USC Pharmacy School Application Requirements and Tips From an Accepted Student

I will begin with the statistics of the accepted students into the University of Southern California Doctor of Pharmacy program for 2009. 460 students were offered interviews from a pool of over 2000 applicants. 240 students are accepted (11 students from out-of-state schools), and the expected class size for 2009 is 190. One must note that USC offers their undergraduates the opportunity of guaranteed admission as long as they complete their requirements in the TAP program (these students take up a large chunk of seats available for other applicants).

Obtaining a Bachelor’s degree is now a requirement for admission at USC. The minimum GPA requirement is a 3.0 (the average GPA of accepted students is a 3.60). Since USC does not require taking the PCAT, other admission criteria is weighed more heavily (GPA, interview performance, extracurricular activities, personal statements, etc.).

For the application process, it is very important for you to note that the University of Southern California sends out interview invitations on a rolling basis, so it is important that you turn in your PharmCAS application and supplemental application as soon as possible. The deadlines for both are early November, but I highly recommend that you turn both in no latter than early August (I turned in my applications by mid-July, just 1.5 months after the application was made available).

At your interview, you will be asked questions by a current pharmacy school student as well as a faculty member. Think of it more of a conversation where you also ask questions back to both of them. When you first arrive at the interview session, you will be greeted by several current pharmacy students, who do a great job of calming you down prior to your interview. Take this opportunity to ask questions and warm up your oral communication skills. Do not worry to much about the “essay” portion as it is just a test of how well you take notes off of a random article that you read. BE SURE to follow all directions provided to you as it is also a test on how well you pay attention to details.

Here are the pre-requisites for USC’s pharmacy program:

Calculus (for science majors)

Statistics (non-business)

Physics w/lab (science/life science majors- thermodynamics & Electromagnetism recommended)

General Biology w/lab (excludes human anatomy & physiology, botany, and microbiology)

Mammalian Physiology w/lab (human preferred-excludes plant, cell and marine physiology)

Microbiology w/lab (fundamentals of microbiology for science majors)

Molecular or Cell Biology(for science majors-one upper division course)

General Chemistry w/lab (for science majors-include inorganic & qualitative analysis)

Organic Chemistry w/lab (for science majors)

Biochemistry (for science majors one upper division course)

Human Behavior (General Psychology or Introductory Sociology)


For Internationals (holders of foreign US bachelor’s equivalent):

English (expository writing)

Interpersonal Communications or Public Speaking

For specific course equivalencies from your college, please check the forms available from USC’s website.

The Pharm.D. 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 the opportunity to pursue dual degrees in addition to their Doctor of Pharmacy Degree. These include the following:

Pharm.D./Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.)

Pharm.D./Juris Doctor(J.D.)

Pharm.D./Master of Public Health (M.P.H.)

Pharm.D./Master of Science in Regulatory Science (M.S. Regulatory Science)

Pharm.D./ Master of Science in Gerontology (M.S.G.)

Pharm.D./Graduate Certificate in Gerontology (Gerontology Certificate)

Pharm.D./Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

Source by David E. Thompson