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Program Application Requirements
Preparation for the Major
A sound basic education in science and mathematics courses is an essential part of preparation for the study of pharmacy. Good written and verbal communication skills are important. Students planning to transfer from another college or university should consult with the College of Pharmacy early in their academic careers to plan coursework that will transfer to the College of Pharmacy. For more information, visit http://www.sdstate.edu/pha/apply/pre-pharmacy-curriculum.cfm
All students seeking admission to the 4-year professional program leading to the Doctor of Pharmacy degree must submit an application for the professional program. Applications are available from the College of Pharmacy web site. The deadline for applying for admission for the fall semester is February 1. Limitations in the size of the physical facilities, the number of faculty and the number of advanced pharmacy practice experience sites make it necessary to limit the class size in the professional program. Each student admitted into the professional program is required to authorize and pay for a criminal background check. The background check report is automatically sent to the student and to the College and must be approved by the Admissions Committee.
Selection is competitive and based upon several factors including pre-pharmacy coursework, ACT or PCAT scores, written and oral communication skills, knowledge of the profession, residency status and other factors. Any student who anticipates successful completion of the pre-pharmacy requirements prior to fall semester is eligible to apply.
Notification of acceptance into the professional program will be made by March 15. Students admitted to the professional program must submit a non-refundable deposit to secure their position for the fall semester. That deposit will be applied to student’s account in the fall semester.
Curriculum/Plan of Study
The curriculum is divided into a 2-year pre-pharmacy and a 4-year professional program phase. The pre-pharmacy courses provide a solid knowledge base and ability to use critical thought processes in the biological and physical sciences.
The four years of the professional program incorporate a solid foundation of pharmaceutical science courses as well as a comprehensive sequence of therapeutics and professional practice courses. Students earn a B.S. in Pharmaceutical Sciences after successful completion of the first two years of the professional program. The application of drug knowledge, basic science, and critical thinking to resolve problems of drug distribution and patient care are emphasized throughout the curriculum. In their first three years of the program, students gain initial practice experience through introductory pharmacy practice experiences in settings such as community and hospital pharmacies. In the final year of the program, students have an opportunity to apply knowledge and pharmacy care principles to pharmacy practice situations in a series of advanced pharmacy practice experiences in a variety of patient care settings which include patient care areas of hospitals, nursing homes, community pharmacies, hospital pharmacies, Indian Health Service facilities and clinic pharmacies.
College of Pharmacy Regulations
Students in the College of Pharmacy are governed by the regulations which apply to all students at SDSU but are also governed by requirements established by the College. These requirements are presented in detail in the Pharmacy Student Handbook and include:
1. Pharmacy GPA Calculation – Pharmacy GPA is calculated using all pharmacy PHA prefix courses, excluding 201 & 321.
- For pharmacy courses repeated at SDSU, only the repeated grade will be used to calculate the pharmacy GPA.
- For pharmacy courses repeated at another college of pharmacy, a grade of “C” will be used to calculate the pharmacy GPA in place of the grade received for the corresponding course at SDSU (grades of “D” or “F” for pharmacy courses from other pharmacy programs do not satisfy the course requirement).
2. Probation - A student will be placed on “pharmacy probation” when the student’s pharmacy GPA for a semester falls below 2.0. Each subsequent semester while on “pharmacy probation” the student must earn a pharmacy GPA of 2.0 or better or the student will be placed on “refused status”. The student will be on probation for a minimum of one semester while taking pharmacy courses (PHA prefix, excluding 201 & 321) and will remain on “pharmacy probation” until the student’s cumulative Pharmacy GPA is 2.0 or greater.
3. Graduation - A student must earn a minimum 2.0 grade point average for all pharmacy courses (excluding PHA 201 & 321) to qualify for graduation with a B.S. in Pharmaceutical Sciences or to progress to the P3 year.
4. Progression –
- To progress to the P3 year a student cannot have more than 9 credits of “D” and/or “F” grades in PHA prefix courses.
- The Exit Exam is a capstone activity that each student must take for completion of the P2 year and progression into the P3 year; it is administered during the spring semester of the P2 year. The exam is intended to determine competency in the general and professional curricular outcomes that are pertinent through the P2 year (see Outcome Statements for Pharmacy Curriculum in the Student Handbook). If a student does not pass the P2 exam (passing determined by Assessment Committee based on College and National results), the student will carry out remediation according to instructions provided to the student. The student will also be required to take the exam in the spring of the P3 year, pay for the exam, and achieve a passing score. If a passing score is not achieved in the P3 year, the student will be required to take the exam in the spring of the P4 year, pay for the exam, and achieve a passing score (see Outcome Statements for Pharmacy Curriculum in the Student Handbook).
- Standing - Some pharmacy courses have prerequisites such as “P1 Year Standing”, etc. These are defined as follows (note: “completion” means a passing grade in each pharmacy course and maintaining semester and cumulative PHA GPA requirements):
P1 Year Standing - The student must have been admitted into the professional program.
P2 Year Standing - Completion of all PHA 300 level required courses and PHA 109.
P3 Year Standing - Completion of all PHA 400 level required courses and PHA 610, a bachelor’s degree, and all capstone activities are required to begin the fall semester. Completion of all required PHA 700, non-advanced practice experience courses are required to progress to the subsequent semester.
P4 Year Standing - completion of all PHA 600-700 level required, non-advanced practice courses.
- Students must have a C or better (or “S” where applicable) for completion of each 700 level course taken in the Doctor of Pharmacy program.
- If completion of an Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experience (APPE) is not achieved by a student, the student may repeat that APPE the following summer according to availability after the next class has selected their APPEs. If completion of an elective APPE is not achieved, the student may select another elective APPE rather than repeating the same elective APPE. If a student fails completion of more than one APPE, the student will not be allowed to progress to another semester of the program.
- The student must successfully complete P4 capstone requirements including P4 seminar, the P4 knowledge exam, all items on the Student Activities Checklist, and all components of the P4 Assessment Activities, In addition, the student must maintain a portfolio of activities according to distributed portfolio guidelines.