Pre-Professional Pathways are not offered as majors at Western, nor are they at most other universities, but they can be incorporated into or taken alongside any degree-granting major offered at Western.
Western provides a series of courses which prepares students for application to institutions that offer a Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) degree. Pharmacy schools emphasize the importance of a liberal arts education and do not recruit students from one specific major or discipline. Although Western does not offer a Pre-Pharmacy major, examples of majors popular among pre-pharmacy students are Biology, Environmental Science, Psychology, Spanish, and Business.
What does it mean to be Pre-Pharmacy at WWU?
Pre-Pharmacy students are those who identify themselves as such, formally or informally. Western does not offer a "Pre-Pharmacy" major, and there is no formula for getting into pharmacy school. Selection committees evaluate applicants across multiple areas through a holistic review process. Important components include GPA (both cumulative and science/math), letters of recommendation, extracurricular activities, community service, pharmacy awareness, diversity awareness, PCAT scores in some cases, an interview, and background checks (including legal, conduct, and social records).
Beyond the Classroom
Western's Pre-Healthcare Professions Advising Office provides mentoring and advising to students interested in pursuing careers in healthcare professions. The office works with students to enhance their chances of gaining successful admission to the professional school of their choice. Services range from individual academic advisement to preparing students for the final application process.
Pre-Pharmacy Club: Join this and other WWU Associated Students clubs at www.as.wwu.edu/clubs/.
Careers and Graduate Studies
Admission to institutions that offer a PharmD degree is selective and may include: evaluation of GPA (both cumulative and science), letters of recommendation, pharmacy related experience, and an interview as well as legal and social records. Due to variations in admission requirements, students are encouraged to research the schools of their choice for detailed information.
Pharmacy schools emphasize the importance of a liberal arts education and do not recruit students from one specific major or discipline. This gives you flexibility in planning your educational program. Use your undergraduate years to explore many academic fields, to develop basic skills and knowledge, to demonstrate expertise and to experience a field of study (major) of your choice. Align with a major in which you both excel and enjoy. While Biology and Chemistry are popular choices, Pre-Pharmacy students have majored in a diverse range of disciplines including Anthropology, Behavioral Neuroscience, Business, Kinesiology, Languages (i.e. Spanish), Literature, and self-designed programs. Some pursue combined majors such as Biology/Anthropology, Biochemistry, and Cellular & Molecular Biology.
Students should gain shadowing experience with a non-relative pharmacist. This helps one to gain exposure to the profession and generate a professional letter of recommendation.
Approximately 2/3 of pharmacy schools require the Pharmacy College Admission Test. Test dates occur in January, July, September, October, and November. Take the exam within the cycle of application, which opens each July (one year before projected matriculation). PCAT information is available at http://www.pcatweb.info/.
Health Professions Advising Events
Typical programming events offered include (but are not limited to):
Orientation Session: Getting you from WWU to professional school (PRESCRIBE)
Health Professional School & Grad School Info Fair, October 17
Winter Registration Walk-in Advising: Nov 13 and Nov 14, 12-2 in BI 415
Spring Registration Walk-in Advising: Feb 26 and Feb 27, 12-2 in BI 415
The Healthcare Professional School Application: A session overviewing the process
Fall Registration Walk-in Advising: May 20 and May 21, 12-2 in BI 415