Lexington2012

5+ Year Member
Sep 8, 2012
373
161
Lexington, KY
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Pharmacy Student
I read something a while back saying that pharmacy class sizes have been shrinking since 2013. I didn't give it much thought until I saw that my school's incoming class is 59 students (my class started with about 95). Have you noticed the same trend?

I know it is too early to get this year's data on this. Just looking to get a quick sampling of whether class sizes are increasing or decreasing nationwide this year.

Maybe people are becoming aware of oversaturation of the pharmacist job market?
 

FuturePharmD92

2+ Year Member
Oct 19, 2015
170
36
Status
Pharmacy Student
My class is like 80-83, I think, which is normal for my school. Maybe less people are applying, but I doubt it.
 

med77

5+ Year Member
Feb 4, 2013
64
33
My class is a little over 160 students which is abnormal for the school. Typically they admit 100-120 students. My SO calculated an estimate of how much $$$ the school will pull in after 4 years during my white coat ceremony. Quite a few millions from all of us :p
 

escanoke

5+ Year Member
Nov 10, 2013
120
31
Boston,MA
Status
Pharmacy Student
I think people are starting to realize/believe that pharmacy is saturated and is a gamble. Even though more schools are opening I've noticed the long list of schools that PHARMCAS emailed saying that they are extending their deadlines for applications which could imply that not as many people are applying and that schools are having trouble fulfilling their quotas. I hope that is true and will be good for us and the profession.

People are realizing that the job growth is at a measly 3% and they're accepting that it's not the golden ticket it once was in the mid 2000s


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gwarm01

10+ Year Member
Oct 7, 2009
2,465
3,247
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Pharmacist
I have heard that applications are down, but was under the impression that seats are still being filled. I have't really looked into it though. We could use a solid decade of low enrollment in my opinion.

edit: just checked my school's most recent salary survey (located within https://issuu.com/arrx/docs/summer_2016). Looks like class size has remained consistent. Also, the dean is claiming job prospects are good while also mentioning that salary has decreased, average student loan debt has increased, and 15% of graduating pharmacists do not have a job offer.
 
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Wickett

7+ Year Member
Mar 28, 2012
342
377
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Pharmacist
I read something a while back saying that pharmacy class sizes have been shrinking since 2013. I didn't give it much thought until I saw that my school's incoming class is 59 students (my class started with about 95). Have you noticed the same trend?

I know it is too early to get this year's data on this. Just looking to get a quick sampling of whether class sizes are increasing or decreasing nationwide this year.

Maybe people are becoming aware of oversaturation of the pharmacist job market?

My entering class in 2012 had 108 students. This year's class has 128. Our Dean constantly talks of the tightening job market yet he increases enrollment every year and talks of opening satellite campuses. A lot of schools seem to have smaller applicant numbers, but they keep filling seats. Shocking that board passing rates keep trickling down.
 

Erbium

1st Year Pharmacy Student
2+ Year Member
May 25, 2014
35
18
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Pharmacy Student
Class size at mine keeps increasing (I think I'm in the largest class so far and I just started classes). They also have a relatively new satellite campus. Depends on the school and area, I guess. I love my school dearly, but I really wish they would reduce the number of available seats.

I noticed the same thing as Escanoke, though... lots of deadline extensions on PharmCAS this year. Maybe that indicates an overall trend?
 

ldiot

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Oct 7, 2015
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Miami, FL
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Our new class is around 20-25 people bigger. It's actually more like 35+ bigger when you account for the people that failed out but I can only assume that the new class will lose people too.
 

escanoke

5+ Year Member
Nov 10, 2013
120
31
Boston,MA
Status
Pharmacy Student
Class size at mine keeps increasing (I think I'm in the largest class so far and I just started classes). They also have a relatively new satellite campus. Depends on the school and area, I guess. I love my school dearly, but I really wish they would reduce the number of available seats.

I noticed the same thing as Escanoke, though... lots of deadline extensions on PharmCAS this year. Maybe that indicates an overall trend?
That or it's that the rate of schools opening/expanding is outpacing applicants so it may look like application rates are slowing down but in actuality it's being covered by new seats


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wagrxm2000

A different perspective
5+ Year Member
Sep 17, 2014
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1,978
So I took a look at applications for 2014 and 2015 (2016 probably won't be out until the end of the year), there were 100 less applicants in 2015. However, the number accepted has remained the same for as far back as I can remember.

Oh and no, the type of students accepted did not get worse, gpa average remained in the high 3s.
 

BelowTheMean

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10+ Year Member
Nov 12, 2005
134
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San Diego
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The number of students accepted probably hasnt changed too much. It just means instead of filling the last 30% of seats with quality applicants, theyre taking sub 3.0 people to fill those. I think all this saturation did was shift the graph from 3.3-4.0 students applying in the mid 2000s, to now 2.5-3.3. Most 3.3+ gpa student that i know are doing PA or MD, with a lot on the lower 3.0 end taking a chance at carribean med schools. Theyve told me the risk is high but it's worth it over the risk of pharmacy and not getting a residency and stuck with no jobs/bad retail. That's how it's looking folks, the schools will still get their applicants. Just now all the bottom tier people who before had choices of work at a lab for $15/hr with their bio degree and sub par gpa, or take a chance at pharmacy school. Most will take that chance.
 

gwarm01

10+ Year Member
Oct 7, 2009
2,465
3,247
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The number of students accepted probably hasnt changed too much. It just means instead of filling the last 30% of seats with quality applicants, theyre taking sub 3.0 people to fill those. I think all this saturation did was shift the graph from 3.3-4.0 students applying in the mid 2000s, to now 2.5-3.3. Most 3.3+ gpa student that i know are doing PA or MD, with a lot on the lower 3.0 end taking a chance at carribean med schools. Theyve told me the risk is high but it's worth it over the risk of pharmacy and not getting a residency and stuck with no jobs/bad retail. That's how it's looking folks, the schools will still get their applicants. Just now all the bottom tier people who before had choices of work at a lab for $15/hr with their bio degree and sub par gpa, or take a chance at pharmacy school. Most will take that chance.
That's kind of funny. I was looking over my old transcripts today, and I had a 3.77 in the early 2000's. I would have been very competitive for the state medical school, but chose pharmacy based on the better work-life balance, ease of finding a job, and the fact that starting salaries increased 10% each year. If only I knew where things would go!
 

PAtoPharm

2+ Year Member
Oct 2, 2015
1,508
199
The number of students accepted probably hasnt changed too much. It just means instead of filling the last 30% of seats with quality applicants, theyre taking sub 3.0 people to fill those. I think all this saturation did was shift the graph from 3.3-4.0 students applying in the mid 2000s, to now 2.5-3.3. Most 3.3+ gpa student that i know are doing PA or MD, with a lot on the lower 3.0 end taking a chance at carribean med schools. Theyve told me the risk is high but it's worth it over the risk of pharmacy and not getting a residency and stuck with no jobs/bad retail. That's how it's looking folks, the schools will still get their applicants. Just now all the bottom tier people who before had choices of work at a lab for $15/hr with their bio degree and sub par gpa, or take a chance at pharmacy school. Most will take that chance.
Don't forget about dentistry; over the last few weeks, I've gotten motivated to apply to DO schools, but I've also been catching up with a few of my undergrad friends who have graduated recently from dental school, and the job market situation in dentistry (in the southeast, at least) has such a positive outlook as compared to pharmacy it's almost laughable. Even working for the dental chains (e.g., Aspen, Heartland Dental, Kool Smiles, etc.) is considered to be a "not bad" gig. I just did a search for dentist jobs in my area on Indeed.com earlier today, and Kool Smiles is offering new grad dentists a base salary of almost $750/day, PLUS a 28%-32% cut of the revenue the dentist generates for the practice. In other words, a dentist in their very first year of professional work following dental school would have an income of close to $250k, and that's not including benefits like PTO, 401k, health insurance, etc. I know that people love to point out how expensive dental school is these days, but my local state school only costs around $100k to attend for all 4 years, which is cheaper than most pharmacy schools. But even if someone attends a private school and graduates with $300k in loans, they'll actually have the ability to pay back what they owe when they're earning $250k+, unlike the vast numbers of pharmacists who are planning to depend on IBR to manage their debt. If a dental school graduate completes a residency, their earning potential jumps to $350k+. Ironically enough, I was a pre-dental student when I first started college but shied away from pursuing the career because I didn't want to spend "so much time" in school. I will never forgive myself for making such a life-altering mistake.

Edited to add: since you mentioned GPA, it's also worth mentioning that all the dental schools in the southeast have had average matriculant GPAs of 3.6+ for the last few classes (last year's matriculated class at DCG in GA had an average 3.63 GPA). It seems like you can tell which professional school endeavors are more worthwhile based on how academically competitive (in terms of GPA/admissions test scores) certain programs are as compared to others.
 

med77

5+ Year Member
Feb 4, 2013
64
33
That's kind of funny. I was looking over my old transcripts today, and I had a 3.77 in the early 2000's. I would have been very competitive for the state medical school, but chose pharmacy based on the better work-life balance, ease of finding a job, and the fact that starting salaries increased 10% each year. If only I knew where things would go!
It's pretty accurate too. I graduated with just under a 3.6 GPA. I chose pharmacy for similar reasons (well, minus ease of finding a job nowadays...more like the work/life balance and general interest in the field). I was offered the merit scholarship from my school, which I found to be slightly funny since it's not like my GPA was astounding or anything. I did do really well on the PCAT, but I figured that's a little less comprehensive than my GPA as the GPA incorporates higher science courses. A lot of my peers at my school, however, have low 3.0 GPAs or even lower. I know of at least 3 students that were admitted with a high 2.0 GPA.
 

Niosh

7+ Year Member
Feb 25, 2010
299
182
Iowa
Status
Pharmacist
My class started with 108, graduated 108 (lost a few, gained a few). I think there were ~800 applicants that year. This year they took 110 from ~400 applicants.
 

BelowTheMean

Member
10+ Year Member
Nov 12, 2005
134
41
San Diego
Status
Ironically enough, I was a pre-dental student when I first started college but shied away from pursuing the career because I didn't want to spend "so much time" in school. I will never forgive myself for making such a life-altering mistake.
This was exactly my thinking! I was on track for pre-med but then chose pharmacy once i learned of the 3yr programs and also because I didnt need to do a residency. If only I would've have known in the year 2016 most decent jobs require a residency (some even 2 yr residencies)...hilarious. I also have not been able to forgive myself for this mistake. It hurts especially when all my friends who took the DO/carribean/dds route are all settling nicely in a job that treats them with respect, making 2-3x my salary while I am slaving away and having to answer it seems monthly for customer complaint issues. Such is life.
 

Erbium

1st Year Pharmacy Student
2+ Year Member
May 25, 2014
35
18
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Pharmacy Student
That or it's that the rate of schools opening/expanding is outpacing applicants so it may look like application rates are slowing down but in actuality it's being covered by new seats


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That is actually a fair point. Last time I checked new schools were still opening. It kills me a little because I'm too old to change my tune and go dental or med (and I actually had the grades for it). Plus, I love pharmacy... I can't say I'd love the other stuff (definitely not med, blech). I'm trying to stay upbeat about it, careful about the amount of loans I take (my school is cheap, thank god), and remember that no matter what I'll be better off than when I was a pharmacy tech.
 
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escanoke

5+ Year Member
Nov 10, 2013
120
31
Boston,MA
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Pharmacy Student
That is actually a fair point. Last time I checked new schools were still opening. It kills me a little because I'm too old to change my tune and go dental or med (and I actually had the grades for it). Plus, I love pharmacy... I can't say I'd love the other stuff (definitely not med, blech). I'm trying to stay upbeat about it, careful about the amount of loans I take (my school is cheap, thank god), and remember that no matter what I'll be better off than when I was a pharmacy tech.
There are enough people that shouldn't be pursuing, don't have the social skills, the work ethic, or direction that people like you who can differentiate themselves from the bottom of the barrel applicants. And I think people like you will find a position. Even when there is a saturation of professionals IMO there's always room for one more good pharmacist.

Working 5 years at a hospital pharmacy before starting Pharm school I've seen so many students who have come through and don't have the work ethic, chose the profession because it seemed like a "safe" bet but yet didn't have leadership skills, the meticulous detail oriented type of personality that I believe are what comprises of a good pharmacist. They are the ones who are too lazy and cut corners. Who don't speak up when things are wrong and the pharmacists see this. So when the time comes and they ask for jobs, they get passed because the pharmacists are asked by management how these students are and the ones who were offered jobs were the students who were reliable and dependable. The only time I saw the lazy/bad working students et a position is if they were good enough in networking and working the system so that they're liked enough personality wise that their work ethic has been over looked and those are rare.


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Erbium

1st Year Pharmacy Student
2+ Year Member
May 25, 2014
35
18
Status
Pharmacy Student
There are enough people that shouldn't be pursuing, don't have the social skills, the work ethic, or direction that people like you who can differentiate themselves from the bottom of the barrel applicants. And I think people like you will find a position. Even when there is a saturation of professionals IMO there's always room for one more good pharmacist.

Working 5 years at a hospital pharmacy before starting Pharm school I've seen so many students who have come through and don't have the work ethic, chose the profession because it seemed like a "safe" bet but yet didn't have leadership skills, the meticulous detail oriented type of personality that I believe are what comprises of a good pharmacist. They are the ones who are too lazy and cut corners. Who don't speak up when things are wrong and the pharmacists see this. So when the time comes and they ask for jobs, they get passed because the pharmacists are asked by management how these students are and the ones who were offered jobs were the students who were reliable and dependable. The only time I saw the lazy/bad working students et a position is if they were good enough in networking and working the system so that they're liked enough personality wise that their work ethic has been over looked and those are rare.


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Ah, escanoke... you are a ray of sunshine in a sea of doom & gloom posters. Thank you! *hugs*
 
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