Academic Prerequisites for Students Entering in Fall 2017

In order to be eligible for admission, you must satisfactorily complete a minimum total of 92 quarter units (equivalent to 62 semester units) of academic course work at another college. Our prerequisites are a part of this required minimum number of units.

You may be in the process of completing the prerequisites when you submit the application, but all prerequisites must be satisfactorily completed prior to September 1 of the year of entry into the program.

Overview of academic prerequisites

One semester unit is equivalent to 1.5 quarter units. To convert semester units to quarter units, multiply the semester units by 1.5.

Minimum quarter units


Must include

Additional information


General Chemistry

1 year of lecture and lab

  • 2 semesters or 3 quarters with labs in each term.
  • Should be a course sequence designed for science majors.
  • Should be a course sequence for pre-health majors.
  • Must be a full sequence with lecture and lab.


Organic Chemistry

1 year of lecture and lab

  • 2 semesters or 3 quarters with labs in each term.
  • Should be a course sequence designed for chemistry or biology majors.
  • Should be a course sequence for pre-health majors
  • Must be a full sequence with lecture and lab.



1 lab

  • 2 semesters or 3 quarters of biology with at least 1 lab.
  • Should be a course sequence designed for biology majors.
  • Must include cell and molecular biology and the study of the biology of whole animals or humans.
  • Courses in human physiology, botany and microbiology do not meet this requirement.



mammalian (whole animal or human)

  • Must be a minimum 4-quarter-unit (3-semester-unit) physiology course.
  • Some schools only offer a 2-part anatomy/physiology series. In this case, both courses will be required.
  • Human physiology is preferred.
  • Anatomy, plant physiology, or cell physiology courses may not be used to fulfill this prerequisite.
  • Must be a course for pre-health/science-majors.
  • We will not accept a survey or general education course.
  • We do not require a physiology lab.



1 lab in electricity and magnetism

  • Must be college-level physics.
  • Either a calculus-based or non-calculus-based physics series is acceptable.
  • Only 1 lab is required (lab must cover electricity and magnetism)



2 courses in calculus

  • Must include 2 courses in college calculus (e.g., Calculus I and Calculus II).
  • Statistics and pre-calculus courses will not fulfill this requirement.



2 courses in college composition

  • Technical, professional, science, creative, and ESL writing courses are not eligible to meet this English requirement.
  • We will consider a literature course if English composition instruction is included in course syllabus.


Electives in the Humanities and/or Social Sciences

1 course in economics (macro- or micro-), and

  • Minimum of one 3-semester-unit course or one 4-quarter-unit course in either micro-economics or macro-economics.

1 course in public speaking or debate, and

  • Must be one 3-semester-unit course or one 4-quarter-unit course.
  • Interpersonal communication does not fulfill this requirement.
  • "Real life" experiences will not exempt applicants from this requirement.

1 course in psychology, sociology, or cultural anthropology, and

  • Must be the introductory course in psychology or sociology. Advanced courses will not be accepted.
  • For anthropology, must be cultural anthropology.

courses in the humanities and/or social sciences

  • Technical, professional, math, and science-related courses are not eligible to meet Electives in the Humanities and/or Social Sciences requirements.


quarter units total

No course substitutions

We do not accept petitions for course substitutions at this time.

These are minimum units only

The number of units listed above is the minimum number of units required in each subject area. There are several factors that are used to determine if a course, or series of courses, may be used to fulfill a prerequisite. As such, in order to fulfill the content requirement of a prerequisite subject area, some applicants may be required to complete more than the number of units listed.

Why must I verify prerequisite course work?

The descriptors provided for the prerequisites are only some of the factors considered to determine if a course is acceptable to meet a prerequisite. When fulfilling these pre­req­ui­sites with course work from your college or university, there may be differences in the names of courses, the number of courses you are required to take, and the number of units you must complete.

The only absolute way to ensure that you are taking course work that will meet these prerequisites is to only take course work approved by the Office of Student and Curricular Affairs.

How to verify prerequisite course work

To determine if you’ve met our prerequisites, see Verifying Your Prerequisite Course Work.

More on this topic in our admissions director’s blog


Although not required reading, you’ll find additional comments in Humanities & Social Sciences, a blog post by Admissions Director Joel W. Gonzales.

Frequently asked questions about minimum eligibility requirements

  1. Should I still apply if my grade point average is just above the minimum of 2.80? 
    Admission is competitive and our evaluation is based on all aspects of the application in addition to your grade point average. This includes your science grades, curriculum, recommendations, essays, and interview results. Competition also varies from year to year depending upon the size and strength of the applicant pool. You should consider all of these factors and should not base your decision to apply solely on your GPA.
  2. Is a bachelor’s degree required for admission? 
    No, only the pre-pharmacy requirements are required. However a degree may make an applicant more competitive for admission, and in recent years a large majority of our successful applicants have held bachelor’s degrees.
  3. Do I have to take the PCAT or GRE? 
    The PCAT is required for all applicants. We do not require the GRE.
  4. Do I have to take the TOEFL examination? 

See all frequently asked questions about PharmD admissions

Go to: Info for Entering Students