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Discussion in 'Pre-Pharmacy' started by KJC, Mar 1, 2007.

  1. KJC


    Feb 9, 2007
    Hey All,

    Sorry in advance for the long post.

    I would welcome some suggestions/advice on eventually being accepted into a PharmD program.

    Here's the background:
    Attended PSU from 1993-1995. I was immature to say the least and my social priorities were my main concern. My GPA upon leaving PSU was a 2.34 (business major, only had one science course, microbiology, which I received a B+). My last semester at PSU was a horrendous compilation of 3 D's and 2 F's.

    Transferred to a 4 year college near my hometown and graduated with a BS in Finance in 1998. Graduating GPA was 3.13. Not exactly stellar, but I was working a full time job to pay for college as my parents understandably were hesitant in paying for me to continue.

    I've worked the last 7 years with the same company managing retirement assets for healthcare employees. Spent alot of time with doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and had the opportunity to leave my job to pursue a degree in a field which is both exciting and challenging.

    I've been completing my pharm pre-reqs at the school of my 1st degree. GPA starts fresh and transcripts will show my both my graduating GPA and post grad GPA. I've taken gen Chem and Gen Bio and am running a 4.0 with these. Still need to complete Org Chem, Physics, and was going to take 2 semesters of Anatomy as well.

    The questions I'm unsure about are:
    1) Should I continue with my pre-reqs at this school and then apply to various Pharmacy schools? My post grad GPA will be stellar (and this will be all of the chem, bio, physics), but my overall cumulative (thanks to PSU) will only be around a 2.8.

    2) Should I finish up my pre-reqs at PSU and also retake a semester of business classes in order to boost my GPA? This would boost my cumulative a little bit higher, but the remaining science courses which I plan to do well on will then be mixed in with my horrid PSU transcript.

    I'm prepared for having to achieve a 2nd bac degree in bio or chem before getting into Pharm school, if that's what it takes, but I'd love to try and gain acceptance after completing school pre-reqs.

    Other things to note:
    1) I'm working on trying to gain employment as a pharm tech or aid, but it's been kind of humorous receiving some of the looks, etc when a 30 year old applies in local pharmacies, etc. If this doesn't pan out, I'll be looking to volunteer at pharmacies...I just hope they don't think I'm trying to steal drugs:)

    2) I'm reviewing self study materials to try and pass the PTCE which may aid in getting pharmacy experience. Ideally, I'd like to pass the certification exam prior to applying to PharmD programs.

    3) I'll be studying and hopefully will have a good PCAT score come exam time.

    Any thoughts or suggestions on what I should do regarding my cum GPA and where to finish my pre-reqs at? Anyone presonally know of similar cases where continued trends in academic improvement overshadows a low cum GPA? Constructive thoughts and feedback would be appreciated.

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  3. ageldred

    ageldred Member 7+ Year Member

    Jul 17, 2006
    Jacksonville, FL

    Congrats on deciding to become a pharmacist! Best of luck to you.

    There's a debate that floats around this board on which school is best to complete pre reqs at 2 year 4 year etc. I pretty much believe it's up to the pharmacy school on how they look at your classes, we don't truly know all the criteria the schools are looking in other words I don't think it really matters WHERE you finish your prereqs just do well in them. The schools and Pharmcas will see your entire academic GPA and will see the years attended so I don't think you need to go back to PSU to try and boost your GPA there. Sure they will see you played around while you got your business degree but you are proving yourself now with straight As in some very difficult classes. Your science GPA at least will reflect your dedication, so keep that high and get a good PCAT and I think you'll be in good shape for applying. I don't think you need to retake your business courses, maybe stats or calc if a pharmacy school needs it and you didn't do well the first time around. Otherwise that would be a waste of time and cash IMHO (and us business degree holders never want to waste cash!). I earned a second bachelors degree to get in to pharmacy school, I picked exercise science because it's interesting and since I had a business degree I had to essentially start a new degree to complete all the science classes anyway. In my case it boiled down to one extra semester to get the 2nd degree so I felt it was worthwhile. Good luck to you.

  4. mrsturtle

    mrsturtle 2+ Year Member

    Feb 10, 2007
    You may want to check directly with the schools you are interested in. I have gone back to school, (I'm 34 now) and have found some schools offer academic forgiveness for old classes, you usually have to have all pre-reqs w/ 5yrs or so. It is worth checking into. It may require you to retake a couple courses, but in the end it can give you a much better chance. Good Luck

    LECOMorBUST 2+ Year Member

    Feb 11, 2007
    From what I understand with PharmCAS at least, academic forgiveness or not, they want to see everything (transcripts), even grades which have been "forgiven" and grades for courses which have been retaken which leads to...

    In reality, retaking unrelated pre-req. courses seems like a waste, considering the number of credits accumulated, GPA will not shift in a dramatic way up or down. Go all out science courses since your science GPA is not tainted and you have a fair amount of science left to cover.
  6. Farmercyst

    Farmercyst On with the Poodles already Pharmacist Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

    Ok, so I'm not sure how your cumulative GPA is about 2.8 when you graduated with a 3.13. Either way, some schools will look at your science GPAs separate from your Cumulative GPA. So unless those 3D's or 2F's were somehow related to science in you business degree, that would be a big plus for you.
    Academic forgiveness is an option if your ALL your prereqs were recent enough. For instance some of my prereqs are from 2000-2001. Since USN would wipe out ALL units older than 5 years I'd have to take Gchem and probably OChem despite the fact that I got A's and B's in them.

    If you do as well in sciences as you say I'd say PTCE should be little problem. It's not very intense math mixed with several drug names.
    Once your certified volunteering should be no problem. Job outlook depends on licensing requirements.

    You've got a bachelor's, if you did everything else at CC it would be no problem. Since your less than stellar grades were at a four-year you could do them at a 4-yr if you wanted to show that the big dance is not a problem anymore, but I'd say save your money, you'll be needing it.

    Re: GPA. Just keep doing good in your other classes. If you want to retake some of the D's and F's you could, but if you have that many units, it may not make as big a dent as you'd like. Calculating GPA with replacement may be time intensive, but certainly doable. No worse than any other cost/benefit analysis.

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