The Gamecock Pharmacy Assurance (GPA) Program consists of required didactic classes, laboratories, extracurricular activities, and out-of-the-classroom experiences. The structure of the program allows students to fully explore the profession of pharmacy, while strengthening knowledge and skills needed to be successful in the Doctor of Pharmacy Program. GPA Program students are encouraged to engage in abundant opportunities that are offered at the College of Pharmacy and throughout the university campus to form lasting friendships and acclimate themselves to college life.
Diadactic and Laboratory Curriculum
GPA students will complete 66 credit hours of pharmacy prerequisite courses in general chemistry, organic chemistry, physics, calculus, statistics, general biology, microbiology, english composition, english literature, public speaking, economics, psychology, human anatomy & physiology, and liberal arts electives.
These courses are taught at the undergraduate level by faculty in various colleges throughout the university. Course enrollment will include individuals from various majors thereby encouraging and promoting collaboration amongst a diverse student body.
Upon entering the PharmD program, GPA students transition to professional PharmD students and join a small cohort of around 100 students. Didactic courses expose students to skills in pharmacy mathematics, science of drugs, evidence-based treatment, and laws and regulations. Laboratories allow students to learn and practice skills necessary for various fields of pharmacy. Pharmacy practice experiences encourage students to investigate various fields of pharmacy through working alongside pharmacists and other healthcare professionals to provide hands-on, actual patient care. Almost 1/3 of the USC College of Pharmacy PharmD curriculum is composed of pharmacy practice experiences.
In order to ensure preparedness for the rigors of the PharmD curriculum and eventual practice in the profession of pharmacy, GPA students are required to complete the Pre-Pharmacy Education (PreParE) Program. Completion of all components will result in an issued certificate that GPA students may add to their resume. Activities will include:
Exposure to the pharmacy profession through shadowing, volunteering, or working in a pharmacy
Required reading that culminates with critical thinking and discussion with current pharmacy students
Training on research rules and policies
Resume Workshop that teaches students how to format a pharmacy curriculum vitae
Active membership in the Carolina Association of Pre-Pharmacy Students (CAPPS)
Attendance at a Professional Etiquette Workshop
Various exposure to activities necessary to be successful as a pharmacist
Pharmacy prerequisite courses will be completed at the University of South Carolina, Columbia Campus over the first two (freshman and sophomore) undergraduate years of collegiate study. Co-curricular activities and components of the PreParE Program will be offered either on campus, online, or set up off campus near housing using USC College of Pharmacy resources.
Upon successfully completing pharmacy prerequisite courses, maintenance requirements, and the PreParE Program, GPA students will enter the Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) program located at the University of South Carolina, Columbia Campus. The PharmD Program occurs over an additional four years and includes a combination of didactic courses, pharmacy practice laboratories, and pharmacy practice experiences. Didactic courses and laboratories occur at the USC College of Pharmacy. Pharmacy practice experiences occur throughout the state, country, and world for realistic, hands-on training in multiple fields of pharmacy.