CC to pharm school (How I did it)

Discussion in 'Pre-Pharmacy' started by fathom, Apr 24, 2007.

  1. fathom

    fathom New Member
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    I realize that at least once a week people ask whether it matters if they attend community college or a four-year institution for their pre-reqs. Some institutions explicitly state they do not accept CC credits, though very few. This thread is for everyone who is applying to pharmacy school for 2008 admission. I was nervous the whole application process/waiting, because I was coming from CC and do not have a bachelors. I encourage everyone who has only taken CC classes and has been accepted to chime in and post your experience.
    I recently got into 2 schools by completing all my pre-reqs at CC. I realize this method may not work for everyone, but I'm going to tell you how I made it. My stats are:

    3.69 GPA (3.75 Math, 3.8 Non-science, 3.58 Science) (No grade below a B and one W in Calculus III)
    Highest composite PCAT = 70
    Graduating May 2007 with Pre-Med A.S. (92 semester credits)
    3 years nuclear pharmacy experience (work part-time, school full-time)

    I took so many classes over a 2.5 year span at CC to increase my application eligibility. By completing 92 credits I was able to apply to probably about half the schools in the country, but I'm not rich so I applied to 17. I received interviews from 6 schools, Wingate, Findlay, South, Howard, St. John Fisher, and LECOM - Erie. I was accepted to LECOM -Erie and St. John Fisher. Also, I am waitlisted at South, Findlay, and Buffalo (w/o interview).
    I hope that others will reply that have made it to pharmacy school from CC. :thumbup: Remember, if you bust your butt then it won't matter what school you come from!
     
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  3. triplerox

    triplerox Junior Member
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    whats nuclear pharmacy? Sounds interesting! And what did u do?
     
  4. cystapharm

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    did you have any Cs or Ws?
     
  5. fathom

    fathom New Member
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    Thank you for asking! I forgot, but I updated my first post.
     
  6. soccerfreak

    soccerfreak Cubs 2007.. Please....
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    Somewhat similar story here.

    98 credit hours within 3.5 years
    GPA 3.71
    highest PCAT 63
    no pharmacy experience but a lot of extracurricular activities
    Applied to 1 pharmacy school late in the cycle and got rejected but applied early next year and got accepted. Almost done with the first year!!!!
     
  7. pcmanla

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    Great Job!!!
    i also took all prerequisites at CC and got into school...
     
  8. Maestrojo

    Maestrojo re-pre-Pharm.....
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    I was told that is almost unheard of for California schools (transferring from a CC)

    which is why i'm at a 4 year university now.
     
  9. pcmanla

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    most California pharmacy schools prefer people who took prerequisites at 4 year college or University.. however, i am accepted.. i think it depends on how you did...i have seen some people can't afford to pay tuituion, that's why they go to CC and they really work harder, then make it...
    let's encourage those people..
     
  10. eelo

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    Community colleges serve a wonderful purpose, and I'm glad they exist. When I was changing careers, I used classes taken at the local CC to fill in spots in my transcripts that weren't part of my original plan, even though I already had one graduate/professional degree and was working on a second.

    That being said, this thread takes me back to what some others have said about CC courses not being as tough as those at 4-year institutions. I believe they can be, and often are, as difficult regardless of the type of institution, but I'm beginning to wonder.....

    When looking at overall personal stats, what jumps out at me in this thread are the CC attendees/graduates who have smashing GPAs (above 3.5), yet only managed to get mediocre scores on the PCAT (70 and below). Is that because these applicants haven't yet taken the upper-level classes that would prepare them for the PCAT, or because the CC grades and GPAs are indeed inflated? Or is it something else? I don't want to slam anyone for choosing the CC route; for many, that's the most logical choice. Still, the numbers are intriguing.

    Any thoughts on this?
     
  11. SaveThisLabRat

    SaveThisLabRat $700 Billion Dollar Woman
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    I went to CC for my first two years, and let me tell you, the particular CC I went to was known for its extremely difficult science courses. If you get an A (there are only about two to three max), you are most definitely naturally smart. They pride themselves on having sciences courses comparable to four-year universities. We have a pact with UCSF for transfer straight out of CC (though I don't know how many people do this, because most are pre-meds.)

    Only if schools outside of California knew this =(
     
  12. chibipinkbunny

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    Well, I don't want to bash CC here, because I went to one and I think that they are great :love:. In the two years that I attended I earned 70+ credit hours and a 4.0. Ha, ha, not only that, but I often set the curve or received the highest score in most of my classes. It wasn't easy, because its one of the larger community colleges in California. However, when I transferred to a UC university in California my grades dropped more than a full .5 of a point! Not only that, but I have been working more than twice as hard just to get that mediocre GPA at a UC! UC Berkeley has been really tough but a great learning experience. Anyway, I guess the "general trend" is that community colleges are much easier than universities, though it depends how hard your particular university is.
     
  13. MR. C

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    Some classes are easier at a CC.. but I found that when I went to a university from a CC that a lot of the classes are easier at the university.

    I only applied to 1 school, and I got my application in a whole 4days before deadline. I had a 3.5gpa w/ my science gpa about 3.8 (all CC).. 84 on the PCAT and very little pharmacy experience. However, the school I applied to isnt fully accredited yet, and its private. So they only got a little over 500 apps for 70 seats.
     
  14. eelo

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    See, it makes sense to me that someone with a 3.5-3.8 GPA would get a PCAT around 84. But a 3.7 GPA and a PCAT of 70?

    I really want to believe that's because the CC attendees haven't been able to take the upper-level courses, and if they had taken them they'd not only do well in them, they'd also do better on the PCAT....... but I'm not so sure now.
     
  15. Circuspeanut

    Circuspeanut College Slave
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    Congrats to the OP! I'm doing the same thing now.

    As far as the difference between CC and Universities, class size was a factor for me. The first time I went to college I attended a University and the average class had over 50 people. I did well in the courses, and can't really say that they were any harder than the CC classes I'm taking now. I do find that I receive more personal attention with CC class sizes of 6-20 people. The only other difference I noticed was that I had to "fend for myself" a little more in the larger class, and find as many resources as possible to help me learn the material on my own when the professor wasn't available.

    I also have several close friends going in to pharmacy school through the CC route who achieved excellent scores on the PCAT (85 and above). I did not (79), but my score was due to my pace in math and chemistry, rather than lack of knowledge. So I'm not sure if there's a good correlation between CC/low PCAT's.
     
  16. KUMoose

    KUMoose Grumpy old man
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    I made it from a big university in the early 90s to a CC a few years ago and then into PharmSchool. In talking with the schools, the CC didn't hurt me as much as the classes some 15 years prior.

    Just remember, for the most part, that the numbers get you into the door; it's the other stuff that gets you an offer.
     
  17. ownit

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    I am also in my first year at a CC taking pre-reqs for classes. Are there any particular schools that are more lenient toward transfer students without a bachelors?
     
  18. fathom

    fathom New Member
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    If I took my highest scores for each PCAT I would have over 80 percentile. Numbers are a great tool to narrow down the applicant pool, but after you make past that its all about the interview.
     
  19. chem123

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    personally, i dont think CC is easier, its just less competitive, first of all the classes are smaller therefore its easier for u to understand and have contact with the teacher, also some students at a CC are not as motivated most have jobs and families and school is not a FIRST priority UNLIKE a bigger university where most ppl's main focus is schoool, there are more ppl in ur class competing for an A because they care!....so that makes it harder for u to get an A. BUT it doesnt mean the material learned at a CC is easier ITS THE EXACT SAME THING. my orgo professor at the CC i go to is not easy, ONLY ONE PERSON IN THE CLASS GETS AN A!!!! and i have 2 ppl in my class that already took orgo at a university and are retaking it to get better grades, and even they are not getting As, they have Fs in the class!!, but some classes might be a little easier, CC teachers probably dont challenge students in certain classes e.i psychology 1010, because they see most of the students either dont really care or arent very bright, therefore it makes people like US (PHARMACY STUDENTS) hehe, look even smarter :)
     
  20. chem123

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    so every1 who did finish pre reqs at a CC what schools did you guys get into, so i know where to apply!!! i have similar stats
     
  21. howsoonisnow

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    My GPA is 3.94 coming out of CC. I start pharmacy school in August. My PCAT score was 87 composite. I took the PCAT last June prior to attending ANY Organic Chem or Anat & Phys courses. I have those courses under my belt now, and I'm pretty confident that leaving CC I could easily score mid to high 90s on the PCAT. But I don't have to, 87 was high enough to get in. I agree with one of the recent posts. CC courses aren't any easier. It's the same material. It's just not as competetive. Would I have a 3.94 GPA from a University? Perhaps not. But my PCAT score is based on the knowledge I have compared to everyone else's. That knowledge has to come from somewhere!
     
  22. eelo

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    Okay now, there's a GPA and a PCAT that seem to match up. Yours is the first I've seen, and I commend you for your effort and how you've capitalized on what you've learned. Do you feel that the knowledge base from the lower-level CC classes was enough for you to do so well on the PCAT, or do you find that you had to study extra material?

    You may be correct about the competition being less, rather than courses being easier. I hope that's the case, because I don't want to think that the classes are easier just because of the difference in the type of institution.

    Congrats on your acceptance to school- I wish you the best of luck (not that luck will need to be a factor for you).
     
  23. WVUPharm2007

    WVUPharm2007 imagine sisyphus happy
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    I went to a community college. Took 80 hours over two years. Just the minimum pre-reqs. Had a GPA of 3.27, PCAT of 83. I had many Cs and at least one W. Applied to one school. Got in.
     
  24. nabee

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    I graduated from a UC but took all my pre-reqs at a CC (except biochem)- got into USC, UCSF, and UM. 3.82 overall GPA, 97 PCAT, little pharmacy experiences. I don't think completing your pre-req at a CCs would hurt your chance (nor your PCAT score- my CCs courses DID prepared me fully for the PCAT). But I think the fact that I graduated from Berkeley did help me thou. I have several friends who were put on "active consideration" at USC. After they submitted their B.A diploma, USC took them off the "active consideration" list.
    There are some pharmacy schools, however, will NOT accept some of your CCs credits. I got rejected straight out from a University of Oregon because I took microbiology at a CC. :(
     
  25. davyjone96431

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    i love community college. i actually learned more from my classes at C.C. than from my education with UC Berkeley. unlike UCB, the staff is wonderful. the teachers actually teach. participation is up, and students actually speak out and think about the issues. it's so sad that uc berkeley has became such utter crap...... :thumbdown:
     
  26. chibipinkbunny

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    Ha, ha, ha, you learned more at a CC than at Berkeley? Well maybe so. . . I don't know, I felt it was the opposite. I transferred to Berkeley from a CC. I do agree with you though that the teachers are much more devoted to their students at a CC. I've learned so much at Berkeley, not becuase the teachers taught it to me, but because a lot was expected on the exam. Berkeley has been hard. . . but I've learned a lot, and proud of my education there ;)
     
  27. FutureGaPharm

    FutureGaPharm New Member
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    How many of those C's were in your science pre-reqs?
     
  28. WVUPharm2007

    WVUPharm2007 imagine sisyphus happy
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    I think I had Cs in Microbiology, Chem I, and Bio I. I didn't really do too well my first semester. It took me a while to get used to using my brain and all. My high school academic career consisted of taking as many study halls as I could and trying to get away with sleeping during class. I got better as I went, though. I had a 3.85 the semester I took O-chem, Physics, and Calculus all at the same time.
     
  29. Farmercyst

    Farmercyst From the shadows
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    I don't think this is necessarily the case. Most of my prereqs are from CC.(all but 2) I do think they want to make sure you can handle a 4-yr and therefore prefer candidates with Bachelors degrees, but the prereqs don't necessarily have to be from 4-yr.
     
  30. OUPharmD2011

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    I went to a private university my first three semesters and had a 3.92 GPA but i am finishing my A.S. at a CC because the university i went to did not offer an A.S. which i needed in order to be able to apply to OU this year. My personal experience has been that at the university some of my profs made it hard just to be hard but i have learned just as much (if not more in Org II) at the CC without it being as "hard".
     
  31. howsoonisnow

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    Thanks for your kind words and wishes.

    I did not take any practice courses, nor did I study for the PCAT. I have decent math skills, and reading comprehension and verbal ability are not really knowledge sets that you can study.
    As far as the sciences? I had taken general chem and had done well. Took them recently enough that they were still pretty fresh. I tried to read an o-chem book, but without a facilitator, it's like a foreign languange and I became disheartened. I figured I would just go in with the knowledge I had gleaned to that point and see how much I really know. I was pleased with my score, but like I said, I'm pretty confident I could ace that test now.

    My organic teacher at CC taught for several years at Arizona State, so she has moved from University to CC setting. She assures our class that we are getting the same material as her ASU students. No shortcuts. We have to take the same final exam, so we either learn the material or we don't. And she is a great teacher. And when I started chem courses (first semester general chem) the classes were full and several time slots were offered. My current o-chem class (I finish it in 10 days!!!!!!) has 11 students. And it is the only 2nd semester o-chem class offered at the school. Only 11 people for an entire subject. O-chem is after all, the ultimate weed out class. I cannot tell you how much individual attention we get. It's amazing how much a teacher can help when there are only eleven students in the class. I'm very happy with my CC education.
     
  32. Lurkerkat

    Lurkerkat Junior Member
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    That sounds exactly like my experience at Boston College. The science and math professors I had were awful. They were surrounded in a cloud of useless TAs that we had to work through before we could even talk to the professor themselves. Even then they weren't much help.

    Sure it was tougher at BC than the state school I ended up going to, but it wasn't harder because of the material covered. Same if not better education, with half the frustration and for a fraction of the cost.
     
  33. jvillepharmd

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    Got a similar story
    GPA: 3.8 (pre-requisite only)
    PCAT: 75
    No pharmacy experience
    2 yrs experience working as a chemistry tutor
    Got into UF (so relieved since it was the only school I applied to)

    The community college route is a great route. But I may be biased.

    That being said, some schools favor university or CC route. Which ever route u take, the material is still the same just the instruction may be a little different. If ur like me, u just phase the professor out and just learn the material on ur own.
     
  34. Zeke1955

    Zeke1955 Texas Tech Class of 2011
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    Sorry for the redundancy here b/c it looks like a lot of people have said the same thing:

    I took about 1/3 of my pre-reqs at a CC. My reasons were money and that I just turned 17 as I graduated HS and frankly wasn't mature enough for a University (at least I admitted it to myself). I had about a 3.5-3.6 GPA @ CC, and about a 3.65 @ the University, though, the University required a substantial increase in overall effort.

    Some of my classes were easier at the University... examples: Trig and Cal I were way easier @ UNT than the CC I went to (had friends that took those courses @ the CC). Bio I was way harder at the CC than Bio II was @ UNT. But of course... US History II and the government courses and other non-sci courses were way harder @ UNT than the CC.

    But hey, I got it in to Texas Tech the first time, 86 composite PCAT, 95 chem, 86 bio, 3.7 or so pre-phr GPA, and NO official/paid pharmacy experience. It was the only school I applied to.
     
  35. longnguyen

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    I have a kind of similar experience.

    I took all my prerequisites at a CC, however I continue taking class at a university.

    I had a 4.0 GPA at my CC, but my GPA dropped when I was at the university (~3.1 GPA)

    The first year, I submitted all the classes I took through Pharmcas, so my overall GPA was not so good (~3.3 GPA). I wasn't accepted to any school even with a 99 PCAT...

    The next year, I just submitted the classes I took at the CC so my GPA would still be high (4.0 GPA & 99 PCAT).

    I was accepted to all the schools I applied to (southern/eastern areas)

    Having a BS didn't really helped me since it completely screwed up my GPA.
     
  36. Zeke1955

    Zeke1955 Texas Tech Class of 2011
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    You didn't submit the transcripts to every school you went to? Am I understanding you correctly? If so... is that really OK? I'm under the impression every school wants transcripts to all schools a prospective student attends.
     
  37. cycloketocaine

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    If you didn't submit all of your transcripts to make you look better, that's crap. It's cheating, actually. And you can get kicked out of school for it. And I hope you do if that's what you did. It's not fair to those of us who bust our ass to get in.
     
  38. ForcedEntry

    ForcedEntry Lilo got stitched
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    Every class at a SPC. Applied to one school, UF. Accepted.



    I think I love you. :bow:
     
  39. Lurkerkat

    Lurkerkat Junior Member
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    Best of luck when they find out you cheated. Yes, they can figure out which schools you've gone to. When I transferred to my current university they even knew I went to a vocational school for a single quarter. They sent me a letter requesting a transcript since they didn't realize it was a vocational school. Using your social security number they can figure a lot of stuff out.

    Unless you went as far as committing social security fraud and using a different number, you're toast.
     
  40. ForTce

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    She already graduated :laugh:

     
  41. rx27563

    rx27563 Hopefully 08'
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  42. shabushabu247

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    what year are you @ your university I'm assuming all went well and your CC credits passed and you are about complete your first year...right?
     
  43. shabushabu247

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    For Long
    what year are you @ your university I'm assuming all went well and your CC credits passed and you are about complete your first year...right?
     
  44. CaliCPhT

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    :love: I have to agree. I loved my CC, and wish I had spent a second year there, but I was so ready to get away from my parents!!! So I transferred to a 4 year. I do think that I learned a lot more while at CC. That was 10 years ago now, and I still remember so much that I learned. I had a 3.79 at the end of my first year, making B's in English, history, and Chem II. And I was a cheerleader. :)

    My mom passed away the first week of spring quarter, and a group of students came with a faculty member to her wake. They had to drive over an hour to come be with me. I will never forget that, ever!! My Calculus professor passed a card around and let the students write notes too. There was so much faculty involvement there.
     
  45. Spearmint1

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    If a school find out you cheated them. It doesn't matter if you've already graduated. They can strip you of your degree and notify the states. So you would be screwed.
     
  46. rx27563

    rx27563 Hopefully 08'
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  47. CaliCPhT

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    Whoa! I didn't even see that about the person who actually submitted only the CC work. It will all catch up sooner or later with the person. Karma is a B----.:(
     
  48. rxcrystal

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    I am not proud of this at all but I got a 35 on my PCAT with a 3.7GPA at CC. The problem is in community college, most people can get A's with not sweat. When I got my PCAT scores I was really confused. Why did I do so bad? Because I wasn't REALLY required to know the material in CC rather just memorize to ace the tests. Maybe I am not a good test taker and at the time I hadn't finished all my pre-reqs. For all those similar to mine, look into schools that do not require the PCAT. The school I got into is now requiring it after class of 2011.

    This should be an eye opener to those that are going to take the PCAT soon. Be prepared and if you are working on your pre-reqs, really understand the material. Good luck.
     
  49. gtpederson

    7+ Year Member

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    Pharmacist
    I take issue with the bolded portion. This type of justification is also used in issues like racism, where you're taking your personal experiences and making broad generalizations. It doesn't fly there and it won't fly now. Maybe YOUR community college was a degree mill, but not all are. Just like some 4 year colleges funnel kids out with high GPAs without really challenging them.

    Once again, the bolded portion, if you're going to place blame on why you did poorly, blame that section, rather than community colleges, especially since your test taking skills (memorization) which helped you through community college would've helped with the PCAT, since, after all, it is a test.
     

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