Bachelor of Science (BS) in Biology: Pre-Pharmacy Emphasis

Bachelor of Science in Biology with an Emphasis in Pre-Pharmacy

Offered By: College of Natural Sciences

Take the First Step Toward Your Potential Career as a Pharmacist

A Bachelor of Science (BS) in Biology with an Emphasis in Pre-Pharmacy can provide the foundation for those looking to pursue future pharmacist roles. In this degree program at Grand Canyon University, you will take the core coursework needed to prepare yourself to sit for the Pharmacy College Admission test (PCAT: if needed) and potentially step into a Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) program in the future.

If you enjoy examining the fundamentals of scientific principles that can help establish a framework for more advanced curriculum within pharmacology, this degree may be right for you.

Prepare for Your Future With Pre-Pharmacy Courses

Many pharmacists work with customers, other pharmacists and pharmacy techs on a regular basis. This means that you can benefit from developing skills in interpersonal communications.1 In this BS in Biology degree with an emphasis in pre-pharmacy, you will be taught skills that can help you prepare to discuss pharmacology and human physiology with people at a general and professional level. In addition, you will study current theories and practices in pharmacology and consider timely topics that may impact customers. Some of these theories, practices and topics include:

  • Complex biological networks
  • Communication of case studies and clinical research
  • Ethics
  • Human anatomy
  • Lab methods
  • Molecular biology
  • Practical pharmacology skills
  • Scientific inquiry
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Pre-pharmacy degree student gaining lab experience from GCU

Prepare for Graduate-Level Pharmacy Studies by Earning a Bachelor’s in Biology: Pre- Pharmacy Emphasis

Graduates from this degree at GCU have the opportunity to prepare themselves to move on to graduate-level studies. The core coursework in biology, anatomy, physiology, chemistry and genetics may count as prerequisites for other allied health graduate programs.

Depending on certain state requirements, you may qualify to become a pharmacy technician right away or by completing an additional training program and passing a certification exam.2 Alternatively, you may choose to complete graduate-level education in pursuit of a career as a potential pharmacist.

Study Biology at an Institutionally Accredited University

Not all bachelor’s in biology degrees offer the same quality of instruction. It’s important to choose a program from a university or college that has been institutionally accredited — an indicator of the quality of the school. GCU is proud to be an institutionally accredited university that emphasizes quality education.

BS in Biology With an Emphasis in Pre-Pharmacy FAQs

Before getting started on your career path, you may wish to do some additional research to ensure you are making an informed decision that’s right for your future. The following frequently asked questions and answers can provide a starting point for your career-related research.

Our pre-med and pre-pharmacy emphasis programs are similar but they do have their differences. Our pre-pharmacy emphasis offers more advanced courses in pharmacology. The pre-pharmacy emphasis also requires a calculus course, while the pre-med emphasis does not require a core calculus course.

A pre-pharmacy program can prepare you to pursue a range of careers in STEM fields. Many students who enroll in these programs intend to go on to pharmacy school so that they can pursue careers as pharmacists.1 Others may decide that a bachelor’s degree concludes their education and become pharmacy technicians (an additional certification may be necessary to become a pharmacy tech).2 Beyond careers in a pharmacy, there are other options to consider. Some examples are working as a biological technician, a life scientist, a biological science teacher or even becoming a forensic science technician.

Although there is no universal requirement regarding an undergraduate major for future pharmacists, some pharmacy schools do indeed prefer or require that applicants have a biology degree or a related degree.1 While working through a bachelor’s in biology with a pre-pharmacy emphasis, you will be taught complex pharmacology concepts and other core competencies that can prepare you to apply for pharmacy school to become a pharmacist. With this degree, you may also initially be eligible to work as a pharmacy tech or in related positions with additional certification.2

The bachelor’s in biology degree with a pre-pharmacy emphasis requires a total of 120 credits for completion. Most of the courses are 15 weeks in length. To better understand how long it might take you to earn your undergraduate degree, fill out the form on this page to speak with a university counselor.

In addition to earning your baccalaureate degree, becoming a pharmacist typically requires the completion of a Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D.) degree from an accredited pharmacy school.1 Pharm.D. program lengths can vary. In addition, aspiring pharmacists are generally expected to complete supervised work experiences, and some go on to complete a residency or fellowship program.1 Typically, pharmacists are also required to pass two exams to obtain state licensure. Licensure requirements may vary by state.1 Once you become a licensed pharmacist, you’ll be ready to get to work helping others in your community take charge of their health.

If you are interested in pursuing a career as a pharmacist, a Bachelor of Science in Biology with an Emphasis in Pre-Pharmacy may be the right choice for you. Contact a university counselor at GCU by filling out the form on this page and take the first step toward your future.

 

1 U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. (2023, September 6). How to become a pharmacist. Occupational Outlook Handbook. Retrieved Sept. 21, 2023.

2 U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. (2023, September 6). How to become a pharmacy technician. Occupational Outlook Handbook. Retrieved Sept. 21, 2023.

TOTAL CREDITS & COURSE LENGTH:
Total Credits: 120
Campus: 15 weeks
[More Info]
TRANSFER CREDITS:
Up to 90 credits, only 84 can be lower division
TUITION RATE:
Campus: $8,250 per semester
[Tuition, Fees and Financial Aid]

Cost of Attendance

Course List

General Education Requirements:
34-40 credits
Major:
80 credits
Open Elective Credits:
0-6 credits
Degree Requirements:
120 credits

General Education Requirements

General Education coursework prepares Grand Canyon University graduates to think critically, communicate clearly, live responsibly in a diverse world, and thoughtfully integrate their faith and ethical convictions into all dimensions of life. These competencies, essential to an effective and satisfying life, are outlined in the General Education Learner Outcomes. General Education courses embody the breadth of human understanding and creativity contained in the liberal arts and sciences tradition. Students take an array of foundational knowledge courses that promote expanded knowledge, insight, and the outcomes identified in the University's General Education Competencies. The knowledge and skills students acquire through these courses serve as a foundation for successful careers and lifelong journeys of growing understanding and wisdom.

Requirements

Upon completion of the Grand Canyon University's University Foundation experience, students will be able to demonstrate competency in the areas of academic skills and self-leadership. They will be able to articulate the range of resources available to assist them, explore career options related to their area of study, and have knowledge of Grand Canyon's community. Students will be able to demonstrate foundational academic success skills, explore GCU resources (CLA, Library, Career Center, ADA office, etc), articulate strategies of self-leadership and management and recognize opportunities to engage in the GCU community.

Course Options

  • UNV-103, University Success: 4
  • UNV-303, University Success: 4
  • UNV-108, University Success in the College of Education: 4

Requirements

Graduates of Grand Canyon University will be able to construct rhetorically effective communications appropriate to diverse audiences, purposes, and occasions (English composition, communication, critical reading, foreign language, sign language, etc.). Students are required to take 3 credits of English grammar or composition.

Course Options

  • UNV-104, 21st Century Skills: Communication and Information Literacy: 4
  • ENG-105, English Composition I: 4
  • ENG-106, English Composition II: 4

Requirements

Graduates of Grand Canyon University will be able to express aspects of Christian heritage and worldview. Students are required to take CWV-101/CWV-301.

Course Options

  • CWV-101, Christian Worldview: 4
  • CWV-301, Christian Worldview: 4

Requirements

Graduates of Grand Canyon University will be able to use various analytic and problem-solving skills to examine, evaluate, and/or challenge ideas and arguments (mathematics, biology, chemistry, physics, geology, astronomy, physical geography, ecology, economics, theology, logic, philosophy, technology, statistics, accounting, etc.). Students are required to take 3 credits of intermediate algebra or higher.

Course Options

  • MAT-154, Applications of College Algebra: 4
  • MAT-144, College Mathematics: 4
  • PHI-105, 21st Century Skills: Critical Thinking and Problem Solving: 4
  • BIO-220, Environmental Science: 4

Requirements

Graduates of Grand Canyon University will be able to demonstrate awareness and appreciation of and empathy for differences in arts and culture, values, experiences, historical perspectives, and other aspects of life (psychology, sociology, government, Christian studies, Bible, geography, anthropology, economics, political science, child and family studies, law, ethics, cross-cultural studies, history, art, music, dance, theater, applied arts, literature, health, etc.). If the predefined course is a part of the major, students need to take an additional course.

Course Options

  • HIS-144, U.S. History Themes: 4
  • PSY-102, General Psychology: 4
  • SOC-100, Everyday Sociology: 4

Required General Education Courses

Course Description

This course is designed to prepare learners to integrate fundamental mathematical concepts with the critical and quantitative thinking needed to solve workplace-related problems. The course is founded upon a functional and technological approach to algebra. Topics include functions and their graphs; polynomial, rational, exponential, and logarithmic functions; algebraic and exponential equations; and probability. Emphasis is placed on developing students’ understanding of mathematical representation and logical reasoning to solve real-world problems. Prerequisite: Grade of C or better in MAT-110.

Course Description

This course is an introduction to technical and scientific writing in fields such as engineering, biology, computer science, and other STEM disciplines, and provides students with a background in logic and communication. In accordance with the Council of Writing Program Administrators Outcomes Statement and the Elon Statement on Learning Transfer, this course provides practice with a variety of scientific genres of communication, including their expected writing styles and structures. This course supports students in the ability to transfer knowledge of writing across technical and scientific disciplines and adapt to new and different writing tasks throughout their careers in the sciences.

Course Description

This course presents the fundamentals of algebra and trigonometry with some applications; it provides the background and introduction for the study of calculus. Topics include review of linear equations and inequalities in one and multiple variables; functions and their graphs; polynomial, rational, exponential, logarithmic, and trigonometric functions; systems of equations and matrices; and sequences and series. Slope and rate of change are introduced to set up the concepts of limits and derivatives. There is an emphasis on both an understanding of the mathematical concepts involved as well as their applications to the principles and real-world problems encountered in science and engineering. Technology is utilized to facilitate problem analysis and graphing. Prerequisite: MAT-134 or MAT-154.

Course Description

This course provides an introduction to the study of basic probability, descriptive and inferential statistics, and decision making. Emphasis is placed on measures of central tendency and dispersion, correlation, regression, discrete and continuous probability distributions, quality control population parameter estimation, and hypothesis testing. Prerequisite: Grade of C or better in MAT-134, MAT-144 or MAT-154.

Course Description

This foundation course in the science of behavior includes an overview of the history of psychology, the brain, motivation, emotion, sensory functions, perception, intelligence, gender and sexuality, social psychology, human development, learning psychopathology, and therapy.

Course Description

This course provides a study of social and group factors affecting individual behavior. Attention is given to the development of attitudes, roles, norms, group processes, aggression and cooperation, persuasion, stereotypes and prejudices, and social awareness. The role of culture in social processes is emphasized.

Core Courses

Course Description

This is the first course of a two-semester introduction to chemistry intended for undergraduates pursuing careers in the health professions and others desiring a firm foundation in chemistry. The course assumes no prior knowledge of chemistry and begins with basic concepts. Topics include an introduction to the scientific method, dimensional analysis, atomic structure, nomenclature, stoichiometry and chemical reactions, the gas laws, thermodynamics, chemical bonding, and properties of solutions. Co-Requisite: CHM-113L.

Course Description

The laboratory section of CHM-113 reinforces and expands learning of principles introduced in the lecture course. Experiments include determination of density, classification of chemical reactions, the gas laws, determination of enthalpy change using calorimetry, and determination of empirical formula. Co-Requisite: CHM-113.

Course Description

This is the second course of a two-semester introduction to chemistry intended for undergraduates pursuing careers in the health professions and others desiring a firm foundation in chemistry. Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to demonstrate knowledge and/or skill in solving problems involving the principles of chemical kinetics, chemical equilibrium, and thermodynamics; understanding chemical reactions using kinetics, equilibrium, and thermodynamics; comparing and contrasting the principal theories of acids and bases; solving equilibrium involving acids, bases, and buffers; describing solubility equilibrium; describing terms associated with electrochemistry and solving problems associated with electrochemistry; and describing the fundamentals of nuclear chemistry. Prerequisites: CHM-113 and MAT-154 or higher. Co-Requisite: CHM-115L.

Course Description

The laboratory section of CHM-115 reinforces and expands learning of principles introduced in the lecture course. Experiments include determination of rate law, examples of Le Châtelier’s principle, the use of pH indicators, buffer preparation, experimental determination of thermodynamic quantities, the use of electrochemical cells, and qualitative and quantitative analysis. Prerequisites: CHM-113L and MAT-154 or higher. Co-Requisite: CHM-115.

Course Description

This course provides an introduction to the analysis skills required for scientific problems. Students will study approaches on inquiry, reasoning, and logic as applied to science, the systematic use of data to make critical decisions, and the expectations of science careers in healthcare or research.

Course Description

This course is the first of two organic chemistry courses. The first half of this course develops the vocabulary and concepts of chemical bonding, chemical structure, acid-base principles, and nomenclature needed to understand properties and reactions of organic compounds. The second half of this course discusses chemical reactions, including radical reactions, substitution and elimination reactions, and synthesis and reactions of alkenes. Students learn how to predict reaction products and draw reaction mechanisms. Organic synthesis and structural determination are also covered. Instruction includes lecture and in-class problem solving. Prerequisites: CHM-115 and CHM-115L. Co-requisite: CHM-231L.

Course Description

The laboratory section of CHM-231 reinforces principles learned in the lecture course through various techniques that organic chemists use to synthesize compounds. Students use these techniques throughout the semester. These techniques include determination of melting point, determination of solubility, thin layer chromatography, recrystallization, and distillation. Structural determination using theories discussed in CHM-231 is applied to unknown compounds. Prerequisites: CHM-115 and CHM-115L. Co-requisite: CHM-231.

Course Description

This course is a study of biological concepts emphasizing the interplay of structure and function, particularly at the molecular and cellular levels of organization. Cell components and their duties are investigated, as well as the locations of cellular functions within the cell. The importance of the membrane is studied, particularly its roles in controlling movement of ions and molecules and in energy production. The effect of genetic information on the cell is followed through the pathway from DNA to RNA to protein. Co-requisite: BIO-181L.

Course Description

This lab course is designed to reinforce principles learned in BIO-181 through experiments and activities which complement and enhance understanding of macromolecules, cell membrane properties, cellular components, and their contribution to cell structure and function. Assignments are designed to relate cellular processes such as metabolism, cell division, and the flow of genetic information to cell structure. Co-requisite: BIO-181.

Course Description

This course is a study of basic concepts of physics, including motion; forces; energy; the properties of solids, liquids, and gases; and heat and thermodynamics. The mathematics used includes algebra, trigonometry, and vector analysis. A primary course goal is to build a functional knowledge that allows students to more fully understand the physical world and to apply that understanding to other areas of the natural and mathematical sciences. Conceptual, visual, graphical, and mathematical models of physical phenomena are stressed. Students build critical thinking skills by engaging in individual and group problem-solving sessions. Prerequisite: MAT-154, MAT-250, MAT-261 or College Algebra. Co-Requisite: PHY-111L.

Course Description

This course utilizes lab experimentation to practice concepts of physical principles introduced in the PHY-111 lecture course. Learners are able to perform the proper analysis and calculations to arrive at the correct quantifiable result when confronted with equations involving gravity, sound, energy, and motion. Prerequisite: MAT-154, MAT-250, MAT-261 or College Algebra. Co-Requisite: PHY-111.

Course Description

This course examines human anatomy and physiology with an emphasis on function and homeostasis of the following areas: tissues, integument, skeletal system, muscular system, and the nervous system. Case studies are utilized to reinforce physiological processes. Prerequisites: BIO-181 and BIO-181L. Co-Requisite: BIO-210L.

Course Description

This course involves study of the gross anatomy and function of the skeletal, muscular, and nervous systems. This experiential lab involves an advanced exploration of concepts utilizing human cadavers and other supplemental materials. Co-Requisite: BIO-210.

Course Description

This course is the second of two organic chemistry courses. The course is organized by common organic functional groups, including alkynes, alcohols, ether, aromatic compounds, ketones and aldehydes, amines, carboxylic acid, and carboxylic acid derivatives. The reactions and properties of each functional group are discussed. Students learn how to predict reaction products, draw reaction mechanisms, and predict physical properties. Instruction includes lecture and in-class problem solving. Prerequisites: CHM-231 and CHM-231L. Co-Requisite: CHM-232L.

Course Description

The laboratory section of CHM-232 supports and extends principles learned in the lecture course. Students carry out various organic syntheses using techniques taught in CHM-231. The experiments include preparation of an alkene from an alcohol, a Grignard reaction, preparation of cinnamaldehyde, nitration of methyl benzoate, synthesis of N-Methyl Prozac, an Aldol reaction, Benzimidazole synthesis, and a Diazonium coupling reaction. Prerequisites: CHM-231 and CHM-231L. Co-requisite: CHM-232.

Course Description

This course is a study of biological concepts emphasizing the interplay of structure and function at the molecular, cellular, and organismal levels of organization. Relationships of different life forms are studied, noting characteristics and general lifecycles of the different types of organisms, including bacteria, archaea, and eukaryotes. Plant structure, function, and reproduction are studied, as well as photosynthesis and plant nutrition. Ecological principles are discussed, including organism interactions at the various ecological levels. Principles of conservation are introduced. Prerequisite: BIO-181. Co-Requisite: BIO-182L.

Course Description

This lab is designed to reinforce principles learned in BIO-182. Organisms are examined to recognize similarities and differences among different types. Plant structure and processes, including photosynthesis and water transport, are investigated through observation and activities. Concepts of ecology are explored through study of species interactions projects and other activities. Co-requisite: BIO-182.

Course Description

This course examines human anatomy and physiology with an emphasis on function and homeostasis of the following systems: endocrine, cardiovascular, respiratory, digestive, urinary and reproductive. Case studies are utilized to reinforce physiological processes. Prerequisites: BIO-210 and BIO-210L. Co-Requisite: BIO-211L.

Course Description

This course involves study of the gross anatomy and functions of the endocrine, cardiovascular, respiratory, digestive, renal, and reproductive systems. This experiential lab involves an advanced exploration of concepts utilizing human cadavers and other supplemental materials. Prerequisite: BIO-210L. Co-Requisite: BIO-211.

Course Description

This course is a comprehensive study of the composition, structure, energetics, regulation, and growth of eukaryotic cells. Other topics include the essential processes of cells including the correlation of structure and function at the organelle and cellular levels. As well as, principles of molecular biology including recombinant DNA technology and other approaches and method used to investigate cell structure, development, chromosome organization, gene expression, and gene regulation. Prerequisites: BIO-181 and BIO-181L.

Course Description

The course objective is to survey basic biochemical principles, including the composition, structure, and function of proteins, nucleic acids, lipids, and carbohydrates. Important biochemical principles include structure-function correlation, chemical reactivity, kinetics and equilibrium, thermodynamics, membrane structure and function, and metabolic energy pathways. The application of biochemical concepts in the medical field is emphasized. Prerequisite: BIO-181, BIO-181L, CHM-231, CHM-231L. Co-Requisite: CHM-360L.

Course Description

This laboratory course covers modern biochemical laboratory techniques and their theoretical foundations. Topics include methods for protein, nucleic acid, and lipid isolation and characterization; enzyme assays; chromatography; electrophoresis; and representing and manipulating proteins and nucleic acids. Experiments are designed for hands-on experimentation and students acquire practical techniques currently used in biochemistry laboratories. Prerequisite: BIO-181, BIO-181L, CHM-231, CHM-231L. Co-Requisite: CHM-360.

Course Description

This course is designed to bridge the gap between basic preclinical science courses and the clinical requirements of health care/life science professionals. Systematic studies focus on the etiology, pathogenesis, morphology, and clinical manifestations associated with various altered health states and diseases. Material is presented using clinically relevant terminology that increases accurate and effective communication through extensive vocabulary expansion. Upon completion of this course, students should be able to correctly discuss a variety of disease states with health care professionals and patients while addressing the following questions: What is actually happening at the physiological level that causes the signs and symptoms of a given condition or disease? How does a change in normal physiology cause the signs and symptoms of a given condition or disease? How do these physiological effects correlate to mechanisms of accurate diagnoses? Why is one treatment method chosen over another? How do different systems intricately interrelate to cause a clinical picture and complications?. Prerequisites: One of the following combinations: BIO-201 and BIO-202; 2) BIO-210 and BIO-211; or 3) BIO-360.

Course Description

This course, designed for Science majors, introduces the principles of microbiology and the study of the general characteristics, growth, and diversity of microorganisms. Topics include microbial cell structure and function, bacterial genetics, immune response and immunization, physical and chemical control of microorganisms, specific characteristics and mechanisms of antimicrobial medications, and microbial diseases with emphasis on pathogenesis, epidemiology and treatment. Prerequisites: BIO-181 and BIO-181L. Co-Requisite: BIO-215L.

Course Description

The General Microbiology laboratory supports further learning surrounding principles gained in the lecture. Students develop fundamental skills in microbiological laboratory techniques, microscopy methodologies, molecular methods of detection, and the isolation and identification of pathogenic microorganisms. Prerequisites: BIO-181 and BIO-181L. Co-Requisite: BIO-215.

Course Description

This course provides a rigorous treatment of the concepts and methods of elementary calculus and its application to real-world problems. Topics include a brief review of linear, exponential, logarithmic, trigonometric, and inverse functions; understanding and calculating limits, continuity, and derivatives as rates of change; differentiation rules including derivatives of polynomials, exponentials, trigonometric, and logarithmic functions; product and quotient rules, the chain rule, and implicit differentiation; related rates, curve sketching, maximum and minimum problems, mean value theorem, linear approximation, indeterminate forms, and L’Hospital’s rule; and applied optimization problems, antiderivatives, and approximating areas under the curve. Prerequisite: Grade of C or better in MAT-250 or MAT-261.

Course Description

This course presents advanced topics in biochemistry, including mechanisms of metabolic and environmental information transfer, cellular signal transduction mechanisms, metabolic pathway interrelationships and regulation, carbohydrate, lipid and nitrogen metabolism, and the cell cycle and regulation. Prerequisites: CHM-360 and CHM-360L. Co-Requisite: CHM-460L.

Course Description

This hands-on laboratory course is designed to provide a project-based experience utilizing modern biochemical techniques. This course will reinforce proper experimental design and control and will provide students with experience with several biochemical techniques, including DNA, RNA, and protein extraction from tissue and its analysis. This course will reinforce troubleshooting, confounds to analysis, and application of various techniques to reach a target goal. Co-requisite: CHM-460.

Course Description

This course presents the foundational concepts of pharmacology emphasizing basic mechanisms of drug action. Pharmacodynamics and pharmacokinetics principles and theories are presented. The course details the development of the current understanding of receptor signal transduction in mammalian systems. The course introduces the molecular biochemistry of receptor structure; mass action considerations governing ligand-receptor binding interactions; molecular pharmacology associated with signal transduction; and specific considerations of receptors as pharmaceutical targets. Following this introduction, a systematic study of the effects of drugs on representative organ systems and disease processes, the mechanisms by which drugs produce their therapeutic and toxic effects, and the factors influencing their absorption, distribution, and biological actions. Prerequisites: CHM-232 and CHM-232L, CHM-360, and CHM-360L. BIO-205 and BIO-205L, or BIO-215 and BIO-215L.

Course Description

This writing intensive course provides a comprehensive examination of the principles of heredity and variation, including Mendelian, molecular, and population genetics. Students explore topics such as gene mapping, DNA structure and replication, population genetics, and molecular change. Prerequisites: BIO-181 and BIO-181L.

Course Description

This course is a continuation of Pharmacology I. Concepts and principles learned in the previous course are applied to additional organ systems and disease processes. Topics include cardiovascular drugs, chemotherapeutic drugs, endocrine drugs, and drugs of abuse. Prerequisite: CHM-451.

Course Description

The capstone project is a culmination of the learning experiences while a student in the science programs at Grand Canyon University. Students discuss and write on current topics in their field and prepare an extensive written scientific report or proposal on select topics on the sciences, relevant to their program of study. The capstone project needs to reflect synthesis and integration of course content and good scientific practice. This is a writing intensive course. Prerequisite: Senior status.

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Join Grand Canyon University’s vibrant and growing campus community, with daytime classes designed for traditional students. Immerse yourself in a full undergraduate experience, complete with curriculum designed within the context of our Christian worldview.

* Please note that this list may contain programs and courses not presently offered, as availability may vary depending on class size, enrollment and other contributing factors. If you are interested in a program or course listed herein please first contact your University Counselor for the most current information regarding availability.

* Please refer to the Academic Catalog for more information. Programs or courses subject to change.