Pre-Pharmacy Advising Page
The University of Arkansas - Monticello offers courses that provide a basic education in the physical and biological sciences and in the humanities that will prepare students for the specialized professional and clinical education in a college of pharmacy. The pre-pharmacy advisors at UAM work closely with colleges of pharmacy in the region in order to provide students the best basic education possible to give students the greatest opportunity for success upon entering the professional program. Although most students think about a retail pharmacy position when considering a career in pharmacy, there are many more options to be considered. It is recommended that you talk with a staff member from a college of pharmacy in order to get more information.
Before choosing a career in pharmacy, you must first realize that pharmacy school, and the pre-requisites taken prior to pharmacy school, are heavy in math and sciences. A typical pre-pharmacy student typically takes 24-28 hours of chemistry, 16-20 hours of biology, Calculus I, and several other courses that often fall into the general education category. Overall GPA is the strongest predictor of success in pharmacy school. With the pharmacy curriculum based strongly on molecular properties, student's performance in Organic Chemistry often relate closely to performance in pharmacy school.
Most students who complete their pre-pharmacy curriculum at UAM plan on attending University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) College of Pharmacy. Other institutions have accepted UAM students in the past, or have agreed to consider UAM students for acceptance as part of their out-of-state quota, provided all pre-pharmacy requirements are met for that school. If you are interested in attending another college of pharmacy, see your advisor so that a curriculum can be designed for you with the cooperation of the school of your choice. Over the past few years, we have had students accepted to UAMS, Harding University, University of Mississippi, University of Oklahoma, Nova Southeastern University, and University of Louisiana - Monroe.
The most common question that students have is, "What does it take to get into pharmacy school?" There is not a specific answer to that question. Each pharmacy school will evaluate students using their own criteria. UAMS uses no formula, or weighting of GPA, PCAT, or other factors. Each committee member reviews the application and makes recommendations of acceptance or denial. Based on prior statistics, to have a reasonable chance of admission to UAMS College of Pharmacy, minimum of 60 on the PCAT and a 3.60 GPA on all pre-pharmacy required and selective courses. Changes in the PCAT have caused scores to fluctuate, so that number certainly is not a cut-off. We have had lower on both PCAT and GPA still be accepted, but we have also had scores that fairly competitive not be accepted. This simply gives you an idea of what is competitive. PCAT Info
It is also very important that the applicant have either worked in a pharmacy, or at least shadowed a pharmacist for a reasonable amount of time. Pharmacists on admissions boards have told me that they are reluctant to accept any student into a pharmacy program that has not spent a reasonable amount of time working in a pharmacy. Some comments from former students and other pharmacy professionals are listed in the link below. They give information about getting into pharmacy school and also what is expected of you once you are in.
Advice from those that have taken the path before you
It is important that you get off to a good start on your coursework at UAM. You should do your best in all classes. Retaking dropped courses, or courses with low grades, does not portray an image of the typical pharmacy student. The pre-pharmacy curriculum is rigorous, and is designed for those that come in with a strong high school background and requiring no remedial courses.
The following links take you to the College of Pharmacy main page for that institution. It is a good idea to regularly check on changes in admission policies for the school you wish to attend. The admissions staff at each college would love to have you be successful and be admitted to their college. Most are very helpful when contacted directly by email or telephone. It is recommended that you do a required course review at the beginning of your second year so that you can review the requirements for the universities to which you plan to apply.
Different Colleges of Pharmacy require different courses. Be sure that you meet with your advisor to make sure that your courses will fulfill the current requirements.
Several schools are now using PharmCAS Application Service, including UAMS. Please start the application process early. It takes time to complete properly!
UAMS - Little Rock Harding University -Searcy AR
University of Louisiana -Monroe University of Oklahoma
University of Mississippi (Ole Miss) Southwestern Oklahoma State -Weatherford, OK