Last Updated on August 12, 2023 by Oluwajuwon Alvina

Pharmacy School GPA Requirements

Pharmacy school admissions is a very competitive process. You can’t control how strong your competitor’s applications will be, so you need to maximize every part of your application to put your best foot forward. One area that you have complete control over is how well you do in school. Ideally, you’ll be in a position to say you received perfect marks in every course, but that isn’t reality for many applicants. If you have one or more less than ideal grades to report, you won’t be able to hide them. This article explains how GPA factors into the admissions decision, and what you can do to make the most of your personal GPA numbers.

AVERAGE/COMPETITIVE GPA TO GET INTO PHARMACY SCHOOL

Most pharmacy programs set minimum overall GPA requirements, generally around 2.5 to 3.0. If your GPA fails to meet the threshold, your application will not be reviewed. Recent years have seen high numbers of PharmD applications, which means that programs can be selective. The average GPAs of applicants offered admission may be quite a bit higher than the published minimum requirements (often landing around 3.5). To be competitive for a program you should research their minimum and average GPAs before you apply.

DO PHARMACY SCHOOLS LOOK AT OVERALL GPA?

Overall GPA is considered by most pharmacy schools. It is a snapshot that can be used to filter out lower-ranking candidates before reviewing further details of the numerous applications they receive. While it is important to have a strong overall GPA, there are also several other GPA calculations that can be considered when evaluating the overall profile of an applicant. These GPAs can be just as important, if not more, than the overall GPA. According to the central application service, PharmCAS, GPAs may be calculated by year, course subject category (e.g., science, non-science, math), or for all pre-pharmacy prerequisite courses. When deciding where to submit your applications, the method or methods of GPA calculation used by each school should be considered. Many programs publish the average GPAs of their entering class on their website to give you an idea of how competitive your application will be.

HOW TO GET INTO PHARMACY SCHOOL WITH A LOW GPA

If you are faced with applying to pharmacy school with a lower GPA than you’d like, there are several strategies you can use to increase your chance of success.

If you are faced with applying to pharmacy school with a lower GPA than you’d like, there are several strategies you can use to increase your chance of success. First, you can select schools with lower overall average GPAs for their admitted students. This will make it more likely that your application isn’t filtered out before the other, more attractive parts of your profile are considered.

Any GPA deficiencies should be directly addressed in your written personal statement and interview. This is an opportunity to explain why your grades suffered for certain courses or periods of time. If your GPA was weakened by a tough transition to college or period of personal issues, you can explain this and highlight the improvements in other years. This will demonstrate maturity and personal growth. Some schools will even allow you to use the grade from a repeated course, so that could be an excellent solution if you have the time to repeat it before your application is due.

As mentioned above, there are several methods that can be used to calculate GPA without using all courses. You can play to the strengths of your alternative GPA scores, particularly if you did well in science and pre-pharmacy prerequisite courses but struggled in other areas. These courses may weigh more heavily on some schools’ applications than the overall GPA. The specific prerequisite courses required for admittance to each program can vary. If you did poorly in certain courses that pull down your prerequisite GPA calculation for one pharmacy school, you can focus on schools that may not include that course in their calculation.

PHARMACY SCHOOL GPA CALCULATOR

GPA calculations are done automatically in PharmCAS after they receive your official transcripts. The formula for calculating GPA is as follows:

  1. For each course, assign a numeric value to your letter grade (A = 4 points, B = 3 points, C = 2 points, D = 1 point, F = 0 point).
  2. Multiply this by the number of attempted credits to obtain “quality points”.
  3. Do this for each course in the calculation.
  4. Divide the total quality points by the total attempted credits to determine your GPA.

You can do this by hand, but several schools have made tools available to make it easier for you to self-calculate your GPS scores before you submit an application. Examples include one from the Keck Graduate Institute and University of Kansas.

Applying to Pharmacy School in Canada

Would you like to be a pharmacist one day? There are 10 pharmacy schools in Canada in which one can enroll to obtain their pharmacy degree. Look at the links below to get a quick summary on what post-secondary courses and other requirements needed to apply to that specific pharmacy school. Most pharmacy schools require at least 2 years of undergraduate education in order to complete pre-requisite requirements. The interview process varies between each school as some do panel style or multiple mini interviews. Click on the link or contact the school’s faculty of pharmacy on how you can apply to the pharmacy program of your choice.

University of British Columbia

University of Toronto

UBC Admission Requirements

  • PCAT is not required for admission.
  • To be considered for admission, an applicant must have completed 60 credits of post-secondary coursework with a minimum average of 65% (or 2.50 GPA on a 4 point scale). However, having a high 70 to low 80 admission average is considered competitive to score an interview. The average GPA for the Class of 2020 was 80% (or 3.67 on a 4 point scale).
  • Interviews are conducted following the Multiple Mini Interview (MMI) format where applicants rotate through several interview stations and respond to situational and behavioural based questions.
  • There are 224 seats in the Entry-to-Practice PharmD program per year

Toronto Admission Requirements

  • PCAT is not required for admission
  • Minimum 70% average
  • If minimum requirements are met will be offered multiple mini interviews (MMI)
  • Requires an undergraduate physiology course to be completed before applying

University of Alberta

University of Waterloo

Alberta Admission Requirements

  • Admission to the program is based on academics and ability to perform well in full-time study coursework (based on your transcript) as well as career goals, knowledge of the profession and overall interpersonal and communication skills (based on the other requirements including the pharmacist consultation form, letter of intent and an online interview)
  • For students who have done their pre-requisite courses in Alberta, having a GPA of 3.5 or greater is considered competitive. However, students with a slightly lower GPA average have been considered depending on other admission considerations. For out-of-province students, they must present a higher GPA average of 3.7 or higher to be considered competitive. Both in-province and out-of-province are considered within the same pool of students.
  • There are about 130 spots each year

Waterloo Admission Requirements

  • PCAT is not a requirement
  • Must complete Computer Based Assessment for Sampling Personal Characteristics (CASPer) Test
  • During interview process a fundamental skills assessment will be completed
  • Preferable to have pharmacy experience beforehand as need reference letter from a pharmacist

University of Saskatchewan

Université de Montreal

Saskatchewan Admission Requirements

  • There are three constituent factors in the admission process to the PharmD program at the University of Saskatchewan. These factors are as follows: academic performance (weighted 60%), a Test of Critical Skills (30%), and a personal video interview (10%).
  • Prerequisites to application include the completion of 60 U of S credit units of pre-pharmacy courses (or equivalent course credits at other universities)and a minimum overall average of 70%. The deadline for application is February 15 of the year of admission.
  • Generally 76 seats in province, 14 seats out of province for 90 total seats.
  • One seat is available for self declared aboriginal applicants. You can also apply for the one seat under special consideration for compassionate reasons

Montreal Admission Requirements

  • Admission is based on :
    • 80% academic record
    • 20% CASPer Test score
    • (an applicant can be invited for an interview if judged necessary)
  • PCAT is not a requirement
  • Pass the French Admission Test (obtain a score of at least 850/990 on the International French Test)
  • 200 new students per year (typically half from the college network and half from the university network)
  • French-speaking candidates from Ontario and Maritime provinces have priority over the French-speaking candidates of other provinces

University of Manitoba

Université Laval

Manitoba Admission Requirements

  • preference given to Manitoba residents
  • https://umanitoba.ca/student/admissions/programs/pharmacy.html
  • PCAT is not a requirement

Laval Admission Requirements

  • Applicants for the PharmD are evaluated according to the excellence of their academic record, their CASPer situational judgment test results and the results of an autobiographical questionnaire.
  • Students from other provinces are welcome to apply, however if they are English-speaking, the student must complete an International French test and obtain a score of at least 860/990
  • French-speaking candidates from Ontario, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia have priority over the French-speaking candidates of other provinces
  • 192 new students a year
    • half of the students accepted comes from the college network and the other half of the students comes from a university network
      • the autobiographical questionnaire is only for the candidates coming from the university network!

Dalhousie University

Memorial University of Newfoundland

Dal Admission Requirements

  • For September 2021 admission, will require at least two full-time academic years of prerequisite courses.
  • Preferences are given to maritime residents

MUN Admission Requirements

  • No PCAT required
  • Minimum 70% average required to be eligible for an interview
  • Only 96 interviews are offered per year
  • Interviews must be completed in person
  • There are both written and oral sections
  • The seat reservation is  35 for NL residents, one of which is for an Aboriginal student. 5 are open to anybody from Canada or international.