2021-2022 Undergraduate Catalog 
    Jul 02, 2022  
2021-2022 Undergraduate Catalog [Archived Catalog]

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Pharmaceutical Sciences (B.S.)/Pharmacy (Pharm.D.)

Program Contact/Coordinator

Dan Hansen, Dean
Brad Laible, Interim Associate Dean for Academic Programs
College of Pharmacy and Allied Health Professions
Avera Health and Science Center 133
605-688-6197 or 605-688-5591

Program Information

The College of Pharmacy and Allied Health Professions offers a six-year course of study (2-year pre-pharmacy and 4-year professional program phase) leading to an entry level Doctor of Pharmacy degree. The Pharm.D. is a professional degree which enables  graduates to pursue diverse career opportunities and ensures that their pharmacy education prepares them for future changes in the profession. The program provides unique opportunities for students who want to make a significant contribution to the health care needs of today’s society.

Program Admission

Preparation for the Major

In high school the student should take an academic curriculum in preparation for entrance to college. 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 and Allied Health Professions early in their academic careers to plan coursework that will transfer to the College of Pharmacy and Allied Health Professions and meet pre-pharmacy requirements.

Application Process

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 and Allied Health Professions website. 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 mathematics, science and communication requirements prior to fall semester is eligible to apply.

Notification of initial acceptance into the professional program will be made by March 15. Students admitted to the professional program must submit a non-refundable pharmacy major fee to secure their position for the fall semester.

Program Format

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.

Curriculum Notes

  1. Eligible for B.S. in Pharmaceutical Sciences after completion of all general education requirements, 300 and 400-level required PHA courses, and general elective credits for a total of 138 credits.
  2. Successful completion of the capstone activities are required as part of the degree requirements for both the B.S. in Pharmaceutical Sciences and the Doctor of Pharmacy degrees.
  3. P3 year courses are taught at Community College for Sioux Falls. Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experiences (APPEs) are completed during Summer Sessions, Fall, and Spring Semesters.

Pharmacy Regulations

Students in the College of Pharmacy and Allied Health Professions 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:


Progression standards for students in the Pharm.D. program are set to ensure graduates are prepared to provide pharmacy services to the public. The integrated curriculum relies on information and skills garnered in previous courses, and therefore, students’ success depends on achieving a minimum level of performance in each course.  Minimum level of performance is defined as a grade of C or better based on University Catalog grade definitions.  A grade of D is defined in terms of “insufficient” and “inadequate” according to the University Catalog.  A grade of F is defined in terms of “failure.”  D, F, and U (unsatisfactory) grades do not represent a minimum level of performance needed to develop skills, abilities, and knowledge of a general practitioner.

Refused Status

A student will be placed on refused status if the student:

  1. Earns a D, F, or U in a pharmacy course.
  2. Does not complete the Pharm.D. program within six years of starting the professional program.

Class Standing Requirements

Standing - In order for students to enroll in the fall semester of the pharmacy program, students must meet the class standing requirement.  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 119/101 and PHA 219.

P3 Year Standing - Completion of all PHA 400 level required courses. 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 pharmacy practice experience courses are required to progress to the subsequent semester.

P4 Year Standing - Completion of all PHA 600-700 level required, non-advanced pharmacy practice experience courses, and 300 hours of IPPE.

Student Learning Outcomes

The educational outcomes are the knowledge, skills and attitudes which the College desires each Pharm.D. graduate to possess.  The Pharm.D. program consists of specific courses and other experiences which are designed to provide the knowledge, training and experience to allow each student to successfully attain these outcomes.

Foundational Knowledge

The professional program leading to the Doctor of Pharmacy degree (hereinafter “the program”) develops in the graduate the knowledge, skills, abilities, behaviors, and attitudes necessary to apply the foundational sciences to the provision of patient-centered care.

1.1. Foundational Knowledge (Learner) – Develop, integrate, and apply knowledge from the foundational sciences (i.e., biomedical, pharmaceutical, social/behavioral/administrative, and clinical sciences) to evaluate the scientific literature, explain drug action, solve therapeutic problems, and advance population health and patient-centered care. 

Essentials for Practice and Care

The program imparts to the graduate the knowledge, skills, abilities, behaviors, and attitudes necessary to provide patient-centered care, manage medication use systems, promote health and wellness, and describe the influence of population-based care on patient-centered care.

2.1. Patient-centered care (Caregiver) - Provide patient-centered care as the medication expert (collect and interpret evidence, prioritize, formulate assessments and recommendations, implement, monitor and adjust plans, and document activities).

2.2. Medication use systems management (Manager) – Manage patient healthcare needs using human, financial, technological, and physical resources to optimize the safety and efficacy of medication use systems.

2.3. Health and wellness (Promoter) – Design prevention, intervention, and educational strategies for individuals and communities to manage chronic disease and improve health and wellness.

2.4. Population-based care (Provider) – Describe how population-based care influences patient-centered care and influences the development of practice guidelines and evidence-based best practices.

Approach to Practice and Care

The program imparts to the graduate the knowledge, skills, abilities, behaviors, and attitudes necessary to solve problems; educate, advocate, and collaborate, working with a broad range of people; recognize social determinants of health; and effectively communicate verbally and nonverbally.

3.1. Problem Solving (Problem Solver) – Identify problems; explore and prioritize potential strategies; and design, implement, and evaluate a viable solution.

3.2. Education (Educator) – Educate all audiences by determining the most effective and enduring ways to impart information and assess learning. 

3.3. Patient Advocacy (Advocate) – Represent the patient’s best interests.

3.4. Interprofessional collaboration (Collaborator) – Actively participate and engage as a healthcare team member by demonstrating mutual respect, understanding, and values to meet patient care needs.

3.5. Cultural sensitivity (Includer) – Recognize social determinants of health to diminish disparities and inequities in access to quality care.

3.6. Communication (Communicator) – Effectively communicate verbally and nonverbally when interacting with individuals, groups, and organizations.

Personal and Professional Development

The program imparts to the graduate the knowledge, skills, abilities, behaviors, and attitudes necessary to demonstrate self-awareness, leadership, innovation and entrepreneurship, and professionalism.

4.1. Self-awareness (Self-aware) – Examine and reflect on personal knowledge, skills, abilities, beliefs, biases, motivation, and emotions that could enhance or limit personal and professional growth.

4.2. Leadership (Leader) – Demonstrate responsibility for creating and achieving shared goals, regardless of position.

4.3. Innovation and Entrepreneurship (Innovator) – Engage in innovative activities by using creative thinking to envision better ways of accomplishing professional goals.

4.4. Professionalism (Professional) – Exhibit behaviors and values that are consistent with the trust given to the profession by patients, other healthcare providers, and society.

Accreditation, Certification, and Licensure


The Pharm.D. program is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education, 190 S. LaSalle Street, Suite 2850, Chicago, IL 60603-3499.

Certification and Licensure

Graduates with a Doctor of Pharmacy degree are eligible to apply for licensure in any state. Licensure as a pharmacist requires graduation with the Pharm.D. degree from an accredited pharmacy program, a certified period of supervised internship experience and successful completion of the North American Pharmacist Licensure Examination and the Multistate Pharmacy Jurisprudence Examination in order to practice as a pharmacist.

These requirements vary slightly from state to state. Students interested in practicing in a particular state should contact the Board of Pharmacy of that state for information concerning requirements.

Requirements for Doctor of Pharmacy Degree: 218 Credits

Major Requirements

Assigned Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experiences

Choose 10 credits from the following:


  • General Electives: 3
  • Pharmacy Electives, PHA 700 level, non-APPE Credits: 5

Total Required Credits: 218


1 Eligible for B.S. in Pharmaceutical Sciences after completion of all general education requirements, 300 and 400-level required PHA courses, and general elective credits for a total of 138 credits.
2 Students must meet progression standards and capstone requirements in order to advance within the program.
3 PHA 410 must be completed during the summer between the P1 and P2 years.
4 General Electives are a College of Pharmacy requirement and can be from any discipline but must be completed by the end of the P2 year. For all students, general elective credits can include credits in excess of System Graduation Requirements (SGR).
5 PHA 610 must be completed during the summer between the P2 and P3 years.

Summary of Program Requirements

Doctor of Pharmacy

System General Education Requirements 34 Credit Hours
Major Requirements 181 Credit Hours
Electives** 3 Credit Hours

**Taken as needed to complete any additional degree requirements.

Academic Advising Guide Sheet

The goal of the academic advising guide sheets and sample plans of study is to promote undergraduate student success by guiding all students to timely completion of an undergraduate degree. Students are not limited to the course sequence provided for their academic program. Instead, the sample plan of study is one possible path to completing your degree and is meant to be used as a guide for planning purposes in consultation with an academic advisor. The plans also help students prepare for meetings with their academic advisor and track their progress in their selected academic program.

Additional Admission Requirements

Applicants to the Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D.) program will submit:

  • The completed application
  • Official transcripts
  • Contact information for two references
  • Documentation of your ACT, SAT, or PCAT scores
  • A short essay on the topic of “Why I want to obtain a Doctor of Pharmacy Degree at SDSU”
  • A completed shadowing form

The program requires an interview with the Pharmacy Admissions Committee before we make the final selections for the new Fall class. Those selected are required to send a non-refundable deposit to secure enrollment for the fall semester. Students must pass a criminal background check before final approval for admission into the professional program. Applicants receive notification of acceptance into the professional program by March 15.

For more information see frequently asked questions (FAQ).