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Academic requirements

Important note: High school students who are interested in applying for Conditional Admission to Pharmacy (CAP) status should refer to the CAP section of this website.

The entry-to-practice Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) is a second-entry program requiring that students complete a specific set of courses at the university level prior to entering the Pharmacy program. In order to complete the required courses you will normally need to have been enrolled in a university-level undergraduate Bachelor of Science (BSc) program.

The courses required for admission provide a foundation of knowledge that the Pharmacy program builds upon.

Students can complete the course requirements at any accredited university. No preference will be given to Waterloo students. Students planning to apply from another university are required to ensure that the courses taken are equivalent to those listed below. To obtain a list of course equivalents for other universities, prospective applicants are strongly advised to email us.

Due to the rigorous nature of the Pharmacy academic program, the Pharmacy Admissions Committee prefers applicants to show evidence of taking a full course load (five lecture courses per term) during their previous or current BSc studies.

The Admissions Committee discourages applicants from opting to have required courses assessed on a credit/no credit (CR/NCR) basis, where this is permitted by their home institution. For further information on how such courses are handled from an admissions perspective, please consult our Frequently Asked Questions on this website.

Completion of required courses

You are responsible for completing all the required courses and having your final transcripts submitted to the Registrar's Office by the deadline specified, typically early June. However, you may begin the application process before completing all the required courses for admission.

If you will not have completed all of the required courses for admission by the end of the winter term (April/May), you will be at a competitive disadvantage in the admission selection process. Priority consideration will be given to students who will have met the academic requirements by April/May. Students who will be missing a small number of courses by the end of the winter term are still encouraged to apply if they are otherwise qualified, as each year the Admissions Committee typically releases some offers of admission to strong candidates missing just a few courses. This is conditional on them completing the courses by the end of the calendar year.  As the applicant pool changes each cycle, it is impossible for us to predict how many students will be offered admission while missing any courses.  The preference, as stated above, is to offer admission to students who are not missing any courses.

In all cases, all of the required courses must be completed before you can commence the Pharmacy program.

Minimum overall University average of 75%

The grade achieved in every university course you have taken since entering university will be included in the overall average calculation. The average is not limited to the required courses only. This average must be at least 75%.


Course eligibility

If you are currently taking required courses at an institution other than Waterloo, we strongly encourage you to contact the University of Waterloo School of Pharmacy undergraduate advisor to obtain a list of course equivalents.

Required courses for admission in January 2017

The specific course requirements listed below will ordinarily necessitate a minimum of two full years of university-level science. Note: 0.5 credit is granted for a lecture course completed over a four-month term.





  • Any ENGL course (0.5 credit) that requires a significant amount of reading, critical thinking, analysis, and writing.  The writing assignment(s), exclusive of exams, must comprise a minimum of 30% of the final course grade.  See English Academic Requirement for further details.

Humanities or Social Sciences
  • 2.0 full credits (four half credits) from different subject areas in Humanities and/or Social Sciences; no more than 1.0 full credit (two half credits) in any one subject area; no more than one additional 0.5 credit (one half credit) in English may be used to satisfy this Humanities/Social Sciences requirement.

These courses include a lab component

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