Prerequisite FAQ

May I take a prerequisite course as pass/fail?

No. Prerequisites cannot be taken as pass/fail if there is there is an option to receive a numeric or letter grade.

If I completed the prerequisite coursework outside the State of Washington how can I tell if the courses I have taken or plan to take will satisfy the UW School of Pharmacy’s prerequisites?

You may check our Prerequisite Info page for course descriptions and our School Prerequisite Courses page for institution specific course lists. If you are still unclear whether or not your courses will fulfill our prerequisite requirements, you may contact us by email at

I will only have one prerequisite left when the pharmacy program begins in the fall. May I take this course after I start the Pharm.D. program?

No. ALL prerequisite coursework must be completed by the end of Spring term before matriculation into the Pharm.D. program. Please note that we cannot accept any prerequisite courses taken over the Summer quarter before matriculation.

Are the prerequisites accepted if they are from a combination of two schools?

The Admissions Committee highly recommends that sequence courses (General Biology, General Chemistry, Organic Chemistry) be completed at one institution. You may take your prerequisites at different schools. If you begin a science series at one school and finish at another, it is possible that all of the required components of the course descriptions may not be met with the result of not satisfying the prerequisite. If you have questions about course sequence completion, please contact the School of Pharmacy Office of Academic and Student Programs.

How do I know that my courses will count towards your prerequisites?

We can accept courses which cover all topics listed in our course descriptions for the prerequisites. The Admissions Committee suggests that applicants check with our admissions staff if there are questions regarding acceptability of any particular course. See the website for course descriptions. NOTE: We also have individual prerequisite lists for All Washington State Schools and some out of state colleges in the Western United States.


Must I complete all my prerequisites before I apply?

No. Students who have not completed the prerequisites may apply, provided they will complete any remaining prerequisites by the end of Spring term prior to their matriculation into the program.

What courses may I count to satisfy my Humanities or Social Sciences Electives?

Please review our Prerequisite Info page for details. For students holding an Associate’s degree from a Washington community college which has a transfer agreement with the UW, the distribution category used to satisfy the community college’s requirement will be honored. Please visit the UW Equivalency Guide for more information.

How may I confirm that I am taking the right courses to satisfy your prerequisites?

See our School Prerequisite Courses page and search by state and institution type to see if we have a course list for your college or university. If your college or university is not listed, please contact us by email at for more information.

I took my courses ten years ago. Does this matter?

The Admissions Committee strongly recommends completion of mathematics and science courses within the last five years. Upon transcript review, you may be advised to retake courses completed over five years ago.

Can I use online courses for prerequisites?

The following prerequisite courses must be completed in a traditional on-site classroom setting, on-line courses are NOT acceptable for: Biology with Labs, General Chemistry with Labs, Organic Chemistry with Labs, Microbiology with Labs and Public Speaking.

The following courses, when taken on-line, require review of course syllabus and prior approval by the UW School of Pharmacy before they can be accepted as fulfilling our prerequisites:
Biochemistry, English Composition, Calculus, Statistics, Microeconomics, Interpersonal Communication, Humanities and Social Science electives.

If I have a Bachelor’s Degree, do I have special consideration?

Yes. Increasingly, students have completed a substantial amount of coursework in excess of the minimum prepharmacy requirements. Applicants who have completed more than the minimum coursework may be competitive, however, a prior degree is not the sole determinant of a successful applicant. Applicants must complete 90 quarter or 60 semester credits of specific pre-pharmacy courses before matriculating into the program. On average, 90-95% of admitted students have earned a Bachelor’s Degree or higher before beginning the PharmD program.

What type of major do you suggest before entering into the program?

There is no specific major that we suggest. Students should make the most of their undergraduate education while completing their prerequisites and choose a major they enjoy.