Letters of Recommendation for Pharmacy School
Letters of recommendation are required for applying to pharmacy school. Generally schools will request for 2-3 letters of recommendation. Check the schools website for requirements. Many people overlook this requirement until the moment they decide to apply to pharmacy school or graduate school. A strong letter of recommendation can take years to obtain.
Depending on requirements, the letters must be from a pharmacist, a professor, or employer. What is considered a quality letter of recommendation?
Example #1: You asked a pharmacist to write you a letter of recommendation. This pharmacist has only worked with you for 1 day when you shadowed them.
Example #2: You have worked as a pharmacy assistant for 2 years while doing Pre-Pharmacy coursework at a local hospital. The pharmacist that wrote you the letter of recommendation has worked with you extensively for the past 2 years.
Example #3: A professor has written a letter of recommendation for you. This professor taught organic chemistry. You were merely a student in the class and interacted with the professor only in the classroom setting.
Example #4: You are a research assistant for a professor in pharmacology. You spent 2 years helping the professor with their research studies while you were in Pre-Pharmacy. This professor was able to write you a letter of recommendation based on those 2 years of dedicated work.
The stronger letters of recommendation will come from examples #2 and #4. You must put in time and effort to obtain great letters of recommendations. This shows your dedication to hard work and networking abilities. Examples #1 and #3 are candidates that have not proven anything. They merely have done the bare minimum to get the letter of recommendation. The admission committee will evaluate this as a weakness for your pharmacy application. Start early by networking and building connections to help you obtain letters of recommendation for pharmacy school.
Letter of Recommendation Etiquette
Writing a letter of recommendation for a candidate can take a lot of time. Pharmacists, professors, or managers are busy professionals that must go out of their way to provide a letter of recommendation. Thus it is important that you respect their time by following proper etiquette when requesting a letter of recommendation.
Tip #1: Give the writer at least 1-2 months notice to write the letter.
Tip #2: Provide the writer with any additional information needed to write the letter. This can include the pharmacy program name, any specific person that needs to be addressed, resume, your goals, and a short description of your accomplishments or projects while working with this professional.
Tip #3: Provide an envelope and stamp with the pharmacy school address pre-written.
Tip #4: A friendly reminder is permissible when it is close to the deadline. Avoid bombarding the person writing you a letter of recommendation with messages and e-mails.
Tip #5: Lastly, always thank the person writing you a letter of recommendation.
I hope the recommendations above will help guide, motivate, and inspire you to achieve your goals. Follow my blog for more tips and advice on how to become a pharmacist. What are your experiences? Please comment below and share your thoughts.