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Pharmacy

A pre-pharmacy student is taking coursework to provide a solid foundation in the sciences necessary to succeed in a pharmacy program. Pre-pharmacy students also use experiential-learning opportunities to gain insights into the role of a pharmacist within the healthcare field, and to help them determine if the profession is right for them.

What type of education is required?

A plan to prepare for a graduate health professional program.

Coursework required for most Pharmacy Schools

  • One year of Inorganic Chemistry with labs
  • One year of Organic Chemistry with labs
  • One year of Biology with labs
  • One calculus course
  • One statistics course
  • English composition and writing courses
  • Microbiology with lab

Although this coursework will meet the requirements for many schools, students should research the prerequisites of the schools to which they hope to apply. Prerequisite information for the UW School of Pharmacy is available on their website.

Things to be aware of:

A significant number of pharmacy programs require some portion of the following courses: anatomy and physiology, physics, biochemistry, microeconomics, public speaking or interpersonal communications, and specific social science and humanities courses. You should research the requirements for all the schools you wish to attend and attempt to incorporate as many of those requirements as possible into your course schedule.

Most pharmacy programs do not require a bachelor’s degree as an admissions requirement. However, some do require the degree be either completed before beginning into the PharmD program, or be completed by a specified date after beginning the program.

Some form of pharmacy experience before you apply to a pharmacy program is desirable. Volunteer or paid positions (Pharmacy Technicians or Aides) and job shadowing are some possible ways to get this experience. Start looking for such opportunities early into your "pre-pharmacy" path.

Many, but not all pharmacy programs use the PharmCAS application service (see below).

Example three-year schedule (in advance of entering a professional program)


Autumn
WinterSpring
Three years beforeChem 142 (5)
Calculus (5)
Engl Comp (5)
Chem 152 (5)
Statistics (5)
Engl Comp (5)
Chem 162 (5)
MICROM 301 (3)
MICROM 302 (2)
VLPA or I&S (5)
Two years beforeChem 237 (4)
Biol 180 (5)
VLPA or I&S (5)
Chem 238 (4)
Chem 241 (3)
Biol 200 (5)
Chem 239 (3)
Chem 242 (3)
Biol 220 (5)
One year beforeBIOC 405 (3)
VLPA or I&S (5)
BIOC 406 (3)
VLPA or I&S (5)
 

Numbers in parenthesis indicate credit hours.

Although this coursework will meet the requirements for many schools, students should research the prerequisites of the schools to which they hope to apply. Prerequisite information for the UW School of Pharmacy is available on their website.

Major information

As stated above, many pharmacy programs do not require that you complete a bachelor’s degree before entering the program. For those students who will already have an undergraduate degree, pharmacy schools do not give preference to students who have a specific "preferred" major. Choose a major that you really enjoy, and one in which you will be academically successful.

Websites to visit

Applying to pharmacy school

Deadlines for application vary by program. For the UW School of Pharmacy, the steps are as follows:

  1. Take the PCAT. The September testing date is the last date to take the test if you are applying at the end of Autumn Quarter. Make sure you sign up for the test well in advance!
  2. Applications are accepted starting in July.
  3. Request letters of recommendation early.
  4. The UW School of Pharmacy uses the PHARMCAS application service, but you will also submit a UW-specific supplemental application directly to the School of Pharmacy. The application deadline varies each year, but is always in the first week of January.
  5. Interviews are scheduled from January through March.
  6. Notification letters are sent from February through May.