pre pharmacy

Begin a prosperous career in medicine with a liberal arts education that includes a solid foundation in the natural sciences.

Saint Michael's College has partnered with the Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences to provide a pathway to get two degrees in six years: a Bachelor of Science in Pre-Pharmacy and a Doctor of Pharmacy.  Spend the first three years at Saint Michael's taking advantage of all the great opportunities on campus.  Then, if you qualify for admission, you can begin graduate coursework at the ACPHS Vermont campus (just ten minutes away) in your fourth year.

As a pre-pharmacy major at Saint Michael's you will take courses in biology, chemistry, physics, calculus, and statistics.  A strong background in these disciplines is essential to success in the doctoral program in pharmacy.

As a pharmacy student at ACPHS you will build on this foundation with graduate courses in medicinal chemistry, pathophysiology, pharmacology, and therapeutics.

You must begin the pre-pharmacy program when you enroll at St. Mike's and register for required courses in biology, chemistry, and mathematics starting in your first semester. To be accepted at ACPHS you must meet all entrance requirements, so you will need to achieve high grades in your courses at Saint Michael's.  For successful admission to ACPHS you must complete at least 60 credits at Saint Michael's with an overall minimum GPA of 3.0 (only grades of C or above will count towards the 60 credits). You must also successfully complete an interview and writing assessment at ACPHS, and successfully complete the PCAT exam.

Sample Four Year Plan for Pre-Pharmacy Majors (3+3 Option)*

First Year
Fall Spring
BI 151 Introduction to Ecology and Evolution BI 153 Introductory Cell Biology and Genetics
CH 110 General Chemistry I  CH 117 Organic Chemistry I
First Year Seminar ST 120 Elementary Statistics
Core course Core course
Second Year
Fall Spring
BI 205 Communications in the Biological Sciences CH 208 General Chemistry II
CH 207  Organic Chemistry II MA 150 Calculus
Core course Biology elective
Core course Core course
Third Year
Fall Spring
BI 230 or 315  Microbiology    Core course  
PY 210 College Physics I Core course
Junior Seminar Elective
Elective Elective
Summer at Albany College of Pharmacy
Pharmaceutics I    
  Physiology/Pathophysiology I     
  Drug Information/Biostatistics
  Integrated Problem Solving Workshop 
  Pharmacy Skills Lab
Fourth Year at Albany College of Pharmacy
Fall Spring
Pharmaceutics II   Pharmacokinetics
  Physiology/Pathophysiology II 
  Molecular Foundations of Drug Action
  Immunology    US/Global Health Care Systems
  Molecular Biology
  Self Care / OTC 
  Foundations of Pharmacy    Infectious Disease
  Gastrointestinal / Nutrition
  Integrated Problem Solving Workshop   Integrated Problem Solving Workshop
  Pharmacy Skills Lab   Pharmacy Skills Lab 

This is just one possible path to fulfilling the requirements for the Pre-Pharmacy program.  Students must be careful in their selection of courses to ensure that they meet Saint Michael's College requirements and the prerequisites of the Albany College of Pharmacy program.  Your faculty advisor will work with you to develop a curriculum plan that fulfills these requirements and matches your goals and interests. 

Details of the rest of the ACPHS program can be found on their Doctor of Pharmacy page.

* For students who enroll in the fall of 2019.

Ari Kirshenbaum, PhD

Professor of Psychology, Krikstone Laboratory for the Behavioral Sciences

Contact Professor Kirshenbaum

Saint Edmund's Hall 202B
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Ph.D. University of Montana, Missoula
B.A. University of Colorado, Boulder

Post-Doctoral Scientist, NASA Ames Research Center
Post-Doctoral Scientist, University of Vermont, College of Medicine

Areas of Expertise:

Animal behavior and psychopharmacology

Courses I Teach:

  • Introduction to Psychology
  • Research Methods II
  • Animal Learning and Behavior
  • Drugs and Behavior

Shane Lamos, PhD

Associate Professor of Chemistry, Pre-Pharmacy Degree Coordinator

Contact Professor Lamos

Cheray Hall 216
Box 352
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Ph.D. University of Wisconsin
B.S. Saint Michael's College

Areas of Expertise:

Using Organic synthesis to develop new tools for the qualitative and quantitative assessment of proteins and metabolites

Courses I Teach:

  • Chemistry Senior Seminar
  • Organic Chemistry
  • General Chemistry

You do not have to major in pre-pharmacy to apply to the ACPHS Doctor of Pharmacy program, but if you do you can shorten the time required to complete your undergraduate and graduate work by one whole year.  The usual length of time for the two degrees is seven years of study, but this joint program makes it possible to complete both in six years.

While you are at St. Mike's you will have opportunities to engage in collaborative research projects with faculty in biology, chemistry, psychology, or other departments.

Once you start the program at ACPHS you can still choose to live on the Saint Mike's campus during your fourth year, with full access to the dining hall, athletic facilities, library, and other campus services.

After you complete your first year at ACPHS you will receive a Saint Michael's degree with major in Pre-Pharmacy so you can graduate with your SMC class.

If you decide not to continue to the ACPHS program after your third year, you can complete a biology major in your senior year by taking six additional upper-level biology courses. The courses would need to meet the biology distribution and lab experience requirements. Other majors would require additional coursework.

A Doctor of Pharmacy degree provides a multitude of career opportunities in biomedical fields. Some of these career paths may involve patient treatment and long-term care, and others may involve basic and/or clinical research. Opportunities in administration, education and business development are also possible.

Saint Michael's has an excellent history of placing students into graduate programs in the health sciences, and the science curriculum is especially well-suited to providing students with the best possible intellectual foundation for their careers.

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