COVID-19 Student Information

This page contains information for PharmD students regarding the CoVID-19 situation. We will do our best to keep it up-to-date during this dynamic time. Please email if you have suggestions or if there are any omissions.

PharmD student support

PharmD student support

University employees are required to work remotely and our offices remain closed. Staff continue to work remotely full time - email is the best way to reach us. To contact the Office of Student Services:

  • Email - Jennifer Niemeier is monitoring the account during regular business hours (M-F 8-4:30)
    • After business hours, Peter Haeg may be reached in emergencies via text or phone call on his personal phone: 612-703-4167
  • Make a remote appointment:
    • Duluth: schedule with Amy Renne
    • Twin Cities: schedule with Peter Haeg
    • All staff may be reached via email and Zoom meetings.

Courses and Technology

Courses and Technology

Spring courses will be delivered online via Zoom for the remainder of the semester. As this situation evolves, lab faculty will be working on designing practice lab sessions to cover what has been missed. Questions or concerns should be directed to your course directors.

Zoom resource page for students and participants:

Tips for those with connection issues: Participant's Guide to Optimizing your Zoom Experience

Internet access support during COVID-19:

Duluth drive-up "hot lots" on campus:

Twin Cities parking booths have outdoor access points to connect to University wifi.

Spring Grading Options

Spring Grading Options

Peter Haeg sent the below communication to students on April 30, 2020:

Greetings students-
Some of you on the TC campus have been aware that UMTC undergraduate students were notified last night of a revised deadline to select the S/N grade basis. We immediately advocated to include pharmacy students in this procedure, as we know many of you have been deliberating these decisions.

Many of the details will be worked out later, but here's what you need to know for now:

  • You can continue to make S/N grading basis changes in MyU through 11:59pm CDT.
  • If you would like to delay that decision, you can do so up until May 22.
  • Students can elect to change from A-F to S/N for courses that have a final grade, but not back to A/F.
  • Any grade basis change requested after tomorrow will need to be processed manually by the university. We will be asking you to fill out a form with the pertinent information in the coming weeks. This will take additional time to process (potentially a few weeks or more).
  • The final deadline to change your grade basis is May 22.

Please let me know if you have any questions about this. I apologize for the late notice, but this is the absolute best we could do.
Take care,


Drs. Seifert, Conway, and El-Fakahany sent the below communication to students on April 1, 2020:

Dear PharmD and graduate students,

The University and the College of Pharmacy are working to mitigate the many issues raised by the current global pandemic. One of the items being addressed by the college in partnership with the Office of the Vice President and Provost is the grading system for this semester.

The Provost asked each college to consider allowing our graduate and professional program students to change their grading system for any course during the spring 2020 semester. The College of Pharmacy has agreed to provide a more flexible option for students in order to relieve some of the stress of this unprecedented moment. You will have the choice to change courses from A-F grading to S/N (satisfactory/not satisfactory).

This University FAQ page provides answers to a number of questions. Here are a few important highlights.

  • Students have the option to change the grade basis for any A/F course to S/N for the spring 2020 semester.
  • Students who choose to change the grade basis to S/N for any course will need to log into MyU and adjust the grade basis, starting Monday, April 6. You can consult these step-by-step instructions located on the OneStop Student Services website.
  • The deadline for students to change their grade basis for any course will be Thursday, April 30. Changes after the deadline will not be allowed and decisions will be considered final.
  • An S grade is equivalent to a C- or higher and will count toward your degree your requirement, but not toward your GPA. An N grade is a failing grade and will not count toward degree requirements nor GPA.
  • Students already registered for spring 2020 courses under the S/N grade basis do not need to take any additional action.
  • For international students:
    • As long as you remain enrolled as a full-time student, changing your enrollments to S/N grading basis for the spring 2020 semester will not impact your status.
    • It is important that you determine if and/or how courses graded on an S/N basis can count toward your course of study at your home institution.

Professional students with general questions should direct them to Jeannine Conway, associate dean for professional education. Graduate students with general questions should direct them to Esam El-Fakahany, associate dean for faculty affairs and graduate education.

However, you may also want more assistance evaluating your options to determine which grading option is best for each spring 2020 course you are taking. We urge pharmacy students to consult with Peter Haeg or Amy Renne in the Office of Student Services, and graduate students to consult with your advisor and the director of your graduate program.

College of Pharmacy FAQs

Q: Why would I want to choose S/N?
A: An S grade does not affect your GPA, so you might consider S/N for a course if you're on track to get a grade that is below your personal goals for your cumulative GPA.

Q: Why would I choose A-F?
A: You'd want to keep the A-F grade basis for any course that is at or above your goals for your cumulative GPA. You may also consider maintaining the A-F grade basis if you believe the course has content critical to your specific pharmacy career.

Q: What will residency directors think of seeing an S on a transcript?
A: The grade won't affect your GPA. Since some highly notable programs have all S/N courses, and all of our rotations are S/N, we don't believe this will pose a problem with regard to residency applications. Many colleges and universities are providing this option for spring 2020, so they'll probably see other similar instances, and residencies are likely to be aware of this and take this into consideration as COVID-19 is a national issue.

Here is a response to this question from Dr. Jean Moon, U of M Residency Director:
Most programs would review the overall GPA and use this to guide their decisions, so I would say this would not look "bad". It is always challenging to review transcripts between each candidate as each school has different parameters and systems. However, some residency programs would review specific courses and the grades achieved in those (e.g. pharmacotherapy) and may wonder why some courses are A-F and some are not on the transcript. But in these unusual times, I am sure most programs would be very understanding to see something slightly different on the transcript for 2020 (S/N within an A-F transcript). Also, since our program already grades APPEs S/N, this change would be less noticeable on our graduates' transcripts.

Q: The policy indicates a D is considered an N in the S/N grade basis. Our probation policy in the PharmD program indicates a D is passing, though counts toward the probation limit of two D grades. What if I choose the S/N grade basis and get a D?
A: We will help you through an administrative process to have your N grade changed to a D grade after the semester is over. It will take additional processing time for it to appear on your transcript.

Q: I have some specific questions about my personal circumstances that aren’t addressed here- whom do I ask?
A: Please consult your advisor- Peter or Amy.

Q: How can I evaluate the impact of different grading options on my GPA?
A: Use the U of M GPA calculator to run different grade scenarios.

Q: If I select S/N for an elective course, can this be used to fulfill an Honors Option?
A: Yes. Electives taken S/N in Spring 2020 may be counted as an Honors Option. Electives taken other semesters may only be used for honors if a student earns an A or B grade. More details can be found on the Honors Program website and handbook.

Thank you,

Randall Seifert
Associate Dean for Student and Professional Affairs

Jeannine Conway
Associate Dean for Professional Education

Esam El-Fakahany
Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs and Graduate Education



Class of 2020

Associate Dean Jeannine Conway and the Office of Experiential Education are working as quickly as possible to make arrangements for completing rotations and required credits. If you have concerns and have not already received an update from Dr. Conway or OEE, please email

Classes of 2021-2023

At this time, we do not have updates on your summer term APPEs/IPPEs. As this is a rapidly developing scenario, it is difficult to forecast the situation in a few months. Dr. Conway and the Office of Experiential Education will be in contact with you as information develops.

Absence policy

Absence policy

An updated absence policy is available here. Key updates include:

  • Students do not need to obtain verification from a 3rd party to document an absence.
  • Students must continue to be proactive when notifying the college about an absence.
  • If you will be absent from a required course and miss required coursework or exams, please fill out this form.



We understand that students may not have access to testing or certifications required to remain in compliance with AHC student requirements and experiential sites. Students will continue to receive a "soon to be out of compliance" or "out of compliance" notification email during this time. We will be flexible with this requirement for the time being. Registration holds will be placed for students who were not in compliance with requirements prior to mid-March, after that point, we will not be placing registration holds. We will work with those who do have holds on a case-by-case basis.

On our part: We are aware of the fact that it is not possible for you to complete these at this time, and we'd like you to know that we'll be flexible with these requirements to the extent that our clinical sites will allow.

On your part: Please complete your immunization requirements and your BLS training as soon as it is safely possible.

Disability accommodations and services

Disability accommodations and services

All accommodations will continue as previously arranged. If you're experiencing difficulty with securing appropriate accommodations, please consult your faculty member or your Disability Resources contact:

General University information and resources

General University information and resources



Twin Cities

Notice on social stigma and CoVID-19

Notice on social stigma and CoVID-19

Dean Lynda Welage sent the following communication on April 1, 2020:

Dear faculty, staff and students,

There is a tremendous amount of confusion, anxiety and fear related to COVID-19, particularly because of the unknown factors of the disease. While these are understandable reactions they can also generate harmful stereotypes and discriminatory behavior.

The College of Pharmacy welcomes people from all backgrounds and we do not tolerate discrimination toward or targeting of specific populations of our community or in the communities we serve.

There have been reports of Asian and Asian American community members being targeted related to COVID-19. Using language that connects this disease to the Asian and Asian American community is hurtful and divisive.

Other communities such as health care workers, people who have traveled or those who may have symptoms of COVID-19 have also experienced social stigma and discriminatory behavior.

Treating people in this way can cause them to hide the illness, prevent them from seeking health care services as quickly as they should, or discourage them from adopting healthy behaviors. These all run counter to our efforts to unite as a community in support of one another while reducing the spread of COVID-19
If you are aware of any instances of this type of targeting, I encourage you to contact L'Aurelle Johnson, director of Diversity & Inclusion.

If you encounter such an incident within our community, please contact the Equal Opportunity & Affirmative Action office or report it to the Bias Response Team.
Further information on reducing social stigma connected to disease can be found in resources provided by the CDC or UNICEF.

I am counting on your support to uphold one of our college's core values of diversity and inclusion. When we work together in our diverse community, we demonstrate our commitment to excellence within our college, external communities and beyond.

Lynda Welage



All in-person events for the remainder of the year have been cancelled (eg. White Coat, Awards, Pharmacy Day, Auction). As you heard from President Gabel, commencement ceremonies have been postponed. We are working on plans to celebrate your graduation and other accomplishments, but do not have updates at this time.

Student parents

Student parents

Our policies excuse absences due to emergent childcare needs. If you have specific instances that require adjusting dates or deadlines of exams or assignments, please be clear about your situation & make specific modification requests directly to your course director.