The Basics

Preparing to be pharmacist does not happen overnight. Most people know that it is important to have strong grades, but just as important is gaining experience to develop the skills, knowledge, and maturity necessary to be an effective healthcare provider. As with others on a health care team, pharmacists’ decisions and actions affect human life and well-being. Pharmacists must pay attention to detail, have high ethical standards, communicate well with patients and other healthcare providers, maintain reliable records, and be knowledgeable about existing and new drug treatments to ensure each patient has optimal results.

Knowledge of Self and Profession

Throughout the application process, you will need to demonstrate knowledge of yourself (values, goals, motivations, strengths, weaknesses), an understanding of the profession, and a commitment to become a pharmacist. You must clearly articulate your readiness to enter the profession as result of first-hand experience in the field. There should be evidence in your application that you are committed to service and helping others. You must demonstrate your ability to work on a team, to lead, and to communicate with people with different backgrounds, values, perspectives from your own.

Major and GPA

And finally, there is no “best major” for pre-pharmacy students. You can choose ANY major and be successful in your application to pharmacy school. Admissions personnel will review your GPA from a variety of perspectives…cumulative GPA, math/science GPA, and prerequisite GPA. Choose a major that you will enjoy and allow you to successfully complete the required and recommended courses while also gaining experience outside the classroom. Consider a major that will provide many career options, recognizing that students commonly change majors and career plans multiple times as they learn about themselves and their career options.

Prerequisite Courses

Category Prerequisite Area Minimum Recommendation Course Numbers
General Biology 2 Lectures and 2 Labs MCB 150/MCB 151, IB 150/IB 151 (Upper level labs may substitute)
Biological Sciences Anatomy & Physiology 2 Lectures and 2 Labs MCB 244/MCB 245, MCB246/MCB247
Microbiology 1 Lecture and 1 Lab MCB 100/MCB 101 OR MCB 300/MCB 301
Genetics 1 Lecture MCB 250 OR IB 204
Physical Sciences General Chemistry 2 Lectures and 2 Labs CHEM 102/CHEM 103, CHEM 104/CHEM 105
Organic Chemistry 2 Lectures and 1 Lab CHEM 232/CHEM 233, CHEM 332
Biochemistry 1 Lecture MCB 354 OR MCB 450
Physics 2 Lectures and 2 Labs PHY 101, PHY 102
Mathematics/Statistics Statistics 1 Lecture STAT 100 OR 212 (or equivalent)
Math 1 Lecture MATH 220 (or equivalent)
Social/Behavioral Science Economics (Micro or Macro) 1 lecture ECON 102 or ECON 103
Varies by program 1-3 lectures May include psychology, sociology, anthropology or other social/behavioral sciences
Additional Courses Varies ---- Some schools may require additional science and math courses and/or humanities