Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D.) Program Technical Standards


Because the Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D.) degree signifies that the holder is a pharmacist prepared for entry into the practice of pharmacy, it follows that graduates must have the basic and essential knowledge, skills, and behaviors to enter practice in all areas of the profession. The Pharm.D. degree is a broad, undifferentiated degree attesting to the acquisition of general knowledge in all fields of pharmacy. The degree holder is expected to possess the basic and essential skills requisite for the practice of pharmacy. These technical standards of pharmacy education and practice identify the essential skills and abilities required for admission, retention and graduation of candidates. Therefore, after acceptance, and before matriculation, into the School of Pharmacy, all individuals offered admission to the Doctor of Pharmacy program will be asked to verify that they can meet the following technical standards with or without accommodation(s). Students who believe themselves unable to meet these standards or who wish to request accommodations to meet the required standards must notify the Senior Associate Dean for Administration.

Technical Standards


  • Students must possess the sensory abilities of sight, hearing, smell and touch to facilitate learning and participation in classroom or experiential demonstrations and instruction; examples of which include: participation in didactic lecture; accurately weighing or measuring quantities or volumes with scales, syringes, or laboratory glassware; reading the results of point of care diagnostic testing instruments; using a microscope; or monitoring color change of test strips and laboratory reactions.
  • Students must be able to verify the accuracy of filled or compounded prescriptions during the drug distribution process, observe patients and technicians, and conduct physical assessments of patients in a clinic environment using devices such as sphygmomanometers, thermometers, or otoscopes.


  • Students must be able to communicate effectively, both orally and in writing, with colleagues, professors, patients, families and all healthcare team members in a timely and accurate manner. Effective oral and written communication includes speaking, listening, reading, writing, and the ability to use computers or other electronic devices such as touch-screen enabled devices like iPads, etc. Students must be able to read, write, speak and comprehend English with sufficient mastery to accomplish didactic, clinical and laboratory curricular requirements in a timely, high-quality professional and accurate manner.


  • Students must possess sufficient fine and gross motor skills necessary to prepare all routine forms of medication orders including compounding, administering and dispensing, to use diagnostic equipment, to execute movements required to elicit patient information through diagnostic maneuvers, to attend classes, to function in a laboratory environment, and to complete experiential rotations at various practice locations (urban/rural community pharmacies, institutions, patient homes, etc).
  • Both gross and fine motor movement and equilibrium are needed for activities such as using a computer, preparing and dispensing drug products, filling or compounding prescriptions, weighing or measuring quantities or volumes; obtaining blood samples for point of care diagnostic testing instruments.
  • Student must be able to execute motor movements necessary to provide general care to patients. Examples of such care includes: fitting patients with durable medical equipment; conducting physical assessments of patients in a clinic environment; participating on a rounding service with an interprofessional healthcare team that moves throughout a medical center complex while seeing patients. Students must be able to execute motor movements necessary to provide to patients emergency treatment such as performing cardiopulmonary resuscitation.

Intellectual, Conceptual, Integrative, and Quantitative Abilities

  • Students must be able to measure, calculate, reason, analyze, and interpret data.
  • Students must be able to comprehend, synthesize, integrate, and apply complex information promptly and accurately for problem solving in all areas of pharmacy practice.

Behavioral and Social Attributes

  • Students must demonstrate emotional maturity and stability, integrity, compassion and respect for others.
  • Students must possess the emotional health required for full use of their intellectual abilities, the exercise of good judgment, and the ability to manage through appropriate coping responses the stress of a rigorous academic and professional program and situations that may be physically, emotionally, or intellectually stressful.
  • Students must be able to adapt to changing, unfamiliar, or uncomfortable environments, must display flexibility, must respect individual differences, and must be able to learn to function when faced with the uncertainties inherent in clinical practice. Students must be able to accept appropriate suggestions and constructive criticism and demonstrate the ability to apply that information positively in their learning.
  • Students must possess the interpersonal skills necessary to contribute as a valued member of an interprofessional healthcare team.

Learn more about the Pharm.D. Program

It is important for persons interested in enrolling in the Pharm.D. curriculum to have a realistic view of the vigorous demands of the School of Pharmacy’s didactic and experiential curriculum. Therefore, individuals interested in admission are encouraged to schedule an orientation visit to our facilities. Visitations for this purpose should be requested by contacting the Senior Associate Dean for Administration who serves as Chair of the Admissions Committee. In combination, these orientation visits enable prospective students to assess their interest, to assess their ability to function in the program, and to assess their ability to meet these technical standards required for admission, retention and graduation.

Reasonable Accommodation

The School of Pharmacy, as part of the University of Kansas, is committed to the principle of equal opportunity. The University of Kansas prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability. Any applicant who has a disability and believes he/she will require an accommodation to meet these technical standards should initiate the discussion regarding his/her need for reasonable accommodation by contacting KU School of Pharmacy at or 785-864-3591. Whether or not a requested accommodation is reasonable will be determined on a case-­‐by-­‐case basis. The School of Pharmacy’s review and determination regarding requests for accommodation will be processed in accordance with University policy.

Form version: 20130708