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Should I apply early decision, or finish my pre-reqs?

Discussion in 'Pre-Pharmacy' started by Joleybear, Apr 8, 2018.

  1. Joleybear

    Classifieds Approved

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    So far I have a not so amazing GPA but that's stuck that way because I had a bad experience after a divorce where I had no sitter and ended up failing an entire semester.... it brought my transfer gpa so a 2.99 (at one point my GPA was close to a 4.0 but that didnt last with the abusive marriage I was in). Anyway my total is only around a 3.0 give or take change. It is higher at my current college (UIC) where I am in my third semester and will be doing my Fall semester. I will be taking a summer class at community college (Organic Chemistry I) and attempting to work part-time as a pharmacy tech for experience at the same time... I am a mom of 3 and my younger two are non-verbal with autism so I have no experience beforehand and it's difficult for me to fit it in everything. My older two also go to separate schools and we have no car... so anyway the point is we are roughing it and I am trying to figure this out now so I don't ruin my chances altogether. I am banking on Creighton's Distance Pathway because obviously with everything at home it is one of two options - the second being LECOM Florida, but we live a LOT closer to Creighton so it is ideal. I do have a C right now in Chemistry Lecture which sucks but the class average is so bad that really low scores are passing and otherwise, I have all As in Biology lecture, lab, chemistry lab and what I took before (some classes ended earlier/half semester). I may be able to bring it up to a B, hopefully. The teacher is quite brutal.

    Do you think I should cram to take the PCAT in July and apply early even if my Organic Chemistry courses/prerequisites won't be done until the end of the year?

    OR

    should I wait until I am done and possibly have a few more As on my recent record and apply at the beginning of 2019?

    Or maybe a third option see how I do on the PCAT and if I get a 90 or higher then apply early?


    Thanks for any advice.
     
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  3. BC_89

    2+ Year Member

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    Do NOT cram and do NOT apply early.

    This is a marathon not a sprint.

    You haven’t taken organic which is what would be on the PCAT so why not finish that up to increase your chances of getting a descent score? Also, compared to where your GPA was and what it’s looking like now is just a downward trend. Let admin know your life is back on track and by showing that get A’s in your sciences before trying to push forward quickly. After two semesters of orgo with some upper sciences then focus on PCAT.

    Get experience in a pharmacy and know this is worth your time. You just doing pharmacy as a means of passion or lucrative job? Realize your going in with high debt in a saturated market should you pull this off in the end. (despite what some say) pharmacy is not a cake walk with kids. If your struggling now with family your looking at 18-22 credits of sciences while trying to intern and maintain family obligations. Wish you well.
     
  4. Joleybear

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    The difference is Ill be able to do my work at home. I struggle mainly with going for exams and classes in person that don't allow me to pay a sitter so I need to depend on my parents who are elderly for help with the kids. If I had a source of income it would be way easier and I can figure it out once I need to but right now my kids are toddlers so it's a lot harder and I'm hoping it lightens by the time the end of Pharmacy school comes around. Thank you for the advice on the school application. I wasn't sure if it's better to show I'm dedicated to going to that school or to give it a few months and then apply in January of 2019 or a bit before if I can..
     
  5. FinallyOnTrack

    FinallyOnTrack Pharm.D Candidate

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    I applied when the only courses I needed to take were physics 1 w/ lab and Cal 1 - luckily for me they told me not to take physics and to pass my cal 1 class with at least a C.

    Mind you, this was during the interview - and I already completed Organic 1&2..

    I applied to just one school with early acceptance and I got in..

    Mind you, I took my PCAT way to early (before Organic and any of my math courses) I made a 42 composite on it.. I did discuss this with the school and they also agreed but seen a huge turn in my dedication / determination by my present grades versus my old grade (from 5+ years ago)..



    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  6. BlackDiamond277

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    Most schools will want to see your grade for at least Organic 1 before they will offer an interview because that class is a major "weed-out" course. I don't think it would be a good idea to try to cram everything and apply early.
     
    BidingMyTime likes this.
  7. Joleybear

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    I definitely have improved my grades... and I am aiming for a composite of 90 or higher. I MIGHT settle for 85 but I dont know. Im very much a perfectionist so I might now be ok with that.
     
  8. Joleybear

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    I'll be done with Orgo 1 by July. It's only 2 months long at the community college here. Im taking it there so I can also work and it saves me a full semester (I will be done with courses by the end of the year). So do you think it would be ok then if I take Orgo 1 plus the PCAT?
     
  9. BlackDiamond277

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    I think you could get into a pharmacy school with your GPA, I just don't know about Creighton. I heard that they have higher requirements for their distance students since it is more challenging to stay school-focused in that type of setting.

    In regards to the PCAT, take practice tests and make sure you've taken all the chemistry and biology courses you need to do well on them.
     
    Joleybear likes this.
  10. Joleybear

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    I'm hoping they take my situation into consideration as well as my PCAT score and it overrides my not so amazing GPA. I actually took most of my courses online as is. So I am familiar with it. I can't go to any other pharmacy school because I can't go in person 40hrs a week...
     
  11. Mom of 2

    2+ Year Member

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    Don’t even bother applying to Phrmacy school. Not because of your grades but because the market is so saturated. I graduated a few years ago and fortunately have a job but they are tough to com by everywhere. Look into another field. One with better hours, and job security. Quality of life after 12+ hour shifts in retail which are easier to get than hospital, still sucks. Hard field to do what you want and advance. If I hadnit to do over again i would go PA or dental or something else. Best of luck.
     
  12. BC_89

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    The thought is courages, but they already make-up there minds until the walls close in..deep inside I don’t believe it’s passion but a reinvention of gpa for most that leads them to the field...as for the rest..well...you know the story. These days I don’t fight it to hard anymore on caution/warnings I just give my basic advice on academic experience and let them move along.
     
  13. Joleybear

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    I dont have the time or money to be switching majors. I have 3 kids, 2 with disabilities and no car and am super low income and laready have $30,000+ in student loans... and no one to watch my kids.
     
  14. BC_89

    2+ Year Member

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    When you look at debt to income ratio after school, you still won’t have money. Your assuming average starting salaries with minimum 40 hour weeks. This is a struggle now and is only getting worse 6 years from now should you make it. Even if that was the case, your eagerness at the goal of higher salary will put your net worth less than a newborn child with your expected $300k+ debt accruing interest (with kids and no income while in school). Run the numbers and you’ll see.

    Anyway I know it won’t change your mind, so yes...get A’s in your Organic chem (take biochem you’ll have it in pharm school) and put your GPA as a priority. Get Dr Collins PCAT material AND online Kaplan material...this will 100% show you what will be on the PCAT. All the best
     
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  15. Joleybear

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    I know people in the field who have no problems here. I live in Chicago. So Im not sure what the issue is? but thank you...
     
  16. BC_89

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    I’m not talking about them I’m talking about you. Pharmacy has changed in the last decade tremendously. Just crunch your numbers and persue what you may. One thing you should know, whether you want to or not, should you earn that pharmD you will end up moving. Just keep an open mind. You picked this career for the money and though it’s understandable this isn’t the career to do that in. Good luck
     
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  17. Dr. Pill

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    Unbelievable. Chicago is one of, if not arguably the most saturated cities in the entire country. By the time you are done in 4 years it will only be worse. You think 30k sounds bad? That is nothing compared to what you will be in debt by the time this is all said and done. You have a chance now to listen to people who know better than you and get out while you still can. Switch now to pre-nursing if you want a job that will allow you to provide for your family. Prerequisites are very similar, you wont lose much if any time being as that it is a shorter program to complete.
     
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  18. Joleybear

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    I have no interest in nursing so thanks but no. Im not switching to a career I'd hate.
     
  19. Dr. Pill

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    Have you ever worked in a pharmacy?
     
  20. Saisri_PharmStdnt

    Saisri_PharmStdnt Class of 2023

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    Taking O-Chem over the summer, with it's lab is going to be very difficult considering you are also intending to try to get pharmacy tech experience at the same time. To be a pharmacy tech, you need to both pass the CPHT exam and get your license to do this.

    If Pharmacy school is definitely the path you want to take, then I would approach the next few classes you need very carefully. They were correct above where they said O-Chem is a weed out class. I personally would never have considered trying to cram that into a summer. If I were you, I'd do the Pharm tech this summer, take Ochem in the Fall, take the January PCAT, and apply while completing O-Chem II if those are your only classes left. That puts you in the mix for Fall of 2019, and in a better place academically.

    The other advice you received above is also sound, but it does depend on what you want to do. Ultimately, no one can tell you to stay on this path, or to choose another one. Their opinions, however, are a good reminder to think through your plan.

    I can tell you that there are other types of pharmacist jobs out there, not just retail. There are some that are clinical settings (i.e. working for Insurance, PBM, Specialty Pharmacies, Mail Order dispensaries, etc..) so while the market is saturated, you can stand out in other ways by how you want to focus your career. These are questions you'll need to know the answers to as you work on your essays for your admittance as well.

    I am also preparing to apply to Creighton's distance pathway. I just completed O Chem a few weeks ago, and I'll be taking O Chem II this fall. My goal is to retake the PCAT in July (I just want to improve some areas from not having taken O Chem yet - wanted to see what it was like) and apply for Early Decision for Fall 2019.

    If it puts it in perspective - I'm 42, married, 2 school age kids, and I've been working for a PBM for the better part of 15 years.
     
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  21. BidingMyTime

    BidingMyTime Lost Shaker Of Salt
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    Honestly, if you are getting a C in General Chemistry, I would consider another field (I know you don't want to, but you may not have a choice if you can't pass Organic Chemistry.) Organic Chemistry is indeed a "weed-out" class, and many, many people have to give up their dreams of working as a doctor or pharmacist, because they can't pass it. Getting a C in General Chemistry, which is the easiest chemistry you can take does not bode well. Pharmacy is a heavy chemistry major, you need to really enjoy and be able to excel in Chemistry.

    And the Chicago thing can't be stressed enough. There are SIX pharmacy schools in Chicago, and almost all of their graduates want to work in Chicago. Short of a miracle, you most assuredly will have to get a pharmacy job elsewhere, and then after you have experience, try to transfer to a pharmacy in Chicago. Pharmacies in Chicago do not hire new grads, because they don't have to, there will be a hundred applicants for the position that already have experience. And if they were going to hire new grads, they would hire them for UIC, because they are the longest and most respected pharmacy program in Illinois (in other words, employers have the most experience with their grads, and their grads have a good reputation.)

    I know you don't want to hear this, but it needs to be said. You have children who have special needs (which will take money for them to get good care), and going into thousands of dollars (hundreds of thousands of dollars?) into debt, when it's extremely unlikely you will ever be able to get a job in Chicago out of school, is a recipe for disaster.
     
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