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Importance of Pre-Reqs

Discussion in 'Pre-Pharmacy' started by Brockololly, Mar 25, 2007.

  1. Brockololly

    Brockololly 7+ Year Member

    Mar 25, 2007
    Ok- this might be kind of long, but I wanted some feedback on my situation: I'm a junior bio major at an Ivy league school and had been dead set on the typical pre-med route. Well I started looking more and more at pharmacy as a career and now I'm convinced a career in pharmacy is more to my liking.

    My problem is this: In second semester gen chem I pulled a C-. My freshman year, in first semester intro bio lecture i got a C- and then second semester bio lab i got a C-.

    Now as I was looking at pharmacy schools, almost all of them say that they do not accept pre-reqs lower than "C". So should I retake those pre req courses that I got a C- or even C+ in? I know I probably should to boost my GPA, but its frustrating b/c I've taken other science classes over the summer at a state university and aced them. So do pharmacy schools take into consideration the rigor of the undergraduate college you attend when looking at your GPA? What I'm getting at is this: If somebody who went to a very rigorous undergrad school had a 3.0 whereas someone who went to a less strenuous undergrad school had a 3.5, how much would the admissions committee balance the difficulty of the program with the GPAs?

    Many thanks in advance!
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  3. omnione

    omnione SDN Pharmoderator Moderator Emeritus 5+ Year Member

    One wild card you can use to offset a low GPA is a high PCAT score. A high PCAT score can help corroborate your high skill as a student. The fact that the PCAT is supposed to be standardized for all schools gives you the opportunity to show that your GPA is a product of a strenuous Ivy League eduction.

    Though I do think that admissions committees will notice that you attend an Ivy League school, I still think that you need to bump those C-'s up.

    Think of it this way; if I can get into multiple pharmacy schools with a 3.45 GPA from an average state university (University of Nebraska-Lincoln), you surely have a chance with a 3.0 from an Ivy League school. The key is to show the committee that you can handle the rigors of pharmacy school hence the "C" prerequisite requirements.

    I hope that you can resolve your situation!:)
  4. Dr.Biassi

    Dr.Biassi 2+ Year Member

    Sep 22, 2006
    You will need to retake those classes with c- and for the rest Omnione said it all. Some school look at what school you went some don't and if you don't make their cut off GPA you are out!!!!!!
  5. PossiblyCrazy

    PossiblyCrazy 2+ Year Member

    Feb 21, 2007
    I'll tell you my situation...maybe it'll help.

    My first degree is a BS in Mechanical Engineering degree and I was young and stupid while taking the classes to achieve the degree and so my GPA was around 3.0.

    I went back to school a couple of years ago to complete my pre-reqs for PharmD school. My pre-req gpa is a 3.71, making my overall 3.2.

    It depends on the school, but I do believe having a professional competitive degree does help. It did help me. Good luck and go for it.
  6. bluejayhawk


    Mar 6, 2007
    I think I might have a unique perspective from which to answer this question as I just got into pharmacy school and my boyfriend is currently attending an Ivy.

    A couple of things right off the bat:

    -It sounds like these grades are from your freshman (or sophomore) year of college. Either way, early on in the scheme of things. If you've shown improvement in core classes over the rest of your education, it will reflect well upon you. Also, if you've done well in organic, microbiology, etc. since then, it will look even better.

    -Yes, many schools (I would guess most) will look at the rigor of your academic institution. I am at a good public school, but I know for a fact my GPA would not be what it is if I were at the same school as my boyfriend. I'm sure you're aware of this difference, but, for example, me & my guy took the same class last semester at our respective schools and discovered what a difference there was (both in the level of difficulty of course content and the difficulty of obtaining a certain grade) between the two. Additionally, get a degree from your school. For some pharm schools it's practically required to get in anyway, but it would not hurt you AT ALL to be show an adcom you survived four years of top-notch, rigorous coursework.

    -Do well on the PCAT. It's used as a equalizer. So show off the traits that got you into your Ivy in the first place, namely, being smarter than the rest, haha :) Along these same lines, don't just be known to them as Mr. Harvard, Mr. Cornell, etc. Maybe you've got volunteer experience starting off as pre-med at such a school, maybe you've gotten to do cool study abroad, and I'm sure you've got the individual traits that pulled you out of that FIRST application pool. So, if you've got something that really sets you apart, you'll be the amazing "xyz" person who happens to have an amazing Ivy league name behind you!

    -As far as retaking classes, I would consider it from a few angles. First off, if your science class grades have since improved, (as mentioned before), it might not make a huge difference. Secondly, can you even fit retakes into your current school's schedule? I know at my sig. other's school, he has to take a certain number of classes from each group (i.e. I, II, III, IV), and then also those for his major, which doesn't leave a whole lot of wiggle room (as I understood it, please correct me if I'm way off). There really wouldn't be a huge advantage to retaking them at a State U, etc., in the summers as most adcoms would expect that, gradewise, you'd show improvement 1. w/ the retake itself, and 2. at a slightly less rigorous school. In other words, it might be a foregone conclusion that you'd do better. Lastly, and, I spose, the bottom line, it might just be best to contact individual schools and see what they think.

    Sorry for a long post, and I hope it wasn't way too much unsolicited advice, but I hope this helps!

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