WVU School of Pharmacy Scores Reach Top 10 in the Country

The West Virginia University School of Pharmacy Class of 2011 made school history as they entered with the highest Pharmacy College Admission Test (PCAT) scores ever recorded for an entering class at WVU.

“Academically, the incoming class is the best class ever to enter the School.  Our scores are expected to place us into the top ten percent for 2007,” WVU School of Pharmacy Dean Patricia Chase said. “Last year, our students’ PCAT scores helped place WVU in the top 15 percent of pharmacy school scores across the nation.” 

The PCAT is a standardized, national exam that measures general academic ability and scientific knowledge necessary for pharmaceutical education in schools of pharmacy.

“Since about 80 percent of our entering class received pre-pharmacy education at WVU and other excellent schools in the state, this is a clear indicator of the quality of higher education in West Virginia,” Chase said.

There are 84 students in the class of 2011.  Five of the first-year pharmacy students earned a 99 out of 100 percent on the PCAT.  Fifteen other students’ scores ranged between the 90 and 98 percentile.   The entering class averaged a 3.75 undergraduate grade point average.  Most students received academic undergraduate honors such as being named to the dean’s or president’s list. 

 The West Virginia University School of Pharmacy Class of 2011 made school history with their high entrance exam scores.

Most of the 84 students are West Virginia residents, representing 29 of the state’s 55 counties.   The remaining students are from Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, Ohio, New York, Massachusetts, North Carolina and D.C.

“The high caliber of the incoming class is a strong endorsement of the outstanding quality of our pharmacy program,” said Fred Butcher, Ph.D., interim vice president for health sciences. “These students could have chosen to attend any school in the United States and they chose West Virginia University.”

According to Chase, part of what makes the WVU pharmacy program exceptional is the diverse background from which students gain their undergraduate degrees.  Students earned degrees in fields such as accounting, biochemistry, biology, business, chemical engineering, chemistry, physics and psychology.

“This class has distinguished itself from other incoming pharmacy classes across the country with its leadership and interpersonal skills,” Chase said.  “Having the ability to lead and communicate are crucial foundations for becoming excellent practicing pharmacists.”

Chase said that some of the students were involved in WVU’s Health Sciences Technology Academy (HSTA) and Health Careers Opportunity Program (HCOP) when they were in junior and senior high school.

“Some of these students have come from underserved populations and are now part of the most prestigious class in our history,” Chase said. “This truly shows the quality of our students, as well as the value of the HSTA and HCOP programs.”

Before graduating from the pharmacy program in 2011, students will spend three months completing rotations and serving patients in rural parts of West Virginia.  While in a state and federally designated “medically underserved” area, students participate in interdisciplinary experiences and service learning projects related to health education.  
“Our mission is of course to educate the future pharmacists of the state and beyond,” Chase said.  “We are proud that nearly 65 percent of the practicing pharmacists in West Virginia are alumni of the WVU School of Pharmacy, with many in rural areas.”

For more information on the WVU School of Pharmacy, visit www.hsc.wvu.edu/sop/.

- WVU -

For more information:
Amy Johns, HSC News Service, (304) 293-7087
cw: 08-27-07

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