Nov 16, 2010
4
0
Status
Pharmacy Student
Hi everyone,
This is my first post on SDN! I have been looking around here for quite some time, and have gained a lot of insight into possible future routes to take, but I wanted to know if anyone had some insight into my current situation.

I am a high school drop-out; I was supposed to graduate high school in 2006. I am in the process of getting my GED. I have taken the last test, it still needs to be graded, and then Illinois will finally let me have it. It's been a process, but it's over!

I am currently enrolled in my local community college, regardless of GED status. I have completed about 30 credits so far, and am planning on moving to DeKalb, Illinois to attend Northern Illinois University in the fall of 2011. I won't have an Associates Degree by then, but I need to get into the college environment. I am undoubtedly grateful for the opportunity my local community college has provided me, but I also need a challenge.

I have a question regarding PTK. I was asked to join earlier this year but I missed the deadline. Even though I am only going to be in CC for another semester and won't get an Associates Degree there, does anyone think it would still look good to be a member? Because I am looking ahead into the application process for an actual PharmD program. I need all the help I can get!

I am also curious if anyone has any advice for me, being a drop out – is there anything, anything I can do that will give me a leg up (beyond good grades!) when I do start applying for pharmacy schools? I have looked quite a bit on the website, but have yet to find anyone else with this specific situation.

Thanks for reading :D
 

Dave4468

10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Mar 16, 2008
197
2
Status
Pharmacy Student
Pharmacy schools do not look at your high school grades/performance, or at least I don't know any that do. There is a section on PharmCAS about when and where you graduated high school (or attained your GED), but that is all you are asked. And I don't think an associates degree will help you too much in the admissions process, but a bachelor's definitely will.

i don't know what PTK is? Is this an honor society? I think as long as you get the grades and the experience, you should be fine. I don't think you should feel like you HAVE to join an honor society in order to be competitive, although it will probably help your application a little. I don't know how it is for other schools, but at the interview I went to, the interviewers seemed to be more interested in the extracurricular activities that made me unique and were interesting (my rock band), rather then the ones that were related to my academics (honor society).

I don't see why you would be judged by your high school performance, as long as you were able to pick yourself up and be successful in college later in life. In fact, this may actually reflect positively on you (for instance, shows your drive to be a pharmacist). You might want to consider talking about it in your personal statement when the time comes.

While I did graduate high school, I got around a 2.5 GPA. I went to a community college for 2 years, and now finishing up 2 years at a university. When submitting my application, my college GPA came out to around a 3.7GPA, and have yet to be asked about my high school GPA. Good luck, your ambition will take you far. :thumbup:
 

meimei29

You're as sweet as TT
10+ Year Member
Mar 22, 2009
33
0
Chicago
Status
Pharmacy Student
I pretty much agree with everything Dave has stated above; ultimately, a membership in an honor society means squat if you don't do anything with it, since most honor societies simply require a fee and have a GPA requirement. A good GPA is already noticeable on your application.

To add to what Dave mentioned about extracurriculars, try joining some organizations to gain more experience. Leadership, volunteerism, etc. are much more important than simply membership in an honor society (granted, if you do join PTK and do leadership/volunteer activities through that, then that's different). When you join Northern Illinois University, look out for these opportunities and ways where you can show you are not only dedicated to your grades, but other things outside of that. Of course, it's much better to be focused in on one club and super involved in that, versus being involved with many, and not doing much for each.

Also, if you haven't already, try to get some pharmacy experience either by shadowing a pharmacist, getting a tech job, or volunteering at a hospital. Good luck :]
 
OP
A
Nov 16, 2010
4
0
Status
Pharmacy Student
Thanks for replying, I really appreciate it.

Once I get to NIU I will definitely look into what they offer in terms of extracurriculars and the like.

I am also curious ... to get into a PharmD program at an actual College of Pharmacy .. do you need a BA? I know that Northern Illinois University's "Pre-pharm" program is a BA in biology – but, for example, UIC only requires three years of pre-pharm courses.

Would it be advised to get the BA or does it really not matter, so long as you have those course requirements met? I suppose that every school of pharmacy is different.
 

meimei29

You're as sweet as TT
10+ Year Member
Mar 22, 2009
33
0
Chicago
Status
Pharmacy Student
I am also curious ... to get into a PharmD program at an actual College of Pharmacy .. do you need a BA? I know that Northern Illinois University's "Pre-pharm" program is a BA in biology – but, for example, UIC only requires three years of pre-pharm courses.

Would it be advised to get the BA or does it really not matter, so long as you have those course requirements met? I suppose that every school of pharmacy is different.
No, you don't need a BA/BS, though it helps. Even now, UIC removed their 0-6 guaranteed program and changed it to a bachelor's program --> pharmacy program, so they like applicants with degrees; one of the faculty told me this was mostly because they found that people with BA/BSs tended to be more well-rounded, professional, and developed.

As you've stated, it is indeed school-specific. I don't think these facts should deter anyone from trying to apply earlier at UIC or any other pharmacy school for that matter. It doesn't hurt to apply after you fulfill your prereqs; the worst that can happen is that you have another year in undergrad to get your degree, and reapply as a stronger candidate. If people are strong enough applicants, this step won't be necessary, obviously. There are students who I know of from UIC who did not receive a BA/BS.
 

owlegrad

Uncontrollable Sarcasm Machine
Staff member
Administrator
10+ Year Member
Mar 19, 2009
21,736
6,510
Locked in the basement
www.facebook.com
Status
Pharmacist
No, you don't need a BA/BS, though it helps. Even now, UIC removed their 0-6 guaranteed program and changed it to a bachelor's program --> pharmacy program, so they like applicants with degrees; one of the faculty told me this was mostly because they found that people with BA/BSs tended to be more well-rounded, professional, and developed.

As you've stated, it is indeed school-specific. I don't think these facts should deter anyone from trying to apply earlier at UIC or any other pharmacy school for that matter. It doesn't hurt to apply after you fulfill your prereqs; the worst that can happen is that you have another year in undergrad to get your degree, and reapply as a stronger candidate. If people are strong enough applicants, this step won't be necessary, obviously. There are students who I know of from UIC who did not receive a BA/BS.
This should be Plan A for most prepharmers. Why not apply as soon as you can and get a BA/BS if you don't get in the first time? Seems so logical to me...
 
Jun 20, 2010
171
0
Status
Pre-Pharmacy
This should be Plan A for most prepharmers. Why not apply as soon as you can and get a BA/BS if you don't get in the first time? Seems so logical to me...
The only thing I could think of as to why a BA/BS is a better idea is because if later in life you want to pursue something different (if pharmacy doesn't suit you well or whatever the reason), you have no degree, therefore, you will have to go back to school. And I believe that at most universities, the science classes must be retaken after a specific amount of years ie: I know of a school that 8 years or older of a science course must be retaken. Personally, for me and my situation, it just appeals more to have a degree before pursuing anything further.
 

owlegrad

Uncontrollable Sarcasm Machine
Staff member
Administrator
10+ Year Member
Mar 19, 2009
21,736
6,510
Locked in the basement
www.facebook.com
Status
Pharmacist
The only thing I could think of as to why a BA/BS is a better idea is because if later in life you want to pursue something different (if pharmacy doesn't suit you well or whatever the reason), you have no degree, therefore, you will have to go back to school. And I believe that at most universities, the science classes must be retaken after a specific amount of years ie: I know of a school that 8 years or older of a science course must be retaken. Personally, for me and my situation, it just appeals more to have a degree before pursuing anything further.
If you make it through pharmacy school you will have a doctorate degree. If you don't make it through pharmacy school you can go back and finish your BS (your credits won't expire while you are in pharmacy school).

I am sure there exists a group of people that it makes sense it get a BS first, but for the majority it is two additional years of study for no apparent advantage after pharmacy school. Just food for thought.
 
Jun 20, 2010
171
0
Status
Pre-Pharmacy
If you make it through pharmacy school you will have a doctorate degree. If you don't make it through pharmacy school you can go back and finish your BS (your credits won't expire while you are in pharmacy school).

I am sure there exists a group of people that it makes sense it get a BS first, but for the majority it is two additional years of study for no apparent advantage after pharmacy school. Just food for thought.
Good point :thumbup:
 
OP
A
Nov 16, 2010
4
0
Status
Pharmacy Student
Thanks so much for the feedback guys.

I know that I want to pursue the PharmD degree, but at the same time, I'm aware that life changes, people change, and and so do plans.. so thank you, JADpharm, for saying something I may not have the courage to say myself!

I figure that I'm going to be in school for basically the rest of my life anyway, so I might as well spend an extra year pursuing the BS at NIU. Not to mention, I want to be with my partner.. and my partner is going to be at NIU.
 
Jun 20, 2010
171
0
Status
Pre-Pharmacy
Thanks so much for the feedback guys.

I know that I want to pursue the PharmD degree, but at the same time, I'm aware that life changes, people change, and and so do plans.. so thank you, JADpharm, for saying something I may not have the courage to say myself!

I figure that I'm going to be in school for basically the rest of my life anyway, so I might as well spend an extra year pursuing the BS at NIU. Not to mention, I want to be with my partner.. and my partner is going to be at NIU.
Don't forget to prioritize! If I went to school with my boyfriend, my grades would probably not be nearly as good as they are. If you are serious about your grades, I don't see there being any issues though, good luck :)