Frequently Asked Questions
School of Pharmacy

 View answers to frequently asked questions about the Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) program, the application process and more.

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PharmD program information

PharmD Program Questions

How long is the PharmD program?

The PharmD Program requires four years to complete.

Can I attend pharmacy school part-time?

No. Unlike undergraduate education where a student may progress at their desired speed, the PharmD program is a professional program where the curriculum is predetermined by the school and the curriculum is scheduled to be completed in four years.

Is the pharmacy program accredited?

Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine School of Pharmacy’s Doctor of Pharmacy program is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE), 190 S. LaSalle Street, Suite 2850 Chicago, IL 60603-4810, 312-664-3575, fax 312-664-4652, www.acpe-accredit.org.

ACPE accredits Doctor of Pharmacy programs offered by colleges and schools of pharmacy in the United States and selected non-U.S. sites. The accreditation term granted extends until June 30, 2020, which is the customary term for a new program receiving accreditation status.

What degree does PCOM School of Pharmacy offer?

The School of Pharmacy offers the Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) as its single professional degree. The PharmD degree is awarded in recognition of the attainment of the highest level of professional education in pharmacy.

What is the curriculum for the PharmD program?

The PharmD Program is a four-year professional program. In any program, the curriculum is always subject to change, but the most recent version can be found in the course catalog. Additional information is available on the PharmD curriculum page.  

How long is the academic year?

The academic year begins in August and ends the following June. For the first three professional years, each academic year is composed of three terms—fall, winter and spring—each 13 weeks long (including a final exam week). Students will also be required to participate in Introductory Pharmacy Practice Experience (IPPE) rotations during the months of June to August in the summers between the first and second and second and third professional years. In the fourth year of the program, students will complete eight, 5-week long Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experience (APPE) rotations. APPEs begin in May and continue until the following April.

Where will I complete my clinical experiences/rotations? Is transportation or lodging provided?

The PharmD program includes clinical experiences throughout all four years of the curriculum. The Introductory Pharmacy Practice Experience (IPPE) rotations are scheduled during the months of June, July and August between the first and second and second and third professional years. IPPE rotations are primarily scheduled in the greater Atlanta area. The fourth-year Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experiences (APPE) will be completed mostly in the greater Atlanta area, but some rotations will be offered throughout the state of Georgia and in other states.

Is transportation or lodging provided during my rotations?

No. PCOM does not provide transportation or lodging for students. It is strongly suggested that students have their own car during all four years of the program.

Will I be required to find my own rotation sites or will the School of Pharmacy locate these for me?

Students are not required to find their own rotation sites. The School of Pharmacy will identify appropriate rotation sites for you, train the preceptors at each site and conduct quality assurance measures to ensure that you will train at a quality site. Preceptors are either full-time faculty members of the School of Pharmacy or licensed pharmacists with affiliation agreements with PCOM.

What are the pharmacy intern requirements?

An applicant may register with the Georgia Board of Pharmacy as a pharmacy intern if they are enrolled in an accredited school/college of pharmacy. All students at the PCOM School of Pharmacy will be required to obtain their Georgia pharmacy intern license during the first semester. The school will assist you with the application process.

Any applicant with a history of substance abuse, a previous felony conviction or any other issue that would be revealed in a criminal background check is advised to consult with the Georgia Board of Pharmacy prior to matriculation in the program. Any changes resulting from criminal or civil actions should also be disclosed to the Georgia Board of Pharmacy. Students wishing to gain intern experience outside of the state of Georgia are advised to contact the board of pharmacy in that state to determine the requirements for intern/pharmacist licensure. PCOM School of Pharmacy has no authority to determine eligibility of licensure for any intern or pharmacist in any state.

The license requirements for pharmacists and pharmacy interns vary by state and it is recommended that applicants inquire with the board of pharmacy in the state where they intend to practice if they have any questions. In general, in order to take the pharmacist licensure examination, boards of pharmacy will require successful completion of the requirements for the Doctor of Pharmacy degree from an accredited institution and complete a certain number of hours as a pharmacy intern. In Georgia, applicants for pharmacist licensure must be at least 18 years of age, have graduated from an ACPE-accredited school of pharmacy and have completed 1,500 hours of internship under the supervision of a registered pharmacist. Schools of pharmacy in Georgia allow students to claim credit for 1,500 internship hours obtained during experiential rotations.

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Application process and admissions

Admissions-related Questions

How many students apply to the pharmacy program each year? What is the acceptance rate for the PharmD program?

Admission is highly competitive and PCOM receives hundreds of applications each year through PharmCAS. Admissions data vary by year. Visit our program statistics page to view the latest program acceptance and matriculation data.

What factors are considered for admission to the PCOM School of Pharmacy?

All applications undergo a holistic review process whereby careful consideration is given to all applicant credentials. 

Prerequisite Coursework

Satisfactory completion of the required prerequisite coursework from an accredited college or university is necessary.

Degree Requirements

A baccalaureate degree (or graduate or other professional degrees) is NOT required for admission to the School of Pharmacy, but students possessing a previous degree will be given additional consideration for admission.

Minimum GPA

Prior to matriculation, competitive applicants must have completed the prerequisite coursework with a grade of “C-” or better. There is no minimum overall or science GPA for consideration. Typical average overall GPA is 2.9 and 2.8 for science GPA for prior matriculating classes.

PCAT or Other Standardized Test Scores

The Pharmacy College Admissions Test (PCAT) or other standardized tests, including the MCAT, GRE, DAT and OAT, are not required. However, PCAT scores greater than 40 percent, or comparable scores on other standardized tests, may be submitted for consideration. Any standardized test scores submitted to PCOM, including PCAT scores, must be taken within five years of the application date for consideration.

Career Readiness and Non-Cognitive Skills

Professional preparedness, professionalism, self-awareness, cultural sensitivity, leadership, advocacy, motivation, decision-making and written and verbal communication skills are also evaluated.

In-Person Interview

An in-person interview is required.

What courses do I need to take in order to get into pharmacy school?

What courses are required for pharmacy school?

PCOM requires sixty (60) semester credit hours of prerequisite coursework including:

  • General Biology I and II with live lab (8 credits);
  • General Chemistry I and II with live lab (8 credits);
  • Organic Chemistry I and II with live lab (8 credits);
  • Physics with live lab (4 credits);
  • Calculus (3 credits);
  • Introductory Statistics (3 credits);
  • English Composition (6 credits - 3 credits from English Literature is also acceptable);
  • Economics (3 credits); Speech (3 credits);
  • Social/Behavioral Science ie: History/Psychology/Sociology/Ethics (3 credits);
  • Humanities ie: Art, Foreign Language, Music, Religion (3 credits); and
  • Electives (8 credits).
Can one class count toward multiple prerequisites?

No. Courses may not be counted for more than one prerequisite requirement.

Will PCOM accept pass/fail classes for prerequisites?

No. PCOM will NOT accept pass/fail classes for prerequisites. All courses used for prerequisites must be passed with a grade of “C-” or better.

Where can I complete my prerequisite coursework?

Students may complete their pre-professional course requirements at any regionally accredited college or university in the U.S. Pre-professional coursework from non-US colleges and universities may also be accepted for evaluation. Coursework from non-US colleges and schools must be submitted to PharmCAS for foreign transcript evaluation.

Will PCOM accept Advanced Placement (AP) credits for prerequisites?

Yes, PCOM will accept AP credits. All AP credits must be given a grade equivalent of “C-” or higher at the undergraduate institution you attended and received credit.

Do all prerequisite courses have to be completed before submitting an application or receiving an invitation for an interview?

No. Prerequisite coursework does not have to be completed in order to submit an application, receive an interview invitation or receive an offer of admission. However, all prerequisite courses must be successfully completed (with a grade of "C-" or higher) and verified no later than July 15 prior to the fall term you will be matriculating. All courses are verified using official academic transcripts.

If I take coursework after submitting my PharmCAS application, how will PCOM know this?

PharmCAS provides windows after fall and spring terms to update coursework. Please refer to PharmCAS for specific dates for course updating. Updated information will be forwarded to PCOM once you have completed the update in PharmCAS.

What if I have taken classes on the quarter system and after conversion I am short?

PCOM will round up the hours/credits when converting from quarter to semester hours. If the number of credit hours is insufficient after rounding, additional courses must be taken to fulfill the admissions requirements.

How do I convert quarter hours to semester hours?

In general, to convert from quarter hours to semester hours multiply the quarter hours by 2/3. Please use the following conversion chart as a guide.

Quarter Hours/Semester Hours
1=0.67
2=1.33
3=2.00
4=2.67
5=3.33
6=4.00
7=4.67
8=5.33

Will you accept my course work taken in a foreign university?

Students with international transcripts must have their transcripts analyzed by a foreign transcript service. These foreign transcript evaluation reports are submitted to PharmCAS. PharmCAS will send PCOM this information. PCOM will accept evaluations from WES only. Please visit the PharmCAS website for more information on this process.

Do I need to take the PCAT (Pharmacy College Admissions Test)?

Is the PCAT required?

The Pharmacy College Admission Test (PCAT) is not required. However, the PCAT and other standardized test scores may be considered if submitted (see below). 

Will other standardized tests be considered?

The PCAT and other standardized test scores can be submitted for evaluation, including the MCAT, GRE, OAT and DAT. PCAT scores are to be submitted directly to PharmCAS. If you are submitting other standardized test scores, those must be submitted directly to PCOM. For questions regarding standardized test scores, please contact the Office of Admissions.

How is my GPA calculated for admissions consideration?

For admissions purposes, PCOM utilizes GPA calculations generated by PharmCAS. To calculate a GPA, PharmCAS determines your total number of quality points by multiplying semester credit hours attempted by the value of the verified PharmCAS grade. Quarter hours and units are converted to semester hours (quarter hours are multiplied by .667). The quality points are divided by the total number of hours for completed courses. PharmCAS will report your standardized GPA in semester-based 4.0 grading scale.

Do I need a college degree to apply to and/or attend PCOM School of Pharmacy?

No. Qualified applicants who have satisfactorily completed all prerequisite coursework but do not attain a Bachelor’s degree can apply and enroll at PCOM. Qualified applicants may also apply and be offered admission without having completed all prerequisite coursework. However, all applicants must successfully complete prerequisite coursework before matriculating to the School of Pharmacy. Note also that while a Bachelor’s degree is not required, that the Admissions Committee gives preference to those students who have attained a Bachelor’s degree.

What does the “rolling application process” mean?

The rolling application process means that we review applications on an on-going basis from the beginning of the application year until all seats in the class are full. Once we receive completed applications, they are reviewed by the Admissions Committee. Interviews will be offered throughout the year to qualified students. If the interview is acceptable and there are seats remaining to be filled, then the candidate may be offered admission shortly following the interview. It is to your advantage to turn your application in as early as possible because of this process. Once the seats in the class are filled, qualified applicants will be placed on a waiting list. As positions become available, students on this list will be offered seats in our program.

Is an interview required for admission to pharmacy school? How does the interview process work?

Is an interview required?

Yes, an interview is required. In order to be considered for admission to the PharmD program, you must be invited and participate in a live interview. PCOM primarily conducts interviews on campus. PCOM will also conduct virtual interviews and interviews at selected off-campus locations by invitation. For questions regarding interviews, please contact the Office of Admissions at PharmDAdmissions@pcom.edu.

Who will interview me?

Applicants can expect to be interviewed by faculty, preceptors and staff.

What is the proper dress attire for the interview?

Professional attire is required for the interview.

Do I need to apply through PharmCAS?

Yes. For more information regarding PharmCAS, please visit www.pharmcas.org.

Is a supplemental application required for pharmacy school?

No, PCOM does not require a supplemental application.

Is pharmacy work experience required for admission to pharmacy school?

No. It is, however, strongly recommended that all applicants gain some form of experience in pharmacy through employment as a pharmacy technician, shadowing or volunteer work. Candidates who have prior experience in a pharmacy environment do receive consideration during the application process. 

How many letters of recommendation are required?

PCOM requires three letters of recommendation. We do not accept letters of recommendation from friends or family members. We recommend that you seek out reference letters from individuals who have had direct experience of you in an educational and/or professional setting who can attest to your work ethic, character, accomplishments and skills. Ideally this would include faculty members familiar with your academic abilities, pharmacists with whom you have worked in the past, previous work supervisors or advisors from experiences you may have had in education, research, patient exposure, community service and/or employment.

Can I apply for a transfer from another PharmD program to PCOM?

PCOM School of Pharmacy does not routinely accept transfer students; however, a transfer application may be considered under extenuating circumstances and depending on availability. A minimum of two years of study must be completed at PCOM for a student to receive the PharmD degree. No consideration will be given to students who wish to transfer solely to complete their Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experience (APPE) at PCOM. 

To be considered for transfer admission to PCOM the applicant must meet the following criteria:

  • Currently or recently enrolled at an ACPE-accredited college or school of pharmacy
  • Never have been temporarily or permanently suspended, dismissed, or involved in any adverse action as a result of conduct violations or academic dishonesty

Candidates for transfer who meet these requirements must provide:

  • A letter detailing the reason for the transfer request to the PCOM School of Pharmacy
  • Official transcripts and syllabi of all coursework in the college/school of pharmacy

The Admissions Committee and the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs will consider transfer feasibility based on such variables as seat availability, student academic strength, and program-to-program curricular match. PCOM will evaluate all completed courses for the purpose of transfer credit. Because of curricular adjustments, transferring between pharmacy programs may result in extended time to graduation. Transfer students will ONLY be considered for fall term admission. All requests and supporting documentation for transfers must be submitted to the School of Pharmacy by June 15th. A formal interview with the Admissions Committee members may be required.

How/when will I be informed of my admissions decision?

The Admissions Committee will review all interviewed applicants for acceptance to the incoming class. You will be notified of committee decisions typically within a few weeks after the interview. Accepted applicants will be informed in writing by mail or email of their admission to the school, and will be provided a packet of information necessary for matriculation. Students who interview but are not immediately selected for admission will be placed on a wait list. A student on the wait list may be accepted into the program if a position becomes available. Students that apply to the program that are not granted an interview will be placed on a hold list. Such students may receive an interview at a later date. Students not meeting the minimum qualifications will be notified at the end of the cycle in writing. PCOM does not disclose an applicant’s position on the official wait list.

Is a seat deposit required if accepted to pharmacy school?

Yes. To confirm your place in the incoming class, we must receive a seat deposit. This deposit is non-refundable and must be received within the time frame noted in your acceptance letter (usually within 14 days of date of acceptance letter). Your deposit will be credited toward your first tuition payment for the fall term of your first professional year. The balance of your tuition and fees, minus your anticipated financial aid, will be due at the beginning of the fall term. PCOM utilizes a two-step seat deposit policy. Prior to March 1, accepted applicants are required to pay a $200 deposit with a balance of $300 due on March 1. Both deposits are required to hold and maintain your seat confirmation. For applicants accepted after March 1, a one-time $500 deposit is due at the time of acceptance.

Does PCOM require a Criminal Background Check (CBC) and Drug Screen prior to matriculation?

PCOM requires all accepted applicants to pass a CBC. PCOM participates in a CBC program offered to all participating PharmCAS institutions through third party vendors. All accepted applicants to PCOM are required to complete a CBC through the PharmCAS program prior to enrolling. PCOM will review all CBC results and reserves the right to rescind offers of admission for applicants who do not successfully pass the CBC. Information and instructions on these programs and how to complete them will accompany your acceptance letter. PCOM does NOT require a drug screen prior to matriculation.

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Health and safety issues

Health and Safety Issues Questions

Does PCOM require immunizations to enroll in the PharmD program?

Yes. Students will be exposed to a number of different healthcare environments and will be in contact with many patients. In order to protect yourself and to minimize the possibility of transmitting diseases to other patients, certain immunizations are required. Updated immunization information will be sent to each student upon acceptance of an offer of admission. Please note that a failure to provide adequate documentation of these requirements may result in your acceptance to the PharmD program being withdrawn.

Do I need health insurance to attend PCOM?

Yes. All pharmacy students are required to have health insurance to attend PCOM, and be able to provide proof of your coverage. Students must enroll in the PCOM student health insurance plan or provide proof of health insurance coverage with an outside carrier.

 

General information

General Questions

Can I work while attending pharmacy school?

Yes. However, pharmacy school can be quite rigorous and significantly different from your undergraduate experience. Students must be able to maintain a balance between school, part-time work and an active social life. It is important that each student be able to manage their time effectively. Please note, while participating on experiential rotations, students shall not, under any circumstances, receive financial remuneration from the experiential site.

Is a laptop computer required/recommended for this program?

Yes, a laptop computer is required. The School of Pharmacy utilizes state-of-the-art technology in the program, and thus access to email and the Internet are critical. Communication with students is often done via email, and you will receive a PCOM email account before orientation. Curricular coursework is posted online via Blackboard educational software, and examinations and other assessments are administered using ExamSoft, which requires a computer-based interface. The specifications of the laptop will be provided and it is the student's responsibility to ensure that their laptops meet the specifications. Depending on the models, both PCs and Macintosh computers can be utilized.

Is university housing available for pharmacy students?

No on-site housing is available for students at PCOM Georgia. However, the Office of Student Affairs will assist students in finding housing close to the campus. You can also find additional information about off-campus student housing options on the PCOM Georgia housing page.

For students choosing to do 4th-year rotations at distant sites, the School of Pharmacy will assist students in finding temporary housing at such sites.

 

International students

International Student Questions

Does PCOM School of Pharmacy accept international students?

PCOM is authorized to host F-1 visa students only. At the time of confirmation of acceptance, an international student is required to complete a Certificate of Financial Responsibility form and provide financial documentation. The financial documentation must indicate that the confirmed applicant has sufficient funding for tuition, fees and living expenses for the entire duration of his or her program or a maximum of five years. It is the sole responsibility of the confirmed applicant to determine if the degree received from PCOM and any licenses obtained from the United States will be acceptable to practice this field in his or her country. PCOM does not guarantee every international country will allow the practice of the profession for which PCOM’s degrees are received and licensing obtained.

Will you accept my course work taken in a foreign university?

Students with international transcripts must have their transcripts analyzed by a foreign transcript service. These foreign transcript evaluation reports are submitted to PharmCAS. PharmCAS will send PCOM this information. PCOM will accept evaluations from WES only. Please visit the PharmCAS website for more information on this process.

As an international applicant do I need to take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) exam?

Every applicant whose native language is not English, or whose undergraduate instruction was not in English, must provide an English proficiency test score. Any applicant whose native language is not English must demonstrate objective competency in English by satisfactory performance on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). A score is considered too old, and will not be accepted, if it is more than two years old from the start of the applicant’s admissions term. Country of citizenship does not exempt applicants from this requirement. Language of instruction at the college or university level, and how recent it has been, are the determining factors in meeting this requirement. The minimum required score for the IBT (Internet Based Testing) is 79 and a minimum score of 26 is required for the speaking component. General writing assistance is available for theses and dissertations; however, as an institution offering only graduate and professional programs, PCOM does not offer remedial ESL coursework.

Applicants are exempt if:

  • English is the exclusive language of instruction at the undergraduate level; or
  • Student has earned a degree from a regionally accredited U.S. college or university not more than five years prior to the anticipated semester of enrollment; or
  • Student has completed at least two full-time semesters of graded coursework, exclusive of ESL courses, in a U.S. college or university, or at an institution outside the U.S. where English is the exclusive language of instruction, not more than five years prior to the anticipated semester of enrollment.