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The Basics

A Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) is the required degree necessary to practice pharmacy in the United States. It is an intensive doctoral program similar to that of a Doctor of Medicine (M.D.).

PharmD programs include extensive didactic clinical preparation, hands-on clinical practice experience in a wide array of health care settings, and an emphasis on clinical pharmacy practice. Requirements in the US to becoming a pharmacist include: graduating from a Doctor of Pharmacy from an ACPE accredited program, conducting a specified number of hours in internship under a licensed pharmacist, passing the NAPLEX, and passing a Multi-state Pharmacy Jurisprudence Exam (MPJE).

Residency is an option that is typically one to two years in length post-graduation allowing a student to specialize in a specific area of pharmacy, such as oncology or pediatrics.

Marshall’s PharmD program is a four-year program with didactic courses from August to May. While there are some summer rotations, many students have summers free, which helps prevent burnout and allows for summer employment.
We currently do not have a Ph.D. program; however, we do offer two dual-degree programs. The PharmD/MBA and PharmD/MPH programs were launched in 2016 and provide students with the ability to diversify their education based on career goals. We also launched an MSPS program in Fall 2019.
No. The Marshall PharmD is available only at Marshall as a full-time program.
During the 2016-17 application cycle, we received approximately 300 applicants to fulfill 80 seats in the class. We interview approximately 120-150 to fill those seats.
Residency is determined at the time of application. The Marshall School of Pharmacy provides in-state only to those who reside within West Virginia. There is currently no metro rate for those in nearby communities in Kentucky (Ashland, Cattletsburg) or Ohio (Chesapeake, Proctorville, Ironton). To be eligible for in-state residency, applicants, or the parents of dependent applicants, must reside in West Virginia continuously for twelve months prior to registration. Marriage to a West Virginia resident does not automatically confer resident status upon a nonresident spouse. However, full-time active military personnel assigned to and
residing in West Virginia, their spouses and dependent children, are classified as in-state students.
The School of Pharmacy follows a semester calendar. The Fall semester begins approximately the third week of August and continues through the second week of December. The Spring semester begins during the first week of January and continues until the first or second week in May. The School observes all national holidays, such as Labor Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas / New Years, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day as well as Spring Break (1 week) and Thanksgiving Break (1 week).

The Application Process

Similar to what you may have experienced as a high school senior, you will apply to pharmacy school the fall before the year you plan to enroll. You must submit each of the application requirements before the admissions committee will assess your application for an interview. After the interview, the admissions committee will make a decision on your admission status and will provide you with a notice within two to three weeks.
No. Students can complete their pharmacy prerequisites in as few as two years. However, many students prefer to complete them in three years or continue on to earn their bachelor’s degree. Students with a bachelor’s degree receive a few bonus points in the admissions process for demonstrating their ability to complete a program, but they do not receive priority over students who have only completed the minimum prerequisites.
Marshall does not require you to complete the PCAT. If you choose to take the PCAT, we recommend doing so early, but will accept scores from July – January.
Not at all! We expect that you will still have many courses left to complete when you apply.

The pharmacy school application process is very similar to what you may have experienced in high school. You will apply the fall of the year prior to enrolling, then make your decision after you have been admitted. However, we expect you will still be working towards completing the coursework you need.

Marshall allows you to continue your coursework through the summer prior to matriculation. Once you complete your last course, you will submit your final transcripts to the Marshall School of Pharmacy to finalize your admission. You must receive a C or better in each of the prerequisite courses for the course to count towards your application requirements. Marshall does not recognize “minus” or “plus” grades, thus a C- will count toward successful completion. All coursework must be completed prior to arrival at orientation in the fall.

For the application cycle of 2021-22, there is currently no time limit on prerequisite coursework.
No. All prerequisite courses must be completed before you enroll as a student in the School of Pharmacy.
Yes. Marshall began admitting international students in Fall 2014. However, standards are very rigorous. Students must complete the admissions requirements as expected of all students, however, they must also submit TOEFL scores. We require a minimum TOEFL score of 80. Students must submit foreign transcripts through PharmCAS and use a foreign transcript evaluation service (World Education Services is preferred). Additional documentation, such as course descriptions and syllabi, may need to be submitted on a case-by-case basis.
We require a minimum of three letters of recommendation. Each recommendation is evaluated and scored. The recommendations with the highest scores are allocated to professors and academic advisors who can attest to your academic success in the program. Next preferred are supervisors. Fewest points are allocated to clergy, politicans, family and friends.
Work experience is not required for admission, but it can show commitment to the field of pharmacy and demonstrate the work ethic of an applicant. Thus, if you have work experience, please note it in your application. It will not count against you, however, if you do not have any.

Coursework & Equivalencies

Yes. However, instead of one semester of each individually, you will need two semesters of A&P (I and II) to meet the requirements.
Yes. When looking at the prerequisite curriculum, we recommend you follow the “semester” recommendations if you are not a Marshall student. The credit hours reference coursework and credit hours for Marshall classes only. Semesters are referenced for non-Marshall students only. For instance, if you have a General Chemistry course with a lab embedded for 4 credit hours, but the prerequisite is listed as needing 5 credit hours OR one semester, then the course will count towards “one semester.” (Note for classes with labs: As long as any course description notes that the course includes the lecture with lab in the same course offering, it will be counted for credit as well.)
Currently, we do not have a time requirement for coursework that was completed as part of a previous degree.
No, we utilize the standard PharmCAS GPA. If you had multiple attempts of the same prerequisite course, we would average the courses together. For example, if you received a D in Calculus, but retook the course and received a B, you would receive a C.
Yes, as long as the AP course was accepted at your home undergraduate institution. For example, if you attend Marshall undergraduate school, and Marshall undergrad accepts AP scores of 4 and above, than we will accept it as well. If your undergraduate institution accept AP scores of 3 and above, and you received a 2, we will not count the course as a prerequisite because your home institution did not.

The Interview & Admission

The interview process is unlike many others. It is a half day, from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Rather than rush you in, bombard you with questions and push you out the door, we want to get to know you. The interview has three main parts:

the Standard Behavioral Interview

This is your storytelling time. You will be asked prompts that will require you to tell specific stories. (

Ex: “Tell us about a time you had to show initiative on a project.

The Critical Thinking Test

Are you a critical thinker? Don’t expect to be asked about chemical functions, but rather, questions regarding reasoning. (Ex:

Ex: “If A = B, and B = C, does A = C?”

the Group Dilemma
Because our classrooms require a team-mentality, we want to see you in action with others. You and several “teammates” will receive a dilemma and will be expected to find a solution and present your findings.

Remember, our students, staff, and faculty will be assessing you throughout the process, so be attentive! From lunch to chit chatting while you try on your Marshall white coat, it’s all game.

Dress for interview day is considered business attire. What would you wear to a job interview? That’s what we expect on interview day. Appearance is made note of during the process.
Unfortunately, no. Due to Marshall’s unique curriculum, certain portions of the interview process require group interactions which cannot be assessed over a Skype call. We require all candidates to interview with us on-site.
We don’t like to keep you waiting! Each Friday, our admissions committee will gather to determine who will be admitted from the previous weeks’ interviews. You should hear back from us within two weeks maximum. This gives us time to make a decision, construct your admission letter, and send it through mail.
Instead of a waitlist, the School of Pharmacy maintains a “hold list.” Each admissions cycle, the hold list of individuals are re-assessed each week by the committee, as if they just interviewed, with the most recent set of reviewable students. This keeps the hold list individuals fresh in the minds of the committee, and allows them to be potentially admitted throughout the admissions cycle – rather than waiting for admission at the end of the cycle, like a traditional waitlist.
Absolutely. The Office of Student Affairs is always available to meet with students to outline a strategy for a successful admission. Each year, many re-applicants are successful in gaining admission.

Tuition & Financial Aid

Marshall’s tuition and fees are incredibly competitive. In fact, our out-of-state tuition is often less expensive than in-state tuition in other states, such as Kentucky, Ohio and Maryland. Current tuition and fees for the academic year can be found on the university’s graduate tuition page.
Yes. State and federal grants, loans and scholarships are available. More information about available financial aid for students can be found on the Financial Aid page. For detailed information on financing your Doctor of Pharmacy degree, please contact Jean Ann Bevans, Assistant Director of Student Financial Assistance, via email or by phone at 304-696-2279.
First, you will need to file the FAFSA. The FAFSA becomes available each year on January 1. The priority deadline for state and federal awards is March 1, but is accepted through July 1. Any state or federal awards will be presented based on filing the FAFSA form. Marshall has several scholarships available for the P1 through the P4 year. You can find their requirements, deadlines and applications on the Scholarship page.
Potentially. The first two years of the Marshall program is financially considered undergraduate, while the second two years is considered graduate. If you are a West Virginia resident and have remaining time for state awards (i.e. West Virginia Promise Scholarship), you may use that in your first year of the program. (If you have two years left, you can use it your first two years.) If you are out-of-state, you cannot transfer state awards to West Virginia. However, if you are either an in-state or out-of-state student and receive federal awards, such as grants (i.e. Pell Grant) or loans, you can use these awards toward your first and/or second year of pharmacy school, depending on your remaining years of eligibility. For more information about the School of Pharmacy’s financial aid, contact Jean Ann Bevans in the Financial Aid Office.

Experiential Learning

Rotations are simply hands-on experiences in pharmacy. This gives you the opportunity to use what you’re learning in the classroom immediately in practice. It will be time where you will be supervised in a real-life environment practicing pharmacy a few times a semester off-campus. Your supervisor is called a preceptor and will assess you for a grade.
Yes. A valid driver’s license and reliable transportation are required to successfully complete the PharmD program, as is the expectation of most PharmD programs. One benefit of the Marshall School of Pharmacy is the ability for students to experience pharmacy in multiple states. This means, however, IPPE sites can/will be located in an approximate 60 mile radius in Kentucky, Ohio, and/or West Virginia, while APPE locations could be located at sites outside this radius. Local transportation, such as the bus system, cannot reach all experiential sites, and thus should not be relied upon to do so. Students who feel like they cannot meet this requirement are recommended to reconsider application to the program.
You will hear these terms frequently in pharmacy school. An IPPE is an Introductory Pharmacy Practice Experience, which places you in a community or institutional (hospital) setting for several weeks in your first, second, and third year. Your third year is the last year of your didactic classroom work. An APPE is an Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experience, which puts you in eight 5-week rotations in your fourth year.
Yes. You will receive all hours needed for state licensure (in Kentucky, West Virginia and Ohio) within the design of the PharmD curriculum. You will not need to complete hours outside of the program.
IPPE rotations are typically located in community (retail) pharmacy and institutional (hospital) settings in your first two years. Your third year, you branch out into additional pharmacy settings such as geriatrics (nursing home, hospice care). Geographically, we do not send our students far for these rotations. You will likely experience time in Kentucky, Ohio and West Virginia within an hour radius.
Possibly. If the Office of Experiential Learning already has a preceptor in that area to host you, then you can request that individual. If they do not, then you will need to speak with the office far in advance of your fourth year to develop a site rotation in that area. If you have someone in mind, you will need to work with the Office of Experiential Learning to have the preceptor fill out the necessary paperwork and undergo the necessary training to host you. Students will not be allowed to have parents precept them for pharmacy school credit.


Yes. It is expected that you will complete most exams and major assessments via your personal computer. If you do not have a personal laptop, money is built in to the “cost of attendance” for purchase of one.
Pharmacy school is a full-time doctoral program and thus is very intensive and challenging. But, it can be done. We do have students who work up to 20 hours per week to supplement their income. We recommend you adjust to the program in the early stages and speaking with students in the program before you make any commitments outside of the program.
Unlike most pharmacy schools in the region, we do not have traditional block exams (which is like having a mini-finals week, over the course of two or three days, several times per semester). Instead, we encourage long term retention and recall through the use of designated exam times throughout the week.  We call them “exam blocks,” not to be confused with “block exams.”
There are several opportunities for housing in and around the School of Pharmacy, including our new graduate student housing at The Landing. We recommend you contact one of our Ambassadors to get the student recommendations of housing in the Huntington area.
Temporary parking is currently available for students, faculty, and staff in the fenced parking lot across Hal Greer Boulevard from Stephen J. Kopp Hall. Information on permanent parking will be updated as received.
In pharmacy, you’ll notice we have a lot of acronyms and may throw them around with little explanation. Here is a quick outline of some of them you may hear while chatting with a student, visiting the School, or skimming our website:

  • P#: This indicates your year in pharmacy school. (i.e. P1- first year; P2 – second year, etc.)
  • IPPE: “Introductory Pharmacy Practice Experience” – These are introductory rotations you’ll experience from year one through year three.
  • APPE: “Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experience” – These are advanced rotations that occur in your fourth year.
  • OSCE: “Objective Structured Clinical Examination” – This is an assessment based on direct observation of student performance to evaluate basic pharmacy clinical tasks, such as taking a patient history, writing a prescription, or advising a patient.
  • MUSOP: “Marshall University School of Pharmacy”
  • ACPE: “Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education” – The accrediting body for all national schools of pharmacy.
  • APhA-ASP: “American Pharmacists Association Academy of Student Pharmacists,” one of the student organizations at the Marshall School of Pharmacy.
  • SSHP: “Student Society of Health Systems Pharmacists,” a branch of the American Society of Health Systems Pharmacists