The Science Department at Alvernia University provides oversight and guidance for students who are interested in pursuing healthcare careers such as medical, dental, pharmacy, and physician assistant. Most students who are planning to attend medical or professional school choose to major in the sciences (most often biology or biochemistry), since these majors allow them to meet the necessary prerequisite courses. It is possible to choose other majors, if desired, but additional coursework will be needed to meet the prerequisites.

Students have the opportunity to meet with a Pre-Health Professions Advisor starting in their first year, and they are encouraged to meet with the advisor regularly each year after that. These meetings help students to learn how to prepare for medical/professional school applications, and allow them to plan their time and experiences at Alvernia accordingly. Students can pursue early acceptance to medical, dental, or pharmacy school through Alvernia’s partnership with Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine.

The Science Department is also home to the Pre-Health Professions Club, which provides students with an opportunity to meet with others who have similar interests, learn about different health professions, participate in community service, and develop leadership skills.

In This Section
Pre-Professional 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

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

Brandi Burns, MMSPAS, PA-C

Program Overview


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: 2 Semesters

  • Physics I
  • Physics II

Psychology: 1 Semester

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

Anatomy and Physiology: 2 Semesters

  • A & P I
  • A & P II

Upper-Level Sciences

  • Biochemistry
  • Genetics
  • Cell Biology
  • Microbiology
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.


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
Partnership With Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine

With a growing demand of healthcare professionals, Alvernia and Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine (LECOM) partnered to help prepare new doctors, dentists and pharmacists. This special Early Acceptance Program (EAP) with LECOM allows students to apply to LECOM medical, dental, or pharmacy school as early as their senior year of high school. Students who meet the requirements in high school are conditionally accepted into both Alvernia and LECOM’s program simultaneously.

Lake Erie College of Medicine (LECOM) is a private college with locations in Pennsylvania and Florida. Its main campus is located in Erie, PA, with additional locations at LECOM at Seton Hill, in Greensburg, PA and LECOM Bradenton, a branch campus in Florida. 

LECOM Early Acceptance Admission Requirements
  • SAT score greater than or equal to 1240 (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 Feb. 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.

Accreditation Statement

Alvernia is an accredited institution and a member of the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE). MSCHE is an institutional
accrediting agency recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation.

Pre-Professional Program Advisors

Ondra Kielbasa, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Biology


Brandi Burns, MMSPAS, PA-C