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

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

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 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 of 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 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 and one of our Admissions Advisors will respond to your email within two business days.

By partnering with PioneerRx Pharmacy Software, our program allows students to learn in a real-world environment using the most installed software for independent pharmacies. Students enhance their clinical and functional skills by training in a pharmacy system that is innovative, robust, and feature-rich.