The purpose of the course waiver1 process is twofold:

  1. to minimize the possibility that a student will be required to complete courses which are equivalent to previous educational (undergraduate or graduate) or professional experience; and,
  2. to insure that students have attained proficiency in the content areas encompassed by the proposed waived course.

Waiver of any required medical science foundation course or professional course:

  1. will require documentation of
    1. having successfully completed, within the past five2 years and with grade of "C" or better,
    2. professional competencies equivalent in both breadth and depth of content to that required by the Creighton University School of Pharmacy and Health Professions;
  2. may require, at the discretion of the instructor of record, successful completion of a comprehensive challenge examination prepared by the Instructor of Record of the course in which waiver is requested. The passing score on each challenge examination will be set by the Instructor of Record, but shall not be less than 70 percent; and, if required;
  3. will require administration of the challenge examination by a proctor either on the Creighton campus or via the web.
1

 Waiver policy changes and procedure updates can be found on the Office of Academic and Student Affairs website.

2

In rare cases, if the course was taken more than five years ago, but the knowledge is utilized daily in the workplace, the course may be considered.

General Requirements and Procedures

To be considered for a waiver or challenge examination in any required course of the curriculum, the student must complete and submit the appropriate (Entry-Level or Post-Professional) Course Waiver Application Form found on the Office of Academic and Student Affairs website. Deadlines for receipt of completed forms are available on this website or from the Office of the Assistant/Associate Dean for Academic Affairs. Documentation that, at a minimum, must be submitted to the Assistant/Associate Dean for Academic Affairs in support of a request to waive a required course includes:

  • the course description as it appears in the University catalog,
  • a course syllabus which specifies any required text(s),
  • any other official document (e.g. portfolio) which describes course scope,
  • objectives, format, and course topics, and
  • an official transcript which documents the grade the student received in the course(s).

Class notes, examinations or other course materials may be requested by the Assistant/Associate Dean for Academic Affairs to aid in decision-making. Course materials should not be submitted directly to the instructor of record of the course for which a waiver is being requested.

The documentation submitted by the student will be reviewed by the appropriate instructor of record and a decision made in time for the student to prepare for any required challenge examination. The student will be notified by the Assistant /Associate Dean for Academic Affairs of the outcome of each challenge examination taken.

If a student successfully passes a challenge examination, a Course Waiver form will be completed by the Office of Academic and Student Affairs and appropriately filed with the Registrar. The original Course Waiver form will be placed in the student’s academic file maintained in the Office of Academic and Student Affairs and a copy provided to the academic advisor.

A student who successfully passes a challenge examination will be excused from taking the required course. This will also satisfy any prerequisite requirements which the course provides. Credit is not received for the course nor will the grade received on the challenge exam or the grade received in the course at another institution be used in the calculation of the student’s Creighton University grade point average.

Entry-Level Programs

Medical Science Foundation Courses

If an incoming student believes that one or more pre-professional courses which she/ he has taken satisfies a curricular requirement in the medical sciences, she/he may petition the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs to be allowed to sit for a challenge examination in order to waive the course requirement. Incoming students are notified in writing of this option by the Admission Office.

All medical science foundation challenge examinations for entry-level programs will be administered during or in close proximity to the student orientation week of the year the student enters the program.  Students will be notified of the date, time, location and delivery (paper or online) for the challenge exams by the Assistant/Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, and must take their exam at that time.1 Exceptions can only be made by the Assistant/Associate Dean for Academic Affairs.

Documentation of course content and demonstrated proficiency must be submitted to the Assistant /Associate Dean for Academic Affairs during the early portion of the summer prior to the student's first semester in the professional program. Submission deadline dates are posted on the Office of Academic and Student Affairs website, and incoming students are notified electronically of these deadlines.

1

Post-professional challenge examinations will be considered no later than the semester prior to the semester in which the course to be waived is scheduled.

Discipline-Oriented Professional Courses

Waiver of discipline-oriented professional courses in the student’s program of study is rare, but can occur under selected circumstances (e.g., transfer students coming to Creighton from accredited OT, PT or pharmacy programs, students who hold a professional or graduate degree in the discipline, etc.). 

Required documentation for all discipline-oriented professional course waivers, along with the required Entry-Level Course Waiver Application Form, must be submitted no later than two weeks after the first day of classes for courses taken during the first semester of enrollment.  All other course waivers can be submitted any time prior to the end of the student’s first semester of enrollment in the program. 

Students who want to waive an experiential component of the curriculum will be required to follow the program specific procedures for experiential waiver requests.

Post-Professional Programs

Post-professional programs in the School of Pharmacy and Health Professions at Creighton University are integrated to offer a unique opportunity for professionals to update and advance their knowledge in their fields. As a result, only a limited number of courses may be waived in order to maintain programmatic coherence. Post-professional students with questions about course waivers should consult with the appropriate Program Director.

Didactic course waivers are required to be completed during POTD 500 Introduction to Doctoral Studies according to deadlines in course syllabus.

Credit for Waivers

When a medical science or discipline-oriented professional course is waived, the student is relieved of the requirement for taking the course. This will also satisfy any prerequisite requirements which the course provides. However, credit is not received for the course nor is the student's QPA affected. Students must still have accumulated the appropriate number of total credit hours required for graduation with their intended degree. If the student entered the program with the minimum number of pre-professional credit hours, the waived credit hours will need to be made up. The student may make up these hours by taking any course offered at Creighton University. If a student entered the professional program with more than the minimum number of hours necessary, the waived hours will not need to be made up if the difference between the total number of accepted pre-professional hours and waived hours equals or exceeds the minimum pre-professional hour requirement.

Dropping a Waived Course

If a waiver request is approved after the student has registered for the required Creighton course, the student must come to the Office of Academic and Student Affairs to obtain a Drop/Add form. Failure to drop the course may result in the student's receiving an "F" for the course.

Faculty Procedures for Administering Challenge Examinations

All Instructors of Record wishing to require a challenge examination prior to considering waiver requests will communicate to the Assistant/Associate Dean for Academic Affairs:

  1. which students are eligible to sit for a challenge examination;
  2. the format of the challenge examination;
  3. the minimum score necessary to pass the challenge examination (must be at least 70%);
  4. the date by which challenge examination results will be available;
  5. individual student performance on the challenge examination.