Pre-Pharmacy Area of Emphasis (3 or 4 years)

Overview of Pharmacy as a Career

Pharmacology degrees used to be given at undergraduate institutions, but now many students are going on to earn the Pharm.D. degree. This usually requires an additional year or two of school. Normally, students complete two years of pre-pharmacy undergraduate work at Marshall before applying to a pharmacy program. GPAs in the range of 3.5 or higher are required along with excellent PCAT scores. PCAT scores at the 50th percentile and higher are competitive.

These are pharmacy schools in West Virginia, Marshall University School of Pharmacy, West Virginia University and the University of Charleston.

See the Occupational Outlook Handbook:  Pharmacy. Also see American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy.

Prerequisite Courses

We suggest reviewing the information in the Pre-Pharmacy pamphlet. The courses listed below are general suggestions. Check the professional school of your choice to see specific admission requirements.

Science Coursework

  • Principles of Biology I and II (BSC 120 and 121)
  • General Bacteriology (BSC 250) or Principles of Microbiology (BSC 302) Note: BSC 250 does not count toward a Biological Science degree.
  • Human Anatomy (BSC 227) Note: BSC 227 does not count toward a Biological Science degree.
  • Human Physiology (BSC 228) Note: BSC 228 does not count toward a Biological Science degree.
  • Principles of Chemistry I and II and Labs (CHM 211, 212, 217, and 218)
  • Organic Chemistry I and II and Organic Lab (CHM 355, 356, and 361)
  • General Physics I and II and labs (PHY 201, 202, 203 and 204)
  • Calculus (MTH 229) [Depending on placement, students may need developmental Math, and/or College Algebra (MTH 130 or 127), and Trigonometry (MTH 122) or Pre-calculus (MTH 132) in addition to Calculus.]
  • Introductory Statistics (MTH 225)

General Education Coursework

  • English Composition I and II (ENG 101 and 201)
  • Social and Behavioral Science. General Psychology (PSY 201) and Introductory Sociology (SOC 200) are recommended.
  • Ethics (PHL 303) is recommended.
  • Follow catalog for degree requirements B.S. or B.A.

Professional Exam

The Pharmacy College Admission Test (PCAT) must be completed, preferably in the fall of the year before entry into the pharmacy program.

PCAT is a 4-hour exam composed of 240 multiple-choice questions and 2 writing assignments. A short break is given half-way through the test. The exam is divided into seven subtests

  1. Writing assignment lasting 30 minutes.
  2. Verbal Ability. Thirty minutes and 48 questions testing sentence completion and nonscientific vocabulary.
  3. Biology. Thirty minutes and 48 questions testing general biology knowledge (60%), microbiology (20%), human anatomy and physiology (20%).
  4. Chemistry. Thirty minutes and 48 items covering general chemistry (60%) and organic chemistry (40%).
  5. Writing assignment lasting 30 minutes.
  6. Reading Comprehension. Fifty minutes and 48 multiple-choice questions concerning six separate science-related reading passages.
  7. Quantitative Ability. Forty minutes and 48 questions evaluating basic math skills (15%), algebra (20%), probability and statistics (20%), pre-calculus (22%), and calculus (22%).

The approximate cost is $125.00. Additional fees such as late registration, change of testing site, or rescheduling fees can be included in the total cost.

You will receive a scaled score and percentile for each of the five multiple-choice sections of the PCAT, and for all five of the multiple-choice sections as a whole (composite scores). Scaled scores run from 200 to 600. A separate score, ranging from one through five, is given for the Writing sections. A score of five is "superior", and a score of one is "weak."

For the most current information, review the PCAT web site.

Links to Professional Schools

College of Science • One John Marshall Drive • Science Building 270 • Huntington, WV 25755
(304) 696-2372