Expected Attributes of Entering Pharmacy Students

Some characteristics of the successful Pharm.D. graduate are qualities that a curriculum can refine, but must be inherent in the student's character before entering the Harrison School of Pharmacy. Therefore, in addition to the traditional admission criteria such as cumulative GPA and Math and Science GPA (Science Index), the Harrison School of Pharmacy seeks students who have the following attributes:

Humanistic Caring Skills

Presence of a true concern for an individual's (patient's) well-being. Caring for others is a highly valued skill of today’s pharmacists. While these skills will be developed during the four year pharmacy curriculum, prospective students who have already demonstrated an interest in caring for people prior to admission are preferred. Evidence of such a caring attitude include activities such as participation in student affiliations of civic organizations, volunteer work in physical and mentally disadvantaged facilities, and youth reading programs.

Professional Commitment

The willingness to make patient care and other professional responsibilities high priorities. The successful candidate must realize a pharmacist's day is not finished until patient care responsibilities have been completed. Self-discipline will be necessary for completing the rigorous course of study necessary for education at the doctoral level. After graduation, commitment to implement new models for pharmacy practice is characteristic of the professional pharmacist.


A quality that promotes the ability to independently make informed, decisive decisions and has faith in one's judgment. This quality is necessary in patient assessment and evaluation and subsequent recommendations for patient care.


The ability to be a self-starter. The Pharm.D. program is a professional program and therefore the student will be expected to perform self-directed learning and to continually refine those skills that enable a lifetime of learning after graduation

Adaptive Attitude

The ability to adjust to new conditions inherent in a rapidly changing professional discipline. Pharmacy is an integral part of a complex, highly technical medical field. To be successful an individual must not only be able to anticipate change but also be willing to lead the process.

Communications Skills

Demonstration of effective interpersonal and writing skills. Emerging pharmacy practice models require the graduate to communicate technical information to patients that effect changes in habits and lifestyle that result in better patient care.. In order to develop exemplary patient communication skills while in the Pharm.D. program, the prospective student should possess basic skills in writing and speaking. Individuals needing to develop these skills should enroll in courses or engage in activities to develop communications and leadership skills prior to applying for admission.

Last Updated: February 21, 2017