Pharmacists typically fill prescriptions – verifying instructions from physicians on the proper amounts of medication to give to patients – and check whether the prescription will interact negatively with a patient's medical condition or other drugs being taken. They also instruct patients on how and when to take a prescribed medicine, advise on any potential side effects and may counsel about about general health topics such as diet, exercise, stress management and medical equipment/supplies.

Pharmacists are responsible for completing insurance forms and working with insurance companies to ensure that patients get the medicines they need. And they oversee the work of pharmacy technicians and pharmacists-in-training (interns).

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Degree Program

You must earn a Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) degree from an accredited pharmacy institution and pass a state licensure exam. It is possible to enter a PharmD program upon completion of prerequisites before earning an undergraduate degree, but many PharmD programs prefer or require applicants to have a BA or BS first. 

Course Prerequisites

Prerequisites for admission vary by school. For specific college requirements, the AACP compiles Pharmacy School Admission Requirements (PSAR) each year. Typical prerequisite courses include:

  • Biology 1 & 2 (BISC 1111, BISC 1112)
  • Physics (PHYS 1011 and PHYS 1012 or PHYS 1021 and PHYS 1022 or PHYS 1025 and PHYS 1026)
  • Chemistry 1& 2 (CHEM 1111, CHEM 1112)
  • Organic Chemistry 1 & 2 (CHEM 2151/2153, CHEM 2152/2154)
  • Biochemistry  (BISC 3165 or CHEM 3165)
  • Microbiology (BISC 2336/2337)
  • Anatomy & Physiology 1 (EXNS 2210, fall)
  • Anatomy & Physiology 2 (EXNS 2211, spring)
  • Calculus (MATH 1231)
  • Statistics (STAT 1051, 1053, 111, or 1127)
  • English Composition (UW1020 and WID requirements)
  • Public Speaking (example: COMM 1040)
  • Ethics or Philosophy (example: PHIL 2131)
  • Humanities (English, Philosophy, History, etc.)
  • Behavioral & Social Science (Sociology, Psychology, etc.)
  • Economics (ECON 1011)

Application Requirements



As of 2023, the PCAT will no longer be required for admission.  Please note that some schools may have their own entrance exam requirements, such as the GRE.  Please refer to this website for more information and to see what your potential school will require.


GPA and Extracurricular Activities

The average GPA of matriculants to PharmD programs is typically between a 3.3 and a 3.6. PSAR Table 5 provides a list of average GPAs for the most recent entering class. Many schools also encourage or require that applicants have paid or volunteer experience working with patients in a pharmacy or health-related setting. 

Application Process

Most pharmacy degree programs in the U.S. participate in the Pharmacy College Application Service (PharmCAS) for admission. Designed for first-year professional pharmacy degree applicants, PharmCAS offers a simple, efficient process to apply to multiple colleges and schools of pharmacy using a single web-based application.

The PharmCAS application opens in July for enrollment in the following year. School deadlines vary from September (for early decision) to November 1 through March 1. PharmCAS provides detailed information on the application process.

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