The University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire's pre-pharmacy curriculum provides a pathway to pharmacy school for students interested in a pharmaceutical career. Pre-pharmacy is not a major at UW-Eau Claire, but rather a declaration of your intention to continue your education and become a pharmacist.
Pharmacists are experts on drugs and drug therapy. They work closely with physicians and patients to prepare, package and dispense prescriptions; ensure medication doses are correct; prevent dangerous side effects or drug interactions; advise on the use of non-prescriptive drugs; and overall help people feel better.
No specific undergraduate major is required to become a pharmacist, but a certain curriculum and pre-requisites are favored. For example, UWEC pre-pharmacy students will blend their science and math courses with social science and humanities courses in order to best address medical problems with the people they will serve.
Certain skills and experiences are also recommended — especially when applying for graduate school. Many pharmacy schools require a high GPA, a competitive Pharmacy College Admissions Test (PCAT) score, letters of recommendation and a completed Pharmacy Centralized Application Service (PharmCAS) application in order to be considered for their pharmaceutical programs. Pharmacy schools are also increasingly emphasizing communication, leadership and community service in their admissions criteria. Experience as a pharmacy technician is also helpful.
Our exceptional faculty and career advisors are aware of the preferred curriculum and graduate school requirements and ensure you gain the knowledge and experiences necessary for acceptance into graduate school. At UW-Eau Claire, you'll be well prepared and supported on your journey of becoming a pharmacist.
Access to resources
UWEC is one of only a few schools of its size with a career center dedicated to supporting pre-pharmacy students. The William J. and Marian A. Klish Health Careers Center offers one-on-one advising, opportunities to meet with pharmacy school admissions representatives, as well as connections to clinical research and volunteer opportunities.
Relevant student organizations. On-campus student organizations — like the Pre-Professional Health Club — connect students like you who are also interested in becoming a pharmacist. These extracurriculars are an excellent way to learn from guest speakers, engage in volunteer work and tour pharmacy programs in the region.
A supportive team. While pursuing your undergraduate degree at UWEC, you'll learn alongside a small team of students who, like you, are interested in helping others feel and live better. Pre-pharmacy students work closely with faculty and staff members in the chemistry department and can participate in a variety of experiential learning opportunities, including student-faculty research and internships.
Pharmacy school connections. Representatives from a variety of pharmacy schools routinely speak to UWEC students. Through both virtual and in-person presentations, you'll have direct access to pharmacy school admission representatives, who can provide information and recommendations on how to set yourself apart when applying for graduate school.
Excellent preparation. While pursuing your major at UWEC, you'll have access to several pre-pharmacy advisors. These faculty and staff members can help you with things like planning out your semesters, finding your major, securing pharmacy experience and preparing for the Pharmacy College Admission Test (PCAT), which is required for admission to pharmacy schools.
A strong reputation. The university’s success rate at preparing students who gain admission to professional schools is outstanding. Previous students have gone on to attend the University of Wisconsin-Madison, the University of Minnesota, University of Illinois – Chicago, Concordia University, Midwestern University, Ohio State University and South Carolina College of Pharmacy.
Pre-pharmacy program details
- Offered: in person
- Campus: Eau Claire
- Students are able to choose a major and/or minor that best aligns with their career goals.
UWEC student organizations related to pre-pharmacy
- Pre-Professional Health Club
- Biology Club
- American Chemical Society-Student Affiliate (ACS-SA)
- Women and Gender Minorities in STEM
After earning your undergraduate degree from UWEC, your next step is enrolling in a pharmacy school. There are currently around 129 accredited schools of pharmacy in the United States. Pharmacy programs grant the degree of Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD), which allows you to become a licensed pharmacist.
The PharmD is a four-year program that requires at least two years of college study prior to admittance, although most applicants have earned a bachelor’s degree. Students who apply to a PharmD program without a bachelor’s degree are generally considered less competitive than those who have completed a degree, which makes UWEC an important step on your journey towards becoming a pharmacist.
What can I do with a PharmD?
Individuals with a PharmD are considered Doctors of Pharmacy and have the necessary qualifications to prepare and dispense prescriptions. Pharmacists understand the biochemical properties of drugs and how to properly use them to maximize their effectiveness and avoid potential side effects. Job responsibilities range from dispensing prescriptions to distributing vaccines to providing information around the safe use of medicine.
Pharmacists work closely with a variety of medical professionals, typically working in hospitals and retail pharmacies. However, as the profession evolves, more pharmacists can be found working in a variety of environments and organizations, such as assisted living facilities, poison control centers or intensive care units.
Those with an interest in academic or research pharmacy may teach in hospitals, universities or medical schools, as well as pursue a career with a pharmaceutical company. Pharmacists may also choose to specialize in certain areas, obtaining jobs like a government pharmacist, military pharmacist or industry pharmacist. They can also become board certified in a specialty area of pharmacy, including oncology, pediatrics, psychiatric, infectious diseases, ambulatory care or critical care pharmacy. These changing positions are allowing for more communication, connection and collaboration with health care teams and improved managed care techniques.
The pre-pharmacy curriculum at UWEC will prepare you for the Pharmacy College Admission Test (PCAT). This standardized exam is required for admission into pharmacy schools. The exam consists of six parts: writing, verbal ability, biology, chemistry, reading comprehension and quantitative ability. It is often taken in the spring semester of your junior year.
What classes do pre-pharmacy students take?
Students interested in a career in pharmacy may focus on these topics during their undergraduate career:
- Organic chemistry
- Chemical principles
- Human anatomy and physiology
- Social sciences
Learn more about pre-pharmacy in the UWEC course catalog.
Programs that would best support a career in pharmacy include: