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. Applicants must complete all prerequisites by the end of the spring term prior to their first fall term in the School of Pharmacy. Science and Calculus prerequisite course work must have been completed within the last 10 years of the semester in which the applicant intends to enroll. We can offer prerequisites extensions into the summer semester in certain circumstances. Please contact us at for more information. In many cases, applicants can be admitted while they are completing the course work in the spring semester but the number of courses in progress may affect the decision of the admissions committee should there not be sufficient course work to evaluate.​


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 universities (including other University of Colorado campuses) attended must be submitted directly to the School of Pharmacy. All transcripts must be received in a sealed envelope from the institution. Updated official transcripts must be provided as soon as each subsequent term is completed.​​​

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.​​


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

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 his/her 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. Interviews begin in August. A partial travel reimbursement is available for eligible candidates.

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.​​​

Interview Dates

August - January

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 u​ndergo 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 Pharm.D. 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.​​​​

Confirmation Deposit

Approximately 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. (After March 1, the total admission deposit will be $400). This deposit will be credited after the first semester of matriculation.​​​

Criminal Background Check

Each admitted student must submit to a national background check on 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 to which they are accepted.​​​

Drug Testing

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

PCAT not Required

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

Computer requirements for PharmD students

The School of Pharmacy reserves the right to choose to correspond with our 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.​​​​​

  • 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, please contact the Outreach and Engagement Team to request a review of your transcripts or schedule a pre-advising appointment:
  • If you have already applied, and have questions about your Prerequisite Review, please contact The Admissions Team:
CourseSemester CreditsQuarter CreditsInformation
General Biology8 semester credits (2 lab)12 quarter credits (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 credits (2 lab)12 quarter credits (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 credits (2 lab) 12 quarter credits (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 credits4 quarter credits
  • 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 semester credits3 quarter credits
  • 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 Anatomy 3 semester credits4 quarter credits
  • Can be fulfilled with Anatomy and Physiology I with Lab, or Human Anatomy Lecture.
  • Human Anatomy is the study of structural aspects and the shape and form of the human body and human anatomical system. Should consist of an introduction to basic human anatomy including skeleton, bone, cartilage, fat, muscle, tissue, organs and other structures.
  • Please note, fulfilling Anatomy and Physiology I with Lab does NOT fulfill the Human Physiology requirement. See Human Physiology for details.
Human Physiology4 semester credits (1 lab) 5 quarter credits (2 lab)
  • Can be fulfilled with Anatomy and Physiology II 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.
General Physics I3 semester credits4 quarter credits
  • No lab required.
  • Algebra or calculus-based physics, including study of mechanics, heat, electricity and magnetism, light, and modern physics.
Calculus I3 semester credits4 quarter credits
  • 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 Composition6 semester credits8 quarter credits
  • Must take English Composition I and II or a variation of English Composition and Advanced Writing for a minimum of 6 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.
Public Speaking3 semester credits4 quarter credits
  • The theory and practice of developing ideas, supporting materials, organization, style, delivery, and audience adaptation. Waivers will not be granted based on life or work experience.
Economics3 semester credits4 quarter credits
  • The study of fundamental economic principles: microeconomics, macroeconomics, and principles of economics are all acceptable.
Humanities/Social Sciences9 semester credits12 quarter credits
  • 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.
General Education9 semester credits12 quarter credits
  • General Education credit will be fulfilled with all other college level courses in all subjects meeting the same standard as all prerequisite coursework (grades of “C” or better from a regionally accredited institution).
    *Coursework used for other CU Pharmacy prerequisites cannot be double counted within General Education credit.

A course-by-course transcript evaluation with grade equivalencies from a certified U.S. agency is required for the PharmCAS application. Please see the list of evaluation services. 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 BS 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.​

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 E*Value.
  • Basic cardiac life support (CPR) certification (adult, infant and child with AED). This must be maintained for the entire four years of the program.

If you have not submitted a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)​ you should as soon as possible. If you need assistance with your forms, please call the Financial Aid office at 303-724-8039. You may also e-mail them at

For students admitted to the doctor of pharmacy (PharmD) program in the fall, the first course, Introduction to Pharmacy, will begin tentatively the second Friday in August. This is a seven-day required course that new students must successfully complete before continuing to the rest of the curriculum. Information and a course syllabus will be sent before the class begins.

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 offered admission into the program can choose to defer without providing a reason for the deferral. However, all applicants seeking deferral must notify the school no later than June 1st. Any request received after June 1st will be considered on a case by case basis.

b. Any candidate that is selected from the waitlist will be allowed to defer until June 1st. If selected from the waitlist after the June 1st deadline, the candidate’s deferral request will be handled on a case by case basis.

c. 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 and no later than September. If transcripts are not available until a later date, the candidate must notify the Office of Student Services.

d. All deferred candidates from the year prior must notify the school by March 1st with the 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.​​​​​​​