Pharmacy Schools That Don’t Require PCAT

May 15, 2024
5 min read


Reviewed by:

Luke Hartstein

Former Admissions Committee Member, NYU Grossman School of Medicine

Reviewed: 5/8/24

Please note that the PCAT was retired in January 2024 and no test dates will be available during the 2024/2025 cycle and beyond.

The Pharmacy College Admission Test (PCAT) assesses the academic ability and scientific knowledge for prospective pharmacy students. 

For several years, pharmacy schools have required PCAT to screen students. PCAT examines proficiency in pre-pharmacy academic coursework and demonstrates readiness for professional PharmD studies. 

In recent years, we have had many pharmacy schools that don't require PCAT. About 80% of pharmacy colleges in the US do not require PCAT. Among the best pharmacy schools require all students to write, while others make it optional. 

The blog will delve deeper into these nuances and provide further insights into navigating the pharmacy school admissions process.

image of dots background

Pharmacy Schools That Do Not Require PCAT in 2023/2024

Aspiring pharmacists often navigate through several admission requirements, the PCAT being one of the rigorous tests. 

Many pharmacy schools are reconsidering the necessity of PCAT scores as a prerequisite for entry in the 2023/2024 academic year. That's where working with one of our admissions experts can be invaluable. 

Our team can help you understand the evolving landscape of pharmacy school admissions and ensure you submit a competitive application to both PCAT-required and PCAT-optional institutions.

Public Pharmacy Schools That Don’t Require PCAT

An essential factor to consider before choosing a pharmacy school is the cost. Public pharmacy schools in the US have cheaper tuition fees than private schools. Many aspiring students opt for public schools which they can afford. 

After considering the cost, you can check if the PCAT test is required for your application. Here is a list of public pharmacy schools without the PCAT requirement.

  • Chicago State University
  • East Tennessee State University
  • Ferris State University
  • Florida A&M University
  • Idaho State University
  • The University of Texas, Tyler
  • Marshall University
  • The University of Tennessee
  • Oregon State University
  • Purdue University
  • University of Kentucky
  • University of Washington
  • Temple University of the Commonwealth System of Higher Education
  • The University of New Mexico
  • The University of Rhode Island
  • University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences
  • University of California, San Diego
  • Washington State University

Private Pharmacy Schools That Don’t Require PCAT

While the class size of a public and private pharmacy school remains the same on average, private pharmacy schools cost more. Here is a list of private pharmacy schools in the US that don't require PCAT.

  • Belmont University
  • Butler University
  • California Health Sciences University
  • California Northstate University
  • Keck Graduate Institute
  • Campbell University
  • Lebanese American University
  • Loma Linda University
  • Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences – Boston, MA, Manchester, NH and Worcester, MA.
  • Nova Southeastern University
  • Northeastern University
  • Notre Dame of Maryland University
  • St. John’s University
  • University of the Pacific
  • Pacific University of Oregon
  • Samford University
  • South University (GA)
  • The University of Findlay
  • Touro University California
  • University of New England
  • University of Southern California
  • West Coast University
  • Western University of Health Sciences
  • Xavier University of Louisiana
  • William Carey University

Pharmacy Schools Where PCAT is Optional

Some other schools consider the PCAT voluntary. Students don't have to take the test compulsorily. The schools in the list below are those that consider the PCAT to be optional.

  • Albany College of Pharmacy & Health Sciences, New York
  • American University of Health Sciences
  • Auburn University
  • Appalachian College of Pharmacy
  • Concordia University Wisconsin
  • Creighton University
  • Fairleigh Dickinson University
  • Drake University
  • High Point University
  • Harding University
  • Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine (LECOM)
  • Manchester University
  • Marshall B Ketchum University
  • Med University South Carolina
  • Mercer University
  • Midwestern University
  • Northeast Ohio Medical University (NEOMED)
  • Regis University 
  • Roosevelt University
  • Roseman University of Health Sciences
  • Samford University
  • Shenandoah University
  • South Dakota State University
  • Southwestern Oklahoma State University
  • St. John Fisher College, NY
  • Sullivan University
  • Texas A&M University
  • The Ohio State University
  • The University of Iowa
  • The University of Kansas
  • University of North Carolina Chapel Hill
  • Thomas Jefferson University
  • University at Buffalo
  • Union University
  • University of Florida
  • University of Houston
  • University of Maryland Eastern Shore
  • University of Michigan
  • University of Missouri-Kansas City
  • University of Pittsburgh
  • University of Saint Joseph
  • University of the Sci Philadelphia
  • University of Wyoming
  • Virginia Commonwealth University
  • West Virginia University
  • Wingate University

Top 12 Pharmacy Schools in the US That Don’t Require PCAT

After reviewing rankings by reliable platforms, we have come up with the top and most reliable pharmacy schools that won’t ask you for PCAT.

1. University of Northern Carolina

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has a public pharmacy school called the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy. It was established in 1897 and ranked 1st in the U.S. and one of the best global universities in pharmacology and toxicology.

UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy offers a PharmD program and graduate degrees in pharmaceutical sciences, including MSc, Ph.D., and Postdoc. 

The curriculum provides students with a strong foundation in pharmaceutical sciences, clinical practice, and innovative teaching methods to solve the world’s most challenging health issues.

2. University of California

The University of California, San Francisco, is West’s oldest pharmacy school. It has a long history of scientific achievements, patient care, research funding, and clinician successes.

UCSF School of Pharmacy offers PharmD programs, Masters, Ph.D. programs, and post-doctorate programs. The school integrates pharmacy education with a focus on public health to address broader health issues in the community.

3. University of Michigan–Ann Arbor

This is one of the best pharmacy schools in a public university in the United States. Established in 1876, the school has a track record of success.

The School of Pharmacy is recognized for its contributions to pharmaceutical research. Faculty and students engage in research programs that address drug discovery, development, and improving pharmaceutical outcomes.

It admits students to PharmD, MS, Ph.D., and bachelor’s programs with several specializations. It is one of the pharmacy schools that don't require PCAT. However, if you took the prerequisite courses more than five years ago, we advise that you take the PCAT.

5. University of Florida

The University of Florida College of Pharmacy is the number one school in Florida and fifth in the US. It is well known for its contributions and excellence in pharmaceutical research. The college offers PharmD and graduate programs leading to Master's and Ph.D. degrees.

PharmD students gain practical experience through clinical rotations in various healthcare settings. This exposure prepares them for the challenges and responsibilities of pharmacy practice.

PCAT is non-compulsory. However, you may submit your PCAT scores if your academic grades are below the standard. It will boost your application.

6. University of Kentucky

This pharmacy school at the University of Kentucky has the world’s most significant pharmacy education and research building. The institution is also among the best pharmacy schools without PCAT requirements.

The curriculum includes theoretical work, laboratory work, and experiential learning through clinical rotations. The college also emphasizes collaboration among healthcare professionals to enhance team-based patient care.

It is the #6 pharmacy school, according to the US News and World Report. Students must only take the PCAT after applying to the University of Kentucky.

7. Ohio State University—Columbus

Another institution that tops the list of the best pharmacy schools that do not require PCAT is the College of Pharmacy at Ohio State University. Established in 1885, it currently takes the 7th spot in the US World Report ranking.

The college offers PharmD, MSc, and Ph.D. programs, continuing professional development, and early assurance programs (EAT).

The faculty contributes to drug discovery and development advancements with over 40 patents for cancer and heart failure treatments. PCAT is not a requirement, but students with a low science GPA below 2.7 can take the exam. 

8. Purdue University–West Lafayette

Purdue University’s College of Pharmacy is committed to producing world-class pharmacists who are committed to improving healthcare worldwide. 

The pharmacy school offers PharmD, Master, Ph.D., and post-doctorate in these three departments: pharmacy practice, industrial and molecular pharmaceutics, and medicinal chemistry and molecular pharmacology.

While the college does not require PCAT, students will submit a thorough application process as determined by the National Pharmacy College Application Service PharmCAS.

9. University of Illinois-Chicago

UIC College of Pharmacy ranks seventh out of 113 pharmacy colleges in the recent total research grant funding, according to the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy (AACP). Established in 1859, it consistently ranks nationally in the top ten pharmacy schools. 

The school offers PharmD, Master's, Ph.D., residency, and fellowship programs. The Chicago campus has a suitable learning environment with top-tier medical facilities. The PCAT exam is optional here.

There is another campus at Rockford that offers solid pharmaceutical training. Students will participate in community service and outreach programs that will improve public health in local communities.

10. University of Texas—Austin

The College of Pharmacy at the University of Texas, Austin, is internationally recognized for groundbreaking research. In 2022, the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy (AACP) ranked it #3 for non-federal research funding. 

The college offers the entry-level Pharm.D. program, graduate training programs, M.S., Pharm.D, and Ph.D., post-graduate residencies, postdoctoral training, and continuing education.

It aims to train students for advanced discovery, innovation, and complex problem-solving abilities, making them irreplaceable medical assets.

11. University of Washington

Established in 1894, the University of Washington School of Pharmacy is the nation's #2 top pharmacy school. It is one of the most accessible pharmacy schools you can apply to without a PCAT score.

The school has three departments: the Department of Medicinal Chemistry, Pharmaceutics, and Practice Pharmacy. Each department works to educate pharmacists on collaboration with other health professionals.

UWSOP also provides scientific leadership through innovative research programs and training at the preclinical, clinical, and post-approval stages of drug discovery, development, and implementation.

12. University of Wisconsin—Madison

The University of Wisconsin—Madison School of Pharmacy maintains its spot in the US's top 10 best pharmacy schools. It is a global leader that has produced the world’s finest pharmacists and scientists for over 135 years.

The school's curriculum is focused on innovation, hands-on learning, and collaborative healthcare. Its programs are grounded in the latest biomedical, pharmaceutical, social, and clinical science. 

It offers practical clinical skills to advance human health and patient care for diverse populations. If you don't want to take the PCAT before pharmacy school, this is your school of choice.


Has this article answered your question? If not, find more answers to some frequently asked questions below.

1. Is the PCAT No Longer Required?

No. Some schools may still require the PCAT. Others have moved towards considering a broader range of factors for admissions. 

However, the decline in the use of PCAT for admission increases each year. Applicants taking the PCAT during the 2023–2024 cycle will have fewer testing date options. In the coming years, PCAT will no longer be a requirement.

2. Is PCAT Required in the USA?

The PCAT is optional for most PharmD applicants in the US. While some schools may still require PCAT scores as part of the admission process, more schools request a list of criteria in addition to your PCAT score. 

There is no minimum PCAT score required. However, review admissions statistics from previous classes to familiarize yourself with admission.

3. What Is the Easiest Pharmacy School to Get Into in the US?

As of last year, one of the easiest pharmacy schools to get into is the University of Kansas School of Pharmacy, with a minimum GPA requirement of 2.50 and an acceptance rate of 74%. 

However, it varies due to cost, qualifications, GPA, and other application components. It's essential to research individual schools and their admission requirements and consider factors like acceptance rates and average GPAs of admitted students.

4. Does California Require PCAT?

California has the most pharmacy schools in the US. Out of the 14 different pharmacy schools in California, only a few may require PCAT scores as part of the admission process. Admission requirements may change, so remember to check the specific requirements for your preferred pharmacy school.

Final Thoughts

This article lists public and private pharmacy schools that don’t require PCAT. We've even ranked the top 12 pharmacy schools that take this unique approach according to credible rankings. While some schools don't demand it, others view the PCAT as optional, giving you more flexibility in your pharmacy school journey.

As you prepare for the application, remember that admissions into these schools are very competitive, boosting your chances of being selected. You can also contact admission experts for help with your pharmacist program application process. They can assist you on your path to becoming a pharmacist.

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Schedule A Free Consultation

Plan Smart. Execute Strong. Get Into Your Dream School.
Get Free Consultation
image of dots background

You May Also Like