Feb 17, 2013
2
0
Status
Non-Student
Hey everyone,

I am an older, non-traditional student interested in becoming a pharmacist. In December I will have a BS degree in chemistry from a respectable state university with a cumulative gpa of 3.78. Solid LORs, extra-curricular, and some research experience. Only problem is that I already have a BA degree from a different, similarly ranked, college in Economics and graduated with a lowly 2.7. That 2.7 includes two Fs and I think that same number of Ds. I retook one of the classes I failed but the college includes both in the final calculation of the GPA. Not only that but I actually started out at a different college, where I basically flunked the first semester, went to a Community college for a year and then transferred to the school I graduated with my BA in Econ from. I drank a lot while in college, didn't focus, and did the minimum to graduate. I have worked at a non for profit theater as a manager for about four years before returning to school to become a pharmacist. I absolutely hated all of the jobs I've had before going back to school, and all of the them had no opportunity for me to advance up the ladder. I also did most of my pre-reqs at a community college(I hope that doesn't bother admissions?)

If I don't get into Pharm school I want to go on and get a phd in medicinal chemistry(or neuroscience)...

But right now I really have my mind set on becoming a pharmacist. Will Pharm admissions look past my early academic short comings and judge me only based on my recent college performance or am I damned forever in their eyes?
 
Oct 5, 2012
74
0
Status
Pharmacy Student
Hey everyone,

I am an older, non-traditional student interested in becoming a pharmacist. In December I will have a BS degree in chemistry from a respectable state university with a cumulative gpa of 3.78. Solid LORs, extra-curricular, and some research experience. Only problem is that I already have a BA degree from a different, similarly ranked, college in Economics and graduated with a lowly 2.7. That 2.7 includes two Fs and I think that same number of Ds. I retook one of the classes I failed but the college includes both in the final calculation of the GPA. Not only that but I actually started out at a different college, where I basically flunked the first semester, went to a Community college for a year and then transferred to the school I graduated with my BA in Econ from. I drank a lot while in college, didn't focus, and did the minimum to graduate. I have worked at a non for profit theater as a manager for about four years before returning to school to become a pharmacist. I absolutely hated all of the jobs I've had before going back to school, and all of the them had no opportunity for me to advance up the ladder. I also did most of my pre-reqs at a community college(I hope that doesn't bother admissions?)

If I don't get into Pharm school I want to go on and get a phd in medicinal chemistry(or neuroscience)...

But right now I really have my mind set on becoming a pharmacist. Will Pharm admissions look past my early academic short comings and judge me only based on my recent college performance or am I damned forever in their eyes?
I graduated college years ago with a 2.9 GPA (mostly due to my immaturity at the time and too much partying) and in the early years my GPA was at about a 2.5. I worked for a number of years in research. I started grad school, I have a 3.6 in my Master's program while working on my thesis full time and at the community college where I finished my prerequisites I had a 3.7. I got an 88 composite on the PCAT with strong chem and bio scores. In applying to pharmacy school, I have gotten interviews at almost every school I applied to (the schools that I haven't gotten interviews for are mostly the 2+4 schools), and every interview has lead to acceptances. There was one supplemental application where I was asked if my grades represent my best achievements or if I could have done better. I explained my undergraduate career mistakes and also highlighted what I was doing that showed that I could handle pharmacy school. I am planning on attending an excellent pharmacy school (my top choice!) in the fall.

It is definitely possible to bounce back. A good PCAT score and an excellent personal statement help immensely.
 
Jan 17, 2012
180
0
Status
Pre-Health (Field Undecided)
Hey everyone,

I am an older, non-traditional student interested in becoming a pharmacist. In December I will have a BS degree in chemistry from a respectable state university with a cumulative gpa of 3.78. Solid LORs, extra-curricular, and some research experience. Only problem is that I already have a BA degree from a different, similarly ranked, college in Economics and graduated with a lowly 2.7. That 2.7 includes two Fs and I think that same number of Ds. I retook one of the classes I failed but the college includes both in the final calculation of the GPA. Not only that but I actually started out at a different college, where I basically flunked the first semester, went to a Community college for a year and then transferred to the school I graduated with my BA in Econ from. I drank a lot while in college, didn't focus, and did the minimum to graduate. I have worked at a non for profit theater as a manager for about four years before returning to school to become a pharmacist. I absolutely hated all of the jobs I've had before going back to school, and all of the them had no opportunity for me to advance up the ladder. I also did most of my pre-reqs at a community college(I hope that doesn't bother admissions?)

If I don't get into Pharm school I want to go on and get a phd in medicinal chemistry(or neuroscience)...

But right now I really have my mind set on becoming a pharmacist. Will Pharm admissions look past my early academic short comings and judge me only based on my recent college performance or am I damned forever in their eyes?
Honestly, I wouldn't worry too much. An upward trend in GPA, great LORs, chemistry background, etc. Do well on the PCAT (Dr. Collins prep), write a good personal statement, and you'll easily get a few interviews. Then just rock the interview.

The job prospects for a PhD in Neuroscience are iffy, you might end up as a teacher. There is a ton of research happening right now though as we obviously have a lot left to learn about the brain (and mind). Have you thought about being a psychopharmacologist? It combines several of your interests into one interesting career.
 

rxlea

Almost a unicorn
Moderator Emeritus
7+ Year Member
Aug 9, 2009
13,248
198
Status
Pharmacist
Getting into a PhD program like that with that record is probably not going to happen.

For PharmD, someone will take you. It's not likely to be a top school unless you have lots of pharmacy experience or are an URM. Get pharmacy experience, score high on the PCAT,, and make sure your LORs are solid. Apply broadly.
 
Sep 17, 2012
286
1
Southern CA
Status
Pre-Pharmacy
I think your most recent coursework will be most important. Put together a nice application/interview well and I think you will get several acceptance offers. I do think that having some pharmacy experience..whether shadowing or as a assistant/tech. is especially important for your app. Your past record seems to reveal (rightly or wrongly) that if your not into something that you'll let it slide with subpar work. So you should correct against that by having tangible stuff to put on your app that demonstrates your commitment to pharmacy. This can also be helped by the enthusiasm of your interviewing and your personal statement. So I think you're good to go as long as you don't rush in putting your app together and add some experience in there. :)
 
OP
B
Feb 17, 2013
2
0
Status
Non-Student
So even though I have done pretty well with my Chemistry BS, grad school and maybe pharm school will look at my bad BA in Econ even though that was years ago? -_- Admissions are going to look at everything, yes?
 

rxlea

Almost a unicorn
Moderator Emeritus
7+ Year Member
Aug 9, 2009
13,248
198
Status
Pharmacist
So even though I have done pretty well with my Chemistry BS, grad school and maybe pharm school will look at my bad BA in Econ even though that was years ago? -_- Admissions are going to look at everything, yes?
EDIT: I just realized you're still in school. Are you part of a research lab?

Alternatively, you could try to apply to a pharmacy school that offers dual degrees. Pharmacy schools will definitely consider your upward trend, your degrees, and any LORs. It's the lack of pharmacy experience that will potentially be a problem.
 
Sep 17, 2012
286
1
Southern CA
Status
Pre-Pharmacy
So even though I have done pretty well with my Chemistry BS, grad school and maybe pharm school will look at my bad BA in Econ even though that was years ago? -_- Admissions are going to look at everything, yes?
Everything will go into your PharmCAS and everything for your second Bachelors will be labeled as post-bacc. Everything is divided science, non-science, math and then subcategorized by year..freshman, sophomore, junior, senior, post-bacc, graduate, professional. So, yes, they can see it but what they will primarily focus on is your science which will primarily be in the post-bacc GPA for you. You will also fill out pre-req sheets for the individual schools...I think they might look at these first before they sift through the rest of your file.

I pursued pre-pharmacy post-bacc too..my old GPA was ~3.3 (non-science) and the new one is ~3.7 (all science) and I have gotten 6 interview invitations...just to show you an example of how your science courses are more important.

Don't let the old GPA hold you down--the pharm schools want people who a) can hack it in the sciences and b) that are motivated to succeed in and finish out their program. So all you need to do is prove that via your application materials.

Edit to add: I think you're in a better position than a lot of other students in that the classes that you had the lower grades in are not science courses at all. They get a lot of applicants that botch their freshman/sophomore science courses and then have to re-take everything to turn it around, but PharmCAS still averages in the old courses. So you are in a good position that your science courses are all high grade, one-time takes.
 
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