Policy: It is the policy of this QA/RA Program that, except under extraordinary circumstances, course prerequisites can not be waived nor can the sequence of required courses be set aside.
Background: The Program has been designed to grant a degree that is recognized by the faculty, administration, pharmaceutical industry, and individual students to be based upon specific training and learning in a curriculum that is defined both by a required set of courses and an overall group of elective courses. In effect, the granting of the Masterís Degree and of related certificates is a statement by Temple University that the student has demonstrated facility and learning in these disciplines and requisite coursework under the Universityís aegis. This learning is challenged in a variety of ways in the courses, i.e. exams, papers, presentations, etc. Thus, there are objective means to evaluate the studentís abilities in a given discipline within the context of an academic course. To allow non-academic substitution would dilute the academic meaning of the degree.
Although many students come to the Program with a variety of experience and training in some of the areas of coverage of the Program, there is no independent means of assessing the relative value of any of these backgrounds towards the granting of the Masterís Degree in QA/RA. Allowing substitutions could create an administrative log-jam every semester of students petitioning the Program for exceptions to the prerequisite requirements. To make such an activity rational and fair would require some faculty and/or administration to review such requests on a case-by-case basis. The criteria for such individual reviews would be quite difficult to establish and furthermore would be, in all likelihood, impossible to verify. The work equivalent of a 3-credit course in a given area is not definable because professional work of a kind varies from one company to another. Coursework to support the pursuit of a certificate or a degree is defined, and so is the demonstration of a studentís ability.