Q. What does the admitted applicant pool look like? Can I get in?
A. For the fall 2014 class, we received 733 applications for 124 seats. Consequently, the application process is very competitive. Grade point average is important. The entering class averaged a 3.55 GPA on the required pre-pharmacy classes and a 3.44 GPA on prerequisite math/science classes.
The PCAT Examination (Pharmacy College Admissions Test) composite score for the entering class averaged 78 percent.
Approximately 66 percent of the students accepted have earned a B.S. degree or higher upon enrollment.
The average age for the entering class is approximately 24.
Our classes are approximately 65 percent female and 35 percent male. Our diversity reflects the Greater Houston area, consisting of Asian Americans, Asian-Indians, Mexican-Americans, African-Americans and Caucasians, along with a few other ethnic groups.
Q. Will my application be accepted if I have courses remaining in the spring and summer semester when I apply?
A. The College of Pharmacy only admits students for the Pharm.D. program in the fall semester. When you apply for admission for the fall semester, you may still have courses remaining. You may take courses in the spring and summer before you plan to enter the College of Pharmacy in the fall semester. However, ALL science or math courses must be completed no later than the spring semester. Non-math/science courses may be taken in the summer semester. Your acceptance could be granted pending satisfactory completion of coursework and a criminal background check.
Q. What can I do to improve my chances of being accepted into pharmacy school?
- Keep your grades up and do not take too many college hours and risk lower grades. The average prerequisite GPA (grade point average) of the fall 2014 entering class was 3.55.
- Learn now how to balance your time and money. You will need to have very good study habits and time-management abilities. Because of the rigor of the college and demanding class schedule, it will be difficult to schedule work. Most of our students choose not to work if at all possible. Therefore, good budgeting habits now are essential.
- Research your career choice and make sure you have looked at other options and the pros and cons of each.
- Get work experience that enriches your knowledge base and will give you a better grasp of knowledge about the pharmacy profession.
Q. How do I go about getting a good letter of reference?
- Some applicants will gain minimal experience working in a particular practice before asking for a letter of reference. Although there is no minimum number of hours required, most references are uncomfortable recommending someone they do not know well. Get to know the person and let them get to know you.
- Do not ask the evaluator at the "11th hour" for a letter.
- 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 allow the reference an opportunity to decline if he/she is not enthusiastic about writing for you.
- Depending on when you are enrolling into college, begin working on this during the second semester of your academic career.
- Look for the professor/pharmacist who you believe you have something in common or they are in a research or employment environment in which you have interests.
- Respect their time.
- Be a positive addition to their time and life.
Q. When I was younger, I got into a little trouble with the law. Will this prevent me from becoming a pharmacist?
A. The student should be aware that a criminal background check will be completed by all admitted students to the College of Pharmacy. The State Board of Pharmacy and many health care organizations and institutions require criminal background checks. Currently, enrolled students in the College of Pharmacy professional program must annually (and at other times as requested in writing by a hospital or health care organization) satisfactorily complete (submit and pay for) a criminal background check and/or drug screening from an approved vendor prior to participating in Introductory Pharmacy Practice Experience and/or Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experience assignments at these sites. Students will be personally responsible for obtaining background checks and drug screenings (including costs).
Students with disqualifying criminal conviction(s) and/or drug screening results as determined by a hospital/healthcare organization may be prevented from undertaking Introductory Pharmacy Practice Experiences and/or Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experiences that are required to complete the pharmacy program at the University of Houston. The inability to complete pharmacy practice experiencies will prevent the student from satisfactorily completing the degree requirements of the UH College of Pharmacy Pharm.D. program.
Q. Will getting a bachelor’s degree improve my chances of getting in?
A. Because a bachelor’s degree is not required to get into our program, we do not give preference or an advantage to students who have one. It is us up to the student to decide and weigh out the pros and cons of obtaining a bachelor’s and the importance of it, if they decide to do so before beginning their PharmD program.
In our program, we have a mix of students who have bachelor’s degrees and students who just completed their prerequisite courses. For the incoming class of fall 2014, about 66 percent had a B.S. degree or higher upon enrollment.
Q. What major should I choose?
A. We encourage students to choose a major in a science related discipline. Many science related majors have the same requirements we do. However, students can choose any major. One major is not preferred over the others for admission purposes.
Q. How much volunteer/community services is required?
A. A minimum of twenty-five (25) volunteer/community service hours are required for admission consideration. Students should have a consistent amount of volunteer/community service hours to be a competitive applicant. Volunteer activities do not have to be in the healthcare area, and can be whatever type they choose, so long as it is non-paid and clearly benefits the community at-large. This volunteer/community service must begin at the onset of the applicant's college career.