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Pre-Pharmacy


At left, Patrick Crawford, associate professor of chemistry, works wtih students in the lab. Pre-pharmacy students will take general and organic chemistry classes. Pre-pharmacy students will also take biology classes, working in the lab with instructor Stephanie Fuhr, at right.

  • Careers/internships
  • About the program
  • What students say

Pre-pharmacy students typically spend two or three years completing the pre-professional pharmacy curriculum, followed by four years at an accredited school of pharmacy leading to the doctor of pharmacy degree. More than half of students entering professional pharmacy programs nationwide have three or more years of pre-professional study, and about one third have completed bachelor's degrees.

What graduates do

Kylie Lindquist '04 is a pharmacist at Express Scripts in Mason, Ohio.

Mark Cobo '12 is pursuing his doctor of pharmacy at the University of Illinois at Chicago and working as a pharmacy technician at Walgreens.

Rachel Gahn '09 is pursuing her doctor of pharmacy at the University of Minnesota.

Pre-pharmacy students take courses in biology, chemistry, physics and mathematics, along with other coursework to prepare them for the schools to which they intend to apply.

The 114,000-square-foot Hanson Hall of Science houses the pre-health programs and the departments of biology, chemistry and physics. Special facilities include high-tech individual labs for biochemistry and physical chemistry, anatomy and physiology, cell biology, genetics and human cadaver dissection, among others.

Facts & distinctions

Class sizes are small, with highest numbers around 60 students, and no classes are taught by teaching assistants. Professors teach both the lecture and lab portions of their classes, ensuring continuity and connection between theory and practice.

Augustana's liberal arts foundation helps students learn to analyze issues from more than one angle, communicate well and solve problems through critical and creative thinking. These skills empower their studies in their major field as undergraduates at Augustana, in their chosen professional and graduate programs, and later in their careers within a complex global market.

Augustana's pharmacy school placement rate is 95 percent over the past five years. Once in pharmacy school, our graduates find they have been prepared extremely well for their professional training in the field. Pharmacy schools in which recent Augustana graduates are enrolled include the University of Illinois, University of Minnesota and Midwestern University.

In 2010, graduate students in their first day of class at Midwestern University's School of Health-Related Sciences were asked by their professor, "How many of you have had a course in neuro-anatomy or neuroscience?" About 20 students raised their hands. Then the professor asked, "How many of you are from Augustana College in Illinois?" and five students raised their hands. The professor said, "These are your tutors, because they are better prepared than anyone else."

Mary Kiolbasa '15, psychology/pre-OT; Pursuing master's degree in occupational therapy at Washington University in St. Louis

“I knew I picked Augie for the 3-2 occupational therapy program, but little did I know the amazing bonds I would form with the professors that would support me along the way. It has been a challenge, but I could not have done it without all those in my corner helping me achieve my dreams. Augustana has provided me not only with a strong foundation but the opportunity to apply to Wash U while exploring and developing a fuller sense of myself. Viking Pups has been more than I could ever imagine. Of course I love spending time training the dogs, but I also love working with our clients, presenting to the public, and meeting some of my best friends along the way.”

Sarah Forgue '13, biology/pre-OT and Spanish for Professional Use; Pursuing master's degree in occupational therapy at Washington University in St. Louis

"I feel like my liberal arts education from Augustana has put me ahead of the game for grad school. The amount of work and class rigor are easy to adjust to, compared with what I was used to in undergrad. I had so many experiences at Augie-such as studying abroad and completing my Honors Capstone research project-that have allowed me to be confident in my abilities and prepared to take on whatever challenges come my way at Washington University. In addition, having the close relationships with professors at Augustana has been beneficial in that I feel confident and comfortable speaking with professors and other professionals."

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Dr. William Hammer, Fritiof Fryxell Chair in Geology, notes that 1841 marks the dawn of Antarctic exploration. British naval Captain James Ross, commanding HMS Erebus and HMS Terror, discovered what they named the Victoria Barrier, and would later be renamed the Ross Ice Shelf. Hammer is the discoverer of the first dinosaur remains unearthed in Antarctica.

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