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Pharmacy Do I have a good chance at pharmacy school?

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  • Oct 14, 2011
    1. Academic Administration
      I'm considering applying to pharmacy school after failing to get accepted to dental school for 2 cycles. I started working at a pharmacy, have liked the job, have gotten more into it and started considering applying to pharmacy school. My question is do I have a good shot at getting accepted into pharmacy school?

      Here are my stats that are related to pharmacy and not dental:
      GPA: 3.55
      sGPA: 3.39
      Obtained undergrad in 2018

      I have tons of volunteer hours at hospitals, local places, dental offices (not relatable), and most importantly I have 1200+ hours at my pharmacy job. I was active in my undergrad with many clubs and associations.

      I'm currently taking a basic medical sciences graduate level course but I'm not planning on finishing that degree (unwanted debit.

      Would pharmacy schools get annoyed by the fact that I didn't apply to pharmacy first before dental school or is it okay?

      I'm also planning on taking my PCAT around May/June of this year and looking to apply for the upcoming cycle.
      Certainly there are more spots available in pharmacy versus in dentistry, but I certainly want you to think about your motivation to switch first. If you can really talk about your experiences (good or bad) in each of those professions (dentistry vs. pharmacy) and you find you really enjoy the stressful parts of each profession based on your experience or the insight of your supervisors/references, then you will begin to develop that "story" you need for your application. Most pharmacy schools probably won't care that you applied to dental school as long as you didn't get in. Just do really well on the PCAT and see what happens.


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      Oct 13, 2014
      1. Pharmacy Student
        Speaking purely on the admissions side of acceptance for pharmacy, you stand a better chance than you may think. Taking the PCAT will be an important factor as well as your reasoning for the switch. Simply stating you cannot get into dentistry is a red flag for any admissions committee when explaining a career switch. I would look into Pearson practice exams along with obtaining a Kaplan Studyguide to refresh/review fundamental topics. I would also look into Dr. Collins to apply those fundamentals in a question format.

        Assuming your GPA's (especially your sGPA) have all (or a majority) of your major prerequisites for pharmacy school (I would imagine its very similar to the prerequisites for dental programs) coupled with your experience working in a pharmacy, you more than likely will receive an interview if you decide to cast your net to different pharmacy programs over a wide region (instate + a few regionally accredited out of state programs). Keep in mind, not all pharmacy programs require the PCAT.

        As a final note: Please find your "story" as to why you are considering pharmacy over dentistry. Simply implying you cant get accepted to dental school is not a valid reason to pursue pharmacy. Contact the dental programs you applied to and see what feedback you may receive as to why you have not been granted an interview / invitation to their programs.


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        Feb 21, 2002
        1. Pharmacist
        2. Academic Administration
          As a past Admissions chair for the AHC-wide process, I can tell you that we honestly do not care at all where else you apply in terms of other professional schools. The exception is the following, if you have a previous profession, you will be asked to explain if your license in your previous profession is in good standing (and if not, why not), and why the change. This is not nice to say, but many pharmacists came from failed medical and dental school applicants, including the current Dean of the leading pharmacy school. That should not stereotype all pharmacists as failed professional admits to other programs, but we are understanding of trying for other choices first.

          In most schools, you would be an average candidate with your posted numbers in most state schools and a reach for the Pac-12 and Big 10 schools. You should be easily admitted to a private school.

          One other matter, I would personally do some soulsearching on what your work motivations actually are. Pharmacy and dentistry have different work environments, and I feel bad for people who select into the wrong branch. However, in my own class, we had someone who transferred out of dentistry into pharmacy due to not liking dental work, and we had two come from my class into dentistry programs (actually went on to be maxilofacial surgeons).
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