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Pre-Pharmacy Track at Hope College

Graduate programs in pharmacy now all offer the Doctor of Pharmacy Degree (Pharm. D.) as the professional degree for a pharmacist. Most Pharm. D. programs require a student to complete a bachelor's degree before entering the program. However, some pharmacy schools offer a combined degree program where a student can complete the undergraduate courses and the Pharm. D. degree in a total of six years.

Each pharmacy school determines the admission requirements for its own Pharm. D. program, but there are some courses that are required at almost all pharmacy schools. It is essential that students check the specific requirements at the pharmacy schools where they plan to apply since course requirements vary from school to school.

Courses Required at most Pharmacy Schools:

  • General biology with lab (Bio 105 + lab & Bio 106 + lab)
  • Microbiology with lab (Bio 231+ lab or 301+ lab)
  • General chemistry with lab (CHEM125/127 & 126/128 or CHEM 131/132)
  • Organic chemistry with lab (Chem 221/255 & 231/256)
  • English (Eng 113 and either 231 or 232)
  • Calculus (Math 131)
  • Statistics (Math 210 or 311)
  • Economics (macroeconomics preferred) (Econ 211)
  • Speech (Comm 140)
  • Psychology (Psy 100)

These courses should be completed during the first three years so that a student is prepared for the Pharmacy College Admission Test (PCAT), which is typically taken in the fall of the senior year. The PCAT is required by about half of the pharmacy schools. The PCAT covers biology, general and organic chemistry, verbal ability, reading comprehension, and quantitative ability. The PCAT also includes a separate essay section.

Recommended Courses or courses required at some Pharmacy Schools:

  • Biochemistry (Chem 311 & 314)
  • Physics with lab (Phys 121/141 & 122/142 or 105/107 & 106/108)
  • Psychology (Psy 230)
  • Human Anatomy (Kin 200 or Bio 222 both with lab)
  • Physiology (Bio 221 or 442 both with lab)
  • Computer Science (CSCI 140 or 114)

Students should select a major area of study that is of interest and that will provide a foundation of knowledge necessary for the pursuit of several career alternatives. Pharmacy schools are most concerned with the overall quality and scope of undergraduate work and not with the specific academic major. While many students who are pursuing a career in pharmacy are interested in the sciences and major in one of the sciences, others with interests in the social sciences or business may major in one of those areas. Pharmacy schools seek students with diverse and broad academic backgrounds.

Specific admissions requirements for each pharmacy school can be found in on the website for the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy (AACP) and on the PharmCAS website.

Students should also be aware that pharmacy school admission committees want to see that a student has learned about the pharmacy profession through first-hand experience. This experience should include a job or volunteer work in a pharmacy. It should also include job shadowing one or more pharmacists in different job environments. Pharmacy school admission committees also look at a student's experiences for evidence that the student is committed to serving others and that the student is able to work effectively with people from diverse backgrounds.

Useful Web Links to Pharmacy School Information

Links to General Information

For current Hope College students, questions related to the pre-Pharmacy track, please contact HPA Professor T Prokopow.