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Want a career in as a pharmacist (Pharm.D.)? Most students choose to major in biology or chemistry from UNC before going to pharmacy school, but you can choose any undergraduate major.

Choosing a major outside of the sciences might extend the time it takes you to earn your degree as you'll also need to complete the graduation requirements for that major.

Contact Information

Andrew Smith, MS


Email Andrew

Ross Hall, Room 1210

Suggested courses

Two semesters of each are usually required for most pharmacy schools:

  • Two semesters of introductory biology with lab
  • Two semesters of introductory chemistry with lab
  • Two semesters of organic chemistry with lab
  • Two semesters biochemistry
  • One or two semesters general physics
  • Two semesters anatomy and physiology with lab 
  • Two semesters of english 
  • One or two semesters calculus 
  • One semester microbiology
  • One semester public speaking 
  • One semester statistics 
  • One semester economics
  • one semester psychology 

Illustration of footsteps


During your time here, you should do your best to stick to this timeline. It will help make sure you're ready for pharmacy school.

  • First Year

    During your first year, it's important that you focus on your coursework and learn how to be a successful student. Knowing how to study and manage your time is critical and can help you earn a strong GPA. You should also:

    • Begin to work on prerequisite courses, especially both semesters of biology (BIO 110 and 111) and chemistry (CHEM 111 and 112)
    • Shadow a pharmacist and/or work in a pharmacy for clinical experience — either over breaks or during the summer
    • Research various medical careers
    • Join the Pre-Health Professionals Club (PHPC) student organization
    • Meet with your pre-health advisor
  • Sophomore Year

    You should continue doing as best you can in your courses to earn a strong GPA during your sophomore year, as well as continuing to look for community service and shadowing (or other clinical experience) opportunities. You should also:

    • Continue to work on prerequisite courses, take chemistry (CHEM 331 and 332) and physics (PHYS 220 and 221). 
      • Some students wait until junior year to take physics courses
    • Look for leadership and research opportunities
    • Meet with your pre-health advisor
    • Consider who to ask for letters of recommendation
  • Junior Year

    During your junior year, you should still strive to earn a strong GPA as well as continuing your community service and shadowing (or other clinical experiences) and leadership activities. You should also:

    • Finish your science prerequisite courses
    • Study for and take the PCAT — after completing all science prerequisites
    • Conduct research in your major
    • Submit letters of recommendation
    • Work on your personal essay
    • Meet with you pre-health advisor
    • Complete and Submit PharmCAS application 
  • Senior Year

    You should continue your community service and shadowing (or other clinical experiences) and leadership activities during your senior year, as well as continue your research experiences. You should also:

    • Prepare for interviews
    • Fill out secondary or supplemental applications
    • Meet with your pre-health advisor 
    • Prepare for and go to pharmacy school interviews

How to apply to pharmacy school

Start by completing the PharmCAS application. This will then be sent to the pharmacy schools of your choice.

We've outlined the general process below, but you can also learn more about the PharmCAS application and admission process.

  1. You will need to complete and submit your application along with your official transcripts to PharmCAS. Each application includes a space for your personal essay, coursework history, list of activities, PCAT score and the names of your recommenders (letters of recommendation are typically sent directly to each pharmacy school).
  2. Once school receive applications you may be sent a secondary application. It requires additional information and ask short answer/essay questions. Fill out applications and send to each school.
  3. After reviewing your application and letters of recommendation, pharmacy schools may then invite you for interviews.
  4. From here, you will either be accepted, denied or placed on a waitlist for each school. The next choice is all yours!

General information about applicants

Students accepted to pharmacy school typically have an overall GPA of 3.31, science GPA of 3.15 and an PCAT score in the 76th percentile.

PharmCAS logo

The application opens in July.

Start Your PharmCAS Application