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When do I apply?

Discussion in 'Pre-Pharmacy' started by markk122, Mar 8, 2007.

  1. markk122

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    I am currently a freshman biochemistry major and am planning on applying to a few pharmacy schools. I know I should apply early but when is early? Obviously next year sometime, but in the spring? the fall - after another semester? I would idealy like to complete my per-requisits in two years. So when should I apply?
     
  2. cycloketocaine

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    When are you eligible to apply? When will you have your pre reqs completed? If the answer to that is Fall 08, then the PharmCAS (most schools use it) system opens June 1. I would apply ASAP after that deadline, especially to the rolling admission schools. If the schools that you are interested in don't use rolling, then you can turn it in on the deadline date, and still have as good a chance as any at getting in. Also, take your PCAT ASAP. That way, if you don't do well, you can take it again soon enough that schools won't be full when they get your second set of scores. Hope this helps.
     
  3. KUMoose

    KUMoose Grumpy old man
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    Have your application, all admissions/PharmCAS essays and more importantly your letters of recs done in March or April, so when PharmCAS opens 1 JUN (I think that's the day) you can submit all your base information.

    While you don't have to submit the same day, the sooner the better. That generally allows you to get the additional application done well before the ED deadline.

    If PharmCAS hasn't changed their morbidly stupid system, you still can only do one ED site, so chose wisely; I would go so far as to make sure you have a personal report with the admissions dean/committee at that school.
     
  4. OP
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    markk122

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    Should I do all of this by June 1, 2007 (this year) or do I not have to worry about this until next year? Sorry, I'm so confused. Why would I apply this year when I havnt even taken organic yet? And wouldnt it kind of be pointless to take the PCAT and not taken organic yet?
     
  5. cycloketocaine

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    If you are going to enter in 08, then yes, you apply in 07. And, about the organic, If you know some basic nomenclature, reactions, and functional groups, you should be fine. That stuff is taught in the very first part of Organic. I also learned some in Chem II. I think it's possible to get a good score without Orgo, but that's just me. I'd get a good, small, basic Orgo study guide and look over it.
     
  6. KUMoose

    KUMoose Grumpy old man
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    You apply in June for the following academic year. If you applied this June (i.e. 07) that means you'd have your pre-reqs done and ready to start classes in August of 08.

    It depends, the PCAT really tests only Organic 1 material and most of it is something you could probably drill into your head.

    THAT BEING SAID, I would look to take three years of classes (including BioChem, separate Physiology and Anatomy) if you are looking at going to a school that's not strictly retail oriented. Get the grades and give yourself time to do research, work (preferably in the field) and volunteer. Not to mention, build up a little fiscal cushion if you aren't getting family help on tuition. ;)
     
  7. Farmercyst

    Farmercyst From the shadows
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    The application for Fall 2008 is available June 2007 (this June). So if you think you'll be able to finish all the prereqs by June/July 2008, then start/finish your application June 2007. That way you'll finish your prereqs June 2008 and start your P1 year Aug 2008. If you don't know your professors well enough to get good LORs start getting to know them now. PharmCAS prefers electronic LORs so if you send the request to your profs in June (after school's out and grades are in) you can usually expect a fairly quick response and hopefully a completed application by July. (Including most recent transcripts, LORs, Personal Statement, etc) The PCAT will probably be the last thing received for PharmCAS if you plan it right.
     
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  8. OP
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    markk122

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    Thanks, do you know of any sites or links that explain what PharCAS is and what I need/how to use it. I dont have a clue and am a little overwhelmed at the moment. I didnt expect that I need to apply already. When do schools start excepting people, and once I apply, can I "update" my application.
     
  9. Farmercyst

    Farmercyst From the shadows
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    The PharmCAS website explains it best. pharmcas.org. You can read the FAQs and application instructions. They are very informative, but also very boring. It should be helpful if you've never seen pharmcas before.
     
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  10. nerv12345

    nerv12345 ...
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    does the pharmcas website tell us which schools are rolling and which aren't?

    btw hello everyone! first time posting here...been a lurker for a while :]
     
  11. Idesiretosling

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    http://www.aacp.org/site/page.asp?TrackID=&VID=1&CID=29&DID=3022

    That website is your key to tons of great information about Pharmacies schools, admission statistics and links to most schools websites.

    On the same site there is also this great little program to let you search all the pharmacy schools in the US for what you are looking for based on, tuition, 3year or 4 year programs, and whether or not they require the PCAT.

    http://www.aacp.org/issi/membership/survey_psar.asp?CID=104&TrackID=&TrackID&TrackID=

    I hope this helps, good luck with the admissions process, at times it may seem grueling and long with lots of waiting but it is all worth it when you get that acceptance letter. Keep working hard and get started on applying as early as possible. Give your recommendation writers a good amount of time to finish their letters and order transcripts early. Any other questions, just keep posting and someone will help you out.:D
     
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  12. omnione

    omnione SDN Pharmoderator
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    Since PharmCAS has the benefit of allowing your professors to upload their letters, request letters of recommendations from them before PharmCAS opens. That way, there will be no delays as professors are busy too. If you work hard, then getting the applications done on the first days of the applications will greatly increase your chances for acceptances!:)

    As for the PCAT, the ideal testing date really depends on a couple of factors. You want to take the test early enough so that there are no delays in your application, but you also want to take the test when you are fully prepared too. I agree that the ideal time is after you've taken all your prerequisites for pharmacy school. But, you also want to allow enough time to practice and review old material too.
     
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  13. nerv12345

    nerv12345 ...
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    i thought schools give you essay topics as soon as applications are available--is that not the case? are they available earlier?

    also...i will be applying next fall (for the fall 08 year)...but i'm planning on taking the pcat in october (or around then...not too sure when it's offered). what are your thoughts on that (in terms of acceptance,etc)? i know it's a bit late..and i'm not ready for june so that's out of the question
     
  14. omnione

    omnione SDN Pharmoderator
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    I would take it in August of this year if you plan on applying for Fall 2008 admission. That way, you can try to mold your schedule around PCAT study during the summer. Doing the PCAT in October won't kill your chances totally, but you are behind the figurative eight-ball for rolling admissions schools with early deadlines. However, I took my PCAT in October and finished my PharmCAS late in the admissions process. Still, I have already interviewed at three schools with another interview coming.:)

    BTW,you may be wondering why you should listen to advice from a guy who procrastinated during the admissions process. I'm not suggesting what you should do because I know what to do per se. I'm suggesting what you should do because I know first-hand what NOT to do when applying to pharmacy schools.:D
     
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  15. nerv12345

    nerv12345 ...
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    oneee more question about rolling admissions:

    i will be applying to a couple of schools with rolling admissions...but my finals don't end until June 6th (which means grades won't come out for another 7-10 days at LEAST). can i still apply on june 1st or do i need to wait till my spring quarter grades come out and then apply?

    also...can someone clarify the question i had earlier about essays?
     
  16. omnione

    omnione SDN Pharmoderator
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    You can send in your application. It just won't be considered complete until you've sent PharmCAS your spring grades. Though we've all implied that you should apply as early as possible, many people still procrastinate. So, you're still ahead of many people if you get it in sometime in July.;)
     
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  17. Farmercyst

    Farmercyst From the shadows
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    Anyone can feel free to correct me, but since application opens June 1 and the 1st PharmCAS deadline is 11/1 I'd say anything before 9/15 would be considered early.

    In terms of essay questions. The guidelines for the Personal Statement are pretty much set in Jell-O. You may have some ability to change the contents, but the basics are pretty much always there. You can start writing the PS whenever and then just adjust it if PharmCAS adds anything specific AACP wants to see.

    Your supplemental applications change more frequently (in terms of essay questions) and are usually available from PharmCAS schools about the same time as the PharmCAS open (6/1-6/15ish) So you can't really start working on Supplementals before 6/1 like you can with the PharmCAS application, which is mostly unchanged from year to year.

    If you want you can take a look at some of the interview questions in the forums and write down sample answers. I've noticed some of the essay questions at one school are essay questions on supplemental forms for others.

    Why Pharmacy?
    Tell me about yourself?
    How have you prepared yourself for a career in Pharmacy?
    Are there any deficiencies in your academic history you'd like to explain? (various wordings on this one)

    There are several others. I found the more supplemental applications I filled out the better I became at thinking in terms of promoting myself and finding those unique qualities that make me more competitive. Answering these questions early may make filling the supplementals out less time consuming. (Though no less thought provoking)

    Non-PharmCAS schools have variable application cycles. Usually the individual school will post a few months in advance when their next application cycle begins and when the applications will be available. I would think most would fall in the June to August range, but I'm really only familiar with the schools I applied to.
     
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  18. rx27563

    rx27563 Hopefully 08'
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    ok im taking some classes over this summer (general chem I and II) and my grades wont be final until july 29th. so that means another 7-10 days ill have to wait for my transcripts to be recieved + processed by pharmcas..so should i go ahead and submit my app in june? the only prereq i have left is speech and micro. and thats only for Wingate. I have completed all other prereqs for my other schools....would it look bad if i send the app then an update? im confused. :(
     
  19. omnione

    omnione SDN Pharmoderator
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    If you apply early, Wingate probably would figure that you could get your prereqs done before you start school there if applicable. But you should call the school and find out as every person's situation is different.

    PharmCAS has an Academic Update that is required for most applicants where you have to update your application to include your fall grades. So, I would still apply and then update.
     
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  20. Farmercyst

    Farmercyst From the shadows
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    If it helps at all, consider PharmCAS has an academic update window from ~12/15-2/1 where you sit down and update your summer/fall classes with grades received and your prospective winter/spring classes due to scheduling conflicts, etc. So in terms of having to send in updates, it's not only normal it's pretty much expected.

    If you want to wait for your summer grades to be received before you submit the application, you can. Just remember every day you wait is another application or 3 that your school of choice received before yours. They'll see your grades soon enough. Unless you need those grades in there to boost your GPA, show an increasing GPA trend, or something of that nature, waiting is usually not best if it can be avoided.
     
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  21. rx27563

    rx27563 Hopefully 08'
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    well i do want to increase my GPA im re-taking the general chem's i made C's in along with two other 3 hour classes...this could help me out tremendously b/c my gpa is hovering around 3.0. im just scared to submit the grades early b/c i fear the school will just reject me and not care about what i did in the summer and fall. ??? do they make decisions this early? i really cant stand pharmcas already.
     
  22. nerv12345

    nerv12345 ...
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    so what you guys are saying is just ignore the classes we're taking as we apply (since it would delay the application process) and once we get the grades we should update?

    is that the case for the PCAT too? i'm planning to take it in august..can i not apply until i get my pcat scores? what about schools that don't require the PCAT but favor people that send the scores in (USC)?

    i'm pretty much done with most of my prerequisites but i still have to take biochemistry and i think one other class. i know in high school as long as you told them what you were taking after you applied, they would consider you equally. is that the case for pharmacy school or do i have to take biochem ASAP and update my app?

    on a side note: do most schools consider your cumulative GPA or your science GPA? my science GPA is higher than my cumulative. will that be in my favor?
     
  23. beccala33

    beccala33 Senior Member
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    You can apply to Wingate before you finish (I did) as long as you complete the classes before the end of spring semester. Submit. Definitely.
     
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  24. omnione

    omnione SDN Pharmoderator
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    PharmCAS allows you to enter in courses that are in progress and courses that you plan to take. So, I would enter in those courses to show the admissions committees that you plan to take your final prereqs before admission. I don't think that's a problem with pharmacy schools.

    You can apply through PharmCAS before taking your PCAT. If this is your first time taking the PCAT, then schools won't do their preliminary review until they get your PCAT scores. So, you could wait until August to start your PharmCAS application since it'll take at least six weeks after your PCAT before schools review your application anyway, but it's best to get it out of the way during the summer.;)

    Many schools consider both your science and cumulative GPAs though different schools weigh their considerations differently. I would look on each schools' website for that information. Some schools, like Florida, focus on your prereq GPA more than the overall science GPA and cumulative but I doubt they totally ignore the rest of your work.
     
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  25. terse

    terse Senior Member
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    You guys have been very informative, thanks. As far as LOR's, where would we get prof/pharmacists to send the letters if getting them to write the letters before June 1st?

    So on June 1st, that's when pharmcas opens and allows us to set up an application account right? So we'd only be able to get prof/pharms to send the letters AFTER June 1st?
     
  26. omnione

    omnione SDN Pharmoderator
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    Yup...

    Even though pre-professional advisers like to make us paranoid in order to apply early, your chances for admission aren't going to be vastly different if you finish your application in July versus June (aside from early admissions of course)
     
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  27. Louisiana Girl

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    Is there an August date for the PCAT because I always hear about the June one, but is there an August one too?
     
  28. nerv12345

    nerv12345 ...
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    upcoming test dates:
    june 23rd, 07
    august 25th, 07
    october 20th, 07
    january 19th, 08
     

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