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Prepare to Apply

Preparing to apply to Pharmacy School can seem confusing at first. Key areas to explore include completing the prerequisite courses for schools you are interested in, obtaining exposure and experience in a pharmacy setting, getting to know faculty members on campus, and gaining volunteer experience in any venue.

Prerequisites. Pharmacy schools expect applicants to arrive with a solid foundation of both science courses and humanities. Most pharmacy schools require:

One year of Biology,
One year of General Chemistry,
One year of Organic Chemistry,
One semester of Physics,
One semester of Microbiology,
One semester of Statistics,
One semester of Calculus,
One semester of Public Speaking,
One to three semesters of upper-level biological sciences, such as Genetics, Anatomy and/or Physiology,
One to three semesters of English, including literature.

Please note that many schools have additional course requirements, such as Economics, Calculus II, Medical Terminology, or Biochemistry. Additionally, those planning to enter without a degree will need to be Core Curriculum Complete in Texas, and perhaps in other states as well. If you are looking for course equivalencies for Texas colleges and schools of pharmacy, the Texas Common Course Numbering System can be very helpful. Remember, if you took a course at a community college or other university, you need to check under that school, NOT how Texas A&M transfers the course. ENGL 1302 is sometimes transferred to Texas A&M as a literature course, but it will generally NOT count as a sophomore literature course for most pharmacy schools.

Exposure to the Pharmacy Profession. As with any career field, the more exposure and experience you have, the better your outcomes. Unlike many other health professions, pharmacy observation and experiences requires more steps and procedures. Because of state and federal laws, pharmacies will generally not open their doors to students who wish to 'shadow' because of the liabilities. In fact, most national pharmacies have strict prohibitions to this. Hospitals also loathe to accept the risk of allowing you behind the counter. Therefore, we strongly encourage any student interested in pharmacy to obtain their Pharmacy Technician License, which involves taking a national test from the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB), followed by submitting your application for a license to the Texas State Board of Pharmacy (TSBP) (or other state board).  This process takes several weeks, so plan well ahead. Many Aggies work in pharmacies as PharmTechs while they are undergraduates. The pay is above average for a part-time job and can help you decide if a career in pharmacy is right for you.

Texas A&M Faculty. All students should get to know some faculty well. At a large school like Texas A&M, students are often daunted with larger classes and feel that faculty may not be interested in them. Nothing could be further from the truth! Get to know both science and non-science faculty early-on in your undergraduate career. This will be beneficial in finding a mentor, learning about special opportunities, and having relationships with those who will write your recommendation letters for Pharmacy School. 

Vounteerism. Pharmacists are seen as valued members of their communities and one of the most trusted professions nation-wide. For those reasons, among others, Pharmacy Schools look for volunteer work on your application, in both health-care settings and in general settings. Find ways to regularly donate your time to a good cause, on or off campus.