Should I get a bachelor's degree?

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miss tiffany

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Jul 11, 2003
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I'm currently a rising senior in high school, and I was wondering if it's better (and easier as far as actually getting in) if you have a bachelor's degree when applying to pharmacy school??

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It's really up to you. I chose to get my BS, because if something happened and I didn't finish pharmacy school, I'd still have that degree.

A lot of schools seem to be heading towards having a bachelor's degree first. You really need to look at the schools you are thinking about attending and see what they require. Also, look at their stats of how many were admitted without their bachelors.

You could choose a 6-yr pharmD program right out of high school, too.
If you're serious about pharmacy as your future goal, I would definitely look into the 6-year PharmD. programs where you begin right out of h/s.
It's a lot easier to to get into pharmacy school from h/s than doing two years of uni and then applying as a transfer. This will save you the stress of going through the 2 years of uni, spending the extra tuition, writing the PCAT, and especially having to worry about geting into pharm. I know that there are several schools with 6 year programs like Albany, MCPHS, Rutgers, and one in Kansas and Ohio. I am sure that there are way more than that, but you check on the site for more.
Good luck.
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I didn't get one and I got into WVU SoP no problem. I had a below average GPA, to boot. What they really look for is a well-rounded individual. Get a decent GPA, a decent PCAT score, and some real-life experience as a tech (cannot stress how overlooked that is) and you'll be accepted B.S.-less without a sweat.

If you want specifics:

Hours: 78 (that's roughly two years of college) ; no degree.
GPA: 3.28
Science GPA: 3.30 (don't ask)
PCAT: 83
It really depends on where you apply. I know in California it is rather difficult to get accepted without a degree especially to UCSF, UCSD and USC.

USC has a 7-year program; UCSD is also developing a similar program. However, I think UCSD, UCSF and USC are trying to fade out accepting students without a degree. As admission to pharmacy schools becomes more competitive, it is harder to get accepted without a degree.
Getting a BS or not before applying for PharmD program is pretty much indivituals' decisions. It's true that the more people apply, the more competetive you are with a BS in your hand.

However, if you decide not to get a BS, then you should have a good GPA plus work experience to ensure a spot...

Best luck,
My personal opinion regarding this question is that one must determine his or her priorities first. If he/she desires to get out into the workforce as soon as possible, then one should pursue going for two years. In those two years, decent GPA, volunteer, and extracurricular activites/pharm. job should be maintained. If you can do well in with your GPA and fortify that understanding with a high score on the PCAT in all areas, then this will leave little doubt in the school's mind regarding your academic abilities. Mix this with a pharm. tech license, I don't see how you wouldn't get in.

Also, take into account that in four years, the competition for getting into pharm. school will be even greater than today. I can see more people pursuing bach. degrees then to get in. However, most people with bach. degree don't hold 3.8, 3.9 gpa's. But if you work hard in those two years and take a full load of courses each quarter/semester and get A's, then in my opinion, you should get preference over the bach. degree holder because you were able to accomplish the task in a shorter duration with greater success than a bach. degree holder would.
There are many schools that will accept students w/o having a BS/BA first as long as their pre-recs are complete. I started pharm school after my soph. year as well w/o a problem (KU and I don't believe they have a specific 6 year program). I think, a major reason many have degrees before starting pharm school is that most do not know directly out of high school that s/he wants to go to pharm school. This being said, if one takes a year or 2 in college to decide, it will take a person a min of 2 years to knock out the pre-recs if they have not started any while they were trying to decide what they wanted to major in. So in summary, a BS will only help if you are a less than stellar candidate, but by no means is it necessary.
Some schools offer a dual Pharm.D/BS degree. You take 2-3 years of pre-reqs, and then Pharmacy school satisfies the rest of your BS degree. From what I understand this is not like the dual BS/MD degree where you have guaranteed admission to the program. You apply during your second or third year of college and then complete you bachelor's degree while your in Pharm. School. It shaves a one or two years off, but you still get your bachelor's degree.
I have to concur with BMBiology, I would recommend getting the BS unless you're utterly confident and do very well. UCSF's incoming class is consistencly 95% BS students the numbers are similar for the other upper tier Cali schools. I know one of the students who was accepted to ucsf w/o a bs and she was off-the-charts as far as academics. You're not going to be able to get a tech license before you apply bc you won't have an aa or bs. that makes the path more arduous.

You could always give it a shot and if it doesn't work out that way finish your BS. I can only say that your bachelors degree is important in ways that can't just be quantified by how it enhances your ability to be accepted into pharm school. You get an incredible amt out of undergrad life skills, humanities skills, and learning who you are skills. If you're that sure you want to go into pharmacy then you should do it, but that tells me that you are the type that would want to attend a really good pharm school and those are no walk in the park to get into. A solid app has a lot of components that each take time.

You sound like you will make a great pharmd, so I say this not bc i don't have faith, but bc you're at an early enough point that you can still completely design a plan, while many of us had to develop one after taking a lot of courses or doing a lot of superfluous garbage. Use that jump start wisely.
It really comes down to WHERE you want to go to pharmacy school. Most California schools are quite competitive, and you would be at a distinct disadvantage if you did not pursue a baccalaureate degree. If you desire to attend a school back east, quite a few (as mentioned in previous posts) have 2+4 programs where you take your 2 years of prepharm courses at the school, and if you maintain some minimum GPA at the end of your second year, you are guaranteed a seat in the professional program. Drake University in Iowa is one such program.
KU and I don't believe they have a specific 6 year program
Nope, they don't. You can't enter their pharm school straight out of high school. Chunkyb may have been thinking of the University of Missouri - Kansas City.