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 SOP.OSSApps@cuanschutz.edu 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.​

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 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.​​

GPA

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.

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

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 prounciation, 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.

Correspondence Methods During the Admissions Cycle

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.​​​​​

PCAT not Required

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

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: PharmD@CUAnschutz.edu
  • If you have already applied, and have questions about your Prerequisite Review, please contact The Admissions Team: SOP.OSSAPPS@CUAnschutz.edu
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 Physics3 semester credits4 quarter credits
  • No lab required.
  • Algebra or calculus-based physics, including study of mechanics, heat, electricity and magnetism, light, and modern physics.
Calculus3 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.
FIRST YEAR: Fall Semester Semester Hrs. 14
General Chemistry I with Lab4
General Biology I with Lab4
English Composition I3
Humanities/Social Sciences3
FIRST YEAR: Spring SemesterSemester Hrs. 14
General Chemistry II with Lab4
General Biology II with Lab4
English Composition II3
Microeconomics3
SECOND YEAR: Fall Semester Semester Hrs. 15
Organic Chemistry I with Lab4
Microbiology2
Physics3
Humanities/Social Sciences3
Elective/General Education3
SECOND YEAR: Spring Semester Semester Hrs. 13
Organic Chemistry II with Lab4
Human Anatomy (or Anatomy & Physiology I)3
Calculus3
Humanities/Social Sciences3
THIRD YEAR: Fall Semester Semester Hrs. 16
Biochemistry 3
Human Physiology with Lab (or Anatomy & Physiology II w/Lab)4
Public Speaking3
Elective/General Education3
Elective/General Education3

The following are course transfer guides specific to colleges and universities in Colorado.​​​​​

Please see CU SSPPS' policy regarding Science/Math courses older than ten years old

*Note: If your school does not offer biochemistry, you can complete it at a university that offers it online.

Reasons to choose Early Decision:

  • Waived deposit for candidates offered Early Decision admission. Regular decision candidates pay $200 to hold their spot.
  • More scholarship opportunities.
  • Reduced stress knowing early if you've been offered admission to CU!

The Early Decision deadline for the University of Colorado School of Pharmacy is typically the first business day in September.

The Early Decision Program is a binding option for applicants who have decided that a particular pharmacy degree program is their first choice and that they plan to enroll if accepted. As an Early Decision applicant, you can apply to only one pharmacy degree program. For more information, read the PharmCAS Early Decision guideline.

applicationtimeline1 applicationtimeline2

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.​

English Language Proficiency for Admission of International Students

Applicants 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
      • The Pearson Test of English (PTE Academic) is currently in a pilot review at the University of Colorado SSPPS. We will accept a 51 PTE Academic score with the following subscores: Reading 44, listening 44, Speaking 49, Writing 47
  2. 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 (3)

    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.
  3. The applicant has graduated from the University of Colorado Denver ESL Academy.
  4. 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.
  5. 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 is available for download from July to December of each year; it can also be obtained from the Office of Student Services. All international students are responsible in meeting the requirements to obtain their Pharmacy Intern License.

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 prior to application. In addition, completion of a previous degree does not exempt a student from any of the prerequisites.

We do not offer advanced standing, regardless of an applicant’s academic background, degrees earned or prior training. Students must complete the entire four-year program. No credit from any other pharmacy programs (U.S. or non-U.S.) can apply toward fulfilling the degree requirements.

  • 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 offered admission 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. Early Decision Candidates are exempt from submitting a deposit.
  • Submission of the electronic Residency Verification Form
  • Official transcripts from spring and summer semesters, as these 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 financial.aid@ucdenver.edu.

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.​​​​​​​