Pre-Pharmacy program

Find a future in pharmacy

Pharmacy is the science and technique of preparing and dispensing drugs. Linking health sciences with chemical sciences, pharmacists are medication experts who provide education and enhance patient care.

Learn more about he profession on the "Pharmacy Is Right for Me" website.

UWL offers a Pre-Pharmacy track

Make your intention to pursue a career in Pharmacy official by adding it as an "intended pre-professional track."

Pre-Pharmacy is NOT a major at UW-La Crosse. It is a statement of your intention to apply to pharmacy schools. You will still need to select a major to complete your undergraduate degree.


  • General Biology (BIO 105)
  • Anatomy & Physiology I & II (BIO 312 & BIO 313)
  • Fundamentals of Microbiology (MIC 230)
  • General Chemistry I & II (CHM 103 & CHM 104)
  • Organic Chemistry I & II with laboratory (CHM 303 & CHM 304 & CHM 305)
Mathematics and statistics
  • Calculus I (MTH 207) (required by most schools; not required at MCW)
  • Elementary Statistics (STAT 145) or Mathematical Models in Biology (MTH 265) 
  • Fundamental Physics I (PHY 103) (required by most schools; not required at MCW)
Social sciences
Additional requirements
  • Microeconomics and Public Policy (ECO 110) 
  • Additional University of Minnesota requirement: Advanced Composition (ENG 303 or ENG 309), if not planning to complete bachelor's at UWL
  • Fundamental Biochemistry (CHM 325) or Biochemistry I & II (CHM 417 & CHM 418) highly recommended
  • Many schools require a "communication" course, usually satisfied by taking CST 110 at UWL

Declaring a Pre-Pharmacy track will help you determine common requirements for pharmacy schools in our region. However, each program's requirements vary. When selecting coursework, it is important to consult the websites of the programs to which you plan to apply. Some schools where UWL students commonly apply:

PharmCAS provides a GPA calculator.

Many professional schools do not accept prerequisite courses that have been taken online or at non-U.S. institutions; AP, IB, AICE, and community college credit policies vary by school/program.

Grow through experience

Join the club!

Student interested in Pharmacy are encouraged to check out the Pre-Pharmacy Club.

Gain experience
  • Reach out to clinics and retail locations to learn about opportunities to job shadow.
  • Participate in informational interviews.
  • Test out the career by getting a pharmacy tech job.
  • Connect with an admissions counselor from regional schools that visit campus.
Campus visits

UW-La Crosse maintains a close working relationship with the College of Pharmacy at the University of Minnesota, the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Concordia, and Medical College of Wisconsin. Representatives from these program visit campus each year. Contact Dr. Basu Bhattacharyya for information on these visits.

Prepare to apply


Pharmacy schools are no longer requiring the Pharmacy College Admission Test (PCAT), and the test is being phased out. Testing dates will still be available during the 2023-2024 application cycle, but will no longer be offered after.

In the meantime, some schools will still consider PCAT scores in admission decisions, for those that took the exam. For additional info on testing, check with the schools to which you are applying.

How to apply

Most schools participate in PharmCAS - a single online site where you can submit most or all of your applications. Admission to an accredited school of pharmacy may require a specific GPA, but this varies from program to program. Note that some programs participate in early decision applications; however, this option will be eliminated starting with the 2021-2022 admissions cycle.


See Apply with confidence for information on personal statements, letters of recommendation, interviewing, and more.