Professional Degrees

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 be conferred when the student has successfully completed all Doctor of Pharmacy degree requirements.

Application Procedure

The School of Pharmacy uses the Pharmacy College Application Service (PharmCAS) and a supplemental application for its admission process. Applications are available at The PharmCAS and supplemental application deadline is November 1.

Applications are due November 1. Priority interview consideration is given 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. Both applications must be received by the Office of Admission and Student Affairs before the evaluation process can begin.

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 Guidelines

The 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 Students

Applicants for the School of Pharmacy’s Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D.) program holding international visas should contact the USC School of Pharmacy for information.

Entrance Requirements

Admission to the School of Pharmacy requires completion of a baccalaureate degree, completion of the prerequisite college courses, a minimum 3.0 (A = 4.0) cumulative grade point average and a minimum 3.0 grade point average in the prepharmacy prerequisites.

Prepharmacy Requirements

To 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 or cell biology, microbiology, mammalian physiology, calculus, statistics, a social sciences course related to human behavior, and a course in microeconomics. These science requirements should be completed at an 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 Sciences

Courses 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 in statistics (not business statistics) 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-semester (two quarters) course in physics for science majors with laboratory is required (inclusion of thermodynamics and electromagnetism is recommended). The recommended courses at USC are PHYS 135abL or PHYS 151L and PHYS 152L.

Biological Sciences

General biology: a one-year course (two semesters, three quarters) for science majors is required in general biology with laboratory (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 120Lx and BISC 220L.

Microbiology: one course in fundamental microbiology for science majors is required. The recommended course at USC is BISC 300L. Lab is recommended.

Molecular or cell biology: one upper division course in molecular or cell biology for science majors is required. The recommended course at USC is BISC 320L or BISC 411.

Biochemistry: one upper division course in biochemistry for science majors is required. The recommended course at USC is BISC 330L.

Mammalian physiology: one course in mammalian physiology for science majors is required (human physiology is preferred; courses in plant physiology, cell physiology and marine physiology cannot be used to meet this requirement). The recommended course at USC is BISC 307L.

Social and Behavioral Sciences

One course in human behavior (psychology, sociology, cultural anthropology or related courses is required).

Economics: one course in 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.

Students who have earned a baccalaureate degree and meet the prerequisites described above (including general psychology or introduction to sociology and microeconomics) at the time of admission will have fulfilled the requirement for social and behavioral sciences.

Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate Examinations

Applicants can use AP and IB courses to meet USC School of Pharmacy prerequisites with the following provisos. AP results are acceptable with scores of 4 or 5. IB results are acceptable with a score of 5. Science courses must include respective laboratory courses taken at the college/university level. AP/IB courses used to meet prerequisites will be for course credit only (i.e., they will not count toward the GPA). The Admission Committee recommends that applicants enroll in all of the required pre-pharmacy courses. Please contact the School of Pharmacy Office of Admission for specific information.

Entrance Examination

An in-person interview is required for admission. The PCAT is not required.

Special Admission Program for Entering Freshmen and Current Undergraduates

The Trojan Admission Prepharmacy (TAP) program provides admission to the USC School of Pharmacy’s four-year Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D.) program for USC undergraduates who meet preset performance standards. The TAP program is designed to attract highly qualified, mature high school seniors applying to USC. A specific listing of USC courses and a recommended program for TAP participants can be obtained from the School of Pharmacy Office of Admission or online at

General Education Requirements (TAP Students Only)

TAP students must meet the university’s general education requirements; see here and here for details.

Pharm.D. Curriculum Requirements

The 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 551 Immunology 3
PHRD 557 Therapeutics I: Introductory Principles 4
PHRD 559 Therapeutics II: Pharmacokinetics 3
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 561 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
PHRD 607 Nutrition 2
Elective 3
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
Elective 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
PHRD 675 Travel Medicine
PHRD 677 Risk Assessment and Management in Pharmacy Practice
year IV, Fall (18 units)
Required Clerkships
Elective Clerkships
year IV, Spring (18 units)
Required Clerkships
Elective Clerkships

Required Clerkships (6 units each) — four rotations:

PHRD 701 Acute Care Clinical APPE
PHRD 705 Community Pharmacy APPE
PHRD 704 Primary Care APPE, or
PHRD 718 Hospital Pharmacy Practice 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 (limit of one course that does not involve direct patient care):

PHRD 702* Inpatient Psychiatric Pharmacy Clerkship
PHRD 703 Long Term Care Clerkship
PHRD 706 Geriatrics Clerkship
PHRD 707 Outpatient Psychiatric Pharmacy 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 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 Clerkship Project I
PHRD 727 Directed Clinical Clerkship Project II
PHRD 728 Directed Clinical Clerkship Project III
PHRD 729 Directed Clinical Clerkship Project 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 Primary Care Clerkship

*Indicates course does not involve direct patient care.

Total for Pharm.D. degree: 144 semester units.

Degree Requirements

All students in the Doctor of Pharmacy degree program must meet course requirements, grade point average requirements and program residency requirements. All course requirements must be completed with a grade of “C” or better. The degree will not be conferred until the student has successfully completed all Doctor of Pharmacy degree requirements. Students are subject to the degree requirements in the USC Catalogue current for the semester of their admission into the Doctor of Pharmacy program. Students must have a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 in the Pharm.D. curriculum to meet graduation requirements.


Details of the School of Pharmacy registration procedure will be included in the orientation program prior to the first week of classes.

Cancellation of Registration

During the first three years of the Doctor of Pharmacy program (Years I, II and III), a student will only be permitted to withdraw from all courses enrolled in a semester and may not selectively withdraw from a single course or group of courses. During the fourth year, students must contact the School of Pharmacy Office of Admission and Student Affairs for withdrawal guidelines. Procedures for readmission into the program or make-up of incomplete courses and clerkships are included in the school’s brochure on academic policies and procedures.