As North America’s first college of pharmacy, the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy at Saint Joseph’s University offers a top-ranking PharmD program to prepare students for successful careers in the pharmacy profession.
Pharmacy (BS to PharmD)
The Philadelphia College of Pharmacy (PCP) at Saint Joseph’s University’s Bachelor of Science in Pharmaceutical and Healthcare Studies to Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) is a six-year program with a unique, competency-driven professional curriculum that prepares undergraduate and transfer students to emerge as leaders in the pharmacy profession. You’ll enjoy a robust mix of classroom and lab learning experiences, along with experiential learning opportunities that expose you to different practice environments.
This program features a two-phase education for undergraduate students interested in early admission to PCP’s accredited PharmD program — no PCAT or GRE required. You can enter this program as an incoming first-year student through our direct-entry admission pathway, earning a BS and PharmD degrees in as little as six years after graduation from high school. You may also enter the pre-professional phase (Year 1 or 2) or professional phase (Year 3) of the six-year BS/PharmD program as a transfer student depending on the prerequisites you’ve completed.
The first part of the program — the pre-professional phase — combines a strong foundation in pharmacy studies with a well-rounded undergraduate education. Designed to be completed in just two years, this phase empowers you to acquire the knowledge necessary to successfully pursue a pharmacist degree.
This phase is also flexible to accommodate your learning style and interests. If you want to pursue a minor, double major or study abroad, or need more than two years to finish the pre-pharmacy phase, you can complete the pre-professional phase in up to two additional years without losing your spot in the professional phase.
You’ll transition seamlessly to the professional phase of the program and start your four years of fully integrated, competency-driven coursework by meeting all progression requirements. The curriculum builds on foundational knowledge and skills, encouraging proficiency in a range of subjects from human disease and pharmacology to pharmaceutics, therapeutics and pharmacoeconomics. You’ll also gain hands-on experience through our more than 400 clinical affiliation partner sites across the country — including some of the most renowned hospitals, medical centers, pharmaceutical companies and regulatory agencies. Transfer students may also enter the program at this phase if they’ve completed all required prerequisites.
What Sets Our Program Apart
Students seeking a pharmacy degree can transition seamlessly from the pre-pharmacy years to the professional PharmD program through our direct-entry admission option — no application or PCAT required.
Our Doctor of Pharmacy program is one of the first pharmacy programs to deliver a curriculum that builds integrated mastery in a range of subjects, from human disease and pharmacology to pharmaceutics and pharmacoeconomics. The PharmD program provides you with nationally recognized certification in areas such as immunization, diabetes and medication therapy management. Our program is taught by faculty members who are award-winning clinicians, scientists, researchers, innovators and leaders.
Pharmacy practice experiences (also called “rotations") make up 30% of our innovative BS/PharmD program. These hands-on learning opportunities are available to you in more than 400 local, national and international training sites, including some of the most renowned hospitals, medical centers and pharmaceutical companies.
Saint Joseph’s Griffith Hall and Integrated Professional Education Complex (IPEX) building features state-of-the-art learning labs and facilities that prepare our pharmacy students well for the rigors and realities of today’s health care environments. These include a compounding laboratory, the continuum of care simulation suite and model pharmacies.
Special agreements with select partner institutions create a clear pathway to the professional phase of the PharmD program at Saint Joseph’s. Professional Bridge agreements allow students who have earned an AS at a partner community college to complete remaining prerequisite courses to enter the PharmD program. Other agreements cater to students who have or will earn a BS degree.
Our graduates consistently excel at the North American Pharmacist Licensure Examination (NAPLEX) and earn top spots in post-graduate residencies and fellowships.
Enhance your study and marketability with one of our graduate business programs: pharmaceutical and health care business, finance, and pharmaceutical marketing. You can earn these certificates without additional cost or extending your program.
Saint Joseph’s complements your didactic learning with a co-curricular program, Student Excellence in Professional Preparation (StEPP), to promote your personal and professional development. Through StEPP, you can create and execute your own development plans and projects in coordination with your faculty mentor.
You will have the opportunity to connect with our strong network of alumni who are well-respected leaders and active practitioners in the pharmaceutical industry.
Top Five Reasons to Earn a PharmD
- Pharmacy is a lucrative field. Pharmacy is considered one of the best-paying jobs in the U.S. The median annual salary for pharmacists was $128,710 in 2020.
- You’ll have more job satisfaction. Pharmacy is one of the best health care jobs in the U.S. because of the low stress level, flexibility, and opportunities for advancements and salary the career offers.
- Pharmacy is a rewarding career path. Pharmacy plays a crucial role in improving health outcomes. You’ll make a positive impact on medication access and safety, patient care, and research.
- Pharmacy is also a dynamic field. With a PharmD degree, you’ll get to choose from a wide variety of career options including in direct patient care, pharmaceutical research and regulatory agencies.
- You can have a good work-life balance. Pharmacists enjoy flexible work schedules since they’re typically in demand around the clock, allowing for better work-life balance.
Each element of our student-centered PharmD curriculum builds on the others for a well-rounded, innovative approach to learning. Here’s what you can expect:
- Pre-professional coursework (Years 1-2)
- Typically completed in two years
- Includes courses in math and sciences (including biology, chemistry and physics), social sciences, written and oral communication, and the humanities
- The Bachelor of Science in Pharmaceutical and Health care Studies will be conferred at the end of your second year of the professional curriculum (P2) upon successful completion of general education requirements and specific coursework for the degree
- Novel, four-year, competency-driven professional curriculum and pharmacy clinicals (Years 3-6):
- Build integrated mastery in human disease, pharmacology, pharmaceutics, therapeutics, pharmacokinetics, pharmacoeconomics, health care/pharmacy delivery, law, management and entrepreneurship
- Include 14 Integrated Pharmacy Sciences, Disease and Therapeutics (iPSDT) modules focused on applying the pharmacy sciences to various diseases and therapeutic decision-making
- Includes pharmacy practice experiences, such as clinical rotations focusing on pharmacy care in a team-based model, starting your first professional year
- Include 36 weeks of clinical rotations, including community pharmacy, acute care, health system and ambulatory care settings, plus a variety of elective experiences in areas such as managed care, pharmaceutical industry, global health and pediatrics
View required courses for this program in the academic catalog. Please contact us if you have any questions about the program curriculum.
- Pre-professional coursework (Years 1-2)
The tuition* for direct-entry PharmD students entering fall 2023 is $49,410/per year*.
*This rate applies to all students accepted by Saint Joseph's University after June 1, 2023. Tuition and fee rates for students accepted prior to June 1, 2023, differ. Pricing does not include room and board; health insurance; or any professional, clinical or transportation fees. Visit our Tuition & Fees page or contact us for more information.
Financial aid may be available to you to help offset the cost of your degree. Explore your options on our Financial Aid page.
The Philadelphia College of Pharmacy's Doctor of Pharmacy program at Saint Joseph’s University is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education
190 South LaSalle Street, Suite 2850
Chicago, IL 60603
312-664-3575, FAX 866-228-2631
You must be licensed by the state in which you decide to practice. Each state has different licensure requirements, but all require graduation from an ACPE-accredited college of pharmacy, internship experience and the passing of examinations specified by the board of pharmacy within the state. Learn more about PharmD licensure requirements and our NAPLEX exam pass rates for the PharmD program.
Visit the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy website to view our learning outcomes and graduation rates for the PharmD program.
View the Technical Standards that apply to all clinical training students in Saint Joseph’s University’s Doctor of Pharmacy program on the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy website.
Why Study Pharmacy in Philadelphia?
Here in Philadelphia, you’re in the heart of the health science industry, where you’re surrounded by 250 medical facilities and within two hours of 75% of all U.S. pharmaceutical firms. The city’s diverse population and rich health care employment opportunities offer a unique environment to gain pharmacy experience in a variety of settings including outpatient clinics and acute care hospital settings.
BS/PharmD Admissions Information
How to apply
- Apply online. Applications are free.
- Submit your official high school transcripts from all high schools you’ve attended. A list of senior year coursework must be present.
- Complete one of the Common Application essay prompts.
- Submit a letter of recommendation. Up to two additional letters may be submitted.
- Submit SAT/ACT scores. These are optional, but you can submit them if you feel they’ll strengthen your application.
All materials can be uploaded via the Saint Joseph’s Application or the Common Application. If you plan to submit SAT and/or ACT scores, they should be sent directly from Collegeboard and/or ACT. You can also submit your application materials by mail, fax or email.
If admitted as a direct-entry student, you’ll be able to identify pharmacy as your major field of study. No additional application (including the PCAT and GRE) is required to enter the professional phase of the program. To maintain guaranteed admission into the PharmD, you must:
- Complete all required pre-professional and undergraduate coursework.
- Achieve a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.70 and a minimum natural science/math GPA of 2.50.
- Successfully complete the Professional Education Readiness Competency (PERC) interview.
Contact us to learn more about progression requirements as a direct-entry student.
Required High School Coursework
- Two years of algebra
- One year of geometry
- Higher-level math encouraged in senior year (trigonometry, pre-calculus, calculus)
- Three years of science with a lab
Our application deadlines are as follows:
- Early Action: November 15
- Early Decision I: November 15
- Early Decision II: January 15
- Regular Decision: March 1
If you’ve taken college coursework but have not received a bachelor’s degree, you may enter the pre-professional phase (Year 1 or 2) or professional phase (Year 3) of the six-year BS/PharmD program depending on prerequisites you’ve completed. Consult with your academic advisor and the Admission Office to find out which prior credits will count toward your Saint Joseph’s degree.
You must have a minimum GPA of a 2.70, with no prerequisite below a grade of “C.” You may only transfer into the fall semester.
Required prerequisite courses that should be completed by the end of the summer term preceding enrollment at Saint Joseph's include:
- General Biology I & II with labs (8 credits)
- General Chemistry I & II with labs (8 credits)
- Calculus I (3 credits)
- Writing Intensive English (6 credits)
- Social/Behavioral Science (includes sociology, psychology, anthropology, etc) (3 credits)
- Organic Chemistry I & II with labs (8 credits)
- Physics with lab (4 credits)
- Human Anatomy & Physiology I & II with no laboratory requirement (6 credits)
- Microbiology with lab (4 credits)
- Statistics (3 credits)
- Introduction to Communications or Public Speaking (3 credits)
- Economics (e.g., Microeconomics, Macroeconomics, Health Economics) (3 credits)
- Humanities electives (6 credits)
Transfer credit equivalencies are accessible through the Saint Joseph's University - TES platform.
How to apply
1. If you’ve met all required prerequisites needed to transfer into the first professional year of the PharmD program, follow this process:
- Apply via the Pharmacy College Application Service (PharmCAS) by May 1. No supplemental application is required. Please submit all documentation directly to PharmCas. Saint Joseph’s operates on a rolling admission basis and applicants are reviewed in the order in which they are verified by PharmCas.
- An invitation-only interview is required for admission into the program. Interviews begin in September and continue until all seats are filled.
- Shadowing hours are not required but are recommended.
The Pharmacy College Admission Test (PCAT) is no longer required. You must also have a social security number before you can enter your first professional year of study.
2. If you have college experience but have not met all required prerequisites, you may apply to the pre-professional years (Year 1 or Year 2) of the BS/PharmD program. Follow this process:
- Submit the transfer student application online.
- Submit official college transcripts from each institution attended
- Submit official final high school transcript with date of graduation
- Submit Transfer Registrar’s Report — must be sent directly from the most recent college or university attended.
- Learn more about Saint Joseph's transfer application process.
If you’re applying as an international student, you must provide proof of English Language Proficiency and Certification of Finances along with your application. Check the Undergraduate Admission page for more information about the application process and additional requirements for international students.
Frequently Asked Questions
It takes six to eight years of college to become a pharmacist. You must have a Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) degree from an accredited institution. Most PharmD programs take four years to complete if you’ve already completed four years of prerequisite undergraduate coursework — a requirement to be admitted into a pharmacy school.
At Saint Joseph's, we offer a PharmD program with multiple pathways to completion:
- Direct-entry/6-Year PharmD: Enter as an incoming first-year student and earn a BS and PharmD degree in six years.
- Transfer into the second year of the pre-professional phase (sophomore) of the 6-Year PharmD program;
- Transfer into the first year of the professional year (P1) without a degree OR
- Transfer into the first year of the professional year (P1) with a degree
- Post-graduate: Enter the professional phase of the program if you have a bachelor's degree and have completed all admission requirements.
After earning your PharmD, you’ll need to obtain a license in the state where you decide to practice to work as a pharmacist.
To work as a pharmacist in the U.S., you’re required to have a Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) degree from an accredited institution and obtain a license.