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 Director of Admissions along 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.
The College of Pharmacy is beginning the application cycle for candidate for entry into the Doctor of Pharmacy program for Fall 2020. Please be sure to review all of the admission procedures contained here.
- PharmCAS Application: The College of Pharmacy utilizes the PharmCAS system (www.pharmcas.org): The application is due by March 2, 2020. The application for the Early Decision Program is due by September 3, 2019. 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.
It is highly encouraged that applicants apply well before the deadline, July-October of the year prior to intended entrance. Please note that PharmCAS requires 4-6 weeks for verification purposes before an application is forwarded to individual colleges of Pharmacy.
- 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.
- Official College Transcripts: All academic transcripts are due to PharmCAS by March 2, 2020 for regular admissions and by September 3, 2019 for Early Decision. 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, 2019 and Winter/Spring, 2020. 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.
- 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 2020 entering class should have a PCAT score from the time period beginning January 1, 2017 and ending February, 2020. (Preference may be given to applicants who have taken a PCAT before February 2020). 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.
- Three (3) Letters of Recommendation: Three letters of recommendation should 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.
- AP/IB and CLEP Credit: Applicants should review the AP/IB/CLEP credit rules.
- 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 October 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.
- 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. Send transcripts and Foreign Transcript Evaluation Reports (FTER) to PharmCAS by March 2, 2020. Please contact the International Center at 231-591-2450 for information on additional items needed to complete the application process.
- 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 2020 entering class = Since Fall 2014). 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.
- 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.
- Application Timeline: Click here to review application timeline.
- PharmCAS Application: The College of Pharmacy utilizes the PharmCAS system (www.pharmcas.org): The application is due by March 2, 2020. The application for the Early Decision Program is due by September 3, 2019. 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.
Applicants must have a cumulative GPA of no less than 2.5 for required pre-pharmacy courses and required Math/Science 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.
Students should have taken the PCAT exam in 2017 or later. There is no minimum PCAT score requirement, but applicants with less then a 50th percentile are encouraged to retake the test to make them more competitive.
AP/IB/CLEP credit in the math/sciences can be applied toward pre-requisite course requirements. 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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
The College of Pharmacy will not consider an applicant for admissions that has or is currently enrolled in another College of Pharmacy.
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.org. 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 Director of Admissions.
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.