Progression/Promotion by Program

PROGRESSION POLICIES BY PROGRAM

Maximum Timeframe for Degree Completion*

Maximum timeframe for completion of degree from date of matriculation (unless otherwise specified by a program's accreditor):

Certificate- 3 years
Master degree- 5 years 
Doctoral degree- 150% of the original program of study as detailed in the university catalog

Leave of absences are not included in the amount of time to complete the degree program. Students who are not on an approved leave of absence or are not enrolled for two consecutive terms will be administratively withdrawn from their program. Once a student has exceeded their maximum time frame, the student must appeal if they wish to continue in their program. Only appeals that demonstrate an extreme event, out of the student's control, that directly resulted in exceeding the time frame will be considered. The appeal can be found at https://www.pcom.edu/about/departments/registrar/. Students who exceed the time frame who do not wish to appeal can reapply to their program. The student who re-applies to their program will be required to follow the new program of study of their program (as detailed in the catalog) and will need to discuss with their program director what, if any, previously passed coursework can be utilized as part of their new program of study.
 
Please also note that financial aid can only be provided to a student for 150% of their program. Therefore, students in a certificate or master level program who take up to their maximum timeframe (as listed above) could possibility lose federal financial aid eligibility and would need to apply for private educational loan funding. 

Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine

ACADEMIC STANDING

A student is considered to be in good academic standing when they have passed all courses in the curriculum through the most recent term final grades submitted to the registrar. 

ACADEMIC CONCERN

A student with a cumulative GPA of less than 2.5 or whose academic performance includes one or more course failures equaling less than 3.5 total credit hours in a term is considered to be in a status of Academic Concern.  A student in this status may be required to meet with faculty, attend class in-person, relinquish leadership positions, or provide frequent status updates to key faculty/ administrators.  An academic concern is limited and is removed when the student meets the conditions of being in good academic standing.

ACADEMIC PROBATION

A student whose academic performance warrants sensitive academic monitoring and an improvement plan will be placed on Academic Probation.  This status it becomes part of the student’s academic record until the issue is resolved.  This status is determined by the Student Progress and Evaluation Committee (SPEC) and is determined by:

  1. Failure of any single course 6 credits or greater in a term
  2. A combination of course failures totaling 9 credit hours (across all terms)
  3. Failure of a national board examination.

Students in a Probation status may be recommended to remediate a single course.  Recommendations for multiple failures may include repeating the year or dismissal, depending on the student’s entire academic record. Students with a failed national board examination may retake the exam within the limitations of the National Board of Osteopathic Medical Examiners (NBOME). Academic Probation is limited and is removed when the student meets the conditions of being in good standing.

ACADEMIC PROMOTION

M1-M2 Promotion

  • A student may be promoted to M2 with successful completion of all M1 courses.
    • OR a student may be promoted to M2 with fewer than ten credits of total failures and following remediation as approved and recommended to the Deans by SPEC as per policy on academic probation.
  • A student may be permitted to repeat the M1 year or be dismissed following ten credits or more of total failures as approved and recommended to the Deans by SPEC  as per policy on academic deficiency.

M2-M3 Promotion

  • A student may be promoted to M3 with successful completion of all M2 courses.
    • OR a student may be promoted to M3 with fewer than ten credits of total failures during M2 and following remediation as approved and recommended to the Deans by SPEC as per policy on academic probation.
  • AND demonstrated readiness for COMLEX Level 1 through current mechanisms (i.e. COMSAE performance or other exam)
    • COMLEX Level 1 exam taken by end of Block #1 of the clinical clerkship year.
  • A student may be permitted to repeat the M2 year or be dismissed following ten credits or more of total failures as approved and recommended to the Deans by SPEC as per policy on academic deficiency.

M3-M4 Promotion

A student may be promoted to M4 with successful completion of COMLEX Level 1 and successful completion of all core clinical clerkships including COMAT Examinations

ACADEMIC DEFICIENCY

Any student who fails a course or clerkship has an academic deficiency that may impact progression in the curriculum.  Students should be mindful of the responsibility to address deficiencies with the course director, faculty, and advisors in a timely manner. The accumulation of any failures on a transcript is subject to review by SPEC.

ACADEMIC APPEALS

A student dismissed from the DO program may appeal this decision according to the policies set forth in the PCOM General Student Handbook under the section Appealing an Academic Dismissal Decision

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

All students should refer to the DO Program Handbook and the Clerkship Manual for additional detailed information regarding: Academic Standing, Academic Concern, Academic Probation, Professionalism Warnings, Academic Deficiency including Preclinical Progression (M1-M2) and Clerkship Progression (M3-M4), and Clerkship Remediation.  Students should also refer to the following PCOM Policies: Academic Standing Policy (Policy #7.005), Clerkships and COMLEX Exams (Policy #2.003), and Clerkship Grading Policy (Policy #3.002) which can be found on myPCOM.

School of Pharmacy

Academic Progression Guidelines:

Minimum Passing Grade

  • A minimum letter grade of C or a P for Pass/No Pass is required to pass a course in the PCOM School of Pharmacy.
  • Grades of D, F, and NP in any didactic or experiential course are non‐passing grades. 


The Academic Progress Review Committee determines the extent of academic deficiency by considering specific academic guidelines. Numerous parameters exist that help to maintain proper alignment of academic expectations while describing consequences of failure to achieve these requirements. The progression guidelines also define academic probation, dismissal criteria and steps that must be undertaken to graduate from the pharmacy program.

Progression and Graduation Requirements  

GPA requirements  

Students may not progress to the next professional year until all coursework and requirements from the previous professional year have been successfully passed or, in the case of D, F, or NP grades, successfully remediated. Students must have at least a 2.0 GPA to enter the fourth professional year and to graduate. If a student falls below a 2.0 GPA, but has passed all coursework, the student may be required to repeat a course or courses at the discretion of the ADA to achieve the 2.0 GPA.

Academic Progression: Milestone Progression Examinations and Capstone I

Students must pass a comprehensive examination or course, or successfully remediate the comprehensive exam or course, to progress to the next professional year and graduate from the program. Students who do not pass the progression/comprehensive exam or course will be referred to the Academic Progression Review (APR) Committee for evaluation. Students may be allowed to remediate the progression/comprehensive exam, however, the student will not be allowed to remediate the course prior to a decision regarding their academic standing in the program. For further details, please refer to the school’s remediation policy.

To complete the PharmD degree requirements and graduate from the program, students must pass the Capstone II course in the spring term of the fourth professional year following APPE’s. Student will be given the opportunity to remediate the Capstone II course graded components.

Graduation Requirements

In order to graduate from PCOM School of Pharmacy, a student must successfully complete all curricular requirements with:

  • C or better in all APPE rotations;
  • Successful remediation for classes where a D, F, or NP was received;
  • A minimum cumulative GPA of at least 2.0 is required in order to graduate;
  • All coursework leading to the PharmD degree must be completed within six years of matriculation.

Early Detection and Academic Improvement Plans

PCOM utilizes an early detection system to identify students in academic difficulty during an academic term. Students who meet the following criteria will receive an ‘Academic Alert’ notification via email from the School of Pharmacy Office of Academic Affairs and be placed on a required academic improvement plan (AIP).

Students with an exam grade or a course average less than 75% following any assessment in a single course

AIP may vary between courses. The details of the AIP will be provided by the ADA and the course coordinators. Students will be expected to comply with all requirements of the AIP. Failure to comply with the AIP will be considered unprofessional behavior and subject to professional conduct review.

Review by the Academic Progression Review (APR) Committee

Students who are not meeting academic performance standards are subject to review by the APR Committee. A student is reviewed by the APR Committee when:

  • Receive a second course grade of D;
  • Receive a single course grade of F, NP, or WF;
  • Failure to obtain or maintain a current, valid Georgia Pharmacy Intern License;
  • Are place or continued on academic probation;
  • Remain on academic probation for two or more consecutive terms;
  • The cumulative GP is <2.0 at the end of the third professional year.

As part of the review process, the APR Committee will afford the student an opportunity to address the committee during their deliberations. A recommendation from the committee along with a rationale for their decision will then be sent to the PCOM Academic Policy and Promotion (AP&P) Committee for review. The AP&O Committee then forwards a recommendation to the Dean. The Dean will review the recommendations and make a final decision regarding the student’s academic standing. The Dean may impose sanctions including, but not limited to,

  • academic probation
  • repeat of a course or courses
  • repeat of an entire year
  • dismissal from SOP

Students remain enrolled in the program in the new academic term until receipt of a decision from the Dean. Academic performance during the new academic term will not be a factor in the decision. This process may take up to 6 weeks.

Academic Deficiencies and Remediation Policy

Didactic Courses

Academic deficiencies are defined as earning a non-passing grade in any course. All students who earn a non-passing grade (D, F, or NP) must be reviewed by the School of Pharmacy (SOP) APR Committee as part of the academic review process. The APR Committee will then recommend that the student either be dismissed or be placed on academic probation and allowed to resolve the academic deficiency, if eligible. Eligible students will not be allowed to remediate the course prior to an APR decision regarding their academic standing in the program.

Remediation requirements: Remediation of non-passing coursework is considered a privilege afforded to students; thus not all students will be allowed to remediate non-passing coursework depending on their overall academic standing within the program as well as other factors, including overall credits that can be attempted to remediate. Course remediation will occur at the discretion of the SOP Office of Academic Affairs (OAA) with input from course coordinators and /or recommendations from the APR Committee. If eligible for remediation, remediation sessions will occur over the summer, or in special cases, within the first few weeks of the term following the course failure. Approved remediation plans are considered a “required experience” as defined in the PCOM School of Pharmacy Student Handbook.

Eligibility and resolution of academic deficiencies by remediation or repeat coursework

  • Students may only remediate a maximum of 8 credits each academic year. Furthermore, students may not remediate more than 2 courses each academic year. Students who have academic deficiencies in more than 2 courses, or have two courses exceeding 8 credit hour, are automatically ineligible for remediation.
  • For student ineligible for remediation, the academic deficiency must be resolved by repeating the academic year in its entirety.
  • Remediation must be successfully completed prior to the start of the subsequent academic year.

Students must

  • Earn a final grade of 70% or greater to successfully remediate didactic course work, and a grade of “P” to successfully remediate all P/NP courses.
  • If remediation is successful, the PCOM academic transcript will indicate the course is passed through remediation by the designation of “RP” on the student transcript. However, the original grade will remain on the transcript and will be used in GPA calculations.
  • The decision regarding the nature and number of repeated courses is entirely at the discretion of the dean.
  • Repeating any failed course may extend the student’s time in the program beyond four years and may incur further expense.

Experiential Courses:

There is no remediation for Pharmacy Practice Experiences (PPE’s). Student who earn and F, I, WF, WP, or NP on Pharmacy Practice Experiences are required to repeat the PPE, or complete experiential hours, subject to site availability and the discretion of the Office of Experiential Education.

  • Repeated PPE’s will be at a site different from the original site.
  • Students who receive a grade of F, WF, WP, I, or NP on any PPE rotation will result in delayed completion of curricular requirements to progress and/or graduate from the program.
  • Students will NOT be permitted to use an open block to retake an APPE rotation.

Academic Standing

Good Academic Standing

A student is in good academic standing if he/she has passed all courses, including remediation, and do not meet any criteria for academic probation. Students who are dismissed for the program for academic and/or professional issues are not considered to be in good academic standing.

Academic Probation

Academic probation is an action taken in the interest of the student. A student who is placed on academic probation should carefully evaluate their chance of success in earning a degree in pharmacy for the SOP. At a minimum, a student should arrange to substantially increase the amount of time and effort they devote to their academic preparedness. Students are immediately placed on probation under any of the following conditions:

  • Term or cumulative GPA is <2.0 at the end of any term.
  • Receive a course grade of D, F, NP, or WF.
  • Upon recommendation by the APR Committee based on academic performance.
  • Repeating professional year coursework as a result of an academic decision or appeal.

The probationary period begins the following academic term (or APPE rotation block). Removal from probation only occurs if the student has, at the end of the probationary period, attained a term and cumulative GPA >/= 2.0, received a grade of P in all P/NP courses during the probationary period, successfully remediated all courses and met any other conditions recommended by the APR Committee or the Dean. A student is at risk for dismissal or repeat professional coursework if criteria are not met while on probation.

All students on probation with academic difficulty are required to meet with the ADA during the first week of each probationary term to develop a plan to help improve their academic performance. Students on probation with academic difficulty are not permitted to serve as an officer of any student organization affiliated with PCOM or PCOM School of Pharmacy or attend any non-mandatory SOP sponsored activities. Students on academic probation are also not allowed to work in pharmacy related jobs. Students working while on probation will be referred for review of professional conduct.

Academic Dismissal and Appeals Process

Dismissal from the PCOM School of Pharmacy may be recommended for ANY student who meets criteria for review by APR. However, situations likely to result in suspension, restart and/or dismissal recommendation include any of the following conditions:

  • Failure to maintain a current, valid State of Georgia Pharmacy Intern License.
  • Receiving one or more grades less the C for all courses taken at PCOM School of Pharmacy.
  • Failure to successfully remediate a course.
  • Receive two or more course grades of F and/or NP in a single term.
  • Acquiring a grade of D, F, or NP while on probation.
  • Failure to attain a cumulative GPA >/= 2.0 at the end of the third or repeated professional year.

Students who are dismissed from the program are not considered to be in good academic standing. Students dismissed for academic performance may petition for reinstatement in certain situations. Dismissal appeals procedures are detailed in the Appealing an Academic Dismissal Decision in the PCOM General Student Handbook. All reinstatements are probationary for the re-entry year. The recommendation of the subcommittee is subject to approval by the PCOM Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs, who informs the student of the app

Graduate Programs (Master of Science)
In the graduate programs, a grade of F (failure), U (unsatisfactory) or WF (withdrawal while failing) in any graduate course will make the student liable for dismissal from the program. A minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.0 is required for continuation to unconditional degree candidacy status, and conferral of the master of science degree.

Doctor of Psychology

In the doctoral programs, a grade of F (failure) or WF (withdrawal while failing), or 3 grades of C or U (unsatisfactory) will make the student liable for dismissal from the program. Doctoral students must achieve a B average (3.0) or higher to take comprehensive exams and to graduate from the program. PsyD students may earn no more than two grades below a B- or more than one F in any course, required or elective.

In addition, students must record a B- or better in all required courses. There are several courses that require the student to achieve a grade of B. The student may be required to retake the course. This information regarding which course(s) require(s) a grade of B is annotated under the course description in the Program and Course Description section of the catalog.

Each degree program also has specific requirements regarding comprehensive examinations, licensure exam passage, practicum, internship and thesis and dissertation completion. These policies are explained in detail in the student handbook for the respective program.


ACADEMIC APPEAL
A student who is dismissed for academic deficiency may appeal the decision. Such a request or appeal must be made to the Office of Student Affairs within fifteen business days after the student has been notified of the decision to dismiss. Students may not bring before the Academic Appeal Committee requests other than an appeal of a permanent dismissal action. Any student appealing a dismissal will be entitled to a hearing before the Academic Appeal Committee. The scope of the review shall not include a review of the components of a specific grade or grades.

PCOM complies with VA policy when reviewing students receiving Veterans benefits and who are experiencing academic issues.

THE APPEALS HEARING
Any student appealing a dismissal will be entitled to a hearing before the Faculty Committee on Academic Appeals.

1. The scope of the review shall not include a review of the components of a specific grade or grades.

2. Students may not bring before the Faculty Committee on Academic Appeals any requests other than an appeal of a permanent dismissal action.

3. Students appealing a dismissal must notify the Office of Student Affairs of any individuals who will attend the appeals hearing in support of the student’s appeal at least 10 days prior to the hearing.

Maximum Timeframe for Completion of Degree

Certificates: 3 years
Master's Degree: 5 years
Doctoral Degree: 150% of the original program of study as detailed in the University Catalog

Leave of absences are not included in the amount of time to complete the degree program. Students who are not on an approved leave of absence or are not enrolled for two consecutive terms will be administratively withdrawn from their program. Once a student has exceeded their maximum time frame, the student must appeal if they wish to continue in their program. Only appeals that demonstrate an extreme event, out of the student's control, that directly resulted in exceeding the time frame will be considered. The appeal can be found at https://www.pcom.edu/about/departments/registrar/. Students who exceed the time frame who do not wish to appeal can reapply to their program. The student who re-applies to their program will be required to follow the new program of study of their program (as detailed in the catalog) and will need to discuss with their program director what, if any, previously passed coursework can be utilized as part of their new program of study.
 
Please also note that financial aid can only be provided to a student for 150% of their program. Therefore, students in a certificate or master level program who take up to their maximum timeframe (as listed above) could possibility lose federal financial aid eligibility and would need to apply for private educational loan funding.