The six pharmacy schools in Florida are a mix of state and private schools, but they are among the , so, you shouldn’t have any trouble getting in, even if you’re not from Florida. Despite being state-funded schools, both the University of Florida, and the University of South Florida take out-of-state applicants. If you’re looking for a pharmacy school in Florida connected to osteopathic medicine then there’s one option for you. Regarding , many of these schools do not require a full bachelor’s degree but only completion of a series of pharmacy school prerequisites. This article will detail more about pharmacy schools in Florida, their , and what you need to get in!
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1. Florida A&M University
Acceptance Rate: 40%
Average GPA: 3.47
Minimum GPA to Apply: 2.5
Minimum PCAT Score: not required
NAPLEX Pass Rate: 85%
Florida A&M University is one of the biggest pharmacy schools in Florida, in terms of breadth. The PharmD degree program is offered at either the school’s main campus in Tallahassee, or the school’s satellite campus in Crestview, the latter located in rural Florida. The school’s continuing expansion reflects its commitment to admitting more students from rural and underserved areas. On top of its two main learning centers, the school also has various “practice centers”, which is where you’ll complete your service commitments during the four-year program.
Florida A&M University has a minimum GPA requirement (2.75), which is also an accommodation for students from disadvantaged backgrounds, as it is much lower than the average GPA accepted at other . As the Pharmacy College Admissions Test will soon be discontinued, the school does not require you submit a PCAT score, even if you have already taken it.
Instead, the school uses a more holistic approach to reviewing your application, and your are as important as your GPA and other academic factors. There are no specific extracurricular requirements, but you are encouraged to have quality extracurricular activities on your , preferably in pharmacy- or health-related fields, but also any commitments that show commitment, leadership, and your passions (sports, hobbies, professional associations or clubs, etc.)
The school offers several pathways for students to enter the pharmacy profession, which is another testament to its commitment to give students from diverse backgrounds the opportunity to become pharmacists. Aside from the four-year PharmD program, you can also apply for a Bachelor of Science in pharmaceutical sciences, and then advance into PharmD.
However, if you want to take a different career path, you can also take either of the two master-level degrees in either pharmaceutical sciences or public health, if you don’t want to enter the PharmD program directly. Afterward, you can either enter the PharmD program, or continue with a PhD, which Florida A&M also offers. Florida A&M also sets itself apart as an interdisciplinary school given that it is the only pharmacy school in Florida to have a public health school attached to it, so you can also be educated in the tenets of public health through a pharmacological lens.
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2. Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine
Acceptance Rate: 17%
Minimum GPA to Apply: 2.7
Minimum PCAT Score: not required
NAPLEX Pass Rate: 68%
Despite being headquartered in Lake Erie, New York, the , one of the , has a national presence. It offers several PharmD programs throughout its network of schools, as well DDS and DO degrees in osteopathic medicine at each of its four schools. The school hosts a four-year PharmD program at its Florida campus, and a three-year accelerated PharmD program at its home campus in Lake Erie, although students in either program can take electives at both schools.
Similar to Florida A&M, the Lake Erie Florida PharmD program offers several different entry ways into the four-year PharmD degree, including an Early Admissions Program for qualified Florida undergraduates. You can also choose to enroll in either a pre-pharmacy course (non-bachelor degree) or a post-bacc course (bachelor’s required), both of which last one year, and can help you either increase your GPA to meet the minimum requirements, or prepare you for the demands of the PharmD curriculum.
You can also apply directly to the PharmD program if you have completed at least 54 credit hours, so you do not even need a full bachelor’s degree to apply. The school does have a long list of prerequisites though, so applying with a full bachelor’s is usually recommended. The other distinction of the Lake Erie Florida PharmD program is that you can also take distance courses, so even if you are from Florida but are unable to attend in-person classes, you can sign-up for the online program, which is one of the newest .
3. Nova Southeastern University
Acceptance Rate: 29%
Minimum GPA to Apply: 2.7
Minimum PCAT Score: optional
NAPLEX Pass Rate: 79%
Like many of the other pharmacy schools in Florida, the Nova Southeastern University pharmacy school gives you several different entries into its four-year PharmD program. You can either enter through the school’s two Masters degree programs in either Pharmaceutical Sciences or Pharmaceutical Affairs, or choose to enter with Advanced Standing, if you’re an international applicant.
But it also has continuing education programs and degree certificates for practicing pharmacists, so you can add new skills to your , or advance into another field of pharmacy. The school has two campuses in Florida (Palm Beach and Fort Lauderdale) but it also hosts an international PharmD program in San Jose, Puerto Rico. The various locations and the various degree options show that Nova is committed to offering as many opportunities to students as possible, while also being the only pharmacy school in Florida, and the US, to operate a fully-functioning community pharmacy that serves underprivileged and disadvantaged community members.
The school places a lot of weight on experiential education. There are four required Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experiences (APPE) that you have to complete along with three elective courses in various fields and specialties including:
- Internal and family medicine
- Ambulatory care
- Community pharmacy
Nova does not require a full bachelor’s degree for you to apply, as you only have to complete 65 credit hours of a bachelor’s degree to be an eligible candidate. However, you must complete the school’s list of prerequisites with a minimum of a C grade. The school has recently eliminated its supplemental application, so you will be assessed mostly for your primary application materials such as your , pharmacy letters of recommendation and your interview performance.
4. Palm Beach Atlantic University
Acceptance Rate: 15%
Minimum GPA to Apply: 3.0
Minimum PCAT Score: not required
NAPLEX Pass Rate: 79%
The Palm Beach Atlantic University is a Christian-centered university that offers several degree options for how to become a pharmacist. You can choose to enter the PharmD program during your undergraduate, if you are taking a bachelor’s degree at the university, through the school’s Early Assurance Program, but only if you complete the prerequisites, have a GPA of 3.0 (minimum) and do well answering your .
The school’s other outstanding feature is that it has one of the smallest class sizes for any pharmacy school in Florida so if you want a personalized education with direct instruction from faculty, then PBA might be a good choice for you. The school does not require a full bachelor’s degree but it has a long list of pre-pharmacy prerequisites that include diverse topics, such as:
- English Composition
The school is also unique for its dual-degree offerings, such as its PharmD/MBA program so you can enter the pharmaceutical field as an industry pharmacist, but with an extensive training in business fundamentals. You also have choices within the degree, as you can also take a concertation in Medical Spanish as a PharmD student so you can better serve your community afterward.
Christian values and tenets are integrated into the school’s four-year curriculum, so you need to be aware of that when you apply and work on your application components. The school’s curriculum is also heavy with experiential learning (pairing with a geriatric patient in your first year), and interprofessional education, as each year will introduce you to different medical disciplines so you will be able to learn from nursing, dental, and medical students as well.
5. University of Florida College of Pharmacy
Acceptance Rate: 45%
Minimum GPA to Apply: 2.5
Minimum PCAT Score: not required
NAPLEX Pass Rate: 84%
The University of Florida College of Pharmacy offers several different entry ways into its PharmD program, including post-bacc and Early Assurance Programs, but you can also apply to the PharmD program directly.
Being the oldest pharmacy school in Florida has not kept the school from innovating. It offers many different courses and certificate programs online, but mostly certificate courses and master’s level degrees; the PharmD program is fully in-person.
But given the nine online graduate programs available, you can opt to take a master’s either to improve your overall GPA or to gain the requisite knowledge and experience to excel in the PharmD program. The University of Florida does not have a GPA requirement, and neither does it make residency an important selection factor, although you may pay out-of-state tuition fees if you do not qualify for a tuition waiver. You also do not need a full bachelor's degree.
The school is out-of-state friendly, but grounds its education and training in the medical and pharmacological needs of Floridians. UF also acts as a primary source for filling prescriptions among its diverse population groups at its three locations across the state in Gainsville, Jacksonville and Orlando, through its community-pharmacy partnerships, and its various and fellowship programs, such as the Ambulatory Residency or the Pharmacogenetics Residency Program.
6. University of South Florida
Acceptance Rate: 22%
Average GPA: 3.4
Minimum GPA to Apply: 2.75
Minimum PCAT Score: optional/not required
NAPLEX Pass Rate: 86%
The University of South Florida is the one pharmacy school in Florida with an urban, centralized location, as its 30,000 square foot campus building takes up a sizable chunk of downtown Tampa Bay. But even though the school has an urban location, it places a lot of emphasis on both experiential and interprofessional education, so you’ll be exposed to various elements involved in becoming a pharmacist.
As is the norm for all pharmacy schools in Florida, you have several different options to get into the school’s four-year PharmD program. You can either do direct-entry by completing the prerequisites, having at least two and having completed 72 credit hours at the minimum. The school also does not require you have completed the PCAT, but if you have, you can submit your scores for consideration.
USF has various degree programs, including dual-degree programs so you can take a PharmD combined with either an MBA, MPH or a MSPN. The school also hosts an Early Assurance Program for students taking a Bachelor of Science at the USF, although you must meet the minimum requirements such as having a 3.5 GPA and being admitted to an Honors Society during your junior year.
The standard four-year PharmD program is also full of various concentrations and tracks that you can apply for in your final years or take as electives. If you’re more interested in becoming an industry pharmacist or researcher, you can apply to take a dual degree that focuses more on the science and technical aspects of pharmacology. The school offers concentrations in everything from pharmaceutical nanotechnology to drug discovery, development, delivery and manufacturing, but as separate degrees that you can take in the final years of your degree program.
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Get the Right Extracurriculars
Pharmacy schools in Florida, and everywhere else, practice holistic admissions meaning they take a deep look at what else you’re passionate about other than pharmacology and academics. Your grades matter, of course, but the ways you’ve applied your skills or whatever you’ve done to develop new skills matters as much as your GPA and education. But you have to also remember that commitment and dedication mean a lot more than the number of your engagements, meaning the longer you’ve been involved with your activity the better. Why? Because dedication and commitment mean growth and development. You should also find something that you’re truly passionate about, and have an even mix of things that are personal to you (a building project, fundraiser, raising awareness about a particular issue) and things that will expand your knowledge of pharmacology, such as research projects, shadowing a pharmacist or volunteering at a free clinic.
Take Advantage of Pre-Pharmacy or Post-Bacc Programs
This tip does not apply to everyone, but if you’ve thought about where do you see yourself in 5 years and the answer is “in pharmacy school”, you should think about taking preparatory courses. You can either go the route of taking pre-pharmacy courses in your undergrad or, if you’ve graduated with a bachelor’s in a non-science field, enroll in a post-bacc program to both get your GPA up and complete the pharmacy school’s prerequisites. If you have a particular pharmacy school in mind, you should research whether they offer post-bacc bridge programs that will give you at least an interview guarantee if you graduate with a high GPA. But another reason to take a post-bacc at the same institution that you want to attend is that you’ll get to know the school, faculty, their curriculum and special programs in a way that might make the difference for you. You’ll get an idea of what pharmacy school will be like and you can decide then whether it is the career for you, or not.
Practice for Your Interview
Some pharmacy schools in Florida either do not have supplemental applications or have recently eliminated them from the admissions process. What this means for you is that the interview is even more crucial to getting in, as you will have to answer questions such as “tell me about yourself” or “what can you contribute as a student to this pharmacy school?” that would normally be answered in supplemental essays. All pharmacy schools in Florida hold admission interviews, so you should find out what kind of format the school has (traditional; panel; MMI) and whether they hold in-person interviews or virtual. If the former, you may also get the chance to interact with current students and faculty and get additional information about the PharmD program. But if it is virtual, you can also prepare by holding mock interviews, reading through important pharmacy school interview questions to prepare answers the way you would write a personal statement. You want your answers to be authentic and concise, so during your practice, you should focus on things such as why do you want to be a dentist, what experiences pushed you toward this profession, and what you plan to do after pharmacy school.
Get Good Letters of Recommendation
Another advantage to taking the right extracurriculars means that you’ll have a lot of potential letter writers to write your letters of recommendation, which are an inescapable part of getting into pharmacy school or any health profession program. You should always follow the requirements the school sets for who should write your letters. Most schools typically ask for a pre-pharmacy committee letter. But if you can’t get a committee letter, you have to be selective in who you ask. You should focus on people you know will give you an outstanding review, whether they be former faculty, research supervisors or managers. You should also remember not to be too persistent with your letter writers, if they show hesitation or do not give you a clear answer from the outset. The reason being, you want someone to give you their full-throated support not someone who is unsure about you. You can help your cause by supplying your letter writers with your application materials – personal statement, CV, transcripts – so they can expound on all your achievements and how you will contribute to the pharmacy school.
Pharmacy schools in Florida are open to everyone, and have no residency requirements. They also have many different programs and pathways for you to enter if you’re not a traditional student. Even if you’re a high school student, several of these schools hold outreach events to educate students on being a pharmacist and what it entails. If any of these programs interest you, you should seek them out, but you can take many different paths into pharmacy schools in Florida.
1. How many pharmacy schools are in Florida?
There are six pharmacy schools in Florida.
2. How can I get into pharmacy schools in Florida?
You need to meet the minimum GPA requirements, which can vary among schools, but you should at least strive to get a minimum of 3.0 or higher. Your application should also include your transcripts, letters of recommendation, personal statement, list of volunteer activities, all of which outline your commitment to pharmacology and patient care.
3. Do I need to be from Florida to go to pharmacy schools in Florida?
No, you don’t need to be from the state to go to pharmacy school in Florida. While pharmacy schools in Florida don’t have preference for in-state students, you may be charged out-of-state tuition so you need to check with your program about whether you can get a tuition waiver or not.
4. Is it hard to get into pharmacy schools in Florida?
Pharmacy schools in Florida have very high acceptance rates, so it is not that hard to get into these programs. Given the large number of schools, there is little competition between all six of the programs in Florida.
5. What’s different about pharmacy schools in Florida?
Pharmacy schools in Florida have similar programs and degree requirements as any other pharmacy school, but they also have several opportunities to practice, train, and work with local communities, especially in underserved parts of the state.
6. How do I apply to pharmacy schools in Florida?
All pharmacy schools in Florida use the PharmCAS application system to accept and review pharmacy school applications.
7. How much do pharmacy schools in Florida cost?
Pharmacy schools in Florida may not show preference for Florida applicants, but they do distinguish among Florida residents and non-residents when it comes to tuition. Pharmacy schools in Florida can charge anywhere between $20-30,000 a year in tuition for Florida residents, while out-of-state students will be charged anywhere between $35-40,000.
8. Should I go to a pharmacy school in Florida?
You should go to pharmacy school in Florida if you are from the state or have a particular interest in community pharmacy. But many of the pharmacy schools in Florida have specific tracks, concentrations and electives that are geared toward the populations in Florida whether it be Medical Spanish or Public Health that can help train you to become a better pharmacist regardless of which field you enter.