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Pre-Pharmacy Resources

How to Become a Pharmacist

The Checkout, a blog by has a good overview of the field as well as general requirements in the admission process, in particular see: “How to prep for a career in pharmacy” and “How long does it take to become a pharmacist?”

See also:
American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy [AACP] Future Students, Admissions and Financial Aid sections
PCAT Pharmacy College Admission Test
Pharmacy College Application Service [PharmCAS]
Doctor of Pharmacy Program Directory
Accredited Pharmacy Programs by State

CWU does not have a major in Pre-Pharmacy.  However, a pre-pharmacy program of study may be developed that prepares you for admission into professional programs at universities granting a pharmacy doctorate degree (Pharm-D). You do not need a bachelor’s degree to apply to a pharmacy program, instead, two years of undergraduate study is required.  Consider working toward a major in Biology or Chemistry to best prepare you for a related career should you not be accepted into a pharmacy Ph.D. program.


CWU Coursework Helpful to Prepare for Pharmacy School

The following courses are the most required by pharmacy schools as prerequisites. Check the websites of the pharmacy programs you are interested in attending for their list of pre-requisite courses required for admission. Doing so will help you plan your CWU coursework. Please contact the advisor or faculty contacts (listed below) for help in determining the CWU equivalents for other programs, for advice on scheduling, or for more details on any aspect of the pre-pharmacy program.

  • MATH 170** OR 172** (Intuitive Calculus OR Calculus I)
  • MATH 311 (Statistics) - MATH 130, or higher, is a prerequisite
  • CHEM 181**, 182, 183* with labs (General Chemistry)
  • BIOL 181, 182, 183 with labs (General Biology)
  • CHEM 361, 362, 363 with labs (Organic Chemistry)
  • CHEM 431, 432, lab may not be required (Biochemistry)
  • BIO 355 & 356 (Human Anatomy & Physiology)
  • ENG 101**, 102**, and 310 (English Composition I & II and Technical Writing)
  • BIO 323 (Microbiology)
  • PSY 101** (General Psychology)
  • COM 207** OR COM 302** (Interpersonal OR Multicultural Communication)
  • ECON 201** (Microeconomics)
  • PHIL 104** OR PHIL 308 (Moral Controversies OR Medical Ethics)

*MATH 153 is a prerequisite
**General Education Course

In addition, students should take a broad range of humanities and social sciences electives which could include studies in history, languages, literature, arts, religion, philosophy, and communications, among others.

CWU Pre-Pharmacy Advisor and Faculty Contact

We highly recommend that students interested in applying to pharmacy school contact an advisor or faculty contact as early as possible.

College of the Sciences Advising Office

Advising for students with interest in pre-pharmacy study paired with Biology or Chemistry majors.

Faculty Contacts:
Dr. Lucinda Carnell
Department of Biological Sciences
Office: Science Building, Room 338K
Phone: (509) 963-3431

Dr. Gil Belofsky
Department of Chemistry
Office: Science Building, Room 302J
Phone: (509) 963-2882


Frequently Asked Questions

What Should I Major In?
This is a question only you can answer. While most students entering a pre-pharmacy program of study major in Biology or Chemistry, students can choose any major if the prerequisite courses for entry into pharmacy school are complete. You should choose a major that allows you a career path should you not get accepted into pharmacy school.

What Grades do I Need to Be Admitted and Should I Retake Courses?
Entrance into pharmacy school is competitive. Students should aim for a minimum GPA of 3.5. You should be aware that if you repeat courses, PharmCAS calculates your GPA differently than CWU does. The original grade is still factored into your overall GPA for admission purposes.

Where can I find answers about programs and admissions requirements?

Visit the AACP site for a comprehensive, yearly updated list of requirements and information to help you navigate entry into pharmacy school and beyond.


Other Resources

American Pharmacists Association
National Pharmaceutical Association [NPhA]:  list of anti-racism resources Code of Ethics for Pharmacists


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