Important general information

Students interested in the pre-pharmacy advising track must complete the necessary prerequisites for pharmacy school (a total minimum of 90 credit hours). Many students earn a baccalaureate degree before entering the program. Students interested in pharmacy school should consult with a pre-health academic adviser to learn about requirements that are specific to the schools of pharmacy to which they hope to apply.

Admission to and completion of a pre-pharmacy program does not constitute admission to VCU’s School of Pharmacy. Students must apply separately to the pharmacy school of their choice at the appropriate time.

Students with an interest in preparing for pharmacy school must declare an academic major while also indicating a pre-pharmacy advising track. Students do not earn a pre-pharmacy degree. Students unsure of their academic majors initially should clarify their academic interests through regular conversations with their advisers. Pre-pharmacy students are encouraged to major in fields of greatest interest to them.

Prerequisites for pharmacy school

Students need to complete their bachelor’s degree and the required science courses before being eligible to start the Pharm. D. program at VCU. Students are also required to complete the Pharmacy College Admission Test. The PCAT is taken prior to students applying to pharmacy school and results are weighed heavily in admissions decisions. Students preparing for the PCAT are strongly advised to take courses to build competency in these areas prior to taking the PCAT exam. It is not necessary to have completed all prerequisite course work or to have taken the PCAT prior to submitting your application to pharmacy school. However, you must complete all prerequisite courses and take the PCAT before entering VCU’s pharmacy program.

Science and non-science courses required for pharmacy school

General biology, general chemistry, organic chemistry, physics, human anatomy, human physiology, microbiology and biochemistry are required science prerequisites for admission to pharmacy school.

English composition, calculus, statistics and speech are non-science prerequisites required for pharmacy school.

Other courses, including cell biology, genetics and immunology, human physiology lab and medical microbiology lab, though not required, are strongly recommended for pre-pharmacy students.

VCU’s School of Pharmacy also requires the completion of elective credits which can be taken as part of the general education and major requirements in the selected degree program. Due to the importance of a strong biomedical science foundation for success in the Doctor of Pharmacy degree program, some or all of the courses listed below are highly recommended: genetics or molecular biology, immunology, and cell biology. Any of these three courses will count toward elective credit. Other highly recommended electives are anthropology, computer science, economics, history, foreign languages, philosophy, political science, psychology, religious studies and sociology.

The following prerequisite courses must be completed prior to admission for students entering in the fall semester. Courses earned by examination, e.g. Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate, Cambridge International Examinations or College Level Examination Program, will not be accepted to fulfill prerequisite science and math courses. However, the content area covered by the examination need not be repeated, rather electives in related areas may be substituted for the needed credits. For example, if a student has credit for IB Calculus I, the next level math course can be taken in order to fulfill the math requirement for pharmacy school, i.e., Calculus II.

Prerequisites for pharmacy school

VCU courses
Select one of the following:4
Introduction to Biological Sciences I
and Introduction to Biological Science Laboratory I
Biological Concepts
and Biological Concepts Laboratory
Select one of the following:4
Introduction to Biological Sciences II
and Introduction to Biological Science Laboratory II
Human Biology
and Human Biology Laboratory
BIOL   205Basic Human Anatomy4
BIOL   209Medical Microbiology3
CHEM   101
CHEZ   101
General Chemistry
and General Chemistry Laboratory I
4
CHEM   102
CHEZ   102
General Chemistry
and General Chemistry Laboratory II
4
CHEM   301
CHEZ   301
Organic Chemistry
and Organic Chemistry Laboratory I
5
CHEM   302
CHEZ   302
Organic Chemistry
and Organic Chemistry Laboratory II
5
CHEM   403Biochemistry I3
MATH   200Calculus with Analytic Geometry4
PHIS   206Human Physiology3
PHYS   201General Physics 14-5
or PHYS   207 University Physics I
SPCH   121Effective Speech3
STAT   210Basic Practice of Statistics3
UNIV   111 Play VideoPlay course video for Focused Inquiry IFocused Inquiry I3
UNIV   112 Play VideoPlay course video for Focused Inquiry IIFocused Inquiry II3
Additional electives to total 90 credits30-31
Total Hours89-91

Total minimum requirement 90 credits

1

MATH   200 is a prerequisite for PHYS   207.

Additional electives to total 90 credits (chosen with adviser):
These courses should be selected to help fulfill the general education and major requirements of the student’s degree program. Electives should represent a well-balanced program of courses in the fine arts, humanities and social sciences. Choose anthropology, art history, economics, history, mathematics, philosophy, political science, psychology, religious studies, sociology, social sciences, writing and rhetoric (UNIV   200), foreign languages, literature, music appreciation or computer science. Students may not present studio or activity (physical education) courses.

Sample curriculum outline

Freshman year
Fall semesterHours
CHEM   101
CHEZ   101
General Chemistry
and General Chemistry Laboratory I
4
MATH   200 Calculus with Analytic Geometry 4
UNIV   111 Play VideoPlay course video for Focused Inquiry I Focused Inquiry I 3
Select one of the following: 4
BIOL   151
BIOZ   151
Introduction to Biological Sciences I
and Introduction to Biological Science Laboratory I
4
BIOL   101
BIOZ   101
Biological Concepts
and Biological Concepts Laboratory
4
 Term Hours: 15
Spring semester
CHEM   102
CHEZ   102
General Chemistry
and General Chemistry Laboratory II
4
STAT   210 Basic Practice of Statistics 3
UNIV   112 Play VideoPlay course video for Focused Inquiry II Focused Inquiry II 3
Select one of the following: 4
BIOL   152
BIOZ   152
Introduction to Biological Sciences II
and Introduction to Biological Science Laboratory II
4
BIOL   201
BIOZ   201
Human Biology
and Human Biology Laboratory
4
 Term Hours: 14
Sophomore year
Fall semester
BIOL   205 Basic Human Anatomy 4
CHEM   301
CHEZ   301
Organic Chemistry
and Organic Chemistry Laboratory I
5
SPCH   121 Effective Speech 3
Electives or major requirements 3
 Term Hours: 15
Spring semester
CHEM   302
CHEZ   302
Organic Chemistry
and Organic Chemistry Laboratory II
5
PHIS   206 Human Physiology 3
BIOL   209 Medical Microbiology 3
Electives or major requirements 5
 Term Hours: 16
Junior year
Fall semester
PHYS   201
General Physics
or University Physics I
4-5
Electives or major requirements 11
 Term Hours: 15-16
Spring semester
CHEM   403 Biochemistry I 3
Electives or major requirements 12
 Term Hours: 15
 Total Hours: 90-91

Total minimum requirement (for admission to pharmacy school) 90 credits