Frequently Asked Questions
School of Pharmacy

Click on the topics below to review frequently asked questions about the PharmD program, the application process and more.

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Pharmacy program information

Pharmacy Program Questions

What is the current accreditation status of the School of Pharmacy?

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 will I obtain from the School of Pharmacy?

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.

How long is the PharmD program?

The PharmD Program requires four years to complete.

Can the PharmD program be taken on a part-time basis?

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.

Where can I find information regarding the curriculum for the 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.  

When do classes begin and when do they end?

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. These APPEs begin in May and continue until the following April.

Where will I complete my clinical experiences/rotations?

The PharmD program will have clinical experiences throughout all four years of the curriculum as mandated by ACPE (Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education). The first, second and third year Introductory Pharmacy Practice Experiences (IPPEs) will be completed in various pharmacies and health care facilities 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. Regardless of location, students are responsible for securing transportation and/or lodging for APPE rotations.

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

Students are not required to find their own clinical 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.

Will PCOM provide transportation to/from rotation sites or lodging at distant sites?

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.

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

Does the PCOM School of Pharmacy participate in the PharmCAS application service?

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

How many students apply each year? How many students are accepted every year?

Visit our program statistics page to view the latest program acceptance and matriculation data.

Does PCOM require a Supplemental Application?

Yes. When PCOM receives and processes your completed PharmCAS application, PCOM will send you a Supplemental Application via email. The Supplemental Application must be fully completed and sent back to PCOM prior to matriculation.

What factors are considered for admission to PCOM?

All applications undergo a holistic review process whereby careful consideration is given to all the credentials presented by applicants. Satisfactory completion of the required prerequisite coursework from an accredited college or university is necessary. 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.

Prior to matriculation, competitive applicants must have completed the prerequisite coursework with a grade of “C” or better. All science and math prerequisites must have been completed within the last 10 years with a letter grade of "C" or higher. There is no minimum overall or science GPA for consideration. Average overall GPA is 2.9 and 2.8 for science GPA for the prior matriculating class. Competitive scores on the Pharmacy College Admissions Test (PCAT) or other standardized tests will be considered, including the MCAT, GRE, DAT and OAT. PCATs scores greater than 40 percent, or comparable scores on other standardized tests, are considered competitive. Standardized test scores, including PCAT scores, must be taken within five years of the application date for consideration. Professional preparedness, motivation, decision making and written and verbal communication skills are also evaluated. An in-person interview is required.

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.

What are the pharmacy prerequisite courses and how many credit hours do I need to enroll at PCOM?

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).

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.

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.

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 institution you attended and received credit.

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.

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

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 is my GPA calculated for admissions consideration?

For admissions purposes, overall and science GPAs are calculated 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.

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.

Does PCOM require the Pharmacy College Admissions Test (PCAT)? What is the minimum score needed to apply?

Yes. In order to qualify for an interview and be granted admission to the School of Pharmacy, students are required to take the Pharmacy College Admission Test (PCAT). Information regarding the PCAT can be found on the PCAT website. Although no minimum PCAT score is required, students with composite scores less than 40 percent or subscores in science-related areas less than 25 percent are not likely to be competitive for admission. While the PCAT is preferred, 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. Under certain exceptional circumstances, the PCAT and standardized test requirement may be waived. For questions regarding standardized test scores, please contact the Office of Admissions.

Will January and February PCAT scores be accepted?

Yes. Keep in mind that students with complete applications will be invited for interviews first. Early applicants have an increased chance of an offer for an interview and acceptance into the school. Your application is not complete until the PCAT score is received along with all other admissions requirements. If the PCAT examination is taken in January, the School may not receive the student’s score until March and interviews will not be scheduled until the School has received the student’s PCAT score. PCOM will accept PCAT scores for as long as PharmCAS is accepting applications during the admissions cycle.

If I have taken the PCAT multiple times, which PCAT score will the Admissions Committee use when they review my application?

The Admissions Committee will take into consideration the highest composite PCAT score (regardless of whether this is the most recent score or not). PCAT scores must be taken within five years of the application date in order to be considered valid scores.

Does PCOM require interviews as a component of the admissions process?

Yes. 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.

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 or receive an interview invitation. However, all courses must have been successfully completed (with a grade of "C" or higher) no later than July 1 of the year you are applying for admission.

If I'm granted an interview, who will interview me?

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

What is the proper dress attire for the interview?

Professional attire is required for the interview.

Is work experience in a pharmacy required to be admitted to PCOM School of Pharmacy? If I do have relevant experience, how do I document it?

No. It is, however, strongly recommended that all applicants gain some form of experience in pharmacy through employment as a technician, shadowing or volunteer work. Candidates who have prior experience in a pharmacy environment do receive consideration during the application process. Previous pharmacy-related work experience is not required for admission. However, students with such work experience are given greater consideration in the admissions process. On the Supplemental Application, you will be asked to provide a history of your pharmacy work or volunteer experience and be required to sign your name acknowledging the accuracy of the information provided.

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 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. No consideration will be given to students who wish to transfer solely to complete their Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experience (APPE) at PCOM. A minimum of two years of study must be completed at PCOM for a student to receive the PharmD degree.

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

  • Currently be in good academic standing 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
  • Have a minimum grade-point average of 2.5 on a 4.0 scale

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
  • A letter sent directly from the Dean of the College/School of Pharmacy, or designated individual, that the candidate for transfer is in good academic standing at the College/School of Pharmacy and that the student has not been temporarily or permanently suspended, dismissed, or involved in any adverse action as a result of conduct violations or academic dishonesty

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 may be required.

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

The Admissions Committee will review all interviewed applicants and the most-qualified applicants will be selected for the incoming class. You will be notified 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 if they meet the minimum qualifications but are not as competitive as other students. 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.

If I am accepted and wish to attend PCOM, does PCOM require a seat deposit?

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. 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 this PharmCAS program prior to enrolling. PCOM will review all CBC results and reserves the right to rescind offers of admissions 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 admissions. Please note that a failure to provide adequate documentation of these requirements may result in your invitation for admission to be withdrawn.

Am I required to have health insurance before I can 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?

PCOM has no on-site housing for students at the Georgia campus. However, Student Services will assist students in finding housing close to the campus. You can also find listings for apartments that the college has a working relationship with in the housing section on the website. 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.

The School of Pharmacy is based in Suwanee, Ga. What is it like to live in Suwanee?

Suwanee offers an outstanding quality of life. Suwanee is approximately 30 miles northeast of Atlanta and offers close proximity to a large metropolitan environment with world-class shopping, restaurants, points-of-interest like the Georgia Aquarium, sporting events, indoor and outdoor concert arenas, theme parks like Six Flags, and yet is still close enough to great outdoor sporting areas like Lake Lanier and natural environments for hunting, hiking and fishing. For more information about Suwanee, please visit the City of Suwanee website.

 

International students

International Student Questions

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.

Does PCOM 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.