Gaining admission to a top pharmacy school like UCSF is highly competitive, so you probably want to understand your chances. What is UCSF’s pharmacy school acceptance rate? Let’s evaluate the admissions statistics and factors that make getting accepted a challenge.

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer: UCSF pharmacy school’s acceptance rate is around 5%.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll cover UCSF pharmacy school’s acceptance rate trends, admissions requirements, tips for getting in, and what to expect when applying.

UCSF Pharmacy School Acceptance Rates

Acceptance rate is consistently around 5% each year

Getting into the UCSF Pharmacy School is no easy task. With an acceptance rate consistently hovering around 5% each year, the competition is fierce. This means that out of all the students who apply, only a small fraction are accepted into the program.

The low acceptance rate speaks to the high standards and rigorous selection process of the school.

Over 2,000 applications for 130 seats

Each year, UCSF Pharmacy School receives over 2,000 applications for just 130 available seats. This high number of applications further emphasizes the competitiveness of the admissions process. The school carefully evaluates each applicant’s academic achievements, personal statement, letters of recommendation, and other factors to determine who will be offered a seat in the program.

The large pool of applicants means that even highly qualified individuals may not secure a spot in the program.

Average GPA of admitted students: 3.6+

One of the key factors considered by UCSF Pharmacy School during the admissions process is the GPA of the applicants. On average, admitted students have a GPA of 3.6 or higher. This indicates that the school places a strong emphasis on academic performance and seeks out students who have demonstrated excellence in their studies.

However, it’s important to note that GPA is not the only factor taken into consideration, as the school also values a well-rounded applicant with diverse experiences and a passion for the field of pharmacy.

UCSF Pharmacy School Admissions Requirements

Prerequisite coursework completion

To be considered for admission to UCSF Pharmacy School, applicants must have completed a set of prerequisite coursework. These courses typically include subjects such as biology, chemistry, physics, calculus, and English composition.

Completion of these courses demonstrates a strong foundation in the sciences and prepares students for the rigorous curriculum of the pharmacy program.

Competitive GPA – 3.0 minimum

One of the key factors that UCSF Pharmacy School looks at during the admissions process is the applicant’s Grade Point Average (GPA). While there is no specific GPA requirement, it is highly recommended that applicants have a minimum GPA of 3.0 or higher.

However, it’s important to note that a high GPA alone does not guarantee acceptance into the program. Admissions committees also consider other factors such as PCAT scores, letters of recommendation, and the interview process.

PCAT scores – 60th percentile or higher

The Pharmacy College Admission Test (PCAT) is another important component of the UCSF Pharmacy School admissions process. The PCAT is designed to assess a candidate’s knowledge and skills in areas such as biology, chemistry, verbal ability, and quantitative ability.

While there is no set minimum score required, it is recommended that applicants aim for a score in the 60th percentile or higher to be competitive.

Letters of recommendation

UCSF Pharmacy School requires applicants to submit letters of recommendation as part of their application. These letters should come from individuals who can attest to the applicant’s academic abilities, work ethic, and personal qualities.

It is recommended that applicants choose recommenders who know them well and can provide a detailed and positive assessment of their qualifications.


After reviewing applications, UCSF Pharmacy School may invite selected candidates for an interview. The interview is an opportunity for the admissions committee to learn more about the applicant’s motivations, goals, and suitability for the program.

It is important for applicants to prepare for the interview by researching the school, practicing common interview questions, and presenting themselves professionally and confidently.

How to Get Into UCSF Pharmacy School

Maintain a strong GPA

One of the key factors that admissions committees at UCSF Pharmacy School consider is an applicant’s GPA. It is important to maintain a strong academic record throughout your undergraduate studies. Aim for a GPA above 3.5, as this will demonstrate your commitment to academic excellence and your ability to handle the rigor of the pharmacy program.

However, keep in mind that a high GPA alone does not guarantee admission. Admissions committees also consider other factors such as extracurricular activities, pharmacy experience, and personal statements.

Excel on the PCAT exam

The Pharmacy College Admission Test (PCAT) is a standardized exam that measures the skills and knowledge necessary for success in pharmacy school. A high score on the PCAT can significantly boost your chances of getting into UCSF Pharmacy School.

Prepare for the exam by studying the required subjects, practicing sample questions, and taking advantage of study resources available online or through test-prep companies. It is essential to dedicate enough time and effort to prepare for the exam to ensure you achieve a competitive score.

Develop relationships for letters of recommendation

Strong letters of recommendation can greatly enhance your pharmacy school application. Take the time to build relationships with professors, pharmacists, or other professionals who can speak to your academic abilities, work ethic, and personal qualities.

These individuals should know you well enough to write a detailed and positive letter of recommendation. Reach out to them early in the application process and provide them with any necessary information or materials to support their recommendation.

Gain pharmacy experience

Gaining pharmacy experience is not only beneficial for your application, but it also gives you valuable insight into the field of pharmacy. Consider volunteering or working in a pharmacy setting to gain hands-on experience and demonstrate your commitment to the profession.

You can also participate in research projects or internships related to pharmacy. These experiences will not only strengthen your application but also give you a better understanding of the challenges and rewards of a career in pharmacy.

Perfect interview skills

Once you have submitted a strong application, you may be invited for an interview at UCSF Pharmacy School. The interview is an opportunity for the admissions committee to get to know you better and assess your fit for the program.

Prepare for the interview by researching the school, practicing common interview questions, and developing concise and thoughtful responses. Demonstrate your passion for pharmacy, your ability to handle challenges, and your communication skills during the interview.

Remember to dress professionally, maintain eye contact, and show enthusiasm for the opportunity to attend UCSF Pharmacy School.

Write a compelling personal statement

Your personal statement is a chance to showcase your unique qualities, experiences, and motivations for pursuing a career in pharmacy. Take the time to reflect on your journey and articulate your passion for the field.

Use specific examples to illustrate your strengths and how they align with the values and mission of UCSF Pharmacy School. Seek feedback from mentors, advisors, or writing centers to ensure your personal statement is clear, well-written, and engaging.

Remember, getting into UCSF Pharmacy School is competitive, but with a strong academic record, a high PCAT score, compelling letters of recommendation, pharmacy experience, interview skills, and a well-crafted personal statement, you can increase your chances of acceptance into this prestigious institution.

Good luck on your journey to becoming a pharmacist!

The UCSF Pharmacy School Application Process

Applying to pharmacy school can be a rigorous and competitive process, and the UCSF Pharmacy School is no exception. Here is a breakdown of the various steps involved in the application process:

PharmCAS application

The first step in applying to UCSF Pharmacy School is completing the PharmCAS (Pharmacy College Application Service) application. This centralized application allows students to apply to multiple pharmacy schools simultaneously.

The application typically consists of personal information, academic history, letters of recommendation, and a personal statement highlighting the applicant’s motivation and commitment to pursuing a career in pharmacy.

UCSF supplemental application

After completing the PharmCAS application, applicants will need to submit a supplemental application specific to UCSF Pharmacy School. This additional application may include specific essay questions or prompts that allow applicants to further demonstrate their interest in the program and their compatibility with the school’s values and mission.


Qualified applicants will be invited to participate in interviews as part of the selection process. The interviews may be conducted in-person or virtually and provide an opportunity for the admissions committee to assess the applicant’s communication skills, problem-solving abilities, and alignment with the school’s values.

It is important for applicants to come prepared, showcasing their knowledge of the field and their passion for pharmacy.

Admissions decisions

Once all the application materials have been reviewed and interviews completed, the admissions committee will make their decisions. Admissions decisions are typically based on a holistic review of the applicant’s academic performance, personal statement, letters of recommendation, interview performance, and other relevant factors.

Successful applicants will receive an acceptance letter, while others may be placed on a waitlist or receive a rejection.


If accepted, students will need to formally accept the offer of admission and submit any required documentation by the specified deadline. This may include submitting a deposit, completing health forms, and providing proof of vaccinations.

It is important for accepted students to carefully review the enrollment requirements and deadlines to ensure a smooth transition into the program.

For more information on the UCSF Pharmacy School application process, you can visit their official website


With an exceptionally low acceptance rate of around 5%, gaining admission to UCSF’s top-ranked pharmacy school is highly selective. Applicants who demonstrate academic excellence, pharmacy experience, strong recommendations, and interview skills have the best chance of getting in.

Staying committed through the demanding application process and showcasing your qualifications can help land you a spot at UCSF’s prestigious pharmacy program.

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