Applying to Pharmacy School
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1. Academic Ability
- Successful completion of prerequisite coursework, usually with a grade of C or above.
- Average GPAs for accepted applicants are typically 3.0 - 3.5 or higher.
- Pharmacy College Admission Test (PCAT) scores are required by two-thirds of all pharmacy schools. The PCAT is offered in June, August, October and January and requires advanced registration.
2. Pharmacy-related Experiences
Volunteer or paid experience working with patients in a pharmacy or health-related setting is required by many schools and encouraged by all. Pharmacy-related experience allows applicants to test their career decision and be confident that it is a good fit. Applicants who have researched and gained direct exposure to the profession will be better prepared to write a compelling application and respond to the interview questions.
Obtaining pharmacy experiences:
- Many hospitals and community clinics may offer pharmacy-related volunteer experiences.
- Review the Extracurricular Opportunities section on this web site for possible pharmacy-related volunteer opportunities.
3. Letters of Recommendation
Many pharmacy degree programs require 1-3 letters of recommendation. Schools may also require that these letters come from particular individuals, such as a pharmacist, professor, or academic advisor, and may require evaluators to use the PharmaCAS forms or a school-specific evaluation form. Ultimately, applicants should check each school's specific directions regarding letters or recommendation.
Although the University Academic Advising Center offers a recommendation file service, this service may not be the best option to use to submit letters of recommendation for pharmacy programs.
4. InterviewIf asked to interview for a pharmacy program, you should be prepared to discuss why you are pursuing a career in the pharmacy profession and how you perceive the role of the pharmacist in health care. You are most likely to be rated on how you present yourself and interact in a group, your knowledge of the profession, your ability to solve problems, and your motivation to pursue a career in pharmacy. Your written communication skills may also be measured with an essay exercise.
- Pharmacy College Application Service (PharmCAS)
Approximately half of all pharmacy degree programs participate in this centralized application service
- Direct Application
Non-PharmCAS schools require you to apply directly to their programs
- Supplemental Application
Some PharmCAS participating schools may also require additional materials and supplemental applications sent directly to their institutions
The majority of programs have deadlines in November, December, January and February for admission in the following fall; some programs have early decision and/or rolling admissions.