Scientific advances, an aging population, and expansion of insurance coverage for more Americans all will contribute to growth in the pharmacy industry. Employment of pharmacists is expected to increase by 25 percent from 2010 to 2020, faster than the average for all occupations.

The Doctor of Pharmacy degree (PharmD) is the professional degree needed to enter the pharmaceutical field. Most PharmD programs take four years to complete after completion of the minimum prerequisites or an undergraduate degree. Entrance to pharmacy school is competitive and there are more applicants than there are open seats. Different schools also have different prerequisites; it is very important that students consult with the Pre-Pharmacy advisor every semester beginning freshman year in addition to communicating with pharmacy schools they plan to apply to.

UWM offers all of the prerequisite coursework necessary for students to apply to professional pharmacy schools and colleges throughout the country. Although it is theoretically possible to complete the pre-pharmacy requirements in two years and proceed directly to pharmacy school, the current national average for completion of the pre-pharmacy coursework is three years. In addition, given the highly competitive nature of gaining admission to pharmacy school, students may present a stronger application if they complete four years of college and earn a Bachelor's degree before going to pharmacy school.

Please review the Pre-Pharmacy Fact Sheet for information about suggested undergraduate courses to prepare for pharmacy school, career outlook for pharmacists, and options for your major. Pre-Pharmacy is not a major, and students must still choose a major. Since most of the prerequisites necessary for application to pharmacy school are in the sciences, many students choose a science major, though it is not required. Our specialized Pre-Pharmacy advisor works with students to ensure they understand all of the milestones that must be met in college in order to be a competitive applicant to pharmacy school. We recommend students begin meeting with this advisor as soon as freshman year in order to plan all needed activities into your college career.


Entrance to pharmacy school is very competitive and requires strong grades and satisfactory scores on the Pharmacy College Admission Test (PCAT). Due to the variance in admission requirements, it is very important that students consult with the pre-pharmacy advisor every semester.

Although specific admission requirements may vary among schools, below are some common course requirements among many pharmacy schools:

Foundations of Biological Sciences I
and Foundations of Biological Sciences II
CHEM 102
CHEM 104
General Chemistry
and General Chemistry and Qualitative Analysis
CHEM 343Organic Chemistry3
CHEM 344Organic Chemistry Laboratory2
CHEM 345Organic Chemistry3
Select one of the following sequences:5
General Physics I (Non-Calculus Treatment)
and General Physics Laboratory I (Non-Calculus Treatment)
Physics I (Calculus Treatment)
and Lab Physics I (Calculus Treatment)
Select one of the following:4-5
Calculus and Analytic Geometry I
Honors Calculus I
Survey in Calculus and Analytic Geometry I 1

Other common course requirements include (but are not limited to) the following:

Introduction to College Writing
and College Writing and Research
Anatomy and Physiology I
and Anatomy and Physiology II
BIO SCI 101General Survey of Microbiology 24
or BIO SCI 383 General Microbiology
CHEM 501Introduction to Biochemistry3
MTHSTAT 215Elementary Statistical Analysis3
or BIO SCI 465 Biostatistics
Coursework in social sciences:
ECON 103Principles of Microeconomics3
or ECON 104 Principles of Macroeconomics
PSYCH 101Introduction to Psychology3
Additional coursework in the social sciences
Coursework in humanities (e.g., history, philosophy)
Coursework in communication:
COMMUN 101Introduction to Interpersonal Communication3
COMMUN 103Public Speaking3
Coursework designated as satisfying the cultural diversity requirement