PharmD Application Process

This application guide is intended to help you navigate the application and interview process-including advice about PharmCAS, PCAT, Interview Day, and more. Planning to apply for Fall 2018? Use this printable application checklist.

Early Decision Program

The Concordia University Wisconsin School of Pharmacy participates in the Early Decision program through PharmCAS.

If you know that CUW is right for you, select this option on your application, and we’ll fast track you to a decision. Plus, those who are admitted via Early Decision may be eligible to have their tuition deposit waived! Early Decision applicants will be reviewed using the same selection criteria as regular applicants and don’t have a more rigorous selection process than regular applicants.

Program Details

The Early Decision program is a binding option for applicants who have decided that CUW-SOP is their first-choice pharmacy school and that they’ll enroll here if accepted. NOTE: As an Early Decision applicant, you can apply to only one pharmacy degree program.

The Early Decision application deadline for Fall 2018 is September 5. In addition to completing the PharmCAS application, you must arrange for PharmCAS to receive all of your official transcripts and fee no later than September 5.

If your application, transcripts, or fee arrive after the deadline, PharmCAS will automatically change your file from Early Decision to a regular applicant.

You may be offered early admission, denied admission, or deferred to regular applicant status. If you’re offered admission as an Early Decision applicant, you’re obligated to accept the offer, and you won’t be permitted to apply to other PharmCAS institutions. If, however, you’re denied admission as an Early Decision applicant, you may apply to other PharmCAS institutions for an additional fee. PharmCAS institutions will make admission decisions on Early Decision applicants by October 20.

The Pharmacy College Application Service (PharmCAS)

ALL application materials for CUW-SOP must be submitted through PharmCAS including letters of reference. CUW does not require a supplemental application. Check to make sure you have all of the necessary materials, and familiarize yourself with the online platform before you apply.

Submit official transcripts from all previously attended institutions directly to PharmCAS. Students with international transcripts (see below) must have them evaluated by a foreign transcript evaluation service and submit the report directly from the evaluation service to PharmCAS.

NOTE: It can take up to six weeks for PharmCAS to transmit your submitted application to designated pharmacy schools. We strongly recommend that you submit before the March 1 deadline and keep track of your application on the PharmCAS website to ensure that all pieces of your application (PCAT scores, transcripts, letters of recommendation, etc.) have been received.

International and Transfer Students

International Students

International students interested in applying to Concordia University Wisconsin must:
Complete the PharmD application process through PharmCAS

  • Have foreign transcripts evaluated by a foreign evaluation service, as described on the PharmCAS website, and submitted to PharmCAS.
  • Submit a TOEFL or IELTS score to PharmCAS if previous coursework was completed in a language other than English. CUW accepts a minimum score of 79 on TOEFL and 6.5 on IELTS.
  • Submit Pharmacy College Admission Test (PCAT) scores to PharmCAS.
  • Complete the pre-pharmacy course requirements. Foreign pharmacy international coursework may partially or fully satisfy the pre-pharmacy course requirements, at the discretion of the associate dean for academic affairs.

Students who have received an undergraduate or graduate/professional degree from a recognized school of pharmacy outside of the United States may obtain a license to practice pharmacy in the United States by either 1) taking the Foreign Pharmacy Graduate Equivalency Examination (FPGEC) and completing the requirements of the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy, or 2) successfully completing a Doctor of Pharmacy program at an accredited school or college of pharmacy in the U.S., and meeting state requirements for licensure.

Students who hold a pharmacy degree from a recognized school of pharmacy outside of the U.S. and are admitted to the PharmD program at Concordia University Wisconsin will be placed into the first year of the program, but may be considered for advanced standing at the discretion of the associate dean for academic affairs.

Transfer Students
Concordia University Wisconsin may accept transfer students from another school of pharmacy. Students wishing to transfer to CUW are encouraged to contact the Office of Student Affairs. 


Pharmacy College Admission Test (PCAT)

You can register to take the PCAT and find testing locations online, and have the score report sent directly to PharmCAS. Scores from the PCAT don’t need to be posted to PharmCAS before submitting your PharmCAS application but must be posted before the March 1 application deadline.

Students who take at least one practice test generally perform better on the PCAT. A foundation in biology, general chemistry, and organic chemistry is recommended.

Interview Day

At Concordia University Wisconsin, our Interview Day is just as much about you getting to know us as it is about us getting to know you. That’s why the Interview Day is a half-day program, where you’ll meet faculty, staff, and current students in the CUW School of Pharmacy.

You’ll learn and see:
  • Our student-centered approach to teaching you to become an exceptional pharmacist practicing as part of an inter-professional team
  • Our innovations in pharmacy education at CUW that prepare you for your pharmacy career no matter what your area of interest
  • Our flexible, compact, commuter- and family-friendly schedule designed to fit your needs
  • Our state-of-the-art facility sitting alongside the beautiful shores of Lake Michigan

In addition, you’ll complete a writing sample, and interview with one or two faculty and/or practicing pharmacists over about an hour. The rest of your Interview Day at CUW is focused on beginning to build relationships with our faculty, staff, and current students, as well as a brief tour of our pharmacy building.

Preparing for the Interview
The interview is a critical component of the admission process. Being prepared for the interview is just as important as preparing for the PCAT or a final exam. Lack of preparation will show in your interview and can oftentimes lead to an unfavorable admission decision.

Take advantage of the accessibility of CUW’s admission staff and career services at your pre-pharmacy institution-these professionals can be vital to helping you prepare.

Be prepared to answer these questions:
  • What is the pharmacist’s role as a member of the health care team?
  • Why do you want to become a pharmacist?
  • Why do you want to attend Concordia University Wisconsin’s School of Pharmacy?
  • How have you been involved in community service, volunteer, and leadership activities; and how does this relate to the role of a pharmacist?

The interview is your opportunity to show how you are uniquely qualified for admission. As you prepare for your interview, think about your “story.” How did you decide that you want to be a pharmacist? Did you have a defining moment that solidified your career path? If so, what was it? Chances are, no one else will have that same story-that’s what makes you unique!

While your interviewers are not allowed to review your PharmCAS application prior to interviewing you, you should be open and honest about any shortcomings that may appear on your PharmCAS application, such as a bad semester/year, a failed class, repeated classes, lack of community service or pharmacy experience, etc. Being open and honest regarding your record demonstrates the trust necessary in the profession of pharmacy and is viewed positively in the interview.

Interviewing Tips
  1. Be professional. Make sure you’re presenting yourself in a professional manner with proper business attire (not business casual). Arrive on time with a few minutes to spare so that you’re relaxed and composed before your Interview Day begins. First impressions matter.
  2. Communicate effectively. During your interview, your communication skills will be under the microscope. Be sure to practice good verbal and nonverbal communication by using appropriate language, making good eye contact, listening, and answering questions thoroughly but concisely. Finally, don’t be afraid to ask questions!

Did you know?

Approximately 80 percent of applicants are invited for an interview.