PharmSTEP was created as a joint project between Shepherd University and the West Virginia University School of Pharmacy. It is designed for high school students who wish to pursue a career in pharmacy. This program is very competitive, and all applicants are not guaranteed acceptance.

Those who are accepted will complete their first two years of required pre-pharmacy courses at Shepherd University. Students will be guaranteed acceptance into the WVU School of Pharmacy if they meet minimum required academic and professional standards. Once enrolled in the WVU School of Pharmacy, the didactic portion of the Pharm.D. curriculum will be completed at WVU’s Morgantown campus. Students will then return to the Eastern Division of the WVU School of Pharmacy to complete as many of their fourth year experiential curriculum rotations as possible.

Admission to PharmSTEP is open to a select number of high school seniors. The application process includes a review of the academic record, recommendation letters, SAT and/or ACT scores, and a personal interview by representatives of the WVU School of Pharmacy Admissions Committee.

WVU and Shepherd University are aware of the great need for pharmacists in the eastern panhandle of West Virginia and have developed this program as part of their mission to serve the state and the region.

First STEP

To apply for the program, the following are required: 

  • Enrolled at Shepherd University on the Shepherdstown campus
  • High school cumulative GPA of at least 3.6 on a 4.0 scale
  • Official high school transcript
  • ACT math score of at least 26 or SAT math score of at least 600
  • Letter of recommendation from a high school math or science teacher and high school principal or guidance counselor
  • Letter of recommendation from a community leader (to demonstrate participation in community service)
  • Personal statement of why the applicant is interested in becoming a pharmacist and entering the PharmSTEP program
  • Personal interview

Second STEP

Once all applications are received and reviewed, selected students will be interviewed by members of the WVU School of Pharmacy Admissions Committee. As many as three students per class year will be selected to participate in the PharmSTEP program and will be given provisional admission status to the School of Pharmacy.

Third STEP

Students accepted into the PharmSTEP program must meet the following qualifications to continue matriculation in the WVU School of Pharmacy:

  • Complete the required course work at the Shepherdstown campus of Shepherd University
  • Maintain both a cumulative overall GPA and a cumulative prerequisite GPA of at least a 3.6*
  • Achieve a PCAT Composite score of at least a 70
  • Participate in PharmSTEP-organized community service activities
  • Participate in PharmSTEP-organized shadowing experiences in a variety of pharmacy settings
  • Maintain standards of honesty, integrity and citizenship and remain free of any violations of local, state or federal laws that would otherwise prevent the issuance of an intern license
  • Complete the PharmCAS application process
  • Receive approval of PharmSTEP program personnel according to established criteria
  • Maintain full-time student status

Final STEP

After successfully completing the prerequisite course requirements, achieving an appropriate PCAT score, and participating in PharmSTEP-organized community service and shadowing activities, PharmCAS application, and receiving the approval of PharmSTEP personnel, the student will then begin pharmacy studies on the Morgantown campus for the first three years of the professional curriculum. The student will then complete as many of their experiential curriculum rotations as possible in the nine counties of the Eastern Division of the West Virginia University School of Pharmacy.

Required Shepherd University Coursework

  • English Composition 101
  • English Composition 102
  • Calculus
  • Micro-economics
  • Statistics
  • General Biology 101 (+lab)
  • General Biology 102 (+lab)
  • Microbiology 302
  • General Chemistry 207 (+lab)
  • General Chemistry 209 (+lab)
  • Organic Chemistry 315 (+lab)
  • Organic Chemistry 316 (+lab)
  • Physics I (+lab)
  • Physics II (+lab)

Additional course credits must be taken in order to fulfill the general education curriculum of West Virginia University.

For More Information Contact:

Dean of the School of Natural 
Sciences and Mathematics
Shepherd University
P.O. Box 5000
Shepherdstown, WV 
Phone: (304) 876-5227 or 
(800) 344-5231, ext. 5227
Fax: (304) 876-5028


WVU Health Sciences Center
Eastern Division Office of Student Services
2500 Foundation Way
Martinsburg, WV 25401
Phone: (304) 264-9202 ext. 6316
Fax: (304) 596-6330