Becoming a competitive PharmD applicant

There’s no question that the Concordia University Wisconsin School of Pharmacy’s PharmD program is rigorous and challenging. We look for candidates who are thoroughly prepared to face the demanding PharmD curriculum with success.

To help prepare for the program and apply successfully, we suggest reviewing the admission tips and information below.

Academic background

Your academic background that we review includes:

  • GPA:Your cumulative college-level GPA will be considered, as well as a breakdown of your science and non-science GPA, as calculated by PharmCAS. Although repeated and failed courses are noted, having a small number of repeated and/or failed courses does not exclude you from consideration.
  • PCAT: Effective April 2020, CUWSOP is a PCAT optional institution and the PCAT is not a required part of the application. Students should reach out to the CUWSOP Admissions Team at to discuss the strength of your application and whether taking the PCAT would make you a more competitive applicant. If you choose to take the PCAT, your composite and sub-scores from all PCAT exams taken will be considered. We don’t “superscore” or average your PCAT scores if you’ve taken it multiple times.
  • Course selection and load: You’re encouraged to demonstrate your ability to succeed in a rigorous PharmD curriculum by taking a full-time load in your pre-pharmacy coursework. In addition, if your schedule permits, take upper-level science courses above and beyond the required pre-pharmacy courses

Communication skills

A pharmacist must be able to communicate clearly in many different settings, with a wide variety of people. Because of our focus on training patient-centered pharmacists, we seek applicants who demonstrate the ability to communicate complex ideas both in their written work and in their interpersonal interactions.

Your communication skills will be assessed through your PharmCAS Personal Statement, as well as your interview, if invited.

Pharmacy experience

Experience can be obtained in a variety of ways—including working as a pharmacy technician, shadowing or volunteering in a pharmacy, or interviewing pharmacists to learn more about the profession.

No matter how you get experience, the most important thing is to have first hand involvement in pharmacy settings so you have an understanding of the profession. Your pharmacy experience will be assessed through your PharmCAS application, letters of reference, and interview, if invited.

Motivation and understanding of the profession

When you enter pharmacy school, you begin your commitment to the pharmacy profession. Before you begin this commitment, it’s important to have a broad understanding of the pharmacy profession and health care in general.

Concordia University Wisconsin identifies applicants who are positively motivated in their pursuit of a career in pharmacy and who fit the mission of developing pharmacists who are servant leaders. Your motivation for pursuing pharmacy and your understanding of the profession will be assessed through your PharmCAS Personal Statement and interview, if invited.

Service, leadership, and volunteer activities

We seek candidates who have demonstrated significant time in developing themselves as servant leaders in extracurricular activities, service organizations, or religious communities. These experiences do not have to be health care- or pharmacy-related, but should be recent commitments, as well as commitments that have spanned a longer period of time.

Your commitment to service, leadership, and volunteer activities will be assessed through the PharmCAS application, letters of reference, and interview, if invited.

Letters of reference

Concordia University Wisconsin requires three letters of reference to be submitted directly to PharmCAS. References should be able to speak to your academic performance, understanding of the pharmacy profession, and/or character.

Choose references who know you well in professional and/or academic settings, such as professors, supervisors, advisors, or pharmacists. Reference letters are reviewed to assess your:

  • Character
  • Communication skills
  • Academic ability
  • Motivation and understanding of the pharmacy profession
  • Commitment to community service