Frequently Asked Questions and Answers

General Program Questions

Why should I consider pharmacy as a career choice? 

Pharmacists play a critical role in helping people gain the optimal benefit from their medications and, in settings ranging from intensive care units to over 55,000 community pharmacies, pharmacists use their knowledge about drugs to achieve better health outcomes. There is a shortage of pharmacists in the United States in general and in California specifically. The Touro University California College of Pharmacy helps to address these shortages both nationwide and in California. 

Why should I attend the Touro University California College of Pharmacy? 

The Touro University California College of Pharmacy is one of only two programs, both within the Touro College/University system, that is divided into two years of didactic instruction and two years of practical experience. The national paradigm is three years of didactics with one year of practical experience. In addition, the program emphasizes students working in teams to develop their communication and organizational skills. These student teams develop presentations, projects, and reports, and interact with other teams in group discussions, role playing, and debates. The program stresses the use of technology to acquire and evaluate information. All students use laptop computers and campus-based internet access to pursue assignments and projects. The College of Pharmacy provides each student with the skills necessary to become a valuable member of the health care system. 

How is the College of Pharmacy structured? 

The Touro University California College of Pharmacy confers the Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D.) degree and is four years in length. The curriculum includes two major components - didactic and experiential. The didactic curriculum encompasses the first two years and has a semi-block or modularized structure in which students study in concentrated, specific topic areas for one to three months, expanding and integrating their knowledge about human biology, disease, and medications. The experiential component encompasses the last two years and includes fourteen six-week rotations which are designed to create a more clinically mature graduate who is more fully prepared to enter pharmacy practice or pursue post-graduate pharmacy residencies, fellowships, or graduate work. During rotations, students work with pharmacists and other health professionals in community pharmacies, clinics, hospitals, and other settings.

Seven required rotations include community pharmacy (2 rotations), hospital pharmacy (1 rotation), acute care (2 rotations), and ambulatory care (2 rotations). Students will also complete four elective rotations, with possibilities including pediatrics, infectious disease, neurology/psychiatry, HIV, oncology, medical infomatics, and research. Students are provided with three six-week open periods to be used for research, working, or preparing for post-graduate experiences.

Students are required to apply for and obtain an Intern Pharmacist License. Information on this process may be found on the State of California Department of Consumer Affairs Board of Pharmacy website.

Application Questions 

I've researched several pharmacy programs.  Some require a Bachelor's degree and some do not.  Does the Touro University California College of Pharmacy require a Bachelor's degree?

No, the TUC College of Pharmacy does not require a Bachelor's degree.  Candidates must complete a minimum of 72 semester units of degree applicable coursework prior to matriculation.  For a full list of requirements, please visit the requirements section of this website.    

How may I determine if I am a competitive candidate? 

With nearly two thousand applications, admission into the College of Pharmacy is very competitive. For the best possible chances, applicants should have Cumulative and Science GPA's of 3.0 or greater. Applicants are also encouraged to obtain a variety of experiences, either paid or volunteer, that expose them to pharmacy in general and, where possible, the role of the Pharmacist as part of today's health care team. Non-health related volunteer experiences are also beneficial. In addition, the Committee considers both written and verbal communication skills to be key in determining the likelihood of success in the program. Applicants are advised to work on both prior to the interview. Demographics for the most recent entering class are available for applicants who desire to compare their specific backgrounds to those who have already been accepted. 

How do I determine which courses (course numbers or titles) at my school will satisfy your prerequisite requirements? 

We do not require specific course numbers, rather, we require a specific number of semester units within each subject. For example, we require 8 semester units of General Chemistry, which means any Genera Chemistry (General Chemistry, Inorganic Chemistry, Physical Chemistry) courses will satisfy our requirement, provided the total number of semester units obtained exceeds 8 semester units and provided such coursework is completed at a regionally accredited institution.

Is it possible to apply to this program without having completed all of the prerequisites at the time of application? 

Yes. Candidates who have not yet completed the required prerequisite coursework may apply, interview, and be accepted on a provisional basis with the understanding that, should they be accepted, all requirements must be satisfied prior to the first day of mandatory orientation.  It is strongly recommended, however, that candidates avoid applying without having completed at least 75% of the required coursework.   

By what date must I have all undergraduate requirements completed? 

All prerequisites must be completed prior to the start of mandatory orientation. Because the specific date may vary from year to year, it is advised that all prerequisites be completed no later than the final week in July prior to the August start. Students who have not completed the necessary requirements prior to the start of mandatory orientation will not be permitted to register. No exceptions are permitted. 

If my prerequisite courses were completed several years ago, would I be required to retake them to obtain more recent grades? In other words, is there a time limit beyond which a course would no longer satisfy a prerequisite requirement? 

While the College of Pharmacy does not require that prerequisite coursework be completed within a specific amount of time prior to the start of classes, applicants with prerequisite coursework that is several years old will face some challenges. First, it may be difficult or impossible to secure letters of recommendation from a professor of a course taught several years ago. Second, without recent academic experience, Committee members may become concerned with the applicants ability to succeed with a demanding curriculum. For these reasons, it is strongly suggested that applicants with older coursework plan to take a few "refresher" courses. Doing so not only provides a potential source for letters of recommendation, but also helps to mitigate Committee concerns over a lack of recent academic experience. 

PharmCAS allows me a maximum of four letters of recommendation, but I have additional letters I wish to include with my application. Is it possible to submit additional letters? 

Yes. Additional letters may be sent directly to the University.    

How can I obtain more information about the Touro University - California College of Pharmacy? 

If, after reviewing the information on this website, you have unanswered questions regarding admission to the College of Pharmacy, we invite you to contact us at  

Financial Aid 

What is the current amount charged for tuition? Is this expected to increase yearly? 

Current tuition rates may be found by visiting the Cost of Attendance section of our Financial Aid website.   

What options are available to fund my pharmacy education? 

All College of Pharmacy students are eligible for Federal loan assistance, which is available in various forms. Specific information regarding Federal loans may be obtained by visiting the Financial Aid web site.  

Are there any scholarships and/or grants available? 

The Financial Aid Office maintains a lengthy list of scholarship and grant opportunities. Though qualifications vary, students are encouraged to apply for any scholarships/grants for which they feel they qualify and the Financial Aid Office is available to assist with the process. 

Whom may I contact with specific financial aid questions? 

Questions regarding financial aid should be directed to the Financial Aid Office via email sent to

Campus Tours 

How can I schedule a tour of the campus? 

Campus tours are provided Monday through Thursday while interviews are in session.  For scheduling information, visit our Campus Tours page. 

Where do the majority of the College of Pharmacy students live? Is transportation (e.g. a car) required? 

The majority of College of Pharmacy students live in Vallejo, Benicia, Fairfield, and surrounding areas. Information on local rental options may be found on the Housing Services website. Most students find it beneficial to have a car while on campus and while on rotations. 

What is the learning environment on campus? 

The Mare Island location of the College of Pharmacy campus provides a quiet atmosphere that is conducive to studying. The Pharmacy Learning Center includes four plasma screens in each lecture hall for ease of viewing lecture materials, as well as wireless network and internet connections which facilitate speedy access to various study guides and materials. 

What non-academic pursuits are available on or near the Touro University California campus? 

The Touro Unviversity California campus houses basketball, volleyball, and racquetball courts. Students have access to tennis courts, located behind the Basic Sciences building, and the Mare Island Golf Course is within walking distance of the campus. In addition, several private gyms are within a short drive.


Is the Touro University - California College of Pharmacy accredited? 

The Touro University California College of Pharmacy is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education, 20 North Clark Street, Suite 2500, Chicago, IL 60602-5109, 312/664-3575; FAX 312/664-4652, website

The College of Pharmacy is part of Touro University – California, located in Vallejo, California. Touro University holds regional accreditation from the Accrediting Commission for Senior Colleges and Universities of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC), 985 Atlantic Avenue #100, Alameda, CA 94501, (510) 748-9001. Regional accreditation was transferred from the Commission on Higher Education of Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools (MSCHE) in February 2005.

The Pharmacy Profession

What is a Pharmacist? 

Pharmacists are health care professionals who specialize in medications. Most pharmacists practice in community pharmacies or hospitals, where there are many specialties in pharmacy practice such as infectious disease and oncology. Positions in asthma and diabetic clinics are also popular. Pharmacists also work in long-term care facilities, health plans, and in governmental agencies such as the Federal Drug Administration and the Public Health Service. An important role for all pharmacists is helping people receive the greatest benefit from their medications. This role is especially important as the Baby Boom population ages, greatly increasing the number of people who need clinical advice about medications and better management of chronic diseases which are primarily treated with medications.

There are approximately 200,000 pharmacists in the United States, making pharmacy the third largest health professional group after nurses and physicians. 

How can I find out more information about Pharmacy as a profession? 

For more information on pharmacy as a profession, please refer to the American Pharmacists Association website at at