Dear Prospective Student:
Thank you for expressing interest in our Doctor of Pharmacy program. For more than a century, our School of Pharmacy has provided students with the knowledge, skills and abilities for a successful career in the profession of Pharmacy.
All applicants for Fall admission to VCU’s Doctor of Pharmacy degree program must apply on-line through the national application service PharmCAS. In addition, we require three letters of reference to be submitted to PharmCAS. We recommend that you submit your application materials as early as possible, provided you have completed at least two years of college course work. It is not necessary to have completed all prerequisite course work or to have taken the
PCAT (Pharmacy College Admission Test) before submitting your application. However, you must complete all prerequisite courses and take the PCAT before entering our program.
You can obtain information about financial aid by contacting the
Financial Aid Office at (804) 828-9800. Questions about housing and campus life can be answered by contacting the
Housing Office at (804) 828-1981 and the
Office of Student Affairs at (804) 828-0525. All questions about Pharmacy admissions, academic requirements, and career options within the profession should be directed to the School of Pharmacy Admissions Office at (804) 828-3000 or dial our toll-free line, (800) 330-0519. Information about VCU and the School of Pharmacy is also available on our web sites at
www.pharmacy.vcu.edu. A copy of our on-line catalog can be located at VCU Bulletins.
We are eager to answer your questions. Please don't hesitate to call on us.
Thomas P. Reinders, Pharm.D.
Students are admitted only at the start of the academic year. The Admissions Committee will begin reviewing applications for Early Decision in August. All complete applications for Early Decision will be reviewed and decisions will be made by the end of October. Since applications are reviewed in the order in which they are received, it is advantageous to submit your application materials as early as possible, provided you have completed at least two years of college course work. It is not necessary to have taken the PCAT (Pharmacy College Admission Test) before you submit your application, however the Admissions Committee could wait to make a decision on your application until your PCAT scores have been received. Applicants must have earned a creditable average ("C" or better) overall, and specifically in the prerequisite courses, to meet minimum academic requirements for admission. Proficiency in chemistry, math and the biological sciences is especially valued.
Applicants exercising the Early Decision option for admission to the VCU School of Pharmacy must submit the electronic application and official transcripts from all postsecondary institutions ever attended to
PharmCAS. Applicants whose materials are not received, or whose applications are incomplete, by this deadline will be ineligible for the Early Decision option, and will be deferred to regular admission status. Applicants exercising the Early Decision option are expected to make a commitment to attend
the VCU School of Pharmacy if accepted. If an acceptance offer is not made under the Early Decision option, the applicant would then be moved to regular admission status and the application would continue to be evaluated for admission during the remainder of the admission cycle. The applicant would also then be free to apply to other schools of pharmacy under the regular admission procedure.
Applicants who are not pursuing the Early Decision option for admission to the VCU School of Pharmacy must submit the electronic application, letters of reference and transcripts to
PharmCAS by the deadline specified for VCU. Applicants who do not meet these PharmCAS deadlines will be ineligible for admission to the VCU Doctor of Pharmacy degree program for the upcoming academic year.
Three letters of references are required. Applicants are strongly encouraged to submit letters of reference to PharmCAS directly. Please visit the VCU School of Pharmacy page on PharmCAS for information on acceptable sources of reference letters.
An official transcript from every college or university attended must be submitted directly to
PharmCAS. You will not need to send official transcripts to the VCU School of Pharmacy until you are accepted into the Doctor of Pharmacy program. If you are offered admission, instructions for submitting transcripts to VCU will be provided with the acceptance letter.
The Pharmacy College Admission Test (PCAT) results must be submitted to
PharmCAS (use PharmCAS Code 104) before a final decision can be made on a candidate's application. It is recommended that applicants take the PCAT in October (or earlier) of the year preceding intended enrollment in the School of Pharmacy. If necessary, this test can then be retaken in January to improve test scores. You may register for the PCAT online by visiting the web site.
PSE Customer Relations - PCAT
19500 Bulverde Road
San Antonio, TX 78259
Telephone: 1-800-622-3231 or 210-339-8710
Web Site: www.pcatweb.info
A free PCAT practice test can be found
Applicants who have a language other than English as their first language and who have resided in the United States less than ten years OR who show a deficiency in English must submit an acceptable score on the TOEFL iBT (Test of English as a Foreign Language – internet Based Test) to PharmCAS (Use PharmCAS Code 8246 for test results). Minimum suggested score for the TOEFL iBT is 80. Applicants who have taken the TOEFL pBT (paper Based Test) should contact VCU for TOEFL and TSE (Test of Spoken English) requirements.
An invitation to interview will be offered only at the discretion of the Admissions Committee. Interviews for selected candidates under the Early Decision option will be arranged before the end of October. Candidates for regular admission who are invited for an interview will be asked to select an interview date from a schedule of dates throughout the fall and spring semesters, with sessions being held from 1:00 – 5:00 P.M. on selected Saturdays.
The interview session consists of a formal interview with faculty, students and alumni. In addition, the applicant will write an extemporaneous essay on an assigned topic, and a tour of the School and of the Medical College of Virginia campus will be provided. An on-campus interview is mandatory for admission consideration.
Congratulations on your decision to enter the pharmacy profession. VCU’s School of Pharmacy has an excellent reputation, and is located on the Medical College of Virginia campus in historic downtown Richmond. This guide should answer some of your questions related to the financial aid process at Virginia Commonwealth University. More detailed information on applying for financial aid, and financial aid programs, policies, and procedures are available on the VCU web site at www.vcu.edu/enroll/finaid.
The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is the only application required by VCU and must be filed annually, designating VCU (school code 003735) to receive the results. The VCU Office of Financial Aid recommends electronically filing the FAFSA by March 1* (FAFSA on the Web can be found online at
www.fafsa.ed.gov ). Students should complete the FAFSA using data from their completed tax returns. If necessary, they may use estimated tax return data in order to meet the VCU priority filing date but should be prepared to submit a copy of their completed tax returns and W2 forms to VCU as soon as possible.
Pharmacy students should provide both student and parental information. Although parental information is not required for consideration of Department of Education Title IV loan funds, students who submit parental data will be considered for additional financial aid sources including Title VII Department of Health and Human Services aid programs. Including parental information will not adversely impact eligibility for other financial aid programs.
Entering pharmacy students, even those who do not hold a baccalaureate degree should enter “graduate or professional degree” in response to the grade level question.
Additional hints for on completing the FAFSA on the Web, as well as the overall application process, is available on the VCU Office of Financial Aid web site (go to
www.vcu.edu/enroll/finaid and click on “How to Apply”).
Students who have not applied for financial aid in a timely manner should expect financial aid funding delays and may want to participate in the VCU Installment Payment Plan, which budgets each semester’s bill over four payments. Information about this plan can be found on the
Student Accounting Department’s web site.
Students are encouraged to use the new eServices, a
password-protected service for viewing VCU student records online, to check the status of their financial aid application and award package. Students also may register for classes, print bills, and more.
Students are required to obtain an official VCU student email account within one week of the beginning of their first semester of enrollment. Students are responsible for reading in a timely fashion University-related communications sent to their official VCU student email account. The VCU Office of Financial Aid uses email to provide financial aid information, to request documentation to support financial aid application data, and to provide financial aid application status and award information. Information on how to find your eID to access your email is available online at What is my eID?).
Scholarships are an excellent way to help finance educational costs. The VCU
Office of Financial Aid web site has links to a variety of scholarship search engines. The American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy (AACP) also has information on scholarships, grants, loans, and fellowships. The AACP may be contacted by mail or telephone.
American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy
1426 Prince Street
Alexandria, VA 22314
For questions relating to financial aid, records and registration, and student accounting, contact the:
Financial Aid Office - MCV Campus
PO Box 980244
1000 East Marshall Street, VMI Building Room 323, P.O. Box 980277
Richmond, VA 23298-0277
P: (804) 828-9800
F: (804) 828-2703
The center is located on the third floor of the VMI Building two blocks southwest of the School of Pharmacy. Parking is available in the visitors’ deck at 12th and Clay Streets.
Hours: 8 am to 4:30 pm Monday through Friday.
Click on any of the links below for more information concerning VCU's School of Pharmacy.
Your options beyond the Pharm.D. include advanced pharmacy training (residency and fellowships) and education (M.S. and Ph.D. degrees) in the Department of Pharmacy, VCU School of Pharmacy. Some of these programs are combined with clinical or administrative experience at the VCU Health Systems (VCUHS). Students interested in learning more about these options are encouraged to seek faculty for advice and guidance.
Modern pharmacotherapy is complex, and results in unnecessary drug use, increased adverse events, drug-drug interactions and excessive costs. There is a demand for selected individuals with knowledge and skills beyond that possible in the entry-level Pharm.D. program. Students with advanced education will take advantage of employment opportunities in academia, industry, health care organizations and government. Investment of an additional 1-3 years of education beyond the first professional degree can lead to a lifetime of rewarding work in challenging professional environments, the satisfaction of doing something “different”, the opportunity to make a difference in patient care and to advance the profession of pharmacy.
A post Pharm.D. residency is usually a one-year program of practice experience offered by a preceptor in a health care setting. Residency positions are competitive, and available in a variety of areas (below). Prospective applicants will usually apply for a residency during their P-4 year and will interview between November and February. The resident will receive clinical and administrative rotations in a variety of settings consistent with the emphasis of the program. A residency will help prepare a clinical practitioner who may find employment in a community or hospital pharmacy, or a similar health care environment that does not require advanced course work. A residency may also be a requirement for admission into advanced training programs such as specialized residencies or fellowships.
Whereas the emphasis of a residency is on clinical practice, the emphasis of a fellowship is on research. Fellowships are offered in a variety of areas including Infectious Diseases, Cardiology and Mental Health. See the American College of Clinical Pharmacy (ACCP) Web site for a complete listing of fellowships. offered in the U.S.
Fellowships are two years in length, and may require a general residency. The fellowship training program will emphasize research, with secondary offerings in advanced clinical experience and teaching experience. The applicant desiring a fellowship has usually identified a specialty area of focus, and is interested in joining the faculty of a School of Pharmacy (often in a tenure line position), or the pharmaceutical industry (as a researcher, or working in a “Scientific Liaison” position). In comparison to the Pharm.D./M.S. program, the fellowship offers greater depth of research and training in a specialty area, but less coursework, and no graduate degree. VCU currently offers a fellowship in Infectious Diseases.
Virginia Commonwealth University | School of Pharmacy
410 North 12th Street | Room 500
P.O. Box 980581
Richmond, Virginia 23298-0581
Phone: (804) 828-3000 | Toll-Free Line: (800) 330-0519 | Fax: (804) 827-0002