USC Pharmacy Graduate Program

Welcome to the Pharmacy Graduate Program

The South Carolina College of Pharmacy is an association of the Colleges of Pharmacy of the University of South Carolina and the Medical University of South Carolina. The jointly administered program offers M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Pharmaceutical Sciences. The degrees are research intensive degrees. Students work with faculty, who are actively engaged in research in their respective fields. The graduate program consist of two research departments:  The department of Pharmaceutical & Biomedical Sciences and the department of Clinical Pharmacy and Outcomes Sciences. 

Department of Pharmaceutical and Biomedical Sciences


Areas of research specialization include: medicinal chemistry, pharmaceutics, and pharmacology. 

Contact:
Diane Wise : 803.777.6053

 

Department of Clinical Pharmacy and Outcomes Sciences 


Areas of specialization include economics, public policy, marketing and epidemiology.

Contact:
Dr. Richard Schulz : 803.777.3891

 

Graduate Program Philosophy

The M.S. and Ph.D. degree programs are structured to accommodate diverse research interest. The student, in consultation with an advisor and advisory committee, will develop a program of student which reflects his/her research area of interest. Candidates for the M.S. or Ph.D. degree are expected to conduct original research and to make a contribution to the literature in their area of expertise. Therefore, all M.S. and Ph.D. candidates must submit a thesis or dissertation as appropriate, as well as manuscripts prepared for submission for publication.

 In general, each M.S. graduate student will be expected to publish at least one paper and each Ph.D. student is expected to publish at least three research papers during his/her tenure in the degree program. Presentations by all students at appropriate scientific meetings are encouraged. Graduates are expected to be pharmaceutical scientists. Therefore, students are exposed to interdisciplinary training and education while seeking an advanced degree in pharmaceutical sciences. Topics stressed in this process include synthesis and design of new medicinal agents; examination of their biochemical, pharmacological, and toxicological actions; their bio-availability, excretion and dosage formulation considerations. Exposure of students to interdisciplinary training begins in the first year of enrollment with common core courses in medicinal chemistry, pharmaceutics, and pharmacology. 

Upon completion of the courses, the student, in consultation with the major advisor and advisory committee, takes additional curses focused on a discipline of interest. Further interdisciplinary training is obtained by completing required didactic courses with team-taught recitation sections, and by participation in the departmental seminar program. Candidates with an advanced degree(s) in pharmaceutical sciences will be prepared for a variety of career choices. These choices include teaching and research at academic institutions, research in the pharmaceutical industry, pharmaceutical sales, regulatory governmental agencies such the Food and Drug Administration and toxicology laboratories, drug information consultation, and drug and law enforcement.

General University Academic Requirements and Procedures

Admission Regulations:

Course Loads: A student with a course load of nine or more credit hours during the fall and spring semesters is classified as full-time. Students with teaching or research assistantships are classified as full-time with 6 or more credit hours during the fall and spring semesters. All students are required to enroll for at least one credit hour during any semester in which thesis or dissertation progress is made or when resources of the University are utilized.

Auditing a Course: A student must attend at least 75 percent of all classes in a course to receive audit credit. Under no circumstances will a student be allowed to repeat an audited course for credit.

Dropping a Course: Graduate courses may normally be dropped with a non-penalty grade of “W” prior to the end of the sixth week of the regular semester. Courses dropped after six weeks have been completed will result in a grade of “WF”, which is considered as an “F” for purposes of grade point average and continuation in graduate school. In cases where there is documented justification of the need to drop a course after the six weeks period, the graduate director should be informed of circumstances involved. Approval of the request will result in a grade of “W” in accordance with Graduate School procedures.

All students must be admitted by the Dean of the Graduate School, following the recommendation of the appropriate school or college. Admission is for the specific purpose stated by the Graduate School and the student must reapply in order to pursue further study or change the degree sought. Non-degree students must also be admitted to the Graduate School. Note that students are allowed to obtain a degree in accordance with the regulations in place at the time they are admitted to degree candidacy. A student may also utilize regulations established after admission to degree candidacy. However, all regulations chosen must be outlined in only one specific graduate bulletin.

Admission to the M.S. and Ph.D. degree programs in the area of medicinal chemistry, pharmaceutics, and pharmacology is available to students with a degree in biology, chemistry, or pharmacy from an accredited college or university. Students should have satisfactorily completed the following undergraduate courses; one year each of general and organic chemistry, one year of physics, and calculus. In addition, students with a non-pharmacy background may also be required to satisfactorily complete degree appropriate undergraduate courses in pharmacy and medicinal chemistry after admission to The Graduate School.

International Students:

In accordance with the graduate bulletin, students whose native language is not English must take a diagnostic test to assess their capabilities in English shortly after arrival on campus. English speaking capability will be assessed in a mandatory workshop held by the USC Graduate School in August or January of each year. Those students found to be deficient in writing, reading or speaking English are provided opportunities for further study.

New Student Orientation:Upon arrival on campus, each student will meet with the Graduate Program Director for the purpose of:

        ➢ Initial orientation and receipt of Graduate Student Handbook.

        ➢ Course advisement for registration-The Graduate Director will serve as temporary advisor for class registration during the first semester. The student’s research advisor will be responsible for course advising in subsequent semesters.

        ➢ Assignment of teaching assistantship duties, if applicable.

        ➢ Assignment of graduate office location, and building keys.

Course Regulations

Course Loads: A student with a course load of nine or more credit hours during the fall and spring semesters is classified as full-time. Students with teaching or research assistantships are classified as full-time with 6 or more credit hours during the fall and spring semesters. All students are required to enroll for at least one credit hour during any semester in which thesis or dissertation progress is made or when resources of the University are utilized.

Auditing a Course: A student must attend at least 75 percent of all classes in a course to receive audit credit. Under no circumstances will a student be allowed to repeat an audited course for credit.

Dropping a Course: Graduate courses may normally be dropped with a non-penalty grade of “W” prior to the end of the sixth week of the regular semester. Courses dropped after six weeks have been completed will result in a grade of “WF”, which is considered as an “F” for purposes of grade point average and continuation in graduate school. In cases where there is documented justification of the need to drop a course after the six weeks period, the graduate director should be informed of circumstances involved. Approval of the request will result in a grade of “W” in accordance with Graduate School procedures.

Grading System

Grading System: The grading system utilized by the University of South Carolina is based on a 4 point system.  The letter grades A, B, C, D, and F are used to designate excellent, good, fair, poor, and failing.  A grade of D+ or lower cannot be applied to degree programs.

I=Incomplete – Is assigned when a student is prevented from completing some portion of work in a course.  The instructor must submit a grade change form to the Office of the Registrar explaining the reasons for the incomplete and provision made to complete the course.  The grade of ‘I’ is not utilized in computing a student’s grade point average, but will be permanently changed to an “F” after a 12 month period.

NR=No record – The grade is not appropriate for the course or has not been submitted.  The grade of NR must be appropriately replaced before the last week of the fall or spring semester immediately following the semester that the ‘NR’ was recorded, or an “F” will be assigned.

S or U= Satisfactory or unsatisfactory, respectively, and may only be utilized in accordance with approved “pass-fail grading.”  Courses completed with a grade of “S may count as credits earned.

T or U = Satisfactory or unsatisfactory progress, respectively, toward completion of a thesis or dissertation.  These grades are utilized for thesis or dissertation preparation courses designated as PHAR 799 (M.S.) or PHAR 899 (Ph.D.).  Although they count as credits earned, these grades are not utilized in computing the student’s grade point average.

Academic Standard

Grade Changes, Appeals and Petitions: A grade in a course may be changed only by the professor of record in the course, and then only within one year following the initial grade assignment.  All appeals and petitions regarding other academic or curriculum matters must utilize the following procedures.

  • The nature of the appeal and justification must be submitted in writing to the student’s research advisor and graduate committee chairman.
  • The graduate committee chairman will notify the graduate program director and call a meeting of the student’s graduate committee.
  • The student’s graduate committee will issue an advisory opinion on the petition or appeal, and submit it in writing to the graduate program director, who will render a decision.
  • In the event of an unfavorable decision, the student may request that the graduate program director call a meeting of the graduate faculty which will rule on the appeal or petition and forward it in writing to the graduate director.  In the case of further denial, additional appeals may be made to the Graduate School in accordance with the Graduate Bulletin.

Dismissal from the Graduate Program: Graduate student in either the M.S. or the Ph.D. programs will be subject to dismissal from the Graduate School and the Graduate Program in the College of Pharmacy for the following reason:

  • A cumulative G.P.A. below 3.0 beyond the probationary period of 1 year described above. 
  • Accumulation of 12 hours of ‘C’ in courses taken at USC
  • Lack of satisfactory and continued progress towards completion of the degree
  • Conviction of sexual harassment in the work place