Pharmacists are the health professionals that distribute medication and information to patients in a wide variety of settings. Some pharmacists actually mix the ingredients—a process called compounding—for patients in collaboration with the patients’ physicians.
The Pre-Pharmacy Program serves students from any science major who are interested in pursuing a career as a pharmacist. The program ensures that students have access to the courses they need (over a 4 year time period) to meet their pre-professional requirements as well as providing support and guidance along the way.
Pharmacy Graduate Programs are highly competitive and give preference to applicants who have demonstrated academic excellence in all course work, particularly the core biology, chemistry and physics courses. Competitive GPAs for application are 3.5 or greater. Applicants must also provide competitive admissions test scores on the Pharmacy College Admission Test (PCAT) and should be able to demonstrate a long-term, growing commitment to serving others. As an active participant in the Pre-Pharmacy Program, you will learn to balance a rigorous academic schedule with meaningful extracurricular activities.
Individual, Supportive Education
Many of our graduates have had remarkable success in applying to post-undergraduate professional schools, largely due to our supportive environment and individualized approach to education. Most of the upper-level science courses you take will have no more than 20 students, so you and your professors will get to know each other well. Most of our introductory science courses have fewer than 30 students. Our labs that accompany courses have faculty as instructors and fewer than 16 students. We encourage you to get involved with the Pre-Health Professions Club as early as possible, so you can take advantage of events and activities, and gain a sense of belonging to Maryville’s Pre-Health Professions community.
Dedicated, Comprehensive Advising
Maryville students planning to apply to a pharmacy graduate program are guided in their preparation by the Pre-Health Professions advisor, Dr. Jason Telford, and the Pre-Health Professions Advisory Committee. The Advisory Committee usually consists of the Pre-Health Advisor, three additional science faculty members spanning the disciplines, a Psychology faculty member, an English faculty member, and someone with a degree in the health professions.
- Information about pharmacy programs and careers
- Introduction to admissions requirements for pharmacy schools
- The opportunity to conduct undergraduate research in the sciences
- Assistance identifying shadowing and volunteer opportunities
- Evaluation of whether your course mix, GPA, and volunteer work are competitive for schools you’re considering
- Letters of recommendation to pharmacy schools
- Help preparing for admissions interviews
We encourage you to make an initial appointment with the Pre-Health advisor during your first semester at Maryville to make sure that the process of applying to a pharmacy program isn’t overwhelming.
Sophomore Review Process
During the spring semester of the sophomore year, students are invited to go through a sophomore review process. The process is explained to the students in the fall of the sophomore year. Students will be required to assemble an application with materials similar to those required for many pharmacy program admissions. The Pre-Health Professions Advisory Committee will review the students’ applications prior to conducting formal interviews with all applicants.
Students going through the sophomore review process will receive feedback from the committee with recommendations for strengthening their application before the start of their junior year. Students that follow the committee recommendations may request a Committee Letter of Recommendation when applying to pharmacy schools. (The Pre-Health Professions Advisory Committee will not write letters of recommendation for students that did not go through the sophomore review process.)
This process, during the sophomore year, allows us to provide feedback to students on ways to strengthen their application materials, life-experiences, academic success and course selection, etc. while they still have time to make the improvements—prior to application to a pharmacy program.
Pharmacy Graduate Programs
While no one major is prescribed for admission to pharmacy programs, you should build a strong foundation in biological and natural sciences.
Regardless of the major you choose, your course load should be challenging and well-rounded. We also strongly recommend volunteering at a local pharmacy to gain practical experience and exposure to the pharmacy profession. The ideal pharmacist has an in-depth and up-to-date knowledge of medicine, understands the nuances of society, and can communicate well.
There is no universal curriculum recommended for pharmacy school applicants, but most schools want to see that you’ve completed the following courses:
- General Biology I & II
- General Chemistry I & II
- Organic Chemistry I & II
- Physics I & II
- English Composition: Theme Writing
- English Composition: The Essay
- Psychology or Sociology
- Additional electives to total a minimum of 60 credits by the time of application
It is important to learn early the specific application requirements for the program (or programs) in which you are interested in applying. Most programs have application deadlines between November and March of the year prior to commencing study.
Most programs take four years to complete, but there are some three-year programs that are year-round programs.
Pharmacists work in hospitals, clinics, retail drug stores, and some long-term care facilities. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that employment of physician assistants will grow 17 percent from 2008 through 2018.
We typically recommend majoring in biochemistry, biology, or chemistry. Pre-Pharmacy is a program of study, not a major at Maryville University.
If you’re interested in joining our Pre-Pharmacy program, you need to meet the general admissions requirements for the University. Specific requirements will be defined by the major you choose.
For more information
Dr. Jason Telford, Assistant Professor of Chemistry
Office: ABAC 3208
Phone: 314 529 9432