Technical Standards for the Pharmacy, PharmD Program | University of the Sciences | Philadelphia, PA
Close Alert

Return to Campus Update

Coronavirus (COVID-19): The latest updates about USciences return to campus: The full plan for a phased return of employees and students:

Technical Standards for the Doctor of Pharmacy Program

The mission of the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy is to educate and develop students to become leaders and innovators in patient care and research who are differentiated by their professional and ethical values.

The PharmD professional curriculum is innovative, based upon a foundation of strong basic sciences, has extensive clinical and experiential content, and emphasizes the development of critical thinking, problem solving, and collaborative skills. Instructional activities will be driven by outcomes that all pharmacists are expected to competently perform in order to fulfill their professional responsibilities. The Doctor of Pharmacy program is a rigorous and challenging professional academic program that requires students to possess specific characteristics and abilities within the cognitive, affective, and psychomotor domains, referred to here as technical standards.

Doctor of Pharmacy candidates will be responsible for their own learning with guidance from faculty, preceptors, administrators, and their peers. Students must consistently and accurately demonstrate both academic and technical abilities to ensure minimal competency and adequate progression through the curriculum. Technical standards, as distinguished from academic standards, refer to the minimum cognitive, professional, and behavioral abilities required for a student to matriculate into and satisfactorily complete all essential aspects of the curriculum. To successfully progress in and ultimately complete the didactic, laboratory, clinical, and experiential components of the PharmD program, students must understand these qualifications. All students will be required to read and sign the following technical standards document to indicate they understand these qualifications. The signed document will be kept as a permanent part of the PCP Dean’s office student record.

A student should be able to perform the following essential functions in a reasonably independent manner and without use of a trained intermediary. The prohibition on the use of a trained intermediary means that a student’s judgment and activities cannot be mediated by someone else’s clinical skills, professional knowledge, and integrative or interpretive abilities.

The student must have/or be able to:

Intellectual, Conceptual, Integrative, and Quantitative Abilities

  • Critical and logical thinking ability sufficient to engage in clinical judgment and problem solving to address issues and problems within all learning environments.
  • Multi-task and to perform work in a logical and sequential manner.
  • Memorize, perform scientific measurements and calculations, reason, analyze, and synthesize information.
  • Demonstrate ability to retrieve (electronically and manually), read, understand, and interpret medical, scientific, and professional information and literature.
  • Demonstrate the intellectual and reasoning abilities required to develop critical thinking, problem solving, and decision-making skills.
  • Demonstrate the ability to learn effectively through a variety of modalities including, but not limited to, classroom instruction, small group discussions, practice lab, individual study of materials, preparation and presentation of written and oral reports, and use of computers and other technology.
  • Demonstrate ability to prioritize and complete tasks in laboratory, clinical, and patient care setting with time constraints.
  • Perform a variety of duties accurately, often changing from one task to another without loss of efficiency or composure.
  • Accurately and independently evaluate his/her own performance and formulate strategies for addressing deficiencies and improving professional skills.


  • Read, write, speak, and comprehend English with sufficient mastery to communicate clearly (understanding and being understood) and professionally with faculty, preceptors, administrators, staff, peers, patients and other health care professionals in a mature, sensitive and professional manner that reflects the primary traits and the core values of the college.
  • Communication includes both verbal and non-verbal expression, reading, writing, and computer skills essential to complete didactic and clinical curricular requirements.
  • Retain, recall and deliver information in an efficient and timely manner.
  • Participate in class discussions/group projects/practice labs for the purpose of delivery and receipt of medical information.
  • Recognize both verbal and non-verbal communication including facial expression and body language.
  • Demonstrate awareness of and appropriately communicate verbally and non-verbally.
  • Record accurately and legibly in patients’ records, demonstrating the knowledge of the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition and grammar.
  • Explain to other health care professionals, to patients, and/or to caregivers reason for treatment, preventative measures, disease process and need for referral.
  • Use computers and other technology to accurately record information and convey critical health-related documentation.

Behavioral, Ethical and Professional Attributes

  • Recognize and show respect for differences in cultures, values and ethics among patients, faculty, peers, preceptors, staff, and administrators.
  • Demonstrate maturity, integrity, compassion, and respect for others.
  • Identify and demonstrate appropriate behaviors to protect the safety and well-being of patients, faculty, peers, preceptors, staff, and administrators.
  • Demonstrate and possess the emotional health required to fully and appropriately use intellectual abilities, exercise good judgment, and promptly complete all responsibilities in the academic setting.
  • Identify and take responsibility for actions during academic and experiential rotations.
  • Demonstrate the ability to handle situations appropriately and professionally that may be physically, emotionally, and intellectually stressful, including situations that must be handled promptly and calmly.
  • Demonstrate flexibility and adaptability to changing situations and uncertainty in the classrooms, laboratories, and experiential settings with appropriate coping responses.
  • Appropriately adapt and be able to accept appropriate suggestions and constructive criticism in a mature, acceptable, and professional manner.
  • Comply with the professional code of conduct that is part of, but not limited to, the experiential component of the pharmacy curriculum.
  • Display compassion and concern for others in accordance with the mission of the college and the vision of the Doctor of Pharmacy Program.


  • Observe demonstrations, lectures, practiced-based activities, and experiments in the basic and clinical sciences and other essential curricular exercises.
  • Gather data from written reference material, computer-based programs, and oral presentations.
  • Utilize various types of physical assessment skills required for patient-centered care including reading digital or analog representations of physiologic phenomena.
  • Have vision sufficient to read and interpret prescriptions, prescription labels, and medication labels.
  • Observe patient activity and behavior at a distance and close-hand, noting non-verbal and verbal signals.

Motor coordination and function

  • Elicit patient information through palpation, auscultation, and other diagnostic maneuvers and perform emergency procedures such as CPR in a clinical setting.
  • Operate educational equipment and technology to fully participate in lectures, practice, and other laboratory experiences; including preparing an intravenous (IV) product, giving an intramuscular (IM) injection or subcutaneous (SQ) injection and dispensing pharmaceutical dosage forms such as capsules or tablets.
  • Possess the manual dexterity sufficient to accurately compound and prepare pharmaceutical products for dispensing to patients.
  • Transport oneself to a variety of off-site settings and experiential rotations in a timely manner.
  • Consistently, quickly, and accurately integrate all information received by whatever senses are employed, along with the intellectual ability to learn, integrate, analyze, and synthesize data.

Social Security Number

ALL students must provide a Social Security number (or a plan/timeline to receive one PRIOR to entry into professional phase of the Doctor of Pharmacy program.

Academic Integrity Statement

ALL students must sign the Academic Integrity statement, in addition to signing the Technical Standards document (see below), upon matriculation into the Doctor of Pharmacy program.

Please print and sign the Technical Standards Signature Form to indicate you have read and understand the above information. This must be done prior to matriculation into the Doctor of Pharmacy Program.


Laura H. Waite, PharmD, BCPS, CLS, BC-ADM
Interim Assistant Dean of PCP Student Affairs and Admissions


University of the Sciences
600 South 43rd Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104-4495