Technical Standards

The American Council on Pharmaceutical Education (ACPE), the accrediting body for colleges and schools of pharmacy, requires that Doctor of Pharmacy curricula meet technical standards and guidelines which emphasize a strong scientific foundation and practice-based competency. The pharmacy curriculum is designed to develop caring and competent pharmacists, practitioners who assume responsibility for safe and effective medication use in patients. The pharmacy curriculum is also designed to produce pharmacists who are collaborative partners in the care of patients within an interdisciplinary health care system.

Technical Standards refer to nonacademic admissions and matriculation criteria that are essential to participation in the Doctor of Pharmacy program. All students must possess the intellectual, ethical, physical, and emotional capabilities required to undertake the full curriculum and to achieve the levels of competence required by the faculty. The technical standards described below are essential functions and therefore prerequisites for entrance, continuation, promotion, and graduation from the Doctor of Pharmacy program, with or without appropriate accommodations in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Candidates for admission to and graduation from the Campbell University College of Pharmacy & Health Sciences’ Doctor of Pharmacy program must possess the following abilities:

1. Observation

The candidate/student-pharmacist must be able to observe required lectures, demonstrations and experiments, including but not limited to microscopic studies, pharmaceutical lab instruction (technical quality of prepared and compounded materials), and patient care demonstrations (physical observation and physical assessment). A candidate/student-pharmacist must be able to observe a patient accurately at a distance and close at hand, noting non-verbal and verbal signals. Observation necessitates functional use of vision, hearing and somatic senses. The candidate/student-pharmacist must be capable of remaining alert and attentive at all times in the clinical setting.

2. Communication

A candidate/student-pharmacist must be able to effectively speak, read and write in English. Visual and auditory senses must be intact to detect verbal and nonverbal communication signals. A candidate/student-pharmacist must be able to elicit information from and communicate effectively and sensitively with patients. The candidate must be able to communicate effectively and efficiently in oral and written form with all members of the health care team.

3. Motor Abilities

A candidate/student-pharmacist must have sufficient motor function to carry out the basic laboratory experiments and physical assessment. The candidate/student-pharmacist must be able to carry out duties within the classroom, laboratory, pharmacy and clinic settings. Motor function must be sufficient to perform fundamental patient care, such as required for disease prevention, drug therapy monitoring, emergency treatment, general care and basic physical assessment (eg. blood pressure assessment, palpation for edema, injection of vaccines, cardiopulmonary resuscitation, etc.). Motor function must also be sufficient to perform drug distribution duties in both a community and hospital pharmacy setting. Candidates/student-pharmacists must have the ability to maintain aseptic technique in the preparation of sterile materials. This will require the ability to work under a laminar flow hood and in sterile rooms Candidates must possess the motor function sufficient to direct and supervise the accurate compounding and preparation of medications for dispensing to patients. A candidate/student pharmacist must be able to safely and effectively operate various types of laboratory and patient care equipment such as weights and balance, a glucose meter, stethoscope and sphygmomanometer. They must be able to use computer-based information systems. These motor actions require coordination of both gross and fine muscular movements, equilibrium and functional use of the senses of touch, vision, and hearing. Additionally, some aspects of patient care require that the student-pharmacist be able to act quickly and speed of motor function may be an essential requirement.

4. Intellectual, Conceptual, Integrative, and Quantitative

Problem solving, the critical skill demanded of pharmacists, requires that a candidate/student-pharmacist be able to learn, retrieve, analyze, sequence, organize, synthesize and integrate information efficiently, and reason effectively. In addition a candidate/student-pharmacist should possess the ability to measure and calculate accurately, to perceive three-dimensional relationships and to understand the spatial relationships of structures.

5. Behavioral and Social Attributes

A candidate must possess the emotional health required for full utilization of his/her intellectual abilities, the exercise of good judgment, the prompt completion of all responsibilities attendant to the diagnosis and care of patients, and the development of mature, sensitive and effective relationships with patients and their family members, staff, and colleagues. Each candidate must be able to work effectively as a member of a health-care team. Candidates must be able to tolerate physically taxing workloads and to function effectively under stress. They must be able to adapt to changing environments, to display flexibility and to learn to function in the face of uncertainties inherent in the clinical problems of many patients. Compassion, integrity, concern for others, interpersonal skills, collegiality, interest, and motivation are all personal qualities that are assessed during the admission and education processes.

Equal Access to the CPHS Doctor of Pharmacy Program

In accordance with Campbell University’s nondiscrimination policy, the College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences does not discriminate against otherwise qualified individuals with disabilities who apply for admission to the Doctor of Pharmacy program. It is recognized that the on-site interview may not adequately evaluate a student’s ability to meet the technical standards. Students who are unsure that they meet the technical standards because of a disability are responsible for disclosing that to the Campbell University Office of Student Success. The Director of Access and Outreach in that office will consult with the student regarding possible accommodations. At the time an applicant accepts an offer to the CPHS Doctor of Pharmacy Program, students must attest in writing that they are able to meet the CPHS Doctor of Pharmacy program Technical Standards for Admission & Matriculation with or without accommodations. Students will continue to attest in writing during orientation through the fourth year that they are still able to meet the standard. The Campbell University College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences (CPHS) Doctor of Pharmacy program is committed to providing reasonable accommodation to ensure that equal access is provided to all otherwise qualified students in the course of study leading to the Doctor of Pharmacy degree and licensure.


Accepted students with a disability who believe they may require accommodations to meet these standards should contact the Campbell University Director of Access and Outreach immediately upon accepting the offer of admission. The Director of Access and Outreach will consult with CPHS faculty and administration to determine what reasonable accommodations can be made. Candidates pursuing the academic program who lack the ability to appropriately meet these standards and who do not seek accommodations may place themselves in academic jeopardy. The use of an intermediary, a person trained to perform essential skills on behalf of the student, is not permitted.

Should a candidate develop a condition during their education in the Doctor of Pharmacy program that would affect their ability to meet the above technical standards, they must contact the Director of Access and Outreach to determine whether or not a reasonable accommodation can be made. Again, candidates pursuing the academic program who lose the ability to appropriately meet these standards and who do not seek accommodations may place themselves in academic jeopardy.

The Director of Access and Outreach will meet with the student to discuss areas of concern. The Director will then develop an accommodation plan, consulting regularly with the CPHS Office of Academic Affairs, the CPHS Office of Admissions & Student Affairs, the CPHS Office of Experiential Education, the CPHS Pharmacy Practice Department, and other offices as needed during the process. The accommodation plan will require the approval of the above departments, Student Success, and the student.

Appeals Process

Accepted students who are unable to meet the Technical Standards, with or without accommodation, will not be offered admission and will be notified by the Admissions Committee. Enrolled students who are found not to meet the Technical Standards, with or without accommodation, will be evaluated by the CPHS Academic Performance and Standards Committee and will use the appeals process for that committee’s work. Student-pharmacists who disagree with an accommodation decision made by the office of Student Success will use that office’s grievance process which can be found in the “Student Guide to Accessing Disability Services” on the Student Success website.

The above standards mirror our current CPHS PA program technical standards and were modified based on language incorporated from the Technical Standards documents of University of Mississippi, University of Iowa, Kentucky University, and University of California, San Francisco schools of pharmacy.