Do you want to earn a Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) and build a rewarding career as a pharmacist? If you hope to pursue a PharmD, but you’re not sure what to expect or where to begin, this guide walks you through information about each stage of the process from researching schools to accepting an offer from a School of Pharmacy!
Start by learning how PharmD programs can differ and what type of program may be best for you. Consider things like program length, location, extracurricular activities, campus environment, prerequisite requirements, admissions requirements, financial aid options, and whether you might want to simultaneously pursue a second degree such as an MBA. After some initial research online, you can use the PharmCAS directory to find programs that match your interest. If you have a specific school in mind, you can also search that directory to learn more about that institution’s PharmD program. For example, on the South College School of Pharmacy PharmCAS page, you’ll find program details, contact information, deadlines, prerequisites, and more. Additional information is located on our Pharmacy website.
Once you select your top pharmacy schools, make sure you have a high-level understanding of their admissions requirements and process. From there, it’s time to start your application via PharmCAS, which provides a centralized service for applying to multiple Doctor of Pharmacy programs. This application can take up to 6 weeks to complete, so give yourself plenty of time.
Application requirements vary by school, but be prepared to submit a personal essay, recommendation letters, and details about any professional experience, extracurricular activities, and achievements. You’ll need to have past and current official transcripts sent to PharmCAS and to enter all courses taken into the application itself. Some schools require supplemental materials and test scores, although South College does not. Deadlines also vary, with South College traditionally accepting PharmD applications from mid-July through June 1.
After you submit your application, PharmCAS must verify the application, which can take up to 6 weeks. Once the application is verified, your chosen schools will receive your application. They may invite you to an interview, request additional information, put your application on hold until later in the application cycle, or decline the application. Each school differs, but, at South College, we generally contact the applicant within 5 business days of receiving the application.
Many schools usually conduct interviews on-campus, but virtual interviews are also common during COVID-19. Interviews allow schools to get to know you better and to assess your communication skills, professional interests and motivation, knowledge of the pharmacy field, and commitment to patient care. Additionally, the interview allows you to expand on details in the application, ask questions, and meet faculty and staff. Interviews can help both you and your interviewer decide whether a school is the right fit for you.
Getting an Admissions Offer
If you are found to be a strong candidate for the PharmD program, you will receive an admissions offer following your interview. The offer may include information about orientation, class start dates, and any deposit required to hold your seat. At South College, we accept applicants on a rolling basis, with the acceptance decision and notification made the week following an applicant’s interview. As with other parts of the process, acceptance timelines and notifications vary by school, so contact the school directly with any questions.