Advising FAQs

 

Career-Related FAQs

Will the BS in Pharmaceutical Sciences prepare me for medical school?
Can I work as a pharmacist after finishing my BS in Pharmaceutical Sciences?
Will I receive preferential consideration for pharmacy school admission if I major in pharmaceutical sciences? (PCAT Waiver info)
Will I be able to complete an internship through this major?

Academic Policy FAQs

Can I retake a course if I didn’t do well on my first attempt?
Can courses that I take for this major also count in a second major?
How can I register for research credit?
How can I drop a class?
How can I get permission to take more than 19 units?
What are “gen ed” requirements?
What is the MCWA?
WILL I GRADUATE WITH HONORS IF I HAVE A HIGH GPA?

Advising FAQs

Who is my advisor?
How do I declare the pre-Pharmaceutical Sciences major?
How do I add a second major or a minor to my BSPS degree?
What is my current “class standing”?
What is “priority registration,” and when is it?
What is the best way to get in touch with my advisor (or my instructor)?

Will the BS in Pharmaceutical Sciences prepare me for medical school?

There is no “right” major for pre-med students. You may choose any major of interest, as long as you complete the specific science and math courses that are required for medical school admission. That being said, the BSPS degree is a great option for pre-med students. In addition to providing the background in biology, chemistry, and physiology that is required for medical school admission, the major coursework will also provide you with a unique expertise in pharmaceutical sciences that the typical medical school applicant will likely not have. Beginning medical school with a solid understanding of drug development and drug therapy may be a real advantage in your career.

Most courses required for medical school are included in the BSPS major, although different medical schools may have additional requirements.  Your BSPS academic advisor can help you incorporate those courses into your degree plan.

Can I work as a pharmacist after finishing my BS in Pharmaceutical Sciences?

You must earn a Doctorate of Pharmacy (PharmD) and pass a state board licensing exam in order to become a licensed pharmacist. The PharmD is a four-year professional degree, generally completed after the bachelor’s degree. The BS in Pharmaceutical Sciences is an ideal undergraduate major for students who are planning to continue into a PharmD program. The BSPS curriculum includes all but two of the courses required for PharmD admission: statistics and a two-semester physiology sequence (as opposed to the one-semester PSIO course required for the major. By electing to take the two-course PSIO sequence, you will meet the requirements for the BSPS and for Pharmacy School admission.)

Will I receive preferential consideration for pharmacy school admission if I major in pharmaceutical sciences?

Students in all majors are eligible to apply to pharmacy school; however, there are several advantages to choosing the Pharmaceutical Sciences major.  The primary advantage comes in the form of preparation.  Pharmaceutical Sciences major courses introduce topics that will come up again in pharmacy school at a far more advanced level, giving students a stronger foundation in pharmacy concepts. 

Another advantage is that students who complete the Pharmaceutical Sciences degree at UA may be exempt from taking the PCAT exam for UA PharmD admission purposes.  In order to qualify for this exemption, students must meet the following criteria at the time of application to the PharmD program:
- Completion of BSPS degree no more than three years prior to matriculation into the PharmD program.
- Minimum 2.5 science and cumulative prerequisite GPA, with no grades lower than C.
- Minimum 2.5 GPA in all core Pharmaceutical Sciences (PCOL) major courses, with no grades lower than C.
- Current BSPS students who meet GPA requirements may be conditionally admitted to the PharmD program without a PCAT score, pending completion of all BSPS degree requirements with a final core PCOL GPA of 2.5 or higher and no grades lower than C in their major or PharmD prerequisite courses.  Students who do not meet these criteria (do not finish degree or do not meet grade requirements) will need to submit a PCAT score in order to maintain their admisison offer for that year, or may reapply for PharmD admission in a future year.

Will I be able to complete an internship through this major?

Although an internship is not required for the BSPS, it is highly recommended. Students are encouraged to pursue internships in the summer after the junior year; at that point, you will have a solid foundation in pharmaceutical sciences from your junior-level major courses.

Can I retake a course if I didn’t do well on my first attempt?

If you did not pass a course on your first attempt, or if you need a higher grade (PharmD admission requires grades of C or better in all required science classes!), you may be able to repeat it. According to university policy, you may attempt the same course at the UA no more than two times. (See course repeat policies for details about what classifies as an “attempt” and other restrictions.)

If you are retaking a course, you may also explore the possibility of using Grade Replacement Opportunity (GRO) on that course. GRO is a policy that allows you to retake a course and have only the second attempt factored into your UA GPA. Several restrictions and deadlines apply to GRO, and there may be reasons that you would choose not to GRO a course. You can find GRO details in the catalog.

Can courses that I take for this major also count in a second major?

Options for “double-dipping” courses between majors/minors vary from department to department. In order to double dip a course, both departments must agree to allow it.  Pharmaceutical Sciences allows double-dipping; you can find other departments' policies on the Advising Resource  Center website.

How can I register for research credit?

The first step is to identify a research opportunity that can be overseen by a faculty member.  In most cases, students find these opportunities by directly approaching professors whose research of interest.  You may ask to join an ongoing project, or you may ask for advising/mentorship for a project of your own.  In either case, it is a one-on-one relationship between you and the professor with whom you'll be working.

If you are able to agree on a research arrangement, the two of you will then decide whether it is appropriate for you to earn research credit based on the work you are doing.  Registration requires completion and submission of a Research Credit Registration Form, generally no later than the third week of the semester in which you are hoping to register.  Per university policy, you must work a minimum of 45 hours for each credit earned.  You must have a cumulative GPA of 2.0 or higher in order to enroll in research credit through the College of Pharmacy.  

How can I drop a class?

This seemingly simple question is actually really complicated. The question of how to drop a class depends on many factors, including what you’re trying to drop and when you’re trying to do it. There are multiple deadlines for adding and dropping courses, which can be found on the UA Registration Dates and Deadlines calendar. In addition to checking the deadlines to see if you CAN drop a class, you are strongly encouraged to talk to your academic advisor before dropping any classes. They will be able to advise you on the drop process, but also on any implications such as falling behind in your major, falling out of compliance with scholarships or financial aid, etc.

How can I get permission to take more than 19 units?

Students need special permission from their college in order to enroll in more than 19 units in any given semester. These decisions are considered on a case-by-case basis, and will depend on factors such as your overall workload, current GPA, success with a heavy course load in previous semesters, etc.  First-year students will not be permitted to enroll in more than 19 units.  Requests to increase your enrollment cap should be directed to Rebecca Field.  

What are “gen ed” requirements?

General Education (gen ed) courses ensure that all students, regardless of major, are exposed to the arts, humanities, social sciences and sciences. All students will complete gen ed courses. Students who were admitted to UA in Fall 2021 or earlier will complete 7 to 8 gen ed courses:

  • Individuals and Societies (social sciences) – 3 courses
  • Traditions and Cultures/Humanities – 3 courses
  • Fine Arts (3 units)
  • Diversity requirement – 1 course (which may be double-dipped with a course from another category)

Students who are admitted to UA in Spring 2022 or later will be held to revised general education requirements.

These courses can be completed at any point in your undergraduate career.  View your advisement report on UAccess to see a detailed summary of which gen ed you have completed and what you still need.

What is the MCWA?

The Mid-Career Writing Assessment (MCWA) is a demonstration of your proficiency in English composition. You will automatically fulfill the MCWA by earning a grade of A or B in your second-semester composition course (ENGL 102, 108, or 109H). Students earning less than a B grade in their second semester composition course must take one or more additional steps to improve their composition skills so they can meet the writing standards of their major department. If you did not earn a grade of A or B in your second semester English composition course, see your major academic advisor to find out how you can satisfy the MCWA requirement.

Will I graduate with honors if I have a high GPA?

Students who complete their undergraduate degree with a cumulative GPA of 3.5 or higher will graduate with Academic Distinction; either Summa Cum Laude, Magna Cum Laude, or Cum Laude.  Graduating "with Honors" is a separate distinction, awarded to students who were enrolled in the UArizona Honors College and completed all Honors College requirements (including completion of an honors thesis).

Students may also be awarded Academic Distinction or Highest Academic Distinction in any academic year in which they completed at least 30 graded units with a GPA of 3.5 or higher.  Academic Distinction is noted on the transript, and many colleges also acknowledge this achievement during Honors Convocation each fall.  Effective in Fall 2021, the College of Pharmacy provides an honors cord to all continuing students who achieved Academic Distinction in the previous year.  Students are encouraged to save these cords and wear them at their undergraduate graduation ceremony.  (Cords are not retoractively provided to students who achieved Academic Distinction prior to this practice being instated in Fall 2021, nor are cords provided at graduation to students who did not pick their cords up at the time they were initially awarded.)

Who is my advisor?

Rebecca Field is the academic advisor for PharmSci transfer students, Early Assurance students, and other PharmSci students with last names O - Z.  Maia Schneider is the academic advisor for PharmSci majors and minors with last names A-N (with the exception of transfers and Early Assurance).  Rebecca and Maia can also provide advising on PharmD admission requirements.  You may receive supplemental advising from staff in other UA offices, but your major academic advisor is the only person who can approve your BSPS degree plan and sign off on your eligibility for graduation. If you have other majors or minors, you will have a separate advisor for each of those plans. You can find contact information for all of your advisors on your UAccess home page. 

How do I declare the Pharmaceutical Sciences major?

You can schedule an appointment with the a Pharmaceutical Sciences academic advisor in order to declare. Any student with a GPA of 2.0 or higher may declare the pre-major, but successful completion of foundation science courses is required before gaining Advanced Standing in the major.

How do I add a second major or a minor to my BSPS degree?

You will need to connect with an advisor from the department whose major/minor you want to declare. Every department has a different process. Go to the Advising Resource Center website to find the advisor for your program of interest, and to find details about the declaration process.

What is my current “class standing”?

Students are classified as freshman, sophomore, junior or senior based on the number of units completed, not the number of years you have been at UA. Transfer and AP/IB/CLEP units are counted toward your class standing. Students with zero to 29 completed units are considered freshmen, 30 to 59 units are sophomore, 60 to 89 units are junior, and 90+ units are senior.

What is “priority registration,” and when is it?

Priority registration is the designated time period in which students register for the next semester’s courses. Priority registration for spring classes generally begins in November, and priority registration for fall classes generally begins in April. Every student is assigned a priority registration date, which is based on your current class standing and any special designations you might have (including if you are an honors student, GI Bill recipient, or student athlete.) You can find your exact priority registration time on your UAccess home page, in the “Enrollment Dates” section on the right side of the screen. Be sure to check YOUR time; don’t just assume you are registering at the same time as your friends. 

What is the best way to get in touch with my advisor (or my instructor)?

UA email is the university’s official method of communication. You can reach your advisors and instructors via their UA email address. Remember that you are also required to check your email account regularly, as this is the way that your advisors and instructors will try to contact you. When emailing faculty and staff, be sure to be professional. Start your message by saying “Dear Professor…,” give some context to explain who you are and why you’re writing, and sign with your full name and student id number. Messages that are unprofessional or confusing may not receive a response.

Does the PharmSci major offer any special student awards?

Each spring, one graduating student is selected for the College of Pharmacy Outstanding Senior Award.  Eligible students are invited to apply in the spring of their senior year.