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Pre-Pharmacy Professional Program

Students interested in a career in pharmacy need to build a strong foundation in the sciences. In particular, building competencies in chemistry and biology are an essential part of the undergraduate preparation for pharmacy school, and you will need to develop very advanced skills in these areas if you intend to pursue admission to pharmacy school. In addition, pre-pharmacy students need to develop skills and abilities in a number of other areas as undergraduate students.

Because competition for admission to pharmacy programs is so keen, we recommend that students at Grand View plan to complete an undergraduate degree in a major that interests them before entering pharmacy school.

Why Grand View?

  • Research opportunities and assistance in pursuing internships
  • Highly individualized advising
  • Small classes taught by faculty who are recognized as accomplished teachers and researchers
  • State-of-the-art facilities and instrumentation
Recommended Courses

Although they can choose any major, pre-pharmacy students must complete certain required courses in biology, general chemistry, organic chemistry, and physics, as well as courses in the humanities and social sciences.

Some pharmacy schools also require anatomy, physiology, microbiology, biochemistry, immunology and statistics for admission. In addition, pre-pharmacy students need to develop strong reasoning, analytical, and communication skills. A pharmacist needs to have a strong foundation in the sciences, as well as good communication and interpersonal skills. Coursework in the humanities and social sciences can help you build skills in these latter areas.

Career Options

A pharmacy degree provides the education required to become a licensed pharmacist. Pharmacists work in a variety of areas including:

  • Community Practice
  • Academic Pharmacy
  • Public Health Services
  • Pharmacy Management
  • Hospital Practice
  • Managed Care Pharmacy
  • Pharmaceutical Research
  • Consultant Pharmacy
Grand View Student Testimonial

Shena GeisingerShena Geisinger, a Grand View University '18 alum, has prepared herself for a bright future by choosing to attend the University of Illinois at Chicago starting back in the fall of 2018. When looking at graduate schools, Shena was fortunate enough to have a choice between the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis or UIC. Shena chose to attend pharmacy school at UIC because of the location as well as the option to do the joint degree program: Pharm.D/Ph.D. 

As if a dual major in both Biology and Biochemistry wasn't enough while here at Grand View, Shena also minored in Chemistry as a pre-pharmacy student. Between Catalyst Club, being a resident assistant for two years and her experience on Viking Council, Shena's experiences at Grand View prepared her for the next adventure.

Shena highly recommends Grand View's pre-pharmacy program to students, "...especially if they want an emphasis in research." Shena was able to take at least three credits of research, which was the reason why she decided to pursue a Ph.D. in Medicinal Chemistry. She was also able to meet with her professors outside of class or lab if she needed extra help or clarification. In fact, she says "...the one-on-one help I received at a smaller school allowed me to learn at my own pace as well as really understand the material."

Shena believes that Grand View has prepared her for graduate school as well as a career in science. Her advisor, Dr. Hall, had been a great mentor throughout Shena's four years at Grand View. Plus, the lab courses allowed her to become familiar with lab equipment and procedures used in her field.

Shena's advice to students: "Take it all on; the leadership roles, the hard classes, work through it. Once you've succeeded, you'll look back on what you've accomplished and see it all pay off. Next you'll look ahead to the numerous opportunities awaiting and thank yourself for the future in store."

Student Testimonials

Jori AveryJori Avery

“Jori always takes the time to listen to my concerns and help develop a plan of action. She is knowledgeable and loves to share her wisdom. She was recently a student herself so she relates well to students here at GVU.” - Allyssa Angle

Dr. Bonnie HallDr. Bonnie Hall

“Dr. Hall helped me get back to Grand view.” - Blaze Kahikina

“I have been struggling with multiple health issues throughout this semester. Dr. Hall has gone above and beyond to make accommodations for me and to look out for me academically, physically, and emotionally. She is constantly pushing students to get the very best out of their education and creates inspiration in the daunting field of biochemistry. Because of Dr. Hall I have a greater love for biochemistry and for research. She has introduced me to multiple wonderful opportunities to help me grow and become a better scientist. Dr. Hall is a true inspiration to me and I can't describe in words how appreciative I am for all of her help and support. Thank you for being such an amazing mentor!” - Alli Rupert

“Dr. Hall helped me with my academic processes, like my class scheduling, change of major when I needed to, critical advising about biochemistry, and many more.” - Abubakar Barau

“She encouraged me and gave me confidence to get things done when I didn't think I could do it. She understood me, but also didn't let me take the easy way out.” - Grant Weldon

“She talked me through it when I felt lost in what major I wanted to pursue. She was honest and supportive of what I wanted to pursue and helped me feel at peace with my decision. She also helped by writing a recommendation for a scholarship. I really appreciate everything she has done for me and she really deserves to be recognized for it!” - Alexa Pinos

Dr. Corbin ZeaDr. Corbin Zea

“Dr. Zea is always willing to help with more than just classes and is very easy to get along with and talk to. He gets to know students on a personal level rather than just as another student.” - Tyler Henze

“Dr. Zea is my advisor but has also been my professor for multiple classes. He always makes time for me even outside of his office hours. He is also one of the most enthusiastic professors I know.” - Sunnie Baumgartner

“Dr. Zea brings a whole other level of enthusiasm to his classes that you don't see from other professors. This makes classes more enjoyable and easier to learn.” - Elma Omanovic

Frequently Asked Questions STEM Honors Scholarship


The following support the pre-phamacy program:

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I have to be a Biology/Pre-Pharmacy major at Grand View if I want to go to pharmacy school?
No. You can declare any major as long as you take the prerequisite courses for the pharmacy schools in which you are interested. The biology BA and BS majors includes the most common of these courses.
How high should my GPA be in order to go to pharmacy school?
Admission to pharmacy school is relatively competitive. The average pre-pharmacy GPA of admitted applicants in recent years has been 3.5 (on a scale of 4.0).
What should I be doing now to prepare for pharmacy school?
Completing the prerequisite courses and obtaining high grades (A’s and B’s) should be your first priority throughout your undergraduate career. Get to know  your professors by visiting office hours since you will need some of them to write you letters of recommendation for pharmacy school. Gaining experience in pharmacy is also a good idea in order to confirm that this is the right career path for you. It’s also never too early to start researching pharmacy programs and narrowing down where you want to apply. As you near the end of your prerequisite courses, start planning your application process (ie, when you will take the PCAT, finalizing your list of schools, obtaining letters of recommendation, etc.).
How do I gain experience in pharmacy as an undergraduate?
Job shadowing, informational interviewing, volunteering, and work experience are all great ways for undergraduates to gain pharmacy experience. When looking for places to volunteer or pharmacists to shadow or interview, use your connections first. Do you know anyone who is a pharmacist? What about the pharmacy where you and/or your family fill prescriptions? Do you know other health care providers who might be able to connect you with a pharmacist? Consider gaining experience in retail pharmacy as well as another setting such as a hospital. Some pre-pharmacy students choose to obtain their pharmacy technician’s license in order to work part-time or volunteer at a pharmacy. Gaining experience working with diverse populations in a variety of health care settings can also enhance your application to pharmacy school.
Do I need to complete my bachelor’s degree before entering pharmacy school?
Most pharmacy schools only require that you complete the prerequisite courses before entering the pharmacy program. This can usually be done in three years of undergraduate study. However, finishing your bachelor’s degree will likely make you a more competitive candidate for admission to pharmacy school. Some pharmacy schools may require or prefer applicants to have bachelor’s degrees.
How and when do I apply to pharmacy school?

The pharmacy applications cycle begins in the summer when PharmCAS opens and ends the following fall when new students enter Pharmacy programs. The earliest students can apply is the summer before the year that they will finish the prerequisites for the Pharmacy program where they wish to apply. Most students on a typical four year plan apply the summer prior to senior year. Then they complete their prerequisites senior year, graduate in spring, and (hopefully) begin pharmacy school in the fall. This typical timeline may or may not be right for you. Consider when you want to begin pharmacy school, whether your grades and experience are competitive enough at this point to gain admission, and whether you feel ready to apply. The PharmCAS application typically opens in mid-July. The exact application deadlines are school-specific and generally vary from November to March for entry the following fall. For early decision applicants, the deadline is typically early September.

The majority of pharmacy schools utilize PharmCAS, a centralized application service which allows applicants to fill out one application that is sent to multiple schools. In addition, most schools ask that students complete a supplemental application and submit it to the school directly by a specific deadline. More information about the application process can be found on the “Preparing to Apply” section of the PharmCAS website.

For pharmacy schools that do not use PharmCAS, applicants apply to the school directly by following the application instructions listed on the individual school websites.

Should I take the PCAT?

When deciding whether or not to take the PCAT, consider the schools to which you will be applying. If you are unsure,  you may want to take the test in order to keep your options open.

The PCAT is usually offered in July, September, October/November and January of each application cycle. Check the PCAT website for specific dates. The July and September administrations of the test are easily accommodated by most pharmacy schools. The January administration may fall after the application deadlines of some schools.

If you’re planning on taking the PCAT, you should definitely study. The PCAT covers content from courses such as General Chemistry, Biology, and Organic Chemistry that you will likely need to review. It is recommended that you begin to study 2-3 months prior to your exam date. Options for test preparation include study guide books, official practice tests, and test prep courses. Only use study resources written for your test year (not old editions) as the PCAT content changes slightly from year to year.

Tell Me More

Interested students should contact the Admissions Office for more information regarding our pre-professional preparation program.

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