Healthcare providers are held to the highest standard of ethical conduct and must possess exceptional character, honesty, and integrity. The Code of Conduct requires students of The University of Iowa College of Pharmacy to abide by the tenets of respect, honesty, integrity, and professionalism. A pharmacist is characterized in The Oath of a Pharmacist as devoting “a lifetime of service to others through the profession of pharmacy.” This oath demands a pharmacist hold themself and colleagues to “the highest principles of our profession’s moral, ethical, and legal conduct.”[1]

The purpose of the Code of Conduct is to:

  1. Establish a set of expectations to guide students’ academic behavior as they develop in their role as health care professionals.
  2. Promote awareness of moral, ethical, and legal conduct associated with the profession of pharmacy through proper education and a mutual understanding of expectations.
  3. Promote a community of trust and an environment conducive to learning.
  4. Instill lifelong principles of professionalism and a culture of academic integrity.

“Code of Conduct” is defined as the written document outlining the requirements of student conduct related to academic honesty and professional behavior. The Code of Conduct applies to students enrolled in the Doctor of Pharmacy Program.

“Honor Council” is defined as the student-led group responsible for administering the Code of Conduct. The Honor Council reports to the Associate Dean of Student Affairs and the Associate Dean of Academic Affairs (“the Associate Deans”) for Professional Education who will serve as the faculty advisors.

The Code of Conduct encompasses all work submitted for any academic credit while enrolled in the College of Pharmacy. Additionally, the Code of Conduct includes any activity where a student is representing the College of Pharmacy. The Code of Conduct is intended to supplement the University of Iowa’s Code of Student Life.[2]


At the beginning of each academic year, each student will be required to sign and date the following statement as a condition of enrollment in the College of Pharmacy:

“I affirm that I have read, understand, accept, and will uphold The University of Iowa College of Pharmacy’s Code of Conduct, The University of Iowa Code of Student Life[1], and the Oath of the Pharmacist. If I violate the Code of Conduct, I recognize that I may receive sanctions that could include dismissal from the College of Pharmacy.”

All signed affirmations will be kept on file by the Office of Professional Education. Annually, each class will be presented information regarding the importance of the Code of Conduct and the role of the Honor Council at the College of Pharmacy.

Instructors are encouraged to provide reminders stating the Code of Conduct is in effect. Specifically, stating this on exams and homework is recommended, but not required. Instructors should clearly indicate when collaboration or use of resources is permitted on an assignment/exam. When collaboration or use of resources is not mentioned, it is understood that the assignment/exam is done on an individual basis.


[1] Code of Student Life. The University of Iowa. Accessed Sept. 26, 2022.


Violations of the Code of Conduct include, but are not limited to:

  1. Cheating
    • Cheating is defined as not doing one’s own work on an academic exercise or otherwise gaining an unfair advantage over one’s peers.
    • Cheating is also defined as aiding or abetting another through willful collaboration when such collaboration has not been authorized.
  2. Plagiarism
  • Defined by Webster’s dictionary as “to steal and pass off words of another as one’s own; to use another’s production without crediting the source.”[1]
  • Violations can be either intentional or unintentional.
  • An unintentional violation can occur when a student is unaware of correct citation practices in the writing of a paper, project, or presentation. To avoid such unintentional plagiarism, students must familiarize themselves with the appropriate process for crediting sources.
  1. Falsification and Fabrication
  • Fabrication is consciously manufacturing or manipulating information in a false manner.
  • Falsification is willfully providing false, misleading, or incomplete information.
  1. Failing to Respect Confidentiality
  • Students will respect each patient’s privacy and dignity and will maintain all patient information, including patient identifiers, as confidential.
  • All Honor Council proceedings are strictly confidential. Any student who serves as an accuser or witness, or is an Honor Council member will not discuss any matters outside the Honor Council proceedings.
  1. Discrimination
      • There will be no differences in the treatment of persons because of race, creed, color, national origin, age, sex, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, or any other classification that deprives the person of consideration as an individual.[2]
      • Complaints regarding discrimination will be managed by the University of Iowa’s Office of Equal Opportunity and Diversity.
  2. Inappropriate Use of Technology Resources
      • Students should use technology consistent with values, behavioral standards, laws, ethics and University policy[3] in their educational and research pursuits.
      • Manipulation of technology in violation of license agreements, for personal gain, or in furtherance of questionable ethical behavior is a violation of the Code of Conduct.
  3. Educational Environment Civility
  • Any student who demonstrates a pattern of blatant disregard for the Standards of Professional Decorum is in violation of the Code of Conduct.
  1. Other Violations
  • Any behavior by a student that goes against the Oath of a Pharmacist could be considered a violation of the Code of Conduct. [4]

[1]Plagiarism”. Merriam-Webster, 2012. February 18, 2012.

[2] Operations Manual. The University Of Iowa. Accessed on April 25, 2013.

[3]   Operations Manual. The University of Iowa. Accessed on July 28, 2017

[4] The Oath of a Pharmacist. The American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy. Accessed on Sept. 26, 2022.

ARTICLE 4. Composition and Selection of the Honor Council

The Honor Council will consist of 12 student members. Each College of Pharmacy class will elect 3 representatives from their respective class.  Elections occur in accordance with annual class elections. Elections shall be planned and supervised by the Student Leadership Council.

To be eligible to serve on the Honor Council, a student must:

  1. be enrolled in the College of Pharmacy for the class they are representing,
  2. be in good academic standing; and
  3. have no previous violations of the Code of Conduct.

The term of first-, second-, and third-year student members of the Honor Council shall be one year from September 1 to August 31 and may be renewed by re-election.  The term of office for fourth year pharmacy students will be from September 1 until graduation.  If an Honor Council meeting is required between graduation and August 31, newly elected members may be appointed by the Associate Dean of Student Affairs earlier, to take the place of recent graduate members.

The Associate Deans will serve as ex-officio, non-voting members of the Honor Council and serve in advisory role.  At the first meeting of the term, the members of the Honor Council will elect a student to serve as chairperson and one as vice-chairperson for the Honor Council. The chairperson will preside at the meeting. If the chairperson is unable to preside, the vice-chairperson will preside at the meeting.


ARTICLE 5. Administration of the Code of Conduct

Students, faculty, and staff are integral components of the Code of Conduct and should work together to promote a community of trust. The Code of Conduct is administered by the Honor Council.

Article 6. Sanctions

When a “finding of a violation” occurs, the Honor Council will recommend sanctions to the Associate Deans. Sanction recommendations will be made on a case-by-case basis.  Examples of sanctions that can be recommended to the Associate Deans include, but are not limited to:

  1. Written or verbal warning
  2. Task participation (e.g., writing a letter of apology, reflection essays)
  3. Loss of privileges (e.g., stepping down from leadership position)
  4. Grade adjustment (e.g., receiving a zero for an examination or assignment)
  5. Skill remediation (e.g., attending courses at the writing center)
  6. Re-complete the assignment
  7. Take a course on academic integrity
  8. Probation for a specified duration – noted on the student’s record such that if a second violation occurs within a specified time period the penalty will be more severe
  9. Suspension from the College of Pharmacy
  10. Dismissal from the College of Pharmacy

The Associate Deans will confer to review the recommendation, seek confidential input and guidance from collegiate or university resources as needed, and make a final decision regarding the sanction.  If a sanction involves any aspect of grading or assessment of performance in a course, the course coordinator will be consulted.  If a sanction results in a failing grade in a course or places the student in jeopardy of academic probation, the chair of the Student Success and Progression Committee will be notified. The student will be notified of the outcome.

Appeals Process

Students have the right to appeal the decisions made by the Honor Council directly to the Dean of the College of Pharmacy who will form the ad hoc Appeals Committee. Appeals must be in writing and must be based on any of the following:

  1. new relevant facts
  2. a claim of inadequate consideration of specific information by the committee
  3. a claim that the committee did not follow appropriate procedures
  4. a claim that the committee’s action was unduly severe

If a student wishes to appeal, they must do so within 10 business days of their notification of the decision. The Appeals committee will be an ad hoc committee appointed by the Dean to review and render a binding decision on the student’s appeal. The committee will meet and deliberate for this specific purpose and make a final decision within 10 business days. The committee will be comprised of three faculty members, with at least one from the clinical-track at the rank of associate professor or higher and at least one member a tenured, tenure track faculty member. The committee may not include the Associate Deans. However, the Associate Deans will attend the Appeals Committee meeting and present the information used by the Honor Council in making their recommendation. The Appeals Committee’s decision is final.

Article 7.  Reporting

Past Cases

Records will be documented and stored separately from the student’s official record in a confidential manner. Direct access to these files will be limited to the Associate Deans. An individual student will have access to their record, if requested.

The Office of Professional Education will follow the policy on Reporting Information to State Boards of Pharmacy when asked to provide student specific information related to investigations and violations of the Code of Conduct.

Reporting of Honor Council Activities

Due to the confidentiality of all Honor Council proceedings, the College of Pharmacy community is unaware of any activity unless specifically involved in the hearing. To promote awareness of the Code of Conduct and the Honor Council, de-identified data will be presented on an annual basis to faculty and students. This report will include the number of complaints, number of hearings, verdicts and sanctions imposed. No names will be used in this report.

Article 8. Modifying the Code of Conduct

Any changes in the Code of Conduct will require majority approval by the Student Leadership Council.

Examples of Code of Conduct Violations


Examples can include, but are not limited to:

  • Taking an exam/completing an assignment for someone or having someone do so for you.
  • Copying from another student’s examination;
  • Allowing another student to copy from their examination;
  • Utilizing unauthorized materials during an examination or assignment such as writing on one’s hand, computer, or desk, use of formula sheets, or access of electronic resources;
  • Collaborating on any assignment or exam which requires independent work;
  • Writing a paper or completing an assignment for another person;
  • Sharing exam questions or answers or providing guidance regarding specifically covered content with another student before a make-up exam;
  • Taking, acquiring, distributing, or using test materials by any means including photographing/copying, voice recording, or intentional compilation from memory without faculty permission.
  • Communicating regarding examination content during emergency evacuation or other delay in resuming exam

“Test Banks” (i.e. files of old exams) can be a useful study aid, but should comply with the following standards in order to not be considered cheating:

  • A “test bank” cannot be restricted to only students in one particular organization and must be available to any student in the class.
  • If an instructor or professor gives permission, then an exam can be housed in a “test bank.” For example, if an instructor or professor gives an exam back to the student to keep, then the exam can be kept in a “test bank” as a future study aid.

Appearance of Cheating- Students should be cautious of behaviors that give the appearance of cheating, such as:

  • Looking at another student’s examination (wandering eyes)
  • Repeatedly looking down into lap or another area where unauthorized resources may be concealed
  • Failure to make reasonable efforts to protect one’s own work from view by others
  • Appearing to hide view of materials and surroundings from the view of the proctor
  • Talking during the examination period
  • Accessing a cellphone or other communication device
  • Intentionally failing to follow proctor instructions and requests

Inappropriate Use of Technology Resources

Examples can include, but are not limited to:

  • Attempting to disable or tamper with the security features of electronic testing software
  • Sharing exam password(s)
  • Reverse engineering exam encryption or attempting to do so
  • Accessing other materials aside from the exam itself during examination
  • Hacking/attempting to hack secure IT systems or software for any reason.

Falsification and Fabrication

Examples can include, but are not limited to:

  • Falsification of clinical information, academic records, attendance reports, assignments, health records, or admissions information;
  • Taking an examination for another student;
  • Manufacturing data to support research;
  • Forging signatures;
  • Making a false accusation against a student to the Honor Council

Failing to Respect Confidentiality

Examples can include, but are not limited to:

  • Knowingly releasing confidential information;
  • Accessing patient records without justification;
  • Sharing confidential practice site information.

Educational Environment Civility

Any behavior by a student that goes against the Oath of a Pharmacist could be considered a violation of the Code of Conduct. The Oath of a Pharmacist reads:

“I promise to devote myself to a lifetime of service to others through the profession of pharmacy. In fulfilling this vow:

• I will consider the welfare of humanity and relief of suffering my primary concerns.

• I will apply my knowledge, experience, and skills to the best of my ability to assure optimal outcomes for my patients.

• I will respect and protect all personal and health information entrusted to me.

• I will accept the lifelong obligation to improve my professional knowledge and competence.

• I will hold myself and my colleagues to the highest principles of our profession’s moral, ethical and legal conduct.

• I will embrace and advocate changes that improve patient care.

• I will utilize my knowledge, skills, experiences, and values to prepare the next generation of pharmacists.

I take these vows voluntarily with the full realization of the responsibility with which I am entrusted by the public.”[1]


[1] The Oath of a Pharmacist. The American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy.  Accessed on Sept. 26, 2022

Standards of Professional Decorum

In all environments, student pharmacists must convey a professional presence which is portrayed in the way they dress or carry themselves. This professional presence should instill confidence and trust with patients, healthcare colleagues, faculty and other students. Certain standards should be upheld in the classroom, lab and professional practice experiences in order to facilitate professional behaviors and professional socialization.

The following standards for attire apply to all students enrolled in The University of Iowa College of Pharmacy Doctor of Pharmacy program.

*In the event of a discrepancy between these standards and a course manual or syllabus, the latter shall supersede this standard.


Standards apply when one is represented as a University of Iowa Student Pharmacist. This includes in the Classroom, in Pharmacy Practice Learning Center (PPLC), and during participation in Pharmacy Practice Experiences, Patient Care Settings and Public interactions.

  1. Attire:
    1. Professional dress including a clean, pressed lab coat is required in most professional settings such as Advance Pharmacy Practice Experience (APPE), Introductory Pharmacy Practice Experience (IPPE), and PPLC settings.
    2. Clothing must be neat, clean and free from offending odors.
    3. Certain APPE, IPPE, PPLC, or public activities may require additional dress standards, such as wearing protective uniforms or scrubs, or wearing specific College of Pharmacy attire.
    4.  Hats or caps, unless worn for religious or medical purpose are not permitted.
  2. Grooming/Personal Hygiene:
    1. Student pharmacists must be physically clean, well groomed, and take steps to prevent and/or address odors such as body odor, tobacco smoke, etc.
    2. Student pharmacists should avoid excessive use of fragrances and chemicals that may cause allergic or other adverse reactions.
  3. Civility:
    1. The professional program is designed for learning and interaction with classmates, instructors, and faculty. Students should always refrain from any disruptive behavior in any class or professional setting.
    2. Electronic Device Use:
      1. Electronic device use is permitted only if it pertains to classroom activity.
      2. All personal electronic devices must be set to silent mode.
      3. Electronic device for personal use is not allowed in PPLC or practice settings.
      4. Personal electronic device use is distracting to others in the classroom and should be reserved for use outside the classroom.
    3. Classroom Attendance:
      1. Students should make every effort to attend all classes, arrive on time, and stay until dismissed by the instructor or professor.
      2. Students are expected to arrive on time for professional commitments, such as events hosted by student organizations and health care screening events.
      3. In the event of an emergency or illness, the student shall make every effort to promptly notify the professor, instructor, or preceptor.
  4. Identification:
    1. In certain settings pharmacists are required to always wear identification badges while in these settings. This includes PPLC. Site specific identification may be required.
    2. The ID badge must be worn above the waist. Pins and awards are to be attached to clothing or a lanyard, not the ID badge.
  5.  Further specific standards for Decorum and Conduct may be defined for Professional settings.

Enforcement of Standards:

1) The Standards of Decorum are intended to be self-regulated.

2) Students in violation of the above standards may be dismissed from classes, PPLC or practice sites and requested to comply with the standards set forth in this document.

3) A pattern of blatant violation of any of the above standards constitutes a Code of Conduct violation and may result in disciplinary action.

Approved by a vote of the Student Leadership Council on April 4, 2013

Approved by a vote of the Faculty on May 13, 2013

Examples of appropriate and inappropriate attire

Examples of dressy casual styled clothing includes, but is not limited to: “a collared shirt, cotton trousers, skirt or casual dress, blazer or casual jacket, turtlenecks and mock turtlenecks, denim trousers in good condition (e.g. not “ragged” blue jeans). Examples of Items not considered as dressy casual dress:

  • Hats or caps, unless worn for religious or medical purpose;
  • Shirts or other apparel with images, wording or logos that may be perceived as offensive to patients or others;
  • Mini-skirts or mini-shorts;
  • Revealing clothes of any kind, such as tank tops, halter tops, low-cut neck-line, bare-midriff, see-through, or excessively tight shirts or low-cut waist-line pants;
  • Any clothing that could be perceived as sexually provocative to a reasonable person.

Professional styled clothing is required in the pharmacy practice lab, pharmacy practice settings and public interactions. Examples include: dresses or skirts of appropriate length, non-denim tailored slacks, appropriate shirt or blouse, collared dress shirt with necktie, professional styled footwear. Denim jean pants in colors other than blue are acceptable if they are clean, and in good condition with no holes, ragged hems, or patches. Examples of Items not permitted as professional dress:

  • Hats or caps, unless worn for religious or medical purpose;
  • Shirts or other apparel with images, wording or logos that may be perceived as offensive to patients or others;
  • Mini-skirts or mini-shorts and in most settings, shorts;
  • Blue jeans are not permitted in practice experience settings;
  • Exercise or workout clothing such as, sweatpants, sweatshirts, T-shirts with large or inappropriate logos, spandex;
  • Revealing clothes of any kind, such as tank tops, halter tops, low-cut neck-line, bare-midriff, see-through, or excessively tight shirts or low-cut waist-linepants;
  • Any clothing that could be perceived as sexually provocative to a reasonable person;
  • Slippers and open-toed footwear including sandals and flip-flops.