A career in pharmacy can be an exciting and rewarding choice at any stage in your life and you are already aware that choosing a life-long career is an important decision. Here at the School of Pharmacy, we welcome all people interested in pursuing our professional Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D.) program, including those who have already built a career in a different field and are looking for a change.
The road to a career change in pharmacy is not an easy one, but we are excited to help you make this choice. Here is some information to help you see if pharmacy is right for you:
Understand the pre-pharmacy course requirements
Our Pharm.D. program requires almost 60 credit hours of specific undergraduate coursework before you begin. If you have already earned some college credit, a bachelor’s degree or higher, some of your coursework may satisfy these requirements. However, it is more likely that you will still need to take the majority of our required courses, especially those that have a time limit. Below is the full list of required pre-pharmacy courses:
*Courses must be completed within 5 years before you begin the Pharm.D. program
Learn about the Pharm.D. program
After you have completed the required pre-pharmacy courses, the professional Pharm.D. program will require 4 years to complete. Students must attend the program full-time. Look and see what courses are part of the curriculum.
Schedule a meeting with an advisor
After you have looked at the required pre-pharmacy courses, it is imperative to meet with a School of Pharmacy staff member in our Office of Student Affairs. We will help you determine which courses will need to be retaken and help develop a general timeline of your application. We will be as realistic as possible, understanding that your position might be very different from other applicants. Please call 816-235-1613 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule an appointment.
Gain Pharmacy Experience
While we understand that you might be working full-time, it is still important to gain valuable pharmacy experience before you begin. There is not a set number of hours required.
Shadowing is an opportunity to spend some time following a pharmacist around and watching what they do. You can reach out to local pharmacists to inquire about this type of experience.
Pharmacy Technician jobs are another way to gain pharmacy experience while also earning an income. The Missouri Board of Pharmacy and The Kansas Board of Pharmacy provide additional information about becoming a pharmacy technician. There are two types of Pharmacy Technician licenses. Most people are registered technicians, whereas certified technicians (Pharmacy Technician Certification Board) work in more specialty roles, especially in hospitals.
Applicants to the UMKC School of Pharmacy must follow the Pharm.D. Application Instructions and complete ALL parts of the application process. Students should begin the application process about one year before their intended start date.
- PharmCAS application
- Official copies of all college and university transcripts
- Letters of recommendation (1)
- PCAT scores
In addition to the PharmCAS application, the UMKC School of Pharmacy requires that each student submit a supplemental application and non-refundable fee directly to the UMKC School of Pharmacy. Students who complete the PharmCAS application will be directed to the UMKC Supplemental Application.
The School of Pharmacy Admissions Committee evaluates the whole student in seeking the best candidates, but you must meet our minimum academic requirements. Once the minimums are met, your application is reviewed to determine your overall preparedness for the profession. Our focus is on your preparation for the pharmacy practice profession, your ability to meet the rigors of the program, and your skillsets, including decision-making, care-giving, and communication abilities, for working with health care professionals and patients.
Minimum academic requirements:
- Cumulative GPA > 2.75
- Science/Math GPA > 2.5
- PCAT Composite > 16
Family and Student Life Considerations
The UMKC School of Pharmacy understands there are multitudes of concerns when making a big life change and the stress it can cause. We will do everything we can to make the transition as seamless as possible.
Financial Investment: Please visit the “Financing your Pharmacy Education” page to learn about tuition and financial aid questions.
Family Responsibilities: Moving your entire family to Kansas City may not be feasible. You have the option of completing the Pharm.D. program at any one of our three sites: Kansas City, Columbia or Springfield. Please see Why UMKC? for more detailed information.
Student Life: Our students come from a wide range of backgrounds, and many have significant personal responsibilities outside school. However, once they enter pharmacy school, they are working towards the same goal – to become a pharmacist. Our students develop strong relationships with each other and the faculty through our student organizations and their faculty advisors. They are very active in the community and all dedicate time to leadership and professional development outside of the classroom.