No Bachelor’s Degree Needed: What Are Pharmacy School Prerequisites?
Written by Kelly Jeroski
April 1, 2021
A Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D.) is unlike any other health care degree, and here’s why. The Pharm.D. is the only advanced health care degree you can earn without first having to go through four or more years of college to earn a bachelor’s degree.
You read that right: you don’t need a bachelor’s degree in order
to obtain a Doctor of Pharmacy.
Students graduating from high school can apply to the Pharm.D. program without having to struggle through years of education — from high school to bachelor’s degree to master’s degree to doctorate. You can move directly from high school to a doctoral program in pharmacy.
However, the Pharm.D. does require that you take 60 semester hours of pre-professional courses to prepare you for the Pharm.D. curriculum. You may take those classes at any accredited community college, college, or university.
Pharmacy School Pre-Professional Prerequisites
Applicants to the NEOMED pharmacy curriculum are sometimes uncertain about which courses offered at their colleges or universities will fulfill NEOMED’s pharmacy school prerequisites.
Given that we have applicants from hundreds of colleges and universities each year, it’s difficult to give specific, detailed advice. Therefore, here is our best general advice to you:
You and your pre-health advisor at your current college or university will have the best understanding of the coursework available to you at your school. We suggest you consult your pre-health advisor and select coursework based on what would best prepare you for a clinical, doctoral program of study at a professional health university. You and your pre-health advisor at your current college or university will have the best understanding of the coursework available to you at your school. We suggest you consult your pre-health advisor and select coursework based on what would best prepare you for a clinical, doctoral program of study at a professional health university.
When you speak to your pre-health advisor, be sure to ask him or her if your school has an articulation program with NEOMED. A turnkey articulation program maps all of your coursework seamlessly to NEOMED. If your school doesn’t have a pharmacy articulation agreement with NEOMED, suggest they give us a call!
Coursework from any regionally accredited institution of higher education is acceptable regardless of instructional mode (in-person, online, etc.)
To find out more, visit the detailed section of the website. But for now, here’s a little bit about the courses you will need:
Anatomy and Physiology Course (3 Semester Hours)
Guidance: Students should seek a one semester comprehensive anatomy and physiology (A&P) course of at least three credit hours. If the school only has a two-semester sequence for A&P, we recommend the student takes both to get coverage of all body systems. However, one would fill the requirement.
Microbiology Course (3 Semester Hours)
Guidance: Students should seek to complete a one semester microbiology course of at least three credit hours. A laboratory component is encouraged, but not required.
Biology & Other Life Sciences Sequence, Inorganic Chemistry Sequence, Organic Chemistry Sequence (Courses With Labs — 24 Semester Hours)
Guidance: The guidance for each of these eight-hour prerequisites is identical. Students should select the two courses that are required in sequence. All courses must include a lab. We expect that students will select from coursework required of science majors or professional clinical school preparation such as pre-medicine study, and we discourage students from selecting courses designed for specialized applied allied health majors, non-science majors, or nursing majors.
Note: If you are following a degree program that does not require the full introductory biology course sequence, but only requires one biology course and the lab, be sure to talk to us! We can help you find a substitute to stay on your curriculum.
General Physics Course (3 Semester Hours)
Guidance: Students may select either an algebra-based physics or calculus-based physics course. We expect that students will select from coursework required of science majors or professional clinical school preparation such as pre-medicine study. Non-mathematics-based physics survey courses for non-science majors will not fulfill this competency.
Biochemistry Course (3 Semester Hours)
Guidance: While a one semester Biochemistry course will fulfill the prerequisite requirements, we recommend that students complete a two semester Biochemistry course (three credit hours per semester), and that students will select the Biochemistry course that requires Organic Chemistry I and II as a prerequisite.
Calculus Course (3 Semester Hours)
Guidance: There is no specific level of calculus course required. Any course listed in the calculus area of study higher than precalculus will suffice. This may include calculus for mathematics majors, business majors, engineering majors, etc. Calculus placement assumes a high-level mastery of college algebra content, essential to pharmacy success.
Statistics Course (3 Semester Hours)
Guidance: Students should complete a statistics course that focuses on the basic understanding of descriptive statistics, statistical methods, and how to perform and interpret basic statistical procedures. We discourage students from choosing a statistics course that is math-based but would encourage a biostatistics course related to the health field.
English Composition Sequence (6 Semester Hours)
Guidance: To prepare for a career as a professional health practitioner, all candidates must demonstrate excellent proficiency in all forms of English language-based communication, both verbal and written, as evidenced by successful completion of an English Composition I and II sequence. We do not accept literature courses unless they are composition-based, though they can still fulfill the General Education requirement.
Note: Some colleges have adopted the writing-across-the-curriculum trend and no longer offer traditional composition courses. If this sounds like your school, talk to us! We’ll help you find a way to meet the composition prerequisite without adding additional credit hours.
General Education and/or Additional Science (15 Semester Hours)
Guidance: Any coursework not used to meet another prerequisite may suffice. Students may elect to complete other science coursework in the areas that are helpful for entering the Pharm.D. program such as Biochemistry II, a full-year sequence of Anatomy & Physiology, Immunology, and others.
Start Your Career in Pharmacy at NEOMED —
Connect With Us Today!
Now that you know what's required to get into pharmacy school, take the next step toward your future. If you need help figuring out if you're ready to apply, we invite you to schedule an admissions information session with us. In order to do so, contact the College of Pharmacy at email@example.com or schedule a meeting. Be sure to ask if you might qualify for early assurance to NEOMED if you are more than a year away from completing all of your pre-requisites. Best of luck!
Want to learn more about what's required to apply for pharmacy school? Download our resource, "No Bachelor's? No Problem! How to Become a Pharmacist in 2021".
About the author
Assistant Director of Admission