The College of Pharmacy carefully evaluates the entire background and preparation of all applicants. The College values mature students with a breadth of experiences and broad academic preparation built around the foundational sciences. This level of preparation is typically equivalent to the completion of a bachelor’s degree.

The following specific prerequisite coursework is required to be eligible for admission to the Doctor of Pharmacy program. Most prerequisites can be completed at any appropriately accredited college or university. Biochemistry must be completed at a four-year university. Oregon State University's 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 strongly preferred. MB 302 and MB 303.
One year of Human Physiology. Upper-division level coursework strongly preferred.  Must be a full year sequence of Physiology.

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 strongly 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 upper-division level Biochemistry. This sequence should  be 7 quarter credit-hours or more and must include at least two courses. It should include molecular biology topics. 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.

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.

Applications from prospective students who have completed Microbiology, Human Physiology, and Human Anatomy at the lower-division level should compensate with strong preparation in all other areas.

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. Applicants are also evaluated on the rigor of their academic program and competitive applicants often will have completed additional relevant coursework. Examples of preferred preparation include:

  • Coursework in medical terminology, such as PHAR 210.
  • Coursework in medical ethics, bioethics, or scientific reasoning, such as PHL 444.
  • Additional advanced coursework in the 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 rigorous 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 experience, volunteer experience, or shadowing experience in a variety of healthcare settings.

Leadership experience and a demonstrated ability to work collaboratively are equally important as part of an undergraduate or post-graduate resume. For example, applicants may have served as officers or committee chairs in co-curricular groups, been involved in leading volunteer efforts, managed employees, or worked in high functioning groups to spearhead efforts for positive 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 had a diversity of preparatory experiences, unique life experiences, and many cultural perspectives. Our most successful students come from a variety of backgrounds, but typically have:

  • A strong desire to become pharmacists and strong interest in the pharmacy profession
  • A bachelor's degree prior to beginning the Pharm.D. program
  • Completed upper-division coursework in anatomy, physiology, and microbiology
  • Gained experience in a healthcare setting
  • Served in leadership positions and demonstrated strong collaborative ability on teams
  • The ability to respond with resilience, confidence, and adaptability in stressful situations
  • Strength in intellectual pursuits and community awareness
  • The ability to act with ethics and integrity in all situations
Many successful applicants and professionals bring strengths in one area that can balance less rigorous preparation in others. Applicants are strongly encouraged to discuss their applications with an advisor early in the process, and especially in unusual situations.

Contact an Advisor

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.