To prepare for a pharmacy program, you'll need a science-based major such as Biology or Chemistry.

Other majors such as Economics and Mathematics would also be a good fit, but keep in mind that biology, chemistry, and physics courses would be necessary additions to your plan of study if you choose a non-science major.

Be sure to discuss your post-graduate plans with your SAU advisor so that you construct a plan of study that satisfies whatever major you choose and prepares you for graduate school.

Ambrose Advantages

  • Liberal Arts Focus
  • Small Class Sizes
  • Specialize Your Studies

Mastering the wide range of skills to needed be a pharmacist -- science, communications, and a bit of business -- is not difficult at SAU. Here, your educational foundation is grounded in all of those areas. Our undergraduate degree programs prepare you to launch a career, pursue graduate studies, or both.


The requirements for pharmacy school provide a background in the numerous facets of the pharmacy career, including courses in biology, chemistry, economics, and communication. Development of these skills prepares you to dispense medication and provide counsel to patients about proper drug use.

Although the exact course requirements differ for each program, many pharmacy programs require the following courses for admission:

• One year General Biology + lab (BIOL 199, 200)
• One year General Chemistry + lab (CHEM 105, 106)
• One year Organic Chemistry + lab (CHEM 207, 208, 209, 210)
• One year Human Anatomy & Physiology (BIOL 230, 232)
• Physics + lab (PHYS 203)
• Calculus (MATH 191)
• Microbiology (BIOL 251)
• Statistics (STAT 213)
• English Composition (ENGL 101)
• Public Speaking (COMM 129)

Individual pharmacy programs may have additional requirements, including Social Sciences, Humanities, and/or Economics.

Pharmacy School Entrance Exam

The entrance exam for pharmacy school is the PCAT (Pharmacy College Admission Test). A minimum of two years of college study are required before entry into a pharmacy program, although it typically takes students three years to complete the necessary prerequisite courses for admission.

You should plan to take the PCAT during the summer before your last year of prerequisite coursework. Additional courses that are beneficial to complete prior to taking the PCAT are:

• Biochemistry + lab (CHEM 319)
• Genetics (BIOL 303)

What will I learn?

What undergraduate program interests you the most? Biology and Chemistry majors take many courses generally needed for admission to a pharmacy program. But, you could also choose to major in Economics or Mathematics and add a few extra courses in the sciences. We make that easier by offering many summer, and even some winterim, courses.

No matter which major you choose, your advisor will make sure your plan of study fits your goals and meets your undergraduate degree requirements.

Why not get some hands-on experience during your undergraduate career? Chemistry and Biology majors can do research and conduct experiments. Economics majors--in fact students in all of our programs-- can learn from leaders in business, healthcare, science, social services, and more, by completing an internship. Our Career Center has strong connections with employers throughout the region and will help you find an internship that is right for you.

While you are a student, you will learn the importance of inquiry, critical thinking skills, about social justice, and the world beyond the classroom. Your SAU education is grounded in the Liberal Arts and prepares you for so much more than a career.


Scholarships and Grants

For academic/merit-based awards, eligible students are matched to the qualifying award; some of them are listed below.

For need-based support, eligibility is determined by the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

You may also qualify for a scholarship or grant due to your talent in the fine arts or athletics. Give us a call or send an email so we can get to know you and find the best package for you. (You're also encouraged to seek outside scholarships and begin that search early.)

Institutional scholarships (2018-19)

To receive an institutional grant or scholarship students must meet specific criteria, and some may require a certain GPA to stay eligible. There is no need to apply for these; students automatically are eligible if they meet the criteria.

The Admissions Office calculates the award amount by using high school GPA and ACT/SAT scores.

Ambrose Scholar
For First Year, on-campus residents only. Straight As on high school transcript and a minimum 30 ACT score. Applicants who meet Ambrose Scholar criteria will be invited to compete for a full tuition scholarship for $@{17-18-Tuition}.

Trustee Scholar
$22,000/year - For First-year, on-campus residents only. Unweighted 3.8 GPA, 28+ACT. May be offset by state and/or federal aid if eligible.

Academic Scholarship
$14,000-17,000/year - Based on GPA and ACT/SAT score

University Grant
$12,000/year - Based on high school GPA and ACT/SAT score

Additional Awards

If you want to apply for any of the scholarships below, contact the Admissions Office.

Fine Arts Scholarships
Award based on performance and ability in art, music, or theatre. Includes the Michael Kennedy Theatre Scholarship. Audition or portfolio required.

Athletics Scholarships
Award varies. Based on performance and ability. Marching Band scholarships available. See below.

Freeman Pollard Minority Scholarship
$1,000 for on-campus students; $500 for off-campus. For accepted minority students.

Diocese of Davenport Catholic Parish Scholarship
Award varies. For First Year students only who are recommended by their parish pastor in the Diocese of Davenport. Recommendation to be completed by your pastor available here (pdf).

Father Welch Alumni Scholarship
$1,000/year. For on-campus students only whose parent is a St. Ambrose graduate.

Athletic Scholarships

As a member of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA), St. Ambrose can award athletic scholarships to student athletes. These scholarships allow you to earn a college education while competing in the sport that you love. At Ambrose, we embody that value of developing both the mind and body.

How do I qualify for an athletic scholarship?
You must first be eligible to play a sport at St. Ambrose. You can read about those qualifications here. The NAIA also has a complete website on how to register for eligibility at

Transfer Scholarships

Amounts are for transfer students entering St. Ambrose in the 2018-19 academic year. For questions about any of the awards below, give our friendly Financial Aid Office a call at 563-333-5775.

Guaranteed Minimum Scholarship Award 

based on GPA (Grade Point Average)
3.5-4.00 GPA: $12,000 per year scholarship award
3.0-3.49 GPA: $11,000 per year scholarship award
2.5-2.99 GPA: $10,000 per year scholarship award
2.0-2.49 GPA: $8,000 per year scholarship award


Phi Theta Kappa National Honor Society

Based on Phi Theta Kappa National Honor Society membership. Award is $12,500 per year for new transfer students.

Awards are renewable each year up to a maximum eight semesters, including transfer hours. Scholarships awarded for fall and spring semesters only. GPA is based on 4.0 scale.

Outside Scholarships

There are many opportunities to receive scholarships from outside sources, here are a few websites to begin researching your options:

Another tip: Next time you're on campus, check out the bulletin board outside Bee Central where we post more flyers and applications for outside scholarships.

Apply Visit Info


Admissions Office
Admissions and Welcome Center
310 W. Locust St.
Davenport, IA 52803

So, what's next?

Are you ready to take the next step? St. Ambrose offers more than 60 programs and 26 athletic teams and sports to join on campus. Become an Ambrosian today!