Technical Standards

Technical Standards
Admission and Fulfillment of Requirements of the Doctor of Pharmacy Degree

Mission of the PharmD Program
Through our commitment to personalizing education, PittPharmacy inspires students to use their unique interests and talents to improve the lives of people through the safe, effective, and responsible use of medications and other interventions.

The PharmD program prepares students to be practitioners who advance the profession by fostering innovation, leadership, interprofessional collaboration, civic engagement, advocacy, life-long learning, and a professional attitude of inclusion. 

The goal of the curriculum is to achieve the mission of the PharmD program.
In addition to academic qualifications, students must possess the broad range of attributes enumerated in the School of Pharmacy’s technical standards. These attributes facilitate mastery of all elements of the PharmD curriculum. The School’s technical standards include categories of physical, intellectual, and emotional attributes necessary to accumulate knowledge, acquire skills and professional behaviors, attitudes and values to practice pharmacy, and advance the profession of pharmacy. Ensuring optimal medication therapy outcomes and patient safety are pivotal forces that underlie the establishment of technical standards required for all students entering, progressing and graduating with a doctor of pharmacy degree. Applicants should also be familiar with the requirements and licensure application questions for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania or requirements of any other state board of pharmacy where the student intends to become licensed. 

The School of Pharmacy is committed to providing reasonable accommodations for those otherwise qualified individuals with a disability and adheres to the policies set forth by the University of Pittsburgh. A reasonable academic accommodation is a modification or adjustment that allows an individual to gain equal access and have equal opportunity to participate in the School’s and the University’s courses, services, activities and use of facilities. The School is not obligated to provide an accommodation that requires a substantial change in the curriculum or alteration of any essential elements or functions of the program. The University’s process for requesting accommodations is voluntary and confidential.

Below is an abbreviated list of the School’s technical standards. A detailed version of the technical standards can be accessed here: Technical Standards.

All students entering, progressing and graduating with a doctor of pharmacy degree must meet or exceed the following technical standards that include all of the following attributes and abilities but are not limited to:

  1. Intellectual: Students must possess intellectual abilities and attributes that include intelligence, rational judgment, ability to reason and understand, as well as conceptual, integrative and quantitative abilities. Problem solving, critical thinking and development of knowledge and life-long learning are key skills.
  2. Communication: Students must be able utilize all verbal and non-verbal communication methods to communicate accurately, effectively, professionally, confidentially, and sensitively in English with patients, care-givers, families of patients, members of the health care team, faculty, staff, and fellow students. This includes the abilities of speech, reading, writing, hearing and listening, and comprehension while utilizing a variety of communications mediums. These abilities primarily utilize the special senses of vision and hearing, somatic sensations as well as intellect and fine motor skills.
  3. Motor and Sensory Functions: Students must have sufficient gross and fine motor function, equilibrium and functional use of vision and touch to perform all movements required for delivery of pharmaceutical care.
  4. Behavioral and Social Attributes: Students must possess personal qualities that include integrity, maturity, compassion, sensitivity, patience, interpersonal skills, initiative and motivation to develop the professional behaviors, attitudes and values to effectively practice pharmacy.  Students must possess the emotional and mental health required to complete the PharmD curriculum and execute patient care responsibilities. Students must adhere to the School’s professional code of conduct and meet the ethical standards set forth by the pharmacy profession for licensure.
  5. Observation: Students must have the functional use of auditory, visual and tactile senses for observation and performance of experiments and demonstrations, participation in didactic course requirements and practice based activities.