BROOKINGS – The high school class of 2013 will enjoy one benefit that its older brothers and sisters never had: the ability to guarantee their admission to the professional program of the South Dakota State University College of Pharmacy.
Starting in fall 2013, full-time incoming freshmen who meet the qualifications will be guaranteed admission prior to the regular selection process.
“We can guarantee that you’ll be in if you meet these criteria,” said Dan Hansen, assistant dean for student services.
The initial qualifications for pre-admission are beginning a college career at SDSU with freshman status, an ACT score of 27 or above and taking specific courses within the pre-pharmacy curriculum at SDSU.
To qualify for pre-admission status, a student must submit a pre-admission application during the senior year of high school and meet the qualifications for admission to the SDSU Honors College.
During the first two years of pre-pharmacy coursework, students who qualify for pre-admission must:
• maintain a grade-point average of 3.5 or better;
• earn at least a “B” in biology, chemistry and mathematics pre-pharmacy courses;
• successfully complete general chemistry, general biology, calculus, anatomy and one semester of organic chemistry by the end of their third semester;
• complete a 12-credit Honors College general education requirement and at least one advanced requirement;
• successfully complete an interview and writing assessment with the admissions committee in the fall semester prior to enrolling in the doctor of pharmacy program; and
• pay a $600 seat deposit.
Failure to maintain any pre-admission requirement will result in dismissal from the program.
According to Hansen, gaining pre-admission to the program will likely relieve some anxiety for students.
“It puts down on paper what we look for in the admissions process,” Hansen said. “It adds transparency to our system.”
For transfer students and others, the college will continue to conduct its traditional selection process that evaluates a student’s performance and includes the interview and impromptu writing assignment that students in the pre-admission program must also complete.
Hansen stressed that communications skills are an important part of the evaluation process.
“They do need to be able to communicate in order to be successful,” Hansen said.
The College of Pharmacy admits 80 students per year into its four-year professional program that’s open to students who have completed their sophomore year. At the end of the six-year program, students earn a doctor of pharmacy degree.
The college recently went through an extensive process to study other pharmacy programs and their admission standards.
“This is actually pretty common,” Hansen said of the new pre-admission program. “There are a number of other colleges of pharmacy that have similar pre-admission policies.”
A unique aspect of the SDSU policy is its requirement that students be enrolled in the Honors College.
“The Honors College is thrilled to be part of this progressive new option for talented, motivated students interested in pharmacy education at State,” said Honors College Dean Timothy Nichols.
“By including honors general education in the curriculum for pre-admitted students, we ensure they will have a strong foundation for their professional program that emphasizes critical thinking, communication and multidisciplinary perspectives.
“They will also be well-positioned for advanced study in pharmacy through personalized faculty experiences and exposure to some of the exciting research under way in the college.”
Anyone with questions about the pre-admission program can call the college at 688-6197, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit http://www.sdstate.-edu/pha/apply/pre-admissions.cfm.