How Many Pharmacy Schools Should I Apply To? (Easiest PharmD Schools To Get Into)

Pharmacist applying to school

It’s that time of the year to get going on your Pharmacy School Applications and you want to know how many to apply to. This question came up in my head as well and it is a very stressful time. You don’t want to do anymore work then needed, but you don’t want to not get into Pharmacy School because you didn’t apply to one more school then you should have.

So How Many Pharmacy Schools Should I Apply To?

The amount of Pharmacy Schools you need to apply to will depend on your credentials. If you have a great GPA, PCAT and experience as Pharmacy Technician then 4-5 should be about perfect. If your GPA is so-so, didn’t do great on PCAT and no experience you should apply to 6-10 schools you would attend minimum. 

A lot of it is also going to depends on what you are willing to do and pay for all these schools. There are additional fees like the PharmCAS fees and also the cost to travel for interviews if needed. Currently during the writing of this article we are going through a global pandemic with COVID-19 so these interviews may get cheaper with virtual ones you never know.

There are also more schools available then when I went back to school so you can look into the acceptance rates as well, apply to more local schools and also ones further away if that is your preference. There are easier pharmacy schools to get into which we will go over along with other tips we provide.

Easiest Pharmacy Schools To Get Into

Pharmacy school is much easier to get into and has been for a number of years since I graduated. The main reason is because there are much more schools. Looking back to the 2004 there were around 40 pharmacy schools with an acceptance rate of 34% on average.

Now when we last checked the reported records almost 2 years ago there were 135 schools with an acceptance rate of over 80% on average. If these numbers excite you that is okay, but it also should scare you at the same time. Not in a way that if you absolutely want to be a career Pharmacist then you should still strongly consider it.

The people it should scare away are the ones that are just looking to float through the career and make a ton of money. Jobs will get harder to come by and most Retail jobs will cut their pay for new grads. The way around this is looking into schools that help with specialty programs. Hospitals around the country are starting up specialty based pharmacy positions. This will continue to increase while retail positions are going more likely to decrease.

Also take note just because the Pharmacy schools I have listed below can be easy to get into doesn’t mean the actual curriculum is easy. You are still going to have to work your butt off to make it through to a successful graduation. A lot of people still fail out and will owe a large amount of student loan debt without becoming a PharmD. Student loans and Colleges continue to increase without nothing in their way to stop them. So take caution try to stick to Federal Loans as much as possible once you get into private loans like I did it can get nasty.

5 Easiest Pharmacy Schools To Get Into Based On Various Factors

  • Binghamton University (SUNY Binghamton, NY): This school is on the list for a few reasons, but the main one is that it is newer so they will naturally have a higher acceptance rate. Your GPA should be at a 3.25 or higher to get in and the average tuition at the time of this writing is around $25k.
  • Creighton University – (Omaha, Nebraska): Tuition is a bit higher here at over $35k, but you have a number of incentives that include their distance learning program. With everything going on in the world this can be a great option for some people and you would only need to be mainly onsite for labs in the summer. Your GPA should be somewhere over 3.25 as well to have a better chance of getting in.
  • Albany College Of Pharmacy and Health Sciences – (Albany, NY): The tuition here is also hire at around $40k and GPA will need to be around 3.25+ as well. Where this school differs is they also have a campus in Colchester, VT so your acceptance rate can almost double on that notion if you are willing to move locatoins.
  • Butler University – (Indianapolis, Indiana): This school has some great ratings for being a private school and the GPA is around 3.25 to get into. Tuition cost do run around $43k.
  • California Northstate University (Elk Grove, California): This is definitely the easiest school to get into on the West Coast as according to records you only need a 3.0 GPA to get into. Tuition does run at around $49-50K. This can be a great fall back school if you are applying to others.

*These schools are in no order and were chosen based on location, GPA standards, and overall acceptance rates. There are many others you can get into just as easy. When you look at GPA this is a standard, but not set in stone. If you score high on your PCAT or have a lot of experience this can offset that GPA. The biggest thing is to make sure you have a legit explanation if one of these 3 standards is low that will help with setting yourself above others.

**The absolute easiest schools to get into are going to be private pharmacy schools that don’t have a big name. So California Northstate is a big example along with others such as Chicago State University, and Howard.

PharmD Students Opinion: How Many Schools To Apply To

Below is information we curated from different forums that shows the actual opinions of Pharmacy Students who have been accepted to Pharmacy Schools and how many they applied to. They go into detail as to why the applied to a certain amount and what they did for each school they applied to.

The grammar and spelling was the only thing changed where needed everything else has remained the same.

Real Pharmacy Students

1. TrojanAnteater “3 Schools” – I applied to 3. I focused on doing all the pre-req’s for the 1st school, the 2nd if I had gone to I would have had to take a class in the summer right before matriculation, and the 3rd (backup) had a fairly short list of pre-req’s, although one of the classes was unique to that school and I had to start taking it in January after I got my degree, and am still in it even though i’m not going to the school.

In my 3rd year of college I wasn’t even planning on majoring in Bio Sci (I was just Chemistry at that point), and then when I took a good look at USC’s bio requirements and what you have to take to get a BS in Bio I added it because I needed basically every class in that major.

Believe me, I shouted a few obscenities over the last few years in regards to pharm school’s variation in pre-reqs.

2. LGooden “9 Schools” – I originally applied to 9 schools and only did supplementals for 8 because I realized it would take me a year longer for one of them. The pre-reqs did vary a lot, but since I already had a degree and had taken about half or more of the classes for each school I was able to finish the prereqs in 4 quarters of school. I still have this summer left just in case I need to take anything else. I would advise leaving at least 1 or more quarters as a “buffer” because you might not be able to get in or find the classes you need when you need them.

3. Jonno1288 “1 school” – Just 1. But I would definitely recommend applying to more then 1 to increase your chance of getting accepted. In my case I lacked a pharmacist recommendation so I couldn’t apply to the other 2 schools I was interested in.

4. KayJay “4 Schools” – 4..i only applied out of state to places where I’d be willing to move to if need be..the requirements were pretty much the same for the schools i applied to.

5. Sangl1979 “2 Schools” – i only applied to 2 schools and got into one of them.

6. Gaku “4 Schools” – I applied to 4 in state schools and got interviews from 3 of them. I think you can increase your chance by applying more pharmacy schools. I was planning to do that if I did not get in this year

7. Timbo301 “12 Schools” – lol. i applied to 12. I pretty much did all my prereqs for my first choice school then did prereqs for my top 2-4 schools my 3rd year in college. then i just pretty much went onto pharmcas and applied to the other schools that matched up to the prereqs i had. it was a total waste of time and money. i was just scared i wasn’t going to get accepted anywhere and so i applied like crazy to increase my chances. i think i wound up wasting like 1500 bucks on application fees, supplemental fees, pharmcas fees, pcat fees. money i didn’t have! now i’m in the damn hole and broke as a joke. haha

just do well in your classes so you dont have to worry about applying to too many schools.

8. Alli1028 “6 schools” – I applied to 6 schools, all of them in the Southeast. However, I got interviews at all of them, but was only accepted to the three in my home state of Georgia. Last year before I started applying in the summer, I did a tour of pharmacy schools and found the ones I would like to apply to. It helped me in only applying to the ones that I could see myself attending.

9. PharmD4Me “4 Schools” – 4 schools. I almost only applied to 3, but as it turns out, the 4th school is where I’m going.

Personally, I was taking 18 credit hours, which 3 were harder classes (orgo II, physics II, anatomy), and studying & taking the PCAT. So with supplemental apps, essays, ect. 4 is all I had time to do. Lesson learned from that – APPLY EARLY!!!

Also, make sure you fully research the schools, because some do require strange classes or other weird requests.
For instance, some schools do not accept C’s in pre-req classes, and other schools require classes virtually no undergrad school offers.

Generally, most schools have the same requirements so take these classes first. Many schools also will allow you to take summer classes before matriculation. Hopefully before then, you will know what schools you will have the best shot at, and then you can work on finishing their pre-reqs and forget about the others. This may or may not work because of waithing lists and all that, but the earlier you apply and the stronger applicant you are, the better your chances of getting interviews and feedback in time to register for summer classes. Again, this is a gamble.

10. HCP “4 Schools” – I applied to 4 schools. Got 2 acceptances, 1 rejection, and the other one is still pending…

I think it’s better to do it that way so you can have a choice

Final Thoughts

As you can see there is quite a range of the amount of PharmD schools to apply too. We would say 3-4 should be the minimum if you are nervous apply to some private ones out of state that have a higher acceptance rate.

You can also look into ones like ACP that you go to for the full 6 years including the pre-pharm so you have a much higher acceptance rate. Applying early is also not a bad thing so as soon as the application process opens for the year you plan on attending get your application in as quickly as possible.

The overall average we found scavengering the Pharmacist Forums was 3.3 schools applied to. Keep in mind that some of these forums are dated and the acceptance rate has gotten higher. Apply to different schools with different criteria.

Related Questions

What Percentage Of Applicants Get Into Pharmacy School?

The amount of Pharmacy school applicants that get into school today is around 82-83% based on a national average. This has come along way from 2004 where that acceptance rate was around 34%. Difference schools vary on this if you want to get into Pharmacy school apply to multiple and throw some new private ones on that list to ensure you get accepted.

What GPA Do You Need For Pharmacy School?

When it comes to GPA it can be very deceiving this day and age, but to have a higher acceptance rate you would want your GPA to be at least 3.0. However you should have it at 3.25 or more to set yourself apart for lower acceptance rated schools. You can offset low GPA with better PCAT scores and more experience. So if you are worried focus more on those two areas if you can.


Danielle Winner

Hello my name is Danielle Winner. Welcome to my site on Pharmacy School and tips and tricks to hopefully help you get in. It's not easy but hopefully you can learn to not make mistakes that students (myself included) make. Good luck on your journey. I graduated from Albany School of Pharmacy in May 2010 and have had a few different jobs across the east coast of the U.S.

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