Frequently Asked Questions

The Quality Assurance/Regulatory Affairs graduate program was created by Temple University’s School of Pharmacy to meet the educational needs of professionals in the highly regulated pharmaceutical industry. Its curriculum addresses the career requirements of entry, associate, and mid-level managers in the pharmaceutical and related industries by integrating the disciplines of pharmaceutical law and regulation, pharmaceutical sciences and technology, and quality assurance.

Some of the most commonly asked questions about our program are listed below. Click on any of the links to explore the related areas in which you’re interested.

Getting Started | Graduate School Policies | Graduation Questions | The Application Process

Getting Started

When can I start taking courses?
Courses in the QA/RA program are offered at Temple University Fort Washington and in a "real-time" online format (Adobe Connect) during the fall, spring, and summer sessions every year. New students are welcome to take any offering which does not have a prerequisite.
Courses are offered at Frazer during the fall and spring.

What course sequence is recommended?
While there is no prescribed course of study for the QA/RA program, it is strongly recommended that new students start by taking Food and Drug Law I (Pharmaceutics 5592) or Drug Development (Pharmaceutics 5459). These courses serve as the foundation of knowledge for the program and will help students understand the issues, terminology, and topics covered in other courses.

How do I register for my first course?

If you are registering for the first time with Temple, you must submit a registration AND state residency fom. Download these forms at Registration and fax them to the QA/RA Office.  Sorry, but we cannot process your registration without the residency form.   We encourage you to register as soon as possible, since our classes do fill quickly. We will contact you immediately if there are problems with your registration.

How many courses should I register for?
Since most QA/RA students are professionals working full-time in the pharmaceutical industry, we strongly urge you to start the program with just one course. After you have gotten used to returning to school, you may wish to increase your course load to two classes per semester.

Is the entire QA/RA program offered at Temple University Fort Washington?
Yes. The QA/RA program is offered in its entirety at Temple University Fort Washington.
It is also offered in its entirety through an interactive online format in real-time known as Adobe Connect.

When are most courses offered?
Fall and spring courses are offered one night per week over 10 or twelve weeks. Typically our classes start after 5:00 pm. We offer Saturday and Sunday classes as well. Usually these courses run all day (8:30 am to 5:00 pm) on five or six Saturdays or Sundays during the semester. Our weekend offerings accommodate students who travel extensively as well as those who live out of state.

Is it possible to complete the entire QA/RA program on weekends?
Yes. The entire program for the M.S. in QA/RA is offered on weekends.

Are courses offered during the summer?
Absolutely. Our summer sessions begin in May and run through mid-August. Classes meet twice a week for six weeks, once a week for ten or twelve weeks, or over five or six weekends.

How may I obtain more information about the QA/RA program?
We strongly encourage new students to attend one of our Open Houses held throughout the year. During these events we hold short information sessions and have faculty give sample lectures and answer questions about careers in the pharmaceutical industry. Advisers are present to review your record, help you select courses, and answer other concerns you may have. Members of the Temple administration also make periodic site visits to area pharmaceutical companies to give presentations about the program. To receive an invitation to our next Open House, please email qara@temple.edu or call the general number at 267.468.8560. To schedule a site visit to your company, please e-mail Ms. Wendy Lebing, Assistant Dean, at QARA@temple.edu

How many courses may I take before I matriculate into the program?
No more than three courses (or 9 credits) should be taken before you apply for admission to the QA/RA program. If you have started the application process and we have received sufficient materials to evaluate your academic record, you may take one more course as a non-matriculant while you await an official decision by the Graduate Studies Office. Only completed applications will be given consideration. Please start the application process as soon as you can commit yourself to earning your graduate degree.

How much is tuition?
Please browse TUITION for current information on tuition.

Will Temple University bill my company directly for the courses I take?
Third party payments are acceptable. An approved letter/contract authorizing Temple University to bill the third party must be presented to the cashier, Office of Financial Services, Temple University Ambler, by the due date of the bill. Sorry, but we cannot make arrangements for this service through phone-in registration.

Graduate School Policies

Once I’ve been formally admitted into the QA/RA program, are there any policies I need to be aware of?
Yes, as the QA/RA program is part of Temple’s Graduate School, matriculated students are expected to meet certain standards of scholarship. These include:

·         Any credits approved for transfer into our program must be of no less than "B" quality. This includes any graduate work completed at Temple University prior to matriculation as well as any other institutions;

·         A cumulative grade point average of at least 3.0 is required for graduation;

·         Failure to maintain reasonable academic progress is grounds for dismissal;

·         No more than two grades of less than "B-" quality may be earned in any graduate program;

·         Not more than one grade of "F" may be earned;

·         Candidates may not graduate with any incompletes ("I") on their records. Any “I” is automatically converted into an “F” if the course work is not completed within one year.

Temple University publishes a list of current academic policies each semester.

Graduation Questions

How much time does it take to complete the degree?
Most students take about three years to complete the program. Generally they start with one course a semester and then accelerate their program of study by taking two courses a semester or taking coursework in the summer. Once you have formally applied to the program, you are expected to complete it within five years.

What if I can’t complete the program in five years?
We realize that sometimes personal and/or business commitments prevent students from completing the program in five years. If you cannot register for a course for any reason and you are approaching the time limit for completing your degree, you may apply for an extension of time. The Graduate School will honor reasonable requests for extensions. The reason for this policy is that the University wishes to ensure that students’ learning experiences and degrees are not antiquated by the time they graduate.   

Are there any special procedures for graduation?
As you complete all your coursework in the QA/RA program, please be aware that there are several University procedures you must follow to graduate.

First, you should call the Graduate Studies Office at the School of Pharmacy to conduct a review of your transcript, making sure you have successfully completed all the required courses and semester hours of the program. It’s strongly suggested you complete your transcript review at least two semesters before you graduate; that way, if you are missing any requirements, you can schedule them in time to complete your degree.

During the semester you intend to graduate, you must complete an "Application for Degree" which is available through Self-Service Banner.

Is the M.S. in QA/RA a terminal degree?
Many graduates have expressed interest in continuing their education after they’ve received the MS degree. While the MS in QA/RA still remains a terminal degree, we’ve developed advanced certificates in both quality assurance and regulatory affairs.

To receive an application for this program, please call 267.468.8560.

The Master of Science Application Process

When should I apply?
As soon as possible! You may take up to three courses (9 credits) in the program as a non-matriculated student; however, if you know you plan to apply for admission to the QA/RA program, we strongly encourage you to do so as soon as possible.

Is there a deadline for applying for admission?
Yes, please refer to the Applying link for the deadlines for each semester. Your application cannot be reviewed until all of the required materials are received. Sorry, but your application will not be considered if any items are missing. It is a good idea to start the application process at least two months before you hope to be accepted.

How do I obtain an application packet?
Please refer to procedures on the Applying link, which has detailed information.

What type of undergraduate background is needed to pursue the MS in QA/RA?
We seek students with undergraduate degrees in the sciences or engineering. However, students with other academic backgrounds have done well in the program including liberal arts, business, computer science, and various health field.

The Admissions Committee of the Graduate Studies Office considers all aspects of your application, including the strength of your academic record, your position and length of service in the pharmaceutical industry or regulatory agency, your letters of recommendation, and so forth. Please be aware that admission to the program is highly competitive, so all aspects of your application will be reviewed.

I’ve taken three Quality Assurance/Regulatory Affairs courses as a non-matriculated student and received excellent grades. Does this guarantee my admission to the Graduate School?
Your excellent work in Quality Assurance/Regulatory Affairs courses will certainly be considered, but please be aware that all facets of your application are subject to review including your letters of recommendation, previous academic records, and your involvement in the pharmaceutical field.

What area of the pharmaceutical industry do most QA/RA students work in?
Our students come from all areas of the pharmaceutical industry including quality assurance, regulatory affairs, research and development, quality control, manufacturing, clinical research, medical affairs, and marketing and sales.  Many students also come from related industries, such as healthcare.

I have completed graduate work at another university; will I receive any credit for those courses towards the QA/RA degree?
Because our program is unique, credits from other institutions are rarely applicable. However, if you believe that previous coursework should exempt you from a QA/RA requirement, you must inform the Admissions Committee of the Graduate Studies Office during your application process. As the Committee reviews your credentials, it will also consider your request to waive program requirements. A maximum of 6 credits will be transferred from another institution or Temple program.

Does it matter who writes the letters of recommendation for me?
The letters of recommendation are an important component of the application process. A letter from your direct supervisor which indicates that he/she supports your candidacy in the program is strongly suggested. Letters from former professors, including those from Temple's QA/RA program, are also appropriate.

How do I know if Temple’s Graduate School received all of my materials?
It is your responsibility to make sure that all materials have been received by the Graduate School. Please call Jean Leavitt in the QA/RA Office at 267.468.8560 before the deadline to see that all of your materials have arrived.

I have a copy of my transcript from college. May I simply make a copy of that and submit it with my application?
Sorry, but the Graduate School requires official transcripts from all colleges and universities you’ve attended. Such documents usually include the official seal of an institution. Generally you have to request them from the Registrar’s office of the schools you’ve attended. In most cases there is a small fee involved for sending official transcripts.

Do I have to submit an official transcript for courses I’ve taken from Temple?
Yes. Whether you’ve simply taken one course as a non-matriculated student or completed an entire program of study at Temple University, you must still submit an official transcript for all of your Temple work. Transcripts must be ordered from the National Student Clearinghouse. There is a modest fee for this.