Pharm.D. Application

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PCAT Requirements by Pharmacy School


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Pharm.D. Admission Guide


Pharm.D. Degree
Best Undergraduate Major
PharmCAS
GPA

Supplemental Application

Many schools also require a supplemental application and an additional fee in addition to the PharmCAS application. The supplemental application usually contains essays which gives a clearer picture of the candidate and his or her fit with a pharmacy school. PharmCAS has a pharmacy school information page, which lists all of the pharmacy schools and their specific application requirements.

Interview

Every pharmacy school requires the infamous interview process to judge your fit for their program. Although the weight placed on the interview varies from school to school, one’s performance at an interview is a significant factor to receive admission to pharmacy schools. StudentDoctor.Net provides a great interview feedback service where real pre-pharmacy students who have attended interview sessions provide their feedback as well as the questions they received at different pharmacy schools. If you are looking to read on the appropriate mindset and mental preparation needed to succeed in your interview, I suggest referring to the book by Jeremiah Fleenor The Medical School Interview: Secrets and a System for Success

Prerequisites

Prerequisites vary greatly from school to school, and they can be checked in the chart above. You may apply for pharmacy programs before completing all of your prerequisites, but you must complete them before matriculation. You can also find browse the school list supplied by PharmCAS to get more information on the perquisites. For exact course equivalencies, check to see if the school you are applying for has a webpage that allows you to check to see the exact course numbers from different schools. I know that USC and UOP have this available for students. UCSF and UCSD has their course equivalencies listed on Assist.org.

PCAT

The PCAT is the “Pharmacy College Admissions Test.” Not all pharmacy schools require the PCAT (check here). The material covered on the PCAT as described from the AACP website: The PCAT is divided into separate sections, or subtests, each of which is timed separately. During the time allowed for each subtest, you will be permitted to work only on that section. You will not be allowed to go back to earlier subtests or on to later ones. As you work on each section, you may find it useful to first answer the questions that are easy for you, skipping over those questions to which you will need to return for further thought. There are six content areas measured by the PCAT in seven (7) separate subtests:

• The Verbal Ability section measures general, non-scientific word knowledge and usage using analogies and sentence completion.
• The Biology section measures knowledge of the principles and concepts of basic biology, including general biology, microbiology, and human anatomy and physiology.
• The Reading Comprehension section measures ability to comprehend, analyze, and evaluate reading passages on science-related topics.
• The Quantitative Ability section measures skills in mathematical processes and the ability to reason through and understand quantitative concepts and relationships, including applications of algebra, geometry, probability and statistics, pre-calculus, and calculus.
• The Chemistry section measures knowledge of principles and concepts of inorganic and elementary organic chemistry.
• The written Essay sections measure conventions of language skills in terms of sentence formation, usage, and mechanics. One is included as an experimental item. Beginning with the June 2007 exam, all of the writing prompts will state a problem involving a health issue, a science issue, or a social, cultural or political issue. Examinees will be asked to present a solution to the problem in their essays. They will be scored on how well they write an essay that is a sufficient length to adequately explain a solution to the problem.

Check the PCAT page for more information.

Letter of Recommendations

One to four letters of recommendations are required in the application process for pharmacy schools. Schools differ on who they accept letters of recommendations from, so it is important to know what is acceptable by looking at this table. Generally speaking, receiving letters of reference from pharmacists and science professors who know your ability and potential on a personal level will be the most beneficial.

Financing Pharmacy School

Like other professional degrees, financing your way to a Pharm.D. is significantly more costly than undergraduate programs. Government grants that you may have received for your undergraduate program are usually no longer available, so paying for your tuition will primarily depend on student loans. Make sure you apply for FAFSA before their deadline, so that you are considered for some of the government loans. It is also a good idea to apply for national, school, corporate, online, and local scholarships. Any money that you can get for free to pay down your tuition will mean less money you will be paying on interest for the life of the loan. Even a $1000 scholarship will decrease your loan amount by $1000 along with all the interest you would have paid during the life of the loan. I will provide a list of scholarships that are available in the near future.

Dual Degrees

In addition to the Pharm.D., some students may pursue an additional degree (MBA, JD, PhD, MPH, etc.). You can check which pharmacy schools offer dual degree programs by clicking the link at the link at the top. If you are interested in any of these programs, you should definitely start by researching them on pharmacy school websites or contacting the office of admissions of pharmacy schools to get more information. Additional requirements (such as additional standardized testing and letters of reference) are expected for most of these programs. At some universities, these dual degree programs may eliminate your summer vacation or have you fall back a year from your pharmacy class as you complete your additional degree before going back to your pharmacy studies.

Studentdoctor.net

Studentdoctor.net’s Pharmacy Forum is a great resource for any pre-pharmacy student. In fact, I set it as my browser home page during the last few months as I would be constantly checking updates from other students for the schools that I applied for! There are many great discussions regarding topics ranging from financial aid to success stories of getting into pharmacy school with under a 3.0 (it’s not impossible!). Remember to use the search function before starting a new thread.

Pharmacy School Application Books


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