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Discussion in 'Pre-Pharmacy' started by WannabePharm88, Jan 7, 2009.
Interesting because I am not an international student and if I had those grades and performed at that level in my core science courses I would be worried. Not sure where you get the idea that residing in the United States gives you a pass on being required to excel...
Don't take it the wrong way but if you're strong in liberal arts but weak in all the sciences, maybe you should consider a different career path. You really should be worried about your grades, international student or not.
I think the difference is that international students need to be in school or else they get shipped home... so whereas you and I could take a year off and not "be worried".. he can't.
OP - you know you need to focus on bringing your grades up. But they look pretty similar to mine my first two years of undergrad (i.e., decidedly unimpressive) and that hasn't held me back - although I did have to take a year off. So bring your grades up, get pharmacy experience, get good PCAT scores, get practice interviewing and make sure you can articulate yourself, apply smart and early -whatever it takes to help the non-GPA part of your application.
There are private pharmacy schools in the US that don't take your residency status into consideration. I would definitely look into those. However, everybody else here is right about the importance of your grades regardless of your status. Good luck.
I am an international student too. As an IS, your GPA has to be higher than resident to be competitive. It is simply true because school favors resident students more than IS.
I am an international student with similar grades starting out. Liberal subjects were a breeze for me, and sciences weren't. I considered switching out of science but I knew I loved them so I worked really hard to turn my grades around. With your chem grades so low, I would consider another major. Also, you'd have to show an upward trend in your grades (ie. mostly if not all A's) to impress the adcoms. I don't think working in a chem lab will help you all that much with getting into a pharmacy program, but it might help with your understanding of chemistry. Either way, you have an uphill battle.
Not to be the barer of bad news, but while looking around for out-of-state acceptance statistics I found:
From the chart (top left), it looks as if schools only take (on average) 0-2 foreign students a year. Looks like your best chances would be applying to Philadelphia, Temple and Texas Southern.
Was it bad that I read his entire message in a Borat voice?
no...even if you are not an internation student, you still have to worry.
That chart shows very few pharmacy schools. When I was reading it, I thought where's ACP, MCPHS and others that I couldn't find.
Keep in mind that not too many international students apply to the US for pharmacy, since the American PharmD is not the required degree for pharmacists in the vast majority of countries. This is another reason why acceptance numbers are so low.
No, it was the lack of self control. Mind what you post, others certainly do.
Retake all the classes in which you got a C or less and be sure to get all As.
Pharm schools care the most about your pre reqs classes, acing those should be your #1 priority.
Just a rough guess here but if you can't get your GPA to at least 3.5, you don't have a good chance. At this point you'll definitley have to get a science degree. This will give you a chance to raise your GPA and all those upper level sciences may even help you for the PCAT. However as others have said, realize this is now an uphill battle (odds are against you), so only continue if you truly think you can turn yourself around.
If science isn't your thing, you may want to consider doing something else.
The easiest way to get in pharm school is get married. If you find someone that you like, you can be resident, and then you can apply to pharmacy school. You will not be considered as out of state student.
But aren't there many International students apply for it?
I would be worried for just being an international student. You must have a lot of confidence.... an international student has to have stats higher than EVERYONE else in order to have a chance.
But if I retake classes, won't they average GPA and would look bad for application?
The look pretty bad as is. I would say that you should be worried with grades like yours even if you were instate student for the school you are applying to. While it is possible that you will turn around and be straigth-A from now on, that's not very realistic.
Aren't there going to be new Pharm schools by the time I can start applying?
It's already looking bad as it is. I hate to be so blunt but you should probably do something else. Even if you weren't international it would still look bad but then you might have had a chance because of ECs and if you applied to many schools.
Many internationals apply and you can bet they'll be plenty with 4.0 GPAs. Since the spots are limited, that's what you'll be competing against.
"Yeah, I may have bad grades and no aptitude for science, but they will open enough schools so that at least one will be desperate to get me." Not the best foundation for future success. But please do continue, that creates less competition for students who really apply effort.
Come on, you don't even know that Intro to Biology is NOT Cell and Molecular Biology, and that's AFTER allegedly passing the course. I think you are a troll.
you need to retake any course with a grade lower than a B. The fact that you got so many poor grades in just gen chem and organic chem shows that you will not be able to handle the rigors of pharm school as they contain courses that combine the two with a factor of 10 in difficulty.
Retake a course you got a B- in? Several schools I spoke with about my grades (I had a couple C- and minimum requirement was a C) said that while I would need to retake that C- to meet requirements, they would much rather see me take more advanced courses to show that I could handle the material.
Each school is looking for different things in their students.. so best bet would be to contact the schools you're interested in and see what they recommend.
So...you're saying that if we continue to advance to the next level each semester (whether we are working on our major or pre-reqs) and take rigorous courses, the committee will still consider us competitive?
First of all, I was just asking about new Pharm schools.
Uhm. in my school, it's called Intro to Biology but if you read the description, it's Cell and Molecular Biology (I asked the counselor).
You, sir, is very sacrastic. , no I am not a troll. Thank you very much.
I'm saying I was told by a couple different admissions directors that they would rather see me take advanced course material than retake classes, but I still had to meet minimum requirements.. so I DID need to retake anything I had less than a C in, but if I had a C or better, I'd be wasting my time to retake it.
No I can't tell you exactly what "the committee" is looking for or will consider competitive as different schools prioritize things differently.. but if you're concerned, you should email schools you're interested in and ask them what they're looking for.. they'll tell you!
Which counselor did you ask? Most school counselors I've dealt with have no clue. Not that a web forum should be your primary source of information either. Find a few schools that cater to international students (I know USC has several, but your GPA is likely well below the minimum 3.2 based on your description). Find out what they're looking for. Articulation tables are great if you can find them.
Beyond that I can see why Hels responded the way she did, the context of your statement did make it appear you were looking for new schools for the same reason a lot of other people do, lower standards = easier to get in. My guess is the statement was miscontrued. Nonetheless, good luck.
I didn't do too well in organic chemistry mainly because I wasn't focused in my classes as freshman/soph, the main college I went to had most students who have taken AP chemistry and did very well (most of them over 3), and the chemistry program was accelerated. I thought I wasn't fit for chemistry subjects because I didn't do well, but later taking biochemistry I realized I didn't hate it, I just didn't piece things together. I retook entire organic chemistry and biochemistry series and got straight As in all my courses and loved both classes solidifying my desire for pharmacy.
If you are doing pharmacy because your parents tell you to become a pharmacist than change careers. If your reason for doing bad is something like mine where you just didn't put in the effort, than don't listen to people saying you should change majors. Either way retaking chemistry will show if you are fit for pharmacy or not, because if you can't get straight As with retake than your chances as international student is going to be low.
You should take the PCAT and apply out of california as well. Cali schools are very difficult even for US residents, but for international students you have to be damn near 4.0. Also you did well in non-science courses like English, but can you speak fluently? If not, I would take several communication/speech courses to improve your speaking ability or maybe show that you are fluent with good grades in those classes. With your stats you have to out compete other international students with the ability to do well in the interviews and speak more coherently than them. If you are from Spanish speaking country than that might help you compete against other international students in Cali as well, but that is also not guaranteed. Like others have noted, it isn't going to be easy. You should be a little worried (a better word would be concerned), and use that to motivate yourself to do well.
Even with a 4.0 GPA I would be worried...the chances are damn near impossible for international students. 4.0GPA and 99 on PCAT then maybe...maybe NOT....