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Academic: Pre-Professional Programs


Although Calvin College does not offer courses in pharmacy, you can take courses at Calvin that are prerequisites for acceptance to a pharmacy school. If you are a high school student considering pharmacy, you should have a strong background in mathematics and science, including high school physics.

Pre-Pharmacy students will typically complete two to three years at Calvin College before transferring to a college of pharmacy to complete four additional years of study culminating in a Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) degree.

Several of the pharmacy schools now prefer that students complete a bachelor’s degree before enrolling in a PharmD program. These students usually major in biology or biochemistry at Calvin.

Pre-Pharmacy requirements of the various pharmacy schools vary greatly and change often, but all schools require courses in biology and chemistry. Some schools do not accept advanced placement credits.

pre-pharmStudents should carefully and frequently consult the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy and the Web sites for the pharmacy schools to which they intend to apply to plan an appropriate course of study. Prospective and existing students are also encouraged to explore the "Learn How to Become a Pharmacist" website at for useful information on this exciting career choice.  

The pre-pharmacy advisor, Michael Barbachyn, will assist students in planning a pre-pharmacy curriculum. Most pharmacy schools require the Pharmacy College Admission Test (PCAT), which should be taken in the fall semester of the student’s final year at Calvin.

What do pharmacists do?

  • Use medications to improve patients' quality of life with minimum risk
  • Educate consumers and patients on the use of prescriptions and over-the-counter medications
  • Advise physicians, nurses, and other health professionals on drug decisions
  • Pharmacists are drug experts ultimately concerned about their patients' health and wellness.

Where do pharmacists work?

Most people picture the person who supervises the work of a retail pharmacy where the public goes to have prescriptions filled. There are also many opportunities for Doctors of Pharmacy in hospitals, government regulatory agencies, HMOs and pharmaceutical companies.