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Preparing for Admission to Pharmacy School


Note: Most pharmacy schools have a minimum GPA requirement of 2.75-3.0, but keep in mind that even with this minimum, admission is competitive, so most admitted students will have a much higher GPA (>3.5 or 3.75). The following guidelines represent a summary of the coursework required to be admitted at most pharmacy schools. Course guidelines from individual schools may be more stringent. For more information, contact the pre-professional advisor or visit individual school websites.

Courses required by most (>50%) PharmD programs:

  • Principles of Biology I (BIO 135)
  • Principles of Biology II (BIO 140)
  • Anatomy and Physiology I (BIO 270)
  • Anatomy and Physiology II (BIO 275)
  • Microbiology (BIO 210)
  • General Chemistry I (CHEM 151)
  • General Chemistry II (CHEM 152)
  • Organic Chemistry I (CHEM 251)
  • Organic Chemistry II (CHEM 252)
  • General Psychology (PSY 190)
  • Calculus I (MATH 120)
  • Statistics (MATH 220)
  • Physics I (PHY 111 & 112)
  • Physics II (PHY 113 & 114)
  • Economics (BA 160 &/or 161)-check programs!
  • Human Development (EDU 142)
  • English Composition (ENG 101 & 102)
  • Public Speaking (COMM 105)

Courses required by some (15%-49%) PharmD programs:

  • Biochemistry (CHEM 330)
  • Calculus II (MATH 200)
  • Social science coursework*
  • Psychology (PSY 190)*
  • Behavioral Science coursework*

*72% of PharmD programs require at least one of these three: check individual programs for guidelines

Other recommended or required courses vary, but may include: General Genetics (BIO 283), Immunology (BIO 375), and Cell and Molecular Biology (BIO 381), or courses included in UIU General Education

Additional courses to earn a major if you complete all the required courses listed above, your general education courses (and earn 120 total credit hours):


  • General Genetics (BIO 283)
  • Evolution (BIO 340)
  • Cell and Molecular Biology (BIO 381)
  • Scientific Literature Skills (BIO 201)
  • Thesis I (BIO 398)
  • Thesis II (BIO 498)
  • 2 hrs approved electives


PharmD program admissions routinely use experience in a pharmacy setting as a selection criterion. You should seek out opportunities to gain this experience in either paid or unpaid settings. You may earn credit for some experience as a part of BIO 303: Experience in Health Careers.

Pharmacy College Admissions Test (PCAT)

Many (~67%) pharmacy schools require you to take the PCAT. The PCAT contains seven sections: Verbal ability, Biology (general, micro, A &P), Reading Comprehension (science related), Quantitative ability (algebra geometry probability and statistics, pre-calculus and calculus), chemistry (inorganic and organic) and written essay questions(sentence formation, usage and mechanics). More information about the PCAT is available at

Application Timelines

Application deadlines vary from October to April for the following academic year, with most in December-February. Many schools participate in a centralized application system, PharmCAS, which is located at