Pre-Pharmacy Studies

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Licensing as a pharmacist requires the completion of a Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) degree. In Michigan, schools of pharmacy are at Ferris State University, the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, and Wayne State University. Pre-Pharmacy students should obtain detailed information early from the pharmacy schools to which they may wish to apply for admission. In addition, students with the goal of attending pharmacy school should seek the assistance and guidance of an advisor from th Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry.

Major Selection

At the University of Michigan-Flint, two degrees offer designated Pre-Pharmacy tracks:

It is important to note, there is no single major that is required to apply to PharmD programs or a single major that will guarantee acceptance. It is important to select a major that you are interested in pursuing during your undergraduate career. However, no matter the major, all students applying will have to complete the required prerequisite courses, which can vary slightly from school to school. Many schools do not actually require the completion of a four-year degree, but it is highly recommended, depending on students’ future plans.

Pharmacy Schools in Michigan

University of Michigan College of Pharmacy

There are currently three pharmacy schools in Michigan. The programs are linked below, along with a guide comparing course pre-requisites for each school.

Access this quick comparison guide to admission requirements for pharmacy schools in Michigan.

Preparing to Apply to Pharmacy School

There is no single factor that will determine whether you will be accepted into pharmacy programs. Instead, they will conduct a holistic or overall review of your GPA, PCAT score, interview, clinical or volunteer experience and extracurricular activities. Below are a few key factors to keep in mind when preparing to apply to PharmD programs

  1. Maintain a stellar academic record.

    1. Most pharmacy schools in Michigan require a minimum GPA of 3.0. Grades for all prerequisite courses must be a C (2.0) or higher.
    2. In addition to your overall GPA, pay special attention to your GPA in the required science and prerequisite courses as these are often evaluated separately.
  2. Volunteer or gain clinical experience.
    1. Clinical experience refers to experiences where you are in direct contact with patients. This can often be accomplished by working as a Certified Pharmacy Technician.  Many community pharmacies such as CVS, Walgreens, and Meijers will provide the training you need to gain your certification.
    2. There are multiple organizations looking for dedicated volunteers. Some examples in the local area include: Big Brothers and Big Sisters, Carriage Town Ministries, Hurley Medical Center-Auxiliary and Hospice Advantage. It is also recommended that you shadow different kinds of pharmacists. You will want to be aware of the different areas in which PharmD graduates can specialize. Some of these areas are community, clinical, consultant, or industrial pharmaceuticals.

Applying to Pharmacy School

Applications to pharmacy school are available on a yearly basis. The majority of pharmacy schools only admit students for the fall semester. This means that you will apply to pharmacy programs one year before you hope to begin. For example, if you hope to start pharmacy school in September 2021, you would need to submit your application in summer 2020. Pharmacy schools operate on a rolling admissions process, so it is important to apply as early as possible. The PharmCAS application usually opens in June. 

  • Determine where you want to apply to pharmacy school. 

    • The recommended target is 2-3 pharmacy schools unless you choose early admissions. In this process, you will apply only to your top school.  They will guarantee you a decision early in the fall so that you apply to other schools in the same cycle.  
  • Take the Pharmacy College Admission Test (PCAT).
    • In order to apply to most pharmacy schools, including the three in Michigan, you need to take the PCAT. It is recommended that you meet with an advisor to discuss the optimal time to take the exam. For more information about the test as well as how to sign up to take the test visit the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy website or the PCAT website.
    • These websites are also a great resource for practice exams and content review of key courses.
  • Ask for Letters of Recommendation.
    • Most schools require between 2 and 3 letters of recommendation. Check the requirements for each school that you are interested in to see if they require letters from specific people like a pharmacist or science faculty.
    • It is recommended that you ask for letters of recommendation a few months before you need them.
    • Ask for letters of recommendation from:
      • Faculty members that know you well
      • Pharmacists for whom you have shadowed or worked. 
      • Research or Clinical Supervisors
  • Request an Official Transcript Copy.
  • Complete PHARMCAS application.