Pharmacy schools in Canada are few compared to the US, and they are extremely selective. Acceptance rates in Canada are significantly lower than , although there are far fewer open seats and fewer chances for out-of-province and international students to get in. Pharmacy schools in Canada are competitive but provide an excellent education in the field and plenty of career opportunities for future pharmacists. In this blog, we’ll explore admission statistics and application requirements for pharmacy schools in Canada, as well tips for how to get into your chosen school!
are extremely competitive. Average acceptance rates fall between 2% and 30%. This is partly due to the very limited number of seats and the high number of applicants. There are only 10 pharmacy schools in Canada, and they offer less than 100 seats on average each year. Many of these programs do not accept international students, and it is typically more difficult for even other Canadian students to get in if they are applying out of province. There are also French-language pharmacy programs in Canada, which are open only to fully bilingual or French native speakers.
Getting accepted to pharmacy schools in Canada is a challenge, but it is not impossible. While the numbers are intimidating, you can boost your chances of successfully getting into pharmacy school by being well prepared for the entirety of the application process.
Check out the table below for a list of pharmacy schools in Canada, their acceptance rates and admission statistics.
The application requirements for pharmacy schools in Canada are generally the same at each school, and are very similar to the requirements for , too. All the pharmacy schools in Canada require applicants to have at least a 70% average, or a minimum of 2.5 GPA. Competitive candidates should aim for a GPA of above 3.5 for the most selective programs to have the best shot of getting in. Required coursework, like , include a solid foundation of sciences, mathematics, humanities and social sciences.
There are also a limited number of spots in each program, and many of these seats are reserved for in-province applicants. If you are an out-of-province applicant or an international student, be sure to check requirements on the school website as they may be different for you.
Another requirement at some pharmacy schools in Canada is the PCAT and CASPer test. Only a handful of schools accept the PCAT but almost all of them consider applicants’ CASPer scores when deciding on interview invites. Familiarize yourself with or sign up for a well in advance of your application deadline.
For international students or bilingual speakers, you may be required to submit a language test score as part of your application. Typically, pharmacy schools in Canada accept the TOEFL or IELTS tests for English proficiency. The French-language pharmacy programs in Canada will conduct their interviews and CASPer testing in French.
The non-academic side of your application will include the , the admission interview, your and at least 3 recommendation letters. In your personal statement, talk about why you want to be a pharmacist, your background, and strengths you will bring to the program. Your resume should include at least 2 to 3 years of relevant clinical experience, as this is a typical requirement of pharmacy schools in Canada, or at least strongly recommended. Your needs to be excellent, and at least one should come from a practicing pharmacist who can write honestly about your work ethic and suitability. Pharmacy schools want to see if you embody the suitable for a future pharmacist, so your referees should be someone who knows you well and can articulate your strengths. For an idea of what a good looks like, read some of our samples.
Finally, pharmacy schools in Canada also employ admission interviews, and favor the multiple-mini interview (MMI) format. You’ll need to know , and fortunately there are services such as or an to help you get ready for this type of evaluation.
Applying to pharmacy school is a long and tiresome process, and it demands serious dedication and thought put into it. It’s not enough to simply excel, you need to apply strategically and use all available tools to help improve your chances of successfully getting accepted. Below are some of our top tips for applying to pharmacy school in Canada.
Prepping for a pharmacy school admissions interview? Check out our tips to ace it!
Each pharmacy school in Canada may have its own deadlines and timeline for application cycles. Be sure to check for your admission year as well! We will look at a timeline of pharmacy school application timelines in Canada next.
Working on your pharmacy school personal statement? Read this infographic for tips.
Pharmacy school tuition and fees, like , can be notoriously high. Fortunately, universities in Canada offer many financial aid solutions and benefits to students, and there are some pharmacy schools in Canada with lower tuitions and more affordable programs. Fees can vary for students depending on whether they are in-province or out-of-province applicants, too. The table below illustrates the tuition fees at Canada’s 10 pharmacy schools.
Studying at any of the 10 pharmacy schools in Canada is a worthy but challenging investment. Pharmacy schools in Canada are selective and competitive, and their programs are not open to all students. However, the education you can receive is world-class, and the job prospects for graduate pharmacy students are excellent in Canada. If you plan to apply to any of Canada’s pharmacy schools, its imperative that you do your research, begin preparing your applications early and get as much help as you need to ensure you have the best chance of success.
1. Which Canadian pharmacy school is the best?
The College of Pharmacy at the University of Dalhousie is considered one of the top programs in Canada and has been ranked in the top 10 of pharmacy schools for several years running.
2. Is it hard to get into pharmacy schools in Canada?
While pharmacy schools in Canada are very competitive and have limited spots, it is comparable to slightly easier than getting into medical school in Canada. The average acceptance rates for pharmacy schools in Canada range from 2-30%.
3. What is the application service for pharmacy schools in Canada?
There is no centralized application service for pharmacy schools in Canada. Applicants can apply to the program they choose directly through the institution.
4. How do I get into pharmacy school in Canada?
To get into pharmacy schools in Canada, you’ll need a minimum GPA of 3.0, to have completed your required undergraduate coursework, 2 to 3 years of clinical experience, 1 to 3 letters of recommendation and a passing CASPer test score. You may also need to submit a PCAT test score as part of your application.
5. Are there pharmacy schools in Canada with a French-language track?
Yes, the Université de Montreal, Université Laval and University of Ottawa all offer French-language pharmacy programs.
6. Do pharmacy schools in Canada accept US students?
Yes, pharmacy schools in Canada accept international students, including students from the US. However, admission requirements may be slightly stricter and there may be limited spots reserved for US applicants.
7. Do pharmacy schools in Canada accept international students?
Yes, not every school will accept international students, but there are opportunities for international students to study pharmacy in Canada.
8. Can I get into pharmacy schools in Canada with a low GPA?
While it is possible to get into pharmacy schools in Canada with a low GPA, it is best to achieve a competitive GPA for the best chance of acceptance. Due to limited spots, candidates with better academic performances will be given preference.