Prerequisite Coursework

Students who are not currently enrolled at the University of Wisconsin – Madison must also apply and be admitted to the university through UW-Madison Transfer Admissions.

All students applying to the BS Pharmacology – Toxicology program must meet the following requirements in order to be considered for admission to the program. If you are interested in applying to the program but are concerned about missing prerequisite requirements, please contact the School of Pharmacy Admissions Office at

If you have any questions about equivalencies, contact the Pre-School of Pharmacy Advisor, or check to see if equivalencies for your school are available on the Course Equivalencies page.

The following grids may be helpful for tracking your progress through the prerequisite coursework:

Prerequisite Coursework for Admission:

Math & Science Courses

  1. Biology with labs– (8 cr. minimum)
    • A complete two-semester integrated sequence of General Biology, to include a strong foundation in both Organismal Biology and Cellular/Molecular/Genetic Biology.
    • If a sequence of general biology is not available, then:
      • Semester system: Animal Biology and a course in Cell Biology (preferable) or Botany;
      • Quarter system: Animal Biology and Cell Biology and Botany.
    • Human anatomy, human physiology, and microbiology do not count toward the biology requirement.
  2. Chemistry with labs– (16 cr. minimum)
    • A complete sequence of General Chemistry (at least 8 cr. minimum) and one year of Organic Chemistry ( 8 cr. minimum).
  3. Calculus for Math / Science Majors– (4-5 credits + competency in required topics)
    • The Calculus requirement is content-based, not course-based.
  4. Physics I with lab– (4 cr. minimum)
    • A first 4 credit Introduction to Physics course in a Physics I and II sequence. Students will be required to take Physics II once in the PharmD program as a graduation requirement.

Note: The Admissions Committee is concerned about mathematics and science course work that may have been completed more than ten years ago. Please consult with a Pre-Pharmacy Advisor regarding your specific situation – (608) 262-6234

Non-Math & Science Courses

  1. Communication “A”
      • Course work equivalent to the UW-Madison Communication “A” requirement.
      • A score of at least 4 on the AP English: Language & Composition exam
      • A score of at least 4 on the AP English: Literature & Composition exam
      • Acceptable UW System English placement test score(s):
        • an ENGL score of at least 605, or
        • an ECS score of at least 706, or
        • a UWEPT score of at least 660 and a UWRCT score of at least 730


      A student who began his/her post-high school college education prior to summer 1996 and whose English background does not meet the above communication requirement may discuss his/her situation with the Pre-School of Pharmacy advisor.
  2. Social Studies – (3-6 credits)
    • A social studies course may also count as ethnic studies, depending upon the course selected.
  3. Other College Courses
    • To bring total credits to 60 credits

Non-Major Curriculum Graduation Requirements

There are certain liberal arts courses that are required for graduation (not for admission). If you have extra space in your pre-Pharmacology – Toxicology program, you are encouraged to work ahead on these graduation requirements. However, do not enroll in credit overloads to do so. Non-major curriculum graduation requirements that are not completed prior to enrollment in the School of Pharmacy may be completed at any time prior to graduation and at almost any college or university, with approval. The graduation requirements are:

Physics II with lab– (4 credits minimum) A second 4 credit Introduction to Physics course in a Physics I and II sequence.  Students were required to take Physics I as part of the prererequiste requirements.

Communication “B”– (3 credits) Course work equivalent to the UW-Madison Communication “B” requirement. (This requirement does not apply to students who began their college education prior to summer 1996.)

Humanities– (6 credits) A humanities course may also count as ethnic studies, depending upon the course selected.

Ethnic Studies– (3 credits) An ethnic studies course may also count towards communication, social studies, or humanities requirements, if it qualifies as such.

Students who fulfill the ethnic studies requirement at schools outside the UW System must do so by selecting a course approved by UW-Madison; students who fulfill the requirement at UW System campuses may do so by selecting a course designated by the campus of attendance as fulfilling its ethnic studies/diversity requirement. (An ethnic studies course may count also as communication or social science or history or humanities, if it qualifies as such.) Find out more about UW Madison’s Ethnic Studies course requirement


  1. Application to the BS-Pharmacology – Toxicology program may take place prior to the completion of required pre-Pharmacology – Toxicology courses, but it is necessary that all required pre-pharmacology/toxicology courses be completed prior to the beginning of classes in the School of Pharmacy.
  2. All courses (including pre-Pharmacology – Toxicology courses) that fulfill degree requirements must be taken for letter grades. Grade-point average calculations for admissions purposes include grades for all attempted courses, whether passed, failed, or repeated.
  3. Admission to the School of Pharmacy is for the fall semester; admission is not granted for the spring semester or the summer session.
  4. All applicants, residents and nonresidents, are considered under the same admissions criteria.
  5. Admission will be provisional until all conditions of admission have been met. The admission letter will stipulate the conditions of admission.
  6. If you are interested in the program but you feel that prerequisite requirements are missing, please contact the School of Pharmacy Admissions office for a formal evaluation by emailing your course record to

Recommended Pre-Pharmacy Credit Load

In order to strengthen your application for admission to the School of Pharmacy and demonstrate your preparedness for the rigorous demands of School of Pharmacy academic loads, you are encouraged to enroll in 14 – 16 credits each semester, except for your first semester in college in which we recommend that you enroll in a slightly lighter credit load of 12 – 14 credits to help you to achieve a good start in college. This lighter credit load in your first semester will help you to make a good transition from high school to college both academically and socially. It is designed to give you time to make connections with new people, to get involved with activities and experiences that will allow you to address admissions criteria, and to demonstrate a strong academic record. Due to the rigorous nature of the pre-School of Pharmacy curricula, we recommend that you take no more than sixteen credits per semester.

UW-Madison Transfer Credit Policies

Please see the UW-Madison Transfer Credit Policies page for additional information regarding how UW-Madison transfers course credit(s).