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College of Pharmacy

Admission Requirements

Each year applicants are evaluated for admission into the College of Pharmacy’s Doctor of Pharmacy program. Each application is carefully evaluated on multiple criteria to identify candidates who are well-rounded and can meet the demands of the profession. We seek students who possess the academic ability to successfully complete the rigorous Pharm.D. coursework as well as the personal characteristics necessary to be a successful practitioner. If accepted into our program, you must also be able to meet the technical standards of a student pharmacist.

Admission to the Pharm.D. program at the College of Pharmacy is highly competitive and is based on the following criteria:

  • PharmCAS Application
  • Supplemental Application
  • successful completion of pharmacy prerequisite courses
  • cumulative and pharmacy prerequisite GPA
  • official transcript(s)
  • PCAT scores, both composite and writing
  • interview evaluations
  • three electric evaluations (letters of recommendation)
  • pharmacy exposure
  • extracurricular activities
  • honors and awards
  • research experience

As a state-assisted institution, we give preference to in-state applicants, defined in the admissions context as South Carolina residents and non-South Carolina residents who are attending a South Carolina college or university. Residency determinations for tuition purposes are set by the USC Office of Legal Residency.

Please review the detailed information below to make sure your application is as complete as possible. 

Available Here
(beginning  July 18, 2019)

  1. Click on "First time User account creation"
  2. Under Campus, select "USC Columbia"
  3. For Application Type. Select "College of Pharmacy"
  4.  Complete and Submit application.
Available at
(beginning July 18, 2019)

You must complete the 66 credit hours of pharmacy prerequisite courses with a grade of C- (2.0) or higher prior to fall Pharm.D. program entry. Many applicants will submit their applications and accompanying materials while in the midst of completing their coursework. Pharmacy prerequisite courses may be completed during the summer but must be completed before PharmD classes begin in the fall, if accepted

In order to apply, you must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.5 (the cumulative GPA is calculated from all attempted undergraduate and graduate coursework).

The pharmacy prerequisite GPA is calculated from the 66 credit hours of pharmacy prerequisite courses required to be completed prior to fall  program entry. The highest earned grade for any course attempted multiple times will be used in the pharmacy prerequisite GPA calculation.

You are responsible for verifying that you meet the minimum GPA requirements before applying. The application fee will not be refunded if the application requirements are not met.

Official transcripts from all accredited US institutions attended must be submitted with the Transcript Request Form directly to PharmCAS from each institution, including high school dual enrollment credit. 

Fall 2019 Transcripts

  • Arrange for your fall 2019 transcripts to be sent to PharmCAS directly from each institution with the Transcript Request Form as soon as they are available

 Spring/Summer 2020 Transcripts

  • Transcripts for courses taken in the USC system for spring or summer 2020 are obtained internally by our Director of Admissions Nikki Mellen and do not require you to take any action to facilitate their submission

  • You will need to request an official transcript for courses taken outside the USC system from the institution and have them sent to our Director of Admissions Nikki Mellen at the College of Pharmacy

AP/IB score submission for non-USC students

  • If you plan to use AP/IB scores to fulfill a pharmacy prerequisite, you must submit an unofficial copy of your score report to Director of Admissions Nikki Mellen. If you are accepted, you will need to request an official copy to be sent directly to the University of South Carolina

  • Contact the College Board for your AP scores

  • Contact the IB Coordinator at your high school for your IB scores

All applicants must take the PCAT exam as part of the application process. However, you do not need to take it prior to submitting the PharmCAS Application. PCAT scores are reported to PharmCAS using code 104 upon exam registration. Any exam score older than 5 years will not be accepted.

You may submit unofficial PCAT score reports to our Director of Admissions Nikki Mellen to expedite the interview selection process.  We recommend you take the PCAT exam no later than October/November 2019. Waiting until January or February 2020  may lower your chance of acceptance because of the time it takes for PharmCAS to receive and process your official PCAT score.

Click here for more information regarding the PCAT.

You should submit your PharmCAS Application as soon as it is complete; do not wait on your PCAT scores to submit your application.

PharmCAS will forward your application to the College about 4-5 weeks after you have submitted all materials and PharmCAS has verified your information. In order for you to be considered for an interview, we must receive your verified PharmCAS Application, Supplemental Application, PCAT score and accompanying materials.

The College of Pharmacy's admissions process operates on a rolling basis.  We conduct interviews from September through March of each academic year. We encourage you to submit your application early because interview availability is limited.

If selected for an on-site interview, you will participate in a College Overview presentation, two 30-minute one-on-one interviews, a student-led tour of the College and an Exit Interview; this process will take about half a day.  You are required to bring three copies of an updated resume to your interview.

You must submit three appropriate electronic evaluations (letters of recommendation) through the PharmCAS system. Inappropriate evaluations include those written by family members, friends, family friends or other individuals who cannot speak to the characteristics evaluated by the Admissions Committee.

You should submit your PharmCAS Application as soon as it is complete; do not wait on evaluations to submit your application.

You can obtain pharmacy exposure by working, volunteering or shadowing in any pharmacy setting or interviewing pharmacists. While we have not defined a minimum number of required pharmacy exposure hours, the Admissions Committee considers pharmacy exposure an important factor in your evaluation. You should include your pharmacy exposure on your PharmCAS Application and record this information on your resume or curriculum vitae, providing details related to each experience, including the pharmacy setting, pharmacist(s) interacted with, date(s) attended and the total number of hours you spent at the site.

Resumes/CVs can be updated until your on-site interview, if invited.  You should submit your PharmCAS Application as soon as it's complete; do not wait to complete pharmacy exposure activities before submitting your applications.

The Admissions Committee values well-rounded applicants. We are interested in learning about your participation and leadership in extra-curricular activities, such as pharmacy or non-pharmacy related organizations, sports or volunteer work you pursued in collegiate or non-collegiate settings. Make sure to include your involvement in these activities on your PharmCAS Application and resume or curriculum vitae.

Resumes/CVs can be updated until your on-site interview, if invited.  You should submit your PharmCAS Application as soon as it’s complete; do not wait to complete extra-curricular activities before submitting your applications.

If you have been recognized with any individual honors, awards, scholarships, recognitions or achievements, share your accomplishments on your PharmCAS Application and record them on your resume or curriculum vitae.

You are encouraged to share your involvement in research, including independent study participation or faculty-driven research that may or may not have resulted in a publication, poster presentation or platform presentation, on your PharmCAS Application and record your experience on your resume or curriculum vitae.

Resumes/CVs can be updated until your on-site interview, if invited.  You should submit your PharmCAS Application as soon as it’s complete; do not wait to complete research activities before submitting your applications.

Technical Standards

To be eligible to participate in our Pharm.D. program and sit for the pharmacist licensure exam, you must possess certain cognitive, behavioral and technical skills and abilities. The Technical Standards of the College of Pharmacy describe the essential functions you must demonstrate in order to fulfill the requirements of a general pharmacy education, and are thus prerequisites for entrance to, continuation in and graduation from the USC College of Pharmacy. You must meet or exceed the required aptitude, abilities and skills outlined in our standards. Certain chronic or recurrent illnesses and problems may interfere with completing your didactic studies, delivering or providing patient care or compromising patient safety and may be incompatible with pharmacy training or practice.

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