»FAQs for the Chapman University School of Pharmacy

See below for a list of frequently asked questions for the School of Pharmacy. For any additional questions or more information, feel free to contact us at pharmacy@chapman.edu or call (714) 516-5487


Is the School of Pharmacy on the Chapman University Campus in Orange, CA?

No. CUSP is located on the Harry and Diane Rinker Health Science Campus in Irvine, CA. The campus is 15 miles south of the Chapman Campus and currently consists of 3 buildings at 9401, 9501 and 9701 Jeronimo Road.  CUSP is conveniently located 1.5 miles east of the I-5 Freeway, off of Alton Parkway, and within 2 miles of the Irvine Spectrum.

Is there student housing near the School of Pharmacy?

Currently there is no official Chapman student housing near CUSP. However, there are several apartment complexes within 1 to 3 miles of CUSP, including “The Park” and “The Village” apartment complexes located at the Irvine Spectrum. More housing is being developed commercially in the Great Park area of Irvine.


Does CUSP require a background check?

CUSP does not require a criminal background check to apply to the Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) program.  However, those individuals selected for admission to the program are required to complete one.  Additionally, the California State Board of Pharmacy requires fingerprints and a criminal background check to obtain a pharmacy intern license which will be required in the first year.  In addition, many of the clinical facilities affiliated with CUSP may require additional background checks and/or drug testing for student placements.

What are the criteria for admission?

The CUSP admission criteria include academic strength, motivation to pursue pharmacy, maturity, communication skills, special talents, achievements and the unique contribution you will be expected to make to the profession. Students who have a desire to use the clinical and communication skills they acquire during pharmacy school to provide medication therapy management to patients as part of a health care team within an Accountable Care Organization, Patient Centered Medical Home, Care Transition Organization, or a Medical Group, are highly encouraged to apply. For more information, see the CUSP admission requirements.

What is the School's likely SAT minimum and GPA requirements for admission and continuing work?

It is expected that students admitted will have verbal and math SAT scores greater than 1340 (ACT 30) with Critical Writing SAT of 670 (ACT 30) and a GPA of at least 3.75 for early action freshman admission (expected GPA of 3.5 or more for all other students). All prerequisites grades must be a C or better and students will be required to maintain a 3.0 average to continue to progress with no grade below a C in any course.

What are the options for admission?

CUSP has three different pathways to gain admission.

1.) Students can apply as a “Freshman Early Assurance” admission directly to the Doctor of Pharmacy Program via the Common Application with a guaranteed seat provided they maintain academic standards and complete their pharmacy school pre-requisite courses in two years at Chapman University.  These students would then continue into the pharmacy program following a second interview in their third semester as long as they fulfill the pre-requisite requirements and Special Admission Requirements for Freshman CUSP Admission before starting the pharmacy program the next fall. Early Action Freshman applicants will not receive a Bachelor of Science (BS) degree and will receive the terminal Doctor of Pharmacy degree in 5 years if they continue to meet the academic and professional standards of the program.

2.) Students who are already attending Chapman could complete their pre-requisite courses at Chapman in any number of years and then apply to CUSP by completing the Special Admission Requirements for internal Chapman students.

3.) Students who have completed their pre-requisites, with or without obtaining a BS Degree, at an institution other than Chapman can apply using the PharmCAS system and will be required to take the PCAT exam. For more detailed information, see the CUSP Admission page.

Do I need to send in my transcripts to CUSP?

If you are applying as a “Freshman Early Assurance” admission the Common Application system and our central admissions group will facilitate the transfer of the information required by CUSP. If you have completed all of your coursework at Chapman, your transcripts will be automatically transferred from the registrar’s office to CUSP. If you are an External student, you need to send in an official copy of all of your transcripts using PharmCAS when you apply.

When do I need to complete my pre-pharmacy courses?

All pre-pharmacy courses must be completed before you can start the pharmacy program.

How many students are accepted each year?

The CUSP program will accept 70 students for 2015, 80 students for 2016, and then 100 students per year, thereafter. Personalized education is a core value for Chapman University, therefore, for many pharmacy courses students will be broken up into smaller groups of 15 to 30.

Is preference given to California residents?

No. The School uses the same criteria to evaluate out-of-state applicants as California residents.

Do California residents pay less tuition than out-of-state students?

Chapman University is a private university; therefore, tuition and fees are the same for all students regardless of state or country of residence.

Is a bachelor's degree required?


Can I enter with advanced standing status?

No. Due to the unique nature of our curriculum, CUSP is not able to accept students who will not be starting the pharmacy program from the first trimester.

Do you have a rolling admission?

Yes. It is advisable to submit your application as early as possible.  Freshman applying for a “Freshman Early Assurance” admission must apply by January 15th.

Do you give preference to any major?

No, CUSP does not give preference to any major. Most applicants are science majors. The most common majors are biology, chemistry, biochemistry and psychobiology.

I already have a bachelor's degree. Do I still need to complete all the prerequisites?

Yes, all applicants regardless of degree or major must complete all of the pre-pharmacy required courses before they enter the PharmD program.

Where do I take the pre-pharmacy courses? How do I know if my classes have met your pre-pharmacy requirements?

You may take your pre-pharmacy courses at any accredited institution in the United States, except vocational or technical schools. All pre-pharmacy coursework must be completed for a letter grade. The course descriptions must meet CUSP transfer requirements. You may contact the CUSP Office of Student and Academic Affairs if you have questions.

Can I meet with a counselor to go over my transcripts and application?

CUSP offers Information Sessions for prospective applicants. These sessions give you an opportunity to visit the Rinker Health Science Campus of Chapman University, meet with faculty and admission staff, and learn about the CUSP program and the application process. Your coursework/transcripts will be evaluated once your application is submitted.

Can I submit my application before I complete my pre-requisites?

Yes. You should have completed most of your pre-pharmacy coursework by the time you submit your application. You must indicate on your application when and where you will be taking the remaining pre-requisites. All pre-pharmacy courses must be completed before you can start the pharmacy program.

+-Applicant Interviews

Do I need an interview?

To be accepted into the PharmD program, you must be interviewed.  However, due to the large number of students who apply, not all applicants will be invited to be interviewed.

Is there a minimum grade point average required for an interview?

Competitive applicants who meet a minimum 3.5 cumulative grade point average and above, possess strong communication and interpersonal skills, and have a general knowledge of the field of pharmacy are the most sought-after candidates. However, 3.0 is the minimum grade point average needed to apply. Unfortunately, CUSP is unable to interview all qualified applicants.

How do I know if I am selected for a CUSP interview?

If you are selected for an interview, you will receive an E-mail invitation two to three weeks prior to the interview date.

What should I expect during the CUSP interview?

The interview consists of two parts: the oral interview and a writing test. The purpose of the interview is to assess your oral communication skills, writing skills, leadership attributes and your motivation or potential to be a pharmacist.

Can I reschedule my CUSP interview appointment?

No. If you miss your assigned interview or arrive late, your application will be canceled. However, under some rare circumstances, such as a medical emergency, the CUSP Admission Committee will make an exception. If you know you will be attending an important event or studying abroad during one of CUSP's interview sessions, please inform us early so that we will not schedule your interview during that session.

How should I dress for the CUSP interview?

Professional attire is recommended.

When will I be notified of my admission status?

All applicants will be notified by mail or email approximately four weeks after the interview date. Status updates will be mailed to you about four weeks after each interview session or as soon as decisions are made. CUSP does not release status information over the telephone.

What does "active consideration" mean?

Active consideration is a status for those candidates who have been interviewed, but are not admitted after an interview. Candidates on active consideration are placed on hold/wait list until a final admission decision can be made. Active consideration candidates are re-evaluated after each subsequent interview session conducted by CUSP and could receive admission, denial, or continued active consideration status.

What can I do if I'm assigned "active consideration" status?

The CUSP PharmD program is highly competitive. Not all applicants are interviewed. When you are on active consideration status, you should continue with your unfinished coursework. When you finish an academic term, please send in your updated transcript(s) as soon as the grades and/or your degree are posted.

What if I have a change of address?

You should notify the CUSP Office of Student and Academic Affairs of all changes of mailing and e-mail addresses, as well as phone numbers.

How do I withdraw my application? Do I need to notify PharmCAS?

You should notify the admission office as soon as possible of your decision to withdraw. An explanation and/or information about what school you choose to attend is appreciated. You do not need to notify PharmCAS about your decision to withdraw.

May I apply again if I am denied the first time?

Yes. Re-applicants must submit following the same process as new applicants. However, you are required to send only one new letter of recommendation.

What is the Difference between a Pharmaceutical Scientist and a Pharmacist?

Pharmaceutical scientists are typically involved in the development of new drugs: discovery, drug delivery systems, characteristics related to drug absorption, distribution, metabolism, and elimination. They spend most of their time conducting research in a laboratory or office setting. Pharmaceutical scientists focus primarily upon the product design and development.

Pharmacists work with existing drugs, patients, and other healthcare practitioners to advance health and patient care through the appropriate use of medications. They often work face-to-face with physicians (drug selection and use) and patients (appropriate medication use including adherence). However, there are an array of non-direct patient care roles for pharmacists including research.  Pharmacists primarily focus on the patient.

Will I be able to work while I am enrolled in the Doctor of Pharmacy program?

While it is possible to work during the program, students will be expected to attend class for most of the day (8am to 5pm), Monday through Friday.  Nights and weekends may be open, depending upon whether experiential educational requirements fall during the first two years of the program.  In some instances, student pharmacists may need to spend time in pharmacy practice setting depending upon the availability of teaching partners and practice sites.  

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