Pharmacy Technician - Admissions Requirements

Curriculum leads to a Certificate of Achievement - Note: Students may also complete requirements for an Associate in Arts Degree. 

LENGTH AND KIND OF PROGRAM: This broad-based program is intended to be a 3 to 4 semester program. It is designed for those students who desire state licensure and national certification as a pharmacy technician. It is especially suited for those students who may later choose to pursue higher education in health care areas.  Courses are taught by practicing registered pharmacists and certified pharmacy technicians and are offered during the day and evening.


  • High School graduate or equivalent
  • Acceptable scores on the College Placement Tests for Writing, Mathematics, and Reading clearance or deficiencies removed.

WRITING PROFICIENCY REQUIREMENT: This requirement can be met by one of the following options:

  • Earn a score on the Writing Proficiency test sufficient for placement in ENGL 52, or
  • Completion of ENGL 52 with a grade of Credit or "C" or higher, or 
  • For other options see your counselor.

MATHEMATICS PROFICIENCY REQUIREMENTS: This requirement can be met by one of the following options:

  • Earn a score on the Basic Math Readiness test sufficient for placement in a course above the level of MATH 40 or
  • Completion of MATH 40 with a grade of Credit or "C" or higher, or
  • For other options see your counselor.

HEALTH: Employment in this field requires applicants to have good vision, hearing, and the ability to communicate orally.  Applicants must present evidence of physical fitness and ability to perform tasks required of a pharmacy technician.

Lab, x-ray and immunization records meeting the standards of the clinical site must be completed after acceptance into the program and prior to placement at clinical sites.

EXPENSES: Enrollment Fee: $46 per unit. Student Activity Fee: $10 per semester. ($4 Summer Term). Student Health Fee: $19 per semester. Parking: $40 per semester for automobiles. ($25 Summer Term). Lab/Materials Fees: as listed with courses in the class schedule. Students are expected to purchase a student body card. In addition, students will need uniforms, books, and supplies. The total cost is approximately $1,600.00. Students are responsible for their own living accommodations, uniform laundry, and transportation to selected hospitals and community pharmacies.

TECHNOLOGY REQUIREMENTS: All online courses require access to the Internet. Students can access Canvas using their mobile devices, computers, or tablets. A webcam and a headset or microphone for your computer is recommended and may be required. Other courses, hybrid or on ground will still require Canvas access from a personal device to complete homework and assignments.

ATTENDANCE AND SCHOLARSHIP: All students are expected to observe the attendance requirements of the college and of the Pharmacy Technology Department. To remain in the program, students must maintain a "C" or higher in each required and general education course. Uniforms are required in all lab classes and name tags are required in all classes.

CRIMINAL BACKGROUND CHECKS/ Drug Testing/ Immunizations: Illicit drug use, criminal background checks, and immunization status may prevent future employment as a pharmacy technician, and that externship sites, employers, and State Boards of Pharmacy have regulations about drug use, criminal backgrounds, and immunization status. 

Clinical externship placements are a mandatory component of the curriculum and may require clearance of a criminal background check. Students who do not clear agency requirements are not eligible for clinical placement and will, consequently, be ineligible to continue in the program.  If there are any concerns regarding clearance of a criminal background check, please contact the Health Occupations Division for additional information.

ENROLLMENT PROCEDURE (To be completed in order as listed)

  1. Submit proof of High School graduation or equivalent.
  2. Submit an official transcript of all college work to the Admissions and Records Office and a copy to the Health Occupations Division.
  3. Complete the SRT (Self-Report Tool) for English/ESL and math placement to enrolling in PHAR 63. If you have not taken these tests, proof of clearance by course work or test scores to submit, apply to Cerritos College, obtain a student number, take the assessment test battery at the Assessment Center and record your test date on your program application.
  4. It is advised that you make an appointment with a counselor to review test scores and college work. To make an appointment with a counselor, visit, download the Navigate app on Google Play or Apple Store or select the Navigate tile on the single sign-on portal.
  5. Prior to enrolling in PHAR 90 and PHAR 95, you must submit verification of TB clearance, medical clearance, and have all immunization records meeting the standards of the clinical site.  Most of our affiliated sites also require a background check and drug screen.

** The program has made reasonable effort to determine that everything stated in the information sheet is accurate. Matters contained herein, are subject to change without notice by the administration of the department for reasons related to student enrollment, level of financial support or for any reason at the discretion of the Program. The Program further reserves the right to add, amend, or repeal any of the rules, regulations, policies and procedures, consistent with applicable laws.

ASSOCIATE IN ARTS DEGREE REQUIREMENTS: Meet the requirements for a Certificate of Achievement in Pharmacy Technician.  For an A.A. Degree, a student must also complete electives and general education and earn a minimum of 60 units following the Associate in Arts Degree Plan A. See Cerritos College Graduation Requirements.

CAREER OPPORTUNITIES: Employment as a Pharmacy Technician in a community pharmacy, ambulatory care pharmacy, acute care or long term care hospital, or home health care pharmacy assisting the registered pharmacist in the performance of assigned duties. Preparation is also in the areas of manufacturing, nuclear pharmacy and pharmaceutical sales.

Disability & Accommodations Services: If you have a disability or acquire one, you may be entitled to receive support services and/or accommodations intended to assure you an equal opportunity to participate in, and benefit from, the program. Reasonable accommodations for students with disability related needs will be determined on an individual basis taking into consideration the standards and essential skills which must be performed to meet the program objectives. To receive more information or to apply for services, please contact the Disabled Student Programs and Services (DSPS) at (562) 860-2451 ext. 2335 or (866) 971-0948 (Voice Phone), or visit them in the Liberal Arts/DSPS Building. All prospective and current Pharmacy Technician students must be able to meet these standards with or without reasonable accommodations.

Disclaimer: All applicants meeting the appropriate academic requirements shall be considered equally for admission to Cerritos College or any academic program regardless of race, color, religion, sex, marital status, beliefs, sexual orientation, national origin, age, or physical or mental disability.