Pre-professional students are advised to take a broad, general education program to gain background in the arts, humanities, natural sciences and social sciences. Most professional schools do not require a specific undergraduate major, although many students seeking admission to professional schools in the sciences elect a biology or chemistry major.
Admission to most pharmacy schools is based on academic achievement as indicated by the grade point average, placement on the Pharmacy College Admission Test (PCAT), recommendations, and personal interviews. Since medical schools have more qualified applicants for admission that they can accept, it cannot be too strongly emphasized that a strong academic record is required for acceptance. Admission committees usually do not publish expected or cut-off scores for grade point average. However, competition for the limited number of positions is intense; transcripts are reviewed with regard to consistency of performance, course loads and the degree of difficulty of the curriculum.
The minimum requirements for admission vary somewhat from institution to institution, but a typical list of requirements includes English Composition (6 semester hours), Biological Sciences with lab (8 hours), Inorganic Chemistry with lab (8 hours), Organic Chemistry with lab (8 hours), Physics with lab (8 hours) and Social and Behavioral Sciences (6 hours). A quantitative background, including Calculus, is recommended.
The MCAT should be taken in the spring of the junior year, but only after completing the required courses in Biology, Chemistry and Physics.
The pre-pharmacy preparation is designed to prepare students for advanced specialized study of pharmacy. Pharmacy schools will accept applications from students who have completed two years of college, but most students admitted to pharmacy school have completed a four-year bachelor’s degree, frequently with a major in chemistry.
Students interested in these professional fields should consult the chair of the Biology and Environmental Science Department, Chemistry Department or Sport Science Department as early as possible after their entrance into Davis & Elkins College.