Early Assurance PharmD Program

In conjunction with the Medical College of Wisconsin (MCW), Marquette University (MU) offers a 3+3 Early Assurance PharmD program which allows students to earn a bachelor’s degree from Marquette University and a Doctor of Pharmacy degree from the Medical College of Wisconsin in just six years. Students accepted to this program may be eligible to matriculate to MCW’s School of Pharmacy in their senior year, upon compliance with all academic and behavioral standards required within the first three years of undergraduate study at MU. This agreement includes reverse transfer of credits from the Medical College of Wisconsin whereby students are awarded a bachelor’s degree from MU upon successful completion of their first year in MCW’s School of Pharmacy.

Admission

Admission to the Early Assurance PharmD Program is available to students in their first or second year of undergraduate study at MU. Student must complete all Early Admission application materials and processes at MCW for admittance to the program, including completion of the Pharmacy College Aptitude Test (PCAT). Students who wish to be considered for the Early Assurance PharmD program must adhere to the following:

  1. Submit a completed Early Assurance application, available on the MCW School of Pharmacy website. The application deadline is typically in the first week of the spring term.

  2. Participate in an Early Assurance Interview at MCW and be recommended for admission by the committee.

  3. Acknowledge ability to meet the School of Pharmacy Technical Standards for admission, promotion and graduation.

  4. Sign and submit the Early Assurance PharmD Good Standing document which outlines the academic and behavioral standards for the first three years of undergraduate study at MU.

  5. Complete the PCAT exam no later than December of the final (junior) year of undergraduate study.

Note: MU students in their junior year may still gain early entry to MCW’s School of Pharmacy through their Early Decision program but are not eligible for this Early Admission program and the awarding of a bachelor’s degree upon successful completion of the first year at MCW. 

Undergraduate Curriculum

A typical bachelor’s degree consists of four parts: core, college/department curriculum requirements, major requirements and electives. In addition to these requirements, students in the Early Assurance PharmD program must also complete all prerequisites for the School of Pharmacy at MCW. 

Approved Majors

Klingler College of Arts and Sciences: A curriculum plan has been developed for students in the Biological Sciences major that includes transfer credit from MCW for major and elective requirements. Any other major offered in the college may be possible for the Early Assurance program only if all core, college/department and major requirements are completed in the three years of undergraduate study at MU. For other majors, transfer credit from MCW apply only as general elective credits and count towards the 120 total degree credits required in the college.

College of Health Sciences: A curriculum plan has been developed for students in the Biomedical Sciences major that includes transfer credit from MCW for major and elective requirements and count towards the 128 total degree credits required in the college.

Academic Standards

Students remain in Good Standing in the Early Assurance PharmD program by achieving the following:

  • Maintain a cumulative 3.250 grade point average at the end of each term in the program.
  • Complete all prerequisite courses with a grade of C or higher, with the exception of the English and Communication prerequisites, which must be completed with a grade of B or higher.
  • Take the PCAT exam no later than December in the third year of undergraduate study and score a 50 or higher on the composite percentile score.
  • Under no circumstances are students in this program admitted to MCW’s School of Pharmacy before completing six terms of full-time course work at Marquette University.
  • Science prerequisite courses that are not satisfied through test credits (AP/IB) must be taken at Marquette University. 
  • Meet all MCW School of Pharmacy minimum admission requirements, including a pre-matriculation interview, drug screening and criminal background check.

Failure to meet the academic requirements in any term results in the students being placed on probation beginning the following term. Courses taken in the probationary term must be approved in writing by the students' academic adviser. Students unable to meet the conditions of probation (i.e., return to good standing) at the end of the probationary term results in a withdrawal from the program. Students who meet the conditions of probation are returned to good standing in the program. 

  1. During this probationary term, students must complete a minimum 15 credit course load and may not withdraw from any course(s).
  2. A second probationary term is not permitted and results in a withdrawal from the program.
  3. Failure to meet the academic standards during the spring term of the junior year results in a withdrawal from the program at Marquette University and may impact admission to MCW’s School of Pharmacy. Students withdrawn from the program in the junior year are not eligible for the reverse transfer of credit i.e., awarding of bachelor’s degree if remaining degree requirements are not completed at MU.

Appeals: An appeal to any decision must be made to the Early Assurance PharmD Program Committee in writing and should elaborate on any personal or medical circumstances that impacted your standing in the program. Any appeal related to grades or classroom performance, however, must be taken up with the faculty involved or through the use of their department’s grade appeal procedures.

Academic Dishonesty/Student Conduct: Any activity deemed inappropriate, unethical or illegal, regardless of whether that behavior leads to university probation, may result in removal from the program and impact admission to MCW’s School of Pharmacy. 

Course Work: All science courses must be taken at Marquette University during the regular academic year (fall and spring terms). Courses in other disciplines are not subject to the above restriction.

Pharmacy College Aptitude Test (PCAT): The PCAT must be completed and passed by December of the third year of undergraduate study. A score of 50 or higher for the composite percentile score must be achieved. 

Withdrawal from this program, whether voluntary or otherwise, does not prevent the ability to apply to MCW’s School of Pharmacy through normal application procedures, providing that they are competitive with other applicants. 

Grades/Graduation/Graduation Honors

University academic honors (cum laude, magna cum laude and summa cum laude), is based solely on credits completed at Marquette University. Transfer and test credits are not included in this calculation. A student in the Early Admission Program must complete at least 60 graded credits, which must include at least 32 credits of upper division course work (3000 level or higher) at Marquette to qualify for academic honors.  

Financial Aid

Since students in the Early Assurance PharmD program spend only three years as an undergraduate at Marquette, the financial aid and scholarships received are applicable only to the first three years at Marquette University. Upon matriculation to the Medical College of Wisconsin, students must apply for financial aid and scholarships as Independent Graduate/Professional students through the Medical College of Wisconsin.

Since the criteria for admission to the Early Assurance PharmD program match the criteria for many of the merit-based scholarships awarded by the Office of Undergraduate Admissions, it is highly probable that students in the program also receive merit-based scholarships to Marquette University.

It is important to note that these scholarships, while renewable for up to eight terms at the university, are only for undergraduate study. Once a student begins the PharmD curriculum at the Medical College of Wisconsin, they are no longer considered undergraduates at Marquette University and are ineligible for any remaining scholarship aid through Marquette University.