As you prepare to apply to the PharmD program, it’s important to know the selection criteria which the admissions committee uses to evaluate applications.
Criteria for Admission
Once the University of Minnesota receives all required materials for a complete application, applicants will be invited to interview. After the interview, the admissions committee uses a holistic review process that considers an applicant's academic qualifications, experiences, skills and attributes. We value well-rounded applications who have the foundation to successfully complete our program and add diversity to the class. Learn more about the timing of the review process on the application process.
Prepare to Apply
Since the PharmD program has a rigorous curriculum, it’s important for the admissions committee to make sure that all students entering the program are academically prepared. Evaluation of academic achievement includes a review of all of the following factors:
- GPA - includes review of all college-level grades. If a course was repeated, both grades count. PharmCAS provides a breakdown of GPAs including overall PharmCAS GPA, science GPA and non-science GPA.
- PCAT - composite, all subscores and writing score from all PCAT exams in the last five years. No averages are calculated.
- Course selection - grades in upper-level courses, especially science and math courses.
- Course load - ability to obtain strong grades while taking full course loads.
- Bachelor’s degree - preference given to applicants who will have a bachelor’s degree by the time they would begin the PharmD program and applicants with advanced degrees. However, it is not a requirement.
Develop the traits of a good pharmacist by gaining experience in healthcare, taking on leadership roles, and being involved in volunteer and extracurricular experiences. Focus on helping people and creating positive change in your community. While there is no minimum amount of experience required, humanitarian and long-term commitments are preferred in volunteerism. Similarly, healthcare related activities are not required but can strengthen an application. Be sure to list all your paid work experience and volunteer or extracurricular experiences in the Experiences section of your PharmCAS application, not just pharmacy or healthcare related experience.
- Work experience
- Pharmacy or healthcare experience isn't required, but is preferred
- The average admitted applicant has about 2 years of paid pharmacy or healthcare experience (full or part time)
- Community service / volunteer experience
- Long term commmitment to a cause
- Focus on helping people and creating positive change
- Leadership experience
- Positional or non-positional
- Through work, student organizations, volunteer work, school, etc.
Skills and Attributes
Skills and Attributes
Entering pharmacy school is not just a four-year commitment to the PharmD program; it’s a life-long commitment to the profession of pharmacy. A successful pharmacist has a broad range of skills and attributes - the admissions committee considers the following in particular:
- Communication skills (oral and written) - demonstrated through your personal statement and program essays, the interview, and evaluations (letters of recommendation).
- Understanding and motivation for pharmacy - before you begin your career in pharmacy, it’s important to have a broad understanding of career options, current events and challenges in the profession and health care. Your understanding and motivation for pharmacy is evaluated most heavily in your evaluations (letters of recommendation), essays and interview.
- Unique factors contributing to diversity - the College of Pharmacy values a diverse student body for an enriched learning experience and to improve the health of people of Minnesota and the world - see our mission statement. Unique factors are any qualities, experiences or skills that will contribute to the profession and help serve patients better. Examples include: academic background, professional background, race/ethnicity, geographic background, first generation college student status, challenging or disadvantaged background, ability in multiple languages, etc. Be sure to write about all your unique factors in your program essay.
- Desire and potential to affect positive change - evaluated through your personal statement and program essays, and your experiences.