orientation2Preparing for Pharmacy School

If you are interested in becoming a pharmacist, you should start your preparation early.

  • In high school, talk to your counselor, as well as your science and math teachers, as those subjects will be important in your pharmacy career.
  • Find out the prerequisites for the pharmacy schools you’re interested in and start taking those courses during your first year in college.
  • Get involved in community work and various clubs and activities, as those also play a role in admission considerations.
  • Get some work experience in a pharmacy.


  • Check out our programs aimed at helping prospective pharmacy students become stronger applicants.

Our curriculum is engaging, contemporary, relevant, and challenging. And it isn’t for everyone.

But for the highest-caliber students, we provide a path that allows them to reach their full potential and gain a competitive advantage that will serve them well in their futures as health-care providers.

Incoming Student Characteristics

Good Grades and Much More

At UNC you will work as part of a team to improve the health of patients, and not all team members need to have the same talents in equal measure. Therefore there is no one set of qualities we look for in our students.

While intellect and academic ability are a must, there is no one set of qualities we look for in our students. Our goal is to give you the tools you need to reach your full potential.

We use a holistic admissions process, which means we look at the whole applicant and all of the talents and abilities they bring. Yes, GPAs and PCATs are important, but what we are really looking for are the future leaders of pharmacy. We want you to be well-rounded; have a variety of interests, talents, and experiences, and be committed to the profession and to patients.

We look for evidence that you can and want to do the following:

  • Take initiative and assume responsibility for your learning
  • Think critically and creatively to solve problems
  • Collaborate with others
  • Adapt quickly
  • Display curiosity
  • Communicate effectively and professionally both verbally and in writing
  • Act responsibly, ethically, and professionally
  • Make a positive difference in the lives of others

Each applicant’s academic performance, PCAT exam scores, extracurricular involvement, work experience, leadership experience, personal statement, and interview performance are closely considered, among other factors.

Prior pharmacy or health-care experience is not required, but it is recommended.

We also prefer that you have experience in undergraduate or professional research or in other forms of scientific inquiry or innovation.

Why This Is Important

These qualities and characteristics are important because they are highly sought after by employers, have been shown to be key attributes and skills for success in life, and are essential to influence others and affect needed change in health care.

We at the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy are committed to offering you the best pharmacy education in the world. We’ll continue to work to help you cultivate and reach your full potential.

You will be an exemplary pharmacy practitioner who provides high-quality, team-based, patient-centered care.

You will be a leader and innovator who recognizes the health-care needs of patients and society and who lead teams toward improvement and change for the betterment of patient care.

You will be a lifelong learner who continually strives for positive impact.

In addition to required academic achievement and proficiency, the following technical standards describe non-academic qualifications the School considers essential for successful completion of the educational objectives of its curriculum. Therefore, in order to be admitted, to successfully progress, and to be approved for graduation, applicants for admission and current students must demonstrate the qualifications described here.

View our Progression Standards