Technical Standards

Technical standards essential for admission, progression and graduation

Introduction 

The Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) degree requires students to become proficient with specialized knowledge as well as in a proscribed set of skills in order to successfully meet the standards for licensure. Thus, the program in the School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences at Binghamton University requires PharmD candidates to possess a specified level of skills and functional competencies. These competencies are not only necessary to successfully complete the course of study, but they are also essential for ensuring the health and safety of patients, other health care professionals, faculty, staff, and fellow students. In these policies, the term "candidate" will refer to students seeking admission to the school, as well as those already enrolled and progressing to graduation. In order to admit, evaluate, promote, and graduate any person, it is the obligation of the candidate to meet these minimum technical standards.

All enrolled candidates who are found to be deficient in any of the following technical standards, may seek reasonable accommodations. This includes students with a medical condition, including disability or temporary injury. Each student must contact the assistant dean for student affairs in the School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, who will refer the student to university resources to aid their accommodation. 

Applicants for admission to the PharmD program must possess certain abilities and skills, which are categorized below as observational, communication, motor, intellectual, conceptual, integrative and quantitative, behavioral, and social. In addition to these abilities and skills, a candidate for admission must also: 

  • Provide an up-to-date record of all required immunizations, which needs to be on file with the Binghamton University Decker Student Health Services Center and the Office for Student Affairs in the School of Pharmacy.
  • A criminal background check that raises no concerns.
  • Have access to transportation.
  • Provide proof of health care insurance or proof of Binghamton University health insurance (see assistant dean for student affairs). 

Due to the interactive and technical nature of the PharmD program and the pharmacy profession, there are additional skills and abilities that a candidate must possess in order to participate in the program. Students must complete the PharmD program within a reasonable length of time. Reasonable accommodations will be provided to students when possible and in compliance with University guidelines (see the assistant dean for student affairs).

Required abilities and skills

  • Observation Skills

    Candidates must be able to comprehend specified material and information that will be presented through demonstrations and experiences in the basic and clinical sciences, which include, but are not limited to instruction conveyed through physiologic and pharmacological images and demonstrations. Additionally, candidates must be able to observe a patient with precision, up-close or from a distance, with or without standard medical instrumentation. They must also be able to acquire information through written documents and view information as presented in images from paper, films, slides or video. Candidates must also be able to interpret graphic images, and digital or analog representations of physiologic phenomenon with or without the use of assistive devices. 

    If a candidate's ability to observe or acquire information through sensory techniques is compromised, the candidate must clearly exhibit alternate means and/or abilities to acquire the essential information. It is expected that if the alternative means are deemed reasonable, obtaining and utilizing these alternate means and/or abilities will be the responsibility of the student. 

  • Communication

    Candidates for admission must exhibit strong English written and oral communication skills in order to effectively communicate in complex environments. A student must be able to describe changes in mood, activity and posture, and interpret nonverbal communications from a patient. The ability to converse in multiple formats, including face-to-face, electronic and written is imperative. It is essential that a candidate for the program have the ability to interpret and deliver complex, technical information in a comprehendible manner to those who may have cognitive or language barriers and to those who may not have an understanding of pharmacy or health sciences. Applications from students with hearing and speech disabilities will be given full consideration. In such cases, use of a trained intermediary or other communications aide may be appropriate and or reasonable. If the use of an intermediary is necessary, that intermediary must function only as an information conduit and will not provide integrative or interpretive functions.

  • Behavioral and Social Attributes

    Candidates for admission must possess the ability to act with integrity, concern for others and compassion. They must be able to interact with faculty, patients and colleagues in a professional manner and must be able to function effectively and appropriately in difficult and stressful situations. The candidate must demonstrate good judgment, prompt completion of all responsibilities involved in patient care, and the development of mature, sensitive and effective relationships with patients, family members and colleagues. The candidate must be able to display flexibility and function in changing healthcare environments. Interpersonal skills, collegiality and continued interest and motivation are personal qualities that are all essential requirements for enrollment and progression in the PharmD program.

  • Motor Coordination and Sensory Competency

    The use of motor and sensory skills are generally required to perform basic laboratory experiments, medication preparation, compounding, administration and physical assessment of patients. The ability to utilize various types of laboratory, diagnostic and patient care equipment is essential to participating in the PharmD program in the various settings that are required as part of the course of study and must be performed effectively with or without reasonable accommodations.

  • Intellectual, Conceptual, Integrative and Quantitative Abilities

    Demonstrated ability of intellectual, conceptual, integrative and quantitative understanding is required for candidates in the PharmD program. Candidates must be able to exhibit fundamental problem solving, analytical reasoning and critical thinking skills that are regularly demanded of pharmacists. These skills must be performed in a timely fashion, with the use of good judgment, and must demonstrate the ability to adapt to new and changing environments and settings.