Jk6will

10+ Year Member
Jan 7, 2009
3
0
0
Status
Pharmacy Student
Hey all,

I was just wondering exactly how important is to have undergrad research when applying to a PharmD program. Personally, I'm not all about it, and I'm not going to try and work in a lab unless it's really necessary for what I want to do.

I've heard sort of through the grape vine that as long as you do something productive with yourself, then it isn't a huge deal. Right now, I'm executive chairperson of an organization raising money for an absolutely enormous student-run philanthropy benefiting pediatric cancer. I'm also a trying to be a finance "captain" for the same philanthropy (I won't go into the politics, but a captain position warrants a large time commitment and responsibility).

So basically, if I have a good amount of volunteer work under my belt but not undergrad research, is that still ok? Like how much do schools look for you to be working in a research lab? Thanks everyone!
 

Monalyce

PharmD-to-be in 2013!
10+ Year Member
Mar 28, 2009
347
0
0
Minneapolis, MN
Status
Pharmacy Student
Undergrad research is not necessary and if you are not interested in it, don't bother. It is something that can set you apart if you take an active role but is not going to be more important that volunteering, leadership, and healthcare experience. You want to be able to speak passionately about what you spent your time on, with minimal items that were just "application booster" type items.

I do ask you one thing...recognize the importance of research to the profession. One of my classmates recently said "I hate research!" and I thought, hmmm. Your future profession would not exist if it were not for the brilliant scientists, pharmacists, physicians, and others performing the painstaking work of developing new drugs, figuring out how to use the drugs we already have, and how to achieve the best outcomes for patients. Basically, don't hate...appreciate!
 

Auriel619

7+ Year Member
May 29, 2009
90
7
151
Status
I worked in a research lab a state university for most of my Freshman year, and it was one of the most academically and professionally rewarding experiences I've ever had.
I'm not gonna lie, it wasn't the most fun but it paid well and I felt like I learned a great deal of lab techniques. The BEST part about lab work though, is the connections you make within the University. Because the Principle Investigator that I worked for used to be on the Admissions Committee for my University and was a frequent lecturer, I was able to secure a seat at my pharmacy school even though my stats were not as competitive as some of my friends.
In applying to several other pharm schools, my PI has been so helpful in writing letters and advising me on why some schools may be a better fit than the other.

Although it's not required for Pharm school, Undergrad research will yield so many academic and professional rewards that it's always preferable to working at some other retail/volunteering in a healthcare setting.
 

PharmEXP

Accepted Pharmacy Student
Nov 28, 2009
489
1
0
Tampa, FL
Status
Hey all,

I was just wondering exactly how important is to have undergrad research when applying to a PharmD program. Personally, I'm not all about it, and I'm not going to try and work in a lab unless it's really necessary for what I want to do.

I've heard sort of through the grape vine that as long as you do something productive with yourself, then it isn't a huge deal. Right now, I'm executive chairperson of an organization raising money for an absolutely enormous student-run philanthropy benefiting pediatric cancer. I'm also a trying to be a finance "captain" for the same philanthropy (I won't go into the politics, but a captain position warrants a large time commitment and responsibility).

So basically, if I have a good amount of volunteer work under my belt but not undergrad research, is that still ok? Like how much do schools look for you to be working in a research lab? Thanks everyone!
I never did any research and was not nearly as involved as you are and I was accepted to a top 10 program. I think it really depends on the school. Make sure you do your homework on the schools you are considering applying to. Generally, I think you will be fine (assuming your stats are decent).