Pharmacy Website

Applying to the Doctor of Pharmacy Program From a Foreign Pharmacy School

This page is designed to provide an overview and understanding of the application process for students applying to the Doctor of Pharmacy Program at the Ernest Mario School of Pharmacy from colleges of pharmacy outside the United States.  This fact sheet also provides information to students who have been informed by a Board of Pharmacy that they need to take additional coursework to satisfy specific requirements prior to licensure. 

Introduction and Overview of the School

Admission to the Ernest Mario School of Pharmacy is available for the fall semester of each year for students who have graduated from a college or school of pharmacy outside of the United States.  The Entry-Level Pharm.D. Program is a six-year academic program leading to the Doctor of Pharmacy degree. Transfer students are only accepted into the third year of the program after completion of the pre-professional requirements.  Be advised that students who are seeking admission to attain the Pharm.D. are required to complete all four of the Professional Years of Study.  No options are available for students to take courses on a part-time basis through this Program.

Combining course work with clinical clerkships, the goal of the program is to educate health care professionals to practice pharmacy in community, hospital, academic, managed care, and industrial pharmaceutical settings.  Students complete a well-balanced curriculum of liberal arts courses, basic sciences, and pharmaceutical, clinical, socioeconomic, and administration sciences.  Instruction includes structured clinical experiences in hospitals, nursing homes, community pharmacies, and managed care agencies, as well as in pharmaceutical manufacturing companies.

Priority Deadlines

Applicants who have completed professional coursework in international schools of pharmacy need to submit an online application by February 1 prior to the Fall of expected enrollment. Please note that applications may be accepted beyond these dates, however the University may not make a decision on late applications if all seats are filled for the incoming class. The Undergraduate Transfer application is the application used and is available at:

Students who have already completed a degree in pharmacy from a school outside of the United States have the following options available to them:

Option 1. Transfer into the Entry-Level Pharm.D. Program.  In this option, you would need to fulfill the requirements outlined in this fact sheet.  Credit for any pharmacy coursework you have already completed will not be considered for transfer.  Four years of full-time study at the Ernest Mario School of Pharmacy are required to complete the Pharm.D. degree under this option.

Option 2. Graduate School (Master's or Ph.D.)  For this option, please review the information on Graduate Degree Programs. Obtaining a Master's or Ph.D. does not qualify a student to become a licensed pharmacist in the United States.  An application to the Graduate Programs needs to be submitted through the following website

Basic Expectations for Admission

For Option 1 noted above, a completed application for admission as a transfer student will include the following items:

·        A completed application with application fee,

·        An official transcript from each prior college and university you have attended,

·        An official transcript from your current college or university,

·        Your high school transcript showing your date of graduation.

Transcripts recorded in a foreign language will need to be evaluated and translated by an accredited service.  Personal translations cannot be accepted.  For a complete listing of the companies and organizations that provide such service, please review the information at the following website:


Admissions Review Explained

First and foremost, the admissions review will look at the coursework that has already been completed and those courses that still need to be taken.  Students are expected to have all of the pre-professional courses completed or in the process of completion when a student applies. Transfer students are welcome to apply to the School. In order for a student to be considered for admission, the first two pre-professional years of study must be completed. The coursework we expect a student to have completed are as follows:

Class Name


General Biology with lab

2 semesters

General Chemistry

2 semesters

General Chemistry lab

1 semester

English Composition

2 semesters


1 semester

Organic Chemistry with lab

2 semesters

General Physics

2 semesters

General Physics lab

1 semester

Human Anatomy and Physiology

2 semesters


1 semester


1 semester

Humanities/Social Science electives

4 courses (3 credits each)

Psychology or Sociology

1 course (3 credits)


For information on the requirements that govern Humanities / Social Science Electives, please view the fact sheet ( Student currently or previously enrolled at Rutgers should review the information regarding School-To-School transfer or Re-enrollment, respectively for specific course equivalencies.

Students who have already completed a bachelor’s degree or more than two years of college-level coursework may be given some preference.

Secondly, your Cumulative GPA will be reviews relative to the coursework completed.  GPAs should be 3.500 or above.  The higher the GPA the better a student’s chances.  However, individual grades in the core sciences, math, statistics, and writing/communications will be considered as well as the multiple core curricular courses taken during each semester.  The semester course load should be about 16.0 to 18.0 credits.  The fact that students may have finalized their requirements during a semester and did not need to take full-time course loads will be taken into account.

The decision about which students to admit results from a comprehensive review of the factors described below. The number of students we can admit is determined by the number of spaces available, the number of students who apply, and the quality of the applicant pool. These factors change from year to year however, and the School of Pharmacy is extremely competitive. Priority is given to students whose applications, fees or fee waivers, and all required transcripts, test scores, and other supporting documents are submitted by the priority application date.

We focus primarily on the student’s academic promise as demonstrated through the following factors:

  • academic performance
  • strength of academic program
  • grade trend
  • cumulative GPA
  • number of credits completed
  • PCAT scores

We also consider such qualitative factors as:

  • community, volunteer, or U.S. military service
  • extracurricular activities
  • honors and awards
  • employment
  • special talents
  • personal statements

Thirdly, all applicants are required to take the Pharmacy College Admissions Test (PCAT).  Further information on the PCAT is available from below.  There is no floor for the test scores.  Rather, the test scores are reviewed in conjunction with your overall academic record.

Letters of recommendation or personal statements may also be submitted directly to:
Ernest Mario School of Pharmacy
Attn: Rosemary Hayes
160 Frelinghuysen Road
Piscataway, NJ 08873

Letters of recommendation and personal statements are not required.  However, these may provide a greater background and understanding of you as a student and future professional in the field of Pharmacy.  In addition, a personal statement will provide a better understanding of your intentions in applying to the School and your goals and objectives as a student and, ultimately, a professional. Experience in a health care setting is also recommended as a way to strengthen the application. All of these factors are combined and considered in an admissions decision.

The Ernest Mario School of Pharmacy does NOT pariticipate in the centralized application service, Pharmacy College Application Service (PharmCAS). However, PharmCAS conduct violations are communicated to all schools and colleges of pharmacy in the US.  

Additional Admissions Recommendations and Information

For admissions consideration, prospective transfer students are expected to provide copies of high school and college transcripts.

PCAT Information. Please note that effective with applications for the enrollment of Fall 2015 (applying during the 2014-2015 academic year) all transfer, school-to-school, and re-enrollment applicants must submit Pharmacy College Application Test (PCAT) scores. Click here for more infomration on the PCAT and test dates. Our PCAT score recipient code is 038.  The PCAT is administered by the Pearson Education Inc.  Please note that the School of Pharmacy does not administer the exam for which you sign up.  Any questions you may have on the test, the test center, or the grading system for the test must be referred to the Pearson Assessments.  There are resources to help prepare you for the PCAT test that can be found by searching the web or chain bookstores.  The Ernest Mario School of Pharmacy makes no recommendation about which resources to use.

Because test results are not received for 4-6 weeks after the test date, applicants who are planning to take the PCAT are strongly advised to take the October test.  There is no bias against a student who takes the PCAT twice.  The best score will be considered.

Foreign Students
Foreign students may be required to have their high school and/or college transcripts translated and evaluated prior to submission to the University.  For further information of companies and organizations that provide such service, please review the information at the following website:

All transfer students are encouraged to look at the program of study they are interested in and to review past course work they have taken.

Evaluation of Credit

In order to provide the most information possible to assist in the evaluation of coursework for credit, it is recommended that each transfer student take time to complete the following steps:

1)   Gather together the course descriptions of each course you have taken.

2)   When you apply to the University, submit the course descriptions to the Office of University Undergraduate Admissions.  You are welcome to send other documentation via the US Mail.  That material will be added to your file when received.

3)   Gather together the course syllabi from each course you have taken and have it ready to send to the Office of Academic Services here at the School in case we need them for additional review.

In this way, you will be prepared to provide as much information as possible regarding the material covered in each course you have taken.

You can also conduct your own rough evaluation of credits by taking the following steps:

1)   Start by looking at the course descriptions for each of the courses taught here at Rutgers.  This can be done by visiting our online catalog at the following website:

2)   Review the course description for the course you have taken that you believe is an equivalent.

3)   If both descriptions provide a similar overview of the material to be learned, more than likely the course will be recognized as an equivalent by the School.


Students enrolled at a community college in New Jersey should also review the information regarding transferable courses to the Ernest Mario School of Pharmacy by accessing NJTransfer.  The website can be found at  Through this site, you will be able to view the Recommended Transfer Program or RTP at the community college of your choice.  Through the directions on the site, you will be able to obtain a listing of the course numbers at your community college that will satisfy our required courses.  If a community college course number is not listed, then you would need to find another school where that course is offered.  In most cases, the courses would need to be taken at Rutgers University during the Summer Session prior to beginning the First Professional Year.

Further Questions on Admission

Answers to additional questions about the admission process may be obtained from the Office of University Undergraduate Admissions either by visiting the Office’s website at, or by calling the RU Info Line at 1 (732) 932-4636.