Prerequisites

Course requirements for pharmacy school admissions

The courses listed below are required for entry into the PharmD program; students may choose any major, though it is common to choose a science major that overlaps heavily with the prerequisites. A bachelor's degree is preferred, but not required. Prerequisites must be completed before beginning the PharmD program; they can be planned or in progress while applying to the program. The first day of class usually falls in mid August; in Fall 2023, classes begin on August 21, 2023.

Applicants are responsible for ensuring that they are on track to fulfill prerequisites by using the guides of preapproved courses below, or confirming with admissions staff by obtaining a prerequisite evaluation.  See our Guide of approved prerequisites below.

Request a Prerequisite Evaluation

Guides for many colleges can be found below; if you cannot find your school, you may request an evaluation of your prerequisites by submitting the form below and uploading your transcript(s) or WES foreign coursework evaluation. 

Request a Prerequisite Evaluation

Course list

Prerequisite Requirement
General Biology1 1 course with lab required
Microbiology 1 course required (lab recommended)
Human or Comparative Anatomy2 1 course required (lab recommended; human-focused course recommended)
Human or Comparative Physiology2 1 course required (lab recommended; human-focused course recommended)
Advanced Biology3 1 course required
Calculus I 1 course required
Statistics 1 course required
General Chemistry 2 courses and 1 lab required (full lab sequence recommended)
Organic Chemistry 2 courses and 1 lab required (full lab sequence recommended)
General Physics 1 course required
Social & Behavioral Sciences4 2 courses or U.S. bachelor’s degree required (bachelor’s degree recommended)
Advanced Composition (Writing)4,5 1 course or U.S. bachelor’s degree required (bachelor’s degree recommended)
Introductory Communication4,6 1 course or U.S. bachelor’s degree required (bachelor’s degree recommended)
  1. If an applicant does not have a general biology lab, a more advanced biology lab may be substituted
  2. Two semesters of human anatomy and physiology are generally required, in one of two formats*:
    1. One stand-alone anatomy course and one stand-alone physiology course
    2. Two semesters of combined human or comparative anatomy and physiology (typically named "Anatomy and Physiology 1" and "Anatomy and Physiology 2")
      *If A&P is combined into a single-semester course covering the entire body, it must be a minimum of 4 semester credits (lab credits do not count toward the 4 credit minimum). Labs are recommended but not required for anatomy or physiology.
  3. Biochemistry, Cell Biology, Genetics or Molecular Biology will fulfill this requirement. Any other course must focus on the human body.
  4. The social and behavioral science, advanced composition, and communication requirements will be considered fulfilled for applicants who will have completed a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited U.S. institution prior to beginning the PharmD program. Applicants without a bachelor's degree must fulfill the social and behavioral science, advanced composition, and communication requirements as listed. A final official transcript will be required. For applicants with a degree, we reserve the right to verify that their non-math and non-science coursework is sufficient.
  5. An advanced composition (writing) course generally requires an introductory composition course as a prerequisite. Course must be taken in English (may not be fulfilled with an English as a Second Language course). 
  6. Approved communication courses include Introduction to Communication, Public Speaking, Interpersonal Communication, Intercultural Communication, Organizational or Business Communication, and Group Communication. Media communication courses do not fulfill this prerequisite.

Prerequisite course requirements

  • Must be taken at a regionally-accredited university, college, or community college

  • Must be at least 3 semester credits, taken A-F, and completed with a grade of C- or better

  • May be satisfied by IB, PSEO, or College in the Schools credit if it appears on a college transcript

  • May be satisfied by AP exam if you score a 3 or higher, or appears as credit on a college transcript

  • May be satisfied with online courses if taken for credit at a regionally-accredited university, college, or community college

Pass/fail coursework

Prerequisites may be fulfilled using courses taken on a pass/fail (S/N at UMN) grading scale (with a passing grade) for Spring and Summer semester 2020 courses due to the significant disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Otherwise, students are expected to take prerequisites on an A-F grading scale. Outside of the Spring and Summer 2020 semesters, one prerequisite course may be taken on a pass/fail grading scale; additional pass/fail coursework must be approved. For details or to address a specific situation, please contact pharmacy@umn.edu.

Prerequisite Time Limit

Prerequisites include foundational content necessary for success in the PharmD program. Given the importance of prerequisites as an assessment of academic readiness for the program, applicants whose prerequisites will be more than 7 years old at the time of enrollment are strongly encouraged to seek individual guidance from admissions staff.

International Coursework

International coursework may be used to fulfill the prerequisites. If you took international courses that do not appear on a US transcript, a WES course-by-course transcript evaluation must be submitted as part of your PharmCAS application.

Guides of approved prerequisites

Click on the state in which your school is located and use the tabs to find a Guide of Approved Prerequisites for that school. We are unable to provide a guide for every institution, so your school may not be listed. If you cannot find your school and would like to verify courses to meet prerequisites, please submit our Request for Prerequisite Evaluation form. You will need to upload your transcript(s) or WES foreign coursework evaluation, so be sure you have those on hand. Please note that for foreign coursework, the only approved course-by-course foreign transcript evaluation service for applicants is WES. We strongly advise you to order a WES course-by-course evaluation for the purposes of this request for prerequisite evaluation. 

If you are an advisor and notice incorrect or out of date information in the prerequisite guide for your institution, please contact our Admissions Coordinator, Cassie Lanier, at lanie008@umn.edu.