Hi, I’m a grade 12 student and I’m interested in going to u of t so I can become a pharmacist in the future. I just have no idea what I’d be applying for since I couldn’t find a program that covers all the subjects I need to take. Would majoring in biology be good for that? I asked my guidance counsellor and he said to just apply for life sciences in general but if I apply for that, will I automatically be put into the courses that I need to take? Thank you!
hello hello! a future pharmacist, how exciting.
i’m not super familiar with what it takes to become a pharmacist, but i’ll try to answer this. your guidance counsellor is correct that, for now, you should apply to the life science category. that’s because you don’t actually apply for a major as an incoming student— program of study (POSt) decisions are typically made after your first year, once you’re a little more familiar with the university and its offerings! as a first year, you enter the faculty of arts and sciences enrolled in a stream: life sciences, humanities, physical + mathematical sciences, or social sciences.
(i do remember selecting a program of interest on my OUAC application, but you’re not held to that program once you get admitted. i don’t really even know why they ask you to select one. you can just pick something generic, don’t stress about it.)
once you’re admitted, that’s when you should start thinking about what POSts you’re interested in, because you’ll need to account for any POSt admissions requirements as you plan your first year courses. if you’re interested in pharmacy, i’d recommend that you take a look at the undergrad pharmtox program offerings. i have a friend considering pharmacy who once mentioned that these programs were good for pharm! you can also reach out to your registrar’s office and book an appointment with an academic advisor, if you want someone to talk your program choice through with.
after first year, once you’re enrolled in a POSt, you won’t necessarily be automatically enrolled in the courses you’ll need in order to be admitted to pharmacy school later on. that’s where tools like degree explorer come in: you can grab a list of the requirements from your preferred pharmacy program, and try to figure out how they fit into your degree using degree explorer.
that planning shouldn’t be too hard. just going off of the good ol’ leslie dan PharmD requirements, it doesn’t seem like you’ll need a particularly complicated or specific combination of courses to get into a pharmacy program. just 1.5 FCEs in chem, and 1.0 each in bio, mathematics, and humanities/soc sci. you’ll probably knock out the humanities/soc sci requirement just by virtue of fulfilling your breadth requirement, and most lifesci students will take a couple different chem/bio/math classes anyway. i know different schools have different requirements, though, so definitely check out the programs you’re really interested in and see what they want from you!
anyway, one more resource to refer you to: if you don’t know of her already, you should check out @shelbypharmd on instagram. i’m in no way affiliated with her, but i see her on my explore page sometimes and it seems like she has some really solid tips for getting into (and surviving) pharm school. maybe some of those tips will be useful to you!
i hope this helped, and that the rest of your senior year of high school goes all right. best of luck with university applications season!