Pharmacy: PharmCAS

The greatest role of a pharmacist, is to assist patients and other health professionals in being aware of the proper use of medication, and its success in treating the individual to which it was prescribed. A pharmacist provides pharmaceutical care, aiding in the advancement and distribution of medications needed to treat patients with all ranges of ailments.

Some pharmacy schools will accept students with a minimum of 60 semester units in pre-pharmacy coursework, but often a bachelor’s degree is preferred. Four years of professional school are required to obtain a Doctor of Pharmacy degree, with the first two years covering basic sciences, and the second two covering pharmacy theory and practice. Residencies can be taken for specialties, and completion of such is often required for employment in hospital pharmacy practice or clinical faculty positions. Some pharmacy schools also offer joint degree programs including PharmD/PhD, PharmD/MBA, and PharmD/MS.


Cal State Fullerton does not have a Pharmacy Program. This page serves as a resource for students.

Before You Begin

  • Pharmacy General and Admissions Updates
  • PharmCAS websiteOpens in new window
    • Last year's application opened for submission on June 1, 2012, so a similar date can be expected for this year.
  • July 15, 2013 is the last day the HPAO will upload a committee packet. In order to meet this deadline you are required to submit:
    • A copy of your AMCAS application
    • Any additional letters of evaluation not previously received
  • We cannot stress this enough, apply as EARLY as possible!
  • PharmCas applications open up every June.


Beginning the Application

Create a PharmCAS application account as early as possible at this link. Record your username and password in a secure and easy-to-remember location.

Provide the necessary information needed to complete the application.

Pre-requisite Courses

Common Pre-Pharmacy Prerequisite Courses
Major Pre-Reqs Courses
Biology One Year of Coursework with Lab (dependent on your major) BIOL 151 & BIOL 152
Chemistry One Year of Coursework with Lab CHEM 120A & CHEM 120B
Organic Chemistry One Year of Coursework with Lab CHEM 301A & CHEM 301B (LAB: 302)
Physics One Year of Coursework with lab. Some schools only require one semester. Some Pharmacy schools prefer calculus-based physics – mechanics & thermodynamics.

PHYS 211 (LAB : 211L) &

PHYS 212 (LAB: 212L)

Mathematics Some Pharmacy schools will accept one semester of Calculus while others require one course in Statistics as well.

#1) MATH 150A & MATH 150B (Calculus 1 & 2)

#2) MATH 130 & MATH 338

(short course Calc & Stats)

**for stats: OR stats courses offered by your department for your major

Molecular Bio or Biochemistry One semester is strongly recommended but may be required by other Pharmacy schools.

Molec Bio: BIOL 309

Biochem for Biology majors: CHEM 421 (LAB: CHEM 422)

Biochem for Biochemistry majors: CHEM 423A & 423B (LAB: CHEM 422)

Anatomy One semester is strongly recommended yet required by other Pharmacy schools. BIOL 361
Microbiology & Physiology One semester is strongly recommended yet required by other Pharmacy schools.

Microbio: BIOL 302

Physio: BIOL 310 (LAB: BIOL 310L)

English One year is required for most Pharmacy schools in the country.  Please note: this can be integrated in upper-division science courses that fulfill writing requirements for major. ENGL 101 & ENGL 301
Humanities/Soc. Sciences Many Pharmacy schools strongly recommend a course in Psychology, Speech Communication, Public Speaking, and/or Economics. Please note: Pharmacy requirements vary from school to school.

PSYC 101/SOCI 101

HCOM 100/102

ECON 201/202

Transcripts & Coursework

  • You must submit the PharmCAS Transcript Request Form to Official transcripts from every regionally accredited U.S. institution you have attended need to be submitted to PharmCAS directly. To make sure your official transcript is handled properly by PharmCAS, you should print the PharmCAS official Transcript Request Form from the Colleges Attended section of your application and give that to your Registrar's Office to be included with your transcript when it is mailed to PharmCAS. Transcripts can be mailed directly to:

PO Box 9109
Watertown, MA 02471-4403

  • Use an official transcript to properly complete the "Coursework" section of your application. Do not use your course record/schedule or memory to complete the Coursework section.
  • After your application has been mailed to your designated pharmacy schools, you can update your courses on-line during the PharmCAS "Academic Update" window.
  • Carefully read the transcript instructions for the following types of institutions:
    • US
    • Study Abroad
    • International
    • US overseas institutions

Letters of Evaluation

  • Up to our (4) evaluator names can be entered on your PharmCAS application
  • A few pharmacy schools prefer that applicants send references directly to the institution. Review the School Pages for details.
  • Electronic (HPO cannot submit your packet electronically)
    • PLEASE STRONGLY ENCOURAGE YOUR EVALUATORS TO SEND ELECTRONIC LETTERS OF REFERENCE (eLORs) to PharmCAS. Alert your evaluator to watch for an automated email from PharmCAS with the subject "PharmCAS Reference Request". PharmCAS will send you an e-mail confirmation when the request is sent to your evaluator's e-mail address.
    • PharmCAS will begin to forward your references to your designated pharmacy schools once your file is complete. PharmCAS will NOT hold your application for missing references.
  • Paper (HPO uses)
    • Paper references must be mailed to PharmCAS in a sealed envelope on the evaluator's signed official institutional or business stationery. The letter of reference and PharmCAS reference form must arrive together in a single envelope. PharmCAS will not accept paper references mailed by applicants. Arrange for only one paper reference to be sent to PharmCAS per evaluator. PharmCAS will provide a copy of your paper reference to each of your designated pharmacy schools.
  • PharmCAS will accept the name of a college pre-health profession advisor as one of your letter writers. Please list Dr. Christina Goode as a letter writer. The committee letter must be accompanied by a reference request form. PharmCAS only allows 4 letters max., the Committee letter counts as one letter. You will list it as a packet and will state that it is being mailed.
  • All letters must be accompanied by completed reference request forms from your letter writers themselves.

Essay/Personal Statement

  • Your Personal Essay should address why you selected pharmacy as a career and how the Doctor of Pharmacy degree relates to your immediate and long-term professional goals
  • Describe how your personal, educational, and professional background will help you achieve your goals
  • The personal essay should be 4500 characters (including spaces)
  • Dr. Goode is available to review personal statements if you desire her input on it. If you would like to do this please schedule a 40 minute personal statement review appointment with her online.
  • The Writing Center in the Pollack Library is also another wonderful resource to aid students in composing and editing their personal statements. The Career Center can provide you with an additional review of your personal statement by their professionally trained counselors. Only current CSUF students are able to utilize the assistance of the Writing Center. Current students and recent alumni (less than one year since graduation) can utilize the experienced counselors of the Career Center.

Submitting Application

  • Print or save your completed application for your personal records
  • Allow up to 5 weeks for PharmCAS to process and verify your application once your application and transcripts are received.
  • Deadline dates vary; please consult individual schools to learn more about their deadlines.
    • Please note that there are some non-participating schools that do not work with the PharmCAS application service. These schools require a different application and process. Please go to the PharmCAS website for a list of non-participating schools. 

Monitoring Application Status

You can check the status of your application at any time. Check your application status on-line. To view the real-time progress of your file, login to your PharmCAS application and review the Status box on the right side of the screen.

The PharCAS website has many resources posted for its users. Please take a moment to explore the site to become familiar to the application process. Below is link to the site:

Additionally, students can call 617.612.2060 and speak to an PharmCAS representative about specific questions pertaining to their applications. We strongly encourage you to always remain polite and professional when speaking to any member of PharmCAS (and HPAO) staff.

Information provided in this document was retrieved from the Pharmacy College Application ServiceOpens in new window  on April 4 2013.