Pharmacy is a career that requires a sound educational background in math and science as well as good communication and social skills. Pharmacy programs vary from college to college, but all pharmacy schools in the nation now only offer a Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm. D.) degree. This type of program usually requires at least two years of pre-pharmacy undergraduate study and four years of professional education in the actual pharmacy program. Some pharmacy schools might require additional coursework prior to admission (examples on a separate page), which make it necessary to do three or four years of pre-pharmacy coursework. Most students from Montana apply to the University of Montana.
Successful Applicant Profile
Successful applicant profiles, which indicate the number of applications received, number of admitted students, demographic information, average GPA, and other information, are available on pharmacy school web sites. The profile for the University of Montana can be found by searching for Skaggs School of Pharmacy Successful Applicant Profile.
Each pharmacy school requires the completion of 15-20 selected prerequisite courses in chemistry, biology, mathematics, physics, writing, communications, and social sciences. The requirements at each school are unique, which means that students need to select their target pharmacy school early in their academic careers and plan their Carroll coursework carefully. Those Carroll students who complete the pre-pharmacy requirements in two or three years and who are successfully admitted to a college of pharmacy need not fulfill the actual requirements for an academic major at Carroll. A list of the prerequisite courses can be found on each school's website. The Carroll courses that satisfy the UM pre-pharmacy requirements are included with this fact sheet. Find a typical class schedule for students applying to the UM pharmacy program (or a similar program) here.
For a full list of required and recommended courses, visit our Academic Catalog.
Professional Observation Experience
It is always a good idea to observe and visit with members of the professional community. Some schools require volunteer or paid experience serving a patient population in a medical or social field. UM requires 20 hours of such exposure in a medical or social field, preferably in a pharmacy, along with an evaluation of the applicant by the person who supervised his or her work. There are several pharmacies in the Helena area that welcome Carroll students as observers. Students may also observe in a hometown pharmacy during the summer. The following attributes of an experience are important:
- opportunity to demonstrate effective interpersonal communication,
- opportunity to provide a helping service for clients,
- regular supervision of the student and observation of the quality of service provided for clients or patients, and
- opportunity to demonstrate responsibility, sound judgment, maturity, and dependability.