Dedication, stress, sacrifice and studying are four words Corrie Lowe used to describe her life as a student in the Harrison School of Pharmacy here at Auburn University. Corrie is 23 years old and from Edison, Georgia.
One of her professors, Dr. Forrest Smith, has been
working/teaching for 23 years here at Auburn. The students and professors in this school are determined to keep our world healthy and on their feet.
Corrie always knew she wanted to be a pharmacist. “I started as a music major and was planning on double majoring in pharmacy as well,” Lowe said. “After my first year, I dropped the music major and just focused on getting into pharmacy school.”
Being a pharmacy student is no doubt a full-time job. Spending a minimum of 40 to 60 hours a week just on pharmacy school alone is reality. Sacrifice is crucial in this major as well. Giving up football game Saturdays, other organizations and simple “chill” time with your friends is not abnormal.
On average about 900 applicants apply to the Harrison School of Pharmacy each year. Only 250 out of those 900 get an interview and only 150 are ultimately accepted. Multiple science courses are required academically before applying amongst the normal core courses.
“Although a bachelor’s degree is not required, it generally takes 3 years to complete the requirements and many students finish their bachelor’s degree before starting pharmacy school,” Smith says.
Maintaining good grades during undergrad is vital. The process is not complicated or tough, but getting accepted is. Transcripts, PCAT scores and 3 letters of recommendation is all you need. Once you send those in you wait for an interview if you’re one of the 250.
Upon acceptance the journey begins. Dr. Smith is a professor who loves what he teaches and loves his students. The typical class size is 150 students and are “team taught,” meaning a group of professors work together to teach the same group of students.
“I enjoy seeing the students progress in their understanding and the individual interactions with students,” Smith said.
Smith added that the hardest year for the students is their second year. Drugs and Diseases I-IV is the toughest course Corrie has taken so far. Approximately 140 students graduate each year.
Smith did his undergraduate work at Virginia Tech where he received his B.S. in Biochemistry. He received his Ph.D. in Medicinal Chemistry from Virginia Commonwealth University and did his post-doc at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Corrie is a second year pharmacy school student and is a pharmacy tech at Rite Aid. She wants students to know that if you choose pharmacy, be committed to studying and sacrifice.
The positive insight on this profession is impeccable. Pharmacists are the people who develop medicines to keep our world healthy and without them we’d be nowhere near where we are now. If you’re a determined and motivated individual who wants to place your mark on the health of this world, the Harrison School of Pharmacy is waiting for you. War Eagle!