Students applying to and enrolling in the School of Pharmacy are expected to read, acknowledge, and understand the Technical Standards. These Technical Standards describe non-academic abilities that are required for admission to, continuation in, and graduation from the School of Pharmacy to obtain a Pharm.D. degree.

A candidate must have abilities and skills in the following five areas:

  1. Observational skills
  2. Communication skills
  3. Motor skills
  4. Intellectual, Conceptual, Integrative and Quantitative skills
  5. Behavioral and Social skills.

Detailed descriptions of the Technical Standards are provided in the School of Pharmacy Application or by contacting the School of Pharmacy Dean's office.

Observation necessitates the functional use of all senses. Students are expected to utilize such senses in order to make observations at a distance and close at hand. Throughout the pharmacy curriculum, students will be required to observe demonstrations and experiments in the basic and pharmaceutical sciences, in addition to displayed medical illustrations. With respect to patient care, students must be able to observe verbal and non-verbal signals. Observational abilities include discerning sounds related to patient assessment and treatment, as well as evaluating physical patient signs and symptoms.

Effective communication involves utilizing knowledge acquired during the pharmacy education process to elicit, convey, clarify, and communicate information in oral and written English quickly, effectively, efficiently, and sensitively. Students are expected to partake in such communication with patients, health care providers, educational staff, and fellow students. Students must possess the ability to appropriately recognize and respond to nonverbal and emotional communication cues. Furthermore, students must provide educational and instructional information to patients and caregivers in an appropriate manner, considering health literacy, cultural, and socioeconomic factors.

In order to execute gross and fine muscular movements, students must possess necessary hand eye coordination and neuromuscular control. Students must be able to execute motor movements, in a timely fashion, necessary for routine care and emergency situations, including but not limited to cardiopulmonary resuscitation and first aid. Necessary motor functions include capabilities utilized to perform physical assessment activities, such as auscultation, percussion, and other diagnostic maneuvers. Students are expected to perform basic lab tests, such as lipid and blood glucose screenings, as well as administer immunizations. In order to fulfill the functions of a pharmacist, students must be able to execute the motor movements necessary to compound, prepare, and dispense sterile and non-sterile dosage forms. Motor skill requirements include the utilization of current computer-based technology for drug information retrieval and evaluation, as well as the preparation and presentation of oral and written reports.

In order to successfully navigate a rigorous and intense didactic and experiential curriculum, students must be able to effectively learn through a variety of educational modalities such as didactic classroom instruction, small group discussion, and independent study. A rigorous and intense curriculum necessitates the ability to think quickly and accurately in an organized manner, while mastering the broad and complex body of knowledge that comprises pharmacy education. Students are expected to synthesize, analyze, interpret, integrate, process, measure, and calculate scientific and clinical information, as well as comprehend three dimensional relationships and understand the spatial relationships of structures, which are embedded in laboratory and clinical settings. In order to ensure self-assessment and improvement, students must be able to recognize personal knowledge deficits and limitations, and identify situations in which such deficits or limitations require further study as well as develop and carry out an improvement plan.

Students are expected to exhibit professional demeanor at all times and adhere to the Code of Ethics, with emphasis on integrity and honesty. In order to progress through a rigorous didactic and experiential curriculum, students must possess a high level of motivation. Furthermore, students are expected to be able to endure and function effectively during physically, intellectually, and emotionally taxing workloads and situations. The nature of pharmacy education necessitates the ability to adapt to changing environments and display flexibility in various educational settings, while accepting constructive criticism maturely and modifying future behavior accordingly. Students must demonstrate empathy, patience, respect, and genuine interest in the well-being of others while providing care to a diverse patient population. Students will communicate and care for persons whose cultural, sexual orientation, or spiritual beliefs are different from their own in a non-judgmental way. The development of strong interpersonal skills is expected in order to build meaningful relationships with patients. 

During the Pharm.D. curriculum, students will be required to provide health and vaccine records, complete tests to assess the health status for communicable diseases (i.e. PPD testing), submit and clear (per individual site requirements) all required criminal background checks and drug testing. The Compliance Requirements for Professional Student Experiences Policy contains additional information. It is located online in the Nesbitt School of Pharmacy Handbook or may also be requested by reaching out to the Pharmacy Dean's Suite at 570-408-4298. Students are responsible for their transportation to clinical experiential sites.

Candidates must acknowledge, upon acceptance of admission to the School of Pharmacy, that they understand the technical standards and additional requirements for experiential education.

The School of Pharmacy is committed to helping students with disabilities complete the course of study leading to the Doctor of Pharmacy degree by reasonable means or accommodations. Reasonable accommodations are services provided to individuals with disabilities that remove or lessen the effect of the disability-related barrier. Individuals without documented disabilities are not eligible for accommodations.

Candidates with disabilities, in accordance with Wilkes University policy, and as defined by section 504 of 1973 Vocational Rehabilitation Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1993, who may seek accommodations in order to meet the technical standards are encouraged to contact University College to discuss what reasonable accommodations, if any, the School of Pharmacy could make in order for the candidate to meet the standards. A student with a disability who requests accommodations will be required to submit this request in writing and provide pertinent supporting documentation in accordance with Wilkes University policies. Candidates are not required to disclose any information regarding technical standards to the Admissions Committee.