As the impact of COVID-19 (Novel Coronavirus) on operations at the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy continues to change, leadership at the School have put together answers for some of the most frequently asked questions below.
If you have a question about the impact of COVID-19 on faculty, staff, and students at the School of Pharmacy that is not listed below, please take a few minutes to submit your question through out COVID-19 questionnaire. Answers to all questions submitted through this questionnaire will be published on this webpage.
Use the links below to skip to the section of questions most relevant to your unique situation:
- Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD)
- Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) Students
- MS in Pharmaceutical Sciences (PSC)
- Faculty and Staff
- General Questions
Faculty, staff, and students are also encouraged to visit the University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB) COVID-19 website to review answers to additional frequently asked questions about the virus and its impact on the University.
In June, the University System of Maryland Board of Regents voted against a planned tuition increase for the 2020-2021 academic year. Because of the high value of a UMB degree, and the costs associated with providing a dynamic learning environment (even remotely) that makes progress toward that degree possible, the price of UMB tuition will not be reduced for the coming fall semester. In addition to the value and access to faculty and academic support it provides, tuition is — at its core — the price paid for credits taken and earned each semester. That part of campus life will not change. Given that some students may choose not to move to campus or will not be commuting for the coming semester, students will incur less cost. So the overall price paid by students and families will be less under remote learning. Tuition and fee schedules for Fall 2020 are being finalized by UMB and will be posted here.
All incoming PharmD students were awarded a scholarship upon admissions. Students can apply for additional scholarships in their second and fourth years. In addition, campus scholarships will be available in January.
Students will no longer be charged some of the fees normally expected—like room and board for residential students—or parking.
Students should speak to their specific program directors about deferment options.
Will we be obligated to fulfill our housing contract if we are an out-of-state student and signed with UMB housing?
Students who registered for housing licenses should have received information directly from UMB about their ability to cancel their housing given the virtual format of the fall semester. Visit this webpage for more information about student housing.
This decision needs to be made by each student, based on your individual situation. Students are encouraged to evaluate where it would be best to undergo your virtual learning.
The safety of all students is paramount. To this end, students will not be given access to Pharmacy Hall, with the exception of those PhD students who are permitted in research laboratories under UMB’s phased return to research. Students will be notified if study space is made available in other UMB buildings.
Yes, there will still be time in the academic schedule for student organizational events to be held virtually. In addition, student organizations will still have the opportunity to recruit members from incoming and current students, though these efforts will be conducted virtually.
No. Since all academic activities will be virtual for the fall, all student organizational events will also be held virtually.
UMB’s Student Health Center has re-opened by appointment only. Click here for information on UMB Student Health Center's hours, appointments, and more.
Yes, but there may be some adjustments in the deadlines given that access to vaccine resources might be limited. Visit the following webpages for information:
Yes, students can log back in to make a change.
Students who want to qualify for residency status must still meet in-state qualification requirements. Click here for more information about in-state qualification requirements.
Yes, parking is available with some limitation. garages on campus are open for various hours. Click here for up to date information about parking.
UMB continues to assess access to buildings as it moves through its recovery process. Visit the UMB COVID-19 Recovery Website for more information.
UMB is not closed, but is operating in a virtual learning environment for students and a telework environment for faculty and staff. Only essential employees with certain designations are permitted on campus and in campus buildings.
How will progression exams (pre-NAPLEX and Frequently Prescribed Medicines) be impacted by the decision for virtual delivery of didactic classes? Will these exams be administered on campus still or would they be given remotely?
Progression exams will be administered virtually.
Dean Eddington mentioned that abilities lab sessions may occur with a low volume of students. For those that plan to live out of state, I’m assuming that these sessions would not be mandatory and could be done over Zoom/Webex. Or that they would be such few sessions that one could plan in advance when to be in Baltimore (with respect to the two-week quarantine guidelines when traveling).
We are planning for a small number of in-person labs (should conditions allow), and significant advanced notice will be given to allow for traveling. The plan would be to offer sessions over a short, concentrated block of time in late spring.
Students who are unable to attend these sessions will need to submit an excused absence request. Please note that delayed completion of these activities and rotations may impact progression and delay graduation.
We have prioritized activities that cannot be completed virtually, so the majority of laboratories will remain virtual and will be held over a short, concentrated block of time in late spring.
We are providing sufficient notice for students to make plans to come to campus for the short period of time to meet requirements.
Students will not be required to move to campus. They can choose to make short term arrangements for labs and rotations.
There are activities we are aiming to hold in person that have no virtual alternative available and that are required for graduation.
The activities are required for graduation.
We are collaborating with campus on ensuring all policies and procedures are followed to protect the health and safety of everyone — students, instructors, and faculty. Physical distancing guidelines, including masks and other protective equipment, will be utilized as needed.
What should students who do not feel comfortable attending in-person activities do if they have preexisting conditions such as asthma or a compromised immune system?
Drs. Coop and Layson-Wolf will be hosting a Town Hall on Oct. 20 to discuss all aspects of the spring semester, and will be gathering feedback from students in formulating the plan for educational activities. The exact structure is still under development, but we want to reassure you that your health is of paramount importance to us.
Students who are unable to attend these sessions should submit an excused absence request. Please note that delayed completion of these activities and rotations may impact progression and delay graduation.
Some P4 students have virtual rotations and some have in-person rotations, at the discretion of the rotation site. If students get sick from in-person rotations, our health care and education are completely our own responsibility. We may even have to take a semester off (redoing a semester, amounting to increased tuition fees and student loans) or may not be considered for time-sensitive job application processes. More clarity, support, and options on this is needed.
The ability to accommodate learners remotely is site-specific and depends on many factors, including site resources and support structure. While some rotation objectives may be accomplished virtually, others may not be. ELP completes the UMB-endorsed COVID-19 site checklist prior to student placement at all sites in an effort to minimize the risk of exposure. Students were made aware of UMB expectations regarding site requirements. If students are concerned that a site is non-compliant with UMB’s recommendations, they should contact the ELP Office.
Given there is a plan for some in person activities for P1 students, we are working on the possibility of a white coat event in the spring during the time that students are on campus. No details have been finalized yet, but we will likely still be subject to public gathering limitations and physical distancing requirements.
I saw that a small number of low-density in-person activities such as Abilities Labs will be permitted for the Spring 2021 semester. A concern I have is knowing that there are fellow colleagues who go out to crowded places during the week/weekends. What safety precautions is the program planning to implement in order to keep us safe?
Students will need to follow UMB requirements for COVID-19 symptom reporting via SAFE and also will need to meet any UMB testing requirements in effect at the time. Students may also be required to have additional tests as required by the School of Pharmacy.
Graduate students should reach out to their respective graduate program directors to discuss effectively managing their dissertation research and graduate work remotely.
MS in PSC students will complete a virtual lab skills course in the fall for their Intro to Lab Research course.
If I am an international MS in PSC student and arrive in the U.S. before the end of the fall semester, can I attend class in person before the spring semester?
No. All MS in PSC students will complete fall coursework online. If an international student arrives in the U.S. before the end of the fall semester, they should still complete coursework virtually through the end of the semester.
No decision has been made yet about the delivery of academics for the Spring 2021 semester. Students will be notified as soon as possible when decisions have been made.
2020-2021 tuition and fees have not been published yet. As soon as these rates are available, students will be notified.
No. The MS in PSC does not have a spring start date. Requests for a one-year deferral to start in fall 2021 should be emailed directly to Kristina San Juan at firstname.lastname@example.org. Should the request be approved, a new offer letter will be sent and will require the student to accept immediately to secure a seat for fall 2021.
Will staff have the option to continue working remote indefinitely, even when campus fully reopens? Especially those of us who can their job remote with proven success.
This is a topic under discussion by the Human Resources committee of UMB’s Recovery Task Force. Any changes to UMB’s existing telework policy will be communicated to faculty and staff.
Members of my team will be traveling for vacation this summer. Our team is 100% remote. Do we need to alert anyone in particular of our travels and, if so, who?
Since this is annual leave under 100% telework circumstances, you don’t need to alert anyone on campus. However, if you need to come to campus upon returning from your trip, there may be a suggested quarantine period. Since Maryland is in Phase 2 of reopening, UMB is following the travel guidelines on the CDC website. This only applies if you are coming to campus.
Can you please confirm the capacity of HVAC systems to control the spread of virus throughout a building? For instance, the Saratoga building HVAC is ONE ZONE, so a symptomatic person working in one office without a mask could, theoretically, spread to the entire floor. Do these systems have HEPA filters which capture viruses? Do they have UV purification systems?
EHS and Facilities Management strictly adhere to all building codes for air quality. The HVAC system for the Maryland Poison Center is separate from the system for PHSR because they operate on different schedules. PHSR rooms and corridors constitute 17,399 square feet. The air handling unit (AHU) that services PHSR spaces provides approximately 30% recirculated air mixed with 70% outside air. This exceeds the building code. The air circulation across an exceptionally large area of 17,399 square feet serves to substantially attenuate droplet-borne viruses. The AHU HEPA filters are routinely changed. The ductwork is not treated with UV lighting.