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question from non-trad

DrEvil518

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10+ Year Member
Jan 25, 2007
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newgradphysicaltherapy.com
  1. Physical Therapist
Hey guys! I'm deciding between Pharmacy and Optometry school, and was wondering if you could shed a little insight. I graduated from UPenn in 2001 with a Comm major (3.62 overall). I worked as a web designer for 5 years and hated it b/c I can't stand sitting still all day or having no human interaction. Also, the pay was "unsatisfactory" hehe :) Pharm appeals to me because it mostly eliminates those grievances, though I know there are surely issues in any field!

Anyway, unfortunately, my worst grades were in Calc (B, C+) and Stat (B) back at Penn. I am currently fulfilling my prerequisites at a local community college, and I feel relatively comfortable that this won't be a problem. My question is whether it will look bad that all my science/math courses at the Undergrad level received less than stellar grades. I hope to make As from now on, but I'm only in my first quarter at CC :) Also, do you guys know if Pharm schools look at your undergrad institution and take that into account when looking at the grades you received?


Also, I'm looking at a few unaccredited schools (UCSD, specificaly) and wondering if 1. I'd have a shot and 2. WHy they don't require PCAT and 3. if going to an unaccredited school is going to be a bad ide (on the off chance that I'd even get in!) 4. Since no PCAT is required, does that mean research experience, extracurriculars, pharm tech experience is valued more?

FInally, since I live in Cali, I know there's a certification process necessary to become a tech. How have you Cali folk gotten exposure to the field without going through all that tech training? Is shadowing recommended? Or perhaps one of those internships at a drugstore?

Sorry for the million questions...if anything's a repeat, please just direct me to a link if possible. I appreciate any help possible. THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!!
:D
 

LECOMorBUST

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Feb 11, 2007
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  1. Pharmacy Student
Also, do you guys know if Pharm schools look at your undergrad institution and take that into account when looking at the grades you received?

Also, I'm looking at a few unaccredited schools (UCSD, specificaly) and wondering if 1. I'd have a shot and 2. WHy they don't require PCAT and 3. if going to an unaccredited school is going to be a bad ide (on the off chance that I'd even get in!) 4. Since no PCAT is required, does that mean research experience, extracurriculars, pharm tech experience is valued more?

Any pharmacy school that uses PharmCAS for its application process will require all regionally accredited undergraduate transcripts to calculate science, non-science, math, and overall GPAs. Prestige of undergraduate school should not be a factor, but we will in the real world.

Foregoing PCATs sounds like a strategy for newer pharmacy schools to attract a mass of hopefully qualified applicants. Let's face it, the PCAT is another standardized test to measure academic performance. It would seem to me, a more attractive and complete candidate would have the other non-academic experiences you listed.
 
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senzabee

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Jul 4, 2006
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  1. Pharmacy Student
As far as the PCAT, UCSD probably doesn't use the PCAT because UCSF doesn't. The California schools don't require it, which will make the adcoms look more towards your essays, extracurriculars, grades, and letters of recommendation. If you feel that you are less-than-adequate in those areas, I would apply to PCAT schools. Do well on the PCAT and that may make up for what you make lack or do average on in the other areas. Warning: in my opinion, you need to know your calculus pretty well in order to score well on the math section so study hard!

UPenn is a great school and it should help that you did pretty decent there, although for a non-science degree which may not help a whole lot. There are a lot of students who do their prereqs at CC's, but you should definitely do well and show them that you can handle tough science courses. Meanwhile, get some experience (volunteering or teching). Others can tell you the details about getting your license in California. Good luck!
 
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