Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD)/Master of Science in Gerontology Dual degree Program in University of Southern California (USC) School of Pharmacy-USA

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Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD)/Master of Science in Gerontology Dual Degree Program 

A dual Doctor of Pharmacy/Master of Science in Gerontology degree provides extensive education and training in the unique health care needs of older adults. Traditionally, this expertise had to be acquired independently; this dual-degree program allows graduates to pursue advanced positions at an early stage in their careers. This five-year program offers more depth and rigor than the PharmD/Certificate in Gerontology.

Admission Requirements and Application Process

Students interested in the dual PharmD/MSG degree must be accepted by both programs.

Requirements for admission include:

  • a baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university with a minimum GPA of 3.0
  • a minimum GRE score of 1000 (requirement may be waived if GPA is greater than 3.0)
  • Students will not be given special consideration for admission to either program because they are applying for the dual degree.
  • Students accepted to the dual-degree program must maintain a minimum 3.0 GPA in their Gerontology and PharmD courses.

Students may apply to the dual PharmD/MSG degree program in two ways:

Apply concurrently

  • Submit applications to both programs simultaneously.
  • Identify yourself on both applications as a potential dual-degree student.
  • If you are admitted to both programs, you will be offered admission to the PharmD and contingent admission to the MSG program, pending your passage of all courses in the first year of the PharmD program with a minimum 3.0 GPA.
  • If you are accepted by only one program, you may choose to attend that program, but will not be eligible for the dual degree.

Apply for the dual degree after acceptance to PharmD

  • You may instead submit an application to the MSG program during your first two years of enrollment in the PharmD, prior to the MSG published application deadline.
  • If you choose this option, you must apply through the School of Pharmacy.
  • If you are admitted to the MSG program, you will be offered admission to the dual degree if you pass all courses in your first year of the PharmD program with a minimum 3.0 GPA.

Contact Information

For more information, please call the School of Pharmacy at (323) 442-1469 or the USC Andrus Gerontology Center at (213) 740-5156.

How To Apply


The following checklist is designed to guide you through the entire application process. If you have any questions along the way, admission staff is available to help you at (323) 442-1466

Check that you meet minimum eligibility requirements

  1. Bachelor's degree completed.
  2. Minimum 3.0 cumulative grade point average (on a 4.0 scale) at an accredited two- or four-year college or university--with all pre-pharmacy required courses preferably taken at four-year institutions.
  3. Meet the Course Equivalencies and pre-pharmacy course requirements.

Complete your PharmCAS Application

Like many other leading schools of pharmacy, the USC School of Pharmacy uses the Pharmacy College Application Service (PharmCAS), which allows prospective students to complete one primary application that may be submitted to multiple schools.

  1. Familiarize yourself with the PharmCAS website in advance, so you can gather all the materials you will need to complete the application process. You will find a step-by-step checklist and other helpful materials on the PharmCAS website.
  2. Create your PharmCAS login account to obtain your PharmCAS ID number.
  3. You must use the same email address for both the PharmCAS and USC Supplemental Application.
  4. Allow three to six hours to fill out your application. You do not have to complete the application in one sitting; you may save your work and return to your application repeatedly until you are ready to submit it.
  5. Enter your transcript information from each higher education institution you have attended. All data you enter must match your transcripts.
  6. Arrange for your official transcripts to be sent directly to PharmCAS from each institution.
  7. Arrange for two or three letters of recommendation to be sent directly to PharmCAS. Re-applicants from one year prior only need to submit one new letter of recommendation.
  8. Submit your PharmCAS application as early as possible. Generally it takes two to five weeks for PharmCAS to process your application and send it to the School of Pharmacy.
  9. Submit no later than the deadline of November 1, 2013 (11:59 p.m. EASTERN time).

Complete your USC Supplemental Application

Once you have started your PharmCAS application, you are ready to start your USC School of Pharmacy Supplemental Application.

USC does NOT require an application fee for the Supplemental Application

1. Create an account. You will need a PharmCAS ID to create an account for the Supplemental Application. Please use the same E-mail address for both the PharmCAS and the USC Supplemental Application.

2. Ensure you meet eligibility requirements, including the course equivalencies from your college/university and pre-pharmacy course requirements. DO NOT send transcripts to USC at the time of application. Admitted students will need to submit final transcript with degree(s) posted to the USC School of Pharmacy Admission Office upon request.

3. Complete the School of Pharmacy Supplemental Application.

  • Have transcripts available from each higher education institution you attended. From those transcripts, you will select the courses used to satisfy the pre-pharmacy requirements.
  • You must complete each section of the application before moving to the next. You can, however, save the page(s) you have completed and log off, and return at a later time. Once you submit your application, you can only access it as a read-only file.
  • Submit your resume through the USC Supplemental Application. Any format is acceptable. Your resume must include your full name and PharmCAS ID number, and your educational information, extracurricular activities, honors and leadership roles (if any), work and volunteer experiences.
  • You must answer two PharmD Essay Questions. You may write your responses in separate Word files and cut and paste each onto the online PharmD Supplemental Application. Please limit your answers to the space provided in the online application, no more than 400 words (or 2500 characters including spaces). The cut-and-paste function will not work if your answer goes beyond the space provided.
  • For pre-pharmacy course units with decimals, please round to the next whole number (e.g. if you have 1.5 units for a course, please enter 2 units). For beginning and ending dates of academic terms, you may estimate dates if you do not know the exact dates. If you have pre-pharmacy courses not yet scheduled, enter tentative information. You may enter "not available" for course numbers.
  • You must sign electronically the California State Board of Pharmacy Felony and Misdemeanor Conviction Disclosure Statement, the Essential Characteristics and Abilities form and the Applicant's Affidavit.

4. Submit no later than the deadline date of November 1, 2013 (11:59 PM Pacific Standard time).

Interview Process

Applicants must be interviewed before admission to the PharmD program.
The interview consists of two parts: an oral interview and a writing test. The purpose of the interview is to assess your oral communication skills, writing skills, leadership ability and your motivation or potential to be a pharmacist.

If you are offered an interview, you will be notified two to three weeks in advance. Please keep the following dates available because, except for rare circumstances, appointments are not rescheduled. The schedule of 2013-2014 interview sessions to be announced.

Following Admission

If you are admitted into the USC PharmD program, at that time, you will be required to submit:

  1. One official transcript with degree posted upon request from the Office of Admission & Student Affairs.
  2. Proof of Permanent Residency (Alien Registration - two photocopies of the front and back of your registration card) for those not born in the US but who hold an Alien Registration Card.

The above items should be mailed directly to the USC School of Pharmacy, Office of Admission & Student Affairs, 1985 Zonal Avenue, PSC 206A, Los Angeles CA 90089-9121. Please do not submit these items during the application process--only upon admission.

Background/Drug Checks

Many of the clinical facilities affiliated with USC require background checks and/or drug testing and/or urine tests for student placement at their sites. Therefore, all students admitted into the PharmD program must agree to undergo an initial criminal background check, as well as updated checks when required by clinical facilities during enrollment in the program. The USC School of Pharmacy participates in the initial background check with the PharmCAS Centralized Criminal Background Check program. Students are responsible for the cost of all background checks.

All students admitted to the USC PharmD program will be notified via PharmCAS that they are required to have a background check completed. The results of the checks will be forwarded to the applicants for review. The applicants have the right to agree or not to agree to the background checks and/or have the results forwarded to USC. Issues which may adversely affect the students' abilities to participate successfully in the IPPE's (Introductory Pharmacy Practice Experiences) and APPE's (Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experiences) will be reviewed by the Associate Dean, Faculty / Student Affairs & Admission. Applicants who fail to complete background checks, or who are determined to have unprofessional conduct issues, may have their admission decisions revoked. All revoked admission decisions related to background checks are final.


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