Conditional Admission to Pharmacy (CAP)


Overview of CAP Status

Normally, applications to the entry-to-practice Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) degree program are considered from university students who have completed at least two years of undergraduate science. With CAP status, high school students receive a conditional offer of admission to the School of Pharmacy, to begin the PharmD program in their third year of university studies. Specific criteria must be met in order to maintain CAP status. Students who satisfy these requirements will have their place assured in the PharmD program at Waterloo.

CAP status students in a classroom

CAP students will have the opportunity to connect with the School and pharmacy students through events and activities and will learn more about the degree program and the profession of pharmacy in the process. With the connections and friendships they will establish, CAP students will have a smooth transition into the PharmD program. In addition, School of Pharmacy staff will act as resource to CAP students, to guide them toward successful admission into the PharmD program.


Use the following checklist to assess whether you are eligible, or likely to be eligible, for CAP status:

  • ≥ 90.0% high school admission average, as calculated for the Faculty of Science at Waterloo. This average is based on the student’s top six grades, including required courses for admission to the Faculty of Science, using the best available grade information at the time the interview offers are released.
  • Have completed, or are registered to take this academic year, the courses required for admission to the Faculty of Science: Grade 12 U English (ENG4U), Grade 12 U Advanced Functions, Grade 12 U Calculus and Vectors, and any 2 of the following Grade 12 U courses: Biology, Chemistry, Earth and Space Science, Mathematics of Data Management, Physics; and any other Grade 12 U or M course.
  • Demonstrated leadership.
  • Community involvement through volunteering and other efforts.
  • Work experience (preferred qualification, not absolutely required).
  • Interest in the profession of pharmacy – you will need to write about this interest in a short personal statement that is part of the CAP application process (a section within the CAP Admission Information Form (AIF). 
  • Provide two letters of reference:
    • one academic (teacher, principal, guidance counselor)
    • one from employer or volunteer agency

Application timeline - September 2020

Students interested in applying to CAP Status should review these important dates and ensure that they plan far enough in advance to meet requirements.

Date Event
Sep 23, 2019

Applications for Conditional Admission to Pharmacy open

Jan 31, 2020 Deadline for CAP application and fee payment (midnight EST)
Mar 2, 2020 Deadline to submit CAP Admission Information Form (AIF) for those that applied
Apr 3, 2020 Deadline to submit supporting documentation (2 online Reference Letters, English Language Requirement scores if applicable, transcripts for out-of-province high school students)
May 7, 2020 Applicants selected for interviews are notified via email. Those not invited to an interview will also be notified by email.
May 22-23, 2020 CAP Interviews at the School of Pharmacy
May 26, 2020 CAP admission decisions communicated to all interviewed applicants
Jun 1, 2020

Deadline to accept CAP offer

How to apply

Applying for CAP status is a two-step process:

1. Apply for admission to Waterloo through the Ontario Universities’ Application Centre (OUAC) website, for a science degree program that will allow you to meet the PharmD academic admission requirements within two years. Waterloo undergraduate science degree programs which allow students to meet this condition are:

  • Life Sciences – with Biology as the subject of major interest;
  • Life Sciences – with Biomedical Sciences as the subject of major interest; or
  • Honours Science.

2. You must apply for Conditional Admission to Pharmacy through a separate application process, and pay the required fee. Achieving CAP status is a separate decision from admission to the Waterloo Faculty of Science for your chosen undergraduate degree program. 

After you apply

Email: After you submit your application, you will receive an email with information on how to proceed. It will contain details on how to submit your supplementary information and supporting documents AIF, references, English Language Requirement scores, transcripts for students outside of Ontario). Please note that it may take up to a week to receive this email.

Note: Students who use popular email services like Hotmail, Yahoo, Gmail, etc. are strongly advised to check their junk/spam mail folders regularly if they do not seem to be receiving the expected correspondence from the university. Past experience has shown that certain email filters will route bulk emails from the university into those folders, so please check them before contacting us for any messages that appear to be missing.

Interview: After the screening of applicants using the academic and supplementary information, a select group will be invited for an interview in Kitchener with representative(s) of the School of Pharmacy.

After earning CAP status: All students who are awarded CAP status must take their first two years of science studies at Waterloo, and complete the academic requirements for admission to the PharmD program by the end of the winter term of their second academic year. Students are responsible for ensuring that, when selecting electives from within these degree programs, they take all of the courses required for admission to the PharmD program by the end of Year Two. Academic advisors will provide guidance and support in this regard.

Maintaining CAP Status

  • Achieve a final high school admission average of ≥ 88.0%, including any courses required for admission to the Faculty of Science at the University of Waterloo; and

  • Enrol at Waterloo for the first two years of a science degree program, with a full course load each term of 2.5 units (5 lecture courses), exclusive of any associated labs; and

  • Successfully complete, within the first two years of study, all of the courses required for admission to the PharmD program, with a cumulative average of at least 75.0% and a special average (based on the required courses) of at least 75.0%; and

  • Provide evidence of completion of at least 200 hours of (paid or volunteer) experience related to pharmacy by submitting the Pharmacy Experience Tracking Sheet by the end of the first (fall) term of Year Two; and

  • Continue involvement and leadership in extracurricular activities in your first two years of university; and

  • Complete the Year One Update Form and the Academic Requirement Tracking Form and submit both before the end of Year One, so that the School of Pharmacy can monitor and provide feedback on your progress; and

  • Complete the Intent to Register Form in Year Two, to confirm your intention to join the PharmD program in Year Three; and

  • Achieve satisfactory performance on the Personal Characteristic Assessment (CASPer test) administered online in Year Two; and

  • Achieve satisfactory performance on the PharmD admission interview and Fundamental Skills Assessment, conducted at the end of the winter term of Year Two.

CAP students who meet all of the above requirements will have their place assured in the PharmD program. Please note that each form has a specific deadline which will be communicated to all CAP students.

Frequently asked CAP questions

Further questions?

Contact us at or (519) 888-4848

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