The College of Pharmacy admissions committee carefully reflects on the overall preparation of each candidate.  The profession of pharmacy requires pharmacists to have the knowledge, skills and perspectives necessary to work collaboratively in the provision of outstanding patient care. For this reason, the College values mature students with a breadth of personal experiences, in addition to strong academic preparation in foundational and biomedical sciences. This level of preparation is typically equivalent to the completion of a bachelor’s degree.

Coursework required to be eligible for admission to the Doctor of Pharmacy program is listed. Most prerequisites can be completed at any appropriately accredited college or university.  Foundational sciences (e.g. Chemistry, Biology) must meet specific requirements, as indicated. Preparation in biomedical sciences (e.g. Microbiology, Physiology, and Biochemistry) is also required and all coursework must be completed prior to beginning the professional program.

The breadth and strength of each candidate’s overall academic preparation is evaluated during the admissions process.  Preferred courses in the biomedical science are indicated.  Candidates often choose to supplement their preparation with upper division coursework in a diversity of disciplines, ranging from languages to specialized topics in the sciences.

(Oregon State University courses that meet these prerequisites are listed for reference.)

PREREQUISITE NOTES OREGON STATE COURSES
One year of General Chemistry with lab. For science majors. CH 231CH 261CH 232,CH 262CH 233, and CH 263.
One year of Principles of Biology with lab. For science majors. BI 211BI 212, and BI 213.
One year of Physics with lab. Algebra- or calculus-based. PH 201PH 202, and PH 203.
One year of Organic Chemistry with lab. For science majors. CH 331CH 332, and CH 337.
One course in Cell Biology. This must be more advanced than a Principles of Biology course. An upper-division course in molecular biology that includes cell biology is also acceptable. BI 314.
One course in Microbiology with lab. Upper-division level coursework is preferred. MB 302 and MB 303.
One sequence of Human Physiology. Upper-division level coursework is preferred.

Courses taken during or after Summer 2014: BI 331, BI 332, and BI 333.

Courses taken prior to Summer 2014: Z 430, Z 431, and Z 432.

 

One sequence of Human Anatomy. Upper-division level coursework is preferred. May be one to three courses depending on the institution.

Courses taken during or after Summer 2014: BI 341, BI 342, and BI 343.

Courses taken prior to Summer 2014: Z 441, Z 442, and Z 443.

One sequence of Biochemistry. Upper-division level coursework is preferred. BB 450 and BB 451.
One course in Calculus.   MTH 241 or MTH 251.
One course in Statistics.   ST 201.
One course in Economics Macro- or microeconomics. ECON 201 or ECON 202 or AREC 250.

Note that "one year" means two semester-long classes or three quarter-long classes. "Sequence" means the complete series of courses on that topic offered by your institution. "Upper-division level" means courses targeted at college juniors and seniors. Such courses often have course numbers in the 300s and 400s. An academic advisor can help you determine whether a course is upper-division level or lower-division level.

Competitive applicants who have completed biomedical sciences at the lower-division level typically supplement preparation with upper division coursework in related areas of study.  Many successful applicants and professionals bring valued strengths in one area that can balance less rigorous preparation in others.

Students who will not complete a bachelor's degree before entering the Pharm.D. program must also complete these prerequisite courses:

  • One course in Writing or English Composition; a second course is preferred.
  • One course in Interpersonal Communication or Speech; Interpersonal Communication is preferred.
  • One course in the social or behavioral sciences, such as sociology, psychology, ethnic studies, or anthropology.

We encourage all prospective students to contact the College of Pharmacy at pharmacy@oregonstate.edu or 541-737-3424 and speak with an advisor about prerequisite courses at your institution. If a particular course is not offered at your institution, an advisor may be able to suggest a substitute. Many questions about these prerequisites are addressed on the Frequently Asked Questions page.

Preferred Curricular Preparation

The above prerequisites represent the minimum academic preparation required.  Supplemental preparation in a number of different areas can advantage candidates in the application process and optimize success while in the professional program.

Examples of supplemental preparation include:

  • Coursework in medical terminology, such as PHAR 210.
  • Coursework in medical ethics, bioethics, or scientific reasoning, such as PHL 444.
  • Advanced coursework in writing or language.  
  • Additional coursework in social or biomedical sciences. Examples include but are not limited to courses in genetics, ecology, evolution, virology, immunology, epidemiology, physical chemistry, biostatistics (or other additional statistics), public health, and bioinformatics or computer skills. Examples of these kinds of courses at Oregon State include BI 311MB 385MB 416, and MB 434.
  • For students interested in the Pharm.D./MBA program, introductory coursework in business administration or health care management, such as BA 211 and BA 213.

Preferred Co-Curricular and Career Preparation

In addition to a strong academic undergraduate program, competitive applicants will have researched the profession of pharmacy and possess an awareness of contemporary issues in healthcare. This awareness is often gained through work, volunteer, or shadowing experiences in a variety of healthcare settings or informational interviews with pharmacy professionals. 

Leadership experience and the  ability to work collaboratively are equally important as part of a candidates resume. For example, applicants may have served as officers or committee chairs in clubs or service organizations, been involved in leading volunteer efforts, managed employees, or worked in high functioning groups to spearhead change in a variety settings. 

Current Student Profile

The College of Pharmacy and the pharmacy profession value the richness found within a learning community that is diverse in life experiences and cultures. Our most successful students come from a variety of backgrounds, but typically share:

  • A strong interest in the pharmacy profession and in delivering outstanding patient care
  • A bachelor's degree prior to beginning the Pharm.D. program
  • Upper-division coursework in the biomedical sciences
  • Experience in a healthcare setting
  • Demonstrated leadership and the ability to work collaboratively in teams
  • Confidence, resilience, and adaptability in dynamic situations
  • Curiosity and strength in intellectual pursuits
  • Community awareness and commitment to service
  • The ability to act ethically and with integrity in all situations

Contact an Advisor

We encourage all prospective students to contact the College of Pharmacy at pharmacy@oregonstate.edu or 541-737-3424; and discuss their application with an advisor early in the process.  Many successful applicants and professionals bring strengths in one area that can balance less rigorous preparation in others.  If a particular course is not offered at your institution, an advisor may be able to suggest a substitute. Many questions are also addressed on the Frequently Asked Questions page.