Planning to major in chemistry, biology or biochemistry? A career in pharmacy may await you. Central students succeed in securing acceptance into pharmacy programs with help from an on-campus pre-health advisor, internship coordinator and academic advisors to ensure that you complete the required courses, maintain a GPA of 3.6 or higher and take advantage of many opportunities for research and professional development.

Although entrance requirements vary, a strong foundation in the natural and social sciences as part of a well-rounded liberal arts education is considered excellent preparation for pharmacy school. Central’s pre-professional program prepares you to pursue pharmacy education in graduate school. With the help of your advisor, you will choose a major such as biology, chemistry or biochemistry that best prepares you for further study.

The Central Difference

Individualized Attention

Thanks to Central's small class and laboratory section size, faculty can provide each student with individualized attention and the opportunity to develop skills necessary for graduate school. Our faculty members also provide personalized advising that ensures students meet the coursework requirements for graduate school. And to help students get into graduate school, faculty provide letters of recommendation that make a vital difference in the decision process for acceptance into medical programs.

Central College student

Heartland Global Health Consortium

Central College is a founding member of the Heartland Global Health Consortium whose mission is to establish and expand multidisciplinary educational, research and service opportunities to inspire and equip students to become leaders in global public health. The consortium provides additional opportunities for students to participate in educational, global research and global medical service experiences.

Hands-On Research

Central faculty provide students with many research and professional development opportunities, of which students are encouraged to take full advantage while on campus. Opportunities include undergraduate research and presentations at scientific meetings, internships, shadowing programs, targeted service-learning opportunities related to career goals and much more.

Off-Campus Experiences

Central students can study off-campus — both internationally or domestically in the United States. These opportunities give students the chance to prepare to be global citizens, equipped to compete in the global job market. Students can check out experiences led by Central faculty or attend select academic programs across the world that provide opportunities for study, service, internships and other types of experiential learning. Options include experiences in Chicago, Washington, D.C., Central America, Ghana, England, the Scottish Highlands and more.


Central’s Vermeer Science Center was awarded the silver Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating from the United States Green Building Council, the first LEED-rated building in the state. Students have direct access to classrooms and laboratories equipped with state-of-the-art instrumentation and presentation technology.

Beyond Central

Putting the “Hire” in Higher Education

  • Pharmacist, Providence Medical Group, Portland, Ore.
  • Pharmaceutical quality control, Heska Corporation, Des Moines
  • Pharmacy tech, Mercy College of Health Sciences, Des Moines
  • Pharmacist, Target Corporation, Omaha, Neb.

Central College Announces Arthur J. Bosch Undergraduate Summer Student Research Awards

The Arthur J. Bosch Endowment is providing six Central College students the opportunity to undertake summer research projects as Bosch Undergraduate Summer Research Fellows.


  • Bio-Chem Club
  • Tri-Beta (national biological sciences honor society)
  • Health Professions Club

Graduate Placement

  • Creighton University
  • University of Iowa
  • University of Nebraska Medical Center
  • University of Washington
  • University of Wyoming


Students interested in the pharmacy program are able to shadow local professionals for limited hours. Shadowing opportunities are available across the state including Pella Regional Health Center, Broadlawns Medical Center and Ottumwa Wellness Center.

Central College student

Courses & Faculty

Most pharmacy students major in biochemistry, chemistry or biology. Central’s chemistry department is certified by the American Chemical Society, ensuring the strong scientific background necessary for graduate school. Regardless of major choice, students are required to successfully complete a series of courses in biology, chemistry, math, economics, English/rhetoric and psychology.

The Central College Career Center provides the following activities to help pre-health students narrow career options: individual appointments to identify career options in the health field, job shadowing opportunities with local professionals or Central alumni, assistance with finding and applying for internships and summer opportunities, help with graduate school applications and much more. Prior to admission, students must obtain pharmacy tech experience.

Learn more about this discipline in the course catalog.

Meet the Faculty

  • Jim Shriver, B.S., M.S., Ph.D., Professor of Chemistry
  • Paul Weihe, B.S., M.S., Ph.D., Associate Professor of Biology


Learn More

Want to find out more about Pre-Pharmacy at Central? Contact us to learn more about this discipline and our other strong academic programs.

Visit campus to observe classes and experience The Central Difference firsthand.


This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.