Student Code of Conduct

Approved by Student Leadership Council (April 4, 2013) and Faculty (May 13, 2013)

Amended and approved, Student Leadership Council (September 29, 2021) and Faculty (November 15, 2021)

Amended as required by the Office of the Dean of Students and Approved by Executive Committee (December 8, 2022)

Article 1. Purpose, Definitions, and Scope

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

Article 2. The Affirmation of the Code of Conduct

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 Life2, 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.

Article 3. Student Responsibilities

Violations of the Code of Conduct include, but are not limited to the following (also see Appendix A: Examples of Violations):

  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.”3
  • 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
  • Differences in treatment are prohibited when based on race, creed, color, religion, national origin, age, sex, pregnancy (including childbirth and related conditions), disability, genetic information, status as a U.S. veteran, service in the U.S. military, sexual orientation, gender identity, or associational preferences.4
  • Complaints regarding discrimination will be managed by the University of Iowa’s Office of Institutional Equity.
  1. Inappropriate Use of Technology Resources
  • Students are required to use technology for educational and research pursuits in a manner consistent with University policy5, professional standards and ethics1, and applicable laws.
  • Manipulation of technology in violation of license agreements, for personal gain, or in furtherance of unethical behavior is a violation of the Code of Conduct.
  1. Educational Environment Civility
  • Any student who demonstrates a pattern of blatant disregard for the Standards of Professional Decorum (Appendix B) 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.1

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.

Section 1. Foundational Requirements

Quorum and Conflicts of Interest

Honor Council deliberations require a quorum.  A quorum is defined by seven student members of the Honor Council with at least one Honor Council member from each class present at the hearing. Hearings may be held by teleconference / videoconference to accommodate students who are not in Iowa City.

An Honor Council member will recuse themself from any hearing in which a real or perceived conflict of interest is known in advance or becomes apparent during proceedings. If a quorum is not met or maintained due to multiple conflicts of interest, the Honor Council will consult the Associate Dean of Student Affairs to appoint Honor Council alternates.


Confidentiality is the backbone of the Honor Council review and deliberation process. Confidentiality must be maintained during all investigations, proceedings, and actions of the honor council.  All participants in Honor Council investigation or proceedings will maintain confidentiality, whether they are members of the Honor Council or not.

In the case of a breach of confidentiality, a Code of Conduct complaint will be filed against the identified party/parties and processed accordingly.  A breach of confidentiality by any party, though extremely unfortunate, does not nullify its associated complaint or sanction.

There is no obligation to tell the accuser the outcome of the hearing.

Standard of Evidence

Consistent with the University of Iowa Code of Student Life, the standard of evidence used for cases regarding  the Code of Conduct  is a “preponderance of the evidence.” Explained more simply:

  • If it is determined that it is more likely than not that no violation occurred, the report will be dismissed.
  • If it is determined that it is more likely than not, that a violation occurred, a sanction will be imposed. 

Voting Requirements

A majority vote will suffice for all decisions with one exception: to “issue a finding of a violation” of the Code of Conduct requires two-thirds vote of the quorum. Thus, when seven members are present, five must vote to recommend that a student has committed a violation; when ten or eleven members are present, seven votes are required.

Section 2: Reporting a Violation

Any person (i.e., student, faculty, instructor, staff, or preceptor) can report a “complaint of a violation” (i.e., “complaint”) to any Honor Council member, the Associate Dean of Student Affairs, or the Associate Dean of Academic Affairs (“the Associate Deans”). All complaints will be submitted in writing to the Associate Deans and will include a description of the complaint and the names of the person(s) involved.  Frivolous, egregiously unsubstantiated, or harassing accusations may of themselves constitute Code of Conduct violations and subject the accuser to penalty.

To prevent frivolous reports and to ensure a complete investigation, the initial report cannot be made anonymously; however, a reporter’s identity will be protected whenever possible.  There is no “statute of limitations” on presenting a complaint; however, given the potential implications of sanctions, stakeholders are encouraged to make reports as soon as possible after becoming aware of a concern.

The Honor Council and the Associate Deans may also act in an advisory role by welcoming questions or concerns which will support the community of trust.

Section 3: Initial Assessment of the Complaint

When a complaint is received, the Associate Deans will:

1. review the complaint for validity and assess whether the complaint would appropriately fall within the expectations of the Code of Conduct

2. conduct research regarding the complaint including gathering related data, and meeting with the accused student and any other parties that may provide relevant information  

3. in cases where the complaint relates to academic work, the course coordinator will be informed of the concern and consulted for input

Section 4: Initial Review by Honor Council (i.e. First Meeting) If the complaint is deemed credible, the Associate Deans will present the findings to the Honor Council. 

The Honor Council will hear the allegation contained within the complaint, and the accused student’s position.  Anonymity of the accuser, the accused, and any related witnesses cannot be guaranteed, but will be maintained whenever possible.  Information from past cases will be reviewed and introduced to the Council when similar to the new accusation; this information may also serve as a potential resource in determining appropriate sanctions.

Using the Standard of Evidence as a guide, the Honor Council will then vote to either:

  1. Dismiss the complaint with no further action.
  2. Issue a “finding of a violation” and make recommendations for sanctions to the Associate Deans.  This applies in cases where the accused student has either admitted to the actions noted in the complaint or when they have waived their rights to a formal hearing in advance.
  3. Hold a formal hearing.

The accused student will be notified by the Associate Deans of the outcome and next steps following the First Meeting.

Section 5: Formal Hearings

If the Honor Council votes to “hold a formal hearing,” the accused student will be notified of the date and time of the Honor Council formal hearing. The date and time of the hearing shall not conflict with religious practices of the accused student. The accused student will have access to the written accusation and a copy of the procedures that will be followed during the hearing.

The Honor Council will review the allegation and evidence, including similar past offenses, and hear an accounting of the student’s position, directly from the accused student.  If the accused requests, the accused may bring witnesses who have factual knowledge to provide input to the Honor Council.  The accused may also have a support person or advisor, but they may not speak for or on behalf of the accused student.  At the accused’s expense, an attorney may accompany the accused to the hearing and serve in an advisory capacity only; the attorney may not speak for the student, question witnesses, or make legal arguments to the Honor Council. The Associate Deans will attend all hearings and may act in an advisory capacity to the Honor Council, but will not vote.

Any person invited to Honor Council proceedings by virtue of their presence is bound by the Honor Council confidentiality standards. The Honor Council reserves the right to hear the case in the absence of the accused if they fail to appear.

After the hearing, the Honor Council will vote to

  1. Dismiss the case; or
  2. Issue a “finding of a violation” and make a recommendation for sanctions to the Associate Deans.

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. Students dissatisfied with the outcome of the collegiate appeal process may ask the Office of the Provost to review the matter.6

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 6. Modifying the Code of Conduct

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

Appendix A: 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 may 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 promote inclusion, embrace diversity, and advocate for justice to advance health equity.

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.”2

Appendix B: 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:

  • 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.
  • Clothing must be neat, clean and free from offending odors.
  • 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.
  •  Hats or caps, unless worn for religious or medical purpose are not permitted.

2. Grooming/Personal Hygiene:

  • Student pharmacists must be physically clean, well groomed, and take steps to prevent and/or address odors such as body odor, tobacco smoke, etc.
  • Student pharmacists should avoid excessive use of fragrances and chemicals that may cause allergic or other adverse reactions.

3. Civility:

  • 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.

a. Electronic Device Use:

  • Electronic device use is permitted only if it pertains to classroom activity.
  • All personal electronic devices must be set to silent mode.
  • Electronic device for personal use is not allowed in PPLC or practice settings.
  • Personal electronic device use is distracting to others in the classroom and should be reserved for use outside the classroom.

b. Classroom Attendance:

  • Students should make every effort to attend all classes, arrive on time, and stay until dismissed by the instructor or professor.
  • Students are expected to arrive on time for professional commitments, such as events hosted by student organizations and health care screening events.
  • In the event of an emergency or illness, the student shall make every effort to promptly notify the professor, instructor, or preceptor.

4. Identification:

  • In certain settings pharmacists are required to always wear identification badges while in these settings. This includes PPLC. Site specific identification may be required.
  • 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.


  1. Oath of a Pharmacist.
  2. Code of Student Life. The University of Iowa. Accessed November 9, 2022.
  3. “Plagiarism”. Merriam-Webster, 2012. February 18, 2012.
  4. Operations Manual. The University of Iowa. Accessed on November 9, 2022.
  5. Operations Manual. The University of Iowa. Accessed on November 9, 2022.
  6. Student Bill of Rights. The University of Iowa. Accessed on November 9. 2022.