Entry to Practice Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD)

Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) Admission Requirements

1. Required Pre-Pharmacy Courses

  • Applicants must complete 60 credit units of University transferable work including the prerequisite courses listed below.
  • The remaining credits can be made up by successful completion of a combination of university level course work.
  • It is advisable NOT to take any Spring or Summer courses in your final year of study because transcripts are due June 15th of the year you wish to apply. Grades from Spring or Summer courses will not be available in time to meet this deadline.
  • 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. See the University of Alberta Grading System guidelines for further information about how GPA converts to letter grades.
  • Prerequisite courses completed more than 10 years ago are not normally considered for credit as part of the admission application and will need to be repeated.

The following courses (or equivalent) are required in the 60 unit credit weight:

COURSE  UNIT CREDIT WEIGHT (UCW) AT UNIVERSITY OF ALBERTA
English*  6 Choose ENGL courses
General Chemistry 6 CHEM 101 and 102
Organic Chemistry 6 CHEM 261 and 263
Human Physiology 6 PHYSL 210 A/B or PHYSL 212 and 214**
Mathematics 3 Choose Calculus or Algebra
Statistics 3 STAT 151
Cell Biology 3 BIOL 107
Biochemistry 3 BIOCH 200
Microbiology  3 MICRB 265


*The requirement for English can include up to 3 ucw in Writing Studies (for example WRS 101)
**PHYSL 212 and 214 required for students in the Physiology Honors program. Credit may be obtained in only one of PHYSL 212 and 214, or 210. For more information regarding the online PHYSL 210 course offered at the University of Alberta, click here.

  • If you are a student attending a university or college in Alberta, refer to the Alberta Transfer Equivalency Guide to determine course transferability for most courses from post-secondary institutions in Alberta.
  • If your course does not show up on the Alberta Transfer Equivalency guide, please contact us to determine transferability. The Faculty will consider transfer credit for some courses on a case by case basis.
  • Email phstud@ualberta.ca for any questions or concerns about equivalency of courses taken at other Canadian institutions.
  • If you are an international student, please contact phstud@ualberta.ca for any transfer questions or concerns. The Faculty is committed to support international student applications and will work on a case by case basis to determine transfer credit eligibility.

2. Academic Requirements

  • Recent overall GPA, performance in Biological Science pre-requisite courses, and performance in the heaviest credit weight year are some of the factors that contribute to overall ranking.
  • Students who present an overall GPA lower than 3.1 will not be considered for admission. 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.
  • It is preferable that 30 credit units is taken in at least one academic year (September to April).

3. Other Requirements

  • The Letter of Intent which will be included in your application portal once you apply, provides an opportunity for you to convey career goals, knowledge of the profession, employment or volunteer experience, and other personal attributes.
  • Students are required to speak with a practicing pharmacist that you have no conflict of interest with (e.g. familial connections) to find out about the profession. Please have the pharmacist fill out the Pharmacist Consultation form that you will be able to download and upload to your application portal once you apply.
  • It is critical that the Faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences at the University of Alberta ensures 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 that will be included in the application. After review of this document, students must acknowledge the responsibilities by way of this mandatory student declaration in the application portal.
  • Some students are required to meet the spoken English requirement (see the University of Alberta Calendar - English Language Proficiency). This will be added to your checklist if it applies to you.

4. Web-based Interview

The Faculty does not conduct in-person interviews. Once you have paid the application fee, completed the Letter of Intent, Pharmacist Consultation form, and Essentials Skill Declaration form, you will receive a link to a web-based interview in to be completed in April. This will also include video instructions and a submission deadline. Interviews are used to further assess applicant fit in addition to GPA based rankings.

5. Selection Process

Students are ranked based on a combination of the following:

  • Overall GPA-- calculated using your most recent two years of full course load (defined as at least 18 credits or more during Fall/Winter only). This applies to students applying after more than two years of study. However, students applying in their second year of study will need to complete all 60 credits including prerequisites by the June 15th transcript deadline.
  • GPA in the foundational biological science prerequisite courses -- these include Cell Biology, Biochemistry, Microbiology, and Human Physiology.
  • GPA in your most highest credit weight year (Fall/Winter only).

Once applicants are ranked on the above criteria, the web-based interview is used to assess the candidate’s ability to formulate a cohesive and logical response to the interview questions, and their ability to convey their ideas in an effective manner. The response in the Letter of Intent is also carefully reviewed for grammar, content, and completeness.

The Admissions Committee has the responsibility of selecting from among the applicants who have demonstrated promise to complete the program and successfully and gain licensure as pharmacists. The Pharmacy program has a limit on the number of applicants it can accept and admission is competitive.

6. Applying

Applications open: October 1, 2019

Application deadline: March 1, 2020

Late applications or missing requirements are not considered under any circumstances.

Items required to complete application

  • Online application and non-refundable $125 application fee due by March 1, 2020. This includes the Letter of Intent, Pharmacist Consultation Form, and Essential Skills Declaration Form.
  • Interview – submission deadline to be determined
  • Transcripts – June 15, 2020

If you are currently a U of A student, we will automatically pull your transcripts. Transcripts will also be sent on your behalf if you apply through ApplyAlberta. However, out-of-province students must request their transcript be sent directly from the issuing institution to:

University of Alberta
Administration Building
11487 89 Ave NW
Edmonton, AB T6G 2E6

  • Proof of English Proficiency (if required) – June 15, 2020

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

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.

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.

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
Email: phstud@ualberta.ca


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