Trends in pharmacy college admission test requirements and utilization across colleges and schools of pharmacy

Jamie L. Hall, Robin L. Corelli, Renee Dehart, Jason Haney, Lisa Lebovitz, Ann M. Philbrick, Libby J. Ross, Caroline Sierra, Paul Jungnickel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective. To identify national trends among US pharmacy schools and colleges in their requirements for the Pharmacy College Admission Test (PCAT) and underlying rationales for not requiring pharmacy school applicants to take it. Methods. An electronic survey regarding the following was sent to all US pharmacy programs: current and future PCAT requirements for applicants, use of the PCAT or other means to assess applicants’ written communication skills, use of unofficial PCAT scores, and, if applicable, the rationale for not requiring applicants to submit PCAT scores. Data analysis was performed using Excel. Results. One hundred five (73%) of 144 schools and colleges of pharmacy responded to the survey. Twelve institutions discontinued the PCAT requirement between the 2018-2019 and 2019-2020 admissions cycles. The most commonly selected reason for discontinuation was a desire to increase pharmacy applications by reducing admission barriers. Pharmacy schools nationwide had concerns regarding high PCAT registration fees. The majority of pharmacy programs that used PCAT scores in their application process indicated that they always, often, or sometimes invited applicants for an interview before they had received the applicant’s official PCAT scores. The majority of pharmacy programs considered applicants’ PCAT writing score in making their admissions decisions. Other methods used included onsite essays and personal statements. Conclusion. At the time of this study the majority of US pharmacy schools required applicants to submit the PCAT scores before being considered for admission to pharmacy school; however, the use of this examination has declined nationally.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number8179
Pages (from-to)179-184
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican journal of pharmaceutical education
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy.


  • Admissions
  • Assessment
  • Pharmacy college admissions test
  • Student pharmacists

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article


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