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

Other majors such as Business 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


St. Ambrose offers excellent scholarships and grants, work-study and other financial aid options! Full-time students may be eligible based on your strong academic performance in college, your talent in fine arts or athletics or your demonstrated financial need as determined by the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The SAU school code for the FAFSA is 001889.

First-Year Scholarships and Institutional Aid 2024-2025

Merit-Based Scholarships

4.0 GPA: $24,000
3.75-3.99 GPA: $22,000
3.0-3.749 GPA: $20,000
2.5-2.99 GPA: $18,000
2.0-2.49 GPA: $14,000
If GPA is 2.0-2.49, additional documents and review required for admission.

Merit-Based Scholarships

4.o GPA: $17,000
3.75-3.99 GPA: $16,000
3.0-3.749 GPA: $15,000
2.5-2.99 GPA: $14,000
2.0-2.49 GPA: $13,000
If GPA is 2.0-2.49, additional documents and review required for admission.


Ambrose Advantage Full-Tuition Scholarship
Pell-eligible Iowa residents, learn more here

Fr. Welch Alumni Scholarship: $500 per year
Parent is a St. Ambrose graduate

Catholic Traditions Scholarship: $1,000 per year
Students with Catholic religious denomination or plans to graduate from Catholic high school 

Minority Scholarship: $500 per year
Ethnically diverse student

Athletic Scholarships: varies
Performance and ability

Fine Arts Scholarships: varies
Performance and ability in music, art and theatre

Faith Learning Justice Campus Ministry Scholarships: $2,000 per year
Recognition of involvement in church and community service and interest in strengthening faith and growing as a leader in campus ministry

Scholarships are determined by unweighted GPA, and are renewable for four years of undergraduate student. Increases in scholarship awards due to change in GPA will be reviewed until March 1.

State and Federal Grants, Work Study

Grants are money that you don't repay, and they can come from government or private sources. SAU receives all financial aid funds directly - including loans and grants - then applies them to your account: once in the fall term and once in the spring term. Grants can be used to cover your tuition, books, and housing costs. You must apply for grants each academic year. If you have any loan funds in excess of your costs, you may receive a refund. If you are a first-time borrower, there is a 30-day hold on your first disbursement. For all of these grants, you must complete the Free Application Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) as soon as it is available.

Iowa Tuition Grant
To be eligible for the Iowa Tuition Grant, you must be a resident of Iowa as defined by the State Board of Regents and currently enrolled or planning to enroll in an undergraduate degree program at an eligible Iowa college or university (SAU is eligible). Iowa College Aid administers need-based college financial aid for Iowans, such as the Iowa Tuition Grant.
Award: $7,500 maximum

Federal Pell Grant
Awarded to students of the highest need based on how much your family can contribute to your education. The U.S. Department of Education sets a threshold. Then, when you file your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), it computes where you land within that threshold and determines if you qualify for the grant and for how much.
Award: $6,895 maximum

Federal Supplemental Education Opportunity Grant (FSEOG)
You must file a FAFSA to qualify for a Pell Grant. This grant is awarded on a first-come, first-served basis to students who have submitted all required documents for review and in time for the review to be complete. If you are eligible for a Pell Grant or SEOG, the awards will appear on your financial aid award letter.
Award: $400 maximum

Federal Work Study
Must secure campus employment.
Award: $2,560

Federal Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grant 
Provides aid to students intending to teach in a high-need field at a school that serves low-income families (as determined by the U.S. Department of Education or a state education agency). Review criteria and all details here.
Award: up to $4,000

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 Student Financial Services 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

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