A pre-pharmacy program is a series of courses that satisfy the prerequisites for admission to a pharmacy school.
These courses can be offered at any accredited institution and typically require two years to complete. The actual Doctor of Pharmacy Degree must be earned from an accredited pharmacy school, typically requiring an additional four years. The specific courses required vary from pharmacy school to pharmacy school so you must carefully consider this fact as you plan your course of study. Your pre-pharmacy advisor is your greatest source of help in this endeavor. In general the pre-pharmacy curriculum includes a strong background in the sciences and mathematics as well as varied courses in the arts and humanities.
Course grades as well as the sequence in which courses are taken in the pre-pharmacy program can determine whether or not a student will be successful in acceptance into a pharmacy school. Pharmacy schools typically only enroll one class each year and that class might be limited to 110-130 students. Competition for those seats is strong so preparation is mandatory. In most cases a pre-pharmacy student applies to pharmacy schools (note the plural) in the summer or early fall of their second year. It is important to note that the first indicator evaluated by the admissions personnel is your academic GPA, always keep that in mind. Most pharmacy schools also require scores on the PCAT, a standardized exam, which is also taken in the fall of that second year. In order to do well on that test the first chemistry and biology series should have been completed, as well as most of the math. Once again, the pre-pharmacy advisor will be of great help in the scheduling of your courses.
A typical pre-pharmacy curriculum is given as an example for students looking at the four pharmacy schools in the area (Mercer University-College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, University of Georgia School of Pharmacy, the South University School of Pharmacy, and Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine (PCOM). Students interested in applying to pharmacy schools outside of Georgia are encouraged to contact their advisor when planning their coursework to determine if any additional coursework is required.
The goal of this program is to provide the basic foundation for admittance to a school of pharmacy. Your success will depend on your personal commitment to your professional goal.
If you have any questions please call Dr. M. L. Smith at (229)-931-2332 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org
The Pre-Med Program at Georgia Southwestern State University
A common misleading notion is that to be accepted to a medical school it is necessary to major in Chemistry or Biology. In most cases a student has the opportunity to choose almost any major, as long as specific prerequisite courses are completed in the process. Since a large number of these courses lie in the areas of math and science it is usually more expedient to choose majors accordingly, with Chemistry or Biology the most common.
Typically the requirements for entrance into medical school include:
- a year of general inorganic chemistry with lab
- a year of biology with lab
- a year of organic chemistry with lab
- a year of physics with lab
- a year of mathematics
On top of those requirements it is strongly recommended that students complete additional coursework in biology and chemistry which will aid them on the MCAT and in their first year of medical school. Typical coursework is selected from offerings such as Biochemistry, Analytical Chemistry, Anatomy and Physiology, Cell and Molecular Biology, and others, with the object of developing a stronger background of knowledge.
While coursework and GPA are obviously of great importance, the successful applicant will also have to furnish references, perform well on the MCAT, and demonstrate an involvement in extracurricular activities on campus and in the community. Anything a student can use to strengthen his or her application package will aid in this competitive process. At Georgia Southwestern we will supply the academic opportunity and guidance, but student success depends solely on individual commitment to a career goal.
For additional information you are invited to contact either, or both, of the following:
Biology - Dr. J. Thomas Wright
Chemistry - Dr. M. Elizabeth Gurnack