School of
Pharmacy

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UMKC students learn from award-winning faculty, lead an engaged student life and develop the skills to launch a successful and exciting career in pharmacy.

The Pharm.D. program

  • Pre-pharmacy courses (PDF) take a minimum of two years to complete, though the average applicant has three years of college coursework prior to entering pharmacy school.
  • Applicants do not need to earn a bachelor’s degree in order to apply to the Pharm.D. program, which requires four years of didactic and experiential coursework (PDF) to be completed after entry.
  • You must take the Pharmacy College Admission Test (PCAT). Studying for the exam ahead of time and spending focused time reviewing each subject emphasis area is the best preparation. There are a number of exam preps available, which can be found in hard copy materials and electronic forms, including practice tests.

Program requirements

The School of Pharmacy Admissions Committee evaluates the whole student in seeking the best candidates, but you must meet our minimum academic requirements. Once it has been determined you have met the requirements, your application is reviewed to determine your overall preparedness for the pharmacy practice profession, your ability to meet the rigors of the program and your skill sets, including decision-making, caregiving and communication abilities, for working with health care professionals and patients.

Minimum academic requirements

Cumulative GPA > 2.75
Science/math GPA > 2.5
PCAT composite > 16

Apply to the Pharm.D. program

97.8%
Percentage of our graduates who say they are fully prepared to enter pharmacy practice

Prepare for the Pharm.D. program

If you have not taken classes for a while, go back to basics and create detailed study plans that incorporate the strategies that have helped you in the past. Be sure to work in time for all of your current responsibilities — they may be different from when you went to college in the past. If you are a current college student, use the academic resources available on your college campus. Take advantage of supplemental instruction, tutoring, writing centers, math centers and your instructors’ office hours.

Whether you come from a health care background or not, your work experience is important. Be prepared to talk about how you created a new program, worked on a team, solved important problems, supervised and developed new talent, grew into your job, cared for people in their time of need or managed budgets. All of these skills relate directly to pharmacy and will give you a leg up on many applicants who have not had a job prior to pharmacy school.

Working as a pharmacy technician offers students the opportunity to gain hands-on experience in a pharmacy. The Missouri Board of Pharmacy and Kansas Board of Pharmacy provide information about becoming a pharmacy technician.

There are two types of pharmacy technician licenses. Most people are registered technicians, whereas certified technicians, overseen by the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board, work in more specialty roles, especially in hospitals. Please check individual state boards of pharmacy if you plan to work outside of Missouri or Kansas.

Observing a health care professional in their place of work can offer an opportunity to ask questions about working within a health care team and helping improve patient outcomes. Because of federal privacy laws, you may not be able to see pharmacists work directly with patients, but you can see other aspects of their work and ask them questions about what they do on a daily basis.

Choose volunteer experiences that give you experience taking care of others in need. Volunteer experiences can assist students with not only becoming a more active member of their community, but also with gaining valuable skills for a career in pharmacy.

Experiences volunteering at a hospital or assisted living center, homeless shelter, food bank or health fair may be particularly helpful as you gain an understanding of the challenges and rewards of caring for people in need. A passion for helping people is absolutely essential for a career in health care.

Give yourself plenty of time to study for the PCAT and use multiple methods to study, such as reviewing pre-pharmacy coursework, taking practice tests, creating flashcards and using PCAT study guides.

Some Advanced Placement (AP), International Baccalaureate (IB) and College-Level Examination Program (CLEP) credits count as prerequisites, depending on the subject and your score. Read more at the Office of Registration and Records. Some AP/IB courses accepted for UMKC undergraduate programs are not accepted by the School of Pharmacy as prerequisites.

If you are transferring to UMKC to complete your pre-pharmacy requirements, you will apply to UMKC through the Office of Admissions and follow the Pharm.D. application instructions for current students.

If you are applying to the UMKC Pharm.D. program from another institution, along with meeting with your undergraduate advisor, you should also meet with a UMKC School of Pharmacy advisor to discuss which courses will transfer from your institution and to learn about the Pharm.D. admissions requirements. Please email a copy of your transcript before your appointment.

Review our equivalency sheets for more information about which courses will transfer from your college or university. Coursework from foreign institutions cannot be transferred into our pre-pharmacy or Pharm.D. programs.

The UMKC School of Pharmacy does not accept transfers from other pharmacy schools. To attend UMKC, you will have to be admitted as a first-year student and complete our entire curriculum.

UMKC students do not receive preference for admission into the Pharm.D. program.

It is important for students to meet with a School of Pharmacy advisor in our Office of Student Affairs. An advisor can help you plan your courses in order to complete the pre-pharmacy classes in the right sequence, provide you with direction regarding application requirements and help you determine the best timeline for applying to the doctor of pharmacy program.

The academic advisors in the School of Pharmacy work closely with all UMKC pre-pharmacy students or any students interested in pharmacy and can assist you with completion of required campus forms, direction on the best resources, help with study-skill strategies and many other questions. Please contact our office by phone at 816-235-1613 or email.