VCU Bulletins

Pharmacy, Doctor of (Pharm.D.)

Admission requirements

Applicants for admission to the School of Pharmacy must attend an accredited college for at least three academic years (nine quarters or six semesters) and complete the specified course requirements prior to admission.

Students planning to seek a degree in pharmacy upon high school graduation should plan their high school program to meet the requirements for admission in the college where they will take the prerequisite work for admission into the VCU School of Pharmacy.

The minimal admission requirements are listed. (Meeting these requirements does not, however, guarantee acceptance into the VCU School of Pharmacy.)

  1. Three letters of reference are required. These include a reference from a science professor, a health professional (pharmacist preferred) and an employer.

  2. An official transcript from the student’s primary college and all colleges attended must be supplied. Applications are considered by the Admissions Committee only after transcripts on file show completion of no less than four semesters or six quarters of college work. When offered, an acceptance is contingent upon satisfactory completion of specific work that may be in progress.

  3. Applicants must present the required credits in the following subject areas for a total of at least 90 semester hours.

      Semester hours
    General biology (lecture and laboratory) 8
    College chemistry (lecture and laboratory) 8
    Organic chemistry (lecture and laboratory) 8
    Physics (lecture and laboratory) 4
    Human anatomy* 3
    Human physiology 3
    Microbiology* 3
    Biochemistry 3
    English 6
    Calculus 3
    Statistics 3
    Public speaking 3
    Biomedical science foundation and elective courses 35
    Minimum 90

    * One hour of lab in these subjects also preferred

  4. Due to the importance of a strong biomedical science foundation for success in the Doctor of Pharmacy program, some or all of the courses listed below are recommended.

  5. Genetics or molecular biology 3
    Immunology 3
    Cell biology 3

  6. The electives will comprise a balanced program in social sciences, arts and humanities. Electives in computer science, economics, psychology and sociology are highly recommended. Others include political science, anthropology, history, foreign languages, philosophy and religious studies.

  7. Credits earned through Advanced Placement Tests of the College Board or International Baccalaureate are not acceptable in meeting the total semester-hours requirement. Such AP credits may excuse a student from taking a specific non-science course such as English, but the credits must be made up through additional electives. AP credits in science (e.g., biology, chemistry) or mathematics (e.g., calculus) must be made up with courses in kind. Generally, this requirement is achieved by taking advanced-level courses (e.g., physical chemistry as a substitute for AP/IB credit in general chemistry).
  8. Dual-credit courses taken during high school may be considered acceptable for transfer credit pending review of college transcripts.
  9. Applicants must have earned a creditable average (C or better) overall, and in the courses specified, to meet minimum academic requirements for admission.
  10. Applicants for admission must apply online through PharmCAS, a centralized application service for pharmacy schools. The PharmCAS Web site at provides further details.
  11. An on-campus interview is mandatory for admission consideration.
  12. Applicants are required to take the Pharmacy College Admission Test (PCAT) before admission.
  13. Applicants whose first language is not English and who have not lived in the U.S. for at least 10 years should submit scores from the Test of English as a Foreign Language, the Test of Spoken English or other proof that their command of English is sufficient to allow successful completion of all requirements of the program.
  14. Students are admitted only at the start of the academic year. An applicant must complete two full years of the academic prerequisites before an application can be reviewed. The Admissions Committee begins reviewing applications during September of the year preceding admission. It is to the applicant’s advantage to apply during the fall of the year before expected enrollment in the School of Pharmacy. Applicants are accepted pending satisfactory completion of all prerequisite courses. Notification usually occurs in early spring.
  15. Prior to enrolling, successful applicants must meet the immunization requirements set forth in the “Professional study” section of this bulletin. Prior to entering the fourth professional year, students must satisfy all university and APPE site immunization requirements.
  16. Applicants exercising the early decision option for admission to the VCU School of Pharmacy must submit their fee and official transcript from all postsecondary institutions ever attended to PharmCAS by the specified deadline. Applicants whose materials are not received or whose applications are incomplete by these deadlines will be ineligible for the early decision option, and they will be deferred to regular admission status. Applicants exercising the early decision option are expected to make a commitment to attend the VCU School of Pharmacy if accepted. If an acceptance offer is not made under the early decision option, the applicant is then moved to regular admission status and continues to be evaluated for admission during the remainder of the admission cycle. The applicant is then free to apply to other schools of pharmacy under the regular admission procedure.
  17. Applicants pursuing “regular admission” to the VCU School of Pharmacy must submit the electronic application, letters of reference and transcripts to PharmCAS by the specified deadline. Applicants who do not meet these PharmCAS deadlines will be ineligible for admission to the VCU Doctor of Pharmacy degree program.
  18. Applicants to the program must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents of the U.S.

The following criteria are considered in judging applicants:

Time demands for this full-time program are rigorous. In general, the first three years require a Monday–Friday (8 a.m.–6 p.m.) commitment for lectures, conferences, laboratories and off-campus visits to area pharmacy practice sites. The fourth year is devoted to experiential learning at sites located throughout Virginia. Students enrolling in the four-year professional degree program must agree to the possibility of being assigned to sites beyond the Richmond metropolitan area (e.g., eastern, northern or western Virginia). Candidates must assess personal obligations prior to seeking application.

VCU does not discriminate against qualified applicants for admission who have disabilities, and seeks to provide reasonable accommodation to applicants and admitted students who identify themselves as having disabilities. Academic requirements essential to the program or to directly related licensing requirements will not be substituted. Upon acceptance into the program, students in need of accommodation may contact the MCV Campus coordinator for students with disabilities at (804) 828-9782 to discuss their needs.

Further information may be obtained by writing to the Chair, Admissions Committee, School of Pharmacy, Virginia Commonwealth University, P.O. Box 980581, Richmond, VA 23298-0581. Applicants also may call a toll-free telephone number, (800) 330-0519 for assistance.


Comments/feedback about this site   |   Bulletin (catalog) archives/printer-friendly bulletins   |   About these bulletins

Virginia Commonwealth University
Richmond, Virginia
Contact us:

Last update: 9/21/2011

Created by VCU University Relations

The VCU Bulletin is in transition! As we move from this first iteration of our online Bulletin to a new product and process, what you find on this website is information for the 2014-15 academic year.

While much of the curricular information remains the same, changes that were approved with the effective date of fall 2015 will not be reflected on this website. Prospective students may wish to contact the school or department that administers their program of interest in order to discuss the most current curriculum and concentration options.

Enrolled students who are completing their studies under an effective Bulletin may continue to access the archives at, where past Bulletins are available to reference or download.

Our anticipated launch of the new VCU Bulletin is July 2015. To follow our progress, visit the new Bulletin blog.