Auburn University
Doctor of Pharmacy Program
Auburn University

Standards of Professional Attire

Upon acceptance and entry into Auburn University's Harrison School of Pharmacy, students begin a process of developing the knowledge, skills and attitudes that comprise the fundamental core of the profession of Pharmacy.  Although assimilation of competencies and transformation to Doctoral Pharmacy Practitioners takes several years, early initiation of professional behaviors facilitates the developmental and professionalization process.


Pharmacy is one of the oldest and most respected professions.  Patients trust their pharmacists as a source of medical information and depend upon them to act in their best interest while providing safe and accurate pharmaceutical services.  Each student and graduate pharmacist inherits this time-honored legacy as part of their profession and is obligated by oath to its preservation and enhancement.

Throughout history, health professions have adopted standards of attire for their practitioners to collectively identify themselves as professionals and provide assurance to patients that they are interacting with individuals who can be trusted in performing services.  In today's health care system, the concept of pharmaceutical care has introduced pharmacists as providers of care.  Pharmacists are assuming a greater responsibility and a more active role in maintaining the health of the population they serve. Image alone will not assure the desired excellence in pharmaceutical care; however, it often provides the basis for the public's perception of the profession and particularly guides first impressions.

          Just as all obligations and responsibilities of the profession require some effort and sacrifice, assumption of a professional image requires an active individual resolution and may necessitate modification of life-style practice upon entering the professional program. By entering the Harrison School of Pharmacy, students willingly accept the obligations of the profession and are expected to act accordingly.  Abiding by the standards of attire at the Harrison School of Pharmacy is a component of the educational process that internalizes esteem and emphasizes professionalization.

          A set of accepted standards of attire for Auburn University Harrison School of Pharmacy students is also of particular importance since various patient care activities are being delivered within the Walker Building as well as the Auburn community, and in health care facilities across the state and nation. 


             The following standards for attire apply to all students enrolled in Auburn University’s Harrison School of Pharmacy. 

             These standards should be followed during all hours in which the School is open to the public (generally 7:45 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday).  Updated July 14, 2014.


Part I

General Personal Care Standards:

 1.     Adequate precautions should be taken to maintain good personal hygiene.  These precautions include regular bathing, use of deodorants and regular dental hygiene.

 2.     Hair maintenance 

2.1   Women:  neat and clean, styled off the face and out of the eyes.  If close contact with patient occurs (e.g. physical assessment procedures), hair longer than shoulder length should be secured.

2.2    Men:  neat and clean, styled off the face and out of the eyes.  If close contact with patients occurs (e.g. physical assessment procedures), hair longer than shoulder length should be secured.  Beards and mustaches should be clean and well groomed. 

 3.      Other personal care considerations 

3.1.  Cologne, perfume or aftershave is not recommended in the patient care setting due to patient allergies and sensitivities. 

3.2.   Cosmetics should be used in moderation. 

3.3.   Nails should be well groomed, manicured and of short to medium length to facilitate patient care activities. 

3.4.   Jewelry and accessories should be non-distracting. 

Part II 

Appropriate Attire Standards for Routine Harrison School of Pharmacy Attendance  

1.      Attire: 

1.1     Women: Clean, business casual styled clothing and shoes. 

1.1.1 Dresses/Skirts should be no shorter than 1 inch above the knee. Blouses/shirts should fit so that cleavage coverage is maintained.

1.1.2 Leggings can only be worn with a dress or skirt that comes down to 1 inch above the knee and can only be neutral color-beige, white, black, gray, beige or navy.

1.2 Men: Clean, business casual styled clothing and shoes. Shirts must be collared and tucked in.

1.3 An approved identification badge must be worn on the student's person and visible at all times. Identification badges must be worn around the chest pocket level or on a professional lanyard around the neck. Badges should never be worn on backpacks, around the belt, or below the waist.

2.      Items specifically not permitted under any condition: 

2.1 Hats or caps (except head coverings considered a part of religious or cultural dress).

2.2 Denim clothing or jeans of any color;

2.3 Shorts, cargo pants, culottes, skorts or mini-skirts or Bermuda shorts that are above mid-calf;

2.4 Sweatpants, sweatshirts, non-collared T-shirts or T-shirts with lettering, or cropped tops that expose the midriff (business casual styled turtlenecks and mock turtlenecks may be worn, and sweaters/fleeces should be worn if necessary due to cool building temperatures);

2.5 Athletic shoes, casual sandals without back straps, flip-flops, clogs, or beach shoes. Open toed shoes are discouraged and are not permitted in patient care areas.

2.6 Scrubs (tops or pants);

2.7 Buttons, large jewelry or accessories that could interfere with patient care or safety should be avoided.

2.8 Jewelry in pierced noses, lips, tongues or other exposed body areas, other than ears.

2.9 Visible tattoos.

3.   Exceptions: 

3.1 After Hours and Weekend Attire: Students should dress neatly at all times while in the Walker Pharmacy Building. Care should be taken not to wear clothing that might be deemed inappropriate for a professional.

3.2 Activities in specific laboratories and patient areas in which the instructors or institutional policy supersedes this policy.

3.3 Any medical conditions that inhibit adherence should be discussed with the Associate Dean for Academic and Student Affairs.

Part III

Appropriate Attire Standards in the Context of Patient Care or Public Interactions: 

Defined to include but not limited to the following situations:  

a)      Advanced Practice Experiences (APE)

b)      Pharmacy Practice Experiences (PPE)*

c)      Professional Seminar Series (PSS)**

d)      Auburn University Pharmacy Care Clinic (AUPCC)

e)      Professional meeting functions

f)       End-of-year assessment

g)      When prior notification is given (i.e. a patient will be in class)

h)      Any context where the student is representing the School in Public


1.   An approved identification badge must be worn on the student's person and visible at all times. (All students are expected to conform to this standard at all times.) 

2.     Attire: 

2.1    Women: Clean, professionally styled clothing and shoes (i.e. dresses or skirts of medium length, non-denim tailored slacks, and appropriate tops).  A clean, white, long sleeved waist-length pharmacy jacket is required in appropriate contextual settings.

2.2  Men: Clean, professionally styled clothing and shoes including a collared dress shirt with an appropriately knotted/secured necktie. A clean, white, long sleeved waist-length pharmacy jacket is required in appropriate contextual settings.  

*     In the event of a discrepancy between these standards and the PPE Manual, the PPE Manual shall supersede this standard.

**   In the case of PSS, students are encouraged to dress according to the standards set for the context of public interactions.  However, at a minimum they must dress in accordance with the standards of attire set for routine attendance.

Part IV

Enforcement Standards: 

1)   Standards of Attire are intended to be self-regulated. 

2)   Students inappropriately dressed or groomed may be dismissed (from classes) and requested to comply  with the standards set forth in this document. 

3)  Questionable or disputed cases of dress or grooming shall be presented to the Board of Ethical and Professional Conduct (Honor Board). 

4)  Repeated actions judged to be violations by the Board of Ethical and Professional Conduct will be considered improper professional behavior and may result in disciplinary action. 

5)   Other policies may be implemented as warranted to ensure adherence to these standards.

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Revised August 20, 2014