If you’re looking for the easiest pharmacy schools to get into, then look no further. In this blog, we’re going to go over some of the programs that are easiest to get into based on pharmacy school acceptance rates in Canada, pharmacy school acceptance rates in the US, and GPA requirements for each school. We also go over some of the key differences in program highlights and application requirements to break down which schools give you the highest chance of getting accepted. Knowing how schools rank as far as how competitive their admissions standards are can give you a better idea of where its optimal to apply to based on your own applicant characteristics.
Please note: although we have made every effort to provide the most accurate information, admissions information changes frequently. Therefore, we encourage you to verify these details with the official university admissions office. You are responsible for your own results. BeMo does not endorse nor affiliate with any official universities, colleges, or test administrators and vice versa.
How Do We Measure the Schools’ Competition?
We calculate the competitiveness of a pharmacy school by using the admissions info of the latest matriculating class at each school. This information includes GPA average, the number of applicants, the number of applicants accepted for an interview, and the number of applicants enrolled. Other factors that don’t necessarily determine how easy or difficult a program is to get into is pharmacy school personal statements, and pharmacy school letter of recommendation. These documents will support other application materials and will influence the decision of programs to interview, accept, or enroll candidates. When you’re deciding what school to apply to, it’s important not only to consider how competitive or “easy” the program is to get into, but also other lesser acknowledged factors such as undergraduate program and PCAT or GPA scores. Knowing what characteristics programs prefer can help you see where your application materials fit in with what a program is looking for.
15 Easiest US Pharmacy Schools to Get Into Based on Acceptance Rate
10 Easiest Pharmacy Schools to Get Into Based on Median GPA
Easiest Pharmacy Schools to Get Into in Canada
Those interested in applying to a pharmacy school in Canada should know that there are only 11 schools to choose from. This means that since there are fewer schools, competition is fiercer. Applicants applying to any of the pharmacy schools in Canada should know that requirements are similar to programs in the US, with some exceptions. Not all schools require PCAT or CASPer, but you must have completed at least two years or 60 credits of post-secondary coursework with a minimum GPA of 3.0 to be considered.
Check out this list of Canadian pharmacy schools with GPA/undergraduate average cutoffs and acceptance rates:
Factors to Consider When You’re Applying
Besides acceptance rates and GPA cutoffs, there are other factors to consider when you’re applying to pharmacy schools. Your preparation for applying should also be formulating an answer to the “why do you want to be a pharmacist” interview question. Even though you’re just starting to apply to schools, the research you’re doing in this stage of the application process should involve some consideration of what kind of pharmacy school interview questions you can expect in an interview.
In-State/In-Province vs Out-of-State/Out-of-Province
For both US and Canadian schools, there are other factors to consider besides just GPA and acceptance rate when you’re trying to determine which schools will be the easiest to get into. Most schools have a specific number of positions they have open for in-state or in-province candidates, and out-of-state and out-of-province applicants. If you’re applying from outside of province or state, then you should find out what the school’s priorities are in terms of applicant characteristics. When it comes to primarily French-speaking schools like the University of Montréal, French-speaking applicants are generally given priority over other applicants.
If you’re applying from out of the country or out of the state/province, you should also research what credits will count toward your prerequisites. Not all colleges and universities have the same credits, so it’s important to talk to an advisor to find out if there are any equivalent courses. Inquiring immediately is also important, because it’ll give you enough time to take any courses you still need to fulfill the requirements.
Working on a pharmacy school personal statement? Check out these tips.
When you’re figuring out which school will be easiest to get into, you will also want to consider the values of each school. Your selection criteria, though it might be based on which schools might be most likely to accept you, should also involve research into what kind of an education you can expect to receive. Mission statements for pharmacy schools should explain the school’s philosophy and didactic approach. These statements include values and outcomes that the student can expect to acquire, such as professional partnerships, becoming independent or self-sufficient pharmacy professionals, methods for the delivery of quality health care services, and verification of a supportive faculty that are committed to helping their students succeed. Reflect on what you want to accomplish in pharmacy school and decide what’s important to you.
You can also research faculty members to get a feel for what kind of individuals you’re going to be learning from. It’s also a good idea to find out more about graduation rate and placement rates, which can be used as tools to evaluate the quality of the program and the reputation of the school.
Undergraduate Program of Study
Undergraduate program of study is perhaps one of the most underrated factors when it comes to what makes a school easy or difficult to get into. While pharmacy programs don’t require you to complete an undergraduate degree in a specific field, there are several fields that are highly favorable among certain programs. Among all PharmCAS applicants in recent years, it was shown that the top four most popular undergraduate programs for pre-pharm students were biology, biochemistry and molecular biology, pharmacy, and biological sciences. Not only were these programs the most popular, they were also closely aligned with the college majors for accepted PharmCAS applicants.
Why is this important to know? Because while program competitiveness is generally based on acceptance rate and GPA cutoffs or average, one aspect of academic profile that correlates with acceptance rate is undergraduate program of study. If you’re someone who’s looking for the easiest pharmacy programs to get into, completing credits in one of the most common programs for college pre-pharm students can definitely increase your chances of getting accepted. Simply put, college majors like the ones mentioned above allow you to complete the prerequisites for the pharmacy programs you’re applying to, giving you a strong foundation in those classes to prepare you for more advanced studies in those subjects.
Extracurriculars for Pharmacy School
If you’re looking at the easiest schools to get into because you’re worried about your cumulative GPA scores being too low to get accepted into some of the more competitive schools, then you might look to your extracurriculars to help broaden the scope of schools you could apply to. Pharmacy school extracurriculars typically involve shadowing, clinical experience, student clubs, community service, or volunteering. The purpose of extracurriculars is to gain relevant real-world experience and develop skills that are transferrable to the career to which you’re building toward. Having extracurriculars on your resume can show admissions committees that you’re prepared for their program and that you have the motivation to succeed. You can also ask some of the people whom you’ve done research or clinical experience with to write you a pharmacy school letter of recommendation.
Not every school asks applicants to complete the PCAT examination. However, there are circumstances in which we would advise you opt to take this exam in order to increase the likelihood of getting accepted. Some factors to consider when you’re deciding whether or not to take the exam include the following:
If you any of the above constituents apply to you, taking the PCAT is a good idea. Completing it with a good score will increase the quality of your application and help you stay competitive with other applicants. If you’re worried that studying and writing the exam is going to interfere with your classes, you can study for the exam over the summer, so you can schedule it just before or during the application season for the schools you’re applying to.
Pharmacy School Letters of Recommendation
Your GPA and PCAT scores aren’t everything, though perhaps it’s easy to think they are. Realistically, you can’t disregard the non-academic aspects of your applications, which include both your reference letters and personal statement. Your letters of recommendation should come from referees who you encounter during your extracurriculars. Don’t just ask anyone. You need a strong letter of recommendation that can speak to your capabilities. Someone who isn’t willing or able to write a strong letter of recommendation isn’t worth asking. One way to ensure that you receive a strong letter is to make the request two to three months before the submission deadline. It’s important to note that some schools will require reference letters specifically from health care professionals, and schools have limitations as far as who you can use as a reference. The University of Michigan, for example, states in their admissions requirements that you can’t use personal recommendations, and that they prefer references from a paid employer or supervisor from a volunteer or research position. When you research admissions requirements for the schools you’re planning on applying to, always check the guidelines for reference letters to avoid making errors. Other referees that can produce the strongest letters include professors and research supervisors. If you decide to use a professor, make they were teaching you in a class that is relevant to pharmacy, like biology, chemistry, or health sciences.
Reference letters contain information that cannot be gleaned from pharmacy schools resumes or academic information. This is why schools take reference letters into account as a means of differentiating applicants. The content of your reference letters should be built around the experiences you gained in a relevant setting, which means you will want to give yourself the best chance to have a high-quality letter by pursuing strategic experiences, such as the extracurriculars previously mentioned. According to a study of postgraduate pharmacy residency application statistics, the results showed that strong letters of recommendation and intent along with relevant experience were highly valued by program directors. In order to submit reference letters that are worthy of distinguishing you as a candidate, it’s important to start gaining experience during your undergraduate years.
Need some tips for acing the pharmacy school interview? Watch this video!
Pharmacy School Personal Statement
Another document that can help you stand out among other applicants is the pharmacy school personal statement. Regardless of how competitive programs are, one consistent admissions requirement is this document, because programs can use it to see why you want to be a pharmacist before they get to ask you this question in the interview. These letters also give you the opportunity to show what your experiences say about you as a person. Just because you might be applying to some of the easier schools to get into doesn’t mean you don’t have to give this document much thought. On the contrary, your personal statement gives you the opportunity to convince admissions committees that perhaps in spite of your academic performance, you can find success in their program.
A good personal statement starts with a strong opening line and outlines your journey to pharmacy school. Before you even start writing, take some time to reflect on your background and experiences. What experiences led you to want to pursue pharmacy? What was meaningful about those experiences? What do you hope to achieve in your career, and how will this program help you achieve those goals? How will you contribute to the school and program? These are some questions you can ask yourself as you start to construct your letter. It can help if you start working on a draft at least a few months before you submit any application so that as you continue to have relevant experiences and build professional relationships, you can update it.
1. What college major gives me the highest chance of getting accepted?
The majors that predict admission success the most include biology, pharmacy, biochemistry, and biochemistry and molecular biology.
2. What’s the easiest US and Canadian pharmacy program to get into?
By acceptance rate, the easiest school is the University of Mississippi at 78%. For Canadian schools, it’s Université Laval.
3. Do all schools require PCAT?
Some schools make it a requirement, some list it as optional. Applicants who have a low GPA can take the exam to increase the likelihood of getting accepted.
4. Is it harder to get accepted if I apply out-of-state or out-of-province?
Generally, more seats are reserved for in-state or in-province applicants, making it more of a challenge for these types of applicants. However, not every school gives priority to a certain applicant type, so make sure you find out more about the types of candidates programs are looking for by researching their admissions criteria.
5. What GPA should I be aiming for to get into a less competitive school?
Some of the least competitive schools still have GPA cutoffs. Generally, you want to aim for at least a 3.0, but some schools will consider applicants as low as 2.5. Some schools also won’t specify GPA requirements, but in this case, you’d still want to aim for above a 3.0.
6. Can I still get into pharmacy school with a low GPA?
You can, but keep in mind you will want to have strong reference letters, a good personal statement, and plenty of relevant work or volunteering experience from extracurriculars.
7. What kind of professional should I ask to be a reference?
The most effective references are typically health care professionals. If you have any connections with pharmacists from volunteering or any other clinical experience, these would be the best people to ask. Keep in mind that pharmacy schools might ask for specific referees that they want to see writing these letters.
8. When should I start preparing for the PCAT if I want to write it?
You should set aside at least two to four months of time to prepare for the exam. If you’re worried about how you’re going to allocate time to study for the PCAT during your regular school year, you can schedule the exam for the summer. That way you can ensure you’ll have enough time to study and your results will be ready to submit during application season.
Like our blog? Write for us! >>
Have a question? Ask our admissions experts below and we'll answer your questions!