Why should I consider applying to the UB School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences? What makes the University at Buffalo unique?
At the University at Buffalo, we blend the intricacies of pharmacy practice with the rigors of the pharmaceutical sciences, creating some of the best trained health care leaders in the country. We are ranked #1 in New York State and #14 in the United States by U.S. News & World Report. Here is How We Create Great Health Care Leaders.
What is the difference between pharmacy practice and pharmaceutical sciences?
The doctor of pharmacy degree, also called the PharmD, is a professional degree that enables one to work as a pharmacist, interacting with patients and other health care practitioners about medications. It is not an undergraduate degree (such as a BS or BA) nor is it a graduate degree (such as an MS, MBA, or PhD). The PharmD is a professional degree for pharmacists similar to the doctor of medicine (MD) for physicians or a doctor of dental surgery (DDS) for dentists.
A degree in pharmaceutical sciences, pharmacometrics or related discipline does not prepare or permit students to practice pharmacy, but enables one to do drug development and research for the pharmaceutical industry.
Where do most of your graduates practice?
PharmD graduates find positions in a variety of professional practice sites including community pharmacy, institutional pharmacy, long-term pharmacy, consultant pharmacy, the government and academia across the country. The majority of our graduates practice in the community/ambulatory care setting with very attractive salaries in virtually any state of the country.
BS students usually pursue graduate studies. Graduates with an MS or PhD degree in pharmaceutical sciences can become pharmacogeneticists, bioanalysts, clinical researchers, educators, and more. Most graduates work in industry. Others work in government and academia.
How do PharmD graduates perform on the NAPLEX (the national licensing exam)?
Our students benefit from being able to take the NAPLEX exam and Pharmacy Law Review Series at a convenient and comfortable location: right at the University at Buffalo! Review our impressive pass rates.
What kind of organizations and associations are your students involved in?
Our students are active in many organizations and are encouraged to present at professional seminars, symposia, and special events. See Student Organizations.
How long will it take to complete the program? Do you offer accelerated programs? Do you have on-line/distance learning, summer, evening, weekend or part-time classes?
The PharmD program requires four full-time years of professional study, regardless of your educational background or experiences. Courses are scheduled during the day and are available only on-campus during the fall and spring semesters. You must adhere to a set “block schedule,” which is assigned to you each semester. Dual degree programs are also available, including a PharmD/MBA, PharmD/MPH, PharmD/JD, and a PharmD/MS or PharmD/PhD.
In pharmaceutical sciences, the BS program is four full-time years of undergraduate study and the MS program is typically two full-time years of graduate study during the fall and spring semesters. The MS in Pharmacometrics and Personalized Pharmacotherapy is 1.5 years, the MS in Clinical & Translational Research is 1 year. The PhD program is four to six years. We also offer an accelerated BS/MS program, which is a total of five years.
What are the tuition and fees?
- Undergraduate, Graduate, and PharmD costs are listed on the Financial Aid website.
- Early Assurance students are considered undergraduates in their first two years at UB.
- After the first year, out-of-state students may obtain residency and qualify for in-state tuition. Read more about NYS Residency Requirements for Tuition Purposes.
- PhD enrollees receive stipend support with tuition waiver. Additional amounts may be received through individual assistantships and scholarships.
Do you offer financial aid or scholarships?
Yes. Begin your search with UB's Financial Aid office.
Students will be considered for scholarships through the Undergraduate Admissions process. Some awards may be offered for up to four years of study – these can be applied to the professional portion of the program for students who begin the PharmD in the third or fourth year at UB.
To be considered for financial aid, please complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) at the appropriate time. Students are advised to include parental income on the FAFSA. Also see Student Scholarships.
What is the cost of living in Buffalo?
In Buffalo, the cost of living is low and the standard of living is high. The cost of living makes the Buffalo metropolitan area among the most affordable in the U.S. with housing costs at 15% less than the national average. For more information on the Buffalo Niagara region, see Visit Us.
What is "Early Assurance?"
Incoming freshmen entering UB directly from high school who indicate pharmacy as their major are given a heightened advantage of securing a seat in our four-year PharmD degree after completing two years of prescribed undergraduate course work and an interview. Review a comprehensive overview of our Early Assurance Program.
What SAT or ACT scores do you require?
SAT and ACT scores are evaluated by the University at Buffalo's Office of Undergraduate Admissions. There are no additional high school GPA or SAT/ACT requirements for Early Assurance students. Please visit Undergraduate Admissions (or International Admissions, when applicable), or call 716-645-6900 for the most current information regarding acceptable SAT and ACT scores. Note that SAT and ACT scores are generally only required of students entering as freshmen. Students who have enrolled in college previously and are entering with a minimum of 24 college credits may not have to supply SAT or ACT scores.
Do Early Assurance students need letters of recommendation?
No. Only PharmCAS and graduate applicants need letters of recommendation.
Do Early Assurance students need to interview?
Yes. The admissions interview is a required component of the application process for all PharmD candidates. Early Assurance Program students are invited for an interview after admission to UB. In preparation for the interview, the professional program and career positioning, candidates are strongly advised to pursue additional extracurricular activities beyond the traditional classroom setting and prerequisite coursework. Pharmacy-specific exposure is suggested, though not required. See Early Assurance Admission Requirements.
What high school courses should I take to prepare for pharmacy school?
Take as many biology, chemistry and math courses as you can. If your school offers AP, IB or college-level courses, consider challenging yourself appropriately. Note that these are merely suggestions for optimal preparation and do not reflect minimum entrance requirements.
Is it harder to gain admission to UB if I indicate pharmacy as my intended major? Would it be better to list another major, or undecided, instead?
No. In fact, if you would like to be considered for the Early Assurance option, you MUST specify pharmacy as your major on your application to the University at Buffalo or before December 31 in your first semester freshman year at UB. The Office of Undergraduate Admissions at the University at Buffalo does not use different or special criteria when evaluating intended pharmacy students for admission into the University.
I received a grade of 'C' in one of my prerequisite courses. Should I retake it to improve my EA GPA?
If a grade of 'C' or higher is earned in any course, it is not recommended for you to retake it. The repeated grade does not replace the previous grade for pre-pharmacy students applying to the PharmD program at UB. Repeat grades will not be used in computing the Early Assurance GPA. Students should be aware of the Repeat Policy which restricts repeating certain courses.
What if I get a C- in a course?
To remain in the Early Assurance Program, students must complete all enrolled courses with a grade equal to or greater than C. Exceptions may be considered and are made on a case-by-case basis by the SPPS Admissions Committee. If you are having trouble in any course, you are encouraged to first meet with your advisor and the professor. There are also a variety of tutoring programs at UB. See a list of Academic Success Centers and Tutoring and Tutoring Services for UB Students.
What if I don’t earn a 3.3 GPA after my freshman fall year?
We understand the first semester of college is a time of transition. We will start reviewing your GPA freshman spring semester. We will, however, review your first semester grades to make sure you earn at least a 'C' in all enrolled courses. Exceptions may be considered and are made on a case-by-case basis.
I know I cannot resign a course, but does that mean I cannot drop a course?
You are able to make changes to your schedule at any time during the drop/add period without any penalty. This period extends through the seventh day of classes for the semester. Refer to the Office of the Registrar for exact dates.
When can I withdraw from a course?
Students who may need to withdraw due to extenuating documented circumstances that impact their academic performance (such as medical problems, death or illness of an immediate family member or military orders) should talk with an academic advisor as soon as possible. Refer to the Undergraduate Advising resources for more information. Withdrawing from a semester does not disqualify you from EA consideration.
How many PharmD applicants are accepted each year?
We receive approximately 300 applications and we admit around 125 students each fall.
Do you have a certain limit to the number of PharmCAS students you admit?
No. We do not differentiate between non-UB and currently enrolled UB students when making admission decisions into the PharmD program. Accepted students may be offered a scholarship to help offset the cost of out-of-state tuition.
Do you have a preference for certain students (New York State versus out-of-state; UB versus transfer, etc.)?
No. All applicants are considered equally. UB does not have a policy that limits or favors out-of-state or in-state students. We seek well-rounded students who are motivated to provide the highest levels of patient and pharmaceutical care.
I am a non-UB student who still needs to finish the prerequisite courses, how do I apply?
If you would like to attend UB to complete your prerequisite courses, please submit the SUNY undergraduate application and indicate pharmacy as your intended major. If you are completing your coursework elsewhere, please refer to UB’s Course Equivalency Guide (CEG). You can also compare course descriptions using our undergraduate catalog to be sure you take equivalent courses. If attending a SUNY or CUNY school, visit our advising guides for detailed information on courses you should take.
I am a non-UB student who has completed all of the prerequisite courses, how do I apply?
All students are expected to meet the same criteria for admission. Once you complete the prerequisite courses, you may apply to the PharmD program using the online PharmCAS application.
I am currently enrolled in a professional pharmacy program at another school. Can I transfer into your program?
We do not accept the transfer of credits from another college/pharmacy school into the professional program. Therefore, students who have previously attended another professional pharmacy program must apply for admission through PharmCAS and begin the first professional year (P1) of the program at UB SPPS upon acceptance.
When can I apply and what is the application deadline for the PharmD program?
The current deadline is June 1 of each year for fall entrance into the professional program. Applicants are advised to apply well in advance of this deadline. For undergraduate/pre-pharmacy admissions information, visit Undergraduate Admissions (or International Admissions, when applicable).
What are the criteria for admission?
In order to be considered for admission to the PharmD program, applicants must submit a PharmCAS application and complete the PharmD prerequisite courses. There is no minimum GPA to be considered. In addition, the Admissions Committee looks at scholastic preparation, pharmacy experiences, academic recognition or honors, extracurricular activities, letters of recommendation, oral and written communication and any additional information provided by the applicant.
Should I still apply if my grade point average or PCAT is relatively low?
Yes. Admission is competitive and our evaluation is based on all aspects of the application in addition to your grade point average. This includes your math and science grades, curriculum, PCAT scores, recommendations, essays, and interview results. Competition also varies from year to year depending upon the size and strength of the applicant pool. You should consider all of these factors and should not base your decision to apply solely on your GPA and/or your PCAT score(s). Learn more here.
Do I need to have all my prerequisites completed before I apply?
No, as long as you complete your prerequisites by the time you begin the PharmD program. Make sure to indicate courses planned or in progress in PharmCAS.
How do you calculate repeated courses?
PharmCAS averages all courses together, including repeated courses. The repeated grade does not replace the previous grade.
Can I resign or withdraw from a course if it is not a prerequisite?
The result of this action is that an 'R' or 'W' remains on your transcript. Generally, it is not advisable to resign or withdraw from a course unless you are at risk of failing the course or if it is jeopardizing successful completion of required courses. If you are not in jeopardy of failing the course, you should consider taking it pass/fail if it is an option. Please contact your instructor and academic advisor. Note to Early Assurance Program students: Do not resign from any enrolled course. An “R” grade on your transcript disqualifies you from Early Assurance. Contact your pre-pharmacy advisor if you have concerns.
Does it matter at which school I take my pre-pharmacy coursework?
Courses may be taken at the University at Buffalo or at any other accredited institution of higher education. For help with course articulation, refer to UB's Course Equivalency Guide (CEG). You can also compare course descriptions using our undergraduate catalog.
Do you accept Advanced Placement (AP) credit for prerequisites?
Yes. Please review the Advanced Placement (AP) credit website for articulation requirements.
Do you give preference to any major?
No. We do not give preference to any major. The most common majors are in the sciences, but UB SPPS does not have a policy that limits or favors science or arts majors.
Do I need volunteer activities, extracurricular activities or work experience to be considered for admission?
Experience is not required; however, it is expected to be able to best demonstrate your motivation for pharmacy. Consider volunteering or shadowing at a pharmacy, hospital, nursing home, medical office, or other related health care facility or organization. Understand how professionals interact with patients and their colleagues, assess your dedication to the field, and gain valuable interpersonal and leadership skills. Consider becoming a member or leader of a club or organization. UB students can engage in research through CURCA (the Center for Undergraduate Research & Creative Activities) or through Undergraduate Academies.
Do I need to submit everything to PharmCAS at the same time?
No. You can submit materials as you get them as long as all materials are received by PharmCAS before June 1.
Can my evaluators submit letters of recommendation before I apply to the PharmD program?
No. In addition to a letter, evaluators must also submit a character rating sheet, which will be emailed to them by PharmCAS when you apply. Please have your evaluators refer Evaluations so they can prepare a complete evaluation in advance.
I completed some of my prerequisite coursework more than 5 years ago. Will they still be considered?
Applicants may complete their prerequisites at UB and then apply to the PharmD program, or they may complete their PharmD prerequisite courses at another accredited institution. All regular applicants must complete the equivalent of two years of college coursework and successfully complete all prerequisite courses with a grade equal to or greater than 'C-' by the end of the summer semester prior to fall matriculation. All applicants must complete their prerequisite courses within 5 years preceding admission.
Can I enter in the spring semester?
No. Admission into the professional school is for fall only. If you need to complete the pre-pharmacy coursework, you may apply to Undergraduate Admissions for spring entry and later apply to the professional program.
Do you have a supplemental application?
No, we do not require a supplemental application or fee.
Are interviews required?
Yes. Interviews are mandatory for PharmD candidates. However, not all applicants will be invited for an interview. Candidates who are selected for an interview will be invited via email.
Who will interview me?
Interviewers include SPPS faculty, staff, and alumni. Candidates are randomly assigned to interviewers.
What shall I expect for the interview?
See Interview Information.
How should I dress for the interview?
Professional attire is expected.
Do I have to have my transcript evaluated?
For the PharmD program, you must provide a WES or WESiCAP. Canadian transcripts in English do not need to be evaluated. For the Pharmaceutical Sciences programs, you do not need to supply an evaluated transcript; however, we will accept it if you have it.
Do I need to take an English proficiency test?
International applicants must demonstrate English proficiency. All international students must take one of the tests indicated here.
How long are my English proficiency scores good for?
Where do I send my English language proficiency test scores?
English language proficiency scores must be sent electronically (we will NOT accept paper copies).
PharmD applicants: Have your official TOEFL score report sent to PharmCAS (code 8246). If not TOEFL (i.e., IELTS or Duolingo), have it sent electronically to University at Buffalo, The State University of New York – Graduate and Professional Studies.
Pharmaceutical Sciences applicants: Please upload an unofficial copy of your score report to your application. If admitted, we require an official score report sent electronically to University at Buffalo, The State University of New York – Graduate and Professional Studies.
Are there English language proficiency exemptions?
Yes. See English Language Proficiency Exemptions.
When will I get my I-20?
Mail and courier services around the world continue to be negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Therefore, the University at Buffalo is now issuing electronic I-20s in accordance with SEVP Guidance. An original I-20 should not be required for visa interviews, at the Port of Entry or for most purposes once students arrive in the U.S. We highly recommend that students print the I-20 when they receive it by email, since not all agencies will allow students to show an electronic I-20 on their phone or computer. Please see http://www.buffalo.edu/international-student-services/iss-covid-19-response-and-resources/fall-2020-faq.html for further information.
Do I have to supply financial documents and bank statements?
If accepted, all PharmD, MS, and BS/MS students must complete the financial form documenting all sources of financial support with the sponsor's signature. Upload an original bank statement and English translation for the minimum required for the first year of study. See International Cost of Attendance. This is required only if admitted. PhD students do not need to supply this since they are fully-funded by the department.
FAQ's for Accepted Canadian Students:
How do I apply to the Pharmaceutical Sciences undergraduate BS program/major?
New students entering UB as first-year/freshmen directly from high school are automatically admitted to the major. Transfer students to UB are automatically admitted to the major if they meet the minimum GPA requirements. Current UB students in other programs submit an application. See Undergraduate Program.
Is Pharmaceutical Sciences a STEM program?
Yes, our Pharmaceutical Sciences programs are considered STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) degree programs.
What are the prerequisite courses?
To be eligible for promotion to the junior-level pharmaceutical sciences major courses, students must satisfactorily complete the required courses for the first two years of the program.
How many students are in the Pharmaceutical Sciences undergraduate program?
Typically, around 20 students enter the upper-level courses each year.
Do I need a BS in pharmaceutical sciences to get into the professional pharmacy program (PharmD)?
No. Students interested in the professional PharmD program are not required to have a degree in pharmaceutical sciences. The pharmaceutical sciences undergraduate program is independent of the PharmD program.
What scholarship opportunities are available?
- The Jones Award Scholarship is given every year to an outstanding senior.
- Students are encouraged to work with faculty mentors to apply for nationally advertised research scholarships.
- Each year, the department holds a research poster competition, where the two best posters are recognized.
- Students may work on a research project during the summer.
- See Financial Aid and Scholarships for more opportunities.
What courses are required for graduation?
Course descriptions and requirements are available through UB's Undergraduate Catalog.
I heard that you have to do a research project in order to graduate. How does that work?
Yes, all students are required to take PHC 498 - a 3 credit undergraduate research participation project with a faculty mentor. Students are exposed to research methods and hypothesis testing; the role of research methods in experimental design, execution and data analysis; and methods to communicate the research findings. Students with scientific research experience are highly sought after by prospective employers.
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