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.
Pre-Pharmacy at Ship
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. Science classes are small at Shippensburg University, usually having no more than 16 students per laboratory section. Seasoned professors, not graduate students, teach lectures and labs. State-of-the-art laboratory equipment is available to students, giving them hands-on experience with current techniques.
Shippensburg students receive careful, personal advisement, which includes appropriate course selection and monitoring of their progress. Pre-pharmacy advisors attend conferences where they meet colleagues from other universities and share ideas. This ensures Ship health science students receive accurate, current, and comprehensive information.
Admission and Degree Requirements
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
- 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.
A minimum of 60 credits (2 years) of specific college prerequisites is required for entry into most 4-year doctorate of pharmacy programs. However, most Shippensburg pre-pharmacy students have chosen to first earn their 4-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 2-year minimum of prerequisite coursework, he or she will not be able to earn a baccalaureate degree from Shippensburg. Few pharmacy programs award an undergraduate degree midway through the 4 years of pharmaceutical study.
To be competitive when applying to pharmacy schools, students should accumulate a GPA 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 2 semesters of work before applying to pharmacy programs (in the fall of their sophomore year).
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:
- Northeastern University
- Shenandoah University
- Temple University
- University of Maryland
- University of Pittsburgh
- University of Sciences in Philadelphia
- West Virginia University
- Wilkes University
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.
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. 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.