Pharmacy School Requirements, Your Path to Becoming a Pharmacist
Pharmacy school requirements can differ greatly based on the program. This article will cover valuable information for
The American Associations of Colleges of Pharmacy (AACP) works with Pearson to monitor (Pharmacy College Admission Test) PCAT Scores. There is no minimum "passing" score set by the AACP or Pearson. Rather,
No PCAT, No problem: Pharmacy Schools That Don’t Require the PCAT 2013-2014
The PCAT is not required for all pharmacy schools. The following are pharmacy schools that don’t require the PCAT :
- California Northstate
- Loma Linda
- University of California–San Diego (UCSD)
- University of California–San Francisco (UCSF)
- University of the Pacific (UOP)
- University of Southern California (USC)
- Idaho State
- Florida A&M
- Fairleigh Dickinson
- St. John’s
- Ohio Northern
- Oregon State
- Rhode Island
- Lebanese American
If you are applying to these pharmacy schools that don’t require the PCAT, you will want to strengthen other areas that are considered for admissions such as GPA, the interview, letter of intent, and letters of recommendation.
You will find this 4.5 star Amazon book “Get Into Pharmacy School: Rx for Success” to be a valuable resource if you plan on applying to pharmacy schools.
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Although you can still submit your PCAT score to the pharmacy schools that don’t require the PCAT to demonstrate your academic abilities, it will not make much of an impact on your admission chances. You may talk about your strong performance on the PCAT on your personal statement for pharmacy schools don’t require the PCAT.
All California pharmacy schools don’t currently require the PCAT. You will notice that the average GPA of accepted pharmacy students at many of these pharmacy schools are higher pharmacy schools that require the PCAT. You will also want to hone your interview skills for these pharmacy schools since it is weighted significantly at the pharmacy schools that don’t require the PCAT. I found the “Medical School Interview: Secrets and a System for Success” to be very helpful in preparing for the types of questions I faced in my real pharmacy school interviews. Although it is labeled as a medical school tool, it is highly relevant for any pre-pharmacy school student who wants to have a successful pharmacy school interview.
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I’m currently a 4th year dual-degree student at a top 10 pharmacy school. I have worked as an pharmacy intern at 4 different sites over my first 3 years (and turned down offers from others). These internships include a large biotech company in a commercial function, P&T committee (managed care), managed care consulting company, and inpatient hospital pharmacy. I was on the winning team of the annual P&T competition which is run by AMCP (Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy). I’ve explored many possible pharmacy careers and networked with all kinds of pharmacists. I am happy to offer you my services and help you along the pharmacy journey.
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Applicants for the 2012 cycle can now post their profiles on PharmApplicants.com! Good luck to all the pharmacy school applicants!
As a pre-pharmacy student, it would behoove you to become familiar with the professional pharmacy organizations that represent different aspects of pharmacy practice. Even as a pharmacy school student, getting involved in organizations will allow you to meet working pharmacists, hold leadership positions, and network with students (your future colleagues) at local/national conferences. In pharmacy school, it is usually who you know NOT what you know that will open doors to internships and jobs. Recently, a fellow classmate told me he joined a national organization PRIOR to applying to pharmacy school to demonstrate his interest in pharmacy to the admissions committee. He went to local association meetings to meet pharmacists and learn about the key issues in pharmacy. If I were to apply to pharmacy school again, I would have done the same, and I recommend that you do the same (joining not just to join but really to see what a pharmacy career is all about). Don’t forget to join your undergraduate university’s pre-pharmacy club!
Here are some organizations that you should research. Please note that the pharmacy school that you attend may or may not have a student chapter. This is not an all-inclusive list.
- American Pharmacists Association – APhA
- State Pharmacist Associations – California has CPhA (California Pharmacists Association)
- Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy – AMCP
- National Community Pharmacists Association – NCPA
- American Society of Health-System Pharmacists – ASHP
- State Society of Health-System Pharmacists Association – Calfornia has CSHP
- American Society of Consultant Pharmacists – ASCP
- Student National Pharmaceutical Association – SNPhA
PharmCAS has opened up their applications for the new application cycle!
Don’t forget to check whether or not the pharmacy schools that you are applying for require a supplemental application in addition to your PharmCAS!
PharmApplicants will open up the new application cycle in a few days. Stay tuned.
Here are the top resources for each step of the application process for pharmacy schools. I have only highlighted the most popular and top-rated products (at least 4 stars) from Amazon. Rather than scrambling around the Internet or asking a bunch of people, these resources comprehensively cover all aspects of the entire process.
These two admissions books were written to elucidate the entire application process all the way from PCAT exam preparation to the interview.
Pharmacy Technician Exam Books
Books for preparation for the pharmacy technician (PTCB) exam. The practice exams are a great way to get used to the type or problems presented on the real exam.
PCAT preparation courses will set you back at least a thousand dollars, so I highly recommend students to utilize the more cost-effective method of self-studying. The Kaplan PCAT book is the most popular and highest rated preparation material The AudioLearn product is a great supplement as you can listen to the material while driving around or lounging at home.
The interview is the scariest part of the application process for most applicants. These two books will prepare you mentally for any type of question you may encounter at all of your interviews.
Top 200 Drugs Review
This is usually tested during your first year of pharmacy school, and if you want to get started early, you will want to purchase these products. The Sigler cards are the ones we used for our two drug exams (top 100 exam as well as the top 101-200 exam).
There’s just no sense in going to a pharmacy school that’s not accredited. Sure, it might seem like the right financial move to attend a school that tries to balance its lack of accreditation with claims of lower tuition and guaranteed fast-tracking, but take a look at schools like the Hawaii College of Pharmacy. The unaccredited Pharm.D. school didn’t comply with state regulations and was shut down after allegations that the school wasn’t honest in its unaccredited status. The owners are now prohibited from running a business in Hawaii. The best way to avoid shady organizations like that one and to get a real education is to be certain beforehand that your school is accredited.
For starters, check with the Department of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation. (The latter is non-governmental.) Both groups monitor the accreditation process and offer free databases to the public with searchable school information that can help you learn more about the pharmacy school you’re interested in attending. There are more than 7,000 schools recognized by one or both agencies, so don’t pass this up.
There’s also the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education. The ACPE was established in 1932 and is the national agency devoted to the investigation and accreditation of schools offering pharmacy programs and degrees. They can tell you more about pharmacy schools that might not be mentioned by other agencies. Their Web site includes information for students and professionals, as well as detailed lists of accredited schools with historical breakdowns of their application process. It’s an invaluable resource for someone looking to study pharmacy. This way you can make sure you aren’t getting ripped off by a disreputable pseudo-school.
Related to accreditation, it’s not a bad idea to get a sense of a school’s reputation by emailing the counselors or checking with the Better Business Bureau to see if anyone’s issued any complaints against the school. User experience can often be just as important as accreditation. The bottom line, though, is to make sure the school’s been checked out and given the green-light by a legitimate educational agency. Only then can you be sure the pharmacy school you’re enrolling in is worth the cost.
This guest post is contributed by Kitty Holman, who writes on the topics of Online Nursing Schools. She welcomes your comments at her email Id: email@example.com.
The American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy has updated their PDF files for the 2010-2011 cycle. The following tables, charts, and information is linked below:
PSAR Table 1: Pharm.D. Programs – Pharm.D. Degree Programs Anticipated for 2010-11.
PSAR Table 2: Post-B.S. Programs – Post-B.S. Pharm.D. Programs Anticipated for 2010-11.
PSAR Table 3: Graduate Programs – Institutional Information and Graduate Degree Programs Anticipated for 2010-11.
PSAR Table 4: Dual-Degrees – Dual-Degree Programs Anticipated for 2010-11.
PSAR Table 5: Characteristics of Post-B.S. – Characteristics of Nontraditional Pharm.D. Programs.
PSAR Table 6: Didactic of Post-B.S. – Didactic Features of Nontraditional Pharm.D. Programs Anticipated for 2010-11.
PSAR Table 7: Experiential of Post-B.S. – Experiential Features of Nontraditional Pharm.D. Programs Anticipated for 2010-11.
PSAR Table 8: First Year Pharm.D. Class – Characteristics of fall 2008 First Year Class for Pharm.D. Degree Programs.
PSAR Table 9: Admissions Policies – Admission Policies and Practices for Pharm.D. Degree Programs Anticipated for 2010-11.
PSAR Table 10: Post-B.S. Admissions – Admission Policies and Practices for Post-B.S. Pharm.D. Degree Programs Anticipated for 2010-11.
PSAR Table 11: Tuition – First Year Tuition and Fees for Pharm.D. Degree Programs in 2009-10.
PSAR Table 12: Post-Grad Tuition – First Year Tuition and Fees for Postgraduate Degree (Traditional and Nontraditional) Programs in 2009-10.
PSAR Table 13: M.S./Ph.D. Tuition – First Year Tuition and Fees for Postgraduate Degree (M.S. and Ph.D.) Programs in 2009-10.
School Admission Requirements – Two-page narrative that includes General Information, Curriculum, Admission Requirements, and Further Information for each AACP member institution.
Course Prerequisites by Pharmacy School – Summary of pre-professional course requirements by pharmacy degree institution.