Graduate Catalog 2010

Academic Policies

Transfer Policy

Graduate transfer credits policy conforms to university policy which allows up to six credit hours of graduate-level coursework in transfer from regionally accredited colleges or universities with prior approval from the Associate Dean of Academic Affairs School of Pharmacy.

Academic Progress

To receive a degree, candidates must satisfy all curricular requirements of the Belmont University School of Pharmacy and of Belmont University. The Doctor of Pharmacy program is a full-time program and courses follow a prescribed sequence. Course availability is limited to courses offered during the fall and spring semesters (exceptions: year-round Advanced Professional Practice Experience courses, Year Four) as published in the catalog. Occasional opportunities arise to provide students unique educational opportunities outside the traditional academic year.

Satisfactory academic progress is required of all students to remain in the School of Pharmacy (see Academic Probation, Suspension & Expulsion below). Academic standing is determined by the professional GPA using grades earned in courses that fulfill the School’s curricular requirements. Unless otherwise stated in course syllabi, grades are assigned using the following scale: 100-92= A, 91-90 = A-, 89-88 = B+, 87-80 = B, 79-78 = B-, 77-76 = C+, 75-67 = C, 66 and below 66 = F.

Academic Probation, Suspension & Expulsion

Probation: Normally, a student who fails a course, is found guilty of an Honor Code violation (including HIPAA & FERPA compliance), who fails to abide by Belmont University community conduct stipulations, or whose cumulative GPA is below 2.3 in any semester will be placed on academic probation for one semester, during which their activity will be guided by a Student Success Plan developed by the Academic and Professional Standards Committee as part of required counseling sessions.* Students are allowed a maximum of two semesters of probation during their time in the program. Additional failed courses, or failure to achieve and maintain a cumulative GPA of at least 2.3 at the end of all remaining semesters, will result in academic suspension or expulsion from the School of Pharmacy as delineated below.

*Probation may be waived by action of the school's Academic and Professional Standards Committee through the implementation of a Student Success Plan. The result of waiving probation is suspension or dismissal from the program.

Suspension: Students are suspended following any of the following conditions:

  • failure of a course that impedes curricular progression *
  • judgment of an Honor Code or Community Conduct violation that impedes curricular progression, * or
  • failure to resolve conditions of probation.

Students who amass two course failures and/or whose cumulative GPA is below 2.3 for two academic semesters will be suspended (placed on inactive student status) from the pharmacy program, and as part of required counseling sessions the Academic and Professional Standards Committee will develop a Student Success Plan to guide activity leading, potentially, to reinstitution of active student status. If reactivated following the prescribed suspension period, students are placed on probation for one semester. Because the level of a student's academic difficulty may be determined by the quantity of failed coursework, failed courses in a given academic semester may preclude the option of probation or suspension, and lead to dismissal. Multiple probations may preclude the option of suspension which may lead to dismissal. Regardless, Belmont University continued enrollment rules prevail.
Students suspended from the school must notify any health-related employers (i.e., hospitals, care facilities, pharmacies, etc.) of their loss of enrolled pharmacy student status so that work assignments can comply with laws and best practices governing the delivery of health care in Tennessee and other states. Failure to do so will jeopardize the student's ability to return to the program in good standing. Belmont University School of Pharmacy provides the Tennessee Board of Pharmacy with active student rosters each semester to facilitate the continuous awarding of student status necessary to accrue pharmacy internship hours.

Students dismissed from the pharmacy program or the university by judgment of the Honor Council or Community Conduct Board will be allowed to return to the program under conditions set forward by the appropriate Belmont University body. No later than three (3) months prior to the desired return date, however, the dismissed student must notify the School of Pharmacy's Academic and Professional Standards Committee (Associate Dean for Academic Affairs) to schedule a session with the committee to discuss the prior action. The committee reserves the right to establish conditions of return to the Doctor of Pharmacy program in addition to those set forth in the preceding disciplinary action. In most cases, the resulting Student Success Plan will include a one-semester (minimum) probationary period within the School of Pharmacy.

*Suspension may be waived by action of the school's Academic and Professional Standards Committee through the implementation of a Student Success Plan. The result of waiving suspension is dismissal from the program.

Dismissal: Students who fail three or more courses or fail the same course twice or whose cumulative GPA falls below 2.3 for any three academic semesters will be dismissed from the school. Dismissed students are not eligible for readmission to the School of Pharmacy; those wishing to remain at Belmont University are subject to University academic progression and retention policies.

Expulsion: Expulsion is a judgment exercised exclusively by Belmont University and results from violations (single or multiple) of rules governing both academic and community conduct as defined by University Graduate Catalog and/or the Bruin Guide.

Appeals of Disciplinary Action Taken:

All students have access to appeal of decisions made in academic and student services curricular and/or disciplinary processes. Details of these uniform appeals processes are provided in the Graduate Catalog and Bruin Guide. Because these proceedings are managerial and/or disciplinary, they are not legal proceedings; therefore, legal representation is not allowed during hearing and/or appeal procedures.

Belmont University's Complaints and Grievances Policy is available online through the Bruin Guide

  • Committee-related Issues: Appeals of decisions handed down by the Academic and Professional Standards committee may be appealed. Appeals must be presented in writing to the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs within ten (10) business days of notification of the original committee action. The committee will review the appeal and issue a response within ten (10) business days of receipt of the written appeal. Students may appeal the committee decision to the Dean, School of Pharmacy, in writing, no later than five (5) business days of notification of the committee's response to the appeal. The Dean will decide on the appeal within ten (10) business days of receipt of the written appeal. Further appeal procedures are outlined in the Bruin Guide.
  • Course-related Issues: Policies governing student complaints for course-related issues requires first attempts at resolution to occur with the instructor at the informal level, followed, if necessary, by formal complaint beginning with the relevant department chair. In the School, this formal complaint process would be: course instructor, course coordinator, department chair, pharmacy associate dean of academic affairs, pharmacy dean, college dean, and Provost.
  • Non-academic complaints: Non-academic complaints follow the same progression (informal to formal) starting with the individual employee and progressing up through the appropriate managerial chain of oversight and responsibility.

Under the policy, students are encouraged to consult with their faculty advisors and/or the Assistant Dean of Student Affairs (Pharmacy) as they try to resolve the complaint (informally or formally) within school and university procedures for academic, personnel, federal compliance, student, and other issues.

Doing so ensures that institutional officers charged with policy adherence and ombudsman responsibilities can affect resolution.  Students have a right to submit a formal complaint to the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE) for unsatisfactorily resolved issues related to the accreditation standards. 

Appeals for Reactivation of Student Status:

Students dismissed for academic reasons may apply in writing to the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs for reactivation, no later than three months before the desired return date (unless stipulated differently in the individual Student Success Plan). The letter should explain reasons for prior academic difficulty and measures taken to ensure the ability to raise the GPA, including completing stipulations contained in the Student Success Plan created by the School’s Academic and Professional Standards Committee during mandatory counseling sessions embedded in the probation and suspension process. The Academic and Professional Standards Committee decides on reactivation of student status. Reactivated students must understand that additional failed courses or failure to achieve and maintain a minimum cumulative 2.3 GPA for all remaining academic semesters may result in dismissal from the School of Pharmacy. Additionally, upon reactivation, students may find that catalog requirements for graduation have changed and they will be held accountable to these new requirements. Associated Consequences: Students on academic probation and students suspended from the School of Pharmacy may not serve as officers or committee members in campus organization, participate in extracurricular activities sponsored by Belmont University that involve appreciable amounts of time, or be employed by any Belmont department. Outside employment for students on academic probation is discouraged.

Course Prerequisites: A student may not take a course until all prerequisites for that course have been successfully completed.

Progression to Advanced Professional Practice Experiences: A 2.3 minimum cumulative GPA is required before entering the Advanced Professional Practice Experience (APPE) courses in year four.

Time to Degree Completion: Students have six (6) academic years from the original matriculation date to complete the entire prescribed curriculum.

Withdrawals and Leaves

The BUSOP curriculum is organized in a sequential and complementary manner, making it imperative that the proper sequence and timing of courses be maintained.  Students considering a complete withdrawal or wishing to explore options for formal leave from the School should schedule time with their faculty advisor to discuss their options and to follow established protocol.

Withdrawal from the School of Pharmacy requires a written request for withdrawal submitted to the Assistant Dean for Student Affairs (Pharmacy) and an exit interview with the School Dean prior to initiating formal withdrawal procedures with Belmont University to determine eligibility for readmission in the future.  Students should consult with the Office of the Registrar to determine if a tuition refund is possible. 

Situations arise that require students to leave the pharmacy program for extended periods to deal with family, health, military and other substantial obligations. To facilitate the decision-making process, students should begin the process of exploring a leave request by discussing their situation with their faculty advisor. Faculty advisors will assist students through the leave request process. Students requesting a leave from the School of Pharmacy should provide the Assistant Dean for Student Affairs (Pharmacy) with a written leave request that includes reason for the leave request, estimation of duration of leave, and any other relevant information. The Assistant Dean for Student Affairs, in consultation with the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, will forward a recommendation to the Dean for review. If approved, the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs will provide the student with a letter summarizing the details of the leave, including duration, required timetable for communication, point of reentry into the curriculum, etc. Two signed copies of this letter will be maintained: one by the School of Pharmacy in the student file; one by the student.

Readmission to the Program may only be considered for students who were granted a readmission option at time of withdrawal and requires written notification to the Dean by May 1 prior to the academic year of the proposed return.  Readmission is subject to seat availability, successful completion of any stipulations for readmission, and the approval of the Academic Standards Committee.

Graduation Requirements

To be eligible to graduate, students must complete all curricular requirements with a grade of “C” or better, have a final, cumulative GPA of 2.3 or better, and have completed the prescribed curriculum of 150 minimum earned graduate credit hours within six years of the original matriculation date.

Financial Aid

Students in good standing are eligible for scholarships awarded by the School of Pharmacy and its community partners. Scholarship eligibility criteria and application processes are managed by the Assistant Dean for Student Affairs. Information on federal loan programs is listed under “Financing Your Education” in the Belmont University Catalog.