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Chances still good even if not ALL prereqs are complete?

starsweet

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    This is a question I have been hearing conflicting answers to for some time now. The question is this - can you still apply to pharmacy school without having completed all the prereqs and still get in? How is this possible, since they have not taken all the prereq classes into account to calculate and compare your GPA?

    I'm applying for Fall 2006. I have an undergrad degree in engineering so I had taken most of the prereqs already. I talked to UGA's Pharmacy admissions office today and asked if my chances of getting in were still good since I won't take Organic Chem II and Public Speaking until Spring 2006. I have taken everything else (will be taking Organic Chem I this fall). She told me this was fine, as long as I noted on the application that I planned to take the remaining prereqs asap. Now is this really true, or did I just talk to a dumb secretary??
     

    endlesslove

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      starsweet said:
      This is a question I have been hearing conflicting answers to for some time now. The question is this - can you still apply to pharmacy school without having completed all the prereqs and still get in? How is this possible, since they have not taken all the prereq classes into account to calculate and compare your GPA?

      I'm applying for Fall 2006. I have an undergrad degree in engineering so I had taken most of the prereqs already. I talked to UGA's Pharmacy admissions office today and asked if my chances of getting in were still good since I won't take Organic Chem II and Public Speaking until Spring 2006. I have taken everything else (will be taking Organic Chem I this fall). She told me this was fine, as long as I noted on the application that I planned to take the remaining prereqs asap. Now is this really true, or did I just talk to a dumb secretary??

      Hi starsweet (i love that, btw =), yes, chances, indeed, are still good for interviews (and admissions) if prerequisites aren't all completed. I've been accepted to 2 California schools and also (so far) interviews to UCSD and UCSF. At the time of my application back in September, I had no undergrad degree yet and had 9 prerequisites left for University of Southern California but 4 left (for the University of California system)--I had less prerequisites completed at the time of my application because I am only a 3rd yr (graduating a year early this May 2005 from Berkeley). However, I have a lot of leadership skills, unique experienecs/stories, and a strong GPA (though not as high as many of the other pre-pharms on this campus :( ). One of my friends doubted I'd get in (maybe put on the waiting list), but I could care less what she had to say. If you are serious about applying and think you can get in, just apply! You have nothing to lose.

      Schools in other states may work differently. For instance, I know in the CA schools, to apply, they highly recommend you finish at least Ochem II (in other words, for them to even look at your app, you should've completed Ochem II...I think they say this just b/c Ochem II is a prereq for some of the other science pre-pharm prerequisites).

      Just be sure that your essays are really good! I thought one of my friends was going to get in for sure (or at least an interview) to UCSF because she will be graduating this May (4th yr) in Molecular Cell Biology (same degree as mine) with HONORS (therefore, good GPA), has a very unique family, very outgoing and nice, and a good amount of extracurriculars. However, I was quite shocked when she didn't get an interview to UCSF (interview to UCSD tho! and also accepted to one of the same schools as mine). This just goes to show you that your essays DO make a difference (not just content but also the quality of them too), so make them completely outstanding!

      Best of luck and I hope this helps!
       
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      Krismeese

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        I also have a question about this. I understand the importance of all the science pre-reqs (only have 3 more to go :), microbio,anat/phys I-II), but how important is it to have some of these supplementary pre-reqs that a lot of schools have, like public speaking (would something like a dale carnegie public speaking course count?) and psychology?

        I do have a B.S. degree (ChE) but I opted to take several semesters of economics for my social science rather than psychology hehe.
        But, with maintaining a full-time job, I will be hard pressed to get the just the science pre-reqs done.
        Thanks!
         

        WVURxGal

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          At WVU, a large portion of people don't have undergrad degrees. I'm currently taking Communications 100/102, Microbiology, Physics 102, and Eco 225 (Business Stat) and I'm applying for the upcoming fall. There are two options about the GPA:

          1. A select few students with stellar grades are accepted as provisional in the middle of this semester. That means as long as they pass all their remaining prereqs with a C, they will be admitted to the school.

          2. Most students will be placed on a list, and they send in their grades when the spring semester is over. Also, as they get a better idea of the applicant pool, some people from this catagory will be moved to provisional acceptance before the receipt of spring grades.

          I'd assume that's fairly common, at least in schools where the majority of applicants do not have an undergraduate degree.
           

          endlesslove

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            Krismeese said:
            I also have a question about this. I understand the importance of all the science pre-reqs (only have 3 more to go :), microbio,anat/phys I-II), but how important is it to have some of these supplementary pre-reqs that a lot of schools have, like public speaking (would something like a dale carnegie public speaking course count?) and psychology?

            I do have a B.S. degree (ChE) but I opted to take several semesters of economics for my social science rather than psychology hehe.
            But, with maintaining a full-time job, I will be hard pressed to get the just the science pre-reqs done.
            Thanks!

            I'd get all of my non-science prereqs out of the way 'cuz they are for sure easy A's (except d*mn econ 1 at my school. oh the fall 04 final was so d*mn hard) so they will for sure raise your pharmCAS GPA! whee! also, you should DEFINITELY get the public speaking one done before your interviews 'cuz it makes you feel more confident talking to a buncha strangers (like at your interview)--if you have issues talking to strangers, this [public speaking class] will definitely help you overcome yoru fears.
             

            starsweet

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              endlesslove said:
              I'd get all of my non-science prereqs out of the way 'cuz they are for sure easy A's (except d*mn econ 1 at my school. oh the fall 04 final was so d*mn hard) so they will for sure raise your pharmCAS GPA! whee! also, you should DEFINITELY get the public speaking one done before your interviews 'cuz it makes you feel more confident talking to a buncha strangers (like at your interview)--if you have issues talking to strangers, this [public speaking class] will definitely help you overcome yoru fears.

              Ok, this is all very, very encouraging... so do you recommend that I NOT take some specific prereqs until after I learn that I got into the school or not? Do people do this? Because the schools I am applying to all have different requirements.

              UNC - Anatomy and Physiology I
              UGA - Public Speaking
              UT - Genetics

              These are the classes I want to delay. So, if I got into UNC and decided to go there, then I would take A/P I after I found out they accepted me. Same with Public Speaking for UGA and Genetics for UT. Because I'd prefer not to take these now unless I REALLY needed them.... right?? Is this the right way to go about this, or should I take all of them now throughout the end of the year? If I don't, I can study more for the PCAT in October.
               

              endlesslove

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                starsweet said:
                Ok, this is all very, very encouraging... so do you recommend that I NOT take some specific prereqs until after I learn that I got into the school or not? Do people do this? Because the schools I am applying to all have different requirements.

                UNC - Anatomy and Physiology I
                UGA - Public Speaking
                UT - Genetics

                These are the classes I want to delay. So, if I got into UNC and decided to go there, then I would take A/P I after I found out they accepted me. Same with Public Speaking for UGA and Genetics for UT. Because I'd prefer not to take these now unless I REALLY needed them.... right?? Is this the right way to go about this, or should I take all of them now throughout the end of the year? If I don't, I can study more for the PCAT in October.

                Hi starsweet, first off, with regard to your first question ("so do you recommend that I NOT take some specific prereqs until after I learn that I got into the school or not? Do people do this?"), yes, some people DO do this, like yours truly, for instance :) After my friends and I learned we go in to USC Pharmacy school, we are going kinda faraway to take this *special* conflict resolution class just for USC--they are the only school in CA that accepts this special public speaking class and refuse to take the "general public speaking" course most schools accept.

                Second, as I mentioned in a previous post, even though not all the schools you are interested in require that you take public speaking, I'd DEFINITELY take this class for several reasons--please see the previous post for those reasons (mainly pharmCAS gpa booster, increase self-confidence/comfort in talking to strangers <--a plus for being a pharmacist and for interviews since u'll be interviewed by a bunch of strangers)

                Third, if the schools you are interested in require the PCATS and you are therefore pressed for time, I'd recommend skipping the genetics class unless you want to do something in genetics as a pharmacist (e.g. I'm interested in pharmacogenomics). While I am not a pharmacy student yet, I don't think you'd be at a great disadvantage for not taking a specific class in genetics. Most pre-pharms I know don't even take a special class focused just on this. I think if your general biology class has already covered the basic genetics, you should be fine.

                Fourth, I, would, however, recommend taking A/P I. It's not called this at my school, but I have taken anatomy and am currently taking physio. I know it will be of GREAT VALUE to you in pharmacy school when you are going to be studying the effects of drugs on the body in GREAT DETAIL.

                Basically, here's the summary:
                1) take as many science classes as you can that you think will help you in pharm school. What I did was when I got my USC Pharm acceptance package (you can also do this online by doing some searching), I looked through their class schedule for the 1st-3rd yrs to find out what the students will have to take in pharm school. Besides the really specific stuff (e.g. therapeutics), I tried to make sure I have taken some form of those classes in undergrad. For instance, when I saw that pharm students hafta take immunology their 2nd yr, I signed up for the upper division molecular immuno class at my school--I didn't want the pressure so I'm just auditing the class. hey, free education :p and great prep for pharm school!

                2) even if not all schools require some of those non-science pre-pharm prereqs, I'd say definitely go ahead and take them to get the easy A's (unless you feel you will not get an A in the class) so that you can boost your pharmCAS GPA. ever look into those intersession classes? (they're like 10-14 days long usually before spring and summer semesters) if you have time, pick a few non-sciences that in which you know you can ace. you will want that pharmCAS GPA to go as high as it can.

                if you have any other questions, feel free to PM me. After I am done with this semester, I will make a post to offer reading other ppl's pharmCAS personal statements for free if anyone is interested. so be on the lookout :)

                best of luck and I hope this helps!

                PS--since you still have yet to take Ochem 1 and 2, I'd DEFINITELY study really hard for that section on the pcats...most ppl who have already taken ochem say that section is really easy, but u haven't taken ochem yet...if you are interested in genetics, maybe take it in the spring?
                 

                starsweet

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                  endlesslove said:
                  Basically, here's the summary:
                  1) take as many science classes as you can that you think will help you in pharm school. What I did was when I got my USC Pharm acceptance package (you can also do this online by doing some searching), I looked through their class schedule for the 1st-3rd yrs to find out what the students will have to take in pharm school. Besides the really specific stuff (e.g. therapeutics), I tried to make sure I have taken some form of those classes in undergrad. For instance, when I saw that pharm students hafta take immunology their 2nd yr, I signed up for the upper division molecular immuno class at my school--I didn't want the pressure so I'm just auditing the class. hey, free education :p and great prep for pharm school!

                  2) even if not all schools require some of those non-science pre-pharm prereqs, I'd say definitely go ahead and take them to get the easy A's (unless you feel you will not get an A in the class) so that you can boost your pharmCAS GPA. ever look into those intersession classes? (they're like 10-14 days long usually before spring and summer semesters) if you have time, pick a few non-sciences that in which you know you can ace. you will want that pharmCAS GPA to go as high as it can.

                  if you have any other questions, feel free to PM me. After I am done with this semester, I will make a post to offer reading other ppl's pharmCAS personal statements for free if anyone is interested. so be on the lookout :)

                  best of luck and I hope this helps!

                  PS--since you still have yet to take Ochem 1 and 2, I'd DEFINITELY study really hard for that section on the pcats...most ppl who have already taken ochem say that section is really easy, but u haven't taken ochem yet...if you are interested in genetics, maybe take it in the spring?

                  Hi endlesslove,

                  The reason I decided not to take Public Speaking is cuz of my work experience (2+ years). I've had experience talking to ppl I don't know with interviews and in working with different types of people at work. So I'd hoped that this would be enough and that schools would recognize this. But, after reading here, maybe I will take it just to boost my GPA.

                  As for Genetics, it's not that I want to take the class, but UT actually requires a Genetics class in addition to Bio I and II. They must be the only school that does! So, that's the only reason I needed to take Genetics.

                  I've noticed the schools that don't require A/P I as a prereq (UGA, UT) often include it in their pharmacy curriculum. So this is why I wasn't going to take it. Maybe I should reconsider just to cover my bases?! Too many decisions to make. Registration for classes starts this Tuesday so I need to decide soon! The local colleges here unfortunately do not offer intersession courses.

                  Thanks for all advice. I just might take you up on that offer to read my essay when the time comes... :)
                   

                  endlesslove

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                    Yes, take A/PI &II b/c it will DEFINITELY be good prep for pharm school--ask any pharmacy student. You should definitely go into pharmacy school knowing basic anatomy and physiology. Basic genetics in general bio should be sufficient for pharm school. once you are accepted to UT, take the genetics class (since you may not find out till March or April, you may have to take this class in the summer before pharm school...but check UT's website to see if ALL pharm pre-reqs must be completed by SPRING or SUMMER semester? if summer, what i suggested is safe. If spring, then here's plan B: while you are still waiting for your UT acceptance [either b/c you didn't get in anywhere else at this point already or b/c you have your heart set on this school], then go ahead and sign up to take Genetics in the spring...yes, even WHILE you are waiting for your UT acceptance..just in case you get in to UT and they demand that all prereqs must be completed by the Spring 2006 term). Study hard for ochem since you haven't take ochem I yet...
                     

                    dgroulx

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                      I'd say all three of those classes will help you in pharmacy school. The public speaking and A&P course can be taken at any community college. Genetics will have to be taken at a 4-year institution and it may not be offered every semester. So, if you really want to go to UT, you might want to squeeze it in to your schedule.

                      Genetics has helped me a lot in pharmacy school. It isn't that class where you cross a red-eyed fly with a white-eyed fly. That's Mendelian genetics and is pretty much covered in bio I. Genetics deals with DNA, the enzymes involved, how mutations form, etc. In lab, you'll insert plasmids into bacteria and learn about antibiotic resistance.

                      Right now, you can analyze DNA to find out what form of enzymes are created by individuals. By the time you graduate, this will be common practice for dosing specific meds. We go into this type of thing at UF and UT probably has the same type of program.

                      Looking back, genetics was one of my favorite undergrad courses.
                       

                      Krismeese

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                        Thanks for all the info :)

                        You know, especially with the new PharmCas system and all, they should implement a set of standard pharm pre-reqs.

                        I agree with Star on the public speaking. I took it in HS, had further unofficial training in college, then had to make use of it in my employment. So to save time while working full-time would rather not take it if I don't have to for admission.

                        Definitely look into when colleges require that pre-reqs be completed by. I know U-Mich was adament that all prereqs be completed by the end of spring.
                        They also seem to be the only school that requires a special "medical microbiology" rather than regular microbiology, ugh, thinking about all these differing pre-reqs makes my brain hurt :p
                         

                        ultracet

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                          Public speaking was required for admission into my school. We have to give presentations to the entire class all the time.....

                          The amazing thing is that even though public speaking was required, people still can't/don't know how to do it.

                          I was on a forensics(public speaking) team in HS and in college and still had to take it.

                          it was a breeze think of it as an easy A and boost that GPA
                           
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