University of Vermont


For more information about becoming pharmacist and preparing for pharmacy school, read a description of the profession and utilize the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy (AACP) resources for prospective applicants.

Note that a career in pharmacology is different from a career in pharmacy. Pharmacology is the science of how drugs act on biological systems and the response of the body to the drug. Pharmacists use the knowledge derived from pharmacology to aid in the therapeutic interventions for patients through appropriate preparation and dispensing of medications. If the biomedical science of pharmacology is of more interest, see the resources provided by the American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics.

If pharmacy is your career goal, as you plan your college curriculum look for potential schools with the AACP interactive map and use the searchable database of accredited Pharm.D. programs. Check individual school websites to confirm prerequisites (2017-18 pdf) needed for application to programs of interest. Note that prerequisites can vary considerably between schools. Most schools require that candidates have experience in a pharmacy setting. The Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences (ACPHS) has a Vermont campus located in Colchester, VT and the admissions office encourages UVM students to learn more with a visit to the campus. ACPHS and UVM offer a dual degree 3+4 program which leads to a BS/PharmD program in seven years. 1st year students interested in this should contact the Pre-health advisor for referral to an appropriate advisor in the College of Arts and Sciences. ACPHS plans convert to an accelerated 3 year PharmD program on the Colchester campus starting in 2019.

Admission to pharmacy school requires a strong science background. In recent admissions cycles, the average cumulative GPA of accepted applicants was ~3.35 and the science GPA ~ 3.22. The PCAT exam is required by most schools. This exam has five sections: Writing; Biological Processes; Chemical Processes; Critical Reading; Quantitative Reasoning. Average composite PCAT score for accepted applicants is ~53rd percentile. The centralized application service, PharmCAS, opens ~ mid-July for admission the following summer. Fee waivers are available for eligible candidates to offset the cost of application.

The table below provides a general overview of the courses recommended for UVM students considering application to pharmacy school:


A minimum of two semesters with lab, satisfied by:

  • Non-majors: Principles of Biology (BIOL 001 & 002)
  • Most life science majors: BCOR 011 & 012
  • Students with advanced coursework: BCOR 021 & 103
  • Some CNHS & Biomedical Engineering majors: MLRS 034 & BIOL 002

NOTE: BIOL 003 is NOT appropriate for pre-pharmacy students. If this course is in the degree plan for your major, consult your advisor PRIOR to the semester to substitute one of the sequences above)

Microbiology and Anatomy & Physiology required by most, satisfied by:

  • Microbiology & Infectious Disease (MMG 101) AND
  • Human Anatomy & Physiology (ANPS 019 & 020)

Additional upper level Biology coursework is required by a few, satisfied by:

  • Cell and Molecular Biology (BCOR 103) OR
  • Genetics (BCOR 101)
General Chemistry

2 semesters of General Chemistry with lab, satisfied by:

  • Non-majors: General Chemistry 1 & 2 (CHEM 031 & 032)
  • Chemistry/Biochemistry majors: CHEM 165 & 231 & Labs 051/ 052
    Note that these upper level general chemistry courses for majors will be taken after completion of the organic chemistry sequence listed below

Note: CHEM 023 & 025 are NOT appropriate for pre-pharmacy students. If these courses are in your degree plan for your major, consult your advisor to substitute CHEM 031 & 032

Organic Chemistry

Two semesters of Organic Chemistry with lab, satisfied by:

  • Non-majors: CHEM 141 & 142
  • Chemistry majors: CHEM 047 & 048
  • Biochemistry majors: CHEM 047 & 048

Note: CHEM 026 & 028 and CHEM 042 & 044 are NOT appropriate organic chemistry or biochemistry courses for pre-pharmacy students. If one of these course sequences is in your degree plan for your major, consult your advisor to substitute CHEM 141 & 142


One semester of Biochemistry is required by ~ 1/3 of schools, satisfied by:

  • Non-majors: BIOC 212 (Biochemistry of Human Disease) OR BIOC 201 (Fundamentals of Biochemistry)
  • Chemistry majors: CHEM 205
  • Biochemistry majors: BIOC 205, 206 & 207 is required for degree

One semester of Physics with lab is required by most and an additional semester is required by ΒΌ (including ACPHS), satisfied by:

  • Non-majors: Elementary Physics (PHYS 011 +/- 012 and labs 021 +/- 022)
  • CEMS majors: Recommendations vary - e.g., PHYS 051 & 152 OR PHYS 031 & 125 + lab 022
Statistics & Math

One semester of calculus is required by nearly all, satisfied by:

  • MATH 019 or 021

One semester of statistics is required by most, satisfied by:

  • STAT 141

Note: Statistics-heavy classes required for specific majors (e.g., PSYS 054) will suffice

Those students interested in additional statistics should consider Medical Biostats & Epidemiology (STAT 200)


Two semesters of English are required by most, and we recommend that at least one be designated a composition course), satisfied by:

  • e.g., ENGL 001, ENGL 005 (TAP course)

Humanities courses in general are highly encouraged and some schools have specific numbers of course required.

Other Requirements or Recommendations

One semester of Public Speaking is required by most, satisfied by:

  • Effective Speaking, SPCH 011 OR
  • Foundations: Communication Methods CALS 001

Other Introductory Social Science and Humanities courses (especially Economics but also Sociology, Ethics) are required or recommended by some, encouraged by many. Some schools require certain numbers of course credits within the broad category of Humanities/Social Sciences without stating explicitly which courses are needed. See individual websites for the schools of interest, and schools from your home state.

Last modified October 12 2018 02:01 PM