Preparing yourself to apply to the pharmacy schools of your choice involves completing pharmacy school prerequisite courses, getting good grades in all of your courses, gaining pharmacy experience, and taking the PCAT test. This information has been prepared to assist you in that effort. Here you will find details about what common pharmacy school prerequisite courses are and what UW Bothell and UW Seattle courses fulfill those requirements, information about electives, and more information about the PCAT and gaining pharmacy experience.
Admissions requirements are different at all pharmacy schools and are subject to change without notice, as are the contents of the PCAT test, so it is very important for all pharmacy school applicants to carefully research the requirements for admission at all prospective pharmacy schools early enough to address any deficiencies in preparation for admission to the schools of your choice.
Common Pharmacy School Minimum Prerequisite Courses:
• General Biology with labs (1 year)
• General Chemistry with labs (1 year)
• Organic Chemistry with labs (1 year)
• English Composition (10)
• Calculus (1 course)
• Statistics (1 course)
• Microbiology with lab (1 course)
• Public Speaking or Interpersonal Communication (1 course)
• Microeconomics (1 course)
• Biochemistry (2 course sequence)
* Although this coursework will meet the requirements for many schools, students should research the prerequisites of the schools to which they hope to apply.
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).
What to Major in?
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.
Applying to Pharmacy School
Deadlines for application vary by program. For the UW School of Pharmacy, the steps are as follows:
- 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!
- Applications are accepted starting in July.
- Request letters of recommendation early.
- The UW School of Pharmacy uses the PHARMCAS application service, but you will also submit a UW-specific on-line supplemental application directly to the School of Pharmacy. The application deadline varies each year, but is always in the first week of January. Plan on having all of your application materials submitted to PHARMCAS and the School of Pharmacy before January 5th, 11:59PM (Eastern Standard Time).
- Interviews are scheduled from January through March.
- Notification letters are sent from February through May.