Where You Get Your PharmD Matters

Admission to McWhorter School of Pharmacy is competitive and all applications are considered on merit. The requirements and process for admission are outlined below. The PharmCAS application opens on July 13, 2023 and closes June 3, 2024 for those applying for a fall 2024 entry term. 

Application Timeline

McWhorter School of Pharmacy uses PharmCAS to process applications. The current application cycle is for prospective students who are interested in starting pharmacy school in fall 2024. Application closes June 1.

2024-2025 Admission Timeline

July 11
Application Opens
Sept. 1
Early Action Deadline
June 2
Application Closes

Admission Requirements

Academic Reference

This should be completed by a college math or science professor who has taught you in class. If your school provides recommendations by committee, this is preferred.

Nonacademic Reference

A pharmacist is preferred, but this may be from anyone who has supervised you in a work setting. Letters from family members will not be accepted. 


An official transcript must be sent to PharmCAS from each school you have attended. Please print and use the PharmCAS transcript request form.

Academic Update

At the end of the fall and spring terms, go to your online application at pharmcas.org and update your profile with your new fall grades. Once you have updated your online profile, click the e-submit button to send your new fall grades to PharmCAS for verification. You also must request that an updated copy of your official transcript, with fall grades posted, be sent directly to PharmCAS. Please print and use the PharmCAS transcript request form.

Additional Items/Test Scores

Supplemental information will be included on the PharmCAS program specific “Questions” area for Samford University McWhorter School of Pharmacy.

If you have a National Pharmacy Technician Certification (PTCB), you may also upload a copy of your license to the “Documents” section of the PharmCAS application for Samford University McWhorter School of Pharmacy.

Reappalication Process Information

Individuals reapplying to McWhorter School of Pharmacy must complete a new PharmCAS application. Applicants may replace either or both the academic or nonacademic recommendation but applicants will be required to replace at least one of them.

Required Prerequisites

Prior to the first day of the Doctor of Pharmacy program, admitted students must have:

  • Completed between 64 and 67 college semester hours
  • Completed 28 semester hours of basic science
  • Applicants transferring from other institutions who will not be obtaining a BA/BS degree will need the following courses (math/ science courses must be taken within 5 years of application submission): Calculus I, Elementary Statistics, Human Anatomy & Physiology, Microbiology, General Chemistry, Organic Chemistry, Public Speaking, Physical Education Activity or Lifetime Health and Wellness/Fitness, Psychology or Sociology, Additional Liberal Arts, English Composition, Literature, and World History/Western Civilization or U.S./American History) with a grade of C or higher for all math and science courses and a grade of C- or higher for all general education courses (non-math/science.)
  • Applicants who will be completing or have completed a BA/BS degree will need the following courses (pharmacy application must be submitted within 5 years of degree conferral): Calculus I, Elementary Statistics, Human Anatomy & Physiology, Microbiology, General Chemistry, Organic Chemistry, Public Speaking with a grade of C or higher for all math and science courses and a grade of C- or higher for all general education courses (non-math/science.)

For all applicants, there is no time limit on any non-math/science prerequisite course work. An appeal process is available for math/science prerequisites that fall outside the five-year window of completion. For more information on the appeal process, please email Jon Parker at jmparker@samford.edu.

Looking for a personalized prerequisite course guide for your college or university?

Access our Prerequisite Course Guides

Review frequently asked questions regarding admission to the McWhorter School of Pharmacy  here.

Interview Eligibility

With the understanding that an applicant must have a GPA of at least 2.0 overall and in the Math/Science prerequisites to be considered, the applicant can be invited for an interview if any one of the following five criteria is met:

  1. Overall GPA greater than or equal to 2.75
  2. General education prerequisite GPA greater than or equal to 3.0 and McWhorter School of Pharmacy Math/Science prerequisite GPA greater than or equal to 2.75.
  3. GPA of most recent 30 credit hours (must include at least 6 credits of math or science) greater than or equal to 3.20.
  4. Those with a career or history of service to one’s country or community:
    • U.S. Armed Forces/Veterans (Full-time Active Service)
    • Full-Time 1st Responders (Police, EMT, Fire)
    • Missionaries/Full-time ministry
    • Eagle Scout/Gold Award
    • Full-time primary, secondary or post-secondary educator
    • Other licensed health professional above the technician level
    • Others taken under consideration on a case by case basis
  5. Graduates of or students in the last semester of the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) Master of Science Program in Multidisciplinary Biomedical Science (MSMBS) program with an MSMBS GPA of 3.0 or higher at submission of PharmCAS application. It is expected that students will graduate from the UAB MSMBS program prior to matriculation into McWhorter School of Pharmacy.

Applicants can be interviewed with prerequisite courses yet to be completed, but they must complete Organic Chemistry 1 with a grade of C or higher by the end of the spring semester of the application cycle to be eligible for admission.

Once the Pharmacy Admission Committee reviews the applicant's file to determine interview or deny, the Pharmacy Admission Office will notify the applicant of the decision. Applicants receiving an interview invitation will be notified via e-mail with the dates for the upcoming interviews. 

Interview Dates 

McWhorter School of Pharmacy hosts two interview dates per month throughout the application cycle. To learn more, contact Jonathan Parker at 205-726-4242 or jmparker@samford.edu.

Technical Standards

In order to comply and proceed with the mission of McWhorter School of Pharmacy, noted earlier in this section, technical standards for admission are a necessity, which ensures the education of pharmacists who facilitate competent patient care and professional services in all facets of health care. Students admitted to McWhorter School of Pharmacy must possess the intellectual, emotional, and physical abilities, with reasonable accommodations as needed for those with disabilities, to acquire the knowledge, behaviors, and skills needed to complete the curriculum. These standards are essential to ensure the competencies of graduates of McWhorter School of Pharmacy. Each applicant to McWhorter School of Pharmacy will be assessed in the academic and technical standards set forth by the admissions committee, notwithstanding reasonable accommodations, prior to matriculation.

The doctor of pharmacy (PharmD) degree identifies persons who have completed the curriculum necessary to perform the functions of a pharmacist; thus, graduates must convey and demonstrate abilities to preserve the safety and protection of public interests. Moreover, applicants for the PharmD degree must be able, with or without reasonable accommodations, to perform specific essential functions that the faculty deem requisite for the practice of pharmacy. These functions fall into several categories including: communication, physical abilities, conceptual, interpretative, quantitative, behavioral, and social skills. Applicants must also have the physical and emotional stamina to perform in a competent manner in practice settings that involve heavy workloads and/or stressful stimuli. Furthermore, McWhorter School of Pharmacy has determined that those individuals currently impaired by alcohol or substance abuse cannot meet the technical standards.


Candidates must be able to speak, hear, and observe patients in a practice setting. They must be able to record information accurately and clearly, speak fluent English, and communicate effectively and sensitively with patients. Candidates must also be able to communicate effectively-and accurately-with other members of the healthcare team in oral and written form, and in patient care settings in which decisions based upon those communications must be made rapidly. Students must also be able to both receive and deliver all necessary communication in an accurate, timely, and easily understood manner.

Physical Abilities

Candidates must possess sufficient visual, auditory, tactile and motor abilities to allow them to gather data from written reference material, from oral presentations, by observing demonstrations and experiments, by studying various types of medical illustrations, by observing a patient and his/her environment, by observing clinical procedures performed by others, by reading digital or analog representations of physiologic phenomena, and by performing basic physical examination techniques on a patient. Candidates must have sufficient physical function to elicit information from patients by palpation, auscultation, percussion and other diagnostic maneuvers necessary to assess a patient. Candidates must have the physical ability and manual dexterity to compound sterile and non-sterile products in an environment and manner compliant with existing regulations.

Interpretative, Conceptual, and Quantitative

Candidates must have effective and efficient learning techniques and habits that allow mastery of the complex curriculum. They must be able to learn through a variety of modalities including, but not limited to, classroom instruction, small group activities, individual study, preparation and presentation of reports, and use of computer technology. They must be able to memorize, measure, calculate, reason, analyze, synthesize, transcribe verbal messages accurately, and interpret written prescriptions accurately. Candidates must possess physical, emotional, and interpretative skills to complete examination and assessment requirements of the program in compliance with the curricular schedule. Candidates must possess like skills to be able to fully assess a patient with regard to physical status, patient communication, and behavior plus patient outward presentation which might be indicative of the patient’s status. Candidates must be able to read, comprehend and respond to serial information related to a medical situation or patient.

Behavioral, Social and Emotional Attributes

Candidates must understand the legal and ethical aspects of the practice of pharmacy and function within the guidelines established by the law and by the ethical standards of the pharmacy profession. They must be able to relate to patients and their families, colleagues, and other members of the healthcare team with courtesy, maturity, and respect for the dignity of individuals. This requires that they place the welfare of their patients foremost, and demonstrate honesty, integrity, dedication, compassion and nondiscrimination in the care of their patients. Candidates must, at all times, demonstrate the emotional stability to be able to exercise good judgment, and carry out prompt completion of all responsibilities attendant to the care of their patients in a sensitive and effective manner. This sensitivity includes self-examination of personal attitudes, perceptions, and stereotypes in order to avoid potential negative impact on relationships and patient care. Applicants must be of sufficient emotional health to adapt to changing environments, display flexibility and professional responsibility to their patients, and learn to function in an environment of uncertainty, in which changes may occur rapidly and without warning. Candidates must have sufficient emotional health to perform to standard in all experiential settings and in all acceptable teaching practices. An individual with a diagnosed disability may function as a pharmacy student as long as the above technical standards are fulfilled.


The study and ongoing practice of pharmacy may involve taxing workloads and stressful situations. A pharmacy student must have the physical and emotional stamina to maintain a high level of function in the face of such working conditions. In the event of a deteriorating behavioral, social or emotional function, it is essential that a pharmacy student be willing to engage in dialogue with McWhorter School of Pharmacy officials as soon as there is evidence that the student is not meeting the technical standards.

A pharmacy student whose actions or decisions pose a danger to self, patients and/or colleagues will not be allowed to continue in the program unless the student agrees to accept professional help under conditions acceptable to McWhorter School of Pharmacy.

Applicants are advised to contact the board of pharmacy of the states in which they intend to practice to be aware of any technical standards of those states which might restrict options to practice pharmacy.

PharmD Transfer Students

A student enrolled in another ACPE-accredited college/school of pharmacy may request a transfer into McWhorter School of Pharmacy. Because of the highly integrated nature of the curriculum, it may not be possible to grant credit for prior coursework completed in another ACPE-accredited professional program. The decision will be determined on a case-by-case basis. Per Samford University policy, at least 50% of the pharmacy program’s credit hours must be obtained through Samford in order to be awarded a Samford degree.

The student is required to submit the following to the school’s associate dean for academic affairs:

  • Official transcript from the current college/school of pharmacy.
  • Current college/school of pharmacy curriculum from current catalog or first academic year enrolled.
  • Syllabus and learning objectives for each pharmacy course completed.
  • Two letters of reference from the current college/school of pharmacy. One letter must be from the academic dean stating that the student is in good academic and professional conduct standing.
  • Any other materials requested by the school.

The associate dean for academic affairs, along with the assistant dean for curricular innovation and professional development, will make a decision about whether to accept the student and, if so, where the student would enter our curriculum. Input from other areas (e.g., student affairs, admissions or any other relevant entity) can be requested at their discretion.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is a PCAT score required?

No. We do not require the PCAT exam, and it is not used in the admission process.

I will have earned an undergraduate degree prior to entering pharmacy school. How does that affect my application?

Applicants holding an undergraduate degree from a regionally accredited college or university—or who will be receiving one prior to starting pharmacy school—and have completed all mathematics and science requirements in the prepharmacy curriculum will only be required to satisfy the Public Speaking and Elementary Statistics requirements.

Is preference given to students from Alabama?

No. State of residence is not a factor in the admission process. Our student body is diverse, including students from a variety of states and countries.


Do I qualify for financial aid?

You must have a minimum of 72 hours of undergraduate coursework completed prior to enrollment to be eligible for consideration for Graduate level Federal Student Loan assistance. Learn More

Can I apply before all of my prerequisite courses are completed?

Yes. Applicants are required to complete Organic Chemistry 1 by the end of the Spring semester of the application cycle to be eligible for admission, but all other courses need to be completed prior to the first day of the Doctor of Pharmacy program. View our prerequisite course guides.

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