA of at least 2.00, unless a higher GPA is specified by their program. For the purposes of these academic regulations, “good academic standing” shall be defined as maintenance of a cumulative GPA of at least 2.00 and not more than one failing grade (“F”) in the most recent semester, irrespective of cumulative GPA.

To progress into advanced or professional coursework, students must have completed and passed all required courses. Depending on curriculum, this may be first-, second-, or third-year courses. Students also must have achieved at least the minimum cumulative GPA required by their major.

All students must achieve a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.00 by the end of the spring semester of their second year, unless a higher standard is specified by their program (see specific requirements below). The minimum cumulative GPA must be achieved by May 15 (end of the spring semester) of the second year. A second-year student who has achieved the minimum cumulative GPA as of May 15 but who has not completed or has failed a required course must satisfactorily complete the required course by August 15 of the same year with the minimum cumulative GPA or above, in order to progress into the third year of a curriculum. Students in the entry-level Doctor of Pharmacy program must complete all required first- and second-year courses by the end of the spring semester of the second year.

The academic records of all second-year students are evaluated by the corresponding program director or department chairperson and the college dean responsible for their degree program. Those students who do not meet the criteria for progression into the third year (fourth year for Doctor of Physical Therapy students) of the curriculum will be referred to the appropriate faculty sub-council.

The faculty sub-council may:

1.        Drop the student from the University rolls; or

2.        Provide the student an opportunity to attain the required GPA within a maximum of two additional semesters while assigned a full course load, including reassignment to courses in which a minimum final grade of “C” was not achieved (subject to policy on “Repetition of a Course/Grade Replacement”).

Biological Sciences

Students in the baccalaureate degree program in biology, microbiology, or environmental science must achieve a grade of “C-” or better in courses at the 200 level and above to count these courses toward the minimum biology credits required in the degree program for graduation.

Physical Therapy

Pre-professional Curriculum – In the pre-professional curriculum, all DPT physical therapy majors must achieve a minimum grade of “C-” (or “P” in pass/fail courses) in all courses required to meet the core curriculum and prerequisites of the physical therapy program. They must also achieve a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.50 by the end of the fall semester of their last pre-professional year and maintain that cumulative GPA through the end of spring semester of their last pre-professional year.

Professional Curriculum: Graduating Class of 2009 and Beyond (DPT) –Physical therapy students must achieve a minimum grade of “C” (or “P” in pass/fail courses) in the first professional year of the program and a minimum grade of “B-” in the second and third professional years in all courses with the prefix “PT” in order to progress to any other course for which the completed course is a prerequisite.

Physician Assistant

Physician assistant majors must achieve a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.75 and a minimum natural science GPA of 2.50 by the end of the spring semester of their second year to apply for the professional phase of the program. See the physician assistant major handbook and the University Catalog for a complete list of criteria for progressing into the professional phase of the program.

Occupational Therapy

Effective with the class entering the professional phase of the program in May 2006, occupational therapy majors who receive a grade of “D” (D+, D, or D-) in one course with an OT prefix must repeat the course with a grade of “C” or better. In this situation, the student will be asked to develop a learning contract with his or her academic advisor with the approval of the department chairperson. The need to repeat a course and the learning contract may result in a part-time schedule. Following repeat of a course, if a student receives a “D” in any course with an OT prefix, he or she will be dismissed from the program.

A student receiving a grade of “C-“ in any course with an OT prefix may be required to register for OT 398, for one credit, to remediate the course. Upon completion of the remediation, the student will receive a pass or fail grade for OT 398. Remediation credits for OT 398 will not count toward the credits needed for graduation. The need for course remediation is at the discretion of the course instructor in consultation with the department chair. Failure of OT 398 counts as a failure in a course with an OT prefix (see below). 

If a student receives a grade of “F” in any course with an OT prefix, the student will be dismissed from the OT program. Further, if a student receives 2 “D” grades in courses with an OT prefix in any one semester, he or she will be dismissed from the OT program. 

Any student that is dismissed from the program may petition the faculty to be readmitted after a period of one year. The student must demonstrate a clear rationale as to why he or she should be readmitted to the program. There is no obligation for the faculty to readmit a student who has been dismissed.

Academic Progress

Students in the BSHS/MOT program must achieve a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.30 by the end of the spring semester of their second year in order to progress to the professional portion of the program. 

In addition to the policy listed under academic regulations above, all students must maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.30 throughout the remainder of the occupational therapy curriculum in order to remain in the program. Should a student’s GPA fall below the minimal criteria, the student will be placed on probation in the department.

A student cannot be on probation for more than two full-time semesters while in the professional phase of the program. A student cannot participate in their first level II fieldwork while on probation. Department probation that delays level II fieldwork will result in a revised schedule and a delay in graduation. 

Medical Technology

Medical technology majors apply for their hospital internship program following completion of the second year. A cumulative GPA of 2.50 is required to make application.

Entry-Level Doctor of Pharmacy

Students in the entry-level Doctor of Pharmacy program must successfully complete all three proficiencies before progressing to their fourth professional year. The three proficiencies are:

  • Writing Proficiency Examination or equivalent – Students admitted into the graduating classes of 2008-2012 (Catalog Year 2002-2006) must complete the Writing Proficiency Exam prior to entering the third professional year; students admitted into the graduating classes of 2013 (Catalog Year 2007) and later must complete the WritingProficiency Exam prior to entering the second professional year
  • Red Cross Standard First Aid and Adult CPR courses
  • Pharmaceutical Calculations Proficiency Examination (must be accomplished in the final didactic semester)

Graduating Classes Prior to 2006 (Catalog Year 2000) – Students admitted into the entry level Doctor of Pharmacy program, graduating classes of 2005, 2004, and 2003, must achieve a minimum grade of “C-” (“P” if taking pass/fail election) in all courses with the prefix PA, PC, PH, or PP in order to progress in the program. These students must also maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.30 throughout years three through six (the professional years) of the program.

Graduating Classes of 2006-2008 (Catalog Year 2000-2002) – To progress in the entry-level Doctor of Pharmacy program, students admitted into the graduating classes of 2006, 2007, and 2008 must achieve a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.30 by August 15 following the second year and maintain a minimum semester GPA of 2.30 in every semester of years three through six (the professional years).

Graduating Classes of 2009-2011 (Catalog Year 2003-2005) – To progress into the third year (first professional year) of the entry-level Doctor of Pharmacy curriculum, students admitted into the graduating classes of 2009, 2010, and 2011 must achieve a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.50 by the end of the spring semester of the second year, successfully complete and pass all required first- and second-year courses by the end of the spring semester of the second year, and have taken all required courses at USP since matriculation. Students who fail to meet these requirements will be withdrawn from the Doctor of Pharmacy program. Students with a cumulative GPA of 2.30 and above, who have not met all of the requirements above may apply for readmission into the third year (first professional year) of the Doctor of Pharmacy program. During years three through six (the professional years), students who do not achieve a semester GPA of 2.30 or higher will be placed on program probation.

Graduating Classes of 2012-2013  (Catalog Year 2006-2007) – To progress into the third year (first professional year) of the entry-level Doctor of Pharmacy curriculum, students admitted into the graduating classes of 2012 and later must achieve a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.70 and a minimum cumulative natural science/math GPA of 2.30 by the end of the spring semester of the second year, successfully complete and pass all required first- and second-year courses by the end of the spring semester of the second year, and have taken all required courses at USP since matriculation. Students who fail to meet these requirements will be withdrawn from the Doctor of Pharmacy program. Students with a cumulative GPA of 2.50 and above, who have not met all of the requirements above, may apply for readmission into the third year (first professional year) of the Doctor of Pharmacy program. During years three through six (the professional years), students who do not achieve a semester GPA of 2.30 or higher will be placed on program probation.

Graduating Classes of 2014 and Later (Catalog Years 2008 and Later) - To progress into the third year (first professional year) of the entry-level Doctor of Pharmacy curriculum, students admitted into the graduating classes of 2014 and later must achieve a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.00 and a minimum cumulative natural science/math GPA of 2.50 by the end of the spring semester of the second year, successfully complete and pass all required first- and second-year courses by the end of the spring semester of the second year, and have taken all required courses at USP since matriculation. Students who fail to meet these requirements will be withdrawn from the Doctor of Pharmacy program. Students with a cumulative GPA of 2.50 and above, who have not met all the requirements above may apply for re-admission into the third year (first professional year) of the Doctor of Pharmacy program. During years three through six (the professional years), students who do not achieve a semester GPA of 2.30 or higher will be placed on program probation.

Students admitted into the graduating classes of 2014 and later of the entry-level Doctor of Pharmacy program, must achieve a minimum grade of “C-” (“P” if taking pass/fail election) in all non-elective required courses with the prefix PA, PC, PH, or PP in order to progress in the program. Students who achieve a grade of less than “C-” upon repetition of the same non-elective required course with the prefix PA, PC, PH, or PP will be dropped from the program.

Length of Time to Complete Program of Study

Misher College of Arts and Sciences

In order to earn a degree from the Misher College of Arts and Sciences, a student must complete 30 in-residence credits at a USP campus. Fifteen of the 30 in-residence credits must be at the 300 level or higher. In-residence credits are defined as credits for courses offered by USP for which a student receives credit and a grade that can contribute to the student’s calculated grade point average (GPA).

Philadelphia College of Pharmacy

Students enrolled in programs in Philadelphia College of Pharmacy have a maximum amount of time to complete the requirements necessary for graduation in their program of study. For bachelor’s degree programs, students have a maximum of six years from freshman entry into the University to complete all degree requirements. For the Doctor of Pharmacy program, students have a maximum of six years from entry into the first professional year (third year) to complete all degree requirements. If a student cannot complete the degree in the allotted time of six years, the student will be withdrawn from the program. This requirement is effective for all first-year students matriculating into the fall 2007 semester. 

Academic Probation

The college deans will review the scholastic progress of all students at the end of each semester. Students who have not achieved the required minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0, or who have received a failing grade (“F”) in two or more courses in the most recent semester, will be placed on academic probation.

Students in majors other than the entry-level Doctor of Pharmacy program who do not achieve the course grades or cumulative GPA necessary to qualify for good academic standing may, at the option of the faculty, be granted a second consecutive semester of probation or a second or third nonconsecutive semester of probation in which to meet the required academic standards.

No student will be permitted more than two consecutive or three nonconsecutive semesters of academic probation.

Students on academic probation are expected to consult regularly with their advisors and program director and to utilize support services provided by the Division of Student Affairs.

For first-year (U1) students entering fall 2009 and later years (Catalog Years 2009 and later):

The college deans will review the scholastic progress of all students at the end of each semester. Students, whether full-time or part-time, who have not achieved the required minimum cumulative GPA of 2.00, or who have received a failing grade (“F”) in two or more courses in the most recent semester (whether full-time or part-time), will be placed on academic probation. A semester is a 15-week unit of instruction and assessment.

Students on academic probation are expected to consult regularly with their advisors and program director and to utilize support services provided by Student Affairs and Academic Advising.

Program Probation

Entry-level Doctor of Pharmacy program students are subject to program probation as well as academic probation.

·         Students admitted into the graduating class of 2006, 2007, and 2008 must leave the program if, during the professional years of the program, they exceed two consecutive or three nonconsecutive full-time semesters in which they do not meet the required minimum semester GPA

·         Students admitted into the graduating classes of 2009 and later will be withdrawn from the program if, during the professional years (years three through six), they exceed two full-time semesters in which they do not meet the required minimum semester GPA 
Faculty actions, including dean’s list, academic probation, and program probation, are applied only to the academic records of full-time students in the Doctor of Pharmacy program

  • For the purposes of academic actions, full-time status is based on the number of credits of completed coursework at the end of the semester. Completed coursework is defined as courses with an earned letter grade of “A+” to “F”
  • Doctor of Pharmacy program students in the first through fifth years (U1, U2, P1, P2, and P3) of the program are defined as full-time with a minimum of 12 credits of completed coursework in the fall or spring semesters; Doctor of Pharmacy program students in the sixth year (P4) of the program are defined as full-time with a minimum of 10 credits of completed coursework (two rotations) in the summer, fall, or spring semesters; implementation: summer 2007, for students beginning their first clerkship in the summer 2007 semester

Students in the Bachelor of Science program in Pharmaceutical Marketing and Management are also subject to program probation as well as academic probation. Students admitted into the graduating class of 2011 and beyond will be withdrawn from the program if, during their sophomore, junior, or senior years, they exceed two semesters of program probation. Program probation is defined as achieving less than a 2.30 (“C+”) semester GPA in any given semester. 

Dean’s List

Following the close of each semester, the Dean’s List is posted, recognizing those full-time students who have achieved high scholastic distinction. Those students who prefer not to have their names posted should notify the office of the appropriate college dean. Those named to the Dean’s List must have completed and passed all assigned courses with no grade below “C” and attained a semester GPA of 3.40 or above.

Students on conduct censure or conduct probation are not eligible for the Dean’s List.

For first-year (U1) students entering fall 2009 and later years (Catalog Years 2009 and later):

Following the close of each semester, the Dean’s List is posted, recognizing those students who have achieved high scholastic distinction. Those named to the Dean’s List must have completed 12 or more credits of coursework in that semester with no grade below “C” and attained a semester GPA of 3.40 or above. Those students who prefer not to have their names posted should notify the office of the appropriate college dean.

Students with written reprimand for an academic violation or any conduct probation or higher sanction are not eligible for the Dean’s List.

Writing Proficiency Examination

Passing the Writing Proficiency Examination is a graduation requirement for all baccalaureate and first professional degree programs. Students who have completed a baccalaureate degree from an accredited US institution will be exempt from the Writing Proficiency Exam. (The exemption in the preceding sentence for students with a baccalaureate degree applies to students entering USP in summer 2007 or later.) The Writing Proficiency Examination will be administered on the second Thursday after spring break from 1:00 p.m.-3:00 p.m. and will be administered to all students during their second year.

The Writing Proficiency Examination Committee will be responsible for determining the content of the Writing Proficiency Examination and for its administration and grading. The Committee will act in accordance with the Guidelines for Content and Evaluation and with the advice and consent of the Dean of the Misher College of Arts and Sciences, the Dean of the College of Health Sciences, and the Dean of the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy.

Students who do not pass the Writing Proficiency Examination may fulfill a contract with the Writing Center that will enable them to take the Writing Proficiency Equivalency Exam. As an alternative, they may elect to take EN095 during the summer or the fall; the final examination in the EN095 course will be equivalent to the Writing Proficiency Examination.

Ultimately, all students must pass the Writing Proficiency Examination in order to graduate. Doctor of Pharmacy program students admitted into graduating classes of 2008-2012 must complete this requirement to progress to the third professional year. Doctor of Pharmacy program students admitted into the graduating classes of 2013 and later must complete the Writing Proficiency Exam prior to entering the second professional year.

For more information, visit www.usp.edu/writing/wpx.shtml.

Catalog Year for Degree Requirements

“Catalog Year” is a term that refers to a set of degree requirements as they apply to individual students in their progress toward earning a degree from USP. The Catalog Year starts with the fall term of each academic year. For example, the 2008 Catalog Year starts with the 2008 fall semester (08/FA).

Generally, students are responsible for the degree requirements in force for their major at the time when the student initially enrolls as a first-year (U1) student. Catalog Year is used by the Degree Audit system to evaluate a student’s progress toward meeting the degree requirements that apply to them in their current major. Certain circumstances listed below have special rules governing Catalog Year.

  • Transfer students – Catalog Year for transfer students will be backdated to the Catalog Year when they would have started attending the University as a first-year student

    o        Special Note: Effective with the 2007 fall semester, students entering with a prior bachelor’s degree are considered to have met the requirements of either the Core Curriculum or General Education, whichever applies to them, and do not have to satisfy the specific requirements of the Core Curriculum or General Education

  • Change of major – If a student changes his or her major, their Catalog Year will remain the same as their original entering year
  • Leave of absence – Students who return from an official leave of absence retain their original Catalog Year, which is based on their original entrance to USP
  • Readmitted students – Students who are readmitted after having been separated from the University should have the same Catalog Year as a normally progressing student in the class level into which the student is readmitted; this is the same treatment as a transfer student
  • Readmitted students (Academic Fresh Start Policy) – Students who are readmitted under the Academic Fresh Start Policy are treated as new first-year admissions; they will have the Catalog Year appropriate for a first-year (U1) student entering USP in the semester in which they reenter the University
  • Double degree UG/GR – Students enrolled in double degrees that involve one undergraduate/first professional degree and one graduate degree (e.g., BS/MS, PharmD/MBA, etc.) will have Catalog Years assigned to each academic program, as appropriate, based on original matriculation at each academic level

Bachelor Degrees for Students in Professional Programs

Effective with first-year (U1) students entering USP in the fall 2008 entering cohort (Catalog Year 2008), all students in professional programs (Doctor of Pharmacy, Doctor of Physical Therapy, and Master of Occupational Therapy) will be granted a bachelor’s degree upon successful completion of the work in the first four years of their curriculum. All of these curricula must satisfy the minimum requirements for a degree, including completion of the General Education requirements. This means that starting in May 2012, all students in the Doctor of Pharmacy, Doctor of Physical Therapy, and Master of Occupational Therapy programs will, upon satisfactory completion of requirements, be granted a bachelor’s degree “in transit” to the eventual professional degree in their program of study.

Students in the fall 2008 entering cohort (Catalog Year 2008) who complete all requirements for a bachelor level degree may be granted that degree and terminate their enrollment even if they are unsuccessful in completing the requirements for the professional degree.

Pharmacy Prior to Fall 2008 Catalog Year

Currently enrolled students in the Doctor of Pharmacy program who entered prior to fall 2008 are not eligible for the bachelor level degree. However, if they find themselves ineligible to continue in the pharmacy program, or choose not to continue to graduation in the program, they may apply for a Change of Major (COM) to the Bachelor of Science in Pharmaceutical and Healthcare Studies program or another bachelor level program at USP. This option is only available to students who end their enrollment in the Doctor of Pharmacy program. Approval to enroll in a bachelor level program will be based on criteria of that program in place at the time the student applies for the COM.

Physical Therapy and Occupational Therapy

Prior to Fall 2008 Catalog Year

Currently enrolled students in the Doctor of Physical Therapy and Master of Occupational Therapy programs who entered prior to fall 2008 are eligible to be granted the BSHS degree according to existing practice. This means that the BSHS is granted simultaneously with the professional degree upon successful completion of requirements for the professional degree, which include all requirements for the BSHS. A small number of students who complete all the requirements for the BSHS degree, but are unsuccessful in completing the professional degree requirements, may be granted the BSHS as a free-standing terminal degree once they complete the BSHS requirements.

Requirements for Graduation

To fulfill its obligation to the precepts of higher education, USP has established standards of achievement that must be met before any student is recommended for graduation by the faculty. Every person to whom a degree shall be conferred must be of good moral character, must have successfully completed the assigned curriculum, must have paid all University financial obligations, and must have met the specific graduation requirements pertaining to the degree to be conferred.

A student must complete all graduation requirements by:

  • The end of the fall, spring, or summer term, or
  • The first day of the month of July or November

Any student not meeting these deadlines will be delayed until the next graduation date.

To qualify for an earned degree, students must:

  • Fulfill all of the requirements of the respective curriculum, including achieving at least the minimum academic requirements and passing all proficiencies required by the University and the major
  • Be in good standing (i.e., not on academic, program, or disciplinary probation at the conclusion of the final semester of enrollment)
  • Satisfy all outstanding financial obligations to the University
  • File a Petition for Graduation at the start of the final semester of matriculation; to participate in the May commencement ceremony, the Petition for Graduation must be submitted by the end of the drop-add period of the spring semester
  • Complete an official check-out of all laboratories and return or replace all laboratory equipment and all materials borrowed from the University library
  • Complete an exit interview with the Financial Aid Office (applies only to students awarded Health Professions Loans, Perkins Loans, Stafford Loans, HEAL Loans, and Institutional Loans)
  • Participate in commencement rehearsal and the commencement ceremony unless excused by their college dean

Only those students who have fulfilled all requirements for graduation by the end of the spring semester (last day of final exams) will be permitted to participate in the commencement ceremony.

Graduation Honors

Students who have achieved outstanding academic records at the University may graduate with one of the following honors. The honors’ designations listed below are based on total quality points and course credits earned and dependent on the student’s attaining the following minimum cumulative grade point average (GPA):

 Cum laude – GPA of 3.40
 Magna cum laude – GPA of 3.60
 Summa cum laude – GPA of 3.80

Once awarded, these graduation honors become a permanent part of the student’s record.

Transcripts

Student transcripts are maintained by the Registrar’s Office and are covered by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) of 1974, as amended. Students may request that an official copy of their transcript be sent to a third party (e.g., another college/university or an employer); an unofficial copy may be requested for the student’s personal use. An official transcript carries an authorized signature as well as the seal of USP.

All requests for transcripts must be made in writing and signed by the student. There is a charge for each official transcript ($6 as of 2004), which is subject to change. Unofficial transcripts are free to students. USP does not release transcripts unless tuition, fees, and other obligations due to the University have been satisfied.

Student Comments and Complaints

Doctor of Pharmacy Program

The Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE) requires that colleges of pharmacy respond to any written complaints by pharmacy students relating to adherence to the standards and policies and procedures of ACPE. Students should submit a written comment or complaint to the Office of the Dean of Pharmacy (GH-216). All comments or complaints will be evaluated and a written response will be provided. Students are also encouraged to visit the ACPE web site at www.acpe-accredit.org.

Doctor of Physical Therapy Program

Doctor of Physical Therapy students have the right to lodge a formal complaint to the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE) if the USP Physical Therapy program is not in compliance with one or more of the Evaluative Criteria set by CAPTE. 

Students need to identify the specific evaluative criteria that they feel is not being met by the USP Department of Physical Therapy. In order for CAPTE to consider the complaint to be bona fide, the student MUST have exhausted all of the avenues for redress at the institution.  The full policy on complaints to CAPTE can be found in the Department of Physical Therapy Policy and Procedure Manual. Students may also find information on filing CAPTE complaints on the USP Physical Therapy webpage (http://www.usp.edu/pt/) and through the American Physical Therapy Association (www.apta.org).

Separation from the University

USP and its faculty reserve the right to dismiss at any time any student who is deemed undesirable, either on the grounds of conduct or of academic standing, and in this matter the faculty shall be the sole judge.

Dropped from the Rolls

A student who has not attained good academic standing after completion of two consecutive or three nonconsecutive probationary semesters will be dropped from the rolls. A student who fails any course twice will be dropped from the rolls. This regulation applies whether the course is taken in regular sessions or in summer school, whether at the University or at another institution. A student who is dropped from the rolls is not eligible to attend any courses at the University.

A student who does not meet the criteria for progression into the third or professional year of the curriculum may be subject to being dropped from the rolls (refer to section on Academic Progress). The college dean responsible for the student’s major will officially notify the student of this action and notify pertinent University offices of the change in status.

For first-year (U1) students entering fall 2009 and later years (Catalog Years 2009 and later):

Students will be dropped from the rolls if they:

·         Complete any three semesters, whether full-time or part-time, with a cumulative grade point average less than 2.00 

·         Fail the same course twice; this regulation applies whether the course is taken in regular sessions or in summer school, whether at the University or at another institution

Students who do not meet the criteria for progression in their curriculum may be subject to being dropped from the rolls (refer to section on Academic Standardsand Academic Progress).

The college dean responsible for the student’s major will officially notify the student of this action and notify pertinent University offices of the change in status. A student who is dropped from the rolls is not eligible to attend any courses at the University (refer to sections on Readmission to the University and Fresh Start Readmission for readmission policies).

Leave of Absence

A student may apply to the college dean responsible for his or her degree program for a leave of absence (LOA). A LOA may be short term (no more than 10 business days) or for a longer duration. 

Short-Term Leave of Absence Policy (No morethan 10 business days)

In the event of an immediate and significant health or family emergency,* a student may request a Short-Term Leave of Absence (Short-Term LOA) from his or her college dean. A Short-Term LOA is intended to provide the student an opportunity to address the issue and then resume his or her academic course of study. If the student cannot resumehis/her studies after 10 business days, the student may apply for a LOA for a longer period of time.

*Examples of a significant health or family emergency include accident, injury, or illness requiring hospitalization; health and/or safety concern (e.g., risk to self or others); or death of a parent, sibling, or significant other. A Short-Term LOA does not negate or preclude the administration of the conduct policy or the administrative withdrawal policy.

To request a Short-Term LOA, the student should first contact his or her college dean. The student may be asked to provide documentation to verify the circumstances. Upon approval of a Short-Term LOA, the college dean will notify the applicable chair, program director, course instructors, academic advisor, and the Division of Student Affairs. Upon return to the academic program, the student is responsible for working with the instructors to complete the course requirements as specified in the course syllabus.

Leave of Absence

A Leave of Absence (LOA) is intended for situations where the student is unable to complete the current semester and may be unable to attend the subsequent semester. Permitted reasons for an LOA include, but are not limited to, medical (see Medical LOA section), personal or financial problems, or military service. Grounds for requesting an LOA may include serious documentable family, medical, or psychological conditions or other major life circumstances that may disrupt academic achievement. An authorized leave permits the student to return to the University at the designated time without the necessity of formal reapplication and admissions processing.

To request an LOA for other than medical or psychological reasons, the student should first contact his or her college dean. The student will be asked to provide documentation to verify the circumstances. Upon approval of an LOA, the college dean will notify the applicable chair, program director, course instructors, academic advisor, the Division of Student Affairs, and other pertinent University offices. The terms of the leave will be specified by the dean, but are usually a year or less in length. Extension of an LOA beyond one year must be approved by the college dean. A grade of “W” may be assigned by the dean to all registered coursework based on the effective date for the LOA.  The course instructor may change the grade of “W” within 10 business days of the date of the LOA. 

If a leave is granted, the student must report to the office of his or her college dean by the return date specified on the Leave of Absence form. The dean will then notify the pertinent University offices that the student has been placed on “active” status. If the student does not return by the return date specified on the Leave of Absence form, the student will be considered to have withdrawn from the University. The college dean will notify the student and the pertinent University offices of the change of status to “withdrawn.” Withdrawn status from the University will become effective on the first business day after the return date specified on the Leave of Absence form.

LOA for Medical Reasons (Medical LOA)

Requests for a Medical Leave of Absence are coordinated through the Dean of Students Office. Before a Medical Leave of Absence (Medical LOA) can be granted by the college dean’s office, the Dean of Students or his or her designee must recommend to the college dean’s office that the student be considered for such a leave. A Medical LOA is recommended when a student’s medical or psychological condition is deemed to significantly impair his or her ability to function successfully or safely in the academic environment. A Medical LOA, if approved, may be granted for a semester or up to a one-year period. The student must return by the designated date to avoid the necessity of formal reapplication and admissions processing. Extension of a Medical LOA beyond one year must be approved by the college dean and the Dean of Students. 

To be considered for a Medical LOA, the student must take the following steps.

  • Meet the criteria for consideration of a Medical LOA; the criteria include a major mental or physical health issue that cannot be mitigated in a short period of time, such as an incident involving a major accident, injury, or significant illness requiring hospitalization or extended treatment, including  the diagnosis of substance abuse or addiction (see Substance Abuse Policy)
  • Meet with the Dean of Students or his or her designee to review the precipitating concerns
  • Complete and return to the college dean’s office a signed Request for Leave of Absence form (available from the student’s college dean’s office)
  • The student must provide documentation from a licensed health professional; the documentation must be typed and submitted on official letterhead and must include the name, address, office telephone number, license number, and signature of the health professional; the documentation should specify the length of time needed for the leave and the reason for the leave; the documentation must be reviewed by the Dean of Students or his or her designee and the college dean; the Dean of Students will then forward a recommendation regarding the Medical LOA to the college dean
  • The college dean’s office will make the final determination if a Medical LOA can be granted and will notify the student in writing; the student may request to receive a verbal answer the same day the letter is sent to him or her
  • The college dean’s office will also determine the status of the student’s current coursework and whether or not the student should be withdrawn from courses  

If a leave is granted, the Dean of Students will monitor the treatment with the student and licensed health professional. The Dean of Students may require additional documentation, including medical evaluation, treatment plans, and evidence of compliance with treatment.

To return from a Medical LOA, the student must submit medical documentation to the Dean of Students from a licensed health professional regarding their health status and ability to return to their studies. After reviewing the medical documentation, the Dean of Students will notify the college dean whether the student is cleared to return to resume his or her academic course of study. If the student is cleared to return, he or she must report to the office of his or her college dean by the return date specified on the Leave of Absence form. The dean will then notify the pertinent University offices that the student has been placed on “active” status. If the student does not return by the return date specified on the Leave of Absence form, the student will be considered to have withdrawn from the University. The college dean will notify the student and the pertinent University offices of the change of status to “withdrawn.” Withdrawn status from the University will become effective on the first business day after the return date specified on the Leave of Absence form.

Bereavement Policy

The University recognizes that students may suffer greatly from the loss of a loved one. Students suffering from bereavement should refer to the policies on Short-Term Leave of Absence, Leave of Absences, and Course Withdrawal for information on means to address this issue.

Advised to Withdraw

A student may be advised to withdraw either on the grounds of conduct or academic standing.

Voluntary Withdrawals from the University

An official withdrawal from the University must be authorized by the college dean responsible for the student’s degree program. In order to obtain an official withdrawal, the student must first have an interview with the dean of the college in which the student is enrolled. The student must then submit to his or her dean a letter requesting withdrawal from the University. If approved, a “W” grade will be assigned for all courses in which the student is currently registered, unless the student withdraws after the conclusion of a term. The instructor for each course will be notified by the college dean of the student’s withdrawal and will have 10 working days from receipt of notice to reassign a course grade of “F” if appropriate. The official withdrawal date shall be determined by the date the letter of withdrawal is received by the college dean. The student will be considered to be in continuous attendance up to and including the date of receipt of the letter of withdrawal by the college dean. Ceasing to attend, or giving notice to an instructor, does not constitute an official withdrawal. The college dean will notify the student and the pertinent University offices of the withdrawal.

Administrative Withdrawal

A student may be withdrawn from the University for major violations of University policy. A typical reason for an administrative withdrawal includes noncompliance with University policy (e.g., nonpayment of debt or exceeding program time limits). An administrative unit initiates the administrative withdrawal action, but authority to withdraw a student for administrative reasons rests with the dean of the student’s college. The student will be informed in writing by the dean of the action to withdraw and the criteria for readmission.

Readmission to the University

There is no guarantee of readmission following a separation from the University. The faculty reserves the right to readmit a student, and in this matter the faculty shall be the sole judge.

Students who voluntarily withdrew or were dropped from the rolls of the University may file an application for consideration of readmission with the dean of the college in which they seek to reenroll. To be considered for readmission, applications must be submitted by the following dates: no later than April 15 for the fall semester, no later than October 15 for the spring semester, and no later than February 15 for the summer session for those programs that accept summer admission. Application for readmission to the entry-level Doctor of Pharmacy program and the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy baccalaureate degree programs must be received by April 1 (all programs) for the fall semester and October 15 (all programs except pharmacy) for the spring semester.

Students who were dropped from the rolls will not be granted readmission for at least one calendar year from the date of separation from the University. The application for readmission must provide evidence of the student’s ability to complete his or her degree program. The application must be accompanied by any official transcripts of all course(s) taken at other accredited colleges or universities during the period of separation from USP.

Fresh Start Readmission

A student may apply for readmission under the Fresh Start Policy under the following circumstances: 1) the student has left the University after failing to achieve good academic standing, and 2) the student will have been absent from the University for at least one year between the date of withdrawal and the start date of the semester for which readmission is sought.

If a student is readmitted under the Fresh Start Policy, his or her transcript will note all courses taken and grades earned at USP prior to readmission. However, grades previously earned will not contribute to the current GPA calculations and courses previously taken will not be accepted toward fulfillment of the student’s current degree requirements.

Acceptance of transfer credits from other institutions will be granted in accordance with current University policy.

After Fresh Start Policy readmission, the student must comply with all of the current academic regulations required by the University and his or her degree program. No student will be readmitted under this policy more than one time. Once a student is reenrolled under the Fresh Start Policy, the decision to treat the academic record as described above is irrevocable.

Students will be informed of the Fresh Start Policy upon exiting the University and upon application for readmission in accordance with current University policy.

The final decision regarding readmission, including readmission under this Fresh Start Policy, rests with the University’s faculty. The possible effect of the Fresh Start Policy will be only one of the factors used in considering application for readmission.