Before beginning pharmacy school, students will need to complete pre-pharmacy studies. Even in the early acceptance programs, students do not begin the professional studies portion until after the initial coursework is complete. With pre-pharmacy being a requirement, many students ask what are the best pre-pharmacy schools?
As with all things pharmacy, there are several things to consider when choosing a school for pre-pharmacy coursework.
Affiliation with a Pharmacy School (or not)
Pre-pharmacy coursework can be completed in a variety of ways:
- Community college
- State Universities
- Private Universities
- Associated with a School of Pharmacy
Many Universities offer pre-pharmacy as a study, and generally they are closely connected with a nearby School of pharmacy. This is typically about two years of coursework. Some students wish to complete their pre-pharmacy studies at a local community college, or receive scholarships to private universities, and are able to structure their classes so they can meet the requirements.
Some pharmacy schools with early admission processes will include pre-pharmacy coursework into their programs. In any case, when considering pre-pharmacy schools, students should research about programs they might be interested in. Knowing requirements of programs of interest can help students ensure they are able to meet these in a timely fashion and not delay applying once able.
What are the best pre-pharmacy schools?: Curriculum Content
Not all pre-pharmacy studies are created equal. Program content can vary depending on method chosen to pursue pre-requisites, University attending, and how closely they are aligned with a School of Pharmacy. Students should evaluate the curriculum outlined in pre-pharmacy programs against the required curriculum for programs they are interested in.
It is essential to know that your pre-pharmacy courses will be accepted at a future pharmacy school. The best pre-pharmacy schools will be able to answer these questions and ensure your success moving on to Pharmacy School.
When thinking about what are the best pre-pharmacy schools, another very important factor to consider is the availability of extracurricular opportunities. During the pre-pharmacy years, students can take advantage of being involved in pre-pharmacy clubs, on campus organizations, and chances to volunteer.
These are great opportunities for building a network of peers and gaining valuable life-skills. Pharmacy school applications typically ask about involvement in outside activities or leadership experience, and choosing a pre-pharmacy school with abundant options will help students to find their fit, and prepare for applying to pharmacy school.
Location and Cost
Students should also consider location and cost when thinking about pre-pharmacy schools. This factor will be different for everyone. A good place to start can be looking at schools nearby of interest, and looking to see if they offer a pre-pharmacy program. If students are wishing to move away for school, they can do similar evaluations by whatever location they are interested in.
Many students also choose to pursue financial aid or scholarships. If a student qualifies for financial aid or is awarded a scholarship at a particular school, it would be worthwhile to also look at their curriculum options. Because pharmacy school can be costly, it is generally recommended from experience to try and pursue a lower-cost option for pre-pharmacy education.
Professional programs vary widely but pre-pharmacy education typically consists of core educational classes required for first and second year college students. The key, again, is to ensure your pharmacy school will accept your coursework from another institution.
What are the best pre-pharmacy schools? The answer might be different for each student. Every school is unique in their curriculum, campus, and relationship with a School of Pharmacy. Students should be diligent in asking questions and researching programs before applying. Pre-pharmacy is an important step in the journey to Pharmacy school; take your time and choose a pre-pharmacy program that fits you!