Mar 01, 2024  
2022-2023 Academic Bulletin (Jan 2023 Ed) 
2022-2023 Academic Bulletin (Jan 2023 Ed) [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Admission and Selection

Application Process

The UTHSC College of Pharmacy’s mission, as a part of the state-supported University of Tennessee (UT) system, is to bring the benefits of the pharmacy profession and pharmaceutical sciences to the citizens of Tennessee and the region. To support this mission, students are admitted on a competitive basis, predominantly from Tennessee and regionally.

Interested applicants may apply online via PharmCAS (, designating the University of Tennessee College of Pharmacy to receive the application. Only admitted students will be required to submit the supplemental application fee.

Complete applications will be evaluated by the Admissions Committee, which consists of faculty members, practicing pharmacists, and students from Memphis, Knoxville, and Nashville. The most competitive applicants according to the stated admissions requirements will be notified of a scheduled interview date and time. The Committee reviews the materials of all applicants who are selected to interview with the College and makes decisions according to the College’s admissions requirements.

Pre-Pharmacy Curriculum

The pre-professional curriculum must be completed at a regionally-accredited university or college. Courses for the pre-pharmacy curriculum are not offered at the UTHSC. In order to be admitted to the College of Pharmacy, a student must have completed 62 credit hours of required course work at an accredited institution as outlined below.

Prerequisite Courses Credit Hours
General Biology/Zoology 1 & 21 8
Anatomy-Physiology 1 & 22 8
Microbiology3 3
General Chemistry 1 & 2 8
Organic Chemistry 1 & 2 8
Statistics 3
Calculus 3
English Composition 6
Communication/Speech 3
Social Science Electives  
(Sociology, Psychology, Political Science, Economics) 6
Humanities Electives  
(Literature, Language, History, Philosophy) 6

1 Botany cannot be substituted for the general biology/zoology requirement
2 Human anatomy & human physiology may be taken as separate courses totaling 8 hours. If the college attended is on quarters, the two courses may only total 6 hours

Microbiology (a 4-hour course is preferred, however, a 3-hour course will be acceptable IF a lab is included)

The quality of work completed in the pre-pharmacy curriculum must have been such as to predict success in a professional school. A grade of “C-” or above must be achieved for each required pre-pharmacy course. Admissions is competitive with approximately a 3.4 average cumulative GPA for students who were admitted last year. Students must have presented evidence of having completed the preliminary training required at the time of matriculation as a first-year student pharmacist.

Twelve hours of electives must be scheduled in the social sciences and humanities (e.g., Sociology, Economics, Political Science, History, etc.). Preference is given to students who have additional coursework in the natural sciences (Genetics, Cell Biology, Immunology, and Physics are recommended).

It should not be assumed that completion of the minimal course requirements assures admission to the College. Admission is through an Admissions Committee and is based on the overall qualifications of the applicant. Academic record, references and information included in the application are all considered. The College has a rolling admission process beginning in August and ending in March. The deadline to submit an application for admission is February 1.

The College of Pharmacy Admissions Committee reserves the right to require any candidate to complete additional course work irrespective of his or her academic average at the time of evaluation. Questions relative to the completion of prerequisite courses should be directed to the College of Pharmacy admissions staff at (901) 448-6036.  The email address for admissions staff is

Advanced Placement in Pre-Professional Subjects

Advanced placement and CLEP credits may be accepted as long as the credits are awarded from an accredited institution. Advanced placement credits must be verifiable through their appearance on official college transcripts.

A student who has been awarded advanced placement credit or other non-traditional credit in prescribed science courses by an accredited institution will have those credits honored in fulfilling requirements for the College of Pharmacy, provided such placement has been followed by a more advanced course in the same discipline. [Example: A student granted credit for biology will be required to complete the eight (8) credit hour requirement by taking advanced courses in that discipline.]

An undergraduate degree is valuable and most students accepted to the College of Pharmacy have a degree prior to admission. However, applicants able to successfully complete all 62 hours of prerequisite courses within 2 academic years should apply to the College during the 2nd year of prerequisites.

Pharmacy College Admission Test

The Pharmacy College Admission Test (PCAT) is not required for admission.

Work Experience

Work experience or shadowing in a pharmacy setting is not a requirement for admission to the College. However, such experience is valuable in determining a person’s motivation to pursue this field of study. Although not a requirement for admission to the College, it is recommended prospective applicants obtain employment in a pharmacy setting if possible, prior to completion of the pre-pharmacy requirement, or schedule appointments with practicing pharmacists to discuss the profession or shadow the pharmacist in his or her practice. Students are highly encouraged to join their pre-pharmacy club to further their career exploration.

Personal References

Three letters of reference are required and should be included as part of the PharmCAS application. If the applicant has pharmacy experience it is desirable to have one letter of recommendation written by the supervising pharmacist. Other letters should be written by business or professional persons who are acquainted with the applicant and have knowledge of the applicant’s personal circumstance and qualifications. Present or former employers are especially appropriate sources of reference. Evaluation by a faculty member, especially science faculty, is particularly important. Parents and members of the immediate family should not give references.

Technical Standards for Admission and Retention

The educational objective of the Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) degree program at the College of Pharmacy is to prepare students for the practice of pharmacy. Students admitted to, as well as those continuing in the PharmD program, must have the intellectual, emotional, and physical abilities, with reasonable accommodations provided to those with disabilities, to acquire the knowledge, behaviors, and clinical and technical skills to successfully complete the curriculum in preparation for licensure as a practicing pharmacist. Furthermore, the ability to provide safe and effective drug therapy to the patient, on whom the professional education process is primarily focused, must be ensured as the final and ultimate consideration. Therefore, it is essential for competent patient care to require students to meet minimum technical standards in their pharmacy education.

The technical standards outlined below specify those attributes the faculty considers necessary for initiating, continuing, or completing a high quality pharmacy education program, thus enabling each graduate to enter practice. The awarding of the PharmD degree signifies that the holder is prepared to enter into the practice of pharmacy. The faculty has the responsibility to monitor the maintenance of these standards. Students must be able to independently and proficiently perform all of the described functions. In addition, any conditions that pose a current or potential risk to the safety and well-being of patients or colleagues must be formally disclosed prior to enrollment in the College of Pharmacy or as soon as it is known. Such disclosure will not result in automatic exclusion/dismissal from the program but must be considered in the interest of patient safety.

The five standards listed below describe the essential functions students must demonstrate in order to fulfill the requirements of a pharmacy education, and thus, are prerequisites for entrance to, continuation in, and graduation from the College of Pharmacy. The College of Pharmacy will consider for admission any applicant who demonstrates the ability to perform or to learn to perform the skills listed in this document. A candidate for the PharmD degree must meet or exceed the required aptitude, abilities, and skills in the following areas:

  • Observation
  • Communication
  • Sensory and Motor Coordination and Function
  • Intellectual, Conceptual, Integrative, and Quantitative Abilities
  • Behavioral and Social Attributes

Observation - Students must be able to observe demonstrations and experiments, including but not limited to, the basic and pharmaceutical sciences and medical illustrations and models. They must be able to directly and accurately observe a patient’s physical condition, noting nonverbal as well as verbal signals. The student must be able to obtain a history and perform appropriate physical assessments and to correctly integrate the information obtained from these observations to develop an accurate therapeutic plan.

They must be able to prepare medications for dispensing to patients and observe the activities of technical staff operating under their supervision. This observation necessitates the functional use of the sense of vision, hearing, and other sensory modalities.

Communication - The student must be able to effectively communicate in oral and written English with patients, the patient’s family members or caretaker, and other health care practitioners. Students must be able to communicate quickly, efficiently, effectively, and accurately with the faculty and all members of the healthcare team when the time available is limited in order that decisions based upon these communications can be made rapidly.

Sensory and Motor Coordination and Function - A student pharmacist must have sufficient motor function and skills to perform basic tasks in the practice of pharmacy. These tasks include, but are not limited to, motor function sufficient to monitor drug responses, accurately compound and prepare sterile and non-sterile dosage forms, perform basic patient assessment skills such as palpation, auscultation, percussion, and other diagnostic maneuvers, provide general care and emergency treatment to patients (e.g., first aid treatments, cardiopulmonary resuscitation), perform basic laboratory tests (e.g., blood glucose concentrations), and administer immunizations.

Intellectual, Conceptual, Integrative, and Quantitative Abilities - A student pharmacist must possess sufficient intellectual, conceptual, integrative, and quantitative abilities to complete a rigorous and intense didactic and experiential 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, use of computer technology, clinical simulation and interprofessional educational activities. A student must be able to memorize, measure, calculate, reason, analyze, synthesize, and apply complex information. They must also be able to comprehend spatial relationships and three-dimensional models.

Behavioral and Social Attributes - Students must possess the emotional and mental health required for full use of their intellectual abilities, the exercise of good judgment, the prompt completion of all responsibilities attendant to didactic and experiential education, and the development of mature, sensitive, and effective relationships with patients and healthcare professionals of differing cultures and backgrounds. Compassion, integrity, kindness, patience, excellent interpersonal skills, professional behaviors, and motivation are required of all students.

Students must be of sufficient emotional health to be able to tolerate physically, intellectually, and emotionally taxing workloads and to function effectively under stress or with distractions thus enabling them to adapt to circumstances and situations that may change rapidly without warning and/or in unpredictable ways. The student must be able to consistently complete all assignments including examinations in a timely manner.

Verification of Admitted Student’s Awareness/Perceived Ability to Meet Technical Standards
Once admitted to the program, applicants are asked to read and include the Confirmation of Attendance form with their official letter of acceptance, indicating they have read the College of Pharmacy Technical Standards for Admissions, Retention, and Graduation and that they are able to meet these technical standards, with or without reasonable accommodation for a documented disability. If they need accommodations to meet the Technical Standards, they are required to submit written documentation of their disability to the Student Academic Support Services and Inclusion (SASSI) office to receive accommodations. These standards are reviewed again during P1 Orientation followed by a session where the SASSI explains the procedure for applying for accommodations for disabilities.

Criminal Background Check, Immunization and Health Insurance Requirements

All newly accepted students must have an approved Criminal Background Check prior to matriculation at the UTHSC. Once accepted, applicants will receive information as to how to apply for the criminal background check through the UTHSC approved vendor. Adverse findings on a criminal background check may lead to a withdrawal of the offer of admission or denial of access to a clinical training site. The UTHSC Policy on Criminal Background Checks for Matriculating Students may be found in the student handbook (CenterScope;, or at

The UTHSC requires that all matriculating students also document proper immunizations and show evidence of health insurance prior to matriculation. Specific information can be found on the University Health Services webpage at

Student Status

In order to be classified as full-time, a student must be enrolled in a minimum of nine (9) hours or more of coursework each semester in the PharmD  program.

Students may not complete the professional degree program on a part-time basis. Although student pharmacists often accept outside employment in a pharmacy setting while enrolled in the professional program, outside employment during the early terms of the curriculum is discouraged. The College takes the position that such employment must not interfere with the regular studies, academic success or responsibilities of enrolled students. Thereafter, students should use their own judgment in accepting employment, keeping in mind their primary objective in attending a professional degree program.