PharmD Prospective Students
As one school of pharmacy with two campuses – Chapel Hill and Asheville – students will complete the PharmD program on one of these campus locations. Our model is a 1+3 model where all incoming students are admitted to the Chapel Hill campus and, over the first semester, learn more about both campuses and their distinct offerings. Students will visit the Asheville Campus early in their PY1 year to take classes, engage with students and faculty, visit innovative practice sites, and explore the City of Asheville.
Sudents are asked to indicate their campus preference for their PY2 year and beyond based on their career goals and other preferences. Please note that there are only 30 slots available on the Asheville campus.
For more information about the Asheville campus, please visit The Asheville Experience website.
Pharm.D. Application Process
The first step in the application process is to complete and submit an online application to PharmCAS. Your PharmCAS application must be submitted by either the priority deadline of October 2, 2023 or the final deadline of February 1, 2024, for the following fall term. Submit your application as soon as possible to ensure earlier review by the Admissions Committee.
You must submit your PharmCAS application and it must be verified before you can receive the supplemental information form.
The PharmCAS application includes the following:
- PharmCAS application fee
- Biographical data
- Post-secondary institutions attended
- Academic course history
- Work experience
- Extracurricular activities
- A personal statement
- Official transcripts from all accredited U.S. institutions attended
- Two letters of recommendation
- PCAT optional
We recommend that you thoroughly review the PharmCAS “Before You Apply” information and have unofficial copies of all postsecondary transcripts available before you begin this process.
Once the PharmCAS application is completed and verified, the data will be forwarded to the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy.
Once your PharmCAS application has been submitted and verified, you’ll receive a link to complete supplemental information that is specific to UNC. This form is free and should only take a few minutes to review and submit. This information is required of all applicants to the University.
For those who are applying by the priority deadline, the supplemental information should be submitted by October 16, 2023. For those who are applying by the final deadline, the supplemental information should be submitted by February 15, 2024.
Submit your information as soon as possible to ensure an earlier review by the Admissions Committee.
*Please note that you will not receive the link to complete the supplemental information form until your PharmCAS application has been verified. Keep in mind that it may take several weeks to verify your PharmCAS application. You will want to plan ahead so you are able to submit both your PharmCAS application and the supplemental information form by the deadline.
You will be asked to complete residency questions to determine your in-state or out-of-state residency status for tuition purposes. If you are claiming North Carolina residency, you will need to provide dates for domiciliary acts such as voting, registering to vote, serving jury duty, obtaining a North Carolina driver’s license, or filing an individual NC tax return.
Once you have submitted your PharmCAS application and supplemental information, the Admissions Committee will review your materials and invite selected applicants to interview for our program. Interviews will be scheduled September through March. Not all applicants will be invited to interview. Please note that the interview is equally as important in the admission process as other factors.
We use the Multiple Mini Interview (MMI). The MMI is a series of interview stations consisting of timed (eight-minute) interview scenarios. The MMI will not test prior pharmacy knowledge, but will assess characteristics and attributes the Admissions Committee feel are important for success as a pharmacist.
It is important to review and understand the following policies:
PharmCAS Application Status: If you wish to see if your application is complete and PharmCAS has forwarded your file to UNC, you can log in to your PharmCAS application and check the status menu option.
What is a Pharm.D.?
The doctor of pharmacy, or Pharm.D., is the professional degree for pharmacists similar to the M.D. for physicians or D.D.S. for dentists. Earning a Pharm.D. and successfully passing a licensure exam make you eligible to practice as a pharmacist.
What is the difference between a Pharm.D. and a Ph.D. in pharmaceutical sciences?
The Pharm.D. program is for those who want to be practicing pharmacists (though many of our Ph.D. graduates go on to work in academia, industry, and government).
How long does it take to complete the Pharm.D. program?
Four years. Prerequisite coursework can be completed in two to three years.
Is there an accelerated or bridge program for people with a related degree?
Do you offer a bachelor’s degree in pharmacy or pharmaceutical sciences?
The School does not offer a standalone bachelor’s degree program.
What is the grade point average of admitted students?
The minimum cumulative GPA we will consider is a 2.5.
How many students apply to the Pharm.D. program? How many are accepted?
We aim to enroll 150 students into the program for each entering class.
Does the School offer printed applications or a paper-based application process?
No. All applications must be submitted online through PharmCAS and the School’s supplemental information form.
May I make an appointment to speak with someone from the admissions office?
Yes! You can schedule an appointment with our director of Pharm.D. recruitment here.
What factors are considered in a student’s admission to the Pharm.D. program?
Decisions are not based on a single number.
The School considers all written information you submit as part of your application.
Each applicant is considered as a whole, including factors such as:
- Academic performance
- Extracurricular activities
- Community service
- Leadership experiences
- Work experiences/shadowing
- Personal statement.
Do I have to have worked in a pharmacy to be accepted to the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy?
No. Applicants who have substantial pharmacy or healthcare experience typically fare better during the interview sessions because they know more about the profession. If you do not have any pharmacy experience, consider volunteering, shadowing a pharmacist, or speaking extensively with a variety of health care providers before your interview session.
Do you have a regional campus?
We have one regional campus in Asheville.
The UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy offers one Pharm.D. program, and students have the option of completing the program on the Chapel Hill or Asheville campus.
Can you complete the program online or part-time?
No. All students must complete the program in person as full-time students.
Do you offer a non-traditional or accelerated program for practicing pharmacists?
No. We only offer the traditional 4-year program.
Can I transfer into the Pharm.D. program from another pharmacy school?
No. All students must apply as entry-level applicants and complete all 4 years of the program.
Do you offer an early assurance program?
Yes. We offer an early assurance program through a partnership with UNC’s Office of Undergraduate Admissions, Excel@Carolina.
Will you accept pass/fail grades for courses taken in Spring 2020 and Fall 2020 due to the pandemic?
While we prefer letter grades, we will accept pass or credit grades for courses taken during the Spring 2020 and Fall 2020 semesters from institutions that put special grading accommodations in place. You can find an example of a special grading accommodation policy here.
Does it matter at what school I take my prerequisite coursework?
Prerequisites can be taken at any accredited university or college in the United States or Canada. We do consider the rigor of the institution where the courses are completed, along with the number of courses taken at the same time. Check the Prerequisites section of this page to make sure you are taking the correct courses.
Does it matter what size academic load I carry during my pre-pharmacy coursework?
We recommend that applicants carry a full academic load (15 or 16 credit hours) per semester and suggest taking a minimum of three science courses each term. This gives you a chance to preview what is in store for you in pharmacy school, which is a full course load that cannot be taken part-time. At the same time, this gives us a better opportunity to evaluate your chances of success in pharmacy school.
If I have credit from a foreign college or university, how can I have this coursework evaluated?
Have your foreign coursework evaluated by World Education Service. PharmCAS only accepts foreign evaluations from World Education Services. Please request a course-by-course transcript evaluation through the PharmCAS application.
What if I have a D or F in a math or science prerequisite course?
We only accept grades of C minus or better in prerequisite courses.
Must I complete all required prerequisite courses before I apply?
No. However, you must complete all requirements by May of the year you will be enrolling in the Pharm.D. program.
If I take courses after submitting my application, how will the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy know?
Update your PharmCAS application during the Academic Update period. The information will then be shared with us. Additionally, if you are admitted, you will be asked to submit a prerequisite completion plan.
If I already have a baccalaureate degree, do I need to fulfill the general education prerequisites?
No. Be sure to complete the math and science prerequisites with a grade of C minus or better.
Does UNC accept my AP, IB, or CLEP scores for prerequisites?
In some cases. Check Test Credit to see what scores UNC-Chapel Hill accepts.
My school does not have anatomy and physiology together in a one semester course. Instead, they are divided into a two semester anatomy and physiology course sequence or between areas of the body. Which courses should I take?
Take both courses. The course content should cover all areas/systems of the body.
Will a vertebrate anatomy course meet the human anatomy and physiology requirement?
No. You must take human anatomy and physiology with lab to meet the requirement.
I have already completed physiology with lab. Will that satisfy the anatomy and physiology requirement?
No. You must take a human anatomy and physiology course with lab OR, if you have already taken a physiology course with lab, you may take an anatomy course to fulfill the anatomy and physiology prerequisite. If you have taken an anatomy course with lab, you may take a physiology course to fulfill the anatomy and physiology prerequisite. Check the UNC transfer course equivalencies website for information on specific courses.
Can I take a calculus course other than an equivalent of Math 231 or 241 in order to fulfill the calculus prerequisite?
No. We can only accept a course that is equivalent to Math 231 or 241.
Do courses other than the equivalents to Statistics 151 or 155 fulfill the statistics prerequisite?
Any pure statistics class may be used, including statistics for the behavioral sciences. You cannot use a course other than a statistics course even if it has a strong statistics component.
My institution does not offer lab sections for some of the lower-level science courses. What should I do?
Lab sections are required for courses with a lab on our prerequisite list. You may want to consider taking lab sections at a community or technical college.
Should the physics prerequisite be algebra-based or calculus-based?
We prefer calculus-based. If you have already taken an algebra-based sequence, or if that is the sequence required for your major, you don’t need to retake the sequence as calculus-based.
Can I complete my prerequisite classes online?
Yes. The institution must be regionally accredited. Please seek prior approval from our admissions team.
Which biochemistry course (Chemistry 430) should I take?
The biochemistry course should be an introduction to fundamental principles of biochemistry. Emphasized topics should include the structures and functions of major classes of biological macromolecules (proteins, carbohydrates, nucleic acids and lipids), the chemical nature of essential cellular processes (metabolism, bioenergetics, and biochemical genetics), the primary catabolic pathways of carbohydrates (glycolysis, gluconeogenesis, and the Krebs cycle), and enzyme catalysis and basic kinetics. This should be an upper-level biochemistry course with organic chemistry I or II as the prerequisite.
Is the Pharmacy College Admission Test required for admission to the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy PharmD program?
The PCAT is optional for the 2023-24 application cycle.
When should I take the PCAT?
We recommend taking the PCAT in the summer or fall of the year you apply.
How long are my PCAT scores good?
We prefer scores no older than three years and will not consider scores older than five.
How many times may I take the PCAT?
You can take the PCAT up to five times.
How should I prepare for the PCAT?
You can download a practice test and study guide as well as an information booklet from the PCAT website.
Commercial preparatory books are also available through most university bookstores.
What are the health requirements for Pharm.D. students?
You can find our health requirements listed above under the Health Requirements tab.
Why must Pharm.D. students have the extra vaccinations?
Pharmacy students are healthcare workers and must be immunized to protect them from communicable diseases. No students will be allowed to begin classes in the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy unless they provide verification that they meet the program’s vaccination and immunity requirements.
Do I have to have a college degree to apply to the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy?
No. You may enter our program after successfully completing two years of college after high school and completing all of the general education and math and science prerequisite courses.
If you have a bachelor’s degree, you are not required to complete the general education prerequisites. You are only required to successfully complete the math and science prerequisite courses.
Do most applicants have a degree?
Yes, approximately 80-90 percent of students who enrolled over the past few years held a four-year degree at the point of enrollment.
When do I apply to the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy?
The first step, the PharmCAS application, is typically available in mid-July. PharmCAS requires four-to-six weeks to verify an application before it is forwarded to individual schools of pharmacy.
What is the difference between the priority deadline and the final deadline?
The priority deadline is non-binding and is best suited for candidates for whom UNC is their first choice. Applicants who submit both their PharmCAS application and the supplemental information form by the priority deadline will receive priority consideration for an interview invitation. Those who apply by the priority deadline may also receive their admissions decision earlier in the application cycle.
The final deadline is the last date applicants can submit an application for consideration during the 2023-2024 application cycle.
Regardless of which deadline you choose, we recommend submitting your application as soon as possible. We have a rolling admissions process and will start reviewing applications as soon as the cycle opens.
How will I know that my application has been received and is complete?
- PharmCAS application: Log in to your PharmCAS application and check the Status menu option.
- Supplemental information: You will receive a confirmation email after submitting your supplemental information.
Do I have to apply to UNC’s Office of Undergraduate Admissions as well as the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy?
No. All applicants first submit an application through PharmCAS and then supplemental information through the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy.
When will I be notified of acceptance?
After your application is complete and you have been interviewed, the Admissions Committee will make its decision. All offers are conditional based on the completion of your remaining prerequisite courses with grades of C minus or better. You must also provide the required health documentation. Applicants are usually notified of their admissions decision no later than April.
If admitted, can I defer my admission?
Deferment is considered on a case-by-case basis and only in rare circumstances such as a sudden change in health or a significant personal/life issue. Official documentation may be required as part of the deferment process. Petitions for deferment should be made to the Director of Admissions in writing via email.
Is there a maximum number of times I can apply to the Pharm.D. program?
Students can apply a maximum of 3 times.
Yes. Interviews are scheduled from September through February. Those who submit their application earlier will increase their chance of being invited for an interview earlier in the admission process.
What form will the interview take?
Each candidate will participate in a multiple mini interview (MMI) session.
The MMI is a series of seven interview stations consisting of timed (eight-minute) interview scenarios. The MMI does not test pharmacy knowledge but will assess characteristics and attributes the Admissions Committee feel are important for success as a pharmacist.
How should I dress for the interview?
Professional attire is recommended.
How many recommendation letters are required?
We require two letters of recommendation and will not accept more than four. The School will only accept letters submitted through PharmCAS.
Who would be the best person to ask for a recommendation?
The best person to write a recommendation for you is someone who knows you very well and can comment on the characteristics that will make you a good pharmacist.
- Academic professors, research lab supervisors, and employers (especially those related to pharmacy) are excellent sources for recommendations.
- We do not accept recommendations from family members, friends, or students currently in the Pharm.D. program.
If I submit more than the maximum number of letters of recommendation for my Pharm.D. application, will all of them be reviewed?
No. The maximum number of recommendations PharmCAS will accept is four. While we only require two recommendations, we will review up to four if submitted.
Is financial aid available?
Yes, through both the School and UNC-Chapel Hill.
What financial aid is available through UNC-Chapel Hill?
What financial assistance can the School provide?
We understand that pharmacy school is an investment and work to make our program affordable for students. We offer $200,000 in scholarships specifically for first-year students. Applicants are considered for these awards just by applying to our program. Students are then eligible for nearly $1 million in competitive awards for their second, third, and fourth years in the program.
How do I apply for federal financial aid or aid from the University?
All students apply for financial aid through the Office of Scholarships and Student Aid. The priority deadline is March 1 of each year and you may apply for financial aid prior to receiving your admission decision. Information can be found at www.fafsa.ed.gov.
Can international students qualify for financial aid?
Students who hold a United States Permanent Resident Card (Form I-551 or a green card, as it is also known) can be considered for need-based federal and institutional funds.
All other international students are required by law to certify at the time of admission that they can pay for their education.
When is the deadline to apply for financial aid?
Financial aid applications are available beginning in October and you do not have to wait to be admitted to apply. The priority deadline is March 1.
I’m from out-of-state. Will I be able to establish in-state residency to help lower the cost of tuition and fees?
We encourage all of our out-of-state students to consider applying for residency after their first year in North Carolina. You can find information about the residency process here and here. Typically, over 85 percent of those who apply for North Carolina residency are successful. All residency decisions are made by the North Carolina Residency Determination Service.
Do you have any resources that can help me with financial planning and budgeting?
Will I complete my pharmacy practice experiences in the Chapel Hill area?
All students will be placed in one of the Area Health Education Centers (AHEC) across the state for their professional experiences, also known as experiential education. Though you will have some input in this process, most students must leave the Chapel Hill area for the entire last year of study.
Where will I complete my pharmacy practice experiences?
Based on preceptor and site availability, Pharm.D. students can be placed across the state of North Carolina for pharmacy practice experiences – both early immersion and advanced practice experiences. AHEC housing may be an option for students who are placed away from their home campus for pharmacy practice experiences.
Is a laptop computer required in the Pharm.D. program?
Yes. You can find hardware and software specifications here.
How do I establish North Carolina residency for tuition purposes?
The UNC Registrar’s Office offers information on establishing residency.
Are drug tests and background checks required upon admission?
All students are required to complete a background check using Certiphi, which is the PharmCAS vendor.
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Pharm.D. Tuition and Fees
2023-2024 UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy Pharm.D. Estimated Tuition and Fees
|Fall or Spring||$12,537
(After PY1 & PY3 years)
^Rates may increase by as much as five to ten percent per academic year.
* Rates are based on Summer 2023
**Totals do not include $200 clerkship fee
In order to qualify as a resident for tuition purposes, a person must have established legal residence (or domicile) in North Carolina and maintained that legal residence for at least twelve months prior to their classification as a resident for tuition purposes. Each student is classified as an in-state or out-of-state resident upon admission. Non-resident students do have the opportunity to pursue North Carolina residency for tuition purposes. Non-residents interested in pursuing this option should carefully review the information provided by the North Carolina Residency Determination Service (RDS). The School’s Registrar can answer individual questions regarding the residency for tuition purposes process.
|Fall or Spring||$24,100
(After PY1 & PY3 years)
^Rates may increase by as much as five to ten percent per academic year.
* Rates are based on Summer 2023
**Totals do not include $200 clerkship fee
Federal Financial Aid
You may complete the FAFSA application as soon as it becomes available for the year you wish to enter. You are not required to have an admission decision before completing this application. The priority deadline is March 1 of the year you wish to enroll.
UNC-Chapel Hill Financial Aid
Visit the website of the Office of Scholarships and Student Aid for more information.
UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy Scholarships
First-year pharmacy students are considered for $200,000 in scholarships just by applying to the program. We offer nearly $1 million in competitive scholarships, awards, and grants each year after the first year.
We encourage you to visit the Carolina Veterans Resource Center for information about funding options available to military-connected students.
Other Funding Sources
- UNC Graduate Funding Information Center
- ScienceCareersFunding: funding information geared specifically for graduate and undergraduate students, affiliated with Science‘s Next Wave.
- NSF Doctoral Dissertation Improvement Grant offers research funds for conducting dissertation research.