University General Course Catalog 2017-2018 
    May 30, 2024  

Pharmacy, Preparatory

The pharmacist is a professional specializing in the science of drugs. Although the role of the pharmacist has traditionally been linked to the dispensing of prescriptions, increased technology and improved health care delivery has opened up new careers in addition to retail pharmacy for the licensed pharmacist. Other pharmacy career options available to the licensed pharmacist include industrial pharmacy, governmental pharmacy (working in appropriate agencies throughout the federal government), quality control, research, teaching, administration and product development.

The university offers courses that satisfy requirements for admission to pharmacy schools throughout the country. A Pharm.D. degree requires at least four years of professional study.

Required Pre-Pharmacy Course Work

Pre-Pharmacy is not a major, but a set of courses required by pharmacy programs for admission. Any major is appropriate as long as the student fulfills all pre-pharmacy requirements, be it through required or elective courses. It is wise to work toward a degree in any area which would serve as an attractive alternative in the event you were deterred from your goal in pharmacy. High school students are advised to gain a strong foundation in math and sciences.

Admission requirements for the various pharmacy schools differ. It is the applicant’s responsibility to determine the requirements of the school(s) of his/her choice and to fulfill these requirements before the projected date of entrance. The Advising Center, Pennington Student Achievement Center, Suite 405, has a pre-health careers resource library where the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy–Pharmacy School Admission Requirements can be found. All required course work must be taken for a letter grade. In general, courses at UNR that fulfill basic requirements for entry into pharmacy school are:


Biological Sciences







In addition, other courses such as psychology, speech, economics, statistics and biochemistry are required by some schools. Check the requirements of each school to which you are going to apply.

Application Process

Applications to pharmacy schools are submitted during fall semester a year in advance of expected enrollment. Most pharmacy schools belong to a centralized application service (PharmCas) that allows students to apply through one initial application.  PharmCas applications are submitted approximately one year prior to entering pharmacy school.  Some pharmacy schools require students to take the Pharmacy Collage Admission Test (PCAT); check the literature carefully to see which schools require the exam. The PCAT is designed to measure general academic ability and scientific knowledge. The examination includes the following: verbal ability, quantitative ability, biology, chemistry, and reading comprehension. Most schools require a statement of purpose as well.

Letters of Recommendation: Most programs require that the applicant send two or three letters of recommendation. It is advisable that one letter be from a pharmacist, preferably one with whom you have worked. Also letters from science instructors and/or former employers may be required. PharmCas provides a Letter of Recommendation Service.  For more information go to