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Elementary school teacher preparing for Pharm school

Discussion in 'Pre-Pharmacy' started by EdPharm10, Jan 4, 2009.

  1. EdPharm10

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    Hello,
    I am an elementary school teacher and I am interested (always have been) in pursuing pharmacy. I have decided to take the pre-pharm required courses part time while I work this year and next to prepare for admission in Fall 2010 or 2011 (depending how long it takes to complete pre-reqs). As a teacher with a BA and MA I have many humanities and social science courses and even a couple science courses (physics and biology). As I do not know where I will be living in 2010 (my husband will be applying for a medical fellowship program which is a MATCH system so we have no way of knowing) I do not know which program I should research for pharmD pre-reqs. My first question:
    1) What courses should I take and would be required and helpful to me no matter where I end up? ( I really have no science background at all- always wished I did and so am now fixing that)
    2) Does it matter where I take my pre-req courses? Can I do them at a community college or no-name university? I live in a small town where my husband is doing his residency so my options as to where to take courses are limited!
    3) What are the career options as a pharmacist? I want to be sure it is for me, although I am VERY intrigued by it and want desperately to enter the health care profession.

    I would like to point out that I intend to attend a top pharmacy program in 2010 and I value taking courses at a top tier university. As I am in central PA, my options as to where to take my pre-req classes part time are limited...
    What are some things I can do to improve my chances in admission as well as my understanding of the field? As a teacher I have summers off and can work or intern at this time. MANY THANKS!
    -confused, don't know where to start :confused:
     
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  3. PharmD321

    PharmD321 SDN Lifetime Donor
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    1)There are many ways you can do the pre-pharmacy courses and it depends on the university you go now and where you want to go to Pharmacy School. If I were you, the first thing you should do is go look at the pre-reqs for pharmacy school at this website....

    http://www.pharmcas.org/

    2) I don't believe it matters where you go to college. Just get good grades and have a good PCAT (Pharmacy College Admission Test) scores.

    3) Pharmacy has many opportunities. You can do many things like nuclear, nutritional, retail, hospital, doctors without borders, industrial....etc....I would suggest you to go to these sites to look for available jobs in the pharmacy setting:

    FDA (Food and Drug Administration) or Veterans Affairs: http://www.usajobs.gov/
    Abbot Pharmacueticals: http://www.abbott.com/
    Johnson and Johnson: http://www.jnj.com/connect/

    One more thing that you never mentioned. You can be a pharmacy technician, if you want to work in the pharmacy setting now, and see if you fit in the environment. You can be certified from PTCB (Pharmacy Technician Certification Board) by taking the test. Here is the website:

    https://www.ptcb.org//AM/Template.cfm?Section=Home1

    If you or anyone else need anymore more help, PM me....

    Good luck!
     
    #2 PharmD321, Jan 4, 2009
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2009
  4. EdPharm10

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    Do the pre-req courses I take need to be all from the same university I may have to complete some of my courses after we move from where we are currently. Thus I would have some biology and chemistry classes completed in Central PA and then the rest completed whereever we end up moving to..it is very difficult to plan when I dont know where I will be living in 2010, and I dont want to waste time or money in preparing! Thanks!
     
  5. diastole

    7+ Year Member

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    You should be fine. Lots of people complete pre-reqs at more than one school. I'm guessing that they cut non-traditional students some slack about where they take their classes. Many have houses and families and just can't up and move like they could when they were 18.

    Keep in mind that some schools require your prereqs to be completed in the last 5 to 7 years so you may need to repeat classes you took already, depending on the school. You are going to have to complete four semesters of chemistry which in most schools has to be taken in order so you are looking at two years of school just to take the pre-reqs and probably more than that because you plan to do it part time.

    One thing I'm curious about is it even viable for you to attend pharmacy school? It sounds like you are pretty limited in your ability to move. Would you be able to move if you had to? Pharmacy school is pretty competitive so if you are only able to attend the nearest one, there is a chance that you won't be accepted at your top choice.
     
  6. Frederico Albin

    Frederico Albin Yes thats my bulldog :)
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    I dont know if you have mentioned this, but different schools have different pre-reqs. So make sure to check all of the schools you want to apply to and write down the required classes.
     
  7. PharmD321

    PharmD321 SDN Lifetime Donor
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    I saw somewhere in the forum that you can take courses from a university and/or a CC.
     
  8. LoCal310

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    i have completed the remaining pre-reqs at a community college, so it is acceptable. although, do make sure in your case because it might depend on the pharmacy schools you apply to. go through all the required pre-reqs for all the schools you plan to apply to, and make sure you take the right courses at the school you will be taking your pre-reqs. i would definitely recommend getting some experience working or volunteering in a pharmacy because you want to make sure you know everything before you commit yourself through this long process.

    i wish you the best in your endeavour and hope everything works out for you.

    p.s. something that helped me also is the Student Doctor Network Pharmacy School Admissions Guide by Anna Peck. there's a lot of useful and insightful information about pharmacy and its various facets, actual pharmacist's experiences, and step by step tips on admissions ( applications, interviews, etc)
     
  9. ValeRx

    ValeRx PharmD
    Pharmacist 7+ Year Member

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    I got my AA degree from a community college, then transferred to a 4 year university when I decided that I wanted to go into pharmacy. Simply completing an Arts degree definitely puts you at a disadvantage. I've had to go full time for an additional two years in order to fulfill all the requirements needed for most colleges. Does going to a CC hurt you? I don't think so. Since you've got all your English, Social Science, History out of the way you will need to focus on general chemistry, organic chemistry, microbiology, anatomy and since you got your AA you probably stopped your math at college algebra. You'll need to complete Calculus II, depending on the college you want to go to.
     
  10. EdPharm10

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    Thanks all. As I already completed a BA and MA in teaching, I have all the humanities, social sciences, and composition requirements completed already. However, my BA was completed in 2005 and my MA in 2007. By the time I can begin Pharmacy school I will be entering either Fall 2010 or Fall 2011, will these courses I completed be too old by then? I will probably complete all the chemistry and biology courses here in central PA (ANY SUGGESTIONS WHERE TO TAKE THESE?). I suppose I will run out of time by the time we move in summer 2010 for my husbands fellowship and will need to complete any physics and math courses that year wherever we move to. I started to research where I can take these courses but am confused how to do this? Am I just taking courses post-Bac? Or do I seek an associate degree in science? How does one complete the science requirements for Pharmacy school when they already have BA degree? I am not sure how to search for these classes and register for them. Thanks:confused:
     
  11. Franklin

    Franklin Accepted Pharmacy Student
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    I would suggest taking the courses at a community college, such as Harrisburg Area Community College http://www.hacc.edu. Fill out an application for admission, and register in courses (no need to pursue an associates degree). You will want to start chemistry right away, as it is the longest sequence (typically 4 semesters) and if you have no science background at all, you may want to start with an intro class (CHEM 100 at HACC) which is not a required course but will give you a good start so you can ace subsequent courses.

    Talk with an academic adviser, and they can get you started choosing courses (making sure the chemistry/biology you take is for science majors, etc) but try and narrow down your possible school choices as soon as you can and look at their requirements because each school can be different.

    Some links:
    HACC Pre-Pharmacy Track
    http://www.hacc.edu/index.cfm?fuseaction=healthCareers.Programs%20Offered&id=955

    List of Accredited Pharmacy School programs
    http://www.acpe-accredit.org/students/programs.asp

    PharmCAS - Pharmacy College Application Service
    http://www.pharmcas.org/collegesschools/directoryalphastate.htm
    The school info pages give a good summary of courses required, etc.


    Hope that helps!
     
  12. JJVmom

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    I'm in a similar situation and wanted to give you a heads up that it may take you longer than you think. Each of my pre-reqs had their own pre-reqs. I couldn't just walk into a Calculus class after having college algebra 10 yrs ago! I just did great in the first general chem, but that's only b/c I took preparatory chem last spring. I also underestimated the amount of hours I'd have to put into each class in order to get an A. It's far more time-consuming than my first degree.

    The other issue is that (from my understanding) you need to have at least 1 semester of Ochem to do well on the chem section of the PCAT, which needs to be taken a year before you plan to start college. The time frame may seem daunting, but I know my patience will pay off in the long run.

    Also, look into Creigton's distance program. For prereqs, they only require Calc I, not Calc II, no physics, and no microbiology. Since you don't know where you'll be living, it may be a good fit for you. As a military spouse, that's my goal. I'm not sure about the math/science prereqs, but they told me that their other prereqs do not expire (no 7-10 yr limit). I might continue on and take more classes, like microbiology, physiology, biochem, physics... in case we get stationed near a pharmacy college.

    To answer your other question: I just signed up for classes at my local CC. In the end, I will have fulfilled the requirements for an AA in chemistry, but it's not a requirement to take the classes.

    Good luck!
     
  13. EdPharm10

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    Thanks so much for all the help! I did not even think about the prereqs for classes like gen chem! Is there one, or is it just suggested?
    Will it be too much of a load to take 2 classes per semester, one chem and one something else like bio ? (in addition to working full time)Thanks!
     
  14. rxlynn

    rxlynn Senior Member
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    unless Creighton has changed their policy in the past two years, they do not have a time limit on any prereqs. I applied to their distance program for class of 2010, and some of my science was well over 10 years old and they took it with no question.
     
  15. rxlynn

    rxlynn Senior Member
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    You might have scheduling problems with that, just because both of them will have a lab as well as the class. As far as prereq for general chem, I don't think there generally is such a thing. As one of the other posters noted, there might be some sort of very intro course aimed at students who have not been to college before and didn't take chem in hs. I would think you would be fine just starting with gen chem I.
     
  16. EdPharm10

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    Okay so after researching the required courses for some programs I am interested in, I am finding that priority is given to students who take classes at a 4 year college or University program. Wouldn't this rule out community colleges? Also as I graduated with my BA in 2005, if I plan to enroll in pharmacy school in 2011 or 2012, my social science, humanities, and composition classes will be older than 5 years. Do these classes need to be less than 5 years old or is that requirement only for the sciences and math? Thanks again.
     
  17. Jdario86

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    I think you will be fine if you take non-science pre-req (i.e. public speaking, economics) at a CC as long as you take the core science pre-req courses (i.e. bio, gen chem, Ochem) at a University/College program. Alot of people finish pre-reqs like composition & public speaking at a CC to save money. I think the humanities/comp courses that you've taken a while back will be okay too. I think most pharm schools would be more concerned with the math and science courses. Just double-check me on that.
     

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