Admission to Bill Gatton College of Pharmacy at East Tennessee State University is based on a competitive selection process involving applicants who meet the minimum requirements for admission. The Admissions Committee endeavors to select for admission applicants who are the best qualified, with an emphasis on those who demonstrate a desire and propensity for rural pharmacy practice and an interest in rural health. Bill Gatton College of Pharmacy uses a rolling admission process that allows for interviews and final action on applications throughout the admission cycle. The College is committed to increasing the number of qualified pharmacists from currently underrepresented minority groups and from disadvantaged backgrounds. The school actively promotes and encourages applicants from these groups.
Pre-professional preparation should be in an area chosen strictly according to the interest of the individual student. A specific major or minor course of undergraduate study for entering students is not advocated. A well-rounded undergraduate education is highly desirable, and students are encouraged to pursue the undergraduate program of their choosing. In addition to acquiring specific knowledge, the pre-pharmacy student should acquire certain basic skills and aptitudes such as the ability to read with speed, comprehension, and retention; the ability to understand concepts and draw logical conclusions; the ability to adapt quickly to new and different circumstances; and the ability to communicate effectively in all circumstances. Evidence of these abilities is sought throughout the admission process. These skills and abilities are essential in becoming a practicing pharmacist and a self-directed, lifelong learner.
Admission to the Doctor of Pharmacy degree program requires that applicants complete at least 61 semester hours of undergraduate courses as specified below. Courses must be from a U.S accredited college or university. The prerequisites provide the minimum academic background essential to pharmacy education. Applicants who exceed the minimum stated requirements are more competitive.
Applicants who will earn a baccalaureate degree by the end of the spring term of their matriculating year are considered to have met the general education requirements and only the math and science prerequisites are required.
All prerequisite coursework must be completed with a grade of C- or higher and prior to enrollment. The College expects applicants to complete all math and science prerequisite courses by the end of the spring term of the matriculating year. Permission must be granted by the Admissions Office to complete math and science prerequisite courses in the summer term of the matriculating year.
Foreign coursework may only be considered in cases where the applicant has earned the equivalent of a baccalaureate degree (or higher) at an accredited institution. A foreign transcript evaluation report (FTER) must be submitted through PharmCAS.
|General Biology and Lab 2
|Microbiology and Lab 2
|Biology Elective 2
|General Chemistry and Lab 2
|Organic Chemistry and Lab 2
|General Physics and Lab 2
|Composition (Any writing-intensive course in the English area is acceptable.)
|Additional Writing-Intensive Course or Oral Communication Course
|Social Sciences, Behavioral Sciences, and/or Humanities Electives
|General Elective (science course recommended)
1 Applicants who will have earned a bachelor’s degree by the end of the spring term immediately preceding enrollment are considered to have met the general education requirements and only have to meet math and science prerequisites.
2 Course must count toward that major or a science degree.
Use of Advanced Placement or CLEP Credit
Advanced placement credit, CLEP credit, or other nontraditional credit in required non-science courses awarded by a regionally accredited college or university may be utilized to satisfy academic prerequisites. Such credit may also be utilized to satisfy prerequisite science courses provided that applicants have taken additional courses in the same discipline. Prospective students should be aware that portions of the professional curriculum require solid skills in algebra and basic integral calculus, and those math skills, if not used, quickly diminish. As such, we strongly recommend that incoming students take appropriate steps to insure a high level of mathematical aptitude
The College encourages candidates to apply to the early decision admission program through the Pharmacy College Application Service (PharmCAS). This program allows applicants who are committed to attending Bill Gatton College of Pharmacy the opportunity to secure an admissions acceptance early during the admissions cycle. Candidates choosing this program cannot apply to any other pharmacy school prior to receiving a decision and agree to attend Bill Gatton College of Pharmacy, if accepted.
The deadline to apply as an Early Decision applicant is set annually by PharmCAS but is typically the first Monday in September. Early Decision applicants are assured of receiving an admission decision in mid October. Please note that Early Decision applicants are not given preference over regular decision applicants by the Admissions Committee.
Applicants must be a U.S. citizen, possess a U.S. Permanent Resident Visa (Green Card), have been granted political asylum or refugee status to be eligible for admission, or be eligible for an International Student Visa. Proof of eligibility is required for non-U.S. citizens. Additionally, pursuant to Tennessee Public Chapter No. 1061-SB No. 1325 known as the Tennessee Eligibility Verification for Entitlements Act (TEVA) applicants claiming U.S. citizenship status may be required to provide proof upon matriculation.
Applicants will be considered for admission only after a complete admission file has been submitted to the Admissions Committee. A complete admissions file consists of a PharmCAS application and letters of reference. See below for detailed information regarding each of these items.
Application is made using the Pharmacy College Application Service (PharmCAS) via their website at www.pharmcas.org.
Pharmacy College Admission Test (PCAT)
The PCAT is not required.
Letters of Reference
Two letters of reference are required and must be submitted through PharmCAS. One letter must be from a science faculty member (natural sciences) who has taught the applicant or from the pre-health advising office at the applicant’s academic institution. This letter should address the applicant’s academic performance and academic potential as a future Student Pharmacist. The second letter may be from a source of the applicant’s choosing; however, a letter from a pharmacist or other source who can attest to the applicant’s potential as a future health care professional is highly recommended. Letters from the following evaluators will not be counted toward the two letters of reference: family members, clergy, co-worker, friend, and politician.
An in-person interview with members of the Admissions Committee is required. International applicants may be given the option of an in-person or an online interview. Only selected applicants will be invited to interview (all related expenses are the sole responsibility of the applicant). An invitation to interview does not guarantee admission or imply any specific action on the part of the Admissions Committee. Interview dates are scheduled directly with the applicant by the Admissions Office. When the interview date is confirmed, information will be sent to the applicant regarding local overnight housing options. Travel arrangements are the responsibility of the applicant.
Class Reservation Deposit
Bill Gatton College of Pharmacy follows the AACP Cooperative Admissions Guidelines. Upon notification of acceptance to Bill Gatton College of Pharmacy, the applicant will be required to pay a non-refundable class reservation deposit of $200.
Accepted applicants may request deferred entrance into Bill Gatton College of Pharmacy until the next class for previously unforeseen circumstances. In order to request deferred matriculation, the applicant must submit a written request explaining why a later matriculation is desired. The applicant, if approved for deferment, will be required to sign a contract agreeing to comply with specific conditions. Requests for deferred matriculation must be made in writing no later than June 30 immediately preceding expected matriculation.
The application deadlines for the current year can be found on the Gatton College of Pharmacy website at www.etsu.edu/pharmacy/admissions/process.php.
The Admissions Committee evaluates applicants on the basis of demonstrated academic achievement, letters of reference, pertinent extracurricular activities, evidence of non-scholastic accomplishments, evidence of strong knowledge and understanding of the profession, and demonstrated motivation for the study and practice of pharmacy consistent with the mission of Bill Gatton College of Pharmacy. Criteria for admission are integrity, willingness and ability to assume responsibility, high scholastic achievement, maturity, intellectual curiosity, and sound motivation.
In evaluating the applicant’s coursework, the Admissions Committee examines the time frame and difficulty of the pre-pharmacy course schedule, the academic record, and extracurricular activities (particularly activities such as concurrent employment, collegiate athletics, and philanthropic/service activities) as an indication of the potential to succeed in the academically rigorous pharmacy curriculum.
Applicants are expected to possess a solid academic foundation, particularly in the sciences and mathematics. Applicants who have taken prerequisite coursework more than 10 years prior to the application deadline should consult with the Admissions Office.
Applicants are expected to have a clear understanding of the pharmacy profession. Each application is examined for evidence of an applicant’s firsthand exposure to health care as an indication of the applicant’s motivation and that the applicant is familiar with the realities of pharmacy as a career. Applicants without pharmacy work experience should consider volunteering, shadowing a pharmacist, or extensively researching the profession prior to applying for admission.
Bill Gatton College of Pharmacy gives preference to applicants who are residents of Tennessee and residents of our contiguous Appalachian service area who are interested in our emphasis on the practice of rural pharmacy. Because Bill Gatton College of Pharmacy is a tuition-funded program, tuition is the same for all students regardless of residency.
Reconsideration of Admissions Committee Decision
The Admissions Committee makes every effort to consider all available information in making admissions decisions. It is the policy of the College that it will not review or reconsider any admissions decision unless significant new information which was not available at the time of the original decision is discovered. The College reserves the sole right to determine the significance of any new information presented.
Technical Standards for Admission and Retention
Pharmacy education requires that the accumulation of scientific knowledge be accompanied by the simultaneous acquisition of professional skills. Pharm.D. graduates must have the knowledge and skills to function in a broad variety of clinical situations and to render a wide spectrum of patient care.
The Admissions Committee considers any applicant demonstrating the ability to perform or learn to perform the skills listed below. These skills and abilities are assessed during the interview and throughout the Pharm.D. program. Students must possess the scholastic, physical and emotional capacities to meet the full requirements of the school’s curriculum. These standards describe the essential functions students must demonstrate in order to fulfill the requirements of a general pharmacy education, and thus are prerequisites for entrance to and continuation at Bill Gatton College of Pharmacy. The Admissions Committee asserts that the following minimum technical standards must be present in prospective candidates and students continuing in the program.
Technological compensation can be made for some disabilities in certain areas, but a candidate should be able to perform in an independent manner. Bill Gatton College of Pharmacy, in conjunction with ETSU Office of Disability Services and in compliance with Section 504 of the 1973 Vocational Rehabilitation Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, will make appropriate accommodations to facilitate enrollment and program participation of qualified individuals with temporary or permanent disabilities. It is the student’s responsibility to notify ETSU Office of Disability Services in a timely manner to determine if he or she is eligible to receive accommodations.
Candidates should be able to use visual and other sensory modalities to observe demonstrations and experiments in the class-based setting and to make observations in practice-based activities. They should be able to observe a patient accurately. They must be able to note and interpret verbal and non-verbal communication cues displayed by the patient.
Effective communication skills include the ability to ask questions and to thoughtfully receive, record, and disseminate information. Candidates should be able to employ speech, reading, writing, and computer literacy skills to communicate effectively in the English language with patients, caregivers, faculty and staff, peers, and all members of the healthcare team.
Sensory and Motor
Candidates should have functional use of the senses of equilibrium, smell, and taste, as well as sufficient motor function (gross and fine) and coordination to execute movements required to carry out functions necessary to the practice of pharmacy. They must also have somatic sensation and the functional use of the senses of vision and hearing; sufficient exteroceptive sense (touch, pain, and temperature); and sufficient proprioceptive sense (position, pressure, movement, stereognosis, vibratory).
Conceptual, Integrative, and Quantitative
Candidates’ intellectual skills and learning techniques must allow them to complete a rigorous and complex didactic and experiential curriculum. They must be able to learn through a variety of modalities including, but not limited to, classroom instruction, small group activities, individual study, preparation and presentation of reports, and use of computer technology. Candidates must be able to consistently, quickly, and accurately integrate information regarding patient assessment and therapeutic planning, as appropriate for each stage of their education. They must be able to convey this information in a manner and speed appropriate to the situation. When appropriate, they must be able to identify and communicate the limits of their knowledge to others and be able to recognize when the limits of their knowledge indicate that further study or investigation is necessary before participating in decision-making.
Behavioral and Social
Candidates must possess the emotional and mental health required for full utilization of intellectual abilities. They must cultivate and maintain a professional demeanor that is able to tolerate workloads that are physically, mentally, and emotionally taxing, and to function effectively under stress or with distractions. They must exercise good judgment and maintain professional ethical standards. Candidates must possess compassion, integrity, interpersonal skills, and motivation to excel in the practice of pharmacy. They must be able to modify their behavior in response to constructive criticism.
Students desiring to transfer into the professional program from another ACPE accredited college of pharmacy will be evaluated on an individual basis; however, transfer admission is contingent upon space availability. Transfer applicants must meet the same requirements as a first-time Pharm.D. applicant. Additionally, transfer applicants must be in good standing with (i.e., eligible to return to the pharmacy school previously attended) and are expected to be academically competitive.
Transfer applicants apply directly to Bill Gatton College of Pharmacy by completing the transfer application found on the website at www.etsu.edu/pharmacy/prospective_students/transfer_applicants.php. Transfer applicants are required to submit an official transcript from all post-secondary institutions attended and letters of reference as specified on the application. If the transfer applicant is determined to be qualified for admission, a personal interview will be arranged. Applicants are also required to submit course syllabi for all pharmacy school courses completed for which credit is desired.
Transfer credit awarded and academic classification are determined based upon review of the transcripts and syllabi. Transfer students are required to complete at a minimum the last two years of the curriculum in order to receive the Pharm.D. degree from Bill Gatton College of Pharmacy.
Interested applicants are encouraged to contact the Office of Student Affairs prior to applying.
Matriculation Requirements for Entering Students
Criminal Background Checks
Bill Gatton College of Pharmacy is committed to providing the public with well-trained pharmacists who possess the traits of high moral character and standards. Within Tennessee and nationally, due to state legislative and accreditation requirements, many healthcare entities require all people working in their settings to submit to a Background Check (BC). These institutions may require individuals training to become healthcare practitioners to undergo a BC before participating in any educational/patient care activities at their sites. Additionally, many states require a BC for all individuals seeking a license to practice healthcare within the state.
In light of the foregoing, the College has concluded that it is in the best interest of the College, our partner institutions, patients, and students for the College to determine at the outset if students seeking to complete the Pharm.D. pose a potential risk, and whether such students meet eligibility requirements to participate in patient care activities at affiliated health care institutions by requiring all accepted applicants to undergo a BC as a condition of initial enrollment. This check shall be completed in a usual manner utilizing the services of recognized background screening company selected by the College. Enrollment is contingent upon satisfactory evaluation of the results of the BC. Results of the BC may also be released to affiliated institutions that require this information for student participation in patient care activities.
A letter from the College indicating a conditional acceptance will include notice of the BC requirement. Conditionally accepted applicants are required to cooperate completely with the College, or other authorized/approved investigative agency in granting permission/ authorization for the BC to be completed in a timely manner. All costs associated with the BC are the responsibility of the student and shall be paid directly to the vendor.
If an issue that may preclude a student’s enrollment or participation in academic activities is identified, the case will be considered by an administrative subcommittee of the College, which shall evaluate the information relative to the finding and make a recommendation regarding the individual’s suitability for enrollment. The recommendation will be forwarded to the Dean of the College of Pharmacy for a final decision.
Health and Immunization
As a prerequisite for enrollment, Bill Gatton College of Pharmacy students are required to demonstrate receipt of appropriate immunizations and/or testing for protection against exposure to certain infectious diseases as detailed below. Acceptable documentation must be submitted to the Office of Student Affairs by the specified deadline prior to initial matriculation. Failure to comply may result in the student not being allowed to enroll or permitted to participate in practice experiences.
Measles, Mumps, Rubella (MMR): Proof of immunity to measles (rubeola), mumps and rubella is required of all students through the documentation of receipt of two MMR vaccines. The first dose must have been given on or after the first birthday. MMR vaccinations must be given at least 30 days apart. Alternately, the student may prove immunity through documentation of blood serum titer indicating immunity.
Hepatitis B: Proof of immunity against hepatitis B is required of all students. Students are required to complete the vaccination series which consists of three injections given at recommended intervals. Additionally, students are required to obtain a blood serum titer test that demonstrates the student has developed an adequate level of antibody protection to indicate immunity. The titer should be received 1-2 months after completing the series of three injections.
If the hepatitis B titer is negative following completion of the initial series of three injections, the student will be required to repeat the series and have a repeat titer drawn. If the titer remains negative, the student will be required to receive appropriate clinical consultation.
Tetanus-Diphtheria: A current tetanus-diphtheria booster is required for all students. Students must provide documentation of receipt of a booster vaccine within 10 years of their expected graduation date. Effective October 2005, the CDC recommends administration of the TDAP in place of Td to promote protection against pertussis.
Varicella (chickenpox): Consistent with state law, students must demonstrate immunity to varicella through documentation of receipt of the varicella vaccination series or documentation of a blood serum titer indicating immunity.
Tuberculin (TB) Screening: Annual TB screenings are required while the student remains enrolled. The first screening should occur no earlier than June 1 of the year prior to initial enrollment in the College. If a student receives a positive test or has a history of testing positive, he or she will be required to provide documentation of a chest x-ray and the results thereof, including the recommendation and outcome regarding any therapy.
Acknowledgment of Information about Infectious Diseases: In accordance with legislation of the General Assembly, all students, upon initial enrollment in a postsecondary education institution, shall be informed of the risk factors and dangers of certain infectious diseases. Students are required to complete and sign a form that includes detailed information about hepatitis B (HBV) and meningococcal meningitis.
Acceptable Documentation: All documentation submitted in response to the above requirements must include the date of each immunization and/or titer as well as the results of the titer. Acceptable documentation may include a statement or progress notes from a healthcare provider; copy of immunization record; or copy of laboratory reports, as appropriate.
Entering students are required to submit an official transcript from ALL colleges or universities attended to the Admissions and Records Office directly from the institution. Transcripts marked issued to student will not be accepted without expressly given permission. Transcripts for courses in which the student is enrolled during the summer prior to matriculation should be sent after the summer grade and/or degree is posted.
Basic Life Support Certification
Student pharmacists are required to be certified in an approved basic life support (BLS) training program, and to maintain certification throughout their entire pharmacy education program. All trainings are at the expense of the individual student. Documentation of compliance must be submitted to the Office of Student Affairs by the specified deadline prior to initial matriculation and at the appropriate interval subsequent to enrollment. It is the student’s responsibility to ensure documentation is submitted in a timely manner.
Professional Liability Insurance
All Pharm.D. students are required to carry professional liability insurance. Low cost coverage specifically designed for pharmacy students is available through Pharmacists Mutual Insurance Company. The premium is charged to the student’s account upon registration.
Bill Gatton College of Pharmacy requires all students to carry and maintain health insurance while enrolled. Students annually must provide proof of insurance.
Students are required to complete the American Pharmacists Association (APhA) Immunization Certification training during the first professional year. This certification consists of a self-study exam, didactic lectures, a final exam and a practicum. Universal precautions are observed during the practical portion of the certification. Students will participate as both the immunizer and the patient during the practicum portion of the training. The certification will be valid as long as BLS certification is maintained.
Occupational Safety and Hazard Administration Certification
Students are required to complete occupational safety and health (OSHA) training to prepare them for participation in PPEs. The training must be completed before a student will be allowed to begin his/her introductory PPE. Annual training is required. There is no cost to the student for the training.
Sexual Harassment Training
Consistent with the university’s mission and vision, the Gatton College of Pharmacy is committed to treating people with dignity and respect. This ideal involves all employees and students as we strive to work together in an atmosphere conducive to building relationships on honesty, integrity, and trust. Toward this end, student pharmacists will be required to complete training in Preventing Sexual Harassment upon initial enrollment in the College. The training is complete online as a self-study program. Students are required to submit a copy of the certificate of completion to the Office of Student Affairs.
All student pharmacists are required to have a personal laptop computer appropriately configured to be compatible with ETSU network facilities including Desire2Learn (D2L) and ExamSoft. D2L is a web-based teaching and learning tool utilized by faculty for course delivery. ExamSoft is testing software utilized by the college to administer in-class examinations. A laptop computer provides maximal mobility and utility in accessing computing technology. Wireless access to the ETSU network is available in all areas of the college and the large classrooms have wired access.
Laptop computers are necessary for retrieving course materials, including syllabi and handouts; accessing online resources (e.g., textbooks); retrieving primary literature and conducting internet searches; taking notes in class, if permitted by the instructor; taking in-class exams and quizzes as required; and other projects and assignments.
Computer standards can be found on the web at www.etsu.edu/pharmacy/current_students/documents/computer_requirements_2018.pdf. It is the student’s responsibility to ensure their computer meets these requirements. Students are expected to provide their own printing hardware and supplies. Other devices may suffice for many tasks, but the student is responsible for having personal and functional computing equipment for use with any in-class quiz, exam, or exercise.
Fourth-year students are required to have a SmartPhone or similar device for use during APPEs. The College does not specify the type of device you must purchase; however, the device must be able to run Lexi-Comp drug and clinical information software, the required textbook for the fourth-year. Additionally, it is recommended that students purchase a device that is compatible with the E*Value Advanced Informatics system utilized by the Office of Experiential Education. This software provides students with the ability to access personal and program information pertinent to their practice experience. To assist students, the Medical Library has formulated a list of buying recommendations. The Library will also assist students in configuring their devices.