Application Information

Admission Criteria:

Admission to the Doctor of Pharmacy program is a selective process that considers a variety of factors critical to success as a student and pharmacist.  As admission to the program is competitive, completion of pre-pharmacy requirements does not guarantee admission to the College of Pharmacy.  The office of the Assistant Dean for Student Affairs and Assessment, in conjunction with the College of Pharmacy Admissions Committee (CPAC), establishes and continually re-assesses the criteria for admission to the Doctor of Pharmacy program.  Admission criteria include markers of the student’s ability to meet the rigors of the professional curriculum as well as the evolving, patient-centered practice of pharmacy:

  • Academic achievement in required pre-pharmacy courses. This could include GPA for individual courses, course sequences (e.g. biology, chemistry, math; combined science), as well as overall GPA (all pre-pharmacy requisites). Grades for courses, which have been repeated for any reason, may be included in these calculations. Higher level courses, which stem from the pharmacy pre-requisites may be considered as part of the application if and only if all pharmacy prerequisites are successfully completed (See Application Requirements section).
  • Pharmacy College Admission Test (PCAT): Although composite score is important, the CPAC reserves the right to deny admission due to poor performance on any single sub-component of the PCAT (See Application Requirements section).
  • Results of an in-person interview, including verbal and written components.  Areas assessed may include communication skills, understanding of the profession, leadership qualities, problem solving, experience/service (pharmacy practice or non-pharmacy health care related, extracurricular involvement, intercultural experiences). 
  • College of Pharmacy Technical Standards for Admission.
  • Course load (e.g. average number of hours/semester, course repeats, withdrawals).
  • Letters of recommendation (not more than three) using the PharmCAS electronic forms. 
  • Results of a criminal background check that demonstrates the applicant does not have convictions identified in Michigan Public Acts 27, 28, and 29; or those which preclude a significant number of College of Pharmacy experiential assignments (See Section: Criminal Background Check below). NOTE: This is a condition of final acceptance to the program and will be conducted after initial screening of applicants and invitations to the program are extended.  A criminal background check is not required as part of the online application process; however, applicants must make a disclosure as outlined in the application.

 

Although the Doctor of Pharmacy program is academically rigorous, there is no simple “formula” for admission and success.  The CPAC continues to modify the criteria used in admissions with careful evaluation of the criteria outlined above.  All applicants should complete the necessary pre-pharmacy courses and additional requirements to the best of their ability, and with the greatest degree of focus and determination.

Ferris now participates in the PharmCAS Early Decision Program. For more information CLICK HERE.

The Admission Process:

The College of Pharmacy is beginning the application cycle for candidate for entry into the Doctor of Pharmacy program for Fall, 2014. Please be sure to review all of the admission procedures contained here.

  1. PharmCAS Application: The College of Pharmacy utilizes the PharmCAS system (www.pharmcas.org): The application is due by December 2, 2013.  The application for the Early Decision Program is due by September 3, 2013.  Please be sure to read the PharmCAS participation agreement and instructions carefully, when creating and submitting an application in that system. Consider using the PharmCAS checklist to aid you in completing the process. Additional information can be found on the Ferris PharmCAS page.  There is NO Supplemental Application for Ferris.
  2. PharmCAS Application Academic History: Be sure when completing the PharmCAS application that you enter all colleges/universities attended and all courses taken. All prerequisites should be listed and addressed under "Academic History-Coursework".  Overall and individual course minimum grade requirements apply. Be sure to list all prerequisites taken (year, semester, grade, etc.), including those you are planning to take (if not yet completed). Be sure to consult the Course Completion Rules for applicable deadlines on prerequisites. 
  3. Official College Transcripts: All academic transcripts are due to PharmCAS by December 2, 2013.  You will submit your Fall transcripts to PharmCAS during the update period that follows the deadline.  When entering your course work into the application, BE SURE to outline the courses you are planning to take in Fall, 2013 and Winter/Spring, 2014.  NOTE: Your application will NOT be transmitted to your designated Colleges of Pharmacy until your transcripts are received and verified by PharmCAS.  The sooner you have your transcripts sent to PharmCAS, the sooner your designated colleges will be able to acknowledge and process your applications.
  4. Pharmacy College Admission Test (PCAT): The PCAT is required.  When taking the PCAT be sure to designate that scores be sent to PharmCAS.  We do not accept PCAT scores sent directly to Ferris State University. Applicants for the Fall 2014 entering class should have a PCAT score from the time period beginning January 1, 2012 and ending December 31, 2013. Applicants may take the PCAT as many times as allowed by the testing organization without incurring a penalty. The highest composite score will be utilized in the admissions process. Consult the PCAT score recommendations section below.  The College of Pharmacy reserves the right to review and consider PCAT scores from the January testing date in the year of requested admission if and only if there is a PCAT testing score, which meets the date requirements above.
  5. Three (3) Letters of Recommendation: Three letters of recommendation must be submitted electronically using the PharmCAS system. You will designate your evaluators as part of the PharmCAS application. The Ferris PharmCAS information page contains information on the types of individuals you should designate to provide references.
  6. AP/IB and CLEP Credit: Applicants for 2014 should review the AP/IB/CLEP credit rules applicable to Fall 2014.
  7. Interviews: An in-person interview is required for admission to the Doctor of Pharmacy program.  Interview invitations will be based on an initial screening and ranking of the applicant pool based on qualifications and performance as outlined above in the section “Admission Criteria”.   Successful completion of the pre-pharmacy requirements does not guarantee that an invitation for interview will be extended.  Further, an interview does not guarantee admission to the program.  Interviews will be scheduled on-campus or at one of the College’s off-campus instructional sites and will begin after November 1st of the year prior to admission.  All travel-related expenses are the responsibility of the applicant.  Failure to complete a scheduled interview will result in disqualification for admission.  Please note that independent of all other admission criteria and performance, an applicant may be denied admission based solely on poor performance in the on-site interview.
  8. International Applicants: Foreign academic credits (except Canadian Academic Institutions) cannot be used to meet the pre-pharmacy requirements. Course equivalency evaluations and OAC credits from Canada are not acceptable. A transcript evaluation (e.g. WES or ECE) must be submitted along with an original set of transcripts. Send a Foreign Transcript Evaluation Report (FTER) to PharmCAS AND an original Canadian college transcripts directly to the College of Pharmacy (Attention: Tara Lee) at: 220 Ferris Drive, Big Rapids, Michigan, 49307. FTER and transcripts are due by December 2, 2013.  Please contact Linda Hayes in the International Center at 231-591-3915 for information on additional items needed to complete the application process.
  9. Age Limit on Courses: Terminal courses and course sequences in the math/science prerequisites (e.g. anatomy and physiology; organic chemistry; calculus; microbiology) should have been completed in the previous five years.  Example: (for Fall 2014 entering class = Since Fall 2008). Recent advanced coursework in the biological or chemical sciences, or recent significant experience in the applications of these sciences may be considered in waiving this 5-year requirement provided the original prerequisites were completed.  Applicants should complete an application as outlined in this document and submit a letter to the Office of Admissions, College of Pharmacy, 220 Ferris Drive, Big Rapids, Michigan 49307 requesting exemption from the 5-year rule.  The letter should outline how their work experience related to ongoing application of the biological, chemical or health sciences.  NOTE: Experience will NOT be counted in lieu of actual completion of the pharmacy prerequisites.
  10. Application Review: Review of applications will begin immediately.  The College of Pharmacy may begin to extend invitations for admission prior to the application deadline.  See the timeline outlined below.  Admission decisions are final and may not be appealed, except as noted below under the section Criminal Background Check.
  11. Application Timeline: Click here to review application timeline.

Minimum Grade Requirements:

Applicants must have a cumulative GPA of no less than 2.5 for required pharmacy courses. Only grades of “C” (2.0) or higher will be accepted for individual pre-pharmacy courses. All pre-pharmacy courses must be taken for an academic grade. Pass/fail (or credit/no credit) will not be accepted. For repeated courses most recent grade received will be used as the grade of record in determining pre-requisite completion.   However, all grades received for pharmacy pre-requisites may be used for the purpose of re-calculating qualifying and ranking GPA's.

Pharmacy College Admission Test (PCAT):

Students should have taken the PCAT exam in 2012 or later. Applicants should have a PCAT composite score which ranks them at no less than a 50th percentile. Candidates should also have at least a 25th percentile for verbal and 25th percentile for reading on the PCAT.  Consideration of applicants with PCAT scores below these benchmarks will occur at the discretion of the College of Pharmacy.

Advanced Placement (AP/IB/CLEP Rules for 2014):

Beginning with the Fall 2014 Doctor of Pharmacy class, AP/IB/CLEP credit in the math/sciences can be applied toward the requirements.  This is being done to coincide with the new Doctor of Pharmacy prerequisites being enacted for the class entering in Fall 2014.  AP/IB and CLEP credit must be college transcript verified as part of the PharmCAS application to be recognized. Candidates should complete a minimum of 32 semester hours from the math, biology (general biology, microbiology, anatomy and physiology, genetics), chemistry, and physics requirements at the collegiate level, prior to enrollment (if accepted).  Higher level courses in biology and chemistry may be substituted to achieve this.  Be sure to consult all other requirements and policies that will apply to that admission year as they are posted here.

Course Completion Rules:

Applicants for Fall 2014: At the time of application, candidates should have successfully completed at the collegiate level (not including AP/IB/CLEP): 1) Both semesters of organic chemistry; 2) At least 6 semester hours (2 courses) of upper level biology from the requirements that include microbiology, genetics, anatomy and physiology; and 3) At least one quantitative course from the requirements that include calculus, physics and statistics.  For example, these courses should be successfully completed by the end of the Summer 2013 semester if applying for entrance into the Doctor of Pharmacy program for Fall 2014. PLEASE NOTE: Course completion configurations that are different than outlined above may be considered, provided a reasonable number of math/science courses can be evaluated. Applicants should not plan on completing courses during the summer semester, which immediately proceeds Fall, 2014. Be sure to outline your complete academic plan (including planned and completed courses) in your PharmCAS application.

All Applicants: Applicants should ascertain the availability of remaining prerequisites prior to application to ensure all of the required pre-pharmacy coursework can be completed in the proper sequence before entry into the Doctor of Pharmacy program (if granted).  The College of Pharmacy reserves the right to give preferential admission to applicants who have completed their prerequisites by May of the year the applicant is applying for.  Admissions are extended for only one class and cannot be deferred to a later year if prerequisite courses are not completed prior to admission.

Honors Program Assurance:

The College of Pharmacy assures students in the Ferris State University Honors Program an admission interview for the Doctor of Pharmacy program in the second year of pre-Pharmacy studies providing all conditions for that program are met.

Technical Standards:

The College of Pharmacy maintains a set of Technical Standards, which outline essential skills to insure the safety of patients served by the student and pharmacist.  Graduates must be able to demonstrate proficiency in these skills.  Some will be evaluated as part of the application process, and others during the professional degree program.  Applicants will be asked to review this document as part of the admissions process and acknowledge an understanding of them.

Re-Applications:

Students who do not receive an offer of admission and wish to re-apply to the program in subsequent years, must complete a new application as specified by the PharmCAS system, and fulfill any new pre-pharmacy or admission requirements that apply. 

Program Location:

Applicants should be aware that the professional pharmacy curriculum is split between the Big Rapids campus and other sites throughout the state. The first two professional year courses are taught in Big Rapids.  The third professional year is taught at in Grand Rapids. The fourth professional year consists of practice rotations that are located throughout the State of Michigan.  Students will be required to spend a portion of each summer semester in experiential rotations.

Doctor of Pharmacy Student Transfer Policy:

A student who has attended, or is currently attending, another College of Pharmacy may be considered for advance standing in the Doctor of Pharmacy program based on availability of seats in the appropriate class.  In addition, the candidate must: (1) be in good academic standing at the college of origin and able to continue, (2) completed at least two semesters (or equivalent) of professional degree coursework at the time the request is made, (3) submit transcripts of all college courses from all institutions attended, and (4) provide a letter of recommendation from the Dean of the previous college attended. The letter should be sent directly to the Assistant Dean for Student Affairs and Assessment with a copy to the College of Pharmacy Admissions Committee.

Criminal Background Check:

Admission to the Doctor of Pharmacy program is conditional on a number of factors including a criminal background check (CBC).  The CBC must be conducted through the agency identified by the College within a defined period of time following conditional acceptance to the program.   No other results will be accepted.  All costs associated with the CBC will be incurred by the applicant.  Applicants invited to the upcoming class will receive written instructions and cost estimates as part of the conditional notification of admission packet sent by the College.  Components of the CBC include, but are not limited to:

  • Michigan Statewide Criminal Records
  • Residency History (covering past 7 years, with additional counties within the U.S. searched)
  • Nationwide Sexual Offender Registry
  • Nationwide Healthcare Fraud and Abuse Scan:
    • Medicare & Medicaid Sanctioned Excluded Individuals
    • Office of Research Integrity (ORI)
    • Office of Regulatory Affairs (ORA)
    • State Exclusion List
    • FDA Debarment Check
    • Office of Inspector General (OIG) – List of Excluded Individuals/Entities
    • General Services Administration (GSA) – Excluded Parties List

Once the CBC is conducted, College and/or University officials will examine the results and determine eligibility for admission using the criteria specified in Michigan Public Acts 27, 28, and 29.  The prohibited offenses, relevant time periods, and legal citations for the offenses can be located in each of the relevant Public Acts or in the Criminal Background Check Legal Guide which can be accessed at www.miltcpartnership.com.  Applicants with CBC results that indicate any criminal conviction(s) may be required to provide legal documents pertaining to the conviction(s) for further review by College and/or University officials.  A request for legal documents does not imply that an applicant will be granted admission.  The presence of criminal convictions deemed relevant to the Public Acts cited above; or which conflict with affiliation agreements between Ferris State University and its experiential sites will be grounds for revocation of the conditional acceptance to the upcoming Fall class.  Failure to submit a CBC by the assigned deadline in the invitation packet will also be grounds for revocation.

If an applicant is denied admission to the program (or have their conditional admittance revoked) based on the CBC, they will be informed of this in writing and be given the opportunity to: 1) Review the report (if they do not already have it); 2) Respond in writing with any further clarification or explanation of the event; and 3) Receive review of their explanation by the College of Pharmacy Admission Committee and Assistant Dean for Student Affairs and Assessment.

Admission to the college may be granted despite previous criminal convictions if, based on a thorough evaluation by the College and University, the severity of the crime or the period of time since the crime occurred supports admission.  However, such students may have limited experiential options and/or delayed graduation. The College does not guarantee the opportunity to complete all experiential components, and therefore graduation, if an applicant is admitted with a criminal conviction(s).  Additionally, the College reserves the right to require students to disclose his/her CBC results to all assigned experiential sites for further review and approval at any time.