Does a career as a pharmacist interest you?

You can get the pre-requisite courses at UNA for admission to pharmacy school. Although applicants with a baccalaureate degree are far more competitive for admission to a Doctor of Pharmacy degree program, you can be admitted to most pharmacy schools after taking the pre-requisite classes only. Pre-pharmacy students may major in any discipline, but majors in chemistry and biology are the most common. In addition to the required coursework, admission to a school of pharmacy requires high scholastic achievement (high GPA) and acceptable scores on the Pharmacy College Admission Test (PCAT), if applicable.

We have two pharmacy schools in the state of Alabama.  They are:

  • Harrison School of Pharmacy, Auburn University, Auburn, AL
  • McWhorter School of Pharmacy, Samford University, Birmingham, AL

Since pharmacy school often require different supporting coursework, students interested in this field should make contact with the Pre-Health Professions Advisor at UNA for assistance in scheduling the appropriate coursework and for information regarding other application requirements. Another important source of information is the schools' websites.  They are very clear about their requirements.

Additional coursework outside of your major and minor coursework may be required.  Among the most commonly required courses are:

  • General Chemistry I and II with labs (8 hours)
  • Organic Chemistry I and II with labs (10 hours)
  • Human Anatomy and Physiology I & II (8 hours)
  • Calculus I (4 hours); cannot take MA 121 in its place
  • Principles of Biology I (4 hours)
  • General Education courses, such as English, Speech, Social & Behavioral Sciences

Working or volunteering in a pharmacy setting is highly recommended.  If possible, make sure you either work or shadow in a community pharmacy (both independent and chain) and a hospital pharmacy.  Getting your pharmacy technician license and working as a pharmacy technician is also very helpful. There is a difference between having your pharmacy technician license and being certified as a pharmacy technician. 

Pharmacy College Admission Test (PCAT)

The PCAT is a standardized test that can be taken for entry into pharmacy schools in the US.  Students typically take the PCAT at least one year prior to when they expect to matriculate to a pharmacy school.  Some pharmacy schools have minimum scores acceptable for interviews; others do not.  The PCAT tests principles in General Chemistry, Organic Chemistry, basic Biochemistry, Microbiology, Human Anatomy & Physiology, Statistics, Probability, Pre-calculus and Calculus. To learn more, click here.