Students are admitted to the professional PharmD Program through the pharmacy guarantee or the open admission process.
Pharmacy Guarantee – First-Year Applicants
High School students applying to the University of Pittsburgh must first apply to the University’s Office of Admissions. The School of Pharmacy does not admit first-year students directly to the professional program. Candidates who specify prepharmacy on their application, demonstrate academic success in high school, and are accepted as a first-year student to the University of Pittsburgh, will be offered a Pharmacy Guarantee. The offer of a Pharmacy Guarantee includes prepharmacy acceptance to regional campuses in Bradford, Greensburg, and Johnstown.
Students who receive the guarantee are expected to perform well in their preprofessional courses. To secure a place in the PharmD Program, students must earn:
- a letter grade of a C or better in all preprofessional courses with no repeated courses
- NOTE: A grade of a W constitutes a repeat for the purposes of this policy
- a 3.25 or greater overall GPA in preprofessional courses
- a 3.25 or greater GPA in the required Math and Science courses
- NOTE: Pharmacy Guarantee recipients must take the required Math and Science courses at the University of Pittsburgh. (AP credits are acceptable.)
To exercise the Pharmacy Guarantee, all applicants must:
- submit a completed PharmCAS application and fee
- participate in a satisfactory interview prior to School of Pharmacy admission
- PCAT for Fall 2024 PharmD Admissions TBD (see below)
- Pitt Pharmacy writing assessment (upon invitation to interview)
PCAT (Pharmacy College Admission Test) The PCAT is optional for Fall 2024 PharmD admissions and will be considered in the holistic application review process for applicants who have reported scores. Applicants who are unable to complete an exam or who choose not to report exam scores will not be disadvantaged.
Visit the PCAT web site for registration deadlines for test dates (October 16-17, 2023 or January 3-9, 2024). January will be the final PCAT administration. Send PCAT scores to PharmCAS, code 104.
All other students are welcome to applying to the program compete for space in the class through the open (non-guaranteed) admissions. The following are the requirements to be considered for the School of Pharmacy’s professional program:
- completion of the pre-professional requirements
- completion of the PharmCAS application process by the deadline
- earn an overall grade point average of 3.0 or greater to be competitive
- earn a grade point average of 3.0 or greater in science pre-professional courses to be competitive
- selected applicants will be required to participate in the interview process (interviews are by invitation only)
Evaluation of Applicants for Open Admission
The School accepts students who have a variety of career expectations and educational experiences. When making decisions, the Admissions Committee considers evidence of sound scholarship, community involvement, leadership, and communication skills. Evidence of sound scholarship includes:
- Overall pre-professional performance
- Performance in required science and math courses
- Consistency of performance
- Depth and breadth of courses
Evidence of community involvement includes, but is not limited to:
- Participation in activities that benefit the community
- Significant involvement in college organizations or groups
Evidence of leadership includes, but is not limited to:
- Selection to positions of leadership by faculty or peers
- Positions held within an organization
- Service as resident or teaching assistant
Evidence of communication ability includes, but is not limited to:
- Performance in speech course
- Written personal statement
- Extracurricular activities and work experience requiring communication skills
- Pitt Pharmacy writing assessment (upon invitation to interview)
Pitt Pharmacy admits candidates on a rolling basis. For all steps in the application process, it is your responsibility to follow all instructions and meet all deadlines. Failure to do so might result in your application being canceled. It is highly recommended that you apply early.
PharmCAS – Regular School Application deadline is March 1, 2024
Preparing to complete the Application
We recommend that you review the application process completely before entering data or filling out forms so that you’re aware of all the information you need to gather and how much time the entire process will take. Visit the PharmCAS Web site at www.pharmcas.org and review the “Before You Apply” tab. Then review the Checklist, PharmCAS Instructions, and the Applicant Code of Conduct links. Review the time line for the application process in the Academic Calendar section below.
Complete Pre-professional Courses and Minimum Eligibility Requirements: All required math and science courses must be completed by the end of spring term of year of entry in the professional program. All remaining courses should be completed by the end of the spring term and must be completed prior to the fall term of entry into the professional program.
Completing the Application Process
PharmCAS (Pharmacy College Application Service): This is a service that enables you to generate one primary application that can be submitted to multiple PharmD degree programs. For the University of Pittsburgh School of Pharmacy the application must be electronically submitted by the March 2024 deadline.
PittPharmacy admits candidates on a rolling basis. It is recommended that applications are submitted early; sometime between November 1 and December 1. This will ensure eligibility to update fall grades during the PharmCAS Fall Academic Update period.
After electronically submitting the PharmCAS application for the PharmD program, there are follow-up steps that applicants must address to be certain that all the required documents (such as transcripts to PharmCAS) have been received on time.
Please utilize the PharmCAS status tool that provides information on the following:
- GPA calculation,
- Date PCAT scores are received, if applicable,
- Date transcripts are received,
- Date payment is received, and
- Date Evaluations (Letters of Reference) are received
PHARMCAS APPLICATION DEADLINE – MARCH 1, 2024
Admissions Calendar for Fall 2024
Calendar of events after accepting offer of admissions
First day of class is provided on the University Academic Calendar.
The School of Pharmacy offers a four-year, full-time professional pharmacy program leading to the doctor of pharmacy degree (PharmD). Students are required to complete a minimum of 60-62 credits of defined academic prerequisites (typically two years of pre-professional study) before entering the professional program. Students may apply while these courses are in progress.
All prerequisite math and science courses must be completed by the end of the spring term of the year of entry to the professional program. All remaining courses should be completed by the end of the spring and must be completed prior to the fall term of entry to the professional program.
All pre-professional courses must be taken at an accredited institution in the US or select Canadian institutions for a letter grade. Credits from institutions other than the University of Pittsburgh must be taken for a letter grade and a grade of a C or better must be earned to transfer. Some prerequisites may also be met through Advanced Placement (AP) Tests offered through The College Board, International Baccalaureate, or A-level courses. The following DO NOT meet prerequisite requirements unless otherwise specified:
- Courses graded as Pass/fail
- College Level Examination Program (CLEP) credits
- Courses completed at international institutions
- Courses completed at institutions outside of the US or Canada
- Courses in which a letter grade lower than a C was earned
Overview of Academic Prerequisites:
The linked descriptions are from courses at the University of Pittsburgh and are provided as a guide.
- 8 credits General Biology – must include 1 year of lecture and lab
- 8 credits General Chemistry– must include 1 year of lecture and lab
- 8 credits Organic Chemistry – must include 1 year of lecture and lab
- 3-4 credits Calculus – must be 1 course in calculus covering the derivative and integral of functions of a single variable. Acceptable courses: MATH 0220, 0230, and 0240 (Analytic Geometry and Calculus 1, 2, and 3). Business calculus (MATH 0120, MATH 0125, MATH 0126) will NOT be accepted unless accompanied by the Bridge to Calculus course (MATH 0205).
- 3-4 credits Statistics – must be 1 course in descriptive and inferential statistics. Acceptable courses: Applied Statistical Methods (STAT 1000), Basic Applied Statistics (STAT 0200) or Statistics and Probability for Business Management (STAT 1100)
- 6 credits English Composition – must be 2 English composition courses, excluding workshop, technical or ESL courses. English writing (ENGWRT) courses are acceptable to meet this requirement. Courses designated as "W" or writing intensive courses may be accepted on a case-by-case basis.
- 24 credits of Electives in the Humanities and the Social Sciences. Technical, professional, math, and science courses are NOT eligible to meet the requirements for electives in the Humanities and Social Sciences.
- 3 Courses (at least 9 credits) Humanities from departments below:
- Africana Studies
- Film Studies
- Foreign Language Departments
- History of Art & Architecture
- History and Philosophy of Science
- Public Service
- Religious Studies
- Studio Arts
- Theatre Arts
- 3 Courses (at least 9 credits) Social Sciences from departments below:
- Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies
- Global Health
- Jewish Studies
- Law, Criminal Justice, and Society
- Legal Studies
- Political Science
- Public Health
- Urban Studies
- Neuroscience courses (Pitt only): Brains and Behavior, Drugs and Behavior
- 2 Courses (at least 6 credits) Additional Elective Courses may include:
- Social Sciences
- Natural Sciences
- Biological Sciences
- Computer Science
- Geology and Planetary Science
- Calculus 2 or 3 (would be in addition to the Calculus requirement listed above
- Statistics (STAT 1151, 1152, or any 1200 course would be in addition to the Statistic requirement listed above.)
- Pharmacy (PHARM 0178, PHARM 1096)
- 3 Courses (at least 9 credits) Humanities from departments below:
NOTE: Anatomy & Physiology and Biochemistry are part of the PharmD core Curriculum; therefore, they are NOT eligible to be use as prerequisites.
Pre- professional courses (pre-professional courses) must be successfully completed prior to entry into the professional program. The director of PharmD admissions, assistant dean of students and School registrar must approve any exceptions to this policy.
Transfer of 60-62 prerequisite credits (pre-professional course requirements): After acceptance into the PharmD Program, a student’s academic records (transcripts) and credits must be transferred to the School of Pharmacy. The prerequisite courses are included in the credit requirements for graduation from the PharmD Program.
These credits may be transferred from the Dietrich School of Arts & Sciences at the University of Pittsburgh Oakland campus, from a University of Pittsburgh regional campus, or from an accredited US or select Canadian institutions to the School of Pharmacy. All prerequisite courses must be taken for a letter grade. The grade earned must be “C” or better to be considered successfully completed and allow transferable from institutions other than the University of Pittsburgh.
Advanced Placement (AP/IB) Courses and Credit: The School of Pharmacy also accepts credits earned through Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate credits based on the criteria established at the primary institution where prerequisite courses were completed.
The complete list of AP/IB courses from the University of Pittsburgh are found at
The School of Pharmacy curriculum is sequenced so that courses taught in the first professional year are prerequisite to courses taught in the second year, second year courses are prerequisite to courses taught in the third year, and so forth. Consequently, the curriculum is not designed to accommodate those who have fulfilled portions of the course requirements at other universities or pharmacy schools. The School does not admit students to advanced standing because they have completed portions of the professional course requirements at other colleges or universities. However, under rare circumstances, students may be given an exemption from a professional course provided that they can demonstrate satisfactory performance in a course equivalent in content to a course offered by the School of Pharmacy.
Course exemptions are granted only for full-time students enrolled in the professional program. Students requesting more than one exemption will be required to enroll in an additional elective course in order to maintain full-time status.
Students requesting an exemption from a course in the professional curriculum may petition the Assistant/Associate Dean FOR Student and Academic Affairs before the first day of the University’s add/drop period (usually within the first two weeks of the term). The written petition should provide clear and convincing evidence of satisfactory performance in a course that is substantially equivalent to a course offered by the School. Evidence which might be included in such a petition follows:
Evidence of course equivalence
- A course syllabus
- Class notes
- Copies of examinations, papers, laboratory reports and /or other course evaluations
- The textbook citation
Evidence of satisfactory performance
- Transcript with grade
- Statement from course instructor or department chair
Upon receiving the petition, the Assistant/Associate Dean for Student and Academic Affairs, in consultation with appropriate faculty members, will determine whether the student may be exempted from a course and will prepare a written response to the petitioner. When an exemption is granted, credits will be transferred from the previous college or university but the grade will not be included in any class rank or quality point calculation.
The technical standards for Admission and fulfillment of requirement of the Doctor of Pharmacy degree can be accessed here: Technical Standards
Updated tuition rates and mandatory fees for the PharmD program are available at the Graduate Tuition and Mandatory Fees website.
During Summer APPE Rotations (P4 students) a mandatory fee will be assessed. (No tuition charges will be assessed during Summer Term of APPE rotations.)
P1, P2, and P3 Students may take up to five credits in the summer and up to 19 credits in the fall and spring terms without accruing additional tuition charges. Mandatory Fees are applied for summer, fall and spring terms.
Information on financial aid, tuition, and related fees can be obtained through the Office of Admissions and Financial Aid (OAFA) at 412-624-7488. As a PharmD student, please keep in mind the following when completing financial aid forms:
- Professional Year 1 (P1) and Professional Year 2 (P2) of the PharmD curriculum are considered undergraduate level for those that have not earned a Bachelors degree.
- Even though you are working towards your Doctorate of Pharmacy degree, the University does not recognize your status as a graduate. Therefore, you would answer questions pertaining to college level as third year or junior level. If a previous degree has been obtained, you would answer fifth year or working towards second undergraduate degree. DO NOT indicate that you are working towards a doctorate or in a graduate/professional school.
- Professional Year 3 (P3) and Professional Year 4 (P4) are considered graduate level for ALL students. Financial aid forms documenting that you are working towards a doctorate and/or graduate/professional degree will be acceptable at that time.
- If you have earned a Bachlors degree, the above does not apply. Your college status will be graduate and you would complete the question as working towards your doctorate.
Students enrolled in the professional PharmD program are encouraged to apply for scholarships.
Each year Pitt Pharmacy awards scholarships to enrolled and entering PharmD students. The annual application period is during the Spring, and any scholarship received will be split between the coming Fall and Spring semesters.
- The scholarship application for Pitt Pharmacy is through PittFund$Me. Students are encouraged to apply to any scholarships to which they may be eligible in the platform, including those outside Pitt Pharmacy.
For a list of the School of Pharmacy scholarships and criteria, please visit:
Please note that the University of Pittsburgh Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) Program requires that students complete experiential learning activities at facilities external to the University. Many of the sites we use for experiential learning require students to meet certain prerequisites, in addition to showing proof of immunity, such as:
- Criminal background checks
- Drug screenings
A positive criminal history and/or positive drug screen may disqualify you from completing required experiential learning at sites external to the University and may prevent you from completing the PharmD Program. Should a student fail a check, clearance, and/or drug screen, the School of Pharmacy cannot guarantee that it will be able to place the student at another entity for the requisite field education, thereby affecting the ability to graduate on-schedule from the pharmacy program.
Additionally, in order to become licensed as a pharmacist, many states will inquire as to whether the applicant has been convicted of any misdemeanor, any felony, or any felonious or illegal act associated with alcohol and/or substance abuse. A criminal history as described above may delay or prevent licensure.
Criminal Background Checks and Drug Testing:
The Office of Experiential Learning manages learning experiences which occur external to the school and are a required component of the curriculum in all four years of the PharmD program. Many of the sites we use for experiential learning require students to meet certain prerequisites, such as showing proof of immunization to communicable diseases and undergoing criminal background checks and drug screening. Failure to meet these prerequisites can result in students not being able to complete their experiential learning requirements.
To streamline the process of collecting and corroborating experiential learning site requirements, we have entered into an agreement with CastleBranch, Inc. This company will coordinate and manage the collection of all of the experiential learning requirements you will need for your rotation sites, and the information will be available to you both during your PharmD years and after graduation. This is a secure site to which only the Experiential Learning Office and you will have access.
The fee for this service is updated yearly, and is set by the CastleBranch company. Please contact the Experiential Learning Office to obtain the most recent fee structure for initial account setup, and account renewals. Please note, that clearances are required to be updated on a yearly basis. The Office of Experiential Learning will notify student when they should renew their CastleBranch account at a lower cost.
Drug testing (screening) is only required when a site requests this; therefore, students should not obtain the drug screening unless it is required by the site. Students can order this through their CastleBranch profile, please contact Ms. Schmotzer in the Experiential Learning Office to obtain instructions for the drug screen.
A positive criminal history and/or positive drug screen may disqualify you from completing required experiential learning at sites external to the University and may prevent you from completing the PharmD Program. Should a student fail a check, clearance, and/or drug screen, the School of Pharmacy cannot guarantee that it will be able to place the student at another entity for the requisite field education, thereby affecting the ability of the student to graduate on-schedule from the pharmacy program.
Additionally, in order to become licensed as a pharmacist, many states will inquire as to whether the applicant has been convicted of any misdemeanor, any felony, or any felonious our illegal act associated with alcohol and/or substance abuse. A criminal history as described above may delay or prevent licensure.
As healthcare providers, pharmacy students are at risk for exposure to, and possible transmission of, vaccine-preventable diseases. Maintenance of immunity is therefore an essential aspect of prevention and infection control programs for pharmacists. Optimal use of immunizing agents will not only safeguard the health of students but also protects patients from being infected. This policy was developed to reduce the risk that students will contract or transmit vaccine-preventable diseases.
1. An Immunization Record Form will be mailed to all new and returning students and must be completed and returned to the School of Pharmacy by the date designated each year. The Student Records Manager will not process the student registration for classes if the Immunization Record Form has not been returned. On the form, the student must provide proof of immunization against measles, mumps, rubella, varicella, hepatitis B, tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis, and polio, as: a) providing the month/year of vaccination; and/or b) by way of a positive blood titer (if the month/year of vaccination in unknown, with exception of hepatitis B, where titer is required). In addition, each student’s tuberculin status must be known prior to admission and updated on a yearly basis. Students whose tuberculin test is positive will be asked to provide the School with medical clearance to participate in clinical placements. All information is to be posted in the student’s individual CastleBranch profile. Additional vaccines or assessments for communicable diseases also may be required as guided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
2. In order to ensure that students will be able to participate in required experiential learning at clinical practice sites external to the School, students must complete all of the immunization requirements before the start of classes. An updated Immunization Record Form may be required if needed to document changes since submission of the initial form. The immunization requirements will not be waived for any student who is not immunized. Affiliation agreements between the School and sites providing experiential rotations require that all students must comply with public health policies in effect for persons involved in patient care activities at those sites. Therefore, the School cannot place students in experiential learning sites without having documentation of the immunization history as outlined in Section 1, and such students will not be able to complete the course requirements for graduation from the Doctor of Pharmacy program.
3. Documentation of immunization, tuberculin testing and general health will allow the School of Pharmacy to answer queries from hospitals and other experiential learning sites that need to know a student’s status with respect to immunity to infectious diseases before caring for patients. Students will be required to sign a release allowing the School to share this information with experiential learning sites that request documentation.
Blank copies of the Immunization Record Form, Influenza Vaccine Form, and Tuberculin Status Forms are mailed to students, and also can be found on the student’s CastleBranch account. Students may also obtain forms by contacting the Office of Experiential Learning at 412-624-8186.