Doctor of Pharmacy
A four-year curriculum, following appropriate college prerequisite work, leading to the Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D.) is offered to students admitted to the School of Pharmacy. A sample outline of the curriculum is listed in the following pages. The degree will not be conferred until the student has successfully completed all Doctor of Pharmacy degree requirements.
Application ProcedureThe School of Pharmacy uses the College Application Service (PharmCAS) and a supplemental application for its admission process. Applications are available at www.usc.edu/schools/pharmacy. The PharmCAS and supplemental application deadline is November 1 (subject to change).
Applications received before November 1 will have priority interview consideration when the PharmCAS and supplemental application are submitted and all necessary criteria have been met. Follow the instructions carefully for the PharmCAS application and the supplemental application for the USC School of Pharmacy.
Evaluation of official transcripts is completed by the School of Pharmacy Admission Committee and a letter of acceptance is mailed to each applicant who qualifies for entrance. All documents mailed directly to the School of Pharmacy and received from PharmCAS by the Office of Admission become the property of the university and cannot be returned or duplicated for other than university purposes.
Admission GuidelinesThe Admission Committee considers several factors in making admissions decisions: strong academics; competitive performance in the interview; recommendation forms; and written comments specified in the application. The committee also considers a candidate’s motivation to pursue pharmacy, strong interpersonal skills, excellent oral and written communication skills, and leadership abilities. While the School of Pharmacy gives equal consideration to every qualified applicant, the school cannot accommodate all qualified candidates who apply for admission.
Admission of International StudentsAlthough international students are subject to special admission procedures, which are specified in the Admission section of this catalogue, they must follow the application procedures used by domestic students.
Entrance RequirementsAdmission to the School of Pharmacy requires: completion of the prerequisite college courses (90 semester or 135 quarter units) and a minimum 3.0 (A = 4.0) cumulative grade point average based on all transferable college course work.
Candidates who have received or will receive a baccalaureate degree or who have completed units in excess of the minimum required will be considered more favorably than applicants who have fulfilled only minimum requirements.
Prepharmacy RequirementsTo be eligible for admission to the School of Pharmacy, students must take the required prerequisite college courses, including general chemistry, organic chemistry, general biology, physics, biochemistry, molecular biology, microbiology, mammalian physiology, calculus, statistics, general psychology or introduction to sociology, macroeconomics or microeconomics, interpersonal communication, English and electives from the social and behavioral sciences and humanities. These science requirements should be completed at any accredited four-year university. All other requirements may be completed at a two-year college.
Grades of pass/no pass or credit/no credit will not be accepted (unless a course is only offered on a pass/no pass basis).
Mathematics and Physical SciencesCourses must include calculus, statistics, general chemistry, organic chemistry and physics. Only courses for science majors are acceptable. It is highly recommended that math and science courses be completed during the regular academic year and not during a summer term.
Calculus: one semester or two quarters of calculus are required. The course should include differential and integral calculus for science majors. The recommended course at USC is MATH 125.
Statistics: One course is required.
General chemistry: a one-year course for science majors, including laboratory, is required. The course should include inorganic chemistry and qualitative analysis. The recommended courses at USC are CHEM 105aLbL.
Organic chemistry: a one-year course for science majors, including laboratory, is required. If the school offers less than a one-year course, the student must complete the second semester at another institution. The recommended courses at USC are CHEM 322abL.
Physics: a one-year course in physics for science majors, including laboratory, is required. The recommended courses at USC are PHYS 135abL or PHYS 151L and PHYS 152L.
Biological SciencesGeneral biology: a one-year course for science majors is required in general biology with laboratory, for science majors (excluding courses in human anatomy, human physiology, botany and microbiology). If the school offers less than a one-year course, the student must complete the second semester at another institution. The recommended courses at USC are BISC 120L and BISC 220L.
Microbiology (with lab): one course in microbiology for science majors, including laboratory, is required. The recommended course at USC is BISC 300L.
Molecular biology: one course in molecular biology for science majors is required. The recommended course at USC is BISC 320L.
Biochemistry or cell biology: one course in biochemistry or cell biology for science majors is required. The recommended course at USC is BISC 330L.
Mammalian physiology: one course in mammalian physiology for science majors, with laboratory, is required. The recommended course at USC is BISC 307L.
EnglishTwo semesters or three quarters of composition (or two quarters of composition and one quarter of literature) are required. Remedial English and English as a Second Language (ESL) are not acceptable. An English proficiency examination may be required.
CommunicationsOne course (one semester or one quarter) in interpersonal communications is required. The course should include core theories of message production and reception in both interpersonal and public contexts. One semester or one quarter is required. The recommended courses at USC are COMM 200, COMM 304 or COMM 308.
Social and Behavioral SciencesPsychology or sociology: one course in general psychology or introduction to sociology is required. The recommended courses at USC are PSYC 100 or SOCI 200.
Economics: one course in either macroeconomics or microeconomics is required. If a one-year course is offered, both semesters may be taken and excess units may be applied to either the remainder of the unit requirements for the subject area or as elective units. The equivalent course at USC is ECON 203 or ECON 205.
Students who have earned a baccalaureate degree and meet the prerequisites described above (including general psychology or introduction to sociology and microeconomics or macroeconomics) at the time of admission will have fulfilled the requirement for social and behavioral sciences.
Students who will not have earned a baccalaureate degree at the time of admission must complete an additional two semesters or three quarters of courses in the social and behavioral sciences. Recommended areas include anthropology, psychology, psychobiology, economics, geography and sociology.
HumanitiesStudents who have earned a baccalaureate degree and meet the prerequisites described above at the time of admission will have fulfilled the requirements for humanities.
Students who will not have earned a baccalaureate degree at the time of admission must complete an additional two semesters or three quarters of courses in literature, philosophy, history, ethics, foreign language or fine arts. Studio or performance classes in art and music are not acceptable.
Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate ExaminationsAP and IB scores are acceptable only for students entering the Pharm.D. program with a bachelor’s degree. Non-degree holders should complete the next higher level class for prepharmacy requirements. The Admission Committee recommends that applicants enroll in all of the required prepharmacy courses. For students who may have been waived out of any prepharmacy requirement, the committee generally will consider the application of higher level course work toward prepharmacy requirements. Please contact the School of Pharmacy Office of Admission for specific information.
Entrance ExaminationThe PCAT is not required but applicants who submit scores will be given favorable consideration in the application process. An interview is required for admission.
Transfer StudentsTransfer students from other U.S. accredited colleges of pharmacy are not accepted into the Pharm.D. program.
Post-Baccalaureate ProgramThe School of Pharmacy accepts a limited number of applicants (if vacancies exist) who hold a recently conferred baccalaureate degree in pharmacy from a college of pharmacy accredited by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education. Such applicants may not be required to meet all prepharmacy requirements in order to qualify for admission and, if admitted to the Doctor of Pharmacy program, may be accepted at an advanced level for a minimum of two years (72 semester units) of full-time study.
Special Admissions Program for High School Students and USC UndergraduatesThe Trojan Admission Prepharmacy (TAP) program provides guaranteed admission to the USC School of Pharmacy for USC undergraduates who meet preset performance standards. The TAP program is designed to attract highly qualified, mature high school seniors applying to USC. Admission requirements for high school applicants to the TAP program include prior admission to any USC undergraduate program. Currently enrolled USC undergraduates may apply to the TAP program with a 3.2 GPA at USC. Transfer students are not eligible for the TAP program.
Students accepted into the TAP program must take full course loads each semester (minimum of 16 units) and complete their prepharmacy requirements with at least a 3.2 cumulative GPA. All prepharmacy courses must be taken for letter grades. Pass/no pass, credit/no credit grades and grades lower than C are not acceptable.
TAP program participants who fulfill the requirements listed above will be guaranteed admission to the Doctor of Pharmacy program at USC. Participants who fulfill the prepharmacy and TAP GPA requirements and wish to complete their baccalaureate degree can do so without losing their guaranteed admission to the School of Pharmacy, provided they meet or exceed the minimum cumulative GPA required for admission into the Pharm.D. program. TAP program students receive ongoing individual advisement, access to the School of Pharmacy’s student services and the privilege of joining the student-run prepharmacy club, the USC Pharmaceutical Society. A specific listing of USC courses and a recommended program for TAP program participants can be obtained from the School of Pharmacy Office of Admission.
General Education Requirements (TAP Students Only)The university’s general education program provides a coherent, integrated introduction to the breadth of knowledge you will need to consider yourself (and to be considered by other people) a generally well-educated person. This program requires six courses in different categories, plus writing and diversity requirements, which together comprise the USC Core. Click here and here for more information.
Pharm.D. Curriculum RequirementsThe completion of a four-year professional curriculum is required to earn the Doctor of Pharmacy degree. The curriculum, except for the fourth year, is a “block” program. All students must enroll in 18 units each semester in courses designated for the fall or spring. Students do not have choices of courses to take nor are they permitted to drop any one course or courses during the semester. (Year III and IV students have elective course choices). Progress is permitted only when the prior semester is completed in full. Students should view the curriculum outlined here as advisory only and subject to modification. Aggregate hours must equal a minimum of 144 units to meet graduation requirements.
The pharmacist of tomorrow will provide preventive and therapeutic pharmaceutical care, provide drugs to patients, communicate in health care matters, meet the ethical and legal requirements of the practice of pharmacy and maintain professional expertise. The curriculum committee of the School of Pharmacy has developed guidelines and patient care competencies consistent with interpretations of this new role. An appropriate and dynamic educational program is needed to develop these competencies, and curriculum changes are necessary and desirable in order to meet scientific advances, population profile changes, increasing health expectations, technological advances, the increasing role of the government in health services and other influences.
Program of Courses
|year I, Fall (18 units)||units|
|PHRD 501||Pharmaceutics I||4|
|PHRD 503||Biological Systems I||4|
|PHRD 507||Health Care Delivery Systems||2|
|PHRD 509||Pharmacy Practice and Experience I||4|
|PHRD 555||Biochemical and Molecular Sites of Drug Action||4|
|year I, Spring (18 units)||units|
|PHRD 502||Pharmaceutics II||3|
|PHRD 504||Biological Systems II||6|
|PHRD 505||Molecular Genetics and Therapy||3|
|PHRD 510||Pharmacy Practice and Experience II||4|
|PHRD 554||Public Health and Epidemiology||2|
|year II, Fall (18 units)||units|
|PHRD 506||Self Care and Non- Prescription Therapies||5|
|PHRD 508||Pharmacy Literature Analysis and Drug Information, or|
|PHRD 561||Parenteral Therapy Externship||3|
|PHRD 557||Therapeutics I||5|
|PHRD 559||Therapeutics II||2|
|year II, Spring (18 units)||units|
|PHRD 552||Pharmaceutics III||3|
|PHRD 553||Management within Health Care Organizations||2|
|PHRD 560||Therapeutics III||6|
|PHRD 561L||Parenteral Therapy Externship, or|
|PHRD 508||Pharmacy Literature Analysis and Drug Information||3|
|PHRD 562||Therapeutics IV||4|
|year III, Fall (18 units)||units|
|PHRD 601||Therapeutics V||6|
|PHRD 603||Therapeutics VI||3|
|PHRD 605||Therapeutics VII||4|
|year III, Spring (18 units)||units|
|PHRD 606||Therapeutics VIII||2|
|PHRD 608||Therapeutics IX||2|
|PHRD 610||Therapeutics X||3|
|PHRD 612||Therapeutics XI||2|
|PHRD 614||Pharmaceutical Economics and Outcome Studies||3|
|PHRD 616||Pharmacy Law and Ethics||3|
Year III students must choose their electives from the following (3 units each):
|PHRD 651||Community Pharmacy I|
|PHRD 652||Community Pharmacy II|
|PHRD 653||Health Systems Pharmacy I|
|PHRD 654||Health Systems Pharmacy II|
|PHRD 655||Geriatric Pharmacy I|
|PHRD 656||Geriatric Pharmacy II|
|PHRD 657L||Basic Research Design|
|PHRD 658||Sleep and the Pharmacologic Management of Its Disorders|
|PHRD 659||Molecular Therapeutics: Signal Transduction|
|PHRD 660||Disease State Management I|
|PHRD 661||Pharmacy Practice in Women’s Health|
|PHRD 662||Psychiatric Pharmacy Practice|
|PHRD 663||Pharmaceutical Development|
|PHRD 664||Clinical Problem Solving|
|PHRD 665||Complementary/Alternative Therapeutics|
|PHRD 666||Therapeutic Drug Monitoring|
|PHRD 667||Drugs of Abuse|
|PHRD 668||Computing Application|
|PHRD 669||Health Care Needs of Special Populations|
|PHRD 670||Marketing and Development in the Pharmaceutical Industry|
|year IV, Fall (18 units)|
|year IV, Spring (18 units)|
Required Clerkships (6 units each) -- four rotations:
|PHRD 701||Acute Care Clinical Practice Clerkship|
|PHRD 705||Community Pharmacy Clerkship|
|PHRD 704||Primary Care Clerkship, or|
|PHRD 707||Outpatient Psychiatric Pharmacy Clerkship|
An inpatient practice elective must be satisfied by PHRD 702 if the student selects PHRD 707 Outpatient Psychiatric Pharmacy Clerkship. If the student selects PHRD 702, the student may take elective clerkships marked * to satisfy the requirement.
Elective Clerkships -- two rotations:
|PHRD 702*||Inpatient Psychiatric Pharmacy Clerkship|
|PHRD 703||Long Term Care Clerkship|
|PHRD 706||Geriatrics Clerkship|
|PHRD 708*||Inpatient Clinical Practice Clerkship|
|PHRD 709*||Pediatric Drug Therapy Clerkship|
|PHRD 710*||Surgery Clerkship|
|PHRD 711*||Cardiovascular Drug Therapy Clerkship|
|PHRD 712*||Applied Clinical Pharmacokinetics Clerkship|
|PHRD 713||Drug Information Clerkship|
|PHRD 714||Radiopharmacy Clerkship|
|PHRD 715*||Oncology Clerkship|
|PHRD 716*||Ob-Gyn Clerkship|
|PHRD 717||Dermatology Clerkship|
|PHRD 718||Hospital Pharmacy Practice Clerkship|
|PHRD 719||Pain Management Clerkship|
|PHRD 720*||Critical Care Clerkship|
|PHRD 721||Drug Utilization and Evaluation Clerkship|
|PHRD 722||Home Health Care Clerkship|
|PHRD 723*||Nutritional Support Clerkship|
|PHRD 724||Advanced Community Pharmacy Clerkship|
|PHRD 725||International Pharmacy Clerkship|
|PHRD 726||Directed Clinical Project Clerkship I|
|PHRD 727||Directed Clinical Project Clerkship II|
|PHRD 728||Directed Clinical Project Clerkship III|
|PHRD 729||Directed Clinical Project Clerkship IV|
|PHRD 730||Acute Care Geriatrics Clerkship|
|PHRD 731||Advanced Geriatrics Clerkship|
|PHRD 732||Pharmacy Administration Clerkship|
|PHRD 733*||Anticoagulation Therapy Clerkship|
|PHRD 734*||Antimicrobial Therapy Clerkship|
|PHRD 735||Clinical Pharmacy Research Clerkship|
|PHRD 736*||Chemical Dependency Clerkship|
|PHRD 737*||Clinical Transplantation Clerkship|
|PHRD 738||Pharmaceutical Industry Clerkship|
|PHRD 739||AIDS/Immune Disorders Clerkship|
|PHRD 740||Health Care Systems Administration Clerkship|
|PHRD 741||Advanced Ambulatory Care Clerkship|
Total for Pharm.D. degree: 144 semester units.