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 pharmacy students applying to PharmD programs after completing a bachelor’s degree. Future articles will over 0+6 and early assurance PharmD programs.
PCAT – Pharmacy School Requirements
Taking the PCAT is a very common pharmacy school requirement. However, some schools (e.g. all California pharmacy schools) do not require the PCAT at this time. Check out the AACP website to view useful charts on requirements. This could be a detriment if you have a low GPA. A student with a low GPA has the opportunity to demonstrate their abilities through a good score on the PCAT. This could essentially “balance” out a low GPA like it did for one of my friends who was accepted into a “top 20” pharmacy school with a 3.05 and an 89th percentile PCAT score. Some PharmD programs have a minimum PCAT percentile.
You can research the average PCAT scores of accepted students on the stats section of PharmApplicants.
Pre-requisite Coursework – Pharmacy School Requirements
Pre-requisite coursework that meet pharmacy school requirements depends on the school. It would make sense for you to plan out your undergraduate courses early on so that you can knock out all of the required classes. Have an idea of what schools you will be applying to early on so that you are not scrambling to take courses. Common pre-requisite courses include biology, chemistry, organic chemistry, physics, speech/communication, calculus, microbiology, and statistics. Exact requirements for every PharmD program can be found at the AACP website.
The AACP website also lists whether or not a bachelor degree is required for admission. It is a common pharmacy school requirement nowadays. Also, many pharmacy schools have a minimum GPA which is commonly 2.5 to 3.0 (although schools can have lower GPA requirements as low as 2.o).
You DO NOT have to be a pre-pharmacy or biology or chemistry major to be accepted into pharmacy school. As long as you do the pre-requisite courses for that particular pharmacy school, you can get accepted. In fact, I got a BA Psychology degree before pharmacy school.
PHARMCAS and Supplemental Application – Pharmacy School Requirements
PHARMCAS is a central application system used by the majority of pharmacy schools. It is a system that you use to input your demographic information, contact information, course history and grades, statement of purpose, and PCAT scores. It also provides the function for you to assign letter of recommendation writers who are provided with a place to upload their letters.
After completing your PHARMCAS, it is a common pharmacy school requirement to complete a secondary application called the supplemental application. There are both PHARMCAS fees and supplemental application fees, so plan accordingly.
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Letters of Recommendation – Pharmacy School Requirements
Pharmacy schools on average require three letters of recommendation (ranges from 1 to 4). Every pharmacy school has different requirements on who these writers can be. Professors and employers are common letter writers.
Pharmacy School Requirements PDF
AACP’s comprehensive PDF lists every pharmacy school’s requirements.