Join a profession that seeks to improve patients' quality of life with minimal risk. To be successful in this field, you should enjoy interacting with people and have a strong aptitude for the sciences.

A pharmacist plays a vital role in the health care deployment team. Their responsibilities range from dispensing medications to monitoring a patient's health and progress. Calvin's pre-pharmacy program will prepare you for graduate school by giving you a background in science and mathematics within the context of a strong liberal arts core. As a pre-pharmacy student, you will typically complete two or three years at Calvin before transferring to a college of pharmacy. Some pharmacy schools prefer that students complete a four-year bachelor's degree before enrolling in a PharmD program. If that is the case, you are strongly encouraged to consider a major in biology or biochemistry. Your pre-pharmacy advisor will assist you in planning a pre-pharmacy curriculum and preparing for the Pharmacy College Admission Test.

Student involvement

Volunteer at local hospitals and senior centers; attend lectures sponsored by the biology and chemistry departments; spend the summer assisting a professor with research; intern at Van Andel Institute; work in the West Michigan Regional Lab on campus; study abroad in Amsterdam, Honduras, or Belize.

Pre-pharmacy requirements vary with the pharmacy school you're hoping to attend. To plan your coursework at Calvin, first develop a list of pharmacy schools you might want to attend and look at their admission criteria. For example, Ferris State University has a guide to Calvin's courses that will fully meet their pre-pharm requirements. If you're not sure, talk to your pre-pharmacy advisor (see Advising).

All schools require:

  • One year of intro Biology: BIOL-160 and BIOL-161 (or BIOL-141)
  • One year each of general chemistry and organic chemistry

Many schools require:

Learn more about the field of pharmacy at the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy »

Michael Barbachyn

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