- Preparing to Apply
- Prerequisite Coursework
- Tuition / Financial Assistance
- General Questions about the BS in Pharmacology and Toxicology
Preparing to Apply to the School of Pharmacy
Q: Who is a Pre-Pharmacy student?
A: A pre-pharmacy student is a student who is taking the courses necessary to be considered for admission to the Pharmacology and Toxicology (PharmTox) undergraduate major/degree or the professional Doctor of Pharmacy degree at the UW-Madison School of Pharmacy. At UW–Madison, pre-pharmacy is not a major, it is an intention.
Q: Do I have to apply to be Pre-Pharmacy and Toxicology?
A: At UW–Madison, no specific requirements or applications are needed to pursue a pre-Pharmacology and Toxicology path. Pre-Pharmacology and Toxicology students can receive academic advising from the PharmTox advisor and requested to be assigned to the advisor at any time. Most UW–Madison students who are pre-PharmTox are admitted to the College of Letters & Science. Admitted UW–Madison students can receive PharmTox-specific advising as early as SOAR (Student Orientation, Advising, and Registration) when they prepare to enroll for their first semester of courses, or can get connected later once on campus.
The PharmTox advisor is also available to meet with prospective high school students, transfer students, and returning adult students.
Q: How can I get more information about your program and/or when can I meet with an academic advisor?
A: All prospective students (high school students, transfer students, returning adult students, and UW–Madison students) are encouraged to meet with the PharmTox advisor to learn more about the major, requirements, career opportunities, curricula, admission criteria, and application procedures. Please contact our Student & Academic Affairs Office to set up an advising appointment at 608-262-6234. Current UW–Madison students can schedule an appointment via Starfish in MyUW (search for “pharmacology” to find the advisor).
Q: Can I be admitted to the Pharmacology and Toxicology undergraduate major directly upon graduating from high school?
A: Generally, no. Students interested in the Pharmacology and Toxicology major must complete the prerequisite course requirements (60 college credits), which typically take two years of college coursework, depending on mathematics placement in college and personal academic choices. Students may be able to complete prerequisite coursework earlier and be eligible for admission earlier if they have a significant number of AP, IB, or college credits completed while in high school.
Q: What are the required PharmTox prerequisite courses?
A: The Pharmacology and Toxicology prerequisite course work has been carefully selected to give you the foundation needed for success in the program. Please visit the Guide at guide.wisc.edu and view the “How to Get In” tab for the Pharmacology and Toxicology major page to see details about prerequisite courses.
Q: If I am not a current UW–Madison student (I am a transfer student), how do I apply to the Pharmacology and Toxicology undergraduate major?
A: The Pharmacology and Toxicology major only accepts students in the Fall semester. Transfer applicants must complete two applications. First, you must apply to UW–Madison undergraduate admissions as a transfer applicant. To access the UW–Madison undergraduate transfer application information, please visit https://www.admissions.wisc.edu/apply/transfer/. Secondly, you must complete the UW-Madison School of Pharmacy Pharmacology and Toxicology application.
Please keep the School of Pharmacy Admissions Team updated in regards to the status of your UW–Madison undergraduate admission by contacting us at email@example.com or 608-262-6234.
Q: What are my career opportunities after I graduate with my bachelor’s degree in Pharmacology and Toxicology?
A: The PharmTox program is a unique bachelor’s degree program. Students completing the program will be well qualified to pursue entry-level scientific career employment in industry (e.g. biomedical; biotechnology; consumer products; contract research organizations; regulatory affairs; pharmaceutical), in academic basic science and clinical research laboratories, or in various agencies of government focused on science, health, or the environment. This program can also uniquely launch students into graduate school or a professional program such as law school, med school, dentistry, veterinary medicine, and the PharmD program.
Q: Does the BS Pharmacology and Toxicology degree allow me to practice as a licensed pharmacist?
A: No. Graduating from the BS in Pharmacology and Toxicology does not allow you to immediately practice as a licensed pharmacist. The Doctor of Pharmacy program (PharmD) is the degree that prepares students to practice and work as a licensed pharmacist upon graduation/passing the NAPLEX exam. If you wish to eventually study in our PharmD program, it is NOT necessary for you to enter or complete the Pharmacology and Toxicology degree first, though you could choose to complete the Pharmacology and Toxicology degree and then pursue a PharmD degree. Students can select any major as preparation for the PharmD program and do not need to complete a bachelor’s degree first as long as prerequisite coursework is completed.
Q: How many students are admitted to the Pharmacology and Toxicology major each year?
A: The Pharmacology and Toxicology major has the capacity to admit approximately 25 new students each year. View more PharmTox admissions statistics (average GPA’s of admitted students, number of applicants etc.)
Q: Is preference for admission given to students who complete their prerequisite coursework at UW-Madison?
A: No. All applicants are reviewed based upon program specific selection criteria.
Q: What GPA do you require for admission?
A: While there is no minimum GPA, applicants who are competitive for admission typically have at least a 3.0 cumulative college GPA, with the average GPA of admitted students being a 3.5-3.7 in recent years. We encourage students to aim for grades of B or better in all math/science prerequisite coursework.
Q: How is my GPA calculated for admissions purposes?
A: Grades earned for all credit-granting college courses at any previously attended college/university (even if they are not related to pre-pharmacy coursework) are averaged together to determine a cumulative GPA. This includes any college coursework completed while in high school.
Q: Do you have a rolling admissions process for the Pharmacology and Toxicology major?
A: No. We do not participate in rolling admissions for the major. The application deadline is typically February 1st and applicants will not be reviewed until after the deadline.
Q: What are the application procedures?
A: Visit this page to learn more about how to apply.
Q: Is research experience required to be considered for admission?
A: No, research is not required. If admitted to the major, research experience will be required in order to graduate, so getting involved in a research opportunity earlier can be helpful!
Q: Who should I ask to write my letters of recommendation?
A: Two recommendations are required. They must be professional references (not a friend or peer). At least one of the recommendation letters should come from a college course professor/instructor/TA or from a laboratory mentor. If you have at least 2 semesters of lab experience, we strongly encourage you to submit a letter of recommendation from your laboratory mentor.
It is very important that the recommenders be people who can provide substantive comments about you. At least one of the recommendations must be from a person who has had knowledge of and contact with you within the 12 months preceding the priority application deadline.
When you begin your PharmTox application, you will be asked to submit the names and email addresses of your two recommenders. They will then receive log-in instructions for an online portal where they will submit their recommendations.
Q: Do you accept out of state students?
A: Yes, nonresident students are eligible for admission.
Q: If I am not admitted to the BS Pharmacology and Toxicology major, may I reapply the following year?
A: Students are welcome and encouraged to reapply. All application cycles are self-contained, meaning that you would need to resubmit all application materials for consideration for the next year. If you are not admitted, please consider making at appointment with us to discuss contributing factors that may have led to your not being accepted. We can discuss areas which Admissions Committee members felt needed improvement and offer suggestions for how to strengthen your application in subsequent years. Note that once admitted, the PharmTox coursework takes two years to complete, so this may extend your planned time to degree
Q: What high school courses will prepare me for the Pharmacology and Toxicology prerequisite courses in college?
A: High school preparation should include four years each of English (including grammar and composition), mathematics, and science (including biology, chemistry, and math based physics). In addition, courses which improve communication skills (including speech) are helpful. Some universities, including UW-Madison, require foreign language for admission. Advanced Placement (AP), International Baccalaureate (IB), accelerated, and honors courses also good choices that, in general, prepare you for college.
Q: Are prerequisites accepted if they are from a combination of two or more colleges?
A: We recommend that sequence courses (General Biology, General Chemistry, Organic Chemistry) be completed at one institution. You may take your prerequisites at different schools; however, you need to be careful to plan accordingly. If you begin a science series at one school and finish at another, it is possible that all of the required components of the course descriptions may not be met adequately. If you have questions about course sequence completion, please contact the PharmTox advisor.
Q: Do all PharmTox prerequisites need to be completed at the time of application?
A: No. PharmTox prerequisites can be “in progress” at the time of application, but need to be completed by the time of entrance into the BS Pharmacology and Toxicology program (Fall). Students may use the summer prior to enrollment to complete required work.
Q: Can I take required courses for admission online?
A: Yes – as long as the coursework transfers to UW–Madison as an equivalent to our prerequisite courses, we will accept it. UW–Madison online courses that are on the prerequisite list are also acceptable. Keep in mind that if you plan to apply to professional programs later (medical school, pharmacy school) that those programs may have more strict requirements on in-person courses for their prerequisites.
Q: Is there a foreign language requirement for the UW–Madison School of Pharmacy?
A: The School of Pharmacy and the PharmTox major do not require more foreign language than what is required to be admitted to UW–Madison. The UW–Madison admission requirement consists of two years of one foreign language in high school, or two semesters of one foreign language in college, or one year of foreign language in high school and one semester of the same language in college.
Q: Do I need to complete the Pharmacology and Toxicology major/degree graduation requirements that are not prerequisites (courses like ethnic studies, humanities, physics) prior to my enrollment in the program?
A: No. Students are encouraged to take these courses earlier if they have time and space. If these requirements are not met prior to admission, students will have ample time to complete remaining breadth or general education requirements while in the major.
Q: What are the humanities and which courses satisfy humanities requirements?
A: Humanities is an area of study concerned with human beings and their values and achievements. Humanities include philosophy, literature, music, dance, theatre, ancient and medieval history, and courses in the fine arts. Courses will be indicated as “humanities” in the Course Search and Enroll application in MyUW. The School of Pharmacy also counts foreign language courses as humanities
Q: What courses satisfy the ethnic (diversity) studies graduation requirement for the BS Pharmacology and Toxicology program?
A: Courses designated as “ethnic studies” in the Course Search and Enroll application in MyUW will satisfy this requirement.
Q: Does your School of Pharmacy accept AP and IB scores?
A: Yes, scores are accepted and receive credit based on UW-Madison’s credit by examination policy: https://registrar.wisc.edu/credit-by-exam-2/
Q: Are there courses I can take to help lighten my PharmTox credit load?
A: If you have room to take additional courses or requirements once your prerequisite courses are accounted for, there are a number of courses required for graduation that you can take prior to starting the PharmTox major, such as ethnic studies, humanities, statistics, Physics I and/or II, or Genetics 466. Please work with the PharmTox advisor in deciding your course plans.
Tuition / Financial Assistance
Q: What is the tuition for the Pharmacology and Toxicology degree/major?
A: The program’s tuition rates are the same as those for general undergraduate students at UW–Madison. See https://bursar.wisc.edu/tuition-and-fees/tuition-rates for the “Undergraduate and Special” tuition rates by credit.
Q: What financial assistance is available for your accepted students?
A: In addition to financial aid available to undergraduates in general from the Office of Financial Aid, the School of Pharmacy has scholarships specifically for PharmTox and PharmD students. See the next question for more information!
Q: Does the School of Pharmacy offer any scholarships?
A: Yes! Thanks to the generosity of alumni, friends and various organizations/ corporations, the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Pharmacy is able to award more than 100 scholarships every year for all of our program. Students can apply for scholarships from the School of Pharmacy and from UW–Madison in general via WiSH (the Wisconsin Scholarship Hub) at https://wisc.academicworks.com/. Applications usually open and close during the spring semester for the upcoming academic year.
Q: If admitted to the BS Pharmacology and Toxicology major, can I take courses in the evening and/or on a part-time basis?
A: Generally, no. Our cohort-based program is designed for full-time, in-person students with the vast majority of courses (including all required courses) occurring between 8 AM and 6 PM. That said, the PharmTox advisor can help you map out a part-time plan if you find that will be necessary to meet your needs.
Q: How long does it take to complete the Pharmacology and Toxicology major?
A: The PharmTox degree/major takes two years to complete after being admitted. Students will typically complete two years of prerequisite coursework as a college student, apply during their sophomore year to be admitted their junior year, and then spend junior and senior year taking major-specific coursework. Students who have advanced standing credit may be able to apply to the major during their freshman year and graduate after their third or junior year. Students can also take additional time if their plans and life circumstances require it.
Q: Where can I find information about housing at the University of Wisconsin–Madison?