If you have a calling to help people and are rather good at math and statistics, then a career in pharmacy may be a wonderful fit for you. Before diving into this expanding profession, you should gather all the information about the type of pharmacist you want to be and the amount of time and funding it will take to accomplish your goal in the program of your choice. The easiest pharmacy programs to get into tend to have a higher acceptance rate than others.
The Role of a Pharmacist
The role of a pharmacist is more than someone who accurately measures and dispenses medications and tinctures. The first directive of a pharmacist is to help a patient.
A pharmacist may notice a regular patient’s lack of energy or other adverse reaction to medication quicker than a physician who the patient may only see when in crisis. Pharmacists ensure that patients understand when and how to take medication, and they can relieve any worries the patient may have about taking pills or adverse side effects.
How Difficult Is Pharmacy School?
As with any vital role in the medical profession, the schooling required is long and arduous. To become a pharmacist, a student must complete prepharmacy courses at either a two-year or four-year degree college and then complete coursework at a pharmacy school. Pharmacy school can be difficult, and it requires many years of study.
How to Get Into Pharmacy School
Pharmacy is one of the fastest growing fields in health care. This also makes it one of the more competitive fields. Pharmacy schools have a relatively low admission rate, often less than 20 percent. To ensure you get into the pharmacy school of your choice without hiccups:
- Maintain a GPA of 3.0 at the least.
- Volunteer or gain employment within your field as soon as possible.
- Gather letters of recommendation or character assessments from professors, employers and community leaders to push your application to the top.
- Get a 400 or above on the Pharmacy College Admission Test, or PCAT.
Easiest Pharmacy Programs to Get Into
There are a few ways to whittle down the selection of pharmacy schools to those that are the easiest to get into. State schools will often choose locals over out-of-state students who are at the top of their class. This makes it cheaper for the student as well.
The top 10 easiest pharmacy schools to get into tend to require a good GPA, over 2.5 at the least, and a solid PCAT score. More than 85 percent of programs require undergraduate schooling. However, there are some pharmacy schools that don't require a bachelor's degree. The admissions office will more than likely conduct an interview before accepting a student into the pharmacy school.
Texas Southern University
The College of Pharmacy & Health Sciences at Texas Southern University has a Doctor in Pharmacy program or a Master of Science in Pharmaceutical Studies. The application process for this college is not as arduous as other pharmacy schools. A good GPA and PCAT, a solid interview and a winning application is often all a student needs to gain entry.
South Dakota State University
The low population of South Dakota State University’s location makes it easier to gain entry into its College of Pharmacy. The school’s program focuses on pharmaceutical sciences and pharmacy practice. It requires an interview and a good PCAT score with a minimum GPA of 2.7.
Oregon State University
The Oregon State University School of Pharmacy has a long-standing good undergraduate and graduate school for pharmacists as well as a doctoral degree program. An interview and the PCAT are required with a prerequisite GPA minimum of 2.9.
Kimberley McGee is an award-winning journalist with 20+ years of experience writing about education, jobs, business trends and more for The New York Times, Las Vegas Review-Journal, Today’s Parent and other publications. She graduated with a B.A. in Journalism from UNLV. Her full bio and clips can be seen at www.vegaswriter.com.