JMU’s Pre-Pharmacy minor connects you with what you need to know.

Pharmacists are drug-therapy experts who use their knowledge of medicines to benefit their patients and educate other health professionals. A pharmacist must understand the use, clinical effects and composition of drugs, including their chemical, biological and physical properties. They may also need to suggest substitutions for a drug based on side effects, cost or availability. The pharmacist’s goal is to maximize positive health outcomes, improving a patient’s quality of life at minimum risk and/or cost. Most pharmacists work in a community setting (e.g. retail pharmacies, hospitals, other health care facilities). Others work in the pharmaceutical industry, for health insurance companies or for government agencies.

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No specific major required.


median annual income

– U.S. Bureau of Labor, 2023

Top-notch advising awaits you.

Our Pre-Professional Health Advising is here to help with questions about the minor in Pre-Pharmacy.

Pharmaceutical care encompasses the full range of pharmacists' skills, knowledge, and ability in providing medication services to patients. Pharmacists must be fully acquainted with the physical and chemical properties of drugs and their mechanism of action within biological systems. Pharmacists often serve as educators in the proper use of drugs both for the public and health practitioners. The principal goal of pharmaceutical care is to achieve definite outcomes from medication use that improve patients' quality of life. Pharmacists are professionals committed to public service and the achievement of this goal. Career options in pharmacy include academic pharmacy, community practice, government agencies, hospice and home care, hospital and institutional practice, long-term care, consulting pharmacy, medical and scientific research, and uniformed (public health) services.

Declaring the Minor

Incoming first year and transfer students can declare pre-pharmacy without verification from PPH Advising. After initial enrollment, current students can request to declare the pre-pharmacy minor through My Madison but will need approval for the request to be granted. If the student has completed fewer than 10 hours of foundational science credits in the pre-pharmacy minor, the request will be granted after verification of course work. If the student has completed 10 or more hours of foundational science credits, the request will be granted if the science GPA is 2.50 or greater.

Progressing in the Minor

Once students have completed 10 hours of foundational biology, chemistry, and physics (BCP) science coursework, they become subject to twice yearly review of their academic progress. Performance queries will be conducted after summer and fall semester grades are posted. If the review indicates successful progress (meeting the standard of a 2.50 BCP GPA), they will be invited to participate in formal advising activities. Topics include learning about different pharmacy schools, strategies for fulfilling non-academic requirements and recommendations (shadowing, volunteering, research, and pharmacy tech certification).

Pre-pharmacy students who fall below the standard of a 2.50 BCP science GPA are at high risk of not being admitted to a pharmacy school. Targeted advising for these students focuses on strengthening academic skills as well as career exploration. If a student falls below the standard in a subsequent performance review, they will be administratively dropped from the pre-pharmacy minor. This action will not impede a student from applying to pharmacy schools, nor will it have an impact on a student's degree program as the pre-pharmacy program is not a major.

Students who wish to re-enter the pre-pharmacy program may do so as long as they meet the science GPA standard (2.50 BCP science GPA).

Additional Information

Pre-professional health programs do not ensure that all prerequisites for admission to health professions schools are met. Students should inquire with pharmacy schools of interest to confirm details of admission requirement.

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