Skip to main content

Admissions Requirements

All prospective Pharm.D. program applicants are encouraged to review the Pharm.D. Prerequisites (.pdf).

High School Student

Undergraduate Transfer Student

For thorough information about our admission requirements, go to our PharmCAS schoolpage. The PharmCAS schoolpages are helpful to easily compare our admission requirements against those of other Pharm.D. programs.

There are four basic admission requirements for the Pharm.D. program:

1. Complete the required Pharm.D. prerequisite courses

All Pharm.D. prerequisite courses are necessary for admission to the College of Pharmacy. The UHCOP Admissions Committee will look at an applicant's overall prerequisite GPA, which includes all of the courses on the list. Applicants must receive no less than a "C" (2.0) in all prerequisite courses in order to be considered for admittance.

In addition, the math and science courses from our prerequisite list are averaged, and this number becomes the student's math and science GPA. Both the prerequisite GPA and math/science GPA are extremely important for the student's application. Students should plan their course schedule such that they complete the math and science prerequisites no later than the spring semester prior to entry into the program. No math and science courses may be taken the summer prior to beginning the Pharm.D. curriculum. The Admissions Committee must have the math/science GPA to consider for admittance. Non-math/science courses may be taken that summer, however.

Although most students take between 2-3 years to complete the prerequisite courses, it is highly recommended that math and science prerequisites be taken with the last five years for a student to be competitive in this area.

Other information concerning prerequisites:

• Grades of repeated courses are averaged; not replaced.
• Although there is no minimum prerequisite GPA, it is preferred that applicants have a 2.50 or higher in their prerequisite and math/science prerequisite GPAs.   
• The average prerequisite GPA for the 2019 entering pharmacy class was 3.51.
• The average math/science prerequisite GPA for the 2019 entering pharmacy class was 3.42.
• The Biology I & II lecture/lab series may be met by taking BOTH Botany lecture/lab, AND Zoology lecture/lab courses designed for science majors. If Biology I lecture/lab is taken, Biology II lecture/lab should be completed at that same institution to complete the Biology I & II lecture/lab series. It is NOT permissible to take either Botany lecture/lab or Zoology lecture/lab at one institution, then take Biology I lecture/lab or Biology II lecture/lab at another institution.
• In order to use credit earned by examination (i.e. AP, IB, CLEP, etc.) for meeting prerequisite coursework, official college/university transcript(s) sent into PharmCAS must have specific course names and course numbers of credit awarded clearly indicated to be recognized.


2. Take the PCAT Exam

The Pharmacy College Admissions Test (PCAT) is a required exam for admission to UH College of Pharmacy. Students should take the PCAT during September of the year before they want to start pharmacy school or earlier and have PCAT send their scores directly to PharmCAS.

For the 2020 application cycle, the February 2020 PCAT will be the most recent PCAT scores that will be accepted by the UH College of Pharmacy.

There is no minimum PCAT score, although a composite score of 50% or better is preferred. In addition, it is recommended that students score in the 60% or above range in the science subtests of the PCAT (i.e. Biological Processes, Chemical Processes, Quantitative Reasoning). The average composite PCAT score for the 2019 entering Pharm.D. class was 79%.

Students may take the exam several times; each score will be looked at separately. If students do retake the exam, it is advised that students increase their score for each retake. The college does not drop the lowest score or average PCAT scores. PCAT scores more than three years old (older than 1/07/2017) will not be considered when making admissions decisions.

3. Obtain three letters of reference

The college requires that students submit 3 letters of reference with their application to PharmCAS. All letters of reference must be from individuals residing in the U.S.

It is recommended that letters come from the following sources:

  • licensed pharmacist practicing or having practiced in the U.S.
  • college professor
  • employer
  • supervisor
  • teaching assistant
  • pre-health advisor
  • faculty advisor

Letters of reference from the following source may be conditionally accepted:

  • health care professional

Letters of reference from family or friends are NOT accepted.

We require that the reference fill out the letter of reference forms through PharmCAS. The person may submit an attached letter if he/she chooses. In addition, we recommend that students obtain "good" letters of reference. Please refer to the following hints for obtaining such good letters:

1. Most people are uncomfortable giving reference for someone whom they do not know well. Get to know the person and let them get to know you so that you will obtain a good letter.

2. Ask early for your letter of reference. Do not ask the reference too close to the application deadline for a letter.

3. Ask for a "good letter." Some references may have a hard time saying "no," and will write a letter that is superficial. It is important that the applicant ask for a "good letter" and give the person a way of saying no if she/he is not enthusiastic about writing for you.

4. Begin working on this no later than your second semester in college.

5. Search for a reference with whom you believe you have something in common or with whom you have similar research or employment interests.

6. Respect the reference's time.

7. Be a positive addition to their time and life.

8. It is suggested that students obtain a letter of reference from a pharmacist with whom they have established a professional or working relationship.

4. Participate in Community Service

Volunteer/community service is required for all applicants to the program.

A minimum of twenty-five (25) volunteer/community service hours are required for admission consideration. Students should have a consistent amount of volunteer/community service hours to be a competitive applicant.

Volunteer activities do not have to be in the health-care area, and can be whatever type they choose, so long as it is non-paid and clearly benefits the community at-large. This volunteer/community service must begin at the onset of the applicant's college-career.

Applications missing any required items by the January 6, 2020, deadline will be considered INCOMPLETE, and be denied automatically, without review by the admissions committee. The only exception is that we will accept February 2020 PCAT scores.

Get Adobe Reader