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Medical College of Wisconsin Pharmacy School Prerequisites

If you are interested in becoming a MCW Pharmacy School student, you must complete the prerequisite courses listed below before you begin your coursework in our Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) program. (Includes Prerequisite Course Guides).

Prerequisite Course List

Prerequisite  Required Recommended
General Biology 2 Courses (lab optional) Foundations of Biology, Ecology, Zoology, Botany, Marine Biology, General Biology, Human Structure, Cell Biology, General Biology, Microbiology, Animal Physiology
Advanced Biology 2 Courses (lab optional) Genetics, Neuroscience, Cellular Biology, Molecular Biology, Physiology, Pathophysiology, A&P 1 & 2, Bacteriology, Immunology, Biomedical Sciences, Molecular Genetics, Genomics 
Chemistry 2 Courses (lab optional) General Chemistry 1 & 2, Inorganic Chemistry, Analytical Chemistry, Biochemistry 
Organic Chemistry 2 Courses with at least 1 lab  
Statistics 1 Course Intro to Statistics, Biostatistics, Data Analysis, Accounting or Business Statistics
College Algebra 1 Course Must be a 100-level or higher Math course. We will also accept Calculus, Trigonometry, Calculus with Geometry
English 1 Course Must be a 100-level or higher English, Literature, Reading or Writing course
Public Speaking 1 Course Must be a 100-level or higher Public Speaking, Speech or Communication course
General Education 4 Courses Examples include Physics, Economics, Calculus, Ethics, Humanities, Social Sciences, Religion, Studio Art, Theater

All Prerequisites

  1. Prerequisites must be completed at a regionally-accredited university, college, or community college in the U.S. or Canada.
  2. Online and hybrid taught classes may be accepted only from a regionally-accredited university, college, or community college in the U.S. or Canada.
  3. Prerequisites must be completed with a grade of C or better (pass or satisfactory on a competency-based scale).
  4. ALL credits of Advanced Placement (AP), International Baccalaureate (IB), Postsecondary Enrollment Options (PSEO), or College in the Schools (CIS) credit may be accepted if it appears on a college transcript.
  5. English as a Second Language (ESL) and English Language Learner (ELL) classes cannot satisfy the English or Public Speaking course requirements.
  6. It is preferred that science prerequisite coursework be completed within 7 years of the desired year of entry. Science prerequisite coursework completed within 10 years (but longer than 7 years ago) will be considered by the Admission Committee on a case-by-case basis.
  7. A final official transcript will be required prior to the start of classes in the desired year of entry.
  8. All applicants must complete 72 credit hours of undergraduate study prior to matriculating to MCW.

Important Dates

July 11, 2024: PharmCAS Application Opens
April 1, 2025:
Priority Application Deadline
June 2, 2025:
Final Application Deadline
June 30, 2025:
All prerequisite classes must be completed
July 7, 2025:
Classes begin 
International Applicants

Applicants who have earned an undergraduate or graduate/professional degree from a recognized school or college of pharmacy outside of the United States may obtain a license to practice pharmacy in the United States in one of the following ways:

  1. Achieve the Foreign Pharmacy Graduate Examination Committee (FPGEE) Certification sponsored by the U.S. National Association of Boards of Pharmacy and meet the licensing requirements of the state in which you wish to practice as a pharmacist. This includes taking the North American Pharmacist Licensure Examination (NAPLEX) and the Multistate Pharmacy Jurisprudence Examination (MPJE) and may also include post-graduate intern hours.
  2. Earn a Doctor of Pharmacy degree at an ACPE-accredited school or college of pharmacy and meet state requirements for licensure.

Wisconsin’s requirements for licensure as a pharmacist can be found on the State of Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services website

Application Requirements
International (F1 visa, J1 visa, or international degree) students interested in applying to the Medical College of Wisconsin Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) program must satisfy the standard admission requirements. International coursework may partially or fully satisfy the pre-pharmacy course requirements as determined by the MCW Pharmacy School.

In addition to the standard admission requirements, international applicants must:

  1. Submit a course-by-course foreign transcript evaluation from the World Education Service (WES) to PharmCAS.
  2. Complete the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) and submit their official score to PharmCAS. MCW accepts only Internet-Based TOEFL (iBT) test scores. Scores are considered valid only if earned within two years of the intended first term at MCW. (For example, no earlier than July 1, two years prior.) The recommended minimum score is 90.
  3. Complete the PharmD application process through the Pharmacy College Application Service (PharmCAS). There is no separate MCW supplemental application; MCW’s questions are incorporated into the PharmCAS application. On the PharmCAS application, enter your name as it appears on your passport. If the name on your academic record is different from that on your passport, enter the name from your academic record in the “Alternate Name” section. All international applicants must provide a permanent, physical mailing address (that is not a post office box) in their home country.

Students who hold a pharmacy degree from a recognized school of pharmacy outside of the U.S. and are admitted to the PharmD program at MCW will be placed into the first year of the program and may be considered for advanced standing.

English as a Foreign Language
The ability to communicate effectively in English — to read, write and speak the language fluently — is vital to your success as an MCW student. MCW PharmD applicants are therefore expected to demonstrate their proficiency in English as part of the application process by submitting TOEFL scores.

International applicants are exempt from submitting English-proficiency scores via the TOEFL under the following circumstances:

  1. The applicant holds a bachelor’s degree or higher completed in its entirety in the United States or another majority English-speaking country. The degree should be earned at a regionally accredited university located in the United States or at an officially recognized university in another country where English is both the language of instruction and an officially recognized language of the country. Please note that the entire program needs to have been completed in the qualifying country. Note: Dual-degree holders who completed part of their degree in the U.S. do not qualify for this waiver. Individuals who studied abroad in the U.S. do not qualify for this waiver.
  2. The applicant’s native language is English. This applies to native English speakers from countries such as the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, and Canada (except Quebec), where English is both an official language of the country and the language of instruction.

MCW does not waive the English-proficiency requirement based on any other consideration such as work experience, English as a Second Language (ESL) enrollment, etc. It also cannot be waived for undergraduate programs taught in English in non-English speaking countries or for graduate degrees earned in the U.S. or other qualifying countries.

Documentation of Financial Support
All applicants who are not U.S. Citizens must be prepared to submit a Certification of Finances form and provide supporting documentation for the total cost of attendance to the MCW Financial Aid Office after being admitted to the MCW PharmD program. This information is not required to complete the application but needs to be submitted and approved by April 30th of the matriculation year.

Applicants and admitted students with questions should inquire directly with the MCW Financial Aid Office.

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Non-Traditional US Applicants

The Medical College of Wisconsin (MCW) Pharmacy School recognizes that there are individuals who desire a career in pharmacy who have arrived at that decision outside of the traditional undergraduate pre-pharmacy pathway. Individuals with work experience in health care and related fields such as business management/ownership, information technology, and education may find that a career as a pharmacist is especially rewarding.

All applicants are required to satisfy the Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) program admission requirements. On a case-by-case basis, following review of professional experience and coursework, the MCW Pharmacy School may extend alternative application and prerequisite course requirements to individuals who satisfy the following criteria:

  1. Complete a baccalaureate degree in the United States or Canada no fewer than three years prior to desired year of entry into the PharmD program with a minimum cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 3.0.
  2. Complete no fewer than 40 hours of experience as an employee or volunteer in a health care setting.

Individuals who may satisfy the criteria above are encouraged to contact the Office of Student Affairs and request to speak with an enrollment coordinator to review their specific situation.

Transfer Students
If you are currently enrolled in a pharmacy degree program at another institution, the MCW Pharmacy School may accept your request to transfer under extenuating circumstances and depending on seat availability. Consideration will only be given to students who are currently in good standing at an ACPE-accredited College or School of Pharmacy. If you have been placed on probation for any reason, temporarily or permanently suspended, required to repeat courses or involved in any adverse action as a result of code of conduct violations or academic dishonesty, you are not eligible. Please contact the Office of Student Affairs to arrange for a transcript review and to review all of MCW Pharmacy School’s admission policies.

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How Do I Know if I am Eligible?

If you wish to become a MCW Pharmacy School student, you must file an application through PharmCAS.
*The final application deadline for the MCW Pharmacy School is June 2, 2025. Applications completed and submitted by this deadline will be given full consideration for admission to the MCW Pharmacy School.

Effective March 12, 2020, completion of the Pharmacy College Admission Test (PCAT)/Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) is not required; rather, it's optional. If you believe the PCAT/MCAT provides evidence of your academic preparedness for the MCW PharmD program, you are encouraged to take the PCAT/MCAT and submit your scores to PharmCAS. For example, this could apply to students at or near the minimum cumulative/prerequisite GPA requirement or students who completed science prerequisite coursework more than seven years ago.

Applicants who meet the minimum requirements and do not complete or submit PCAT/MCAT scores will receive a holistic application review and be considered competitive candidates for the Doctor of Pharmacy program. 

Complete the minimum pre-pharmacy requirements at an accredited college or university in the United States or Canada.
*All pre-pharmacy requirements must be completed by the start of orientation. Students considering applying for admission to the MCW Pharmacy School must complete 72 credit hours of undergraduate study prior to matriculating to be considered for matriculation into the program. 

Achieve the minimum cumulative undergraduate GPA of 2.0 on a 4.0 scale as calculated by the MCW Pharmacy School. The average cumulative GPA for the most recently admitted cohort of students was 3.10.

Achieve the minimum prerequisite GPA of 2.5 on a 4.0 scale as calculated by the MCW Pharmacy School. The average prerequisite GPA for the most recently admitted cohort of students was 3.20.

Submit three professional or academic references by the appropriate deadline.
*Letters of recommendation must be submitted through PharmCAS.

Demonstrate the proper motivation for, and your commitment to, the profession of pharmacy through previous health-related work, volunteer experiences, research, or other related experiences.

Complete, and submit via PharmCAS, a personal statement demonstrating your written communication skills necessary to interact successfully with patients and colleagues.

Complete the MCW Pharmacy School applicant interview process, by invitation only.

All final official transcripts can be sent electronically to:

Applicants may elect to mail official documents to:
MCW Pharmacy School
Office of Student Affairs
8701 Watertown Plank Rd.
Milwaukee, WI 53226

An application to the MCW Pharmacy School is considered complete when all application criteria have been submitted by the June 2, 2025 deadline.


What Happens After I am Interviewed?

After you have completed and submitted your PharmCAS application it will be reviewed by the MCW Pharmacy School Office of Student Affairs. You may receive direct correspondence from the Office of Student Affairs if your application is missing important information or if your application requires any clarification. Applicants who successfully complete all the above criteria may be considered for provisional admission to the MCW Pharmacy School.

The MCW Pharmacy School has a rolling admissions decision process. Rolling admissions means your application will be reviewed shortly after a complete PharmCAS application is received. The final application submission deadline is June 2, 2025. Although incoming applications will be reviewed on a continual basis, you are encouraged to submit your application early to receive priority in selection, as interview spaces and seats in the class become limited closer to the deadline.


As part of the provisional admission process applicants must submit to a required criminal background check, drug screening and meet all immunization requirements set by the MCW Pharmacy School.

The MCW Pharmacy School Office of Student Affairs, Admission Committee, and Dean reserve the right at any time to rescind an offer of provisional admission to an applicant who does not meet or successfully complete the above listed criteria.

Contact Us

If you have any questions regarding the MCW Pharmacy School prerequisites, please contact the Pharmacy School Office of Student Affairs.

MCW Pharmacy School
8701 Watertown Plank Rd.
Milwaukee, WI 53226

(414) 955-7476

Angela Kowalski, MS
Enrollment Program Manager
Office of Student Affairs
(414) 955-2646

MCW Pharmacy School Office of Student Affairs Google map location