Course Waivers

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. 
  3. If a challenge exam is required by the instructor of record, it will require an administration by a proctor either on the Creighton campus or at a Certified Testing Center or other external site (Alasak OT or Regis OT only) pre-approved by the Assistance/Associate Dean for Academic Affairs.
  4. Will require completion of the Entry-level Course Waiver Application found on the Office of Academic and Student Affairs (OASA) website. 

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


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 Entry-Level Course Waiver Application Form found on the OASA website. Deadlines for receipt of completed forms are available on this website or from the Assistant/Associate Dean of Academic Affairs.

Documentation that, at a minimum, must be submitted to the Assistant/Associate Dean in the Office of 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 textbook(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). If a copy of the transcript is on file that copy will be used.

Class notes, examinations or other course materials may be requested by the Assistant/Associate Dean of 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 in the Office of Academic Affairs of the outcome of any challenge examination taken. If a student successfully passes a challenge examination, or otherwise has a waiver request approved, a Transfer Credit form will be completed by the Office of Academic and Student Affairs and 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. The student's academic advisor will also be notified of the successful waiver. 

Entry-Level Programs

Medical Science Foundation Courses

All medical science foundation challenge examinations for entry-level programs will only be administered at a specified day and time during 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 in the Office of Academic Affairs, and must take their exam at that time. Exceptions can only be made by the Assistant/Associate Dean in the Office of 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, within the Entry Level Course Waiver Application, and incoming students are notified electronically of these deadlines.

Discipline-SPECIFIC Professional Courses

Waiver of discipline-specific professional courses in the student’s program of study is rare, but can occur under selected circumstances.

For all discipline-specific professional course waivers from any semester in the curriculum, required documentation along with the required Entry-Level Course Waiver Application Form, must be submitted by the deadline provided on the OASA website the summer before beginning the respective program in order for the waiver to be considered. 

Post-Professional Occupational therapy Program

Waivers for students in the post-professional occupational therapy doctoral program are not allowed.

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 in the Office of Academic Affairs:

  • which students are eligible to sit for a challenge examination
  • the format of the challenge examination
  • the minimum score necessary to pass the challenge examination (to be determined by each IOR)
  • the date by which challenge examination results will be available
  • individual student performance on the challenge examination.