Admission Information


California Northstate University College of Pharmacy (CNUCOP), located just outside of Sacramento, is the first College of Pharmacy in California to offer a 0-6 Direct Entry Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) program. In conjunction with the College of Health Sciences, our undergraduate program, high school students are provided with the opportunity to enter into the PharmD program directly from high school and are guaranteed a seat in the PharmD program, contingent upon fulfilling the established admission and progression requirements. Students complete two years of pre-professional coursework at the College of Health Sciences prior to advancing to the four year professional PharmD program at the College of Pharmacy. The College of Pharmacy also offers a traditional four year PharmD program for those students wishing to enter into the College of Pharmacy upon completion of the prerequisite courses.

Our College is dedicated to educating and training future pharmacists to provide competent, evidence-based care focused on improving patient outcomes and advancing the pharmacy profession through leadership and service. CNUCOP provides unique learning experiences to our students through the use of active learning, specifically team-based learning, to deliver our curriculum. Through team-based learning, students are exposed to a diverse population of students from a variety of different backgrounds. Team discussions are stimulated by instructor facilitation, and practical application of the material through a variety of exercises and self-reflections solidifies the students’ knowledge base and understanding. As a result of student participation in a variety of inter-professional activities, delivered by the College of Pharmacy in association with CNU’s College of Medicine and Sacramento State University School of Nursing, our students learn how to work effectively as part of a multidisciplinary care team. Furthermore, hands-on experiences gained through high fidelity simulation, the Advanced Pharmacy Practice laboratory, through research collaborations with faculty and preceptors, and experiential education rotations in a variety of settings, collectively provide opportunities for our students to bridge theory and practice across the pharmacy curriculum.

The College of Pharmacy also offers two dual or combined degree programs. The Executive Master of Business Administration (EMBA)/PharmD dual degree program is offered in conjunction with Sacramento State University. Students enrolled in this program take coursework related to accounting, leadership, and management, which better situates them to pursue leadership or management positions. Students enrolled in the Master of Pharmaceutical Sciences (MPS)/PharmD combined degree program receive fundamental knowledge and skills in the pharmaceutical sciences, which helps to prepare students interested in assuming positions within a pharmaceutical industry, academia, or the government.


Admissions Criteria for the 0-6 Direct Entry PharmD Program

The requirements provided below must be met in order to be considered for admission into the 0-6 Direct Entry PharmD Program.



SAT (Math and Reading)** OR ACT**

0 – 6 Direct Entry PharmD Program




*Math and Chemistry subject area tests are highly recommended
**Standardized test scores are not required if prospective applicant is a college student.

The prospective student must:
  1. Meet the minimum GPA requirements and SAT or ACT requirements.
    1. For the 0-6 Direct Entry PharmD Program, a cumulative GPA of a 3.2 is required for entry into the program as well as a 1290 SAT score or a 27 ACT score.
  2. Submit an online application through the centralized pharmacy application service.
    1. Students wishing to enroll in the 0-6 Direct Entry PharmD program must complete a PharmDirect application at Although 0-6 Direct Entry PharmD students are guaranteed a seat in the College of Pharmacy as long as the admission criteria are met, a PharmCAS application is still required prior to the first professional year of the program.Successfully complete the PharmD admission interview.
      1. For the 0-6 Direct Entry PharmD Program, an onsite interview is required at the COP prior to matriculating at CHS.

Progression Requirements for Students in the 0-6 Direct Entry PharmD Program

To advance to the professional component of the PharmD program at the College of Pharmacy, the student must meet the following requirements:
  • Successfully complete the pre-professional coursework with a grade of C or higher
  • Maintain a cumulative minimum GPA of a 3.0
  • Maintain fulltime status
  • Participate in at least one COP campus activity per year while attending CHS
  • Meet California Board of Pharmacy requirements for professional licensure


Traditional Four-Year Doctor of Pharmacy Program

Students who have or will have completed their prerequisite coursework at an outside institution are encouraged to apply to our traditional four-year Doctor of Pharmacy Program. Applicants also have the option of completing their prerequisite courses, if available, at our undergraduate college, the College of Health Sciences. Students wishing to gain entry directly into the four-year PharmD program must apply through PharmCAS, a centralized application service for pharmacy programs, and submit a supplemental application, which is available on our webpage.

Applicants seeking admission to California Northstate University College of Pharmacy must have a cumulative GPA of 2.6 or greater; a 2.6 science GPA is recommended. A minimum of 51 semester units (76 quarter units) of prerequisite credit must be completed prior to matriculation into the program. Additionally, a minimum of 12 semester units (18 quarter units) of general education courses are required prior to matriculation. Science and math prerequisite coursework must be designed for science majors and must have been taken no greater than ten years from the date of matriculation. Public speaking and science courses requiring a lab component (biology, general chemistry, and organic chemistry) cannot be taken online or through distance education. Prospective students are strongly encouraged to carry full course loads (15 units per semester) during their undergraduate studies. AP exam scores of 3 or higher, with 4 being preferred, will be accepted for prerequisite coursework and/or general education requirements. AP credit must be reported by subject and credit and must be mailed directly from your institution or testing services to the College of Pharmacy by using college code: 7306. Additionally, the AP exam, as well as any science or math prerequisite coursework, must have been taken no greater than ten years from the date of matriculation. Please note, AP exam scores will only count towards the first course in a series of science courses. For instance, an AP exam score of 3 or higher for chemistry would only count towards the General Chemistry I requirement.

Two letters of recommendation are also required as part of the application; one letter must be from a healthcare professional or supervisor and the other letter from a science faculty member at your institution. Letters of recommendation from relatives and/or friends are not permitted. All applicants are required to review the Professional and Technical Standards of the Doctor of Pharmacy program to ensure they meet the stated professional and technical criteria. The Professional and Technical Standards are located on the College of Pharmacy webpage. The table below displays the prerequisite coursework that must be completed prior to the start of orientation, in mid-August.

Doctor of Pharmacy Prerequisite Coursework

The pharmacy prerequisite coursework along with general education requirements for the College of Pharmacy are provided in the table below.

Course Title

Semester Hours

Quarter Hours

General Chemistry I and II with lab



Organic Chemistry I and II with lab



General Biology I and II with lab or lab equivalent



Biochemistry or Cell and Molecular Biology






Human Physiology












Public Speaking



English Composition I and II



General Education Requirements:

  • Psychology
  • Economics
  • 2 additional courses (Humanities or Social and Behavioral Sciences)



Total Semester/Quarter Hours


91 (est.)

Additional Admission Requirements

In addition to the requirements described above, all prerequisite coursework must meet the following requirements:

  1. Must be completed at a regionally accredited US institution or its equivalent abroad.
  2. Science and math courses, along with any AP credits, must have been completed no greater than ten years from the planned date of matriculation.
  3. In addition to the 51 semester units (76 quarter units) of prerequisite coursework, applicants who will not have a Bachelor's degree prior to matriculation must complete 12 semester units (18 quarter units) of general education courses, which include:
    • Psychology
    • Economics (Microeconomics or Macroeconomics
    • Two additional general education courses in the Humanities and/or Social and Behavioral Sciences (2 courses in one category is permitted)
  1. Must be completed with a grade of C- or higher.
  2. May not be taken on a pass/no pass or credit/no credit basis
  3. All prerequisite coursework taken from non-US institutions (including Canada) must be submitted the World Education Services (WES), Inc. for an evaluation of coursework. WES evaluations should be sent directly to PharmCAS.
  4. International applicants who have not completed at least two years and at least 48 semester units (72 quarter units) at a US college or university are required to take the TOEFL IBT or IELTS exam. Exam scores are only valid for a two year period from the date of the exam. The minimum TOEFL IBT and IELTS scores, along with minimum section requirements, are provided below.
  • The minimum total TOEFL IBT score is 88 with minimum section score requirements of:
    • Reading: 20
    • Listening: 20
    • Speaking: 25
    • Writing: 23
  • The minimum total IELTS score is 6.5 with minimum section score requirements of:
    • Reading: 6.5
    • Listening: 6.5
    • Speaking: 7.5
    • Writing: 6.0
  1. General Education requirements are waived for applicants who have or will be receiving a Bachelor's degree or US equivalent prior to matriculation in the pharmacy program.
  2. Qualified applicants will be invited to an interview.
  3. All prerequisites and general education requirements must be completed prior to Orientation, which is held in mid-August of each year; however, applicants may still interview prior to the completion of all prerequisite coursework.

For additional information about CNUCOP and the application process, please visit our For questions, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


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California Northstate University College of Pharmacy ♦ 9700 West Taron Drive ♦ Elk Grove, CA 95757 ♦ Phone: (916) 686-7400

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