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. 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.
What’s Special About Pre-Pharmacy at Ship?
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.
Ship 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.
Where Can Pre-Pharmacy Get Me?
Shippensburg University 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
Successful completion of these programs can lead to rewarding careers in pharmacy, including:
- Pharmacy Technician
- Staff Pharmacist
- Consumer Safety Office
- Clinical Pharmacist
Pharmacy salaries in Pennsylvania range from $21,000 to $88,000.
How Do Pre-Pharmacy Students Spend Their Time?
A minimum of 60 credits (two years) of specific college prerequisites is required for entry into most four year Doctorate of Pharmacy programs. However, most Shippensburg University 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 you choose to complete only the two year minimum of prerequisite coursework, you will not be able to earn a baccalaureate degree from Ship. Few pharmacy programs award an undergraduate degree midway through the four years of pharmaceutical study.
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
To be competitive when applying to pharmacy schools, students should accumulate a GPA of 3.3 or higher. 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).
You 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 Ship 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.
The undergraduate catalog details specific course requirements.
Faculty-directed undergraduate research is highly encouraged at Ship. Each year, between six 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.
Our 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 through the Health Sciences Club. This exposure makes them aware of alternative programs in the health care field.