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Tips for Being a Competitive Applicant

PharmD students at the White Coat Ceremony


Pharmacists work directly with members of the community on a daily basis. Through volunteering, you can practice the communication skills you will use every day. Serving as a volunteer also shows that you care about your community.

  • Connect with service organizations on your campus
  • Volunteer through non-profit or faith-based organizations
  • Participate in a health fair

Gain Experience Working in a Pharmacy

Experience working in a professional environment will help prepare you for your pharmacy practice experience rotations and beyond. Prior experience working in a pharmacy shows that you have a passion for health care and that you are committed to the profession.

  • Volunteer at a pharmacy
  • Work as a pharmacy tech in a pharmacy; a license is required in most states
  • Work as a pharmacy clerk
  • Help organize a health fair

Take on a Leadership Role

Leadership experience will help you stand out from the crowd. If you are already actively involved with an organization or on-campus club, challenge yourself by taking on a leadership role. Make the most of your current job by asking for additional responsibilities or taking the initiative to help train new hires.

Hone Your Communication Skills

The admission process for Pacific's PharmD program includes an in-depth face-to-face interview. Make a good first impression by confidently explaining your relevant experience and clearly articulating the reasons why you want to pursue a career in pharmacy. As a pharmacist you will be interacting with patients throughout your career. Demonstrating your outstanding communication skills shows that you already possess one of the key qualities of a successful pharmacist.

  • Practice answering interview style questions in front of a mirror and with friends
  • Perfect your elevator pitch - speak to as many people as you can about your interest in pharmacy and soon it will become second nature

Challenge Yourself Academically

Develop your time management skills by scheduling multiple challenging courses for the same semester. For example, take chemistry and calculus the same semester. If your first few semesters don't show your true potential, make the next few semesters count. A strong upward trend in grades demonstrates commitment and perseverance.  

Apply Early

Applying early can enhance your chances of receiving an interview invitation. There are less applications and more interview spaces earlier in the admissions cycle.

  • Carefully read through the application check list so you will know which documents you need to gather
  • Don't wait until the last minute to ask for letters of recommendation
  • Read your essay out loud to catch grammar errors
  • Submit a complete and correct application