Admission Process Overview
All prospective Pharm.D. program applicants are encouraged to review the Pharm.D. Admission Checklists (.pdf).
What type of student are you?
There are four basic steps in the admissions process for the Pharm.D. program:
1) Complete the required Pre-Pharmacy coursework
All Pre-Pharmacy required courses (or prerequisites) are necessary for admission to the College of Pharmacy. The UH COP Admissions Committee will look at an applicant's overall pre-pharmacy prerequisite GPA, which includes all of the courses on the list. Applicants must receive no less than a "C" (2.0) in all prerequisite courses in order to be considered for admittance.
In addition, the math and science courses from our prerequisite list are averaged, and this number becomes the student's math and science GPA. Both the prerequisite GPA and math/science GPA are extremely important for the student's application. Students should plan their course schedule such that they complete the math and science prerequisites no later than the spring semester prior to entry into the program. No math and science courses may be taken the summer prior to beginning pharmacy school. The Admissions Committee must have the math/science GPA to consider for admittance. Non-math/science courses may be taken that summer, however.
Although most students take between 2-3 years to complete the prerequisite courses, the math and science prerequisites must have been taken with the last five years for a student to be competitive in this area.
Other information concerning prerequisites:
• Grades of repeated courses are averaged;
• The average prerequisite GPA for the 2012 entering pharmacy class was 3.57;
• The average math/science GPA for the 2012 entering pharmacy class was 3.48.
2) Take the PCAT Exam
The Pharmacy College Admissions Test (PCAT) is a required exam for admission to UH College of Pharmacy. Students should take the PCAT during September of the year before they want to start pharmacy school or earlier and have PCAT send their scores directly to PharmCAS.
For the 2014 application cycle: The November 2013 PCAT will be the most recent PCAT scores that will be accepted by the UH College of Pharmacy. January 2014 PCAT scores will not be considered.
It is recommended that students score in the 75% or above range in each of the five areas of the PCAT: Verbal, Reading Comprehension, Quantitative Analysis, Biology and Chemistry. The average composite PCAT score for the 2012 entering Pharm.D. class was 78%.
Students may take the exam several times; each score will be looked at separately. If students do retake the exam, it is advised that students increase their score for each retake. The college does not drop the lowest score or average PCAT scores. PCAT scores more than two years old (taken prior to January 2012) will not be considered when making admissions decisions.
3) Obtain three letters of reference
The college requires that students submit 3 letters of reference with their application to PharmCAS:
A. One letter of reference must be completed by a licensed pharmacist practicing or having practiced in the U.S.
B. One letter of reference must be completed by an academic advisor or professor.
C. One letter of reference must be completed by a second professor, pharmacist, or supervisor/employer.
We require that the reference fill out the letter of reference forms through PharmCAS. The person may submit an attached letter if he/she chooses. In addition, we recommend that students obtain “good” letters of reference. Please refer to the following hints for obtaining such good letters:
1. Most people are uncomfortable giving reference for someone whom they do not know well. Get to know the person and let them get to know you so that you will obtain a good letter.
2. Ask early for your letter of reference. Do not ask the reference too close to the application deadline for a letter.
3. Ask for a "good letter." Some references may have a hard time saying "no," and will write a letter that is superficial. It is important that the applicant ask for a "good letter" and give the person a way of saying no if she/he is not enthusiastic about writing for you.
4. Begin working on this no later than your second semester in college.
5. Search for a reference with whom you believe you have something in common or with whom you have similar research or employment interests.
6. Respect the reference's time.
7. Be a positive addition to their time and life.
8. It is suggested that students obtain a letter of reference from a pharmacist with whom they have established a professional or working relationship.
4) Participate in Community Service
Community service, volunteering, and school service are all positive areas to be included on the application. With the application pool becoming more and more competitive, do not forget about this important area.
The college is looking for well-rounded individuals who are involved in their communities. There is no minimum amount of activities to be included on the application and the activities can be whatever type that the applicant chooses. Activities do not have to be in the health-care area.