Where should I do my pharmacy school pre-reqs
July 27, 2010 7:42 PM   Subscribe

Question about choosing a school at which to complete pharmacy school pre-reqs.

Asking for a friend: I would like to be a pharmacist, and I am trying to decide where to take my science pre-reqs. I already have bachelors degrees in poli sci and English, and it appears that I need approximately 33 hours of pre-reqs. I could take all of my pre-reqs at the local community college, which will be less expensive and the classes would likely be less rigorous, or I could take them at the local state research university, which is more expensive and academically tougher. My question: will pharmacy school admission committees care where I take my pre-reqs? Will I receive any boost for taking them at the research university, and will my application be viewed less favorably if I take them at the community college? I'm interested in some fairly highly ranked pharmacy programs, such as UT Austin and UC San Francisco. Thank you!
posted by jayder to Education (3 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
I'd definitely spend some time checking out the boards at StudentDoctor - there are tons of pharm students/prospective students on there, and this type of question is amazingly common. From what I've gleaned:

- A lot depends on the individual school's requirements: ask your top picks directly.
- Any four-year school credits are more of a "plus" than community college credits.
- You need to strike a balance between the prestige of the school and your potential GPA... in other words, an "A" at community college is not as good as an "A" at Prestigious Stick-Up-the-Ass State University. However, an "A" at community college is a LOT BETTER than a "C" at PSUtASU.
posted by julthumbscrew at 8:19 PM on July 27, 2010

I work in admissions for a top ranked nursing school at a public university. This won't be totally equivalent to pharm school, but perhaps the advice will be of some use anyway.

If your course is transferrable to the school you wish to attend (same/similar course content and taken at an accredited institution), then my school doesn't much care where you took your previous coursework.

Where you take classes doesn't even come into play in our admissions review since our evaluation process covers so much more ground (essays, interviews, recommendations, past experience, etc.). My school wants to see that you have a solid foundation and good performance in the sciences and that you've covered the basic material. Beyond that, you need to be an otherwise well-rounded individual, and to demonstrate that our program would be a good academic/professional fit for you and us.

In short, I always recommend that people take prerequisites at a community college unless they're already a student at the University. The financial tradeoff makes little sense if you'd enroll and pay higher tuition solely for the name of the school teaching prerequisites.

Then again, you should absolutely ask each school that you apply to. Not everyone may operate this way.
posted by owls at 8:08 AM on July 28, 2010

Response by poster: Thanks for the great answers so far!
posted by jayder at 3:59 PM on July 29, 2010

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