Frequently Asked Questions


What is the criteria for admission?

Our admission criteria include academic strength (science GPA, math GPA, prerequisite course grades, and overall GPA), motivation to pursue pharmacy, maturity, communication skills, special talents, achievements, and the unique contribution we expect you to make to the school and the profession.

Can a student with a foreign bachelor’s degree apply?

Foreign residents eligible for F1 status may apply.

How can I obtain a list of the prerequisite courses required  to apply for admission?

A list  of our prerequisite courses and application information can be found on our Admissions page, and on our school page in the PharmCAS School Directory at www.pharmcas.org.

Where can I find your application for admission?

CNUCOP participates in the electronic pharmacy school application service known as PharmCAS. Applicants must apply through PharmCAS. Letters of recommendation and transcripts must be submitted directly to PharmCAS. You are not required to send transcripts to our school during the application process. Admitted students will be required to submit official and degree conferring transcripts before starting school. The PharmCAS  application  can be found at https://pharmcas.liaisoncas.com.

Do you require a supplemental application?

Yes. The web-based Supplemental Application is available on our Admissions Steps page.

Is there a supplemental application fee?

Yes. The supplemental application fee is $50.00. The fee is paid using PayPal.

Is the supplemental application processing fee refundable?

No. The supplemental application processing fee is non-refundable.

Do you offer application fee waivers?

The $50.00 PayPal processing fee is waived  for Early  Decision  candidates.  We do not offer fee waivers to Regular cycle applicants. DO NOT designate “Early Decision”, unless you are applying to California Northstate as an “Early Decision” candidate.

What is the College of Pharmacy's policy regarding submitting supplemental applications?

Applicants are responsible for making sure they meet the admission criteria, prior to submitting a supplemental application.

Will I be offered an interview without submitting my supplemental application?

Applicants are not required to submit a supplemental prior to our preliminary review of their PharmCAS application. The supplemental application is an admission requirement, but an interview  may be offered prior to receipt of the supplemental application.

How and when will I know if I've been invited for an interview?

Early Decision and Regular  Applicants  who apply early and are being considered  for admission  will be invited to early fall interviews. These interviews will occur during the months of September and early October. If you are an Early Decision applicant, the PharmCAS application must be “verified”  prior to our final Early Decision interview. Early Decision  and Regular  cycle  applicants  with PharmCAS applications which are “verified”  after  our final Early  Decision  interview  will be considered for late-October through summer interviews.  Information  about  the interview  process.  To ensure  prompt delivery of interview invitations  and notifications,  please  add our URL to your browser  and check your Spam email box regularly.

What is the School's GPA requirement?

While a minimum GPA of 2.7 is preferred, the Admissions Committee of California Northstate University College of Pharmacy uses a holistic review process to evaluate each application, thereby taking into account a variety of factors, in addition  to an applicant’s  academic  standing,  including but not limited to: work or research experience, socioeconomic status, resilience, extracurricular activities, and other non-academic related activities.

What are the major changes to your admission requirements?

Applicants should review both the PharmCAS School Directory and our website for the most up-to-date admission requirements.

Is a bachelor's  degree  required?

No - it is preferred.

Will you accept prerequisites which were taken over 10 years ago?

Science and math prerequisite courses must be completed between 2012 and 2021.  Applicants who have been working in the healthcare field with older coursework will be reviewed case-by- case.

Do you give preference to any major?

No. There is no preference of degree major; however, most applicants are science majors. The most common majors are biology, chemistry, biochemistry, microbiology, psychobiology, etc.

I have a bachelor's degree. Do I still need to complete all of the prerequisites and general education requirements?

General education requirements are waived for applicants who have or will be receiving a Bachelor’s degree or US equivalent, prior to matriculation into the pharmacy program. All prerequisites and general education courses must be completed with a C- or higher.

I planned to take a prerequisite course  my last semester  of school  but was unsuccessful in finding a class that was not full. Can I take the class after I start school?

No. All required  courses  must  be completed  prior to the first day of new student  orientation,  which is held in mid-August of each year. Please note that enrolling in certain courses, such as human physiology, can be highly competitive.  We suggest  you plan to complete those type courses  as early as possible.

Do you accept online courses?

Given the current COVID-19 situation, online coursework for any of our prerequisite courses will be accepted. Please make sure the course is being offered by a regionally accredited institution.

If I am accepted before I complete all of my prerequisite courses, do I still need to complete them?

Yes. You are required to complete all of the prerequisites. The offer of admission  is conditional  based on the successful completion of all prerequisites.  Failure to complete  such prerequisites  by the deadline may subject the student to forfeiture of the student's  seat or such other remedies within the sole discretion of the University that may be necessary to correct such failure.

Is preference given to California residents?

No. We use the same criteria to evaluate out-of-state applicants as California residents.

Do California residents pay less tuition than out-of-state students?

CNUCOP is a private university; therefore,  tuition  and fees are the same for all students  regardless of state or country of residence.

Do I need to take the PCAT?

No - but we prefer applicants take the PCAT.

Does CNUCOP offer any scholarships to its students?

For the 2020-2021 Admissions Cycle, Early Decision applicants are eligible to receive a $10,000 scholarship for the first year of the program, which will be applied to each subsequent year in the program as long as a cumulative GPA of at least a 3.5 GPA is maintained  at the end of each  academic year, taking into consideration the applicants current academic standing as well as non- academic factors including volunteer activities, socioeconomic status, achievements, etc. Other scholarship opportunities, such as those provided through the Northern California Education Foundation, are available to CNUCOP  students  once in the pharmacy program  and will be announced each semester by the Scholarships and Awards Committee. Our students also have received a considerable number of external scholarships as well.

Can I enter in the spring semester?

New applicants can only enter during the fall semester. Transfer students  are eligible  to enter in the fall or spring, based on recommendations made by the Office of Academic Affairs after a thorough review of the student’s academic record.

How  do I know  if my application  is received?

Once PharmCAS has verified your application, PharmCAS releases the application  to CNUCOP.  An email notification is sent to all applicants who submit their PharmCAS application  to let them  know  the current status of their application.

Do you have rolling admission?

Yes. Offers of admission will be made until all seats are filled. This typically occurs from September through the end of the admission cycle. After each interview session, the most highly qualified candidates from each interview session are offered acceptance. All other applicants interviewed  on that day are either held for further consideration  or denied.  Students  placed  on hold may be accepted up to the first week of classroom instruction.

Do I need to send my transcripts to Admissions when I apply?

No. Applicants must submit all transcripts to PharmCAS while in the application stage.  Once admitted to the College, matriculating students  will be required  to submit official transcripts  from all institutions attended which include courses which were not verified  by PharmCAS.  If you received a degree, a transcript with degree confirmation must be sent to verify the degree was awarded, if not previously verified by PharmCAS by September 30th. Once again, this is only required after a student is accepted.

How many applications do you receive and applicants do you accept in an average year?

We received around 400 applications last year and offered acceptances to seat a class of 120.

Should I still apply if my grade point average is below 2.7?

Yes. Admission is competitive and our evaluation is based on all aspects  of the application,  in addition to your grade point average. This includes your science grades, curriculum, recommendations, essays, involvement in clubs, organizations, and community service, as well as interview results. Competition  also varies from year to year depending  upon the size and strength  of the applicant pool. You should consider all of these factors and should not base  your  decision solely on your GPA.

I am a re-applicant. How may I improve my application or chances of gaining admission?

Make a critical review of the information you submitted in your application  for admission  to see if there are any obvious voids. For example, maybe you had one or two low grades that lowered your overall and/or science  GPA, or maybe you weren't  involved  in community  service,  or merely forgot to include it on your application. As mentioned in the requirements, we highly suggest  applicants obtain some experience in health  care  or research  to be considered  a competitive  applicant.  Did you obtain this experience and did you mention  it in the application?  If you interviewed  you may want to review what questions were asked and compare them to your answers. Remember the interviewer is gauging your ability to do well  in the  program  and  in the  profession  by assessing your communication skills. You would be surprised  at how much you can learn about the strengths  and weaknesses of your application simply by looking at it from an admissions perspective. It's important to realize sometimes there isn't one obvious thing you can change to be admitted. Every case is different and every year the competition is different.

Does it matter that I'm older than your average applicant?

Definitely not. Students of all ages make unique contributions to the class. We encourage applications from qualified applicants, regardless of age.

Can I transfer into your Pharm.D program from another Pharm.D program?

Applicants interested in applying as a transfer student must complete a Transfer Student Application which is found on our website under “Admissions/Transfer Admissions”.

Can I transfer from your Pharm.D program to another institution?

The transferability of credits you earn at California Northstate University  College of Pharmacy  is at the complete discretion of the institution to which you seek to transfer.  Acceptance  of the degree and diploma you earn in the doctor of pharmacy program is also at the complete discretion of the institution to which you may seek to transfer.

What is CNUCOP’s deadline to submit the two required letters of recommendation?

At least one of the two required letters of recommendation must be on file with PharmCAS for the Admissions Office to complete the review  of your application.  Both required  letters  must be received by June 1, 2021, which is our designated PharmCAS deadline for Fall 2021.

Can I submit more than the required number of recommendation letters?

Two letters of recommendation are required, as part of the application: one letter must be from a health care 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.  It is advisable to limit the number to four, since a total  of three  or four well-chosen  recommendations will usually paint a clear picture of the candidate. If you haven’t worked with, volunteered for, or shadowed with a health care provider, we will accept a letter  from  an employer  or supervisor.  If you have been out of school over three years, we will also accept a letter from an employer or supervisor. All letters of recommendation must be sent directly to PharmCAS.

What should I bring with me to the interview?

You should bring a valid photo ID and a pen.

What  if I am late  for my interview?  What  if I miss my interview?

If you fail to appear at your assigned  interview  session  without  any prior notification,  your application will most likely be cancelled. Extenuating circumstances  will be considered.  If you know you will not be able to attend, please contact Admissions or the staff person who scheduled your interview immediately. Leave a message or email COPadmissions@cnsu.edu. This e-mail address is being protected from Spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Can I contact the Admissions Office to find out if I have been accepted?

We notify every applicant, as soon as possible. Please do not call our office to check on your status. This hinders the process and delays  notification  for all applicants.  Be patient  and wait to hear from us.

How does the Admissions Committee decide which applicants will be offered seats?

The Admissions Committee will review all completed applications and select candidates who most closely fit our criteria to interview. After the interview is completed, the application and interview summary information will be reviewed and a determination made to admit, deny, or place the candidate on hold for further consideration.  Interviewed  candidates  will be notified  of the admission decision by a faculty or staff member by phone or email. Applicants will be notified immediately, as Admission Committee decisions are released to the Admissions Office.

If I am offered acceptance, what paperwork and fees must I return to the Admissions Office to confirm my enrollment?

The accepted candidate is emailed the enrollment materials, which include the Student Enrollment Agreement, the School Performance Fact Sheet,  and the Enrollment Fee Deposit  form.  The agreement and two forms must be completed and returned, along with the $100.00 enrollment fee deposit. The deposit will be credited to your tuition.

How much time does the accepted candidate have to confirm their enrollment with the required paperwork and enrollment fee deposit?

The time period to respond will be included in the “Acceptance Checklist” letter  which will be sent  by email to all accepted candidates.

Is the Enrollment Fee Deposit refundable, if I decide to cancel my enrollment prior to the start of classroom instruction?

No. The Enrollment Fee Deposit is non-refundable.

Will there be any other fees associated with my acceptance to your school  that need  to be paid before school starts?

The Student Enrollment Agreement includes the tuition payment deadlines and refund criteria. Fall tuition and fees are due mid-July and Spring tuition is due December 20th.

Do I need to request official transcripts be sent to your College, even though my transcripts were received by PharmCAS?

We will accept the electronic PharmCAS transcript, if the information  on the verified  transcript  has not changed  since  it was verified by PharmCAS.         If changes have occurred on the transcript since the transcript was verified by PharmCAS, you must order the transcript again. Your permanent admissions record must include final transcripts which contain all courses, grades, and degrees completed since you graduated from high school.

What is a degree conferral transcript?

A degree conferral transcript is an official transcript through the final term in which you enrolled that posts all of the following:

  1. Grades  for the final term
  2. The degree you earned (AS, BS, MS, etc.);
  3. The major in which your degree was earned (e.g., Biological Sciences, Art History), and;
  4. The date the degree was awarded.

A transcript that does not include all of these is not a degree conferral transcript.

I graduated 3 months ago, but according to your office I do not have a degree. Why do you say this?

Our policies allow us to consider that a degree was earned only if the degree and the date it was awarded are posted on your transcript. The transcript you submitted probably shows  only the grades for your last term, and may not show your degree conferral (see previous question). To resolve this problem, contact the registrar's office at the school you received your degree and request a degree conferral transcript be sent to CNUCOP Admissions.

The registrar from my school gave me a statement that verifies I have completed all the requirements for my degree. Can I submit this statement  instead  of waiting  for the degree conferral transcript to become available?

Yes. This will be accepted while the degree conferral  is being  processed.  A degree  conferral transcript must be requested and received by our institution, as soon as it becomes available. Completing the requirements for a degree and being awarded  the degree  are not the same  thing. The only document  we can accept  as a final document  is a degree  conferral  transcript.  Even though we do not require a bachelor’s degree,  the degree conferral  information  must be included  if a degree was earned.

I graduated this winter but my final grades and degree conferral information will not post to my transcript before your August deadline. What do I do?

Your degree may not be posted, but your final grades for winter, spring, and in some instances, summer term, must be available before the first day of new student orientation. As you complete courses winter, spring and early summer, email the Admissions  Office  an unofficial  grade  report from  your college portal.           Ask your school to send us a letter verifying the date your degree (after your final term) will post to your transcript. These are the only methods  to extend  the receipt  o f your conferring degree transcript and/or official transcript(s) with your final term grades.

Are you on a quarter or a semester system?

CNUCOP uses a semester system.

How do spaces in the entering class become available?

Not all admitted applicants accept a seat in the class and enrollments are periodically cancelled each admission cycle. Every year there  are a few candidates who we must administratively cancel due to failing a prerequisite course, not completing  all the prerequisites prior to the start of school, or for not submitting all necessary materials required by CNUCOP.

How do I know if the college I am taking prerequisites at is a regionally accredited institution and will meet the equivalency for your prerequisite courses?

You can refer to WorldwideLearn.com . This site provides a list of regionally accredited institutions. There are some short term certificate classes  and programs  (Example-  6 weeks)  that do not meet our College’s prerequisite requirement criteria, even  though  the  school  may  be regionally accredited.

When is CNUCOP's new student orientation held for students matriculating Fall 2021? Orientation for Fall Semester 2021 will tentatively be held Tuesday, August 10th through Friday, August 13th, 2021.

When does CNUCOP's Fall 2021 semester begin?

Classroom instruction will begin Monday, August 16th, 2021.

What are the laptop requirements upon matriculation into your pharmacy program? Students are responsible for providing their own laptop. Our Information  Technology  Department will provide incoming students with the recommended laptop specifications prior to matriculation.

Who do I contact if I have additional questions related to admissions?

Please email COPadmissions@cnsu.edu and one of our Admissions Advisors will respond to your email within two business days.