The pre-pharmacy curriculum is just a list of courses that are required for admission to dental school. It is NOT an academic major, a minor, or an emphasis area.
Pharmacy schools may accept students with as few as 90 hours (6 semesters) of credit; however, having a bachelor's degree helps a student be more competitive in the application cycle. Regardless of the timeline in which a student applies, all students must declare an academic major while enrolled at Southern Miss.
Many students select a major in the sciences, such as Biological Sciences, Biomedical Sciences, or Biochemistry. Any major is acceptable, however, including majors in the social sciences, humanities, and business. Students will have to incorporate their pharmacy school prerequisites into their major degree plan, with the help of their major advisor and the pre-professional advisor.
Some students already have a B.A. or B.S. or above and decide to pursue becoming a pharmacist. It is recommended that such students visit the pre-professional office for additional advisement. It is common for these students to take their missing prerequisite courses for pharmacy school here at USM as post-baccalaureate students, work on the other non-course requirements while taking courses, prepare for and take the PCAT, and then apply to pharmacy school(s).
Some students may choose to pursue a second major, while others enroll in prerequisite courses as a non-degree-seeking student. In either case, students must go through the University's Undergraduate Admissions office to be either admitted (new students) or re-admitted (former students) prior to enrollment.
There are several pharmacy programs available in Mississippi and other neighboring states. For a complete list, visit the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy (AACP). Students should consult the specific university programs to which they plan to apply in order to determine entrance requirements and deadlines.
Admission to pharmacy schools is not solely determined by prerequisites. Other factors are weighed as well, such as GPA (overall and science specific), Pharmacy College Admissions Test (PCAT) scores, evidence of care for others through service and/or employment experiences, leadership roles, observation and shadowing experiences, and other personal characteristics. Gaining entrance into pharmacy school is highly competitive, and students who are accepted usually surpass the minimum requirements.
The following list of Required Courses* meets only the minimum requirements for admission to the Ole Miss Pharmacy Program in Oxford/Jackson. Students must consult the specific admission requirements and application deadlines for the school(s) to which they plan to apply, including Ole Miss.
*PHI 452 (Health Care Ethics) is taught sporadically on the Hattiesburg and Gulf Park campuses. Students must check the course schedule guide each year to find a course in advance or plan to take a biomedical ethics course at another university.
The suggested course sequence below is merely a guideline for timely completion of UMMC required courses. Courses to fulfill the major must be worked into the student’s schedule.
Students must consult the USM Undergraduate Bulletin, the USM Class Schedule, and their primary academic advisor. During the last semester of the Sophomore year, students should develop a more detailed plan for the Junior and Senior years as many upper-level courses are offered only in specific semesters and/or on a rotating two year cycle.
a The order in which students take the introductory Biological Sciences (BSC) courses does not matter; 110 covers molecular and cellular topics whereas 111 covers ecology and organisms.
b Placement in mathematics (MAT) courses depends on the student’s ACT subtest score. Consult the prerequisites for the math course you plan to take.
c Additional courses can include courses to satisfy the academic major or minor, as well as suggested courses for pharmacy school.
d Additional courses may include courses to satisfy the academic major or minor, as well as suggested courses for a student's ideal pharmacy programs.
e The schedules for Fall and Spring of Year Three are arranged with the assumption that the student will be applying to enter pharmacy school with 90 credit hours but no bachelor's degree. If the student plans to complete their degree at USM prior to matriculation, the schedule can be rearranged to move some courses to Year Four.
f Additional courses can include courses to satisfy the academic major or minor, as well as courses to supplement the pre-pharmacy curriculum.
The application process for students seeking a baccalaureate degree at Southern Miss may begin in the Spring semester of the third year. Students planning to transfer to Ole Miss after only three years should begin much earlier.
Each pharmacy school has their own deadlines, but the deadline for the Early Decision Program is typically early in September. The PharmCAS application deadline is March 1 for regular admission. All materials must be received by March 1 if applying to Ole Miss, but it is best to apply well before the deadline due to some schools' rolling admissions policies.
The Pharmacy College Admissions Test (PCAT) is taken during the twelve months preceding the application deadline. It tests students' knowledge in chemistry (general through biochemistry), biology (including microbiology and anatomy/physiology), and mathematics (basic through calculus, including statistics). In addition, it tests critical thinking and analytical skills, as well as writing ability.
Students are strongly encouraged to take an online practice PCAT before taking the PCAT that they will use on their application. Pearson provides such a practice exam for interested students.
Students may review for the PCAT in whatever manner they wish. Both free and paid resources are available to aid in preparation for the exam; for more information, visit the pre-professional office. In addition, the pre-professional office offers an MCAT prep course - BSC 399 - every spring, which many pre-pharmacy students find useful in preparing for the PCAT.
Students are advised to practice their interview skills BEFORE attending their first interview. For interview preparation at USM you may use the online Big Interview resource. You can also sign up for mock interviews through Career Services or the pre-professional office (contact information below).