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College of Pharmacy


The Pharm.D. application process involves a number of steps and may seem daunting to you. We have prepared the Frequently Asked Questions below to offer you guidance. However, if your questions are not addressed or you need additional clarification, contact our admissions coordinator. We are ready to support you throughout the admissions process.

If my school does not offer a pre-pharmacy program, what should my major be?

You may major in any field as long as you complete the pharmacy prerequisite courses.

Do I need to take the PCAT prior to submitting my PharmCAS and Supplemental applications?

No. You may submit both applications prior to taking the PCAT. However, your official PCAT scores must be submitted and verified by PharmCAS before the College will issue an admissions offer.

What is the latest date I can take the PCAT to be considered for Fall 2017 admission?

We recommend that you take the PCAT no later than October/November 2016. Waiting until January 2017 may lower your chance of acceptance because of the time it takes for your official PCAT score to be received and processed in PharmCAS. To expedite the interview process, you may submit your unofficial scores (which can be printed at the testing site) to our admissions coordinator so your scores can be considered along with the PharmCAS and Supplemental applications. However, PharmCAS must receive your official PCAT scores before an admissions offer can be extended.

Where do I submit my PCAT scores?

To PharmCAS using code 104.

What is Early Decision?

Early Decision is a program offered through PharmCAS where applicants receive notification from their preferred pharmacy school of their admissions status by October 21.

  • Applicants may be accepted, denied, or deferred to Regular Decision.
  • Early Decision candidates who are offered admission by the College of Pharmacy are obligated to accept admission into our program.
  • Early Decision candidates who are denied admission or who are deferred to Regular Decision may apply to other PharmCAS schools after October 21, as per PharmCAS guidelines.
Who qualifies for Early Decision?
Applicants who have 16 hours or less remaining in the pharmacy pre-requisite curriculum at the beginning of the fall 2016 semester qualify for Early Decision.

Submit the following by September 6:

  • PharmCAS Application
  • Supplemental Application
  • 3 letters of reference
  • Official PCAT scores
  • Prerequisite Course Requirements Checklist to the College of Pharmacy Admissions Office (address on the form), Dean’s Office (Coker Life Sciences, Room 109), fax or email
  • Transcripts must be received by PharmCAS by the Early Decision deadline
Can I retake the PCAT during fall 2016 if I am applying for Early Decision?
Yes, but we do not recommend that you do so because of the PharmCAS system's processing times. Interviews for Early Decision take place in September and October 2016. The October and November PCAT test dates are a last resort based on the following:
  • you are not invited for an interview in September or October 2016
  • you are interviewed and deferred to Regular Decision
If I do not meet the qualifications for Early Decision, when should I apply?

We recommended that you apply no later than late September/early October. It can take up to five weeks for the College of Pharmacy to receive a verified PharmCAS application. Applying by the admissions deadlines (January 5 for PharmCAS and January 19 for the Supplemental Application), or even in October or November 2016 may lower your chance of acceptance because of the competition to obtain an interview or admission offer in the spring.

When will interviews for Regular Decision take place?
 September 2016 through March 2017.
I have submitted all applications and related materials. Should I contact the College of Pharmacy to request an interview?
No. Once the College's Admissions Committee reviews and evaluates the applications, select applicants are offered interview invitations.
When will I be notified of an admissions decision after interviewing?

All interviewed candidates are eligible for admissions to the Pharm.D. program. Following the on-site interview, the College of Pharmacy Admissions Committee periodically reviews applications and interview evaluations. The Admissions Committee typically convenes on a 2-3 week cycle and reviews applicant files as timely as possible. You may receive an offer shortly after your interview, pending the Admissions Committee's evaluation.

If you do not receive an offer within 2-3 weeks of your interview, you are still eligible for admissions and a decision will be deferred until the end of the 2016-2017 admissions cycle. The Admissions Committee strives to notify all applicants of their admission status no later than March 31, 2017. Accepted applicants will be contacted via phone and email. Deferred, declined and waitlisted applicants will be notified via email.

When does the College make admissions decisions?

Admission decisions are made on a rolling basis beginning in the fall 2016 semester and continuing through late March 2017; during this period, a student may be accepted at any time.

Early Decision Applicants

Admissions decisions for the Early Decision program in PharmCAS will occur by October 21, 2016. The College of Pharmacy will follow the application and announcement deadlines outlined by PharmCAS. Candidates participating in the Early Decision program may be offered early admission, denied admission, or deferred to regular applicant status.

Regular Decision Applicants

Admissions decisions for the Regular Decision program may occur in the fall semester if the applicant has less than 16 hours of remaining pharmacy prerequisites. For candidates who have more than 16 hours of outstanding pharmacy prerequisites, admission decisions will occur beginning in January once fall semester transcripts have been received and reviewed.

If I am accepted, can I defer matriculation?
Deferred matriculation is reserved for extenuating circumstances and evaluated on a case-by-case basis.
What should I do if I am not admitted for 2016-2017?
Applicants who are not accepted for Fall 2017 admission are encouraged to improve areas evaluated in their application and reapply in the future.
How do I contact or provide materials to admissions coordinator Nikki Mellen?
 Materials can be submitted through the following means:
  • Email:
  • Mail: Attn: Nikki Mellen, Admissions Coordinator, College of Pharmacy, University of South Carolina, 715 Sumter St., CLS 109, Columbia, SC 29208
  • Fax: Attn: Nikki Mellen, 803-777-2775
  • In Person: College of Pharmacy Dean’s Office, Coker Life Science Bldg., Room 109

You may contact her with questions via phone at 803-777-0589, through email or in person.

What is the cost to attend the College of Pharmacy at the University of South Carolina?
The tuition table outlines fees for the 2016-2017 academic year. Please note that tuition and fees are subject to change each academic year.