Pharmacists do more than help patients manage conditions and cure illnesses. They prevent the spread of infectious diseases through immunizations and ultimately save the lives of millions worldwide.

Students have two ways to study pre-pharmacy at Alvernia University. They can apply to the pharmacy school of their choice, or they can use Alvernia’s guaranteed early acceptance program partnership.

Undergraduate Programs

Getting Started

Where You Can Get A Degree

The pre-pharmacy program is available at the following Alvernia University campus:

Preparing for Pharmacy School

Students interested in attending pharmacy school should contact the Alvernia Pre-Professional Program Advisors as soon as possible upon enrollment at Alvernia. It is the responsibility of the student to research pharmacy schools in which they are interested. Pharmacy schools will have their own admission requirements, and students should take courses needed for those specific programs. The Alvernia Pre-Professional Program Advisors guide pre-pharmacy students to choose the best major and courses, so they have the best chance for acceptance to pharmacy schools.

Application Instructions

Through a rolling admission process, prospective undergraduate students — including first-year, transfer, and international students — may apply via the Alvernia web portal or The Common Application. To learn more about how to complete your application, please visit our application page.

Financing Your Education

There are options to assist in financing your education and making the tuition affordable. Visit our Student Financial Services page for a detailed overview of the process, including a link to complete the FAFSA application, as well as more information about tuition, the tuition payment plan and the tuition deferment program we offer. Alvernia’s Title IV code for the FAFSA is 003233. The Office of Student Financial Services is available to help with any questions you may have. Call 610-796-8201 or email

Pharmacy School Early Acceptance Program

Students who want to become pharmacists take the fast track toward their goal through a special partnership at Alvernia University.

The nation’s largest medical college, Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine (LECOM), has partnered with Alvernia University to offer guaranteed acceptance into LECOM’s graduate pharmacy program. Alvernia students who meet all the academic requirements while earning their undergraduate degrees in Reading, PA, can earn their graduate pharmacy degrees at the LECOM campuses in Pennsylvania and Florida.

Through the LECOM Early Acceptance Program (EAP), students apply to the LECOM School of Pharmacy while they are still in high school. Students who meet the requirements in high school are conditionally accepted into Alvernia University and the LECOM pharmacy program simultaneously.

LECOM Admission Requirements
  • SAT score greater than or equal to 1170 (Math and Critical Reading) or ACT score greater than or equal to 26
  • High school GPA of 3.5 or higher
  • Maintain a cumulative GPA at Alvernia of 3.4 or higher and a science GPA of 3.2 or higher

Students already attending Alvernia must meet these criteria to enroll into the Early Acceptance Program.

4 + 4 Track

Students must enroll in the Early Acceptance Program by February 1 of their second year at Alvernia University. After completing four years at Alvernia and meeting GPA and other requirements, students enter LECOM the following July. LECOM graduates will receive a Doctor of Pharmacy degree, and Alvernia will award the graduate with an appropriate bachelor’s degree.

Adult student
Learn More
For more information about the pre-pharmacy program, contact the Admissions Office (1-888-ALVERNIA or or reach out directly to:

Ondra Kielbasa, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Biology

Eric Recktenwald, Ph. D.
Associate Professor of Biology

Program Overview


During their first year, students should talk to the Alvernia Pre-Professional Program Advisors about their plan to apply to dental school. Faculty advisors help pre-dental students choose the courses they need for application to post-graduate programs.

Pre-pharmacy students typically pursue an undergraduate degree in biology or biochemistry, but some pharmacy schools accept students who study different majors. Students who plan to apply to a non-LECOM pharmacy program should check with the pharmacy programs to be sure they complete the required undergraduate coursework. Students who plan to apply to the LECOM program should major in biology or biochemistry.

Most pharmacy schools require the following coursework for admission to a graduate program:

Chemistry: 2 Semesters

  • General Chemistry I
  • General Chemistry II

Organic Chemistry: 2 Semesters

  • Organic Chemistry I
  • Organic Chemistry II

English: 2 Semesters

Math: 2 Semesters

  • Calculus I
  • Calculus II
  • Statistics

Biology: 3 Semesters

  • Principals of Biology I
  • Principals of Biology II
  • Microbiology

Physics: 1 Semester

  • Physics I

Public Speaking: 1 Semester

Anatomy and Physiology: 2 Semesters

  • A & P I
  • A & P II


Economics: 1 Semester (check schools of interest to determine if micro or macroeconomics is preferred)


Some pharmacy schools require the following coursework for admission to a graduate program:

Physics: Additional 1 Semester

Psychology: 1 Semester

Additional Electives: (refer to school’s requirements)

Humanities: history, language, religion, etc.

Students entering the program with 70+ transferable credits or an associate degree must complete 30/31 Liberal Arts Core credits.

A total of 123 credits with 3 credits in a human diversity course are required to complete a Bachelor’s degree. To adhere to Franciscan values, community service hours are also required. In addition, at least 30 credits at the 300/400 level must be taken at Alvernia University.

Program requirements are subject to change. Contact your admissions counselor for the most up-to-date information.

Pre-Professional Program Advisors

Ondra Kielbasa, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Biology

Eric Recktenwald, Ph. D.
Associate Professor of Biology

Office of Admissions
610.796.8269 | 1.888.ALVERNIA

Career Outlook

Pharmacists are medication specialists who provide innovative ways to keep people health. Most pharmacists work in retail pharmacy settings, hospitals, home health care facilities or in research laboratories. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of pharmacists is projected to grow 2 percent from 2021 to 2031. The median annual salary for a pharmacist in 2021 was over $128,000.

Experiential Learning

Students participate with Science Department faculty to complete research projects that make them more competitive in their applications to professional schools.


With hundreds of community connections in Greater Reading and beyond, pre-professional students can complete internships in a variety of healthcare settings. Recently, pre-professional students have complete internships with:

  • Reading Hospital
  • Bryn Mawr Hospital Pharmacy Department
  • St. Joseph Medical Center
  • Phoebe Berks Nursing Home
  • Sinking Spring Manor Care
  • Country Meadows
  • Flying Hills Pharmacy
Pre-Health Professions Club

The Pre-Health Professions Club provides a setting in which students working toward careers in health professions can share information, learn more about health professions, and develop friendships with students with similar interests. Past club activities include autopsy observations, health fairs, free health screening services and visits to local healthcare organizations.