Policy/Procedure on Drug Screening for Applicants to the Doctor of Pharmacy

LIU Pharmacy will conduct drug screening on all applicants for admission to the Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D.) professional program. The rationale for required drug screening is multifaceted and includes the following:

  • The safety and well being of patients – student pharmacists and pharmacists are responsible for the safety and welfare of patients and learn/work in settings that require the exercise of good judgment and ethical behavior. Thus, an assessment of an applicant’s suitability to function in such a setting is imperative to promote the highest level of integrity in health care services.
  • Accreditation standards – many hospitals and other “clinical” sites are required by accrediting agencies such as Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO) to undertake drug screening on individuals who provide services within the facility especially those who are directly involved in providing patient care and treatment. To facilitate this requirement, educational institutions have agreed to conduct drug screening for students.
  • Educational issues - pharmacy practice experiences are a required component of the pharmacy curriculum. Students who cannot participate in these experiences due to undesirable findings that are revealed in a drug screening may be unable to fulfill the requirements of the Doctor of Pharmacy program.
  • Licensure issues - many health care licensing agencies require individuals to pass a drug screen as a condition of licensure or employment. Applicants should be aware that undesirable findings identified in a drug screen could restrict one’s ability to obtain professional state licensure.
  • Contractual obligations – the College is obligated to meet the requirements contained in the affiliation agreements between the various practice sites and the University.

College Disclaimer

The LIU College of Pharmacy Criminal Background Check and Drug Screen process does not guarantee the safety of students, patients, faculty, or staff. In addition, an acceptable criminal background check and drug screen, as defined by the school, state, or experiential site; does not guarantee the student will be eligible to complete the program or obtain a license to practice pharmacy upon graduation.

Fair Credit Reporting Act

If an employer hires an outside individual or firm to conduct a criminal background check and drug screen, the employer is subject to the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). Although FCRA does not explicitly include educational institutions, the applicability to colleges and schools of pharmacy may depend on legal interpretation and circumstances. A link to an individual’s rights under the federal Fair Credit Report Act (FCRA) 15 U.S.C. § 1681 et seq. A copy of the FCRA is available online at

Please note that the LIU Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D.) program requires that students complete experiential learning activities at facilities external to the University. Many of the sites used for experiential learning require students to meet certain prerequisites, in addition to showing proof of immunizations, such as criminal background checks and drug screening.

A positive criminal history and/or positive drug screen may disqualify you from completing the required experiential learning at sites external to the University and may prevent you from completing the Pharm.D. program.  Should a student fail a check, clearance, and/or drug screen, the College of Pharmacy cannot guarantee that it will be able to place the student at another entity for the requisite field education, thereby affecting the student’s likelihood of graduating on-schedule from the pharmacy program.

Additionally, in order to become licensed as a pharmacist, many states will inquire as to whether the applicant has been convicted of any misdemeanor, any felony, or any felonious or illegal act associated with alcohol and/or substance abuse.  A criminal history as described above may delay or prevent licensure.


LIU Pharmacy
Arash T. Dabestani