Entry to Practice Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD)

Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) Admission Requirements

Suggested Grade Point Average: Admission to the program is highly competitive and largely, but not solely, based on GPA. Alberta students who present an overall GPA of 3.5 or out-of-province students who present a 3.7 or higher are best placed for competitive admission.        
Quota: 130 Students

Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD)

The Doctor of Pharmacy will be a four-year program consisting of coursework and practice experiences. The minimum requirements for admission will be the satisfactory completion of *60 of University transferable work, including:

  • General Chemistry (*6)
  • Organic Chemistry (*6)
  • English (which may include up to *3 in Writing Studies) (*6)
  • Biology (Cell Biology) (*3)
  • Biochemistry (*3)
  • Mathematics (Algebra or Calculus) (*3)
  • Statistics (*3)
  • Microbiology (*3)
  • Human Physiology (*6)     

The remaining credits can be made up by successful completion of a combination of university-level course work.

A minimum grade of C- (or equivalent) is required in any transfer course (i.e. courses not completed at the University of Alberta) used to meet a prerequisite requirement. Grades of D+, D, D- and F are considered deficient for transfer coursework. 

Prospective Students Fact Sheet

Note - if you are a practicing pharmacist, you can apply to the PharmD for Practicing Pharmacists program.

Apply now


I. Subject Entrance Requirements 

Faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences University of Alberta Calendar - Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD).

II. Other Requirements

Required forms
Letter of Intent (structured essay)
Please note that the letter of intent should be emailed to phstud@ualberta.ca, or dropped off at the Student Services office (2-53 MSB).

Students are encouraged to speak with a practicing pharmacist to find out about the profession. Please have the pharmacist fill out the Pharmacist Consultation Form

b.) Essential Skills Form & Student Declaration: 

The Faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences (FoPPS) at the University of Alberta serves to equip their students with the knowledge, skills, professional behaviors, and attitudes necessary to enter the practice of pharmacy in Canada. Pharmacists are involved in decision-making about patients’ drug therapy, helping patients better manage their medications and illnesses and supporting caregivers and other healthcare professionals. In order to provide these services, pharmacists require extensive knowledge of drug therapy, clinical reasoning, and communication skills coupled with ethical values necessary to provide effective care to patients in a broad range of practice settings.

It is critical for the FoPPS to ensure its students provide safe and effective health care for patients and to acceptably meet all the essential skills and abilities described in the Essential Skills and Abilities for Entry to Practice PharmD Program document

After review of this document and understand the essential skills and abilities described, students must acknowledge the responsibilities by way of this mandatory student declaration.  Please use your ualberta email account to access and complete this declaration.

c.) Interview (web-based): 
A requirement starting in 2014 is the need for an on-line interview. This is basically a web-capture where a small number of questions will need to be answered. The responses will be reviewed by the Admissions Committee.

No proactive action is needed on the applicant’s part. Following the Letter of Intent and the Application deadline, applicants will receive an e-mail with details regarding the interview, including a website link. We advise applicants to monitor their University e-mail accounts for this. Interviews are due by the end of May.

d.) Spoken English Requirement: Applicants must meet a spoken English requirement (see the University of Alberta Calendar - English Language Proficiency).

Note: Applicants who have sequential high school background courses in Chemistry, English, Mathematics, and Biology will best be prepared to succeed in the pre-pharmacy program. 

III. Selection process

1.) The Admissions Committee has the responsibility of selecting from among the applicants those individuals who have demonstrated promise to complete the program successfully and gain licensure as pharmacists.  Pharmacy has a quota of 130 places and admission is competitive.  The number of applicants exceeds the number of available spaces and therefore not all qualified candidates will be offered admission. 

2.) Applicants are ranked primarily on overall academic achievement (emphasizing recent academic performance).  Other factors considered in ranking include academic achievement in the prerequisite courses, a demonstrated ability to perform well in a consecutive Fall/Winter session of full-time study (preferably *30 units), a Letter of Intent and the Interview. This Letter (structured essay) provides an opportunity for the applicant to convey career goals, knowledge of the profession, employment or volunteer experience, and other personal attributes that might be relevant for consideration by the Admissions Committee. The interview is used to assess the candidate’s ability to respond to a question and verbal communication skills. 

3.) We encourage students to have all of their entrance course requirements in place by the end of June. This is when the decisions regarding admission are made. We cannot offer admission to students who lack necessary prerequisite courses.

4.) The Admissions Committee consists of two pharmacy academic staff members, a practicing pharmacist appointed by the Alberta College of Pharmacists, a representative from the Office of the Registrar, a lay observer from the University Senate, and the faculty’s Director of Undergraduate Affairs for the faculty as Chairman. The committee meets late in June and decisions are communicated thereafter by the faculty office.

Deadlines: Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) Admissions 

March 1, 2019

  1. Pharmacist Consultation Form
  2. Application form
  3. Letter of Intent
  4. Essential Skills Form & Student Declaration

June 15, 2019

  1. Receipt of Final Transcripts
  2. Spoken English Proficiency results

Faculty of Pharmacy & Pharmaceutical Sciences 
Attn. Student Services
2-53 Medical Sciences Building
University of Alberta
Edmonton, AB T6G 2H7 

Issuing institutions, mail transcripts to:

Office of the Registrar 
Administration Building
University of Alberta
Edmonton, AB
Canada T6G 2M7

*Note: Transcripts must be submitted to the Office of the Registrar directly from the issuing institutions. If you are currently a U of A student, the Office of the Registrar will automatically send us your transcripts. 

How do I know if my courses are transferable? 
If you are student attending a university or college in Alberta, there is an Alberta Transfer Equivalency Guide for most post-secondary institutions in Alberta.

In taking these prerequisites at another post-secondary institution, it is your responsibility as the student to make sure they are transferable to the University of Alberta. 

15.12.2 Aboriginal Applicants
The Faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences may provide one position to an Aboriginal applicant, over the regular quota of 130 students. Students who are of Aboriginal ancestry within the meaning of the Constitution Act, 1982, Section 35(2) will be considered in this category (University of Alberta Calendar - General Information). Proof of Aboriginal status, to be provided as part of the application for admission, is required for consideration of this position (University of Alberta Calendar - General Information).

Candidates will be subject to admission as outlined in University of Alberta Calendar - PharmD and to approval by the Faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences Admissions Committee. If there are no qualified Aboriginal students in any given year, this position will not be allocated to other applicants.

Aboriginal student applicants should contact the Aboriginal Student Services Centre , for individual counseling and career planning. 

**Note: Reference letters are not an entrance requirement and are not encouraged.

Additional Information:
International Students
Residence Services
Students' Union Housing Registry

Still have questions about the Entry to Practice PharmD program? Contact Student Services:

Phone: 780.492.3362
Fax: 780.492.3175
Email: phstud@ualberta.ca