You’ve done some soul searching and discovered that a career in pharmacy is right for you. So, what’s next? We’ve answered some frequently asked questions from high school students looking to enter pharmacy school immediately after graduation.
Can I enroll in a pharmacy school right after high school?
Yes. Some pharmacy schools accept students immediately after they graduate from high school. Pharmacy schools that accept all or most students directly from high school are referred to as “0-6” programs because these students can complete their pre-pharmacy and professional study within six years after high school. Students enrolled in a “0-6” program who successfully complete the first two years of pre-professional study (and any other stated contingencies) are guaranteed admission into the four-year professional pharmacy degree program. AACP institutions classified as “0-6” degree programs are listed in Table 1 of the Pharmacy School Admissions Requirements (PSAR).
If I enroll in a “0-6” program, am I guaranteed a position in the Pharm.D. class?
Students enrolled in a “0-6” program who successfully complete the first two years of pre-professional study (and any other stated contingencies) are guaranteed admission into the four-year professional pharmacy degree program. If a student fails to maintain the necessary GPA or not meet other pharmacy school requirements during the freshman and sophomore year, then the student may lose his/her position in the professional pharmacy degree program.
What is an “early assurance” program? How does it differ from a “0-6” program?
In addition to the “0-6” programs listed in Table 1 of the Pharmacy School Admissions Requirements (PSAR), there are many other pharmacy colleges and schools that offer “early assurance” (also known as “early admission”) status for selected high school students. As with “0-6” programs, students who enroll under an “early assurance” program and successfully complete the first two years of pre-professional study, are guaranteed admission into the four-year professional pharmacy program. These programs are not categorized as “0-6” because the majority of students enrolled are admitted as “transfer” students after completion of at least two years of college. See Table 1 of the Pharmacy School Admission Requirements (PSAR). Any degree program that offers an “early assurance” program has indicated this in the Enrollment Options section.
What high school courses should I take to prepare for pharmacy school?
A sound education in science and math is essential in the preparation for the study of pharmacy. High school science classes are helpful in preparing students for the advanced science courses required in the Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D.) degree curriculum. High school courses in biology, chemistry, physics and mathematics are especially desirable. High school students considering a career in pharmacy should also have good written and verbal communication skills. Prospective student pharmacists are encouraged to take college preparatory classes in areas such as literature, history, government and humanities in order to become well-rounded individuals. These skills will help create an educational foundation on which to grow. Contrary to popular belief, Latin, while helpful in many aspects, is not essential to admission to pharmacy school.
What tests do high school applicants need to apply to a “0-6” (or early assurance) program?
Pharmacy admission offices may require you to submit Advanced Placement (AP), International Baccalaureate (IB), College-Level Examination Program (CLEP), SAT, ACT or other test scores. Visit the pharmacy school Web site for instructions.
Can I apply as a college transfer applicant to a school that has a “0-6” program?
College students or graduates who have completed the pre-pharmacy course requirements at another institution may apply for any open positions at a 0-6 pharmacy school. Depending on the number of students who stay in the program after the first two years, these pharmacy schools may have limited or no spaces available for college transfer students.