Prerequisites to Pharmacy School

Well, you're in luck! With advances in science, technology, and medicine growing by leaps and bounds, it's a great time to join this growing profession. Most pharmacy programs accept students for their Pharm.D. degree once they've completed at least 2 years of undergraduate study, but in reality, you'll probably have to finish 3, or even have your bachelor's degree before you can get in to most programs. There are some colleges, on the other hand, that accept students to their pre-pharmacy or pharmacy programs directly from high school.

The final four

The requirements you need vary from program to program, but there will obviously be common prerequisites throughout. Math, biology, physics, and chemistry are some of the basics you should be taking if you're even thinking of applying. The fact is, you'll probably need to take these courses to do well on the PCAT exam. This exam will be a critical part of your application package, and, since the PCAT covers biology, chemistry, and math, make sure you know the material before you take the test.

Why do you need the courses mentioned above for pharmacy? It's really quite intuitive. A good pharmacist will need math to measure out prescriptions and calculate dosage strength for individuals of different height and weight, and might also need business math to manage his or her own pharmacy. Biology is necessary to know how drugs will react within the body, and to know what's wrong in the first place! Chemistry and physics, meanwhile, are needed to understand the behavior of drugs, the ingredients included, and why they react differently under various conditions. Of course, these subjects will be given in pharmacy school itself, but you must understand the basics before you start.

There are some more courses that might be helpful before you start your degree program. Social science courses like English, sociology, psychology, and more can prove helpful in relating to your patients, your co-workers, and other health professionals that you'll come in contact with throughout your career. In addition, your English classes will no doubt help you score higher on the verbal ability and reading comprehension sections of the PCAT!

Get going

So what are you waiting for? Part of getting in to school is making sure you have the minimum requirements. Doing well in these courses can help you stand out from the crowd of applicants and get into the school of your choice!