Pre-Professional Certificate Program Pre-Pharmacy

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Pre-Pharmacy Pre-Professional Certificate Overview

Pharmacists are health care professionals skilled in understanding and monitoring drug therapy, uses, and interactions. In addition to filling and labeling prescriptions, pharmacists counsel patients, consult with physicians, and work with healthcare providers on clinical research or to develop policies for drug use. Pharmacists ensure that patients obtain the maximum benefit from their medications with the least side effects and at the most affordable price.

In addition to possessing a technical skill set for understanding drug differences and therapies, pharmacists possess strong written and verbal communication skills, are able to identify and solve problems, and can effectively collaborate with patients, physicians, and other health care providers.

Portland State offers a strong pre-pharmacy program that enables students to complete their prerequisite coursework, earn a baccalaureate degree, and obtain assistance in preparing for and applying to pharmacy schools across the country.

Pre-pharmacy is a professional track (not a major), but common majors for pre-pharmacy students include Science, Biology, and Chemistry. Students can choose any major while also completing their pre-pharmacy coursework. You can discuss with your pre-pharmacy advisor how these two components fit together in your course plans.

Prospective students interested in PSU can meet with a pre-pharmacy advisor to learn about the pre-pharmacy track.

Degree Details

Location Definitions:

On campus:
100% on campus
100% online
Combination of online and on campus
  • PPT
    Pre-Professional Track
    On campus
    Total Credits
    Start Term

Pre-Pharmacy Pre-Professional Certificate: Why PSU?

PSU has dedicated pre-health advisors to help students plan their coursework, support them in gaining relevant healthcare experience, and guide them through the process of applying to pharmacy schools.

There are a huge range of clinical and other volunteer opportunities available in the Portland area to help students better understand the role of pharmacists and other healthcare providers, gain exposure to different clinical settings, and boost their application to pharmacy programs in the future.

PSU’s Health, Science, and the Earth pathway advising team offers workshops and events to help you in preparing to apply for pharmacy school in the future.

PSU and Pacific University offer a Bridge Program which aims to nurture career interests, provide enriching pre-professional development, and pave a way for success in Pacific’s 3-year Doctor of Pharmacy degree program. PSU students who apply and are accepted into the Bridge Program have the option of transferring back their first year of pharmacy coursework to apply toward a B.S. in Science from PSU.

Beyond the prerequisite courses needed to prepare to apply to pharmacy school, PSU offers many additional courses of interest to pre-pharmacy students, including Communicable and Chronic Disease (PHE 363), Gender, Race, Class, & Health (PHE 452), Biomedical Ethics (PHL 446), and many others.

PSU has the Ignite Scholarship program, developed in collaboration with Kaiser Permanente and Portland Leadership Foundation, which emphasizes a culture of support and community for students in healthcare career pathways that can sometimes be complex and overwhelming. Students who receive the Ignite scholarship will be part of a program emphasizing leadership and mentorship (supported by a $5,000 scholarship), which includes serving as mentors for incoming pre-health students.

Incoming pre-health students seeking mentorship can apply to be matched with PSU's Ignite mentors. This is a one-year commitment (fall, winter, and spring terms) for mentors and mentees.

Student organizations on campus help students to connect with peers pursuing pre-health tracks or science fields, as well as many different multicultural, social, and community involvement focused groups. Examples of student groups include the Health Promotion Student Organization, Portland State Women in STEM, Science Outreach Society, Biology Investigation and Outreach, and the Neuroscience Club at PSU.

What can I do with a certificate in Pre-Pharmacy?

PSU offers a Pharmacy BS 3+3 program with Pacific University. Students who complete a specific curriculum at PSU and are accepted into Pacific University’s Bridge program can transfer back their first year of pharmacy school to fulfill requirements for a BS in Science. For this option, students must work directly with the PSU pre-pharmacy advisor.

Schools in which Portland State students and alumni were recently admitted include:

  • Creighton University
  • Manchester University
  • Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences
  • Oregon State University
  • Pacific University
  • Roseman University of Health Sciences
  • University of Hawaii, Hilo
  • University of Minnesota
  • University of Washington
  • Washington State University

Featured Courses

  • PHE 363 Communicable and Chronic Disease
  • PHE 452 Gender, Race, Class, & Health
  • PHL 446 Biomedical Ethics


Pre-Pharmacy is a pre-professional track, not a major. Students can select any major of their choice.


Portland State University is fully accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU).