Pharmacy School Admissions


What college courses do I need before applying to pharmacy school?

Course prerequisites vary significantly by pharmacy school. Visit the PharmCAS School Directory and the for school-specific requirements. A list of common college course prerequisites is below:

  • General Chemistry I & II
  • Organic Chemistry I & II
  • Biology I & II
  • Anatomy and Physiology (or A&P I & II)
  • Microbiology
  • Physics
  • Calculus
  • English Composition
  • Communication or Public Speaking
  • Psychology or Sociology
  • Statistics


What is the PCAT?

The Pharmacy College Admission Test (PCAT) is a standardized exam administered by Pearson and is required by some pharmacy institutions. It measures general academic ability and scientific knowledge necessary for the PharmD curriculum.

The content areas measured by the PCAT include: Biological Processes, Chemical Processes, Critical Reading, and Quantitative Reasoning multiple-choice subtests are a few experimental items that are not counted toward your score.


Pharmacy Pathway

Pre Pharmacy Study

2–4 YEARS: Pre-pharmacy coursework can be completed at any accredited college or university. Some pharmacy schools offer early assurance pathways to pre-pharmacy students. The majority of pharmacy schools do not require students to complete a bachelor’s degree before entering the professional Pharm.D. curriculum.


Pharmacy College or School (Pharm. D. Degree)

3–4 YEARS: Most pharmacy colleges and school in the U.S. require 4 years of study in the professional Pharm.D. curriculum. Some pharmacy institutions offer accelerated programs that require the same amount of professional coursework to be completed within 3 years.


Pharmacist Licensure Exam and State Board Reuirements

LICENSURE:All Pharm.D. graduates must successfully complete the North American Pharmacist Licensure Examination (NAPLEX) and other licensure assessments required by a state board of pharmacy before they can legally practice as a pharmacist in the U.S.



RESIDENCY: 1–2 years of postgraduate training focused on certain patient populations or disease states in a clinical setting.

FELLOWSHIP: Individualized postgraduate training with a focus in academia, research, or industry.

OTHER DEGREES: Licensed pharmacists may choose to become board certified as a way to demonstrate pharmacy expertise in a specialty area of practice: Ambulatory Care, Cardiology, Compounded Sterile Preparations, Critical Care, Geriatric, Infectious Diseases, Nuclear, Nutrition Support Oncology, Pediatric, Pharmacotherapy, and Psychiatric.