Pharmacy school requirements
Applying to be a doctor of pharmacy can be confusing. Don’t worry! You don’t have to figure out all the application requirements alone. It’s essential to schedule an appointment and confirm your understanding of pharmacy school requirements before completing the application. Here is everything you will need to have a successful application to pharmacy school.
A completed PharmCAS online application including the following components:
1. Official transcript(s)
Before we review your application, we will need to review an official transcript from each university you have attended —even if the coursework isn’t relevant. All transcripts should be sent directly to PharmCAS, the Pharmacy College Application Service. VCU School of Pharmacy only has 52 semester hours of course requirements. You can check your transcript(s) against our prerequisite checklist to see how far along you are.
Tip: Transcripts usually can be ordered through your institution’s website. If not, get in touch with your academic institution’s records and registration office. They should be able to help you order a transcript.
2. Personal statement
A well-written personal statement answers the following questions:
- Who are you?
- What do you value?
- Why are you interested in pharmacy school?
- How have you prepared yourself for pharmacy school?
- What academic or volunteer experiences led you to apply or helped you discover this interest?
- Why are you interested in attending VCU School of Pharmacy?
- How will you contribute to the incoming class of students?
- What life experiences have helped shape who you are?
Tip: Your personal statement is the only place on your pharmacy school application to describe who you are and actively advocate for your admission to the program. And remember: Be sure your statement is clear of grammatical and spelling errors.
3. Three letters of recommendation
Your letters of recommendation should give the admissions committee insight into your character, engagement with others, accomplishments, and more. Three letters are required to gain admissions to the Pharm.D. program.
Ideally, you should submit one letter of recommendation each from:
- a professor/faculty member
- an employer
- a health care professional
Tip: If you are unable to secure a recommendation from a healthcare professional or employer, a letter from a faculty member or volunteer coordinator is acceptable. Do not request letters from colleagues, teaching assistants, faith leaders or family members. When in doubt, a good option is to secure a recommendation from a professor/faculty member who can speak to your academic pursuits in science or math.
4. Pharmacy College Admission Test (PCAT) [OPTIONAL]
The PCAT, or Pharmacy College Admission Test, is not required by VCU School of Pharmacy and remains optional. If you have questions about the test, please schedule an appointment.
Tip: Students are encouraged to take the PCAT under the following conditions:
- Overall GPA below a 3.0
- Prerequisites taken five or more years ago
- Fewer than 50 total credit hours at time of application
- A downward trend in academic history