Becoming a Pharmacy Student Later in Life: Advice and Experiences

Are you considering a career change to become a pharmacy student later in life? You’re not alone. Many individuals are pursuing pharmacy as a second career, and it’s never too late to start. In this blog post, we’ll share some advice and experiences from individuals who have taken this path.

One forum member, a 23-year-old in the IT field with a degree in Computer Science, shared that they only need to take six science classes to be considered for pharmacy school. However, they are working full-time and worried about the competitive acceptance process. They asked for advice, and many forum members shared their experiences.

One member, a 34-year-old mother of four children under 12, enrolled in Creighton University’s PharmD web track. She takes all her classes online and goes to the campus in Omaha for a few weeks in the summer to do labs. She shared that the web track is very competitive, and entry requires good grades in all prerequisites. She also advised against working full-time while in the program.

Another member shared their experience of graduating with a PharmD in 2002 and advised that it’s definitely possible to pursue pharmacy as a second career. They recommended doing it full-time, as it requires intense science courses and study. They also noted that pharmacy is a secure degree to have, but it may not lead to a high salary compared to other fields.

One member, a 40-year-old with a B.S. in Communications and experience as a certified pharmacy tech, is starting pre-pharmacy classes this fall. They hope their tech experience will be viewed favorably. Another member, a medical technologist with over seven years of experience, is retaking pre-reqs since their science courses are over 10 years old.

If you’re considering pharmacy as a second career, here are some tips to increase your chances of acceptance:

  1. Research pharmacy schools and their requirements. Use resources like PharmCas to find information about participating schools, their acceptance rates, and average GPAs.
  2. Retake pre-reqs if necessary. If your science courses are over five years old, some schools may require you to retake them. Even if they don’t, it’s a good idea to refresh your knowledge.
  3. Gain experience in the field. Consider working as a pharmacy tech or volunteering in a pharmacy to gain experience and show your commitment to the field.
  4. Prepare for the PCAT. The Pharmacy College Admission Test (PCAT) is a standardized exam that many pharmacy schools require. Study and prepare to do well on this exam.
  5. Be prepared for the workload. Pharmacy school is intense and requires a lot of studying. Be prepared to dedicate a significant amount of time to your studies.

Becoming a pharmacy student later in life is possible with dedication and hard work. Research schools, retake pre-reqs if necessary, gain experience, prepare for the PCAT, and be prepared for the workload. Good luck on your journey to becoming a pharmacist!