Frequently Asked Questions


Do you give preference to students from UTEP?

No, we do not give admission preference to students from any institution. Students who meet all application requirements and help meet the mission and vision of the UTEP School of Pharmacy will all be assessed.

Do you give preference to Texas residents?

No, we will admit the best applicants from across the country and around the world.  Note, students who are residents of New Mexico and Cd. Juárez may be eligible for in-state tuition.  Please contact the School of Pharmacy (SOP) Office of Student Affairs for more information.

What are you looking for when you admit students?

We look at a number of factors when we evaluate a student to be admitted into the UTEP School of Pharmacy.  Primarily we look at if they will be a fit with our school and institution, and if they fit the IDEAL (Innovation, Diversity, Engagement, Access, and Leadership) model.  We take into account a student’s academic record, any healthcare-related experience, service commitment and engagement, ability to work with diverse cultures, letters of recommendation, written and oral communication, and their interview.

Is pharmacy experience required prior to applying?

Pharmacy or health-related experience is not required, but is highly encouraged.

What grade point average (GPA) and pharmacy college admission test (PCAT) score is competitive?

The minimum GPAs to be considered for admissions are:

Minimum overall undergraduate GPA: 2.75

Minimum Math and Science GPA: 3.2

There is no minimum PCAT score, but the PCAT score is considered in the holistic, whole-file review.

These are minimums and a competitive student should strive to achieve higher scores.  That said, GPA grades and PCAT scores are only two factors in the admissions decision.  Other factors include: student’s academic record, any healthcare-related experience, service commitment and engagement, letters of recommendation, written and oral communication, their interview, their fit within the institution and school, and how the student fits the SOP’s IDEAL (Innovation, Diversity, Engagement, Access, and Leadership).

What are the prerequisite courses I need to take before applying to the program?

A full list of prerequisite courses can be found here  and you can identify the corresponding course numbers from the Texas Core Course Numbering System here for courses taken at other Texas colleges and universities.  Please contact the PharmD Academic Advisor with any questions regarding prerequisites.  Students must have a minimum of two years of undergraduate experience.  Due to the heavy load of our prerequisites, it make take up to three years to complete the pre-requisites.  Please note that students can complete a bachelor’s degree before matriculating into the PharmD program, but are not required to.  It has been our experience that some of the most competitive and successful students have earned a bachelor’s degree prior to attending pharmacy school

Do I have to complete all of my prerequisite courses before I am admitted?

All prerequisite coursework must be completed by the end of the Spring semester before starting the PharmD program.  Classes taken between the Spring semester and the Fall semester of your first year of pharmacy (P1) must be approved prior to taking the course(s). You may be admitted contingent upon successful completion of all prerequisites by the start of PharmD classes.

I took my prerequisite courses at an institution using the quarter system. How do I figure out if I meet the required semester credit hours?

UTEP uses the semester system and lists the pharmacy prerequisite courses in terms of semester credit hours (SCH).  To convert quarter credit hours to semester hours, multiply the quarter hours x (2/3) to calculate the equivalent number of SCH.

How long will it take to complete the PharmD program at UTEP?

The PharmD program is a four-year, professional doctorate program.  Nearly all students will complete the program within four years.  In certain circumstances, however, some students may take up to an additional year prior to graduation.  All students must complete their degree within five years of matriculation.

Can I enroll as a part-time student?

No, all pharmacy students are enrolled full time.

What will the tuition be for PharmD students?

The tuition for the first professional year has not been set (please check back when admissions open during the fall semester, but is anticipated to be competitive with regional pharmacy programs.  The tuition and fee amount will include all fees and other academic expenses associated with the PharmD program.  Fees include a major fee as well as UTEP student fees.  A student may experience other charges, such as for on-campus parking, on-campus housing, bookstore purchases, medical insurance, living expenses, etc.

Can I work while I am in the program?

Working in a pharmacy can be a valuable part of your education and greatly enhance the learning experience.  However, we encourage students to be very cautious as to the amount of time spent in the workplace due to the academic demands of the PharmD program.

How is the curriculum at the UTEP SOP different/similar to other pharmacy schools?

The UTEP SOP curriculum provides an integrated curriculum that provides a solid pharmaceutical sciences foundation, while preparing you for your pharmacy career via pharmacy practice and pharmacy administration and management.  We believe that this integration best meets the needs of future pharmacists by providing opportunities for innovation and multiple touch points for similar concepts and issues across coursework and topics.  Students will complete experiential education requirements, including at a minimum eight rotations, in and around El Paso or beyond.  In addition, students are required to participate in a study away (domestic) or study abroad (international) experience to see how the discipline of pharmacy is practiced outside of El Paso.  Finally, because the UTEP SOP is situated on the US-Mexico border, Spanish is required every semester of the first three years of the the four year degree to increase and hone the technical Spanish skills of our students to best meet the needs of the local population and beyond.  Please see SOP Curriculum Summary for more information.

What locations will students complete their rotations?

Students will complete their rotations in a variety of locations: hospitals, clinics, drug stores, etc.  In addition, students can complete many of their rotations in El Paso, but have the opportunity to explore additional locations (e.g., the FDA in Washington DC, other domestic and international opportunities).  The UTEP SOP provides a variety of established locations to complete the rotation requirement, but students can also research other opportunities that will meet the SOP requirements while also allowing for a tailored approach to their rotation experiences.