Mercer University undergraduates who plan to pursue a career in pharmacy are considered to the on the "pre-pharmacy" track. Pre-pharmacy is not an academic major, but a preparatory track. Pre-pharmacy students enrolled at the College of Liberal Arts declare and work towards an academic major and minor>> as they fulfill the admission requirements for their preferred pharmacy school(s) - at least as a back-up plan.
Pre-pharmacy students may choose one of three paths as they prepare for pharmacy school:
- Students may earn a bachelor’s degree as they fulfill the prerequisites for the pharmacy school of their choice;
- Students may participate in the Guaranteed Admission Plus Degree Program (GAPDP) described in detail on the Guaranteed Admission Programs page>>; or
- Students may fulfill only the minimum requirements for the pharmacy school of their choice before matriculation into a pharmacy program.
Information and advice about all aspects of the pre-dental track can be found The Student Handbook for the Pre-Pharmacy Tracks>>. Information about all of the pre-professional tracks at Mercer-Macon can be found on the web pages of the Office of Academic & Advising Services>>.
Please note that the minimum science coursework required for the pre-pharmacy track is only offered by the College of Liberal Arts on the Macon Campus. Also note that competency in mathematics at or above the calculus level is required to begin the chemistry and biology course sequences at Mercer University. Students planning on following the pre-pharmacy track are therefore advised to take mathematics in high school at least through the pre-calculus level.
Becoming a Competitive Pharmacy School Applicant
Admission to pharmacy schools is competitive, so pre-pharmacy students must plan ahead carefully in order to create a competitive application "portfolio" during their undergraduate years.This means taking the appropriate coursework, performing well academically, and participating in appropriate extracurricular activities that will develop the skills and characteristics required of a successful pharmacy school applicant.To help them make appropriate choices regarding these things, students should bear in mind that pharmacy schools are looking for individuals with the following characteristics:
- a strong academic background with a firm foundation in the sciences;
- good reasoning ability and strong critical thinking skills;
- a positive attitude, able to function effectively under stress;
- strong leadership skills but with the ability to work well on a team;
- compassion anda commitment to service;
- strong interpersonal skills, able to connect well with patients from various backgrounds;
- excellent communication skills (both written and oral);
- integrity and high ethical standards;
- a good base of knowledge about pharmacy and a commitment to its study;
- competitive Pharmacy College Admission Test scores; and
- a well-written Personal Statement.
Because the pre-pharmacy track is challenging and pharmacy schools are selective, all pre-pharmacy students should develop an alternative plan to implement in the event that adequate progress is not made on their pre-pharmacy track (i.e., GPAs below 3.3) or acceptance to pharmacy school is not achieved. Such plans may include strengthening the application portfolio followed by reapplication or a complete change of career goals.Students are advised to consult the Office of Career Services>> and their primary advisors for guidance in this regard.