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Prerequisite Advice

Don’t look to just “get by” when it comes to your prerequisites.  If you have a choice, take the more challenging course and learn all you can. You’ll be glad you did later on.

PharmacyRemember, there is a reason why we require certain prerequisites.  The program you seek to enter is at a doctoral level for reason.  It will require your best mental effort with no time allotted to “catch up” in academic areas in which you lack proper preparation. Our faculty will expect a level of knowledge that reflects the successful completion of all our prerequisites. Therefore, it is in your best interest to prepare for this by completing the highest level of coursework available to you for each prerequisite.

For example, you may have a hard time with statistics, but you will need a solid foundation of statistical methods to succeed in your PharmD coursework and as a pharmacist. An Elementary Statistics course may seem appealing to “meet the prerequisite with a good grade”, but will it provide the knowledge you need to properly understand what your pharmacy professor will be teaching you?  Probably not. You would be better served to take a higher level statistics course.

Also, don’t presume a course will meet Belmont’s prerequisite requirements just because it meets a similar requirement at your current college or another school of pharmacy you may be considering. Each school’s requirements are different. The prerequisites established at Belmont University College of Pharmacy were created specifically for our PharmD program and have no relation to any other college’s curricular requirements.

For instance, your college may allow you to meet a public speaking requirement with an Public Speakinginterpersonal communication course or an oral interpretation course. But those courses do not typically meet Belmont’s public speaking prerequisite for the PharmD program. We’re looking for a course that requires you to make at least three major self-generated speeches to your class that count for more than 50% of your grade.  Why?   The skills developed in this type of public speaking course are essential to practicing pharmacy in a professional setting.  We want our graduates to have had instruction and practice in identifying topics, analyzing audiences, finding, compiling, and crafting information from multiple sources (self, others, the literature) to help them make strong arguments that meet audience needs.  This purpose is very different than what many colleges are looking for in their general education requirements.  To enroll in our program, you must complete a course that is primarily focused on this type of public speaking.

And one last thing. While more science courses at the undergraduate level will provide better preparation for your PharmD classes, we’re also looking for well-rounded individuals.  That’s why we require so many non-science courses. As a pharmacist, you will need to know how to communicate, how to relate to your patients and customers, and how to contribute to your community.  So don’t skimp on courses in the social sciences, in literature, or ones that improve your writing.  Broaden your education as much as possible while deepening your knowledge in the sciences.

College of Pharmacy
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