Calculus Admission Requirement – Pharm-Tox Program

Competency in the fundamentals of differential and integral calculus is essential for success in the UW-Madison School of Pharmacy BS in Pharmacology – Toxicology program. Faculty expect that students have a good grasp of all of the topics, and conduct their classes accordingly; faculty do not review calculus in class. In the past, students whose calculus background did not include mastery of these topics have encountered academic difficulty early in their School of Pharmacy studies.


  • Functions and graphing
  • Limits, including limits at infinity, infinite limits, and l’Hospital’s rule
  • Derivatives of first and higher order, differentiation formulas, rates of change, the chain rule and implicit differentiation, related rates and differentials, Newton’s method
  • Inverse functions, exponential and logarithmic functions, and applications of these functions
  • Geometric implications of first and second derivatives, and applications to finding extrema
  • Antiderivatives, summation and the definite integral, the Fundamental Theorum of Calculus, and substitution in integration
  • Applications of integration to finding area, volume, and average values

Options for Fulfilling the Calculus Admission Requirement

Prospective students must meet either Option A or Option B in order to fulfill the School of Pharmacy’s calculus admission requirement:

Option A
  • Completion of the first semester of a calculus sequence for Math and Natural Science majors – (4-5 credits). A brief survey of calculus or calculus for Business or Social Science majors does not fulfill this requirement.– AND
  • Competency in the calculus topics listed above. It is the responsibility prospective students to compare the content of their calculus course work with the above list of topics, and, if that content does not include all of the required topics, to take the steps necessary to make sure that they are competent in the required topics. This may be accomplished by any of these means:
    • Completing a second semester of calculus at an accredited college or university.
    • Completing one or more modules of Mathematics 221, offered as correspondence courses by the University of Wisconsin Extension – Independent Learning. NOTE: These calculus modules will be offered for “continuing education credit,” not “college transfer credit.”
    • Independent study with a calculus professor at an accredited college or university.
    • Another arrangement, as appropriate.

Students do not need to submit documentation showing that needed calculus topics beyond those in the completed first-semester calculus course have been covered. However, students are reminded that competence in all of the required calculus topics is essential for success in the School of Pharmacy.

Option B
Earn a score of at least 4 on the AP Calculus AB exam

– OR –

Earn a score of at least 2 on the AP Calculus BC exam.


Contact the School of Pharmacy Admissions Office at (608) 262-6234 or .