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The Pharmacy Technology program has developed these departmental policies and procedures to assure that all classes are handled according to the same guidelines.  Please read the guidelines carefully.  When you enroll in the Pharmacy Technology program, you will receive a copy of these guidelines via blackboard.  Your signatures are required to indicate your understanding of the guidelines and your willingness to follow them while enrolled in any Pharmacy Technology class.

If you have questions regarding the guidelines, please ask your instructor or the department chairperson for clarification.   Consult the Santa Ana College catalog for complete information on college policies and procedures.  Consult the Santa Ana College class schedule for current course offerings.

(Courtesy, cell phones/pagers, food/drink, classroom computers, electronic recording)



There are no prerequisites to entering the Pharmacy Technology program.  However, good verbal English skills and good basic math skills are necessary for success.  Students should honestly evaluate their readiness in these areas.  English as a Second Language (ESL) courses are available at SAC.  SAC also offers Basic Math (Math N05) and Essential Math (Math N06) for students who need a math refresher. 


Santa Ana College (SAC) offers courses that lead to a Basic Certificate (SAC 2790), an Advanced Certificate (SAC 2971), or an associate degree (SAC 0555) in Pharmacy Technology.  The major courses include: 

PHAR 048Intro to Pharmacy Technology2Fall & Spring: AM & PM
 & Hybrid (Summer: PM only)
PHAR 051Body Systems I3.5Spring: AM & PM & Hybrid
(Summer: PM only)
PHAR 052Body Systems II3.5Fall: AM & PM  & Hybrid 
PHAR 054Pharmacy Calculations2Fall & Spring: AM & PM
 & Hybrid (Summer: PM only)
PHAR 056Pharmacy Operations4.5Fall (PM )    Spring ( AM)
PHAR 057 Inpatient Pharmacy Services1.5Spring (AM)
Fall (PM)
PHAR 060Sterile Products4.5Fall (AM)
Spring (PM)
PHAR- L Skills Lab (required for Advanced Certificate, recommended for Basic Certificate)0.5Year Round - arranged
PHAR 072 Externship4Year Round - arranged


The Basic Certificate requires completion of PHAR 048, 051, 052, 054, 056, and the outpatient rotation (1 unit) of PHAR 072.  Note that the PHAR 061 Skills Lab course is not required.  However, students are strongly encouraged to enroll in PHAR 061 concurrently with PHAR 056 and PHAR 072.

The Advanced Certificate requires completion of all of the Basic Certificate courses, plus PHAR 057, PHAR 060, and the inpatient and sterile products rotations (3 units) of PHAR 072.  Note that 0.5 unit of the PHAR 061 Skills Lab course is required.  However, students are strongly encouraged to enroll in PHAR 061 concurrently with PHAR 057, PHAR 060, and PHAR 072. Completion of the Advanced Certificate or degree program is highly recommended for students who plan to work in a hospital or home infusion pharmacy. 

The Pharmacy Technology associate degree option requires completion of all of the Advanced Certificate courses, plus general education courses.  Note: students who already have Bachelor or Associate degrees are automatically qualified for the A.S. degrees in Pharmacy Technology upon completion of the Advanced Certificates.

The Advanced Certificate and associate degree options are accredited by the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP).

See the college catalog for complete descriptions of each course and for a list of recommended electives.

NOTE:  Although the college allows students to take some courses on a CREDIT / NO CREDIT basis, all academic Pharmacy Technology courses must be taken for a letter grade.  Grades of CREDIT cannot be used to satisfy the major requirements for a Pharmacy Technology certificate or degree.  


The Pharmacy Technology Skills Lab (PHAR 056L, PHAR 060L, PHAR 057L, PHAR 072L, PHAR 084L)) is a course designed to allow additional hands-on practice for students enrolled in Pharmacy Operations, Inpatient Pharmacy Services, Sterile Products, Externship, or Sterile Products Review.  Lab activities cannot be completed during the Skills Lab.  Skills Lab activities do not earn class points.

Students are strongly encouraged to enroll and attend.  One-half (0.5) unit of credit will be awarded for attendance in at least 16 hours of Skills Lab during a semester.  Attendance is recorded by sign-in/sign-out. 0.5 unit is required for the Advanced Certificate.



To enroll in the courses listed below, you must meet the following prerequisites:
PHAR 056 (Pharmacy Operations):   
Completion of    
      PHAR 048  and  PHAR 051 or  052 and PHAR 054 and typing proficiency
PHAR 057 (Inpatient Pharmacy Services):   
Completion of    
      PHAR 048  and  PHAR 051 or  052 and PHAR 054 and typing proficiency
PHAR 060 (Sterile Products):  
Completion of    
      PHAR 048 and  PHAR 051 or  052 and PHAR 054 and typing proficiency
PHAR 072 (Externship) is done at the end of the Pharmacy Technology program. 
Completion of   
      PHAR 056  and PHAR 057  and/or  PHAR 060  and  
       completion of the Speech Communications prerequisite and  
       current TB clearance  and  
       documentation of typing proficiency  and  
       passing score on the Trade-Generic Equivalents test .  
(NOTE:  Students must complete the related lab course prior to placement in each rotation. Students who earn NP grades are required to repeat the rotation hours.)
Students who do not meet all of the prerequisites for a course will be dropped by the instructor at the first class meeting.
Completion of a course means that you have passed that course with a grade of “C” or better  or   that you have successfully passed a credit by examination (if available) for the course.
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The Pharmacy Technology program is designed for part-time students.  Because of the course sequencing, students will generally enroll in no more than 7 units of Pharmacy Technology major courses per semester.
Classes are offered in the daytime and the evening.  Most students are on campus just two or three days per week.  Hybrid (partially on-line) sections may be offered for some of the entry-level courses.  See the current Schedule of Classes for specific information on when courses are being offered.  Not all classes are offered at all times every semester.  The usual scheduling is shown in the Major Courses section above.
New students may enroll beginning in either the Fall or the Spring semester.   When possible, entry-level courses are also offered during the summer.  Only Externships is offered during Intersession.
Students have flexibility in scheduling their coursework.  A typical first-semester schedule would include PHAR 048, 054, and either 051 or 052.    However, each course may be taken separately.  Students who have heavy work schedules or family obligations may want to take only one or two classes each semester to allow adequate time for studying.
The Basic Certificate option may be completed in as little as one year, depending on start date and scheduling.  Students should plan on one or two additional semesters to complete the Advanced Certificate.
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SAC offers a Credit by Examination (Challenge Exam) procedure for students who have previous knowledge of specific course material.   Challenge exams are not designed to provide an option for self-teaching.  The program does not provide study guides for challenge exams, although a copy of the course overview is available.  
The following courses can be challenged using the Credit by Examination procedure: 
PHAR 048            Introduction to Pharmacy Technology
PHAR 051            Body Systems I                                            
PHAR 052            Body Systems II                                          
PHAR 054            Pharmacy Calculations 
Note that you cannot challenge PHAR 056 (Pharmacy Operations), PHAR 057 (Inpatient Pharmacy Services), or PHAR 060 (Sterile Products).   These three courses, as well as PHAR 072 (Externship), must be completed at SAC.  
Challenge exams consist of both written and verbal questions.   Students who score a minimum of 75% on the challenge exam will receive a grade of CREDIT for that course.   Successfully passing a challenge exam earns units of credit.  However, it does not provide hours toward the total needed for Board of Pharmacy licensure.  If you choose to bypass  course(s) using the Challenge Exam procedure, be sure that the remaining courses will provide at least 240 hours of training.
Students attempting to bypass a prerequisite must complete the challenge exam as early as possible to allow them to enroll in the appropriate class.  If classes are already full, there is no guarantee that space can be made for a student attempting to enter through the challenge procedure. 
To begin the credit by examination procedure, fill out the form available in the Administration Building and take the completed form to the Admissions Office.  The fee for each challenge exam is the same as the tuition for that course.  The fee must be paid before the exam is taken and is not refundable.  Each challenge exam may be taken only once. 
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Students who complete the required courses are eligible to receive either a Basic Certificate or an Advanced Certificate from SAC.   You must file a “Certificate of Completion” Petition  form by the 8th week of the semester in which you plan to finish your certificate curriculum (including externship).
Students who have completed the general education requirements in addition to the Advanced Certificate curriculum are eligible to receive an Associate Degree.    You must file a Graduation Petition form by the 8th week of the semester in which you plan to finish the program (including externship).  Be aware that you can earn BOTH the Basic Certificate and the Advanced Certificate, as well as an associate degree, if you complete the necessary coursework!
Petition forms are available from the SAC Counseling Center.  
Please make a photocopy of the petition before you return the completed form to the Graduation Office.   Submit the photocopy to the Pharmacy Technology Department chairperson.
As soon as all core requirements are completed, the Pharmacy Technology Department will issue your  departmental certificate  to you.  Specific instructions for completing this paperwork are listed on the CERTIFICATE OF COMPLETION CHECKLIST available in H-208. 


College policy states:
1.  Because of enrollment demand, a student may be dropped when not appearing at  the first class meeting. The Pharmacy Technology instructors will also drop students who are not present at the second class meeting, unless they have notified the instructor that they want to remain in the class. 
2.  A student may also be dropped for  excessive absence  when the absences exceed the number specified in the course overview.   Under extenuating circumstances, a student may be reinstated by contacting the  instructor.
Attendance is taken in the Pharmacy Technology classes.  Students who arrive more than 15 minutes late or who leave more than 15 minutes early may be considered absent, at the instructor’s discretion.
Students whose absences exceed the maximum for that class prior to the withdrawal deadline will be dropped for non-attendance.  Students whose absences exceed the maximum for that class after the withdrawal deadline cannot be dropped.  However, those students will not be permitted to take the final exam, resulting in a grade of F.
If you are going to miss class, please inform your instructor.   Excessive absences may result in you being dropped from the class unless other arrangements have been made with your instructor.
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Enrollment in the Pharmacy Technology classes is limited by both classroom space and the availability of equipment and supplies.
If you cannot register for a class because it is “full”, you should indicate that you want to be placed on the “wait list” for that class.  In addition, you should bring a blue add/drop card (available in the Admissions Office) with you to the first meeting of the class.   Students on the “wait list” will be accommodated before section changes are allowed.
Students who have documented completion of the course prerequisite(s), who appear on the “wait list” for the class, and who attend the first and second class meetings, will be added in order until the class is full.  If additional spaces remain, the instructor will process section changes and will then use a random lottery system to select students who have documented completion of the prerequisites and who have attended the first and second class meetings.
Each section of each class is handled separately.  The instructor, following department policy, will determine how many seats to fill in each of his/her classes.
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Students are responsible for all material presented in lectures and in labs.  It is your responsibility to obtain notes, handouts, and assignments that you miss.  Some instructors post assignments and course materials on Blackboard, also.
If you know you will be absent on a particular date, please let your instructor know.  Also, contact one of your Study Buddies so that he or she picks up the class materials for you.
Your instructor will give you additional information on his or her policy for accepting late homework or other assignments.  It is within department policy to penalize late assignments.   
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Each Pharmacy Technology class has a maximum number of allowable absences listed in its course overview.  Students who exceed the maximum before the 12th week of the semester will be dropped for non-attendance and will earn a grade of "W". 
Students who exceed the maximum number after the 12th week cannot be dropped.  Since these students will not be permitted to take the final exam for the class, they will earn a grade of D or F, depending on their point totals. 
Please note that an "absence" may include situations where the student arrives more than 15 minutes late for class or leaves more than 15 minutes early, at the instructor's discretion.


There are no make-ups for quizzes given in Pharmacy Technology classes.   Each class is designed with an option to account for missed quizzes.  Check your course overviews for specific grading information.


Students are expected to take all exams when scheduled.  If you miss an exam, contact your instructor immediately.   In most cases, the exam must be made up in the Pharmacy Technology classroom (H-210).  In some cases, the instructor may send a copy of the exam to the Testing Center (L-225) for you to take by a specified deadline.   Your instructor will set the deadline, which may be as early as the day after the scheduled exam or as late as the next meeting of that class.
To take a test in the Testing Center, you must show: 
1.   A picture ID (such as your SAC student ID card) with your correct name on it.  If your name changes while you are enrolled in Pharmacy Technology classes, please let your instructors know !
2.  Your student number (perm #).  This is the identification number that you received at registration. 
Due to their verbal and application sections, most exams will not be available in the Testing Center.  If the exam you missed is not available in the Testing Center, your instructor will schedule a make-up time for you.
The make-up policy for exams provides an alternative in emergency situations.  It is not designed to allow additional study time!   Students who require more than one make-up exam during a semester will have 10% deducted from their exam total.


Students who require a leave of absence (due to medical or family emergency) should speak with their instructors as soon as possible.  A leave of absence will be granted for true medical and family emergencies, at the discretion of the instructor.    Verification (medical excuse, etc.) may be required by the instructor. 
If you are granted a leave of absence, the instructor will work with you to determine a schedule for make-up work or point adjustment.


The Pharmacy Technology Department will do everything possible to accommodate changes in your work schedule by allowing transfers between daytime and evening sections of the same class.  However, if the desired class section is full, instructors will accommodate students on the Wait List before allowing section changes.
If you must transfer between sections:
1.  Notify your current instructor of your plans to transfer
2.  Contact the other instructor to see if space is available in the other section.
3.  If the new instructor is able to accept your transfer, have both instructors sign a blue add/drop card to verify the transfer.
4.  Take the add/drop card to the Admissions Office to officially complete the transfer.
The new instructor will obtain your grades directly from your original instructor. 
Transfers between sections are limited to one per semester per class.   For continuity in instruction, the department is not able to accommodate more frequent changes in sections.


If you are unable to complete a Pharmacy Technology class, you are obligated to officially withdraw from that class.  Contact the Admissions Office for assistance.
If you officially withdraw before the withdrawal deadline (the 12th week of a full semester class), you will receive a grade of “W” in the class.
If you are still enrolled after the withdrawal deadline, you must receive a letter grade based on the work completed, even if you stop attending.   Students who stop attending will not be permitted to take the final exam.  Students who do not take the final exam will earn a grade of "D" or “F”, depending on their point total.


The Pharmacy Technology Department does not routinely issue grades of incomplete (I).  Department policy is to assign a final letter grade based on the work each student has completed.   Contact your instructor immediately if you have an emergency that will keep you from completing the semester.


All courses in the Pharmacy Technology program must be completed with a grade of "C" or better.  Grades of D, F, or W are not acceptable to fulfill prerequisites, to complete the certificate or degree requirements, or to qualify for Board of Pharmacy licensure. 
Students who have withdrawn from a course twice will be restricted from enrolling without permission of the department chair.  Permission will be granted for a third attempt only if spaces are available in the class after the wait list students have been accommodated.
If you earn less than a “C” in any class, you are encouraged to repeat the class to earn an acceptable grade.  
After  two  UNSUCCESSFUL attempts,  a student  can  NOT  take  the  class  again.
If you receive a grade less than “C” in a class twice, you will not be able to try again.  This means you will not be able to earn a certificate or degree in Pharmacy Technology from Santa Ana College.


Common courtesy is expected of all students in the Pharmacy Technology program.  Please extend this courtesy within the classroom, as well as the hallways.  Since other classes may be in session, please refrain from loud conversation in the hallway outside of the classroom.
Cellular telephones, pagers, and other electronic devices must be turned off or set to silent mode while in the Pharmacy Technology classroom.   If you must leave the classroom for any reason, please do so with minimal disturbance to others.
The college prohibits eating or drinking in the classrooms.  If you bring food or drink into the Pharmacy Technology classroom, you are responsible for taking your trash out with you.  Under NO circumstances will food or drink be allowed in the computer area.
Classroom computers are password protected and are to be used for Pharmacy Technology assignments only.  No personal disks can be used on the classroom computers.  If you want to use the computers for word processing, you will need to type the information in the classroom.  The Internet is available for students wanting to access pharmacy-related web sites, such as the State Board or the PTCB.  
Electronic recording (by tape recorder, personal laptop, or any other audio or photographic device) is prohibited in the Pharmacy Technology courses, in accordance with Section 78907 of the Education Code, except as necessary to provide reasonable auxiliary aids and academic adjustments to disabled students.  Any student violating this section shall be subject to appropriate disciplinary action.


To minimize the risk of injury in the Pharmacy Technology lab classes, the department has developed a set of LAB Safety Instructions.  Each student enrolled in Pharm.Tech.056 or Pharm.Tech.060 will receive a copy of the LAB Safety Instructions.  Before participating in lab activities, each student must sign a verification statement, indicating that he/she has read the instructions, understands them, and agrees to follow them. 
Students who ignore the LAB Safety Instructions will be asked to leave the classroom for the rest of that class meeting.   Points may be deducted during the lab classes for failure to follow directions.


Classroom communications will be done entirely in English for both safety reasons and to develop the students’ communications skills.
All instruction will be done in English, using appropriate medical and pharmacy terminology.  Frequent verbal quizzes will be given to develop communications skills.  Students will also be required to use the telephone for communications during labs.
Students enrolled in the Pharmacy Technology courses will communicate with the instructor, with the lab assistant, and with the other students only in English while in the classroom.   Students who communicate in a language other than English during class will be asked to leave the classroom for the remainder of that class meeting.   Points missed during this type of absence cannot be made up.

To ensure that each student has the same opportunity for success in Pharmacy Technology courses, the department has developed a detailed Honesty Policy.  The Honesty Policy is presented to each new student in the program to be read and signed.  Signatures of the signed Honesty Policy is kept on file for all students. 
The Honesty Policy applies to all independent activities, including exams, quizzes, verbal exercises, homework, and lab assignments.


If you have questions, concerns, or problems, please speak with your instructor first. 
If you are unable to resolve the issue with your instructor, then contact the Pharmacy Technology Department by phone at (714)  564-6650 or by email
Note: the content on this website may not be updated in a timely manner.  Please refer to the Program Guidelines posted on blackboard, or email any instructors for updated information.

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