Heidi Fuchs, the Assistant Dean for Admissions and Enrollment Management at Touro College of Pharmacy, is a pharmacy school admissions expert!
She was kind enough to share a behind-the-scenes look into her role as a pharmacy school admissions representative and provide a few tips to help you ace the pharmacy school admissions process. Here’s what she had to say.
What does a day in your life as an admissions officer at a school of pharmacy look like?
My day as an admissions representative is very diverse. Some days, I’m reviewing new applications, conducting interviews, or following up with candidates who’ve expressed an interest in our college. On other days, my focus is more on events and programming—from presenting at admissions committee meetings to holding large pharmacy school information sessions.
Some of the other things you might catch me doing on a typical day include the following:
- Touching base with our admissions student ambassador program members to see how their interactions with prospective pharmacy students are going
- Following up with pre-health advisors on students they’ve recommended
- Creating social media posts to promote our pharmacy college and the pharmacy profession
- Hosting meetings with prospective students to provide advising
What do you enjoy most about your job?
The part of my job that I enjoy most is getting to interact with prospective pharmacy students on a daily basis.
Please describe, in your own words, the pharmacy school admissions process.
Pharmacy school candidates start the admissions process by creating a PharmCAS application and uploading their required documents, including a personal statement, transcripts, contact information for their recommendations, etc.).
Once all of the documents have been submitted, the next steps are an in-depth application review, pharmacy school interviews, committee deliberations, and—finally—decisions.
How long does it take to become a pharmacist?
At Touro College of Pharmacy, we offer a four-year program. However, other pharmacy schools have programs in varying lengths.
What education is involved in becoming a pharmacist?
Students interested in becoming pharmacists are required to obtain certain pre-pharmacy credits. In addition to the required pre-pharmacy coursework, some pharmacy schools also require that their student applicants take the PCAT entrance exam.
What subjects should high school and college students focus on if they’re interested in attending pharmacy school in the future?
When it comes to applying for pharmacy school, it’s important that prospective students take courses in basic sciences and math in high school and college.
What are the requirements of a pharmacy school application?
At Touro College of Pharmacy, we look at candidate applications holistically. This means we consider what prospective students are involved in in their community and at their college, how they’ve demonstrated a commitment to healthcare and pharmacy, their academic trends, their personal statement, their letters of recommendation, and more. There isn’t one piece of the application that is a main focus.
What qualities do you look for when interviewing prospective pharmacy school students?
The most important qualities that I look for when interviewing prospective pharmacy school students are grit and perseverance.
What stands out most on a pharmacy school application?
The portions of a pharmacy school application that tend to stand out most during the review process are strong grades in science coursework, empathy and grit, and effective communications skills.
What important question(s) should a prospective pharmacy school student ask when talking with a pharmacy school admission officer?
The following are a few questions I recommend a candidate ask when talking with a pharmacy school admissions officer. These questions will help them get a better idea of whether or not the pharmacy school is the right for them:
- What does a competitive candidate look like?
- What’s the pass rate on licensing exams?
- What are the school’s job placement statistics?
- What’s the affordability of the school? What financial aid and scholarships are available?
How will a prospective pharmacy school student know if a pharmacy school is right for them?
In my opinion, the simplest way to determine if a pharmacy school is right for a prospective student is to speak with admissions representatives, connect with current students, and visit campus to get a feel of the environment.
How much does it cost to attend pharmacy school?
Every pharmacy school is different. The school where I work, Touro College of Pharmacy, is a private school. Our annual tuition is just shy of $42,000 a year.
What tips can you share for students beginning the pharmacy school application process?
There are endless tips I could provide when it comes to beginning the pharmacy school application. The following are a few of my favorites:
- Create your down deadlines
Schedule appointments with yourself with the goal of completing certain portions of the application in each session. This will help you stay on track.
- Tackle your personal statement in bite-sized pieces
Create an outline for your personal statement rather than trying to tackle it all at once.
- Make use of outside resources
It’s a good idea to have a healthcare professional and your college writing center review the final version of your personal statement. They’ll be able to make recommendations from a new perspective.
- Provide lots of notice to your recommendation writers
Make sure to give your recommenders plenty of notice so that they’ll have ample time to write a favorable letter. A month of notice is a good place to start.
- Plan ahead with every step of the application process
Request your transcripts early on in the process to ensure they arrive with plenty of time to space. Additionally, it’s a good idea to consistently review your application dashboard for other deadlines.
- Be prepared for your pharmacy school interviews
Do research on each school you apply to and make sure you’re well prepared for all of your interviews.
- Don’t forget to send thank you notes
Send thank you emails to everyone who assisted you on your interview days. A follow-up message goes a long way!
- Be detail oriented
Follow instructions and read all of your emails.
- Don’t forget your “why”
The admissions process can be complicated, but it’s important to remember why you want this! Then, make sure your applications convey your passion.
Want more pharmacy school admissions tips?
Thank you to Heidi Fuchs for sharing this valuable information with us! If you’re interested in more pharmacy school admissions tips, check out some of our other blogs on the topic: