Pharmacists are highly trusted and respected members of the health care profession. They provide medicine and health information for patients. A career in pharmacy blends science, health care, direct patient contact, computer technology and business. 

The typical pharmacist has extensive training in chemistry and biology. There is a high demand for pharmacists and the job growth rate is well above national averages. In 2002 the median salary was $77,050 with 62% of pharmacists employed as community pharmacists and 22% by hospitals.

Required/Recommended Courses

Note that this list varies from school to school and perspective students need to determine the specific requirements for the programs they are applying for early in their academic career.

General Minimum Requirements

3-4 credit hours of Calculus MATH 151:152
3 credit hours of Statistics STAT 219 or 200
8 credit hours of General Chemistry CHEM 101:102
8 credit hours of General Biology BIOL 131:132
8 credit hours of Organic Chemistry CHEM 301:302
6 credit hours of English CORE 101:102
8 credit hours of Physics PHYS 111:112 or 221:222
Public Speaking COMM 114
Anatomy and Physiology BIOL 410
Microbiology BIOL 408
Microeconomics ECON 106

Additional Courses Required for Some Programs

Philosophy/Ethics PHIL 112
Anatomy and Physiology BIOL 411
Biochemistry I and II CHEM 471:472
Computer Science ITEM 120
Psychology PSYC 121
Immunology BIOL 337

Sociology, History, Global/US Diversity, Foreign Language, Humanities, Social Sciences, and other course can be required at individual schools.

Application Process

Applications should be prepared in the summer a full year before expected enrollment, since many programs use rolling admissions using the PharmCAS system.  Most deadlines are in January or February but priority is given to earlier applicants.  The PCAT ideally is taken by the June you apply.  Application materials may be obtained from the university offering the pharmacy program.


Freshman through Junior years

  • Take most of the coursework for the major in chemistry with a pre-professional concentration or in the biology major.
  • Gain significant experience in a pharmacy and work toward certification as a pharmacy technician.
  • Engage in community service.
  • Participate in university and department activities.
  • Get to know the faculty of the department outside of class.They will provide those necessary letters of recommendation at application time.
  • Take the PCAT by June at the end of your sophomore or junior year.
  • Apply to schools that summer and request a mock interview with the Pre-Health Committee the following fall.

Suggested Course Schedule

First Year
    BIOL 131
    BIOL 132
    CHEM 101
    CHEM 102
    CORE 101
    CORE 102
    STAT 219 or 200
    PHIL 112

Second Year
    CHEM 301
    CHEM 302
    PHYS 111
    PHYS 112
    MATH 151
    MATH 152
    COMM 114
    ECON 106

Third Year
    PSYC 121
    ITEC 120
    CHEM 471
    CHEM 472
    BIOL 410
    BIOL 411
    BIOL 408
    BIOL 337
    (Jan and/or June-take PCAT)
    (June 1-PharmCAS application can be completed)
    (Send supplemental applications within two weeks after receiving them.)

Fourth Year
    CHEM 216
    CHEM 401
    CHEM 424