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School of Pharmacy Department of Pharmaceutics

POLICIES AND PROCEDURES

Department of Pharmaceutics
School of Pharmacy
University of Mississippi

Approved by Department Faculty, December 2008

POLICIES FOR GRADUATE STUDENTS

Introduction

The objective of the graduate programs in the Department of Pharmaceutics is to provide a multi-disciplinary program of courses and research activities suitable to prepare the student for a career in teaching, research or administration. Because of the varied interest within the department,it is expected that the student will be keenly aware of current developments in all aspects of Pharmaceutics. The requirements listed here are minimum requirements of the Department and supplement those of the Graduate School. It is the responsibility of the student to be thoroughly familliar with the Graduate School regulations as found in the Graduate Catalog. (www.olemiss.edu/depts/graduate_school)

Admission to the Program

Admission to the graduate program in Pharmaceutics is open to superior students with a baccalaureate or higher degree in Pharmacy or a related area. A "B" average or better in undergraduate coursework is required for consideration for admission.  Admission is Competitive, so it is unlikely that all students meeting the minimum requirements will be admitted.

Students must submit scores from verbal and quantitative sections of the Graduate Record Exam (GRE).  The minimum score varies from year to year depending upon the applicant pool.  However, the average GRE scores of the students admitted within the last 5 years has been 1,100. 

INTERNATIONAL  APPLICANTS: 

English Requirement • To be considered for admission, international students must present evidence of satisfactory proficiency in the English language as indicated by results of the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the results of the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) examination. The applicant must request that the testing center send the official results to the Graduate School at the university. TOEFL or IELTS is required of all applicants (international and U.S. citizens) whose native language is not English; “native language” is determined by the medium of academic study. The medium of academic study is defined as the equivalent of four years of instruction at the secondary or college level where the language of instruction is English.

• TOEFL results of 550 paper-based/79 Internet based/213 computer-based or above must be attained prior to achieving full standing (some departments may require higher scores).* Alternatively, students may submit a score on the International English Language Testing System (IELTS); a minimum of 6.5 on the IELTS is required for full-standing admission.

• All students with scores at or above 550/79/213 but lower than 600/100/250 will be re-tested with the Michigan Test of English Proficiency and Listening Comprehension Test prior to registration. Students with scores of 600/100/250 or above are exempt from taking the Michigan English Proficiency Tests.

• Students with scores between 523/69/193 and 550/79/213 or less than 70 on the Michigan English Proficiency Tests are required to take and successfully complete EFS 100 (English as a Foreign Language) during their first semester of enrollment (EFS 100 must be repeated until satisfactory results are attained.)

• Students who satisfactorily complete EFS 100 must present a score on the institutional TOEFL that is equivalent to the above target score.

Applicants for graduate teaching assistantships whose native language is not English must present acceptable results on the Test of Spoken English (TSE) given at overseas TOEFL centers or The University of Mississippi institutional test of spoken English (SPEAK).

*All applicants must present a minimum TOEFL score of 523 paper-based/69 Internet-based/193 computer-based to be considered for admission. Applicants with TOEFL scores of 523-547 paper-based/69-79 Internet-based/193-213 computer-based may be considered for conditional admission. Applicants with scores below 523/69/193 may apply for admission to The University of Mississippi Intensive English Program.

Degree Programs

Two degree programs are available. The Master of Science (M.S.) in Pharmaceutical Science (with emphasis in Pharmaceutics) and the Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Pharmaceutical Sciences (with an emphasis in Pharmaceutics). Students may be admitted into either the Ph.D. degree program or the M.S. degree program.

ONE DOES NOT HAVE TO APPLY FOR THE MASTER'S DEGREE FIRST

Master Degree Requirements

Master of Pharmaceutical Science - Pharmaceutics Major
Undergraduate Course Requirements
Students should have completed the requirements for an undergraduate degree in pharmacy or related area. In addition, if not previously taken, the following undergraduate courses will be required: - Integral and differential calculus (equivalent to MATH 261-262) - Six semester hours of physical chemistry (equivalent to CHEM 331, 332) - College level biology

Graduate Course Requirements
The following graduate courses are considered to comprise the core of the master's curriculum:
Statistics and Experimental Design (BISC 504 or MATH 597), Analytical Pharmaceutics (PHAR 535), Pharmacokinetcs (PHAR 546 or PHAR 660), Product Development 649, Seminar in Current Pharmaceutical Topics (543, 544), Two of the following: Surface Phenomena (PHAR 645 or CHE545), Advanced Pharmaceutics (PHAR 641, 642), Special Problems in the Stability of Pharmaceutical Systems (PHAR 644), Advanced Pharmacokinetics (PHAR 660), Applied Pharmaceutics (PHAR 650)

Additional courses may be required by the student's research director and/or advisory committee. If a required course is unavailable, the Pharmaceutics Department graduate faculty may approve an alternative course for a particular student.

Prior to the student's thesis defense, the student must have a minimum of one completed manuscript ready for submission to a referred journal for publication.

A thesis based upon experimental work in the general area of pharmaceutics is also required.

Ph.D. Degree Requirements

Doctor of Philosophy in Pharmaceutical Sciences (with emphasis in Pharmaceutics)

In addition to general Graduate School requirements for the Doctor of Philosophy degree, the department has the following degree requirements.

Course Requirements
Undergraduate Course Requirements

Students should have completed the requirements for an undergraduate degree in pharmacy or related area. In addition, if not previously taken, the following undergraduate courses will be required:

- Calculus through Elementary Differential Equations (equivalent to MATH 261-264, and MATH 353) - Six semester hours of Physical Chemistry (equivalent to CHEM 331, 332) - College Level Biology

Graduate Course Requirements

The following graduate courses are considered to comprise the core of the doctoral curriculum:

Product Development (PHAR 649) Statistics and Experimental Design (BISC 504 or MATH 597) Analytical Pharmaceutics (PHAR 535) Advanced Pharmaceutics (PHAR 641, 642) Surface Phenomena (PHAR 645 or CHE 545) Special Problems in the Stability of Pharmaceutical Systems (PHAR 644) Advanced Pharmacokinetics (PHAR 660) Seminar in Current Pharmaceutical TOpics (PHAR 543, 544) Applied Pharmaceutics (PHAR 650)

Additional courses may be required by the student's research director and/or advisory committee. If a required course is unavailable, the Pharmaceutics Department graduate faculty may approve an alternative course for a particular student.

Admission to Ph.D. Candidacy - Comprehensive exam

To be eligible for Ph.D. candidacy, the student must:

1. Complete all required Pharmaceutics department coursework in the core curriculum and any additional coursework required by the research director and/or the dissertation committee.

2. Pass a written exam with a section contributed by each of the faculty with a full-time academic appointment in the Pharmaceutics Department.If the student fails one of the sections of the exam, he or she will be allowed to retake a second exam from that faculty member. If a student fails more than one section of the exam, he or she will be terminated from the Ph.D. program and allowed to enter the Masers Program.

Transfer from the M.S. to Ph.D. Program

With the approval of the graduate faculty of the department, a student may transfer from the M.S. degree program into the Ph.D. degree program without completing the degree requirements for the M.S. program.

Prior to the student's dissertation defense, the student must have a minimum of one completed manuscript ready for submission to a referred journal for publication.

A dissertation based upon experimental work in the general area of pharmaceutics is also required.

Advisory Committee

All students must select a major professor and have an advisory committee approved by the department Chair before the end of their second semester in a Pharmaceutics Department graduate program.

Thesis committees of the University of Mississippi must consist of at least three faculty members from the discipline in which the degree is sought; each must be a member, Associate or Full, of the Graduate Faculty.

Dissertation committees of the University of Mississippi must consist of at least three faculty from the discipline in which the degree is sought, plus one member external to the discipline; each must be a member, Associate or Full, of the Graduate Faculty, but the Chair must be a Full member or have received the special and specific consent of the Graduate Council.

The role of the advisory committee is:

1. To advise the student about coursework and research. At the first committee meeting, the committee determine what the student's coursework requirements will be. This coursework plan will be placed in the student's permanent file in the department;

2. To administer the thesis and/or dissertation defenses;

3. To approve the student's research prospectus;

4. To conduct annual reviews and evaluations of the student's research project.

Annual Review of Students

Once each year the Graduate faculty of the Department will review the progress of each graduate student. If it is the consensus of that faculty that the student is unlikely to complete a program satisfactorily, he or she may be advised to leave the program. These reviews will be held at the end of the Spring semester. The Department Chair will discuss the results of this review with the student and inform the student of any changes in status, appointments, etc., as a results of this review.

Academic Progression Policies and Procedures from the Graduate School

Good Standing

Students are expected to maintain a grade point average of 3.0 or better on all graduate level work. The Graduate School reviews the academic progress of all students at the end of each semester and identifies those who have a cumulative GPA of less than 3.0. Students who are in Conditional standing are reviewed at the end of their first nine hours of graduate work. Failure to achieve good standing can lead to a hold on enrollment or a drop to Non-Degree status. If a hold is placed on enrollment, the student must visit the Graduate School to discuss matters and to possibly have the hold overridden.

Where a student has three I or IP grades outstanding, the student is not permitted to enroll in additional courses.

Comprehensive Exams and Candidacy

All doctoral degree students must successfully complete a comprehensive examination. The rules related to eligibility to take the exam are given in the Graduate Catalog. Included in the Appendix is a form to be used to request authorization for taking a comprehensive exam. Once a student has passed the comprehensive exam, he or she becomes a candidate for a doctoral degree. A candidate is required to be continuously enrolled for at least 3 hours during two semesters within a calendar year.

18 Hour Dissertation Policy and Continous Enrollment

Thesis/Dissertation Committee Policy

Thesis committees of the University of Mississippi must consist of at least three faculty from the discipline in which the degree is sought; each must be a member, Associate or Full, of the Graduate Faculty.

Dissertation committees of the University of Mississippi must consist of at least three faculty from the discipline in which the degree is sought, plus one member external to the discipline; each must be a member, Associate or Full, of the Graduate Faculty, but the Chair must be a Full member or have received the special and specific consent of the Graduate Council.

Members of thesis and dissertation committees, as described above, may continue their involvement with those committees after leaving the University; Chairs of thesis and dissertation committees who leave the University may serve as Co-Chairs.

Only appointed members of thesis and dissertation committees may be identified on the signature page even if they cannot be present at the thesis or dissertation defense.

Auxiliary members of thesis and dissertation committees who are not members of the University of Mississippi faculty may be appointed to committees as non-voting members but may not be identified on the signature page.

Dissertation Prospectus Review Procedure

There must be at least one full semester of calendar equivalent between submission of the prospectus and the semester in which the final dissertation defense is scheduled.

A. A written dissertation prospectus will be required of every doctoral student.

B. An oral defense of the prospectus will be required.

C. A committee will be formed to evaluate the merit of the prospectus. This committee will also serve as the dissertation committee.

D. The committee should consist of at least four members. One member, nominated by the dissertation chairman, will be external to the discipline. All members of the committee shall have equal voting rights.

E. A single negative vote in the committee will require negotiation among the committee members in order to achieve reconciliation of the point(s) of objection.

F. Only if the committee cannot agree on the merits of the prospectus and, through reasoned discussion, accept the prospectus unanimously, a review process by a committee of the department/school will be invoked.

G. Although a unanimous vote of the committee is necessary in order to accept the prospectus, a majority vote only will be required on the final dissertation defense.

H. An approved copy of the prospectus will be filed with the Graduate School immediately following the defense.

I. Any research involving human subjects must be approved by the Institutional Review Board. Any research using animals must be approved by the IACUS. To determine if these provisions apply, please contact the IRB or IACUC through the Office of Research at 7482 for applications and assistance.

J. When any member of the committee believes that a substantial change in the research plan has been made, the committee will be reconvened. Unanimous approval of any substantial revision is required. A report of substantial changes will be filed in the Graduate School.

K. Any committee member who does not sign the final dissertation must file an objection with the Graduate School.

Final Exams for a Masters or Doctoral Degree

Final oral or written examinations for a masters or doctoral degree must be scheduled no later than 14 days and 10 days, respectively, prior to the intended examination date. These exams must be scheduled on or before the last day of class (i.e., a final exam cannot be scheduled during the regular University testing period or between semesters).

Application for Degree and Graduation

A student who expects to complete all degree requirements by the end of a particular semester must submit a degree application form to the Supervisor of Graduate Records in the Graduate School. The deadline for submitting this application form is approximately one month after the beginning of a fall or spring semester; actual deadlines are posted on the Graduate School's web page.

When a student completes a degree application form, he or she will be given information regarding deadlines for the submission of the thesis, doctoral essay, or dissertation and for completion of the final oral examination. Also, information is provided to the student about the required format for the dissertation or thesis, fees for binding and microfilming, and fees and procedures for applying for copyright. The Graduate School requires two copies of the thesis, doctoral essay, or dissertation. The student is also required to complete a Survey of Earned Doctorates.

Hours A Non-Degree Student Can Apply Toward A Degree

A student can request to apply toward a degree up to nine hours of coure work taken as a Non-Degree II students.

In-Progress (IP) Grade

A temporary mark of IP (In-Progress) can be assigned to a graduate student in a course, such as a graduate research-oriented course in which the nature of the course and the expectations of students cannot anticipate completion within one semester. I P makrs must be changed to grades within one calendar year and will not be accounted for in the grade point average until that time. After one year, unless an extension is approved by the Graduate School, IP marks will be calculated as F grades. In contrast, an I (Incomplete) grade in a course converts to an F (if not satisfactorilyconverted to a passing grade) on the last day of the next regular semester (excluding summer terms).

Repeating Courses

Grades for all courses taken by Graduate students will remain a permanent part of their transcript. Except for courses identified in the catalog as "may be repeated for credit," no course may be repeated more than once, and no more than two courses may be repeated and applied toward a degree. In instances of repeated courses, the second grade will be used to determine eligibility to graduate. Departments may impose higher standards.

The Graduate School does not have a "forgiveness policy." However, if a graduate student repeats a course for credit, only the second (or last) grade is used in determining eligibility to graduate.

Graduate Credit For Senior Undergraduates

Undergraduates within 15 hours of undergraduate degree and having a 3.0 grade point average on all upper division courses may take 3 hours for graduate credit; undergraduate within 12 hours of undergraduate degree and having a 3.0 grade point average on all upper division courses may take 6 hours for graduate credit. An undergraduate may take a maximum of six semester hours for graduate credit.

Transfer Credit

As explained in the Graduate Catalog, a maximum of six credit hours can be recommended for transfer credit from another institution for a student pursuing a masters degree (twelve hours for a student pursuing an MFA or Specialists degree). The Graduate School does not accept transfer credit toward the doctoral degree. However, University of Mississippi transcripts for doctoral students may include statements as to the number of credits completed at other institutions, by name of institution and number of credits earned, but will not list the specific course numbers or titles.

Time-To-Degree Policy

All work applying to a masters degree must be completed within a six year period of time, including any transfer hours.

The total duration of study for the doctoral degree may not exceed seven years. It is expected that students will have been admitted to candidacy, that is, have passed all parts of their comprehensive examinations, within four years. Students who have not defended a dissertation prospectus within seven years will forfeit all credit earned toward the doctorate. However, students who do not complete all requirements for the degree within seven years may appeal to re-defend their prospectus in an oral examination. The prospectus committee may be the same or may be different than the prevous committee. The prospectus topic may be the same or may be different than that presented earlier. If it is the same, the student must review work published in the last five years that impact the proposed dissertation. The faculty may questions the student to assess competency to perform the proposed work. As a result of this questioning the department may require the student to take another written comprehensive examination, take specific courses, or other remedies deemed appropriate by the faculty. Successful presentation and adoption of the prospectus, as determined by a unanimous vote of the committee, and the completion of any other requirements, will extend up to two years the student's eligibility to graduate.

Thesis and Dissertations

Regulations governing the style, format, paper, abstract, and other matters may be found in a Manual of Thesis and Dissertation available in the Graduate School office. The Graduate School also has software available to assist in preparing these documents. Additionally, the University writing center in the Main Library 310 has staff who can advise graduate students about writing.

Internships In The Pharmaceutical Industry

Pharmaceutical internships can play a valuable role in graduate education. A student interested in identifying a summer internship opportunity must obtain the approval of his or her major advisor and the department chair before accepting an offer for a summer internship. Students who are interested in seeking a summer internship are advised to meet with their research advisor early in the spring semester to request this approval.

General Information

OFFICE HOURS AND VACATION

Graduate education is significantly different from undergraduate education. In order to be successful, a student should be prepared to treat graduate studies as a full time, year round job. At a minimum, students should be present in the department for at least 40 hours each week with a significant portion of that time being during the standard work day of 8:00 - 5:00. Each student should consult his or her research advisor and RA or TA supervisor about specific expectations. Students should ordinarily plan to take no more than two weeks of vacation each year in addition to normal university holidays. University holidays are those 13 days throughout the year when university offices are closed. Vacations should always be scheduled with the approval of the student's graduate advisor, graduate coordinator and the Department Chair. Vacations will not be approved during the fall or spring semesters when classes are in session. Students who take unauthorized vacations, or more than two weeks of vacation per year may have their stipend either proportionately reduced or terminated.

OUTSIDE EMPLOYMENT

Most students spend their graduate program in somewhat strained financial circumstances. Because being a graduate student is a full-time job itself, the student is strongly encouraged to get approval from his or her major advisor and the Department Chair before engaging in regular employment outside the department. International students who have an assistantship requiring 20 hours a week are prohibited from accepting additional paid employment.

SAFETY AND SECURITY

Every graduate student will be assigned desk space and research work area. These areas should be kept clean and neat. The policies of the University of Mississippi as stated in the Chemical Safety Manual, Radiation Safety Manual and Biological Safety Manual will apply to all areas within the Department. These manuals can be found on the web site of the Department of Health and Safety.

Each graduate student will be issued keys to the departmental laboratories and an identification and access card to allow access to appropriate areas in Faser Hall and the Thad Cochran Research Center. It is the responsibility of each department member to assist in maintaining the security of the building and research laboratories. Therefore, if an exterior door is locked when you enter the building, ensure that it locks behind you. At the end of the day, ensure that the laboratory doors are locked and the lights turned off. Even during the day, there are often times when no one will be in the laboratory for extended periods of time. It is recommended that the laboratory doors be locked during such times. Personal valuables should not be left lying on the work bench or in the desk areas. It is the responsibility of all to make the department a safe and secure place to work.

PHARMACEUTICS LABORATORIES

Between the hours of 6:00 P.M. and 7:00 A.M. on weekdays and all day on weekends and holidays, access to the Pharmaceutics Laboratories is limited to department faculty, staff and graduate students. During normal office hours, visitors to the department are permitted when accompanied by a department member.

PHOTOCOPY MACHINES

The department has two photocopy machines; one for faculty and staff use and one for graduate use. Department graduate students are allowed direct access to their copy machine for copying related to their department assistantship or thesis or dissertation research. If necessary, permission can be granted by a faculty member, to have the department secretary make copies using the faculty/staff machine. Permission will be granted only for department business. The department copiers are not to be used to make final coipes of a thesis or dissertation; these expenses are to be borne by the student.

COMPUTERS

The department is pleased to maintain computers for graduate student use. Access to these computers is restricted to members of the pharmaceutics department. The available printers are only to be used to print material related to the student's department employment or research.