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June 15, 2005 7:10 AM   Subscribe

Pharmacy School: So my sister wants to apply to pharmacy school and it's totally stressing her out. Does anyone here have advice on the application process?

More specifically:

(1) Is the personal statement just like the personal statement for other graduate programs or is there something different that they want? What sort of things did you talk about in your essay?

(2) The three schools she's interested in are all in California: University of Pacific, University of San Francisco, and UC San Diego (where she's a student now). Do you know about any safety schools in California? Or good pharmacy schools or good safeties out of state?

(3) Any other general advice? What was your application experience like? When did you turn your application in? What was your GPA? Etc., etc.
posted by kensanway to Education (3 answers total)
I haven't applied for pharmacy school myself, but my boyfriend is in pharmacy school, so I can tell you what I know. Note my knowledge is Virginia based - things in CA may be different.

He went to an excellent undergrad school (UVA) and graduated with a 4 year degree and high GPA. It's not necessary to have a 4 year degree to get into pharmacy school in VA - 2 years of undergrad are enough. He took his PCATs and scored in the 90-somethingth percentile. He is currently attending the MCV School of Pharmacy in VA. I don't remember what his paper application was like, but I do remember that he had to do an in-person interview as part of the application process.

If he had one thing to tell a potential pharmacy student, it would probably be something along the lines of "be prepared for a lot of work". He spends a lot of time doing classwork and studying, in addition to working in a pharmacy to fullfill the required 300 internship hours to graduate.

I hope that helps a little - it's all I can remember second hand. Good luck to your sister!
posted by geeky at 10:27 AM on June 15, 2005

If it helps any, I asked a question about pharmacy school a while ago. I didn't get in, but then again one of my references also decided not to send in her stuff without telling me and I lost motivation to really care about following up on the whole process. Regardless, definitely shoot for a 90th percentile on your PCATs. When you take them, be very aware of the time on the math and chemistry sections- most students could do very very well on those sections without a time limit, but the time kills you. People tend to run out of time before they know what happens.

In reference to geeky's b/f, some schools like UGA allow your to fulfill your pharmacy internship in your last year or two so for your first couple of years, you do schoolwork and the last year or two you essentially work in a pharmacy.
posted by jmd82 at 10:48 AM on June 15, 2005

MCV actually does both - they require 300 internship hours and then the 4th year is spent doing rotations in various types of pharmacies, similar to residency for medical students. It sounds like either way, she'll have lots of work experience when she gets done!
posted by geeky at 10:56 AM on June 15, 2005

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