Overview of the Profession
American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy (AACP) Pharmacy School Admissions Requirements.
To see which UCLA courses satisfy the most common course requirements, refer to the UCLA Pre-Health Requirements Worksheet.
Do I have to be a specific major to be able to apply to Pharmacy school?
A: NO. You are not required to select a specific major in college to be eligible for admission to a pharmacy degree program. Chemistry is a common major for pharmacy applicants because many of the course prerequisites for pharmacy are often incorporated into the standard chemistry curriculum. Student pharmacists, however, come from a wide variety of educational backgrounds, including majors like English, business, communications, biology, etc. If the pharmacy prerequisite courses are not required as part of your undergraduate major, you will need to complete these courses as electives. Contact your designated pharmacy programs directly to determine whether the admissions office distinguishes between classes taken at a community college versus a four-year institution.
Centralized Application System
The Pharmacy College Application Service (PharmCAS) is a centralized application service to apply to multiple PharmD programs offered by schools and colleges of pharmacy. From the PharmCAS website, students can access the School Directory. Each participating program has its own page with important deadlines, requirements, and descriptions of programs which will help you plan your application strategy. The School Directory also contains information on graduate programs in the pharmaceutical sciences.
View the PharmCAS Application Process and Checklist for guidance on planning your journey to pharmacy school.
More than 85% of pharmacy programs require applicants to submit scores from the Pharmacy College Admission Test (PCAT). The PCAT measures general academic ability and scientific knowledge necessary for the commencement of pharmaceutical education.
View the PCAT guide, register for the test, access test preparation resources, and more here.
Letters of Recommendation
Many pharmacy programs require 1-4 letters of recommendation (also known as “letters of evaluation” or “letters of reference”) as part of the admissions process.
Schools may require you to submit letters from particular individuals, such as a pharmacist, professor or academic advisor. If letters are required, select individuals who know you well and can speak to your maturity, dependability, dedication, compassion, communication-skills, leadership and any hands-on experience in the field. Your selected pharmacy schools may require your evaluators to use a school-specific evaluation form in lieu or in addition to the letter from the evaluator. Pharmacy schools generally require evaluators to submit and sign letters on the evaluator’s official business or university letterhead. Review the admission requirements of each pharmacy school for instructions.
PharmCAS accepts applicants’ letters of evaluation directly, however, some students choose to use an external letter service instead (such as, but not limited to, Interfolio Dossier).
For additional guidance and UCLA resources for asking for letters of recommendation, visit the Prepare to Apply section of this website.
For guidance and UCLA resources for writing a personal statement, please visit the Prepare to Apply section of this website
Choosing Schools & Programs
- PharmCas School Directory: http://www.pharmcas.org/school-directory/#/
- Accredited Programs by State: https://www.acpe-accredit.org/accredited-programs-by-state/
Deciding which dental schools to apply to and attend is a complex and highly individualized process. Visit the Prepare to Apply section of this website for considerations that may help you with these decisions.
Pharmacy schools encourage or require applicants to have volunteer or paid experience related to pharmacy. Having work or volunteer experience in a pharmacy setting may be an important factor in the admissions process. If you don’t have work or volunteer experience related to pharmacy, contact your selected pharmacy school admission offices to determine what other experiences they might accept that will adequately demonstrate your knowledge of and commitment to the profession.
Pharmacy Related Student Organizations at UCLA:
- Pre-Pharmacy Society at UCLA: https://www.uclaprepharm.com/ ; https://www.facebook.com/uclaprepharm/
Pharmacy Technician Schools in California:
How to find pharmacists to shadow:
Searching for Pharmacy related opportunities:
- Search for pharmacy-related opportunities on Handshake and other job search sites (use keywords: “pharmacy”, “drug”, “medication”)
- Visit the Gain Experience page of this website for more ideas on how to gain clinical, research, leadership, and/or community service experience that can help you clarify your goals, develop your skills, and demonstrate your commitment to healthcare.