Dec 6, 2012
Hi I am new to this. I know I need a letter of recommendation for pharm school but I don't really know anything about them.

1. How does it work? Does the professor write it and give it to me or do they send it to the school? If they send it to the school, what if I'm not applying to a school yet? I don't think they won't remember me next semester if I ask later.

2. Can I just volunteer at a pharmacy and get a letter of recommendation from a pharmacist instead of a professor?

3. If a professor knows me but I don't talk to them that much but I am getting a good grade, should I ask them for one?
Oct 4, 2013
LOR are sent directly to pharmcas, the online application that sends your primary to all the schools. It should be generic, meaning that the letters should not address any one school in particular. Generally, you need 2-3 LOR, including at least 1 professor and 1 pharmacist. The last letter can be anything creditable( i.e. volunteer coordinator, employers,religious heads, etc...), but just no family members or friends. If you fear that your professor forgetting you, you can ask them to write a letter directly to you so that you can save it, and once you're about to apply, email the professor ahead of time to forward the letter to pharmcas and attach the LOR they wrote previously. Only they can attach the letter to your application. To answer your last question, is there time to get to know them? Perhaps stop by during their office during office hours. Usually professors are very hesitant about writing a letter about someone they don't know, but I feel if you can stop by their office and talk with them for a good hour, then they might be more willing. Timing is also important, like don't ask them for a LOR during midterms/finals weeks. If they are teaching a class the following semester, you could also ask them then also. That is what I did, and it works out great for me. Not only did I ask them during the beginning of the semester, when they aren't as busy, but by that time, they know my final scores in the class and can comment more on my academic success. Last thing, make sure you are prepared to have a back up in case they say no and to give them 3-4 weeks to write you letter. Oh, and bring a copy of your resume/CV/personal statement when you ask them, so that way they have more thing to talk about on the letter. Hope that helps!
Nov 19, 2013
Pharmacy Student
I agree with everything Confessa stated except the part about asking them to write a letter directly to you and saving it. I understand this may help with remembering who the student was, but I just personally don't think it's a good idea to see what your professor says about you.
When doing the letters through pharmcas, there is an area where you can "opt out" of seeing the letter of reference. Generally this is the way to go as it proves that you trust whoever is writing the letter for you. If you seriously need to see what the reference letter says, you are telling pharm schools that you are unsure of whoever wrote you a letter of recommendation, which looks bad.
Other than that, Confessa stated everything perfectly. Get to know the professor, ask questions in and out of class. You need to take initiative throughout the whole semester. It would not be a good idea to ask a professor to write you a letter when they barely remember your name.

Also getting a pharmacist recommendation letter is a MUST! I know many schools say its a "preference but not necessary" to get a pharmacist letter, it is one of the BEST recommendation letters you can get. Therefore, start shadowing, work as pharm tech, do anything to get to know some pharmacists!