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Can you discuss the relative importance of different parts of the application? Grades, essays, and so on?  September 24th, 2012

Yes, I can discuss that in general terms. In general, the most important part of your application is your grades in prerequisite science and math courses. Your essays and healthcare experience are probably the next most important factors. Slightly less important are letters of reference and other parts of your academic background (such as additional advanced coursework in the sciences) although these factors definitely matter in the admissions process.

If you are invited to interview with us, your performance in the interview becomes extremely important.

The importance of essays and experience often surprises candidates. That importance reflects the importance of communication and teamwork in the pharmacy profession. Make sure to devote plenty of time to composing your essays. Also, make sure to list all your relevant experience on your PharmCAS application.

Just as when you apply for a job, you should ensure that all parts of your application are as polished as you can make them.

Supplemental Application Essays  August 10th, 2012

There are two supplemental application essay prompts this year:

  1. Identify your main academic and professional goals. Explain how attending the OSU College of Pharmacy will help you achieve these goals, discussing specific characteristics of the College and its programs. Your response must be 750 words or less.
  2. This question concerns the letters of recommendation submitted as part of your PharmCAS application. Why did you choose the recommenders that you chose? Why did you think their letters would provide useful information about you? Your response must be 200 words or less.

What should you write about? Well, make sure to answer the questions. The first essay should focus on your goals, which means you may need to spend some time thinking about what exactly your academic and professional goals are (beyond just “becoming a pharmacist”). Explain why Oregon State is the best place for you to work toward these goals – we want to be convinced that attending the OSU College of Pharmacy is the logical next step for you. This means you may need to spend a little time researching the college and its programs.

As for the second essay – we’re genuinely curious. We want you to explain why you chose the people that you did to write your letters of recommendation. Furthermore, we hope that asking this question will cause people to put a lot of thought into exactly who they ask to write their letters.