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Why choose Southwest to begin your path to a career in Pharmacy?

Obtain your pre-pharmacy requirements at SWCC and enjoy low tuition and housing costs. You will receive a high-quality pre-pharmacy education pathway into a rewarding career in Pharmacy, with credentials awarded at regional pharmacy schools.

In two years you will complete the Associate of Arts and Sciences Degree with a major in Science, Specialization: Pre-Medical. SWCC’s pre-pharmacy option provides specific pre-requisite courses required by colleges of pharmacy.

Just a few of the reasons to complete your pre-pharmacy education at SWCC are:

  • Excellent faculty and course preparation without the university price tag
  • free PCAT® math reviews
  • mock interviews
  • strategic advisement

SWCC science students have great success in being accepted to colleges of pharmacy.

Students have been accepted to:

  • Appalachian College of Pharmacy
  • East Tennessee State University | Bill Gatton College of Pharmacy
  • Marshall University School of Pharmacy
  • Mercer University College of Pharmacy
  • Wingate University School of Pharmacy
  • Belmont University College of Pharmacy
  • Rosalind Franklin University College of Pharmacy
  • Virginia Commonwealth School of Pharmacy
  • Shenandoah University Bernard J. Dunn School of Pharmacy
  • University of Charleston School of Pharmacy.

Educational Pathway

Pharmacy candidates are not currently required to have a bachelor’s degree before entering a college of pharmacy. Most pharmacy colleges require a minimum of 90 semester hours of undergraduate coursework for acceptance. After being accepted to a college of pharmacy it will typically take three or four years to be awarded a Doctor of Pharmacy Degree (Pharm.D.). Graduates of colleges of pharmacy may choose to pursue additional training through residencies or fellowships in specialty areas.

SWCC has an articulation agreement with Appalachian College of Pharmacy in Oakwood, VA.

Early in your academic career, you will need to research some of the colleges of pharmacies you are interested in attending. This will help to ensure that you will meet all their criteria for admission through the pre-medical/ pre-pharmacy option at SWCC. Some basic factors are:

  • Good undergraduate grades in science classes and a good overall GPA; some colleges of pharmacy do not list a specific GPA but you should strive for 3.0 or better
  • Test scores (PCAT®); many colleges of pharmacy do not list a specific PCAT® score but you should strive to do well
  • True interest in the profession as demonstrated by shadowing or working in a pharmacy or pharmacy-related field
  • Volunteering in the community or in healthcare areas
  • Exceptional communication skills
  • Strong reference letters from professionals who know your character, as well as, your work ethic

What is the PCAT®?

It is the Pharmacy College Admission Test. It is a standardized test taken by students who are applying to colleges of pharmacy. It will be similar to the ACT® or SAT®. It measures general academic ability, critical thinking, and scientific knowledge. It covers biology, chemistry, mathematics (including calculus), and reading comprehension. The PCAT® consists of approximately 240 multiple-choice items and a writing sample. Candidates are given approximately four hours to complete the test.

Important qualities for pharmacists

Pharmacy practice requires conscientious performance. It demands attention to detail, good judgment, dependability, and excellent communication skills. In addition, pharmacists must have high ethical standards, maintain reliable records and be knowledgeable about existing and new medications coming on the market. As in other health-related occupations, empathy, understanding and the desire to help others are good qualities for dealing effectively with patients

Is pharmacy for you?

The student should shadow pharmacists and ask questions about the profession. Pharmacists care for patients in different ways through their responsibilities of dispensing drugs, educating patients on the use of prescriptions and over-the-counter medications, counseling patients, and administering vaccines. Pharmacists advise physicians and other healthcare providers on drug decisions. Career opportunities are numerous and varied. Pharmacists can be found in retail pharmacies, clinical pharmacies, veterinary pharmacies, nuclear pharmacies, home infusion and chemotherapy, pharmaceutical benefit management, and healthcare information technology to name a few.

Are you interested in changing careers to pharmacy?

Admission offices do not consider age in the application process. The age range of students is 20 to 60 years old. There are a growing number of applicants that are returning adult students. If you are interested in a career change make an appointment with the Science Pre-Medical advisor to discuss the pre-pharmacy option today.

Colleges of Pharmacy

There are 120 colleges of pharmacy in the United States. You can review them at the following site:

samantha keen

Samantha Keen

After graduating with the Science/Pre-medical specialization, Samantha is continuing her studies at the ETSU Bill Gatton College of Pharmacy in Fall 2020.

harmon and thompson acp

Lura Thompson and Nicholas Harmon

Lura and Nicholas are Southwest Science/Pre-med alumni who graduated from the Appalachian College of Pharmacy.

They recently joined the staff of the Appalachian College of Pharmacy.

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