tritonvision

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Jul 31, 2008
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Im currently finishing up my last two classes for my double BS in pharm chem/human bio. I applied to a a few CA schools this cycle and with a GPA of 2.8 I highly doubt that I will get in anywhere. So thats done and over with. My question is what should i do to increase my chances? I thought about retaking some pre reqs classes that I got Cs in..but it doesnt make much sense if I go from a UC to a JC and get As in those classes. Some threads in this forum even said that some admission people dont like that. I also thought about post bacc programs to increase my overall GPA but its 2 years of retaking some unnecessary classes that i dont need. My weakest points right now are my GPA, work experience (in terms of retail), and PCAT (havent taken it). So of course I will start to do retail very soon and will study for the PCAT for the next cycle. But after I graduate...whats the most efficient way to increase my overall GPA and/or my pre req GPA. Any recommendation is appreciated. Thank you for reading =)
 

Jaded03

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Im currently finishing up my last two classes for my double BS in pharm chem/human bio. I applied to a a few CA schools this cycle and with a GPA of 2.8 I highly doubt that I will get in anywhere. So thats done and over with. My question is what should i do to increase my chances? I thought about retaking some pre reqs classes that I got Cs in..but it doesnt make much sense if I go from a UC to a JC and get As in those classes. Some threads in this forum even said that some admission people dont like that. I also thought about post bacc programs to increase my overall GPA but its 2 years of retaking some unnecessary classes that i dont need. My weakest points right now are my GPA, work experience (in terms of retail), and PCAT (havent taken it). So of course I will start to do retail very soon and will study for the PCAT for the next cycle. But after I graduate...whats the most efficient way to increase my overall GPA and/or my pre req GPA. Any recommendation is appreciated. Thank you for reading =)
I went to a UC so I can understand where you're coming from...kinda. I never repeated classes, but I also believed that certain classes needed to be at the university level. I think if you got a C in any of your core science classes, those would be good ones to repeat at a Cal State (cheaper). Make sure you do well though. As soon as I graduated, I got into a pharmacy job.* I would take all of the non-sciences at a JC. You may want to consider a post-bac since your GPA is on the low side, it is pricey, but it's actually the cheapest option should you take another term of classes individually.

*Disclaimer: Very serendipitous, though. I applied to one CVS online without calling them (it wasn't even the closest one to my house...:bang:). Accepted without a formal interview.
 

mrblah

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Feb 27, 2008
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repeat your classes at a JC that offers the same courses. Many students go the JC route to get into pharmacy school either to remediate or to take their pre-req's. Some schools prefer you to have a bachelors, but thats not the same as saying you can't take classes at a JC. To say you are going to be at a distinct disadvantage for taking classes at a jC is a myth. If it were true, I wouldn't be in pharm. school.

You should clarify with the schools you are looking to apply to.
 
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Jaded03

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repeat your classes at a JC that offers the same courses. Many students go the JC route to get into pharmacy school either to remediate or to take their pre-req's. Some schools prefer you to have a bachelors, but thats not the same as saying you can't take classes at a JC. To say you are going to be at a distinct disadvantage for taking classes at a jC is a myth. If it were true, I wouldn't be in pharm. school.

You should clarify with the schools you are looking to apply to.
It's not a complete myth. Some programs require 4 year university coursework. To cover one's bases, especially in California, you should take science courses at the university level when you have university level coursework.
 

Jdario86

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Oct 6, 2008
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Im currently finishing up my last two classes for my double BS in pharm chem/human bio. I applied to a a few CA schools this cycle and with a GPA of 2.8 I highly doubt that I will get in anywhere. So thats done and over with. My question is what should i do to increase my chances? I thought about retaking some pre reqs classes that I got Cs in..but it doesnt make much sense if I go from a UC to a JC and get As in those classes. Some threads in this forum even said that some admission people dont like that. I also thought about post bacc programs to increase my overall GPA but its 2 years of retaking some unnecessary classes that i dont need. My weakest points right now are my GPA, work experience (in terms of retail), and PCAT (havent taken it). So of course I will start to do retail very soon and will study for the PCAT for the next cycle. But after I graduate...whats the most efficient way to increase my overall GPA and/or my pre req GPA. Any recommendation is appreciated. Thank you for reading =)
Advice:
1. If you get rejected to the schools you applied to, contact each school separately, let them know you are going to apply again and ask them for the specific weak aspects of your application that you can improve upon.
2. Take a Kaplan course -or something similar.
3. After studying and taking the PCATs, also take the GREs so you can also apply to Grad schools as a back-up. Studying for the pcats is similar to studying for the GRES, because the material that's on the GREs is also covered on the PCATs. If you don't make it into pharm school again, you can still get into grad school and pursue something similar and apply again the following year. Plus, I think there's one pharmacy school in florida that accepts the GREs instead of the pcats (double-check me on that).
4. In terms of post-bac programs, I know there are some post-bac/1-yr pre-med programs that are offered to those who want to take a year after college in order to improve their GPA. My friend's currently at the pre-med post-bac program at UPenn and she says it's very helpful. I'm not sure if it's only open to those who intend on pursuing med school only but you should ask and find other programs similar to it.
5. If you intend on finding a job in a retail pharmacy, go visit the places where you're interested in working before applying online. Ask to meet specifically with the pharmacist manager and tell them you're interested in pharm school. If they need help and if you show interest, they will hire you. I would not apply online first bc all the major chains like CVS & Walgreens use online app databases and your app can get lost online.
6. Get involved with volunteering too. Volunteer as a research assistant in clinical research study perhaps? With the current economy, many researchers are seeking volunteer help with their studies because they're not getting enough federal grant money.
 

confettiflyer

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It's not a complete myth. Some programs require 4 year university coursework. To cover one's bases, especially in California, you should take science courses at the university level when you have university level coursework.
Whoo, that'll be expensive. Taking a few classes, IMO, at a JC won't hurt you...but if you're taking a lot, look into a post-bacc/2nd bacc, or even a master's program. You'll probably get better bang for the buck, otherwise, those "visitor" fees are going to eat you alive.

I have some friends who did a master's and ended up bailing after a year when they got into pharm school. But 2-3 classes at a JC should be okay, otherwise, see what SDSU/CSUSM have to offer (assuming you're still in SD).
 

phar2013

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Oct 22, 2008
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Im currently finishing up my last two classes for my double BS in pharm chem/human bio. I applied to a a few CA schools this cycle and with a GPA of 2.8 I highly doubt that I will get in anywhere. So thats done and over with. My question is what should i do to increase my chances? I thought about retaking some pre reqs classes that I got Cs in..but it doesnt make much sense if I go from a UC to a JC and get As in those classes. Some threads in this forum even said that some admission people dont like that. I also thought about post bacc programs to increase my overall GPA but its 2 years of retaking some unnecessary classes that i dont need. My weakest points right now are my GPA, work experience (in terms of retail), and PCAT (havent taken it). So of course I will start to do retail very soon and will study for the PCAT for the next cycle. But after I graduate...whats the most efficient way to increase my overall GPA and/or my pre req GPA. Any recommendation is appreciated. Thank you for reading =)
There is also a post bac for pre-pharmacy students at LECOM in PA. The only one I know for pre-pharmacy students. The rest of them you either have to have a BS in pharmacy or for PharmD grads. There are a lot of post bacs for pre-med and -dental students specifically which sucks!
 

Jaded03

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Whoo, that'll be expensive. Taking a few classes, IMO, at a JC won't hurt you...but if you're taking a lot, look into a post-bacc/2nd bacc, or even a master's program. You'll probably get better bang for the buck, otherwise, those "visitor" fees are going to eat you alive.

I have some friends who did a master's and ended up bailing after a year when they got into pharm school. But 2-3 classes at a JC should be okay, otherwise, see what SDSU/CSUSM have to offer (assuming you're still in SD).
It is expensive. I can vouch. However, I wasn't going to risk it and it paid off for USC. I luckily only had 4 units to do at CSULB at 200/unit.
 

Jdario86

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Oct 6, 2008
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I also suggest you consider in doing work that pertains to your degree. You have a double BS in pharm chem/human biology, you should use it. Find an entry level job working for a pharmaceutical company perhaps? I know bayer has an excellent summer internship program and entry level positions that are available for college grads. Pharmaceutical sales perhaps? Some of these companies even offer tuition reimbursement for grad school and pharmacy school. Start looking into them.
 

tritonvision

10+ Year Member
Jul 31, 2008
65
0
Status
Pharmacy Student
Advice:
1. If you get rejected to the schools you applied to, contact each school separately, let them know you are going to apply again and ask them for the specific weak aspects of your application that you can improve upon.
2. Take a Kaplan course -or something similar.
3. After studying and taking the PCATs, also take the GREs so you can also apply to Grad schools as a back-up. Studying for the pcats is similar to studying for the GRES, because the material that's on the GREs is also covered on the PCATs. If you don't make it into pharm school again, you can still get into grad school and pursue something similar and apply again the following year. Plus, I think there's one pharmacy school in florida that accepts the GREs instead of the pcats (double-check me on that).
4. In terms of post-bac programs, I know there are some post-bac/1-yr pre-med programs that are offered to those who want to take a year after college in order to improve their GPA. My friend's currently at the pre-med post-bac program at UPenn and she says it's very helpful. I'm not sure if it's only open to those who intend on pursuing med school only but you should ask and find other programs similar to it.
5. If you intend on finding a job in a retail pharmacy, go visit the places where you're interested in working before applying online. Ask to meet specifically with the pharmacist manager and tell them you're interested in pharm school. If they need help and if you show interest, they will hire you. I would not apply online first bc all the major chains like CVS & Walgreens use online app databases and your app can get lost online.
6. Get involved with volunteering too. Volunteer as a research assistant in clinical research study perhaps? With the current economy, many researchers are seeking volunteer help with their studies because they're not getting enough federal grant money.

I also suggest you consider in doing work that pertains to your degree. You have a double BS in pharm chem/human biology, you should use it. Find an entry level job working for a pharmaceutical company perhaps? I know bayer has an excellent summer internship program and entry level positions that are available for college grads. Pharmaceutical sales perhaps? Some of these companies even offer tuition reimbursement for grad school and pharmacy school. Start looking into them.
Thank you so much for taking your time out to type such a long and detailed responses. In terms of work experience, I have spent the past 3 years working as an IT for my UC and also managed the robotic arms system for a Pharmaceutical company, which is all in response to me wanting to be in Pharmacy Informatics. I was never interested in retails which is why i never tried to applied though I do have a tech license. I will take your advice and start to volunteer at a hospital to gain some hands on pharm experience with patients. In terms of my GPA, I'm gonna look into post bacc programs to see if there are any that can meet my need. But my best bet right now is to retake the classes which I got Cs in along with some i havent already taken at a Cal state / JC.

In other news, got my rejection letter from UCSF today :)
 

Snake Doctor

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Initially, I was thinking about taking the GRE as a backup.... but I have conducted research before and it's just not for me. So grad school wouldn't be a good idea for those who are not interested in research. Agree? For MPH programs, they usually require work experience :(
 

PharMed2016

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Nov 2, 2008
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The key is experience! experience and experience!
 

Jdario86

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Oct 6, 2008
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Pharmacy Student
In other news, got my rejection letter from UCSF today :)
Contact them and find out why. Then take that as a challenge and re-apply again next year. Prove to them that you have what it takes to become a great pharmacist.
 

xscpx

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Oct 21, 2008
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Initially, I was thinking about taking the GRE as a backup.... but I have conducted research before and it's just not for me. So grad school wouldn't be a good idea for those who are not interested in research. Agree? For MPH programs, they usually require work experience :(
Research is a term that is so wide, so varied, and can mean so many things that saying you don't like it is akin to saying you don't music. For example, my thesis required great amounts of chemical lab work, but my masters requires ethnography and conducting surveys of people. Both are very very different. If you are doing a grad program you are interested in, the research will not seem like work, it will become exciting.
 
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