Admissions

Technical Standards Policy

One of the primary missions of the College of Pharmacy is to prepare outstanding pharmacists and pharmaceutical scientists to meet the health care needs of the state and society and to enhance the delivery of essential pharmacy services for all citizens. The faculty of the College of Pharmacy strive to deliver an education that will, through the graduates of the Doctor of Pharmacy Program, attain the highest levels of this goal. The professional program leading to the Doctor of Pharmacy degree and eligibility for pharmacist licensure requires a certain level of cognitive, behavioral, and technical skill and ability inherent in a professional education. These principles and standards hold for admission, progression, retention and completion of the program. The primary role of the pharmacist is to provide safe and effective health care to the patients served. Patient safety must be considered in the selection and education of student pharmacists. In order to foster patient safety, the College of Pharmacy requires all student pharmacists to demonstrate the ability to meet the minimum standards set forth herein. Standards are developed as criteria to achieve the Doctor of Pharmacy degree in preparation for licensure as a practicing pharmacist and for postgraduate professional training and education in any of the varied fields of pharmacy. Student pharmacists must reasonably contribute to a safe environment through their personal physical and mental health and social behavior. Students must complete the academic program in a reasonable length of time, must be able to acquire a pharmacist intern license by their first semester in the College and maintain the pharmacist intern license during their educational program, and must be eligible for a pharmacist license after they complete the Doctor of Pharmacy program. All students are expected to successfully fulfill the same core educational requirements. Reasonable education-related accommodations will be provided, where possible and within the guidelines of the College of Pharmacy. The five standards listed below describe the essential functions students must demonstrate in order to fulfill the requirements of a general pharmacy education, and thus are prerequisites for entrance to, continuation in, and graduation from the College of Pharmacy. A student must meet or exceed the required aptitude, abilities, and skills outlined below. Certain chronic or recurrent illnesses and problems may interfere with didactic studies, delivering or providing patient care, or compromising patient safety and may be incompatible with pharmacy training or practice.

Technical Standards

Observation: Observation necessitates the functional use of visual, auditory and somatic senses. Students must have the ability to observe and evaluate, in classrooms and patient care areas, demonstrations, experiments and patients, including performing physical assessments. Observation of the technical quality of pre-manufactured as well as compounded medications is essential.

Communication Skills: As appropriate for each stage of their education, student pharmacists must be able to communicate effectively and efficiently in oral and written English, to hear, and to listen to patients in order to elicit information; describe changes in mood, activity, and posture, and perceive verbal as well as non-verbal communications. Students must also communicate effectively and efficiently in oral and written English, to hear, and to listen to faculty, staff, other health care professionals, and preceptors. Communication includes not only speech, but also reading, writing, hearing, and computer literacy. They must be capable of completing professional communication activities in a timely manner.

Motor: Student pharmacists must have the coordination of muscular movement with accommodation if necessary, to undertake the preparation of all routine forms of medication orders, the use of diagnostic equipment for patient assessment, and the direct delivery of patient therapies. Such actions require coordination of both gross and fine muscular movement, equilibrium, and functional use of the senses of touch and vision.

Intellectual, Conceptual, Integrative and Quantitative Abilities: As appropriate for each stage of their education, student pharmacists must demonstrate a fundamental and continuing ability to use analytical reasoning to independently and in collaboration with a health care team synthesize knowledge, solve problems and explain health care situations. Information must be obtained, retrieved, evaluated and delivered in an efficient and timely manner. Students must be able to demonstrate good judgment in patient care and assessment and have the ability to incorporate new and changing information obtained from the practice environment.

Behavioral and Social Attributes: Student pharmacists must demonstrate professional and ethical demeanor appropriate to their educational level. Students must be able to function within the regulatory and institutional limits of the educational environment and modify behaviors based on criticism. Students must demonstrate compassion and integrity and a concern for others. This requires responsibility for personal action and emotional stability under the stressful conditions that may come from their professional education. Individuals with questions or concerns about their ability to meet these standards are encouraged to contact the Associate Dean for Student Affairs and Diversity. 

Pharm.D. Program Prerequisite Course Requirements

Subject Requirements
General Chemistry I & II (2 labs included) 8 Semester Hours/12 Quarter Hours
Organic Chemistry I & II (2 labs included) 8 Semester Hours/12 Quarter Hours
General Biology I & II (2 labs included) 8 Semester Hours/12 Quarter Hours
Human Anatomy/Physiology I & II* 6 Semester Hours/9 Quarter Hours
General Physics I 3 Semester Hours/4.5 Quarter Hours
Microbiology 3 Semester Hours/4.5 Quarter Hours
Calculus 3 Semester Hours/4.5 Quarter Hours
Statistics 3 Semester Hours/4.5 Quarter Hours
English Composition 3 Semester Hours/4.5 Quarter Hours
English Literature/Composition 3 Semester Hours/4.5 Quarter Hours
Public Speaking/Speech 3 Semester Hours/4.5 Quarter Hours
Economics 3 Semester Hours/4.5 Quarter Hours
Psychology 3 Semester Hours/4.5 Quarter Hours
Liberal Arts Electives 9 Semester Hours/13.5 Quarter Hours

Notes: 

  • All pharmacy prerequisites must be successfully completed with a “C-” or better by the start of P1 Orientation, which occurs directly prior to the Fall semester of professional year one.
  • Courses assigned a Pass/Fail grading option will meet our requirements pending documentation that the Passing grade is equivalent to a C- or higher.

  • The Public Speaking/Speech and all laboratory courses must be completed via a live methodology; online courses will not meet our requirements for these subjects.

Entrance Requirements 

Traditional Admissions Pathway

Traditional admission to the College of Pharmacy Pharm.D. program is competitive and based on the applicant’s completion of Pharmacy prerequisite courses, GPA, academic record, letters of recommendation, interview evaluations, optional PCAT scores, honors/awards, extracurricular activities, pharmacy exposure, student personal statement concerning their goals for a career in pharmacy, optional diversity statement, and application(s). Applicants may elect to complete the PCAT and have official scores reported to PharmCAS by deadlines published on the UofSC College of Pharmacy website. Applicants will apply via the national PharmCAS system and UofSC College of Pharmacy Supplemental Application.

Applicants must provide an official copy of all college transcripts to PharmCAS at the time of application submission. A second transcript is required to be submitted to PharmCAS upon receipt of final fall semester grades. Accepted students are required to submit subsequent transcripts directly to the College of Pharmacy as indicated in the supplemental application, upon receipt of final spring and summer grades.

As a state-supported institution, preference will be given to in-state applicants. In-state students are defined as S.C. residents and any non-S.C. resident attending a S.C. college or university. In-state status as defined here only applies to the admission process. Residency for the purpose of tuition will be determined by the UofSC Office of the University Registrar.

Applicants admitted to the Doctor of Pharmacy program must comply with all student policies and requirements as detailed in the College of Pharmacy Academic Bulletin & Student Handbook and all admission procedure requirements, including a criminal background review, drug screen, and health/immunization policies and University requirements. 

Early Assurance Program Admissions Pathway

Admission to the Gamecock Pharmacy Assurance (GPA) program is competitive and based on the applicant’s admittance into the B.S. in Pharmaceutical Sciences (Pre-Pharmacy) major at the Columbia campus of the University of South Carolina. Additional admissions criteria may include, but are not limited to ACT/SAT scores, high school weighted core grade point average, letters of recommendation, interview evaluations, honors/awards, extracurricular activities, pharmacy exposure, student personal statement concerning their goals for a career in pharmacy, optional diversity statement, and GPA program application.

Candidates admitted into this program that successfully complete the maintenance requirements are expected to complete progression applications and matriculate into the UofSC College of Pharmacy Pharm.D. program at the beginning of their third collegiate year. Applicants matriculating into the Doctor of Pharmacy program must comply with all student policies and requirements as detailed in the College of Pharmacy Academic Bulletin & Student Handbook and all admission procedure requirements, including a criminal background review, drug screen, and heath/immunization policies and University requirements.

International Admissions to the Pharm.D. Program Policy

The College of Pharmacy is welcoming to international students within the policy described below. Individual Doctor of Pharmacy program applicants who meet these requirements may apply. The College of Pharmacy also considers a limited number of international applicants to the Doctor of Pharmacy program who have completed at least a 5-year bachelor of science in pharmacy degree and when there is a prior written agreement between the College of Pharmacy and an international sponsoring university, government, or agency (International Partnership Program).

Individual International Applicant Requirements

For admission of individual International Applicants, general admission criteria in addition to requirements below must be met:

  • At least 42 hours of the 66 of Pharm.D. program prerequisite credit hours, including English language requirements, must have been completed at a college or university accredited in the United States.   Refer to the section titled “Pharm.D. Program Prerequisite Course Requirements” in this document or the College of Pharmacy website. 
  • An international student admitted to the College must be proficient in English with a score of at least 550 on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) paper-based exam or 77 on the internet-based TOEFL.  Alternatively, we will accept a score of at least 6.5 on the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) or a score of at least 53 on the PTE academic test.
  • Applicants must be eligible to receive a Pharmacy Intern Certificate based on the South Carolina Board of Pharmacy requirements. The Pharmacy Intern Certificate is a requirement for students to complete Introductory and Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experiences portions of the Pharm.D. curriculum.
  • Applicants who have attended post-secondary educational institutions, colleges or universities outside of the United States are required to submit a foreign transcript evaluation of all work completed from the World Education Services (WES) through the PharmCAS application. More information may be located here
  • Accepted students must work directly the UofSC International Student Services Office to complete requirements necessary for enrollment at the university.  International students may not be eligible for student loans through the FAFSA process. All international students will be considered out-of-state during the admissions processes and for tuition purposes.
  • The applicant is responsible for obtaining a proper visa, if accepted.

International Partnership Program Applicant Requirements

International Partnership Applicants to the College of Pharmacy Doctor of Pharmacy program may apply only after a written agreement between the UofSC College of Pharmacy and the international sponsoring university, government, or agency has been completed. The number of international partnership applicants admitted each year will be determined by the College of Pharmacy, and a signed partnership agreement does not guarantee admission of individual applicants. For admission of international BS degree pharmacists, applicants must meet general admission criteria in addition to requirements below. The College of Pharmacy may grant advanced status, depending on the individual’s academic record or practice experience. International applicants must have graduated within 10 years of the date of application. 

  • An international partnership program student admitted to the College must be proficient in English with a score of at least 550 on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) paper-based exam, or 77 on the internet-based TOEFL. Alternatively, we will accept a score of at least 6.5 on the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) or a score of at least 53 on the PTE academic test.
  • Applicants must be eligible to receive a Pharmacy Intern Certificate based on the South Carolina Board of Pharmacy requirements. The Pharmacy Intern Certificate is a requirement for students to complete Introductory and Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experiences portions of the Pharm.D. curriculum.
  • Applicants who have attended post-secondary educational institutions, colleges or universities outside of the United States are required to submit a foreign transcript evaluation of all work completed from World Education Services (WES) through the PharmCAS application. More information may be located here
  • Accepted students must work directly with the UofSC International Student Services Office to complete requirements necessary for enrollment at the university. International students may not be eligible for student loans through the FAFSA process. All international students will be considered out-of-state during the admissions processes and for tuition purposes.
  • The applicant is responsible for obtaining a proper visa, if accepted.

Transfer Policies 

Admission to the Doctor of Pharmacy Program from another Domestic College of Pharmacy

Applications for transfer students from an accredited professional pharmacy program, within the United States, into the UofSC College of Pharmacy professional Pharm.D. program will be evaluated on an individual basis. The student applying for transfer must be currently enrolled and in good academic and professional standing in their current Pharm.D. program. As the student must complete at least two years of study at the UofSC College of Pharmacy in order to be eligible for a degree from the institution, students must complete, at minimum, their third and fourth professional years at the UofSC College of Pharmacy. 

Process to Request Transfer:

Step 1: The following items are required to begin the transfer evaluation process: 

  • Provide a letter to the Director of Admissions outlining the reason for the transfer request and desired entrance level into the program (i.e., 2nd year, 3rd year, etc.) no later than February 1.

Step 2: The following items must be completed/submitted to the Director of Admissions no later than March 1:  

  • Submit current program’s Pharm.D. curriculum
  • Submit course descriptions and syllabi for all completed Pharm.D. courses
  • Complete an interview with the Director of Admissions to discuss transfer intent and eligibility

Step 3: Following evaluation of completed curriculum by the appropriate committee, the student will be notified no later than April 1 of the professional year placement, if space permits, that would be offered in the case of transfer acceptance.

Step 4: If a student chooses to continue with the request, the following must be completed no later April 30:

  • Complete the admissions interview process dependent upon available Interview dates: 
    • Submit Resume/CV to the Director of Admissions prior to scheduled interview date
  • Submit the following to the Director of Admissions:
    • Official college transcripts from all institutions attended for all college coursework completed, including Pharm.D. program prerequisite courses and Pharm.D. courses
    • Optional official PCAT scores (must include writing score) – this may be submitted if the applicant feels it would enhance their admissions file
    • Three letters of recommendation 

Step 5: The Admissions Committee will evaluate all information obtained during the transfer request process to determine whether a transfer acceptance will be extended. Applicants will be notified no later than June 1.

Step 6: If a transfer request is extended, the student must submit the following items no later than July 1 to secure their acceptance:

  • UofSC College of Pharmacy Supplemental Application
  • Letter from current pharmacy school Dean’s Office stating the student is in good academic and professional standing
  • Seat Fee

Step 7: The following must be submitted prior to matriculation into the Doctor of Pharmacy program at the direction and timeframe of the Director of Admissions:

  • Clear criminal background review
  • Negative drug screen

Admission to the Doctor of Pharmacy Program from an International College of Pharmacy

Students enrolled in an international professional pharmacy program are ineligible to request transfer to the UofSC College of Pharmacy professional Pharm.D. program.  These students should follow the admissions processes for International Applicants.

Transfer to Greenville (Prisma Health - Upstate) Campus

A campus located in Greenville, South Carolina is available for student transfer for the third and fourth professional years of the Doctor of Pharmacy program.  Beginning with Fall 2017 entering students, Greenville campus transfer approval is designated upon acceptance to the Pharm.D. program.  This transfer is binding and documented in a second acceptance letter from the UofSC College of Pharmacy.  Students transferring to the Greenville campus are still considered UofSC students for the purposes of tuition, curriculum, and other academic and professional policies.  Extracurricular and co-curricular opportunities are available on the Greenville campus, but may differ from those available on the Columbia campus.  Not all opportunities on the respective campuses are available to students residing on the distant campus.  Students electing to transfer to the Greenville campus should seek guidance from the Associate Dean of Student Affairs and Diversity regarding these opportunities prior to committing to a Columbia campus-based academic, co-curricular, or extracurricular opportunity.  A required Greenville campus-specific orientation will occur prior to each Fall semester.