Jan 17, 2010
64
1
0
Status
Pre-Pharmacy
Hey all,

I'm planning on taking the pre-reqs I have remaining (39 credits) over the next 3 years, as I am going to be working full-time while I go back to school initially until I get into pharmacy school.

I found a local community college that has a pre-pharmacy curriculum posted for the school I'd like to attend, so I'm thinking I would take 16 credits for 2010-2011, 16 credits 2011-2012, and the remaining 7 credits 2012-2013 so I have time to study for the PCAT and work at a local retail pharmacy (although I worked as a CPhT from 2004-2006, I'd like the recent experience on my application).

Does this sound like an OK plan or will pharmacy schools frown upon taking this long to finish up pre-reqs? If it makes a difference, I already have a B.S. (3.38 GPA) and an MBA (3.9 GPA) so I can clearly handle upper-level coursework. The issue is me trying not to get overwhelmed with handling pre-reqs and my full-time job.

Thanks!
 

rxlea

Almost a unicorn
Moderator Emeritus
7+ Year Member
Aug 9, 2009
13,248
198
181
Status
Pharmacist
Hey all,

I'm planning on taking the pre-reqs I have remaining (39 credits) over the next 3 years, as I am going to be working full-time while I go back to school initially until I get into pharmacy school.

I found a local community college that has a pre-pharmacy curriculum posted for the school I'd like to attend, so I'm thinking I would take 16 credits for 2010-2011, 16 credits 2011-2012, and the remaining 7 credits 2012-2013 so I have time to study for the PCAT and work at a local retail pharmacy (although I worked as a CPhT from 2004-2006, I'd like the recent experience on my application).

Does this sound like an OK plan or will pharmacy schools frown upon taking this long to finish up pre-reqs? If it makes a difference, I already have a B.S. (3.38 GPA) and an MBA (3.9 GPA) so I can clearly handle upper-level coursework. The issue is me trying not to get overwhelmed with handling pre-reqs and my full-time job.

Thanks!
It took me 3 years after I graduated to finish all my pre-reqs (I only took a few during undergrad). I had considerable tech experience (>5 years by the time I applied) and it seems you will, too. With your GPA and and the fact that you have a Bachelors and a masters, you will be just fine. Don't sweat it at all. Take what you can. Schools definitely take into consideration how much you work while going to school. I would, however, suggest doing a little volunteering here and there (doesn't have to be too involved). Another thing: make sure the school you are interested in doesn't prefer credits from a 4 year institution. Many people on here will debate whether or not CC credits = University credits. I say it totally depends on the school. I still got accepted to a school that "prefers" university credits and, like I said, I did most of my pre-reqs at CC. I also didn't have as high of a cGPA as you (according to PharmCAS). Sometimes I think having a lot of work and life experience helps to balance out other factors.
 

weetzie00

5+ Year Member
Jun 25, 2009
290
1
91
Status
Pharmacist
I think you'll be fine. I graduated with a BS in 2007 and have been working full-time as a tech since then. While I was working I took the PCAT and took a few additional pre-reqs that I couldn't fit in during undergrad. I had no problems with applying. As long as you do well, I don't see why that would be a problem. Pre-reqs take 2-3 years for most students anyway. Good luck.
 
Jan 17, 2010
64
1
0
Status
Pre-Pharmacy
Does it matter that my current full-time job (that I will stay with for the next 3 years) has absolutely nothing to do with pharmacy? I cannot afford to quit before pharmacy school, so leaving isn't really an option.

The school I'd like to attend (University of Illinois Chicago) listed my local community college's curriculum for pre-pharmacy coursework on their website so I'd assume that it would be OK as long as my GPA is stellar. I am going to plan on calling UIC just to make sure though.
 

ArkansasRanger

10+ Year Member
Feb 9, 2009
1,504
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Pre-Medical
I wish I could find a school close by (heck even anywhere in Arkansas) that offered the prereq courses I need on nights and/or evenings. Good luck finding organic chemistry and physics at night here. If I could do that I wouldn't be quitting my job and starting school May 25. Aside from calculus, I've got all the other stuff.
 

PharmEXP

Accepted Pharmacy Student
Nov 28, 2009
489
1
0
Tampa, FL
Status
Does it matter that my current full-time job (that I will stay with for the next 3 years) has absolutely nothing to do with pharmacy? I cannot afford to quit before pharmacy school, so leaving isn't really an option.

The school I'd like to attend (University of Illinois Chicago) listed my local community college's curriculum for pre-pharmacy coursework on their website so I'd assume that it would be OK as long as my GPA is stellar. I am going to plan on calling UIC just to make sure though.
IMO, I don't think that your non-pharmacy job will hinder your chances of getting into pharmacy school. If anything, I believe it would be a good thing that you are working. It'll look good on your app. However, with that being said, I would recommend, as rxlea eluded to earlier, either volunteering or shadowing a pharmacist whenever you have some free time. Also, if it were me, I would probably quit that job once I got accepted into pharmacy school and pursue a job as an intern. I don't know your financial status so that is a judgement call on your part.

As far as the community college goes, it sounds to me like UIC is fine with applicants completing their pre-req's at a CC. It's always good policy to contact the institution if you are ever in doubt. I know when I interviewed at UF, there were a handful of applicants who had completed their pre-req's at the local community college and got accepted. So I think you will be fine :thumbup:
 
B

BelleMD2B

IMO, I don't think that your non-pharmacy job will hinder your chances of getting into pharmacy school. If anything, I believe it would be a good thing that you are working. It'll look good on your app. However, with that being said, I would recommend, as rxlea eluded to earlier, either volunteering or shadowing a pharmacist whenever you have some free time. Also, if it were me, I would probably quit that job once I got accepted into pharmacy school and pursue a job as an intern. I don't know your financial status so that is a judgement call on your part.

:
Why quit the job after getting accepted into pharmacy school to work as an intern?

If anything, KEEP your job and make as much money as you can before starting school with all the loans. If you've already been accepted, there is no need to drastically change anything about your lifestyle - at that point, you're into pharm school.
 

PharmEXP

Accepted Pharmacy Student
Nov 28, 2009
489
1
0
Tampa, FL
Status
Why quit the job after getting accepted into pharmacy school to work as an intern?

If anything, KEEP your job and make as much money as you can before starting school with all the loans. If you've already been accepted, there is no need to drastically change anything about your lifestyle - at that point, you're into pharm school.
It's all about personal preference. By working in the field (clinical, hospital, retail, etc.), you have the opportunity to network and potentially open up career opportunities for the future, while still getting paid (obviously the pay is insignificant, but still something). Also, if he/she works retail, some chains offer student assistance programs where the company you work for will pay off the majority of school tuition so, by the time one graduates, the student will have little to no debt at all (as long as you commit to that company for x number of years). Like I said... that's what I WOULD DO IF IT WERE ME. The OP can decide whatever is beneficial to him/her and their family.
 
B

BelleMD2B

^^^Very true. All about personal preference. As a working adult with a family, I would keep my options open, not get locked into retail and use the next four years as they were intended. But that's me :)

OP, I just came from an open house at Jefferson this weekend for the Pharmacy School. Every school is different, and they will look at each applicant separately, but they approve CC credits the same as uni.

Also, if anything (depending on the current sector in which you work) it can be a plus. It will add diversity to the class. I am coming from a hedge fund, and that is a plus for my application. Good grades, coming from a different sector (as long as you can clearly articulate why you want the switch), along with life experience (and a great PCAT score :xf:) = a great application with a slight edge!!

That has been the feedback I have gotten from Jefferson and UNC. A place like UMd won't give it as much weight.
 
Jan 17, 2010
64
1
0
Status
Pre-Pharmacy
Thanks for the responses. Makes me feel a bit better about spending all this cash to go back to school.

I'm single (newly divorced) and have wanted to do this for a long time - finally got the guts to go for it now that I've lost the loser ex-husband. :) I currently work as an auditor in the federal government - I'm planning on keeping this job until I start the four years of pharmacy school, which by then I will have enough in my savings account to cover my living expenses (rent, car pmt, insurance, food) for 4 years. I do plan on working some retail pharmacy during the 2012-2013 summer/fall/spring to get experience and letters of recommendation, and if I'm able to, continue the retail work during pharmacy school on a limited basis.

I also contacted UIC and they stated that they do not have any requirements that courses be completed at a four-year university, and community college is fine as long as GPA meets standards and follows the pre-pharmacy coursework guidelines listed on their website.
 

PharmEXP

Accepted Pharmacy Student
Nov 28, 2009
489
1
0
Tampa, FL
Status
Thanks for the responses. Makes me feel a bit better about spending all this cash to go back to school.

I'm single (newly divorced) and have wanted to do this for a long time - finally got the guts to go for it now that I've lost the loser ex-husband. :) I currently work as an auditor in the federal government - I'm planning on keeping this job until I start the four years of pharmacy school, which by then I will have enough in my savings account to cover my living expenses (rent, car pmt, insurance, food) for 4 years. I do plan on working some retail pharmacy during the 2012-2013 summer/fall/spring to get experience and letters of recommendation, and if I'm able to, continue the retail work during pharmacy school on a limited basis.

I also contacted UIC and they stated that they do not have any requirements that courses be completed at a four-year university, and community college is fine as long as GPA meets standards and follows the pre-pharmacy coursework guidelines listed on their website.
:thumbup: