Health Science: Pre-Pharmacy

Planning to be a pharmacist?

Although many professional programs in health care don’t require a bachelor’s degree prior to admission, the majority of students entering these programs have previously earned this degree. On our campus, our Health Science or Biology major is the most common way for our students to prepare for application to these professional programs. Both these majors offer a curriculum that includes a strong foundation in the physical and life sciences, as well as a significant liberal arts core. This curriculum is designed to give you the content area knowledge and the quantitative problem-solving, critical thinking and communication skills required of those working in health care. Additionally, for those highly focused students we have an agreement with Midwestern University-Chicago College of Pharmacy (MWU-CCP) which allows the successful student to enter Midwestern Pharmacy program after the completion of two years of course work on our campus – this program is known as our "Dual Acceptance Program in Pharmacy (DAP/Pharm)." 

Students interested in pharmacy may still elect to follow the more traditional path towards fulfilling the entrance requirements into a pharmacy program by pursuing a traditional B.S. degree (Health Science or Biology is recommended - see those major sheets for additional details). For those students able to meet the rigorous academic requirements, this agreement offers several advantages:

  •  A highly focused, streamlined sequence of courses designed to prepare students for a successful transition to MWU-CCP program.
  • Students will spend just two years on the Springfield campus, then transfer to MWU-CCP. However, students in this program will not earn a degree from Benedictine University.
  • MWU-CCP will waive the required PCAT exam for students who successfully complete the 2-year program at Benedictine University at Springfield, and will hold a place for them in their program.
What does the DAP/Pharm program entail?
  • Biology - Introduction to Cell Biology with lab (4 semester hours), Human Anatomy & Physiology I with lab (4 semester hours), and a minimum of one additional lab based BIOL course (4 semester hours) from an approved list (with additional BIOL courses recommended)
  • Chemistry - two semesters of General Chemistry with lab (8 semester hours) and two semesters of Organic Chemistry with lab (8 semester hours)
  • Physics – one semester of College Physics with lab (4 semester hours); the second semester is recommended
  • Math – Statistics or Biostatistics (3 semester hours) and Calculus I (5 semester hours)
  • Economics –Macroeconomics or Microeconomics (3 semester hours)
  • Additional Requirements – at least 23 additional semester hours or required/elective course work outside of the math and science areas must also be completed (see advisor for details)
  •  All courses must be completed with a grade of "C" or higher, within two years of enrolling (as a freshman) at Benedictine University. A minimum GPA = 3.2 (cumulative) and 2.5 (science) must be maintained at the end of each academic year (spring semester). No courses can be repeated for a higher grade.
How does the program work?

To be eligible, students must apply while in their senior year of high school, have a minimum 3.2/4.0 cumulative GPA, and must score in the top 20 percent on a college entrance exam (composite ACT ≥ 25; three sections on SAT ≥ 1700; test results must include a written component). Successful students should be able to demonstrate a commitment to community service/volunteering/extracurricular activities, and a strong interest in the pharmacy profession through previous work or related shadowing experiences. Students must complete additional application materials (available from the Office of Admissions) that will be submitted to MWU-CCP for consideration – all application materials must be complete and submitted by February 1. Acceptance to Benedictine University does not guarantee their acceptance in the DAP/Pharm program – those students who are considered eligible by MWU-CCP will be invited to the Downers Grove campus for a mandatory, personal interview as part of their application to the DAP/Pharm program.