Major Spotlight: What is a Prepharmacy Major?
Why do some medications make people drowsy? Why do others make some people feel agitated or nervous? Why is it important for pregnant women to avoid many medications? How are medicines made, and how do they go to work in our bodies?
If these questions intrigue you, you may have a future in pharmacy. And a prepharmacy program will help you get started.
Prepharmacy programs guide students as they fulfill requirements for admission to professional pharmacy degree programs. In most cases, prepharmacy is not a major, and students choose another related area in which to major.
Did You Know?
Some universities offer a six-year program that combines undergraduate work with studies leading to the doctor of pharmacy (Pharm.D.) degree.
Are You Ready To...?
- Get involved in a student chapter of the American Pharmacists Association, Kappa Epsilon, or a similar organization
- Join a Pharmacy College Admission Test (PCAT) study group
- Help a biology or chemistry professor with lab research
- Intern and volunteer with pharmacies, medical providers, and nonprofit health organizations
- Strive for high grades in your math and science courses
- Meet with an advisor to make sure that you’re doing everything you can to prepare for professional pharmacy study
- Learn about the scientific method and practice it in lab classes
It Helps To Be...
Careful, caring, patient, good with people, and motivated. Getting into a pharmacy program isn’t easy, and you’ll spend many years training to become a pharmacist.
- Is the program affiliated with a Pharm.D. program approved by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education?
- Are there advisors dedicated to helping prepharmacy students?
- Are science labs equipped with the latest?
- Does the school offer PCAT preparation services?
- What are recent grads doing now?
Did You Know?
Though many pharmacy students go on to work in community pharmacies, others are employed by hospitals, the pharmaceutical industry, or government health agencies.
To get into a pharmacy program, you’ll need to complete a full year of organic chemistry. In lecture and lab, you’ll study the building blocks of life: molecules of carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, and nitrogen.
Topics include molecular structure, bonding, and the synthesis -- or creation -- of simple compounds from complex ones. These classes tackle everything from carbohydrates to amino acids, and have many applications in pharmacology and other health-related areas.