At UGA Pharmacy, we are committed to educating highly skilled pharmacy students in a welcoming and supportive environment. We’ve created this blog to help future Pharm.D. applicants, or anyone considering a career in pharmacy, navigate what it takes to become our newest PharmDawg!
These posts are here to guide you through pieces of the application process. Can’t find the answer or topic you’re looking for? Just send us an email at email@example.com, and we’ll be there to personally answer each of your questions.
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Preparing Your Application
APPLY EARLY! It is best to submit your application as early as possible. The UGA College of Pharmacy has a priority deadline of November 1, 2021. Applicants who have fully submitted their applications by this date will have priority consideration for 2+2 campus selection and scholarships. In addition, remember that we admit students on a rolling basis, and it might be possible to fill all our seats before the final application deadline in May 2022!
Before you start to fill out your PharmCAS and UGA Supplemental applications, gather all of your relevant material, including your college transcripts (from each institution you attended), your AP or IP scores, your PCAT scores (if applicable), and even a resume or CV with your work and leadership experience. It is helpful to have all of this gathered before you fill out the application, so you don’t have to hunt it down later.
After you have thoroughly filled out the PharmCAS application, review your work. Proofread your application before you hit submit, especially for the written components like the personal statement. Sometimes, it helps to read it out loud so you can catch spelling and grammar mistakes. You could even have a friend or mentor proofread it. Make sure to use the PharmCAS Checklist to ensure you’ve completed all the steps of the application process.
And don’t forget to fill out the UGA Supplemental Application as well! This is a secondary application for UGA, and it required to be completed for your application to be considered.
Leadership & Involvement
Pharmacists are leaders in the community and in healthcare, so strong candidates to the pharmacy program also have some leadership experience. Your involvement may be through student organizations, employment, or community volunteering.
Student organizations are great ways to get involved on campus and to develop leadership abilities. Find organizations that match or your personal or professional interests. We like to say “quality over quantity”; instead of being involved in 10 different organizations and attending meetings and events, pick a few that you are most passionate about, and get more involved within those organizations.
Looking for ideas? Why not join your school’s Pre-Pharmacy organization. If they don’t have one yet, you can start it! Pre-Pharmacy groups help you learn more about pharmacy school and careers, connect you to resources, and build up your professional network.
Pharmacists are important pillars in the community in which they work, so community involvement and volunteering are also great ways to build up your experience. Need ideas? Find an organization that matches your interests, join a service organization on campus, volunteer with a local faith-based group, or donate your time to a health fair in the community.
Don’t forget your work experiences, too! Each job you’ve had has helped you gain more experience and develop more skills. Focus on how those skills are transferrable to a career in pharmacy.
If you are considering a career as a Pharmacist, you may want to get some experience in the field before applying to pharmacy school. While previous pharmacy experience is not required for admission into the Doctor of Pharmacy program, it is strongly recommended. This type of practical, hands-on experience in a pharmacy can help you determine if the career is a good fit for your skills and interests.
There are a few ways you can get experience in pharmacy or in healthcare settings, such as working as a licensed or certified pharmacy technician, volunteering in clinics or hospitals, or shadowing a pharmacist or other healthcare worker. Some of these opportunities might be difficult to find, but are so worth it!
Another way to learn more about pharmacy is to do research about different careers pathways. There are several resources to help you learn more about careers in pharmacy:
- Read more about different pharmacy career paths: APhA Career Option Profiles.
- Determine what types of pharmacy work most suit your interests and personality with the APhA Career Pathway Survey.
- Pharmacy Is Right For Me also has some great resources, such as informational videos, a career quiz, and admissions tips.
You can also learn more about being a pharmacist directly from a pharmacist! Conduct an informational interview with a pharmacist to learn more about what the job is like. Developing this relationship with a pharmacist or healthcare worker can be beneficial in learning more about pharmacy careers—as well as helping you find someone to write one of your required letters of recommendation!
For questions about careers in pharmacy, contact Dr. Danielle Vitale, Director of Admissions and Career Development, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Your Pre-Pharmacy Education
A solid pre-pharmacy foundation is one of the keys to success as a pharmacy student! Familiarize yourself with the UGA College of Pharmacy’s Pre-Pharmacy Curriculum. We require the successful completion of 69 credit hours in the sciences, quantitative reasoning, social sciences, and world languages and culture.
While many of the courses are prescribed (for example, you HAVE to take biology and chemistry), you do have a bit of flexibility with courses in the social sciences and with world language/culture.
- Social Science – these courses include American history, political science, psychology, sociology, philosophy, anthropology, and gender studies
- World Language and Culture – these courses include world history, world religions, foreign languages, cultural anthropology, art history, and world/human geography
To ensure that you are taking the correct pre-pharmacy coursework, make sure to meet with your academic advisor each semester. They can help you map out your pre-pharmacy coursework so that you are meeting all of the academic requirements for admission into pharmacy school. If you are a current UGA student, schedule your appoint with one of Pre-Pharmacy Advisors, Dr. Shane Pruitt and Mr. Erik Dennison at email@example.com.
But most importantly, do well in your pre-pharmacy classes! The knowledge you gain in those classes will be the foundation for what you learn in pharmacy school. All of the pre-pharmacy courses must be completed with a grade of C- or higher. And just a note—your GPA for admission will only be calculated using your pre-pharmacy coursework (not your cumulative GPA).
Make sure you use your time to develop other skills to help you be successful in pharmacy school, such as study habits and time management.
Look for these topics to be posted soon!
- Evaluations/Letters of Reference
- The PCAT exam: To Take or Not to Take?
- The Personal Statement
- The UGA Curriculum
- Experience Programs
- Student Services: Career Services
- Student Services: Tutoring Services
- Student Services: Advising
- Student Organizations