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Wednesday, March 30, 2022

UCSF 2022-23 Pharmacy Post-Bac Program Application Now Open!

Considering a post-bac program? The application portal to UCSF's 2022-23 Pharmacy Post-Bac Program is now open! (Deadline: May 15, 2022)

Our unique 10-month pharmacy-focused program provides:

  • Two semesters of coursework in advanced science
  • Course lists tailored to enhance each student's academic profile
  • Opportunities for professional and personal development in a supportive environment
  • Preparation for professional school and the application process
  • Inter-professional engagement with medical and dental post-bac students
  • Small cohorts with individualized attention

For more information, visit our website!

In Their Own Words: Sam

(Note: I went back and looked at my notes from Sam's interview -- when he applied to be on the Admissions Committee. I wrote "Confident, engaging, and motivated!" These are probably the same characteristics his interviewers saw when he applied to our PharmD program.  These characteristics were certainly evident during his service on the Admissions Committee. As he mentions below, Sam took several gap years before applying. I feel like this period of time allowed him to see candidates in a different light -- particularly those candidates that didn't follow a traditional path to pharmacy school.)

Hometown: Westminster, California
Previous institutions attended: UC San Diego
Undergraduate Major: General Biology

Why did you apply to be a member of the Admissions Committee and what have you enjoyed the most?
I applied to be on the admissions committee because I felt, as a “non-traditional” student, I would be able to provide a different perspective for future candidates. Also, I wanted to give back to UCSF because they chose me -- even though I didn’t have pharmacy experience, so I always felt that they looked at candidates holistically which I’m glad turned out to be true.

What surprised you most about UCSF’s admissions process?
I was surprised by how many people were involved in the admissions process. There’s staff, faculty of different fields of pharmacy (not just pharmacists) as well as students! It was great to see the collaboration and respect we all share when discussing candidates.

What stands out to you on an application?
Passion. It’s clear when reading the personal essays and during their interview how much a candidate did their due diligence to answer the big “why pharmacy” question. Pharmacy school is a big commitment, so when push comes to shove, I want to make sure they have that answer to rely on.

What impresses you about an application/applicant?
Gap years! As someone who took 4 gap years myself, I love learning how other candidates found their passion for pharmacy. However, on the flip side, I’m always impressed by students who apply during undergrad because I could never have done that.

What are your pet peeve(s) when interviewing an applicant or reviewing a file? (What drives you crazy?
My biggest pet peeves during an interview would be no eye contact or when they ask questions that can be found on a website. I always like to think of an interview as a two-way mirror or even better a casual conversation. We’re trying to get to know you, but at the same time, you should be getting to know us. Remember that you will be staying at least 3 years here so use this opportunity to ask those necessary questions.

What characteristics are necessary in order to succeed in UCSF’s PharmD program?
UCSF’s PharmD program brings out the best in us.  To succeed, you must get out of your comfort zone. There are going to be a lot of new experiences that you have never participated in. At times, it’s going to be difficult and uncomfortable but that’s where the biggest growth occurs. Stay curious, driven, and rely on your cohort that’s also going through it with you.

What tools or resources would you recommend to prospective applicants?
The biggest resource is the people around you. Family, friends, mentors (including pharmacists!), counselors, literally anybody. Have them look at your personal statements or supplemental essays and give feedback. There is so much we can learn from others that we wouldn’t have ever thought about ourselves. Use their perspectives to help focus your own.

What single piece of advice would you give to a prospective applicant?
Take your time and don’t apply until you feel 100% ready. It’s understandable wanting to rush and complete everything as fast as possible but burnout is real. Take all the time you need to be the best applicant you can be.

What do you do for fun?
I love exploring! Whether it’s traveling to new countries, cities, or even new food places, I’m always looking for the next adventure. It’s also perfect because the Bay Area has so many options and new things popping up, there’s an endless number of things to do!  

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