Admissions Tips


  • Learn about the opportunities in pharmacy; speak with pharmacists working in your community to gain a better understanding of the rewards and challenges in the field.
  • Collect and review information from schools of pharmacy as well as pharmacy professional organizations.
  • Volunteer at a local hospital or find a job in a community pharmacy to get a first hand glimpse of pharmacists in action.
  • Attend recruitment programs offered by the pharmacy program to learn more about careers in pharmacy, the curriculum and admissions requirements.


  • Research prospective colleges on the Web or contact colleges to request brochures and catalogs.
  • Learn about the curriculum, features of the PharmD program, faculty, services, and opportunities for students.


  • Demonstrate your commitment to the field by participating in pre-pharmacy and pre-health organizations on campus; these organizations provide a great way to learn about the field and meet other students with similar interests.
  • Establish a record of service to others through volunteer experiences, extracurricular involvement, leadership roles, tutoring, active membership in service organizations, etc.


  • Develop a plan for completing the academic prerequisites for admission.
  • Take the initiative to get to know your instructors; develop good relationships so that the faculty can assist you when you need a letter of recommendation.
  • Study hard—there is no substitute for good grades. Learn as much as you can and enjoy yourself in the process. A strong academic record is one indication that you are prepared for the rigor of pharmacy school.
  • Be prepared to make personal sacrifices to make sure you can compile a competitive academic record and demonstrate leadership and commitment through outside activities (organizations, community service, volunteer work, etc.).
  • If you are having difficulty in a prerequisite course, evaluate your options. Consider using tutors, visiting with the professor during office hours, changing study habits, or studying with peers.
  • Take higher level science coursework whenever possible (e.g., biochemistry, microbiology, quantitative analysis) to better prepare for pharmacy school.
  • Demonstrate your potential to carry a full academic load (14 to 16 units per term) with 2 or more sciences.
  • Pace yourself in fulfilling your prerequisites.
  • Demonstrate a good balance between your academic and personal life.


  • Be clear on your motivation for pursuing a career in pharmacy and be able to discuss it clearly at your interview and in your application.
  • Be sure your application conveys what you can bring to the pharmacy program—and the qualities you possess to make you an outstanding pharmacist.

Application forms

  • Avoid procrastination in the preparation of your application. Complete all application materials as early as possible.
  • Pay close attention to details such as policies, procedures, due dates, and deadlines.
  • Follow instructions completely and accurately.
  • Take time to develop your statements; be certain that your essays and answers are clearly written and that each word counts!
  • If there are extenuating circumstances that have affected your education and academic achievement (e.g. working while in school, family responsibilities, emergencies), be sure to communicate these challenges as you complete your application.
  • Present your application in the most professional way possible—always type or word-process the application forms.
  • Make a personal copy of application materials for your records and order an extra copy, for yourself, of any official documents you are asked to submit.

More on this topic in our admissions director’s blog


Although not required reading, you’ll find additional comments in Pre-Pharmacy Club: Join one (or start one!), a blog post by Admissions Director Joel W. Gonzales.

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