skip page navigationOregon State University

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.

Who should write my letters of recommendation?  August 21st, 2012

Think about the image you want to present when applying for admission. You want your letter writers to be people who know you well (so they can say lots of nice things about you) and people familiar with graduate study in the sciences, professional degree programs, or the practice of pharmacy (so they can say why those nice things will make you a good pharmacist).

In our experience, the most useful letters come from science professors or practicing pharmacists, because they have the most familiarity with those topics. This means it’s important to build relationships with such people as a pre-pharmacy student, so they will know you well enough to write a good letter. PharmCAS asks recommenders how well they know you when they submit their letters of recommendation. You don’t want your recommenders to be saying they only know you a little – you want them to be saying they know you well.