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College of Pharmacy

Admission Requirements

Each year, applicants who have satisfied the pre-pharmacy requirements 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 profession's demands. 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 prerequisite courses
  • cumulative and prerequisite GPA
  • official transcript
  • PCAT scores, both composite and writing
  • interview evaluations
  • three 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. 

PharmCAS Application


Supplemental Application


Pharmacy Prerequisite Courses

You must complete 66 credit hours of pharmacy prerequisites with a grade of C (2.0) or higher prior to fall 2017 Pharm.D. program entry. Many applicants will submit their applications and accompanying materials while in the midst of completing their coursework.

GPA Requirements

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

The pharmacy prerequisite GPA is calculated from the 66 credit hours required to be completed prior to fall 2017 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

Official transcripts for all college coursework must be submitted directly from each institution, including high school dual enrollment credit

Summer 2016 Transcripts

Arrange for your current (through summer 2016) transcripts to be mailed to PharmCAS directly from each institution with the Transcript Request Form as soon as they are available

Fall 2016 Transcripts

  • Arrange for your fall 2016 transcripts to be mailed to PharmCAS directly from each institution with the Transcript Request Form as soon as they are available

  • The PharmCAS Fall “Academic Update” Window will need to be completed by the applicant between December 15, 2016 and February 15, 2017

 Spring/Summer 2017 Transcripts

  • Transcripts for courses taken in the USC system for spring or summer 2017 are obtained internally by our admissions coordinator 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 admissions coordinator Nikki Mellen at the College of Pharmacy

  • You must complete the PharmCAS Spring “Academic Update” Window between April 17, 2017 and June 30, 2017

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 admissions coordinator Nikki Mellen. If you are accepted, you will need to request an official copy to be sent 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

PCAT Scores

All applicants must take the PCAT exam as part of the application process. However, you do not need to take it prior to completing 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 admissions coordinator Nikki Mellen to expedite the interview selection process.  You will not receive an admissions offer from the College of Pharmacy until PharmCAS receives your official PCAT scores. We recommended you take the PCAT exam no later than October/November 2016. Waiting until January 2017 may lower your chance of acceptance because of the time it takes for PharmCAS receive and process your official PCAT score.

Interview Evaluations

PharmCAS will forward your application to the College about 4-5 weeks after you have submitted all materials. In order for you to be considered for an interview, we must receive a verified PharmCAS application, your 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 a half day.  You are required to bring three copies of an updated resume to your interview.

Letters of Reference

You must submit three appropriate letters of reference through the PharmCAS system. Inappropriate letters 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 applications as soon as it is complete; do not wait on letters of reference to submit your application.

Pharmacy Exposure

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 PharmCAS 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.

Extra-Curricular Activities

The Admissions Committee values well-rounded applicants. We are interested in learning about your participation 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.

Honors & Awards

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.

Research Experience

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 applicationand record your experience on your resume or curriculum vitae.

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 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.