Legal Law

USC Pharmacy School Application Requirements and Tips from an Accepted Student

I’ll start with the statistics of the students accepted into the University of Southern California’s Ph.D. program in Pharmacy for 2009. Interviews were offered to 460 students from a pool of more than 2,000 applicants. 240 students are accepted (11 students from out-of-state schools), and the expected class size for 2009 is 190. It should be noted that USC offers its college students the opportunity for guaranteed admission as long as they complete their requirements in the TAP program. (These students occupy a large number of seats available to other applicants.)

Obtaining a bachelor’s degree is now a requirement for admission to USC. The minimum GPA requirement is 3.0 (the average GPA of accepted students is 3.60). Since the USC does not require taking the PCAT, other admission criteria carry more weight (GPA, performance in interviews, extracurricular activities, personal statements, etc.).

For the application process, it is very important to note that the University of Southern California sends out interview invitations on an ongoing basis, so it is important that you submit your PharmCAS application and your supplemental application as soon as possible. The deadlines for both are early November, but I recommend that you submit both no later than early August (I submitted my applications in mid-July, just 1.5 months after the application became available).

At your interview, a current student from the pharmacy school and a member of the faculty will ask you questions. Think of it more like a conversation where you also ask both of you questions. When you first arrive for the interview session, you will be greeted by several current pharmacy students, who will do a great job of calming you down before your interview. Take this opportunity to ask questions and warm up your oral communication skills. Don’t worry too much about the “essay” part, as this is just a test of how well you take notes on a random article you read. BE SURE to follow all the instructions provided to you as this is also a test of how well you pay attention to detail.

These are the prerequisites for the USC pharmacy program:

Calculus (for science students)

Statistics (non-commercial)

Physics with laboratory (science / life science majors, thermodynamics and electromagnetism recommended)

General biology with laboratory (excludes human anatomy and physiology, botany and microbiology)

Laboratory mammalian physiology (preferred by humans: excludes plant, cellular and marine physiology)

Microbiology with Laboratory (Fundamentals of Microbiology for Science Students)

Molecular or cell biology (for science majors, a higher division course)

General chemistry with laboratory (for science students, includes inorganic and qualitative analysis)

Organic chemistry with laboratory (for science students)

Biochemistry (for science students, a higher division course)

Human behavior (general psychology or introductory sociology)


For foreigners (holders of an equivalent US bachelor’s degree abroad):

English (expository writing)

Interpersonal communications or public speaking

For your university’s specific course equivalences, see the forms available on the USC website.

The Pharm.D. The program at USC is a 4-year program. USC is a private school, and our estimated tuition and cost of living for 2009 is approximately $ 60,000.

The University of Southern California provides students with the opportunity to earn dual degrees in addition to their Doctor of Pharmacy degree. These include the following:

Doctor of Pharmacy / Master of Business Administration (MBA)

Doctor of Pharmacy / Doctor of Jurisprudence (JD)

Doctor of Pharmacy / Master of Public Health (MPH)

Doctor of Pharmacy / Master of Regulatory Sciences (Master of Regulatory Sciences)

Doctor of Pharmacy / Master of Science in Gerontology (MSG)

Doctor of Medicine / Graduate Certificate in Gerontology (Gerontology Certificate)

Pharmacist / Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

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