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picking schools to apply to..

Discussion in 'Pre-Pharmacy' started by nerv12345, Mar 27, 2007.

  1. nerv12345

    nerv12345 ... Moderator Emeritus 2+ Year Member

    Mar 12, 2007
    Southern California
    i'm getting ready for the applications process and i'm having the hardest time picking schools to apply to. i want to apply to about 10 schools but i don't know how to go about doing it.

    can anyone give me some advice on picking schools to apply to? and how you went about doing so?
    by the way my GPA is 3.25--below most school averages so it's impossible to pick schools that have average GPA's close to mine (i haven't taken the PCAT yet)

    i've looked at the school info on the pharmcas site and made a list...but the list came out to 20 or more schools...i feel like i'm picking schools out of a bag
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  3. cystapharm

    cystapharm 5+ Year Member

    Nov 28, 2006
    haha i know exactly what you mean i went thru the same thing you did when picking out schools only it was harder for me because I don't have my degree and at the time did not take the PCAT and still had to take Phyics 2 an Calc 2 so yeah. You should pick out schools that you have finished prereqs for so it increases your chance. also, pick schools according to their minimum PCAT requirement. I was stupid cuz i applied to maryland before knowing that their PCAT minimum is 80 while mine is like *ahem* dont wanna say lol. If you apply to a lot of schools then you should take your PCAT so you have more choices. If you don't plan on taking PCAT then theres only about 10-15 schools outside Cali that don't require it so just consider all of then and eliminate the ones that have wayyyy high average GPA like Nevada. You'll be down to 10 in no time.
  4. eelo

    eelo 2+ Year Member

    Feb 24, 2007
    Don't forget to check the schools' prerequisites; they're not all the same. For example, Auburn requires a Genetics and an Immunology course that aren't generally part of a basic undergrad sciences degree (at least the Immuno isn't).

    Another thing to look for is deadlines. Shenandoah, for example, has an application deadline of Feb 1st. If you took a January PCAT, the score won't be received by the school in time for you to be considered, but the score should be back in time for schools with a Mar 1 cutoff date.

    Thirdly- do you want to get in-state rates? Almost all of the public u's have a massive preference for in-state students, even at the graduate level. Unless you're dead-set on moving out of state or going private, go for your state schools.
  5. omnione

    omnione SDN Pharmoderator Moderator Emeritus 5+ Year Member

    For starters, learn from my mistakes.:D

    1. Look at every school's supplemental application if available and see if you can complete it. Some schools required LORs from actual pharmacists, something I didn't have. That killed my Samford and Washington app

    2. Look to see which type of curriculum is at the school. Some schools are 0+6 schools where they take very few transfers. The number is so low that you're better off applying to an out-of-state public school! For me, this school was Drake but I wouldn't have applied there if they didn't set a precedent for interviewing Nebraskans

    3. Look at graduation requirements. Some schools have other courses built into their curriculum that you may not like. For example, Palm Beach Atlantic had too big of a religious component for me. That killed that app.:oops:

    4. Look at a school's prerequisites. Not all pharmacy schools have the same requirements. Some schools have the basic requirements, but others require more. Auburn's pre-pharmacy track was built for three years with many courses not required at other schools (immunology, world literature, etc.). After I sent in my secondary, I learned that I would have had an interview if I wasn't missing FOUR classes. That killed that application.

    5. Make sure your school requires the PCAT or at least looks at it. I assume that you'll apply to PCAT-requiring school because you want your GPA offset. Not all PharmCAS schools require the PCAT where some just look at it for reference. I probably wouldn't have applied to LECOM had I known that.

    6. Look at schools outside of PharmCAS. There are schools that don't use PharmCAS but still requires the PCAT. I would have applied to Kansas, Texas and other schools I had known that.

    Basically, I'm trying to say:

    1 + 2 + 3 + 4 + 5 + 6 = Do your research of schools before putting down money for them!:) I screwed myself out of four inappropriate schools that could have been replaced with viable schools. Though I ended getting into three schools out of twelve, I didn't know I would that successful and I wasted money regardless.
  6. Utterdevotion

    Utterdevotion Hopeful future pharmacist Moderator Emeritus 2+ Year Member

    Jul 5, 2006
    Here's some factors to consider: (some of which overlap with omnione)
    **Qualifications you must have to apply: bachelors, certain amount of credits, GPA, PCAT
    **Pre-Reqs: including whether or not you can complete them in time, and how many are left to complete.
    **Application requirements: including LORs from certain profs, very long supplementals can turn you off (not that it should really be a factor, but it plays a role if there are so many schools you can pick from)
    **Look at their: average admission GPA, PCAT, Instate/Outstate ratios,
    **Curriculum+program that interests you: including 3 or 4 year, dual programs, etc --> does the averages meet around your stats? Is their program something that you like?
    **Extra factors: location of school (mainly state), city/campus/middle of nowhere, public/private, tuition, religious affliation, etc
    **How admission works/Deadlines: Rolling? How soon are their deadlines. Which PCAT date is the last one they will accept?
    **Whether or not PharmCAS schools are important to you
    **Ratings of the school, and the accrediation status

    I would suggest making lists and sorting out the schools. Decide what factors are most important to you and find the schools that fit those categories. For me, qualifications, pre-reqs, and application requirements were first. That filtered out 1/2 the list. Then I took out all the schools that were in states that I wasn't interested in living (keeping in mind that location is not a HUGE factor, but hey, I was finding ways of helping me pick schools). After that I literally read info on every single school still on my list, making a detailed list of things that mattered: what classes I'd have to still take, the programs that interested me, etc. And slowly and surely I filtered down to about 5.

    Make sure you research each school thoroughly.

    Call the school when you have questions! I think I've even emailed the admissions person of WVU at least 4 times haha.
  7. nerv12345

    nerv12345 ... Moderator Emeritus 2+ Year Member

    Mar 12, 2007
    Southern California
    thank you so much for your help! i've begun researching and it's a daunting task..

    i have a question though: can i apply for a school even though i haven't taken the pcat yet?
    for example..i plan to apply early (june or july) to a school that has rolling admissions but i won't be taking the pcat until august (and scores won't be out for 6 weeks after that). will that affect my chances? assuming i don't completely bomb the pcat
  8. omnione

    omnione SDN Pharmoderator Moderator Emeritus 5+ Year Member

    You may apply, but some schools won't fully process your application until they have received your PCAT scores. Still, I would apply just to get it out of the way and get your application in a good position.
  9. Julianne

    Julianne War Eagle!! Moderator Emeritus 7+ Year Member

    Feb 9, 2006
    Funny how different people plan in different ways! In my case, the biggest limiting factor was staying close to my family, so I looked at all of the schools in the southeast then made a "weed-out" list (started with prereqs, then tuition, then cost-of-living, etc.) until I narrowed it down to about five programs. Most of those had prereqs that could be completed in two years, so I mapped out my school schedule for 6 semesters and went to work. This method worked well for me but might not be the best for someone else. I agree wholeheartedly with eelo, omnione, and UtterDevotion - make sure you read the fine print for each school that you're interested in so that you don't waste your hard-earned time and money on an application that will never be seen by the adcom!
  10. janeno

    janeno Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    Dec 30, 2005
    You might want to look at schools that have rolling admission. If you apply early, you might have less competition, which will increase your chances getting in.
  11. Jitaka

    Jitaka 5+ Year Member

    Feb 21, 2007
    Gainesville, Florida
    I plan on applying to Pharmacy Schools come summer and here is what I did in picking schools.

    1) The AACP website has a PDF File of all the schools and their requirements:

    so, I went to the nearest coping center (Target Copy:)) and printed out all 100 pages of the PDF and had them bind it into a single booklet (cost like 10 bucks)

    2) I read through the booklet and chose a DIVERSE selection of schools: ones that require the PCAT, ones that don't require the PCAT, public schools, privates schools, etc.

    (Note: I chose to not apply to any schools that would require me to apply as a transfer student b/c I think that whole process is shady and that they just want my money :))

    3) Determined which schools in which I would meet the admission requirement.

    4) Narrowed the list down to about 10 and sorted them into three categories: my top three, my middle selections, and the bottom three.

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