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Low Undergraduate GPA

Discussion in 'Pre-Pharmacy' started by generic09, Jan 6, 2009.

  1. I have a 2.2 GPA in a degree not related to Pharmacy. Multiple F's, multiple withdrawals, multiple major changes, multiple scattered attempts to finish school.

    I decided not to graduate from college because I am 25 years old now and realized that I could do something a little unorthodox instead. After 24, one is eligible for the Federal Pell Grant and I can use that to fix my poor previous academic performance.

    Originally, I was an English and a Psychology major. My GPA is poor in general. I have no strength in either subject within the actual upper level major courses.

    If I change majors again to Chemistry, take the Prepharmacy prerequisites and perform well in them, do I have any chance of getting into a Pharm D program?. I am wondering if anyone here has turned their disaster previous academic performance into an admission into a Pharm D program.

    I decided to start to ask questions here and get input rather than write to an admissions committee at a prospective pharmacy school. Please be as blunt as possible. I don't think there is a high chance of my gaining acceptance right away but I do think it would be possible after I made very high marks in the prepharmacy courses to be let in probationary. But, that's just my speculation. I think it would be years away from now to really fix it and I understand the reasons why I wouldn't be accepted.

    Right now, I am in a Pharmacy Tech program and will be working for Pharmacist's fairly soon. I am more than willing to volunteer at at hospital or do anything else that would help my chances.

    Like I said, I understand and respect why an admissions committee would not accept me. Especially in a field like Pharmacy where accuracy is absolutely essential. I wonder though if it possible to fix what has been done in the past and show the admissions committee I have fixed my academic issues and that I can succeed in a Pharm D program.

    Thank you for your input, whether it be negative or positive.
     
  2. calisoca

    2+ Year Member

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    It is absolutely possible to fix what you have done. People do it all the time and I would highly advise you attempt to do that. Retake classes that are holding you down. Since I started wandering this forum, I have never seen anybody get accepted with a gpa lower than a 2.5 and anybody who got in with below a 3.0 is well within the minority (yes I said the minority, so save it). It all depends on how much you want it man. Anything's possible.
     
  3. atticus27

    Removed 2+ Year Member

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    If you're not pulling mostly A's after the first semester of pre-reqs then I would look into something else. Also, you may have to reapply a few times to get a seat.

    Are you really ready to put in the years of stress and hard work it takes to get accepted knowing you have to pretty much ace all of yourpre-reqs and bring up a 2.2 GPA, then possibly spend a couple or so years reapplying, and finally 4 more years of pharm school? Check out other professions as a back up and make sure your ready for the whole investment.
     
  4. BallnGlove

    BallnGlove Pharmacist
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    It is admirable to open yourself up to strong criticism in this type of forum. I agree with both atticus and calisoca that it is possible to bring up a poor GPA (and consequently, increase your chance of attaining an interview and possible acceptance) if you can really buckle down and focus on the task at hand. Pre-requisites for health professional schools are not easy and I would add that if you do suceed in earning high marks in the pre-reqs, perhaps you should also enroll in some upper level coursework that will show the schools that you can handle the academic challenge found in the pharmacy school curriculum.

    I suggest some soul-searching in order to find out why you are gravitating to pharmacy as a career. If it is the career for you, focus on your academics and attain some invaluable experience working in different pharmacy environments.

    What you are hoping to do is definitely possible, just focus on your goal and do not quit.
     
  5. bluesickle

    bluesickle ... it begins
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    How many credit hours have you finished? Bringing a 2.2 GPA to a 3.0+ GPA is going to be a tall task but it's quite possible. I had a lot of undergraduate credit hours so after I finished all my pre-req's, I was only able to improve my GPA by .20.

    Maybe you can complete your pre-req's at a community college and leave your previous coursework behind since you've never completed the degree.
     
  6. Bingo. The Federal Pell Grant is helping to pay for my college. I have stopped going to the school where my academic performance was poor. This seems to be the best plan. If I take all of my prereqs and get high marks and explain why my previous performance was so low(I have solid reasons and documentation, it wasn't about being a slacker). I am thinking this is the best option and if not I can use my science credits to get a degree in chemistry. I am very close to an English degree so if all fails, I can use the English degree as a contingency.

    I think like some previous poster said, my best bet is to have a solid B plan.
     
  7. Thank you for everyone's help and advice. I am thinking more and more that the key to my success will be a solid contingency plan that enables me to go into a similar career if all else fails. I don't think I can lose if I approach the problem with an open ended contingency plan that moves me toward a related career.

    I was also thinking my pharmacy tech job will help my chances if I can get a good recommendation from a practicing pharmacist's.

    But I think the main thing should be for me to not approach it as an end all. I understand the reality of my previous poor academic performance and the responsibility of the pharmacist. It will be a hell of a lot of work to fix it and even then I think I will need to find a Dean who who believes in second chances.
     
  8. I have about 90 credit hours.
     
  9. I read somewhere that one can get into a Pharm D program with 3 years of undergraduate course work and no undergraduate degree. Is this true?
     
  10. ValeRx

    ValeRx PharmD
    Pharmacist 7+ Year Member

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    There are tons of other threads about this. Yes you can get in without an undergrad degree.
     
  11. Franklin

    Franklin Accepted Pharmacy Student
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    I have seen a couple of schools (can't remember which right now) that have had an "academic forgiveness" program where you can leave any classes over 5 or so years old off of your GPA calculations, although you will still have to provide all transcripts in your application. Something like that may be useful, but you would probably have to start over all of the prerequisites (English 101, etc)
     
  12. Storm90

    Storm90 Accepted Pharmacy Student
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    Before you start retaking courses and trying something new, I would be absolutely certain that pharmacy is the career path for you, and I would definitely be considering the effort needed to get there. Right now at 25, you need at least 2 years of pre-reqs followed by 3-5 years in a pharmacy program, which would put you as a pharmacist at the age of 30-32, likely with a large debt load from the massive tuition fees charged nowadays. If you earned a 3.7 over those 2 years, your GPA would be ~2.9-3.0, which is decent and qualifies you for most programs. Whatever you choose, it will be a difficult path. Good luck.

    P.S. Uof New Mexico has the lowest min cGPA in the country at 2.2. Everyone else is 2.5-3.0. Just a thought.
     
  13. TrjTraddie

    TrjTraddie Accepted!
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    i've heard of stranger things happening. Where there's a will, there's a way!
     
  14. TrjTraddie

    TrjTraddie Accepted!
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    could it be because they only take in-state applicants?
     
  15. stlouis79

    stlouis79 Accepted Pharmact Student
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    dont worry about age....im 29 and just now applying. sure ill be paying student loans off into my forties but anyone who hasnt been out in todays workforce doesnt know how tough it is to get a well respected, well paying job. paying off debt is something most people do their whole life
     
  16. fenixtnlfan

    fenixtnlfan P2 Wildcat
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    USN is one of the these. You could also look into school's that only use the pre-reqs when calculating your GPA.
     
  17. bluesickle

    bluesickle ... it begins
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    25 isn't old at all when you have people who're in their 40's going back to school. Regardless of age, I'd rather be happy with my career than to be miserable until the day I retire.
     
  18. I was thinking about not retaking any courses and not even caring about my previous GPA. But instead, using the possibility of getting in without an undergraduate degree to start fresh at a new college. I can also have Uncle Sam pay for it since I am over 24 now and the Federal Pell Grant provides up to 4600 a year. Then, they will see, I left behind the "dark past" or whatever and went onto get kick ass grades and put all of it behind me. Also, I plan to see a therapist for other reasons. Like I said, I didn't bomb those classes because I was incapable of passing them, it was because I had a lot going on. If they say no, I'll say ok and do something else and they will lose the greatest Pharmacist to have ever lived. :laugh:
     
  19. PharmPrincess

    PharmPrincess Hot and smart...damn :)
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    Before you start embarking on this pharmacy career, make sure its something you're going to be dedicated in doing and its something you really want to do. Being a Pharmacy Technician only introduces you into the field of pharmacy and you'll find out that there are a lot of opportunities that pharmacy has to offer. Pharmacy takes a lot of hard work and focus, as in any goal. It is this determination that will help you succeed.

    Needless to say, sometimes pharmacy is not for everyone. I know that just achieving the minimum GPA is sometimes not enough to get into the school. It just makes you qualified, but it is the minimum. Pharmacy is very competitive these days- almost comparable to medical school some say. If you look at the average GPA of those accepted, it's going to be >3.5 and the PCAT score is also going to be high. You basically have to get a B+ in all your pharmacy pre-reqs and a competitive score in the PCAT to be accepted. This can be challenging, hard, but doable.

    So in order to achieve these stats so that your application is looked upon favorable by the adcoms, its going to require a lot $$, retakes, and time. I wish you luck and i hope you don't lose focus:xf:
     
  20. iambic

    iambic UOP COP
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    USN has academic forgiveness. It's definitely worth a try although I believe they grant interviews to people with near impeccable GPAs which makes sense given the nature of their program.

    To the OP, I definitely think it is possible for you to raise your GPA and reach your pharmacy goals. It may take longer than the average applicant but if you have the willingness it is definitely a worthwhile goal to pursue. You are already on the right track gaining experience through a pharm tech program. Make sure you keep your pre-req grades up. Best of luck to you.
     
  21. Kirbypuff

    Kirbypuff Worldling
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    True for now, but those opportunities seem to be dwindling as more and more pharmacy schools are now changing and increasing the difficulty of their prerequisites to admission.

    Apply to schools that actually REVIEW their applicants' entire application instead of using the GPA as a rule of thumb weeding tool. If you ace your pre-pharm courses, ace your PCAT, get good LoRs, get pharm experience, apply early and broadly, you will definitely have a good shot.
     
  22. trailrider400

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    It is possible but I agree with everyone else that you'll really need to work at it. Some schools including the University of MN require you to have a gpa above 3.0 or a gpa above 3.2 over your last 60 (i think) credits. So some of these schools are forgiving. If you can really do well in the pre reqs and form a complete application you could do it. I'd make sure you have a reason to explain your previous lack of success to the admissions committees though as well as figuring out yourself why you didn't do well.
     

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