"Pharmacists play a vital role in the health care system, and while responsibilities vary among the different areas of pharmacy practice, the bottom line is that pharmacists help patients get well and stay well. Pharmacist responsibilities include a range of care for patients, from dispensing medications to monitoring patient health and progress to optimizing their response to medication. Pharmacists also educate patients on the use of prescriptions and over-the-counter medications, and advise physicians, nurses and other health professionals on medication therapies and make sure that drugs do not interact in a harmful way. Pharmacists are medication experts ultimately concerned about their patients' health and wellness." – PHARMCas

Major Selection

As an undergraduate student, you may choose any major in preparation for applying to pharmacy programs. There is not a specific preference on a particular major, so you are encouraged to choose a major based on your personal interests and strengths. What's important is that you have completed the prerequisite courses required by the institution you are applying to.

Prerequisite Courses

Requirements may vary from school to school, so you will want to research different program requirements. In general, most pharmacy programs will expect applicants to have completed the following types of courses:

Course Course Title Required or Recommended
CHEM 150 General Chemistry I Required
CHEM 150L General Chemistry I Lab Required
CHEM 210 General Chemistry II Required
CHEM 210L General Chemistry II Lab Required
CHEM 350 Organic Chemistry I Required
CHEM 355 Organic Chemistry I Lab Required
CHEM 360 Organic Chemistry II Required
CHEM 365 Organic Chemistry II Lab Required
CHEM 400 Biochemistry I Required
CHEM 405 Biochemistry I Lab Required
CHEM 410 Biochemistry II Recommended
BIOL 111 Cell Biology Required
BIOL 111L Cell Biology Lab Required
BIOL 115 Organismal Biology Required
BIOL 115L Organismal Biology Lab Required
BIOL 323 Human Anatomy Required
BIOL 323L Human Anatomy Lab Required
BIOL 341 Genetics Recommended
BIOL 341L Genetics Lab Recommended
BIOL 349 Human Physiology Required
BIOL 349L Human Physiology Lab Required
BIOL 350 Microbiology Required
BIOL 350L Microbiology Lab Required
ENGL 6 credits Required
MATH 261 Calculus I Required
BIOL 275, MATH 234, PSY 230L Statistics Required
PHYS 160/L or PHYS 200/L College/General Physics I & Lab or Physics I with Calculus & Lab Required
PHYS 161/L or PHYS 201/L College/General Physics II & Lab or Physics II with Calculus & Lab Required
PSY 113 General Psychology Recommended

*Other courses may be required/recommended by specific programs. You are responsible for knowing the requirements for each individual program. Policies on AP, IB and community college credits vary by institution.

For a complete listing of pharmacy programs and their admission requirements, visit the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy website.

Admissions Test

PCAT: Pharmacy College Admission Test

Content on the PCAT includes:

  • Biological Processes
  • Chemical Processes
  • Critical Reasoning
  • Quantitative Reasoning