How do I get from high school to pharmacy school?

How do I get from high school to pharmacy school? One Way – UMKC’s Early Assurance Program

By: Amanda Hoelting

I’m guessing you’re reading this because you’re in high school and you have an interest in pursuing a career in pharmacy, right? Well good! Here are some helpful hints for high school seniors.

The shortest path from high school to pharmacy school…

What is one big advantage to the Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D.) program over other doctorate programs? No degree is required for admission!

For many students, the prerequisite courses can be completed in two years, so that by their third year of college they’re actually starting pharmacy school. These two years of prerequisite courses, plus four years of pharmacy school, means students can earn their Pharm.D. in as little as six years!

This is the shortest path to pharmacy school, not the only path to pharmacy school. If you think your path is going to look different (e.g. three years of prerequisite coursework, earning a bachelor’s degree prior to starting pharmacy school, attending a different institution for financial/scholarship reasons,etc.) check out this blog post which outlines the many paths to pharmacy school.

“Just follow the path that is right for you!” –Viktoria Phillips, Academic Advisor

“How you go about completing your prerequisite coursework is a personal choice made by you.  We’ll be here when you’re ready.” –Dr. PaulGubbins, Associate Dean, UMKC School of Pharmacy at MSU

UMKC’s Early Assurance Program…

For students finishing high school and thinking that the two years of prerequisites sounds like the perfect option for them, the UMKC School of Pharmacy offers the Early Assurance (EA) program. This selective program allows incoming college freshman priority status for the Pharm.D. program at UMKC and at Mizzou. Eligible high school seniors must apply and be admitted to the EA program.

The program is designed to help high-achieving high school students complete their prerequisite courses in two years and gives them specialized guidance in applying to the Pharm.D. program. They also get:

  • priority academic advising appointments (in Kansas City)
  • select access to the School of Pharmacy faculty,students and alumni
  • special workshops and social gatherings
  • are in a supportive cohort of students with the same interests and goals

EA students take a special pharmacy course their first semester of college where they begin to network with faculty, explore pharmacy careers, and learn more about the future developments in pharmacy. Outside of the classroom, EA students are supported by their pre-pharmacy advisor who organizes social, academic, and volunteer opportunities for the students.

Throughout their time in the EA program, staff host specialized workshops which cover topics like:

  • writing a personal statement
  • filling out the online pharmacy school application (PharmCAS)
  • how to have a successful interview
  • how to be successful in pharmacy school

If interested in applying for the EA program, please visit the following link to learn more about the requirements and application deadlines: