Admissions Information

Apply early to have the greatest opportunity to earn scholarships

The sooner you start the application process, the better. Take these steps:

  • Create a PharmCAS account.
  • Designate the University of Colorado Skaggs School of Pharmacy on your application.
  • Applications, evaluations, transcripts, and application fees must be received by the deadline.
  • PharmCAS application instructions: https://www.pharmcas.org/application-instructions

We do not require a bachelor's degree to apply. You can enter without a bachelor's degree and be eligible to earn a Bachelor of Science in Medical Science after completing your second year (credit hour completion pending).

Our team is here to support you throughout this process!

To see PharmCAS Application and Conduct information, please visit the PharmCAS website.

The application to the Doctor of Pharmacy program is available through the Pharmacy College Application Service or PharmCAS, a centralized application service to apply to multiple degree programs offered by schools and college of pharmacy. PharmCAS is designed for first-year professional PharmD degree programs. ​​

We do not require a bachelor's degree to apply. Students entering without a bachelor's degree will earn a Bachelor of Science in Medical Science after successfully completing their second year.

  • Application Timeline
    • Mid-July – Application Opens
    • November 1 – Priority Application Deadline
    • January 4 – Application Deadline
    • June 1 – Application Deadline
  • The application to the Doctor of Pharmacy program is available through Pharmacy College Application Service (PharmCAS). PharmCAS is a centralized application service to apply to multiple degree programs offered by schools and colleges of pharmacy. PharmCAS is designed for first-year professional PharmD degree programs.

Pharmacy School Transfer Policy: We do not accept transfer credits from other Schools/Colleges of Pharmacy. Applicants to the University of Colorado School of Pharmacy must complete all prerequisites with a grade of C or higher (C- or below is not acceptable) at a college or university that is accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges or one of its regional affiliates.

  • Prerequisite coursework must be completed prior to starting the Doctor of Pharmacy program. Courses may be listed as “in-progress” at the time of application.
    • Applicants may complete no more than 3 courses in the summer prior to matriculation. A Summer Extension Waiver must be submitted and approved by the Admissions Team to utilize this option.
  • Science and Calculus prerequisite coursework must have been completed within the last 10 years of the semester in which the applicant intends to enroll.
  • In many cases, applicants may be admitted while they are completing their coursework but the number of courses in progress may affect the decision of the admissions committee should there not be sufficient coursework to evaluate.

Transcripts

All transcripts must be submitted to PharmCAS regardless of the age or transferability of courses. The admissions committee considers all coursework completed and derives a cumulative GPA from all colleges and universities attended. Failure to reveal all transcripts will result in disqualification.

Once admitted, official transcripts from all previous colleges and university (including other University of Colorado campuses) attended must be updated in the candidates PharmCAS application using the Academic Update. Updated official transcripts must be provided as soon as each subsequent term is completed. (Summer transcripts are due directly to the Admissions Team).

Two Evaluations (letters of recommendation) are required as part of the PharmCAS application. Letters submitted in lieu of completing the form will not be accepted. The applicant should seek recommendations attesting to their academic performance (academic recommendation) or on the applicant’s professional skills and potential for success in a rigorous professional degree program (professional recommendation).

Evaluations from friends/family/coworkers are not accepted. Please see full list of acceptable evaluator categories on the University of Colorado’s School Directory Page.

Two recommendation forms are required as part of the PharmCAS application. Letters submitted in lieu of completing the form will not be accepted. The applicant should seek recommendations attesting to their academic performance (academic recommendation) or on the applicant’s professional skills and potential for success in a rigorous professional degree program (professional recommendation).

Interview Options

  • Qualified applicants will have the option to complete an on-site or virtual interview, and if eligible, receive an offer of admission. A partial travel reimbursement is available for eligible candidates.
  • Interviews will begin in August with multiple dates offered throughout the remainder of the year.

When a candidate meets the threshold to be invited for an interview, the school’s admissions team will contact the candidate directly with a summary of available interview dates (via email).

Please see more information regarding interviews on our Interviews page.

GPA
The average GPA of our admitted students is typically around 3.4. Competition is typically the strongest among out-of-state applicants. ​​

PCAT Requirement
The PCAT is not required. If the PCAT (or MCAT) is submitted, it will be considered supplementary information only.

English Proficiency

  • Excellent oral and written English communication skills are necessary prerequisites for admission to the school, success in the program, and competent practice in the field of pharmacy. Applicants who meet one or more of the criteria in the review process will be required to undergo an evaluation of your English language proficiency. This will be completed via an Oral Proficiency Interview (OPI) as part of the application process.
    • The purpose of this computerized OPI is to assess and rate a speaker’s level of oral proficiency in English. Please be aware that for your application to continue through the admissions process, an OPI is required. Aspects of this evaluation include pronunciation, grammar usage, and coherent discourse.
    • Due to the rigorous communicative demands of the PharmD program, the minimum English oral proficiency admission standard is “advanced low” according to the ACTFL Oral Proficiency Guidelines for Speaking. Applicants rated at an oral proficiency level below “advanced low” via the OPI are disqualified from the pool of applicants considered for admission.
    • This requirement is not waived with any other standardized test or degree completion.

Confirmation Deposit

  • Within two weeks after receiving a letter of acceptance, applicants must submit a $200 initial confirmation deposit to hold their position in the entering class. By March 1, an additional $200 confirmation deposit will be required (totaling $400). If the applicant submitted their application prior to November 1, no deposit is required.
  • Applicants that receive a letter of acceptance after March 1 will be required to submit the total admission deposit of $400.
  • Deposits will be credited after the first semester of matriculation.

Criminal Background Check

  • Each admitted student must submit to a national background check upon initial, conditional acceptance to pharmacy school. The rationale for performing criminal background checks on accepted pharmacy school applicants is based on a number of issues, including 1) the need to enhance the safety and well-being of patients and, in so doing, to bolster the public’s continuing trust in the pharmacy profession, 2) to ascertain the ability of accepted applicants to complete their pharmacy education (students are required to maintain a State of Colorado pharmacy intern license while participating in the pharmacy curriculum which includes direct patient care activities) and to eventually become licensed pharmacists.
  • In support of this recommendation, AACP has initiated a PharmCAS-facilitated national background check service through which Certiphi Screening, Inc. (a Vertical Screen ® Company) will procure a national background report on applicants at the point of acceptance. AACP has initiated this service in order to recognize the desire of pharmacy schools to procure appropriate national criminal history reports and to prevent applicants from paying additional fees at each pharmacy school at which they are accepted.

Drug Testing

  • All matriculated students are required to undergo drug testing and will receive further information regarding this requirement after they are enrolled in the program.

Technical Standards for Admission, Advancement and Graduation

  • The School of Pharmacy reserves the right to choose to correspond with applicants via e-mail, phone, or by U.S. Postal Services. It is incumbent upon the applicant to ensure a current email, phone, and postal address are currently on file. The School of Pharmacy cannot be held accountable if the candidate does not receive or respond to application or admission related correspondence.
  • E-mail messages generated by the School of Pharmacy and related services may be sent simultaneously to multiple applicants. To avoid missing important e-mails, turn the “spam” or “junk” email filters off during the application cycle or periodically check your spam/junk e-mail file for the School of Pharmacy-related messages.

Pharmacy School Transfer Policy: We do not accept transfer credits from other Schools/Colleges of Pharmacy.

Other Programs: Non-Degree Seeking Students

 

  • On a case-by-case basis, other relevant coursework may be considered for any prerequisite course requirement. If you are unsure whether your coursework fulfills a prerequisite requirement, please contact the Outreach and Engagement Team to request a review of your transcripts or schedule a pre-advising appointment:PharmD@CUAnschutz.edu
  • If you have already applied and have questions about your prerequisite review, please contact the Admissions Team: SOP.OSSAPPS@CUAnschutz.edu
  • Credit requirements are listed in hours (semester/quarter).
CourseSemester CreditsQuarter CreditsInformation
General Biology8 semester (2 lab)12 quarter (3 lab)
  • Semester: General Biology I and II with labs for 8 total semester credits.
  • Quarter: General Biology I, II, and II with labs for 12 total quarter credits.
  • Biology is the study of life and living organisms; acceptable courses (must include laboratories (2)): General Biology, Life Sciences, Ecology, Botany, Zoology, Genetics, Molecular Biology, Cell Biology, and Evolution. (Anatomy, Physiology, Microbiology, and Biochemistry specific courses will not be accepted for these prerequisites).
General Chemistry8 semester (2 lab)12 quarter (3 lab)
  • Semester: General Chemistry I and II with labs for 8 total semester credits.
  • Quarter: General Chemistry I, II, and II with labs for 12 total quarter credits.
  • General or inorganic chemistry including chemical structure, atomic and molecular properties, and thermodynamics (must include laboratories).
Organic Chemistry8 semester (2 lab) 12 quarter (3 lab)
  • Semester: Organic Chemistry I and II with labs for 8 total semester credits.
  • Quarter: Organic Chemistry I, II, and II with labs for 12 total quarter credits.
  • Organic chemistry for science majors including the study of structure, reactions, properties, and mechanisms of organic molecules (must include laboratories).
Biochemistry3 semester 4 quarter
  • No lab required.
  • The Biochemistry course must be an upper-level course with Organic Chemistry as a prerequisite.
  • Biochemistry including a systematic study of carbohydrates, lipids, amino acids, proteins, nucleic acids, and their components including the metabolism of biological compounds and the interrelations among the carbon, nitrogen, and energy cycles.
Microbiology2 semester3 quarter
  • No lab required.
  • Microbiology including a survey of distinguishing characteristics of microorganisms based on structural-functional relationships, taxonomy, growth and physical chemical metabolism and genetics. This should include an emphasis on infectious diseases, basic immunology, and microbial ecology. Molecular or cellular biology courses will not be accepted as a substitute for microbiology
Human Physiology

4 semester

(1 lab)

5 quarter  (2 lab)
  • Can be fulfilled with Anatomy and Physiology I with Lab, or Human Physiology with Lab. If your institution is on quarter credit hours, the third sequence of Anatomy and Physiology with Lab (III) is also required.
  • Human Physiology is the study of functions and mechanisms: focusing on how organisms, organ systems, organs, cells and biomolecules carry out the chemical and physical functions within the human body.
Calculus I3 semester4 quarter
  • Topics should cover differential and integral calculus of algebraic, logarithmic, exponential functions, limits, applications of the derivative, integration, and applications of the definite integral. (Precalculus will not be accepted.)
English Composition3 semester4 quarter
  • Must take English Composition I and II or a variation of English Composition and Advanced Writing for a minimum of 3 semester credit hours.
  • Courses focusing on the abilities and skills needed to write effective expository prose. Emphasis is on planning, writing, and revising short and long essays and research papers. Writing intensive courses (designated as such by the institution) will be reviewed on an individual basis; course descriptions and/or syllabi will be required. ESL courses are not eligible to meet this requirement. Literature courses will be accepted if English composition instruction is included in the course syllabus.
  • Waivers will be reviewed on a case by case basis.
Humanities/Social Sciences8 semester 10 quarter
  • Humanities is the academic disciplines that studies the aspects of human society and culture.
  • Social Sciences is the branch of science devoted to the study of human societies and the relationships among individuals within those societies.
  • Acceptable courses include, but are not limited to:
    Literature, Philosophy, Psychology, Sociology, Anthropology, Archaeology, Geography, History, Law, Linguistics, Politics and Foreign Languages.
    *Coursework used for other CU Pharmacy prerequisites cannot be double counted within Humanities/Social Sciences credit.
  • The University of Colorado will accept prerequisite coursework with a Pass grade taken in the 2020-20212021-2022, and 2022-2023 academic years (fall, spring, summer).
  • The University of Colorado will accept online prerequisite coursework.
  • Advanced Placement Credit
    • Advanced placement credit is based on the College Entrance Examination Board’s Advanced Placement tests. AP and IB credits can be used to fulfill pre-requisite requirements. If your college transcript does not show the credit or the type of credit you earned, you will need to request a copy of your test scores to be sent directly to our office.
  • College Level Examination Program (CLEP)
    • We do not accept CLEP, ACT, SAT, department exams or any other credit by examination in lieu of the pre-pharmacy course work.
  • Quarter Unit Credits versus Semester Credit Hours
    • If you attend a school on the quarter unit system, please multiple your earned hours by .667 to determine its equivalency in semester hours.
    • Please note that for math and science courses, two semester requirements, such as General Chemistry I & II w/labs are fulfilled by three quarters, or General Chemistry I, II, & III w/labs. Once semester course requirements, such as biochemistry, are fulfilled by two quarters, or biochemistry I & II.

English Language Proficiency for Admission of International Students (does not waive additional OPI Testing, if required by the Admissions Committee)

Applicants to graduate degree programs will be considered to have the required English language proficiency if they meet any one of the following criteria:

  1. Testing requirements:
    1. Minimum TOEFL Score Accepted: 79-80 IBT or 550 PBT or 213 cBT
    2. International English Language Testing System (IELTS):
      • Applicants must achieve a minimum composite score of 6.5 on the IELTS exam taken within the past two years. The required minimum scores of each of the individual components of the test are: listening 6.5, speaking 7.0 and writing 6.0.
    3. Pearson Test of English (PTE):
      • Minimum PTE Academic Score Accepted: 51
      • We will accept a 51 PTE Academic score with the following sub-scores: Reading 44, listening 44, Speaking 49, Writing 47
  1. The applicant is a citizen of a country listed by the government of the United Kingdom as exempt from the English proficiency requirement for a UK student.

    As of this policy’s effective date, these countries include: Antigua and Barbuda, Australia, the Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Canada, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Ireland, Jamaica, New Zealand, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago, and the United Kingdom.
  2. The applicant has graduated from the University of Colorado Denver ESL Academy.
  3. The applicant has earned a bachelor degree in the United States; or has earned a post-secondary qualification, comparable to a US bachelor degree, in one of the exempt countries listed above; or has earned such a qualification at an institution accredited by an exempt country but located in a non-exempt country.
  4. The applicant has completed 12 or more semester hours of coursework in a master or doctoral degree program in the United States with an overall GPA of 3.0/4.0 or higher; or has completed a comparable amount of graduate coursework with a comparable GPA in one of the exempt countries listed above; or has completed such coursework at an institution accredited by an exempt country but located in a non-exempt country.

The U.S. government requires all international applicants to provide proof of ability to pay tuition and living expenses before a formal letter of admission—or the form for obtaining a visa—will be issued. All application materials (PharmCAS and letters of recommendation) must be submitted. If selected for admission to the CU SOP, international students need to submit the Request for Student I-20 for Foreign Applicants (PDF). This form can be obtained from the Office of Student Services. All international students are responsible in meeting the requirements to obtain their Pharmacy Intern License.

  • A course-by-course transcript evaluation with grade equivalencies from World Education Services (WES), Inc. The transferability and acceptance of coursework fulfilling the pre-pharmacy requirements will be determined on a case-by-case basis. Providing a certified English translation of transcripts originally in another language may assist in this process. Course descriptions and course syllabi may also be required.
  • Note: English and public speaking coursework taken in a country where English is not the official and native language may not be applied toward the pre-pharmacy requirements.
  • Students holding a B.S. or higher degree in pharmacy from another country may want to consider taking the Foreign Pharmacy Graduate Examination which may allow them to obtain a license to practice pharmacy in the U.S.

A previous degree does not exempt applicants from completing the pre-requisite coursework.

Increasingly, applicants have completed a substantial amount of coursework in excess of the minimum pre-pharmacy requirements, often culminating in bachelor's or advanced degrees. Candidates who have completed more than the minimum coursework may be more competitive; however, a previous degree is not the sole criterion used in selecting candidates for admission. Applicants must have a competitive GPA regardless of the number of hours completed before application. Completion of a previous degree does not exempt a student from taking any of the perquisites as required.

  • Transfer Students from Another Pharmacy Program
    The University of Colorado School of Pharmacy has a unique and integrated curriculum; therefore, transfers directly into the program are not accepted. Students from another school or college of pharmacy wishing to attend CU SOP must meet all pre-pharmacy admission requirements. We do not offer advanced standing, regardless of an applicant’s previous course work or background. Candidates must undertake the entire four-year course of study.​
  • International Pharmacy Degrees
    Students holding a BS or higher degree in pharmacy from another country may want to consider taking the Foreign Pharmacy Graduate Examination, which could entitle them to a license to practice pharmacy in the U.S. Please call the FPGEC at (847) 698-6227 or write to them at 700 Busse Highway, Park Ridge, IL 60068. International students who wish to enter the CU SOP and are admitted must undertake the entire four-year program. No credit from any other pharmacy programs (U.S. or non-U.S.) is granted toward fulfilling the degree requirements.​​
  • Previous Post-graduate or Professional Programs
    All transcripts must be submitted to PharmCAS regardless of the age or transferability of courses, including course work or degrees from post-graduate and professional degree programs. The admissions committee reserves the right to review courses from any previous incomplete post-graduate or professional program and ask the candidate to provide a release for the admissions committee to review any previous educational records. In addition, the candidate will be required to provide an explanation of why they did not complete the program.​​

Admitted students will be sent an electronic acceptance package with several forms, all of which must be completed and returned to the school along with any corresponding documentation, fees or certificates.

We must receive, in our office:

  • A completed admission response form with deposit (prior to March 1st, a $200 Tuition Deposit is due two weeks within accepting an offer to CU Pharmacy. A second $200 Confirmation Deposit is due two weeks after the March 1st Cooperative Admission Guidelines​ deadline – for a total of $400.
  • Submission of the electronic Residency Verification Form
  • Official transcripts from the summer semester (if applicable), as they are not collected by PharmCAS. Please note, if you are enrolled in classes during the summer to complete prerequisites, prior approval is required.
  • Proof of current immunization letter and form submitted through CORE (you will receive login and additional information after completing the Residency requirement)
  • Basic cardiac life support (CPR) certification (adult, infant and child with AED). This must be maintained for the entire four years of the program.
  • Please visit the Class Page for additional information.

For students admitted to the doctor of pharmacy (PharmD) program in the fall, Orientation Week,  will begin tentatively the second Friday in August. Additional information will be sent to matriculated students before July.

Failure to attend on the first day of orientation and participation in the orientation week without prior notice will result in the withdrawal of your offer of admission and that spot will be offered to a candidate on the waitlist.

All pre-pharmacy courses must be completed and official transcripts or grade reports must be submitted before students may register for or attend this course.

a. Any applicant that is admitted into the program can choose to defer their enrollment prior to August 1. Deferring your enrollment is not an extenstion to complete prerequisite requirements. .

b. Candidates who chose the deferral option must meet the following criteria;

  • During the following cycle, all deferred applicants must complete a new background check.
  • Candidates may only defer for one year. If a candidate decides to not enter the program after the year deferral, they must complete a new application to be reconsidered for the program.
  • All candidates must have paid the $400 deposit at the time they decide to defer. This deposit is non-refundable.
  • Candidates must meet all current requirements and any new requirements required to enter into the program.
  • The candidate must finish all prerequisite courses no later than August 31st of the year they originally applied. All transcripts must be received upon completion of missing courses no later than September. If transcripts are not available until a later date, the candidate must notify the Office of Student Services.

c. All deferred candidates from the year prior must notify the school by March 1st with their intention to enroll. If the school does not receive notification from the applicant, the school will not guarantee a spot will be held for the candidate in the fall.​​​​​​​

 

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