Pre-pharmacy is an academic preparation for individuals who wish to study pharmacy at one of the 72 accredited schools of pharmacy in the United States.
What is pre-pharmacy?
Most pre-pharmacy students are science majors (biology or chemistry), but a pre-pharmacy student can major in almost any discipline provided the required science courses are completed in order to be competitive when applying to schools of pharmacy. Pre-pharmacy students are also encouraged to participate in an internship experience in a pharmacy setting in order to become acquainted with the field prior to making formal application to selected professional programs.
What is the pre-pharmacy curriculum?
Prerequisites for entry into pharmacy programs typically include
- 8 credits of biology,
- 16 credits of chemistry,
- 8 credits of physics, mathematics through college algebra/trigonometry and perhaps one course in calculus.
Additionally students are expected to complete general education courses, including humanities, social sciences and courses emphasizing communications such as English composition and speech. Course prerequisites vary among pharmacy programs; therefore, pre-pharmacy students early in their first semester at Shippensburg are strongly encouraged to seek guidance from a pre-pharmacy advisor and to examine the book, Pharmacy Schools Admissions Requirements, which is located in the Health Sciences Office.
What options are open to a pre-pharmacy student?
A minimum of 60 credits (2 years) of specific college prerequisites are required for entry into most four-year doctorate of pharmacy programs. However, most former Shippensburg pre-pharmacy students have chosen to first earn their four-year undergraduate degree (usually as a chemistry or biology major) prior to matriculating at a pharmacy school. If a pre-pharmacy student chooses to complete only the two-year minimum of prerequisite course work, he or she will not be able to earn a baccalaureate degree from Shippensburg. Few pharmacy programs award an undergraduate degree midway through the four years of pharmaceutical study.
What are the characteristics of successful pre-pharmacy students?
To be competitive when applying to pharmacy schools, students should accumulate a grade point average of at least 3.3 (on a 4 point scale). It is also important the students have some pharmacy internship experience. If students are pursuing the 2+4 option, it is particularly vital to receive advisement from health science faculty at the very beginning of the first year or, if possible, before the freshman year begins because they will only have two semesters of work before applying to pharmacy programs (in the fall of their sophomore year).
What is the placement rate for Shippensburg University pre-pharmacy students?
Shippensburg pre-pharmacy students have done exceptionally well in their applications to pharmacy schools. Within the last decade, all qualified students who have applied to pharmacy programs have received acceptance. Some of the programs to which students have matriculated include Temple University, Philadelphia College of Pharmacy and Science (now University of Sciences in Philadelphia), Northeastern University, University of Pittsburgh, Wilkes University, Shenandoah University, West Virginia University and University of Maryland.
Why attend Shippensburg University as a pre-pharmacy student?
Science classes are small at Shippensburg University, usually having no more than 16 students per laboratory section. Lectures and labs are taught by seasoned professors; not by graduate students. State-of-the-art laboratory equipment is available to students, giving them hands-on experience with current techniques. Faculty-directed undergraduate research is highly encouraged at Shippensburg. Each year between 6 and 12 undergraduate science students present results of their research at regional, state or national conferences.
These experiences contribute to the excellent quality of education available at Shippensburg. Shippensburg students receive careful, personal advisement, which includes appropriate course selection and monitoring of their progress. Those who achieve a high GPA are very competitive for positions in schools of pharmacy and do well once they enter those schools.
Pre-pharmacy advisors attend conferences where they meet colleagues from other universities and share ideas on counseling. This ensures Shippensburg University health science students receive accurate, current and comprehensive information.
Additionally, students are exposed to diverse health professional interests of other students and a variety of health professionals who are invited to speak at the university. This exposure makes them aware of alternative programs in the health care field before they commit to the pharmacy profession.
Where can you get more information about pre-pharmacy at Shippensburg University?
For more information regarding the pre-pharmacy curriculum, call or write the following:
Department of Biology
142 Franklin Science Center
1871 Old Main Drive
Shippensburg, PA 17257-2299