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Best Pharmacy School Personal Statement Examples

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Pharmacy School Personal Statement

Pharmacy school personal statement examples demonstrate that pharmacy school applications require many different documents to adequately assess you as a potential candidate. In addition to looking at your CV , transcripts, letters of recommendation , and any other required materials, most pharmacy programs ask you to submit a personal statement. After gathering so many materials together, a one-page essay may seem like a trivial item to check off on your application to-do list, but beware of treating the personal statement too lightly! Gaining admission to a graduate pharmacy program certainly requires top grades, competitive test scores, and glowing letters of recommendation from referees who know you well, but these aren’t the only components that admissions committees take into account when evaluating your profile. 

Keep in mind that most pharmacy school applicants already have stellar academic records, impressive test scores, and fantastic recommendations. These sorts of accomplishments are important, but are more or less a given in the application process. Furthermore, grades, test scores, and other people’s perceptions of you and the quality of your work are insufficient to determine if you are up for the challenge of the rigors of pharmacy school and the work that follows graduation. With something as serious as pharmacology, it is crucial to determine whether who you are would make you a good fit for the profession. Your knowledge, experiences, and attitudes all play a key role in deciding if you would thrive as a pharmacy student, and eventually, as a pharmacist serving your community. With so many applicants each cycle, admissions officers need some way to gauge these factors in order to narrow the applicant pool down to those they would like to speak to in person, or these days, over the internet. This is where the personal statement comes in! Keep reading to determine what a pharmacy school personal statement measures and how to create one that will make you stand out from other applicants.

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Article Contents 24 min read

4 pharmacy school personal statement examples.

Three days after my thirteenth birthday, my mother was diagnosed with breast cancer. The next twelve months were the toughest in my life, but this experience also gave me something I am forever grateful for—an unwavering passion for pharmacy. I always accompanied my mother to her chemotherapy sessions, where I performed plays for her and the other patients, trying to make them smile. I took an immediate liking to the pharmacist, who returned repeatedly to ask my mother how she was feeling; he explained in detail how these chemo drugs worked and how they interacted with others she had been taking. I listened raptly, entranced by the seemingly magic properties of this medication. It was difficult to watch my mother lose her hair and become frail, but she ultimately made a full recovery, thanks to the wonderful team of medical professionals and to these life-saving drugs. While I lost the naivety of youth that year, I gained a profound new sense of purpose. I was inspired to become a hospital pharmacist and to help patients in times of extreme uncertainty and pain.  

Anyone who has ever faced a challenge has probably heard about the deflating nonexistence of a “magic pill” solution. Want to lose weight? There’s no magic pill for that. Trying to learn a new language? No dice. Hard work is always touted as the solution, and rightly so. As a preteen who struggled with confidence, I desperately yearned for a magic pill solution that would make me the bubbly, carefree girl surrounded by laughter in the cafeteria. Instead, the only bubbly aspect of my lunchtime break was the gurgling, broken faucet inside the girl’s restroom. Though unaware of it at the time, the bathroom was not a refuge from the scary, hormonal social scene of junior high, but from my ever-increasing social anxiety. As for a magic pill to rid me of that affliction? I think you know the answer to that.

Though there may not have been a magic pill to rid me of my mounting social anxiety, hard work seemed like an unlikely solution, too. For months, I put on a happy face, trying to convince myself that there was nothing to fear in locker-side conversations and that my worth was not determined by what a group of gangly middle-schoolers thought of me. Eventually, my parents took me to see a psychiatrist, and after many sweaty-palmed conversations, I was diagnosed with social anxiety and handed a prescription for anti-anxiety medication. Of course, the medication I received was no miracle, but with other coping mechanisms, my world began to seem a little more welcoming. Gradually, I interacted with peers more, who became friends. I still had to work hard in therapy, but the capsules I took in the morning each day removed my constant, debilitating worry.

Without the shadow of anxiety darkening my every social interaction, I felt as though I was beginning to become the version of myself I always wanted to be. Years later, I actually was the girl surrounded by laughter in the high school lunchroom. More importantly, though, I took my first chemistry course and discovered my passion. The ways that elements on the periodic table could combine to create entirely new substances fascinated me. I realized that, just like myself, the world around us is in a constant state of flux, with elements combining, reacting to forces, and continuously changing. As I changed from a high school chemistry novice to a university student, one thing remained constant: my passion for chemistry. Delving into how chemistry can be used as a tool inspired me to pursue it as a major, and I worked in various labs on campus investigating how different combinations could be put to use to solve problems, just like my psychiatrist helped me find ways to deal with my social anxiety.

Through my lab work on campus, I grew close with Dr. Johnson – the principal investigator in a campus lab and a faculty member in the pharmacy program. One evening, as we were locking up the lab, Dr. Johnson asked me if I had ever considered becoming a pharmacist. Initially hesitant, I finally accepted Dr. Johnson’s offer to facilitate a shadowing opportunity with one of his former colleagues. My first day in the pharmacy was overwhelming. The rattling of pills in bottles served as the backdrop to the near-tangible pressure of making sure no life-threatening mistakes occurred. I was intimidated by the responsibility, but excited by the chemical interactions that the pharmacist discussed with me. This was the ultimate problem-solving chemistry I had been seeking! 

After months of shadowing a pharmacist, I was convinced that I wanted to pursue a career in pharmacy. My experiences with Dr. Johnson and his colleague piqued my interest in what seemed like a never-ending field of discovery. Elements combining, reacting to forces, and continuously changing, but in the human body! Figuring out the puzzles of chemical reactions had always been intriguing, but knowing that I could combine that with helping people recover from sickness, manage chronic disease, or even find the strength to leave the middle school bathroom and have lunch with other students was empowering. The medication I took as a preteen may not have been a magic pill for my social anxiety, but there was certainly some magic in it. I look forward to putting in the hard work to bring that magic to others as a pharmacist. (724 words)

‘I want to do more than just counsel on the proper use of Levothyroxine’ was what I told my father when he asked me what kind of pharmacist I wanted to be. He died shortly after, and it saddens me to think that I cannot tell him now how my vision has evolved. Now, besides being someone in charge of educating patients about their medications, I see pharmacists as scientists who design and produce medicines, evaluate lab results and drug interactions for the benefit of the patient, act as a trusted link between doctors and their patients and, ultimately, impact patients’ lives and contribute to their wellbeing. Pharmacists need to be team players, good communicators, detail-oriented problem solvers, and culturally sensitive professionals, and these are some of the characteristics that I have developed through different endeavors.

As the captain of my soccer team in high school, I was put in charge of leading the team both in and outside of the game. On the field, I acted as a mediator between the players, coach, and referee. Successfully guiding players on the strategies dictated by the coach required excellent communication skills. In my team, I was not only a player; I was a key decision maker and a motivator. Making tactical decisions while supporting everyone in their position showed me the true meaning of being a team player and taught me how to handle pressure well. When I look back at those times and think about the titles we won for our school, I know that the characteristics I developed while I led my team to victory will be put to use when I have to collaborate with a multidisciplinary team of healthcare professionals in the future.

In college, while volunteering at a local pharmacy in my hometown, I helped the pharmacist handle prescriptions and dispense a variety of medications. It became clear to me that following a methodical approach and paying great attention to detail were essential in pharmacy. I made it a point to learn from him, and with time, I found myself being thorough, accurate, and organized not only at the pharmacy but at school as well. I also sought to understand both the cause and the effect of a situation, which is an ability that has guided everything I have done since then, including my research work and my academic activities as a Biology major. Seeing the pharmacist interact with patients was truly rewarding. I watched as he explained the treatment, potential side effects, and desired outcomes to them while evaluating the interactions between the drugs they were taking in order to avoid any harm. This showed me that, besides being a problem-solver and having analytical abilities, pharmacists need to be empathetic and care for their patients. Very soon I found myself interacting with people who visited the pharmacy and exercising the same skills the local pharmacist possessed.

This interaction with people helped me refine different characteristics that I bring with me to this new journey. One of the most significant is, perhaps, the cultural awareness that I developed in my shadowing work at the university hospital. Having a patient who does not speak the language, calming them down, and finding a translator, for instance, or understanding how different cultures view certain health practices and looking for ways to respectfully adapt to them has allowed me to learn and practice cultural sensitivity, which is crucial in a multicultural society, such as in Canada, where the population is becoming more diverse. By seeing pharmacists in action in the university hospital setting, I gained insight into the every-day lives of healthcare professionals who work with patients from every background imaginable. Moreover, I also came to realize the pressure to which pharmacists are exposed when the correct medication has to be provided with extreme urgency. Working under pressure is something I do well since my soccer days, so instead of deterring me, this motivates me.

If anyone were to ask me today about the kind of pharmacist I want to be, I would have a much stronger answer than the one I gave to my father many years ago. I want to be the kind of pharmacist that uses their knowledge, skills, and compassion to improve their patients’ health and one that works with other health care professionals to maximize health outcomes. Furthermore, I want to have patients trust me enough to let me become involved in their lives as I guide them on their medications and help them improve their quality of life. Besides all this, and on a much more personal level, I want to be the kind of pharmacist that will make my father proud. (781 words)

“Why would you want to be a pharmacist?” was the question my father asked me when I shared my decision to pursue pharmacy school. This was a question I had asked myself many times as I solidified my decision to pursue this dream. I shared my experience standing in line at a local pharmacy to fill a prescription. This was something I did every month, and not an experience that I had given much thought, however; when I saw the person in line in front of me experience great distress at learned the price of her daughter’s prescription, I realized that not all patrons had the same experience as me. To many, a trip to the pharmacy may be filled with questions over how their medications will affect their body or their ability to afford groceries for the month. The woman in line was worried about the high prescription price in light of other expenses in providing for her family. As I saw the pharmacist assist her in finding a less costly alternative, and the ease come over the woman as she learned that her family would be alright, I had my first glimpse into my future profession as a pharmacist. 

This day sparked my interest in attending pharmacy school, but also a desire to further explore what it meant to be a pharmacist. While donating blood to the Red Cross, I learned of the growing need for pharmacist volunteers, with many underserved communities necessitating additional support. As I was giving blood, I talked with a current pharmacist volunteer, ‘Samantha,’ who recounted her responsibilities to me when I expressed an interest in wanting to learn more. ‘Samantha’ explained why she felt pharmacists made wonderful volunteers in the community. She reflected that pharmacists have the knowledge to make an impact and valuable experience conversing daily with people of all backgrounds. As I talked with ‘Samantha,’ I thought about my own capacity to strike up a conversation with people I had not met before. I recalled that my friends often joke about how I could talk to anyone about anything, a trait I admire in myself. Everyone is skilled in different ways, but my ability to talk to anyone I come across will be an asset to my future as a pharmacist. I look forward to new experiences every day and speaking with new patrons to get to know their needs and concerns. In addition, I hope to volunteer in my community as a pharmacist to expand the number of people I can impact with my loquacious disposition as I guide them towards safe medication use. 

With the personality to be a efficacious pharmacist, I looked to build my experience in the healthcare profession. I secured a volunteer position aiding a hospital pharmacist in educating health professionals on drug side effects. I was responsible for designing educational posters for use in counseling patients about their medications. I was eager to use my artistic talents to help people seeking to understand their prescriptions, like the woman in line ahead of me at the pharmacy. As I designed posters, I asked my friends and family to look at my drafts and provide feedback. I asked if the information was conveyed in a clear, approachable way and I learned that what is clear to one person – such as myself – can be viewed differently by another person with a different background or set of life experiences. As a pharmacist, I will utilize educational materials that have gone through arduous testing to ensure they can deliver the necessary information, but I will also aim to understand community members’ experiences and how this may impact their understanding and outlook towards their medication.   

I explained to my father that, to me, pharmacy is about conversation. As patrons share with you why they have come in to the pharmacy that day, or what is troubling them, it is important to truly listen. This is the starting point for the conversation needed to understand their concerns, provide appropriate medication, and educated them as to how best proceed. Although my friends joke about my ability to talk to anyone, this is a trait that will go far in serving my community as a pharmacist. (702 words)

Here're some more tips for your interview:

Pharmacy school personal statements are a crucial aspect of your application because they help to separate you from the crowd of other accomplished applicants. After all, grades, test scores, and letters of recommendation only go so far in presenting who you are and your talents and strengths. Even a CV does not reveal enough about you and your experiences to adequately reflect your ability to succeed in pharmacy school and beyond. Imagine trying to measure a candidate’s level of motivation or ability to persevere through adversity by looking at his or her GPA! Luckily, you have the power to present the strengths and qualities that would make you an incredible future pharmacist and make your case for admission through your personal statement.

Essentially, this short essay asks you to reflect upon who you are, what led you to want to study pharmacology specifically, and why you would be great at it. Most pharmacy programs in the United States use a central application portal called PharmCAS (Pharmacy College Application Service) to distribute application materials like transcripts, test scores, and personal statements to individual university programs. Personal statements for PharmCAS must be 4500 characters or less, including spaces. It is crucial to draft a personal statement that is within the character limit because the online portal will not allow you to save or submit a personal statement that exceeds 4500 characters. As you prepare to write your personal statement, be sure to verify that your program(s) of choice use PharmCAS for receiving application materials. If you find that your university does not utilize PharmCAS, check the program’s website for specific instructions regarding the character or word limit for personal statements.

Canadian pharmacy program application expectations differ from school to school. The University of Toronto’s PharmD program, for example, does not require a personal statement of any kind.  

A common mistake that pharmacy school applicants make is relying upon cliches to discuss their motivations for pursuing a career as a pharmacist. Cliches read as tired and don’t reveal anything meaningful about an applicant. Moreover, many personal statement cliches like expressing a desire to “help people” are so vague that they fail to address an applicant’s desire to study pharmacology precisely. There are a multitude of careers that help people: teachers, doctors, non-profit workers, and more. Similarly, a fascination with science applies to any number of medical professions, researchers, scientists, and so on. In your personal statement, you must clearly express why you want to go to pharmacy school specifically.

Additionally, admissions officers want to ensure they admit only those applicants who demonstrate their capability of handling the demanding course work as well as possess the correct attitude and motivation to pursue a career in pharmacy. You’ve probably heard that past behavior is one of the best predictors of future behavior, and for good reason. For instance, if you have already persevered and exhibited your resilience, work ethic, and determination in past experiences, chances are you will exhibit those same skills in a pharmacy program, no matter the challenges you may face. Showing your skills through relevant anecdotes and relating them to core attributes you possess that will ensure your future success as a pharmacist goes a long way to separate you from an already qualified pool of applicants.

Pharmacy personal statements also assess the value you will add to your matriculating class, the program, and the institution overall. You want to prove you are a mutually beneficial fit for your pharmacy program of choice. As you craft your personal statement, you will likely need to create several versions that cater to each of the institutions to which you plan to apply, highlighting the attractive elements of each program that motivated you to apply and explaining how you would thrive in such an environment and contribute to the program’s culture and mission. Prove that the school would be missing out on an exceptional candidate if you were not offered admission!

How Are Pharmacy Personal Statements Structured?

Although each program has different requirements, pharmacy personal statements are generally around a page long, or 4500 characters for most applications in the United States, and should be structured similar to a traditional, academic paper. Your personal statement should have a clear introduction, a body composed of about 2-3 paragraphs, and a marked conclusion. It is important that you transition well among each of these elements to enhance the flow and overall readability of your statement. The logical progression of your ideas should also be well-defined so that admissions officers can easily follow your train of thought. Keep in mind that each individual reading your personal statement will be looking at many, many personal statements in any given sitting, which can get exhausting. Make their jobs easier by ensuring that your statement is easy to read and makes your points both concisely and clearly. Given the myriad personal statements each admissions officer must review, your statement must be quite unique and engaging in order to stand out and be memorable.

Contrary to popular belief, it is not the best choice to start your statement at the beginning by working on the introduction. Part of the reason you should avoid starting with the introduction is because an introduction typically sets the stage for what you discuss in the body of your statement. If you don’t have the content of the body prepared, it is unlikely that you will be able to craft an appropriate introduction. Rather, you want to plan out the body of your statement first by creating a rough outline of the topics you wish to address in your statement to give the reader an overview of what led you to pursue pharmacy school, as well as the experiences and qualities that would make you an excellent addition to the program of your choice, and ultimately, a great pharmacist. Utilizing an outline to plan out your response also takes a bit of the pressure off of you as a writer so that you are not focused on making every single sentence perfect until you have a general idea of where you are going with your statement. After you have the “bones” of your statement planned out via an outline structure, begin to add the “meat” little by little, gradually expanding your outline with more substantial content, including anecdotes that serve as evidence or justification for the claims that you make.  

Pharmacy personal statements are an opportunity to show the admissions committee your personality, values, and goals. With this in mind, think carefully about which experiences you want to emphasize and the skills and values you want those experiences to illustrate. “Illustrate” is a key word here; be sure to show your readers what you mean instead of telling them. For example, don’t just say you are a lifelong learner. Show your readers evidence that demonstrates you are a lifelong learner by narrating and reflecting upon experiences in which you were continuously eager to learn new information. One of the most important tips to remember as you plan the outline for and later write your pharmacy personal statement is to be true to yourself. When applicants communicate what they believe admissions committees want to hear, or in this case read, their inauthenticity is blatantly evident. Being genuine not only serves you in the short-term by creating a personal statement that reads as truly authentic, which is always more convincing and impactful, but it is to your benefit in the long run as well. After all, pharmacy school is 4 years long, which isn’t exactly an insignificant time commitment. You should aim to gain admission into a program that wants you for who you truly are and the potential you’ve demonstrated, and the only way of guaranteeing this is to show who you truly are through your personal statement.

Once you have crafted a full outline, begin to write a rough draft of your body paragraphs. At this point, you still do not need to worry about choosing the best words or making sure that the stylistic elements of your body paragraphs are top notch. Focus on getting your thoughts out on paper in a way that makes sense and flows well in terms of a logical progression of ideas. So, how many experiences should you write about in your personal statement? While there is no concrete number you should aim for, do be selective about which experiences you choose to include. Think quality over quantity. Essentially, as you answer the question “Why do you want to be a pharmacist?”, trace the origin of your interest in studying pharmacy through each stage of its development. Given the 4500-character limit, at least for most pharmacy programs in the United States, you will have to limit your discussion to two to three experiences, depending upon the level of depth of your discussion of each experience.

Which kinds of experiences work best? Keeping in mind that the experiences you decide to address and the way in which you write about them should be authentic to you, aim for experiences that involve exposure to the field. Of course, exposure to pharmacy can come in many forms! Perhaps you were exposed to pharmacy and the positive impact it can make in people’s lives through your own use of prescribed pharmaceuticals to treat a chronic illness, which inspired you to learn more about how medications work. Or, maybe you were considering a career in either medicine or pharmacy, decided to shadow physicians and pharmacists alike to accrue more knowledge about the day-to-day responsibilities of each profession, and found yourself enamored with your pharmacy shadowing experience. In any case, make sure that you are specific about which aspects of your experience were particularly influential in your developing desire to study pharmacy and what convinced you that you would make a great pharmacist yourself!

Once you have completed your rough draft, take a day or so away from your statement so that you can achieve mental distance from your writing in order to review it with fresh eyes the next time you read it. With this new perspective, revise your body paragraphs, choosing the strongest vocabulary possible to convey your meaning. Remember, though, that it is important to be authentic, so don’t abuse your thesaurus! Work on strengthening the wording of your statement and try reading it out loud to see how well each sentence fits together. Rinse and repeat.

Tip #1: Be authentic.

The personal statement should explain why you want to study pharmacy, so your discussion of this should be true to your experiences. Instead of writing what you think would be appealing to admissions officers, present a genuine account of why you want to be a pharmacist and the experiences that led you to that conclusion. Inauthenticity is actually quite easy to detect, so it is always preferrable to be authentic.

Tip#2: Start early.

The strength of your personal statement is crucial, and with limited space to show the admissions committee who you are and why you are passionate about becoming a pharmacist, you will likely go through many drafts before you arrive at the final product. In order to accommodate multiple rounds of edits and give yourself time to gain mental distance from each draft before revising again, you must start early.

Tip#3: Get expert feedback.

Notice that we suggest expert feedback, not just feedback in general. Everyone can give you an opinion on the strength of your pharmacy school personal statement, but only a select few can give you constructive criticism that will actually serve to improve your statement. Trusted professors, pharmacist mentors, or admissions experts like the ones at BeMo are all great choices to give you informed and insightful advice.

Tip#4: Be concise.

Since you have limited space to convince your reader that you are passionate about pursuing pharmacy and would make an excellent future pharmacist, every word counts. Recount your experiences in a succinct manner so that you can maximize your character count and include valuable reflections that will demonstrate how strong of an applicant you are!

Tip#5: Avoid cliches.  

While it can definitely be tempting to rely upon commonly used motivations for pursuing pharmacy school like “to help others” or “to give back,” leaning upon these cliches will only hurt your application. Even though part of your motivation for becoming a pharmacist may genuinely be to help others, you need your statement to stand out. If hundreds of other applicants express the same sentiment, your sincere altruism may be lost in the crowd of other personal statements communicating the same thing. Further, helping others and giving back can be achieved in various careers. Your job is to convince the reader that you want to make that impact through pharmacy.

If you are applying to pharmacy schools in the United States, check out PharmCAS’ website to see if your program utilizes this application service.  If so, your personal statement will be restricted to 4,500 characters, including spaces.  If not, check out the program’s website to discover that school’s specific personal statement requirements.

On the other hand, if you are applying to pharmacy schools in Canada, you will need to go directly to that school’s website to see its specific requirements.  Some programs don’t require a personal statement at all.

No, some schools like the University of Toronto don’t require a personal statement or essay of any kind.  Double check the website(s) of your program(s) of choice to see what the specific requirements are.

Unless directed otherwise by your program of choice, your pharmacy personal statement should be structured like a traditional academic essay.  Include an introduction, 2-3 body paragraphs, and a conclusion.  Please see above for further details.

Overall, your personal statement should answer the question “Why do you want to be a pharmacist?” or “Why do you want to go to pharmacy school?”  Your answer to this question should show your reader why you want to pursue this career instead of telling them.  Show your desire to become a pharmacist by discussing key experiences that sparked your interest in pharmacy and developed that interest into a true passion.  Include experiences that exposed you to the profession, whether that is as a patient, working as a pharmacy assistant, or shadowing a pharmacist.

Although it may seem illogical, your introduction should be one of the last things that you write.  The introduction of your personal statement must introduce the content that appears in your 2-3 body paragraphs, so it makes sense to write your body paragraphs first in order to know which content you are introducing.  In order to capture your reader’s attention from the very beginning of your personal statement, the first sentence of your introduction should employ an opening hook that uses some sort of creative element to generate interest in your statement.  Opening hooks often use relevant quotes, pieces of dialogue, or vignettes of a particularly impactful experience to “hook” the reader and make them more invested in the document before them.  Following your opening hook, you should discuss the significance of it, whether that is how a quote relates to your life or an explanation of the significance of the situation described in your vignette.  Finally, your introduction should establish your interest in pharmacy and set the stage for the more substantial content that will follow in subsequent body paragraphs.

The conclusion of your personal statement should not just be a summary of the content covered.  Rather, it should be comprised of reflections upon the experiences you’ve described, draw connections among your experiences, and/or discuss future goals in the field of pharmacy.  Make sure that the last sentence of your conclusion leaves the reader wanting to know more about you.  How memorable your statement is depends heavily on your last sentence, so you should use a creative approach as you did with your opening hook.  Some applicants find it useful to refer back to their opening hook in a creative way.  Try out different endings and see which works best with the statement you’ve written!

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How to Write a Compelling Pharmacy School Personal Statement

Written by Kelly Jeroski

July 12, 2022

How to Write a Compelling Personal Statement for Pharmacy School

If you’re applying to any higher education program, you’re most likely going to run into something called a “personal statement”. Pharmacy school is no exception, and learning how to write a compelling and unique personal statement is a key part in getting accepted to school. Read on to find out how to write one that stands out! 

What is a Personal Statement?

A personal statement serves as a way to highlight your skills, interests and experiences. Personal statements tend to be somewhat autobiographical, but it is not just a lengthy personal essay of your entire life story. 

Personal statements are also not a regurgitation of all the information you’ve already included in your application and cover letter. Think of your personal statement as more of a narrative, but still keep it informative. 

In writing a personal statement, you’re aiming to give the school or program you’re applying for a snapshot of who you are and why you want to be considered for whatever position. They are as much about how you write as what you write. Schools will receive hundreds of personal statements– make sure yours stands out!  

What is the Difference Between a Personal Statement and a Cover Letter? 

A cover letter generally serves as a means to sell yourself to a company or school. It introduces your resume and all your relevant school and employment history. A personal statement, however, is meant to be more creative and introduce the school to you as a person in an engaging format. 

While an application can come off as just a list of what you’ve done, a personal statement frames all your accomplishments in a way that connects your real-life influences with the dates and degrees on your application. 

What is the Best Format for a Personal Statement for Pharmacy School?

Think of your personal statement as a narrative essay outlining how you got to where you are today, as well as where you want to go next. Within this story, relate back to pharmaceuticals and medicine and healthcare fields in an organic way. You’ve chosen this path for a reason, what are the steps that got you here? 

What Questions Should I Answer in my Personal Statement? 

Some helpful questions to aim to answer throughout your personal statement are:

✅ Why do I want to be a Pharmacist?: Think through the times where you have admired pharmaceuticals or where they have most impacted you. Or, think about when you fell in love with medicine and helped people through pharmaceuticals.

✅ What different pharmaceutical paths would I be interested in pursuing?: Are you interested in nuclear pharmacy? What about private pharmaceutical production? If you have a specific niche in mind for a career path, use this space to talk about your interest.

✅ What makes me an excellent and unique candidate for this program?: Have you taken any specialized courses that make you uniquely qualified for this program? Have you had any outstanding internships or positions within the healthcare world?

✅ What are my strengths?: Where do you excel? What specific strengths could you bring to the program and the team you work with? Use this space to highlight your gifts.

✅ Are there any gaps or inadequacies in my application? How can I explain them here?: If you have anything on your application that may confuse someone not familiar with your life circumstances, try to concisely explain it here. Admissions counselors want to be able to give you the best shot possible at being accepted, and sometimes this requires you being up-front about gaps or missing pieces to your work history. 

What Should I Avoid in My Personal Statement? 

❌ Don’t just repeat what you’ve said in your application. There’s a place for a more sterile, list-based amalgamation of your achievements, but your personal statement is not this place. Admissions staff will learn a lot more about you if you’re creative with your personal statement.

❌ Don’t steal someone else’s work. Plagiarism will disqualify you from admission to pharmacy programs, and it’s also just bad practice for life in general.

❌ Avoid cliches throughout your writing. It may have been a dark and stormy night when you were born, but that is neither relevant nor original. Find fresh ways to tell your story and engage your readers.

❌ Avoid grammar and spelling mistakes. These can be avoided through several rounds of revision

What Are Admissions Counselors Looking for in a Personal Statement? 

What makes a good candidate may vary from program to program, but there are some general things that admissions counselors look for when reviewing personal statements from applicants:

  • How have you grown over the years?
  • Is your personal statement well-written? Does it show care, consideration and edits?
  • Are you up for the challenge of Pharmacy school?
  • Do you fit our program? 

What Are the Steps to Form a Compelling Personal Statement?

The creative process for a piece like this may vary form applicant to applicant, but the general steps are as follows

1. Brainstorm

This step can be messy, and is generally the most customizable of the process. To start your brainstorming process, think about all the reasons you’re considering pharmacy school and why this program should consider you. This is also a good place to start thinking about what makes you stand out from other candidates, as well as beginning to organize your education and work history. 

Since personal statements are more narrative than list-based, start to think about how pharmacists have influenced your life and family. Compelling stories from your own experiences will help admissions counselors see you have a full-bodied connection to the program and career field.  

As part of your brainstorming, look at successful personal statements. Websites like Studential and ApplyToUni can give you a good idea of what spelled success for past applicants. Or, if you know anyone who went to pharmacy school already, you can ask them for their best tips. 

2. Outline and Draft

How do you make sense of all the information you just brainstormed out? One of the best ways to sort through your thoughts is by looking for natural connections between events in your life. Be sure to highlight the aspects of your career and schooling that will make you stand out the most. 

Make sure you’re outlining your statement in a way that makes the most sense for both your story and your reader. Linear outlines with clear progressions through your life story usually work best, but that’s not to say you can’t jump around in the story a bit, especially if pharmacology has played a lot of different roles throughout your life and you’re looking to highlight its effect on you over time. 

There are different types of personal statements, generally prompted or unprompted, but they all tend to be between 400-1,000 words long. 

Check your personal statement for basic grammatical and spelling mistakes, as well as making sure your tone is both professional and friendly. Make sure your organization makes sense. A good way to ensure this is to have someone else read it and suggest edits. The more sets of eyes you can have on your personal statement, the better chance you’ll have of submitting a flawless piece. 

Running your personal statement through a program like Grammarly or Hemingway is another good way to weed out mistakes and make sure your statement is clear.

4. Final Revisions and Submission

Do some final checks of your personal statement. Try to read it as if you’re reading it for the first time, with no context as to your own story. An early start in the writing and drafting process is key for this step, so you can take a few days away from your statement before this final revision if necessary. 

If your personal statement was one with a prompt, use this check to be sure you have answered all the questions as fully and uniquely as possible. This is another great place to ask for a second set of eyes to review your statement. 

Finally, submit your personal statement with your application to pharmacy school. Be sure that you’ve submitted it before the deadline! 

How Do I Close a Personal Statement?

In closing your personal statement, include one last push for yourself and why you’re a good fit for the program. Try to naturally conclude and wrap up all that you’ve said about yourself and your story. Be sure to highlight your interest in the program specifically and give a quick “thank you” for their consideration of your application. 

What Now?  

Now that you know how to write a great personal statement for pharmacy school, you should narrow down the schools you want to apply to. If you haven’t already, consider NEOMED’s College of Pharmacy ! Our program will prepare you to make an impact on those around you for the better, whether locally or globally. Graduates from our programs boast high NAPLEX test scores, excellent network connections and a deeper understanding of the communities they serve. Apply to NEOMED ! 

Want to learn more about pharmacy school at NEOMED? Our pharmacy program guide will help you determine if pharmacy school is the right path for you, and how NEOMED can help you begin your future.


Access our eBook "Begin Your Future in Pharmacy at NEOMED" to learn more about what it takes to become a pharmacist.

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About the author

Kelly jeroski.

Assistant Director of Admission

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Pharmacy Personal Statement Examples

personal essay pharmacy school examples

What is a pharmacy personal statement?

Writing a personal statement for pharmacy is a chance to sell yourself to the admissions tutors and show them why you would make a great phramacy candidate.

It’s a place to describe your skills and strengths, as well as your career plans.

You are allowed up to 4,000 characters to explain why you are applying for a pharmacy degree, so you need to make sure your statement is as polished as possible to stand out from the crowd.

How do I write a good pharmacy personal statement?

Good pharmacy personal statements always use evidence to support their claims. You need to convince admissions tutors that you’re a good match for the programme, so if you claim to be committed or inquisitive, then use examples from your life to back it up.

To write a great pharmacy personal statement you need to start early, brainstorm some ideas, and then begin your first draft.

This will then need to be carefully revised and edited before asking family and friends for feedback. Incorporate their comments and suggestions, and see how it is improved before asking them to look at it again.

Read through our pharmacy personal statement examples to give you an idea of what a good pharmacy statement looks like.

Make sure you proofread your statement for grammar and spelling before sending it off, and if you feel you need a little extra help, take a look at our personal statement editing services .

What should I include in my pharmacy personal statement?

Many students choose to start their statement by picking a specific aspect of pharmacy and explaining why they enjoy it, e.g. drug chemistry, cardiovascular and renal systems, etc.

Admissions tutors want candidates that are as passionate about the subject as they are.

As well as your motivations for studying pharmacy, think about your hobbies and extracurricular activities too. What skills have you learned from these and how will these help you in your pharmacy degree?

Talk about any work experience placements you have completed, e.g. shadowing a doctor or nurse, or someone in a similar medical/clinical profession. What did you take away from this experience? Do you feel you have all the necessary personal traits and qualities that make a good pharmacy student?

Your wider reading is also important, so it's worth mentioning anything you've read recently that you found interesting and why. Generally, admissions tutors like students who express their views and opinions, and can back them up with evidence.

For more help and advice on what to write in your pharmacy personal statement, please see:

  • Personal Statement Editing Services
  • Personal Statement Tips From A Teacher
  • Analysis Of A Personal Statement
  • The 15th January UCAS Deadline: 4 Ways To Avoid Missing It
  • Personal Statement FAQs
  • Personal Statement Timeline
  • 10 Top Personal Statement Writing Tips
  • What To Do If You Miss The 15th January UCAS Deadline.

What can I do with a pharmacy degree?

There are many different career options open to those wishing to study pharmacy at university. These include:

Jobs directly related to your degree include:

  • Community pharmacist
  • Hospital pharmacist
  • Research scientist

Jobs where your degree would be useful include:

  • Clinical research associate
  • Higher education lecturer
  • Medical sales representative
  • Medical science liaison
  • Pharmacologist
  • Product/process development scientist
  • Regulatory affairs officer
  • Research scientist (life sciences)
  • Science writer
  • Toxicologist

For more information about careers with a pharamcy degree, please see Prospects and the National Careers Service .

What are the best UK universities for pharmacy?

Currently, the best universities in the UK for studying pharmacy and pharmacology are:

For more information about pharamacology university rankings in the UK, please see The Complete University Guide and SI UK .

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Writing the Personal Statement for Pharmacy School: A Checklist

You’ve likely written a personal statement at some point in your life. Perhaps while applying to your undergraduate program, some of your schools required you to include an essay describing your achievements, yourself, and what you hope to accomplish in your time at their university. Similarly, many pharmacy programs will require you to write a personal statement for their application. 

This, however, is different. You will be able to highlight your relevant accomplishments and address why you want to become a pharmacist to stand out truly . With so many applicants during each cycle, admissions officers use this personal statement to gauge whom they wish to speak with for an in-person interview.

At this phase of the application journey, you've narrowed down the pharmacy schools you’re applying to. Your transcripts are in, letters of recommendation are ready, and it’s time for your pharmacy personal statement. The good news is that, unlike undergraduate applications that sometimes have different prompts, you must answer for various schools; your one pharmacy school personal statement will be sent to every program through your PharmCAS application . That also leaves an exciting challenge: Even if you have a favorite, you must consider how you want to write this personal statement, as it shouldn’t be tailored toward one specific school. 

Determining the Narrative

When it comes to writing a pharmacy school personal statement, the most common pitfall students experience is the need for more effort placed into their writing. While your grades may be exceptional, and your letters of recommendation prove that your student-teacher relationships are healthy and you are a pleasure to have in class, having a generic pharmacy personal statement doesn’t differentiate you from other qualified applicants. If all applicants have already covered the first two things, the personal statement may be the shining piece of the application. For most students, writing this statement will be the most challenging part of the application process. 

Begin to formulate your narrative. Lay out the structure and the different sections. There’s no specific format that pharmacy schools are looking for, so make this personal statement unique to yourself. As mentioned, the “cookie cutter” approach to this part of the application is where most students stumble. Use your time wisely and start early . Additionally, you can easily find a sample personal statement on various websites to help structure your thoughts. However, remember that these should be used only as samples and that you shouldn’t rely on them to format your own statement.

Crafting a Unique Story

Each pharmacy school program wants students who demonstrate tenacity, which will help them succeed in their respective programs. One way to approach writing your pharmacy school personal statement is from the point of view of the admissions committee. Anyone charged with reading thousands of applications will focus on specific questions that signal a level of quality about the rest of the personal statement.

First, what's the reason that this student is choosing pharmacy as their career? Are they doing this for income or genuine interest in providing the best care for patients? Does the applicant demonstrate thoughtful understanding of their strengths and weaknesses? Do their ideals align with the mission statement of the school of pharmacy? Each reviewer may concentrate on different questions, but they want to see you feel a personal drive for a career as a pharmacist. Place yourself into the seat of an application reviewer and formulate different questions that you could potentially ask students. Try answering these questions and see how genuine your answers are. How you answer may decide if you want to continue to pursue this pharmacy school path.

Focus on Your Opening

One universal method many writing courses teach you is always to have a solid opening statement. Use this as an opportunity to begin with a personal story about why you decided that pharmacy is the right career for you or maybe an inspiring quote that has always resonated with you. The reviewer may have already gone through several applications, so your first few sentences should stand out. You want to be able to make an impression from the beginning while showing an earnest drive to spend a career as a pharmacist.

Once you’ve effectively engaged the reviewer, it’s time for the “meat” of the personal statement. What do pharmacy application committees truly want to hear? 

Getting to Know You

They want to learn more about you before meeting in a live interview. Tell your own story succinctly but without cutting corners. Briefly describe how you learned to overcome obstacles like that to better yourself and those around you. Sure, you can write about your most relevant academic accomplishments. But go beyond that.

Discuss how certain clubs and organizations have helped you progress through your undergraduate experience and how those organizations may have led you to pursue the path of pharmacy school. Highlight the different leadership positions you may have held in college that have helped mold you into the leader you see yourself as today. After setting those up, discuss the skills you’ve acquired to help you in pharmacy school and how they’d make you a better pharmacist.

When you mention your relevant academic studies, please don't forget to keep repeating the pharmacy college admission test (PCAT) scores or the 4.0 GPA that you achieved. The committee has this information before them as they read; they don’t need to be reminded.

Talk in detail about your relevant work experiences, such as research or a part-time job in a pharmacy. Discuss how these different work experiences furthered your commitment to the profession. Identify what aspects of the pharmacy setting may have attracted you and what you ultimately have learned from these experiences. Some students come into this part of the application process without work experience. That’s okay. You can highlight any volunteer work related to healthcare or pharmacy. 

Close with Confidence

Finally—and we can’t stress this enough—keep your writing professional. You’re making an impression on a professional committee, and as much as you want to make your statement sound lighthearted, keep in mind that the reviewers’ time is at a premium for reviewing the essays and interviews in the next round.

Be succinct, direct, and human.

Remember to keep our advice top of mind:

The goal of your personal statement is to showcase why you would be the ideal pharmacy student and why your traits/qualities reflect those of a pharmacist.

Be as authentic as possible when detailing why you want to be part of the PharmD program. 

GPA and PCAT scores can only get you so far. Your personal statement is a chance for you to stand out in front of the other applicants who apply to the same pharmacy program as you. 

Remember, perfecting the personal statement takes time and your admission may depend on how much effort you ultimately put into your writing.

portrait of Hong Chen

Hong Chen, PharmD

My name is Hong Kui Chen and I am a graduate of The Ohio State University Pharmacy Class of 2022. I am currently working as a clinical research associate at Medpace, Inc, a contract research organization based in Cincinnati, Ohio. My work mainly consists of traveling to various sites around the country and providing protocol training on new clinical trials or monitoring data. While I enjoyed the traditional pharmacy role of working in retail or hospital, I wanted to expand and pursue this non-traditional role to see how clinical trials operate. I have a passion for being able to impact patients in a grand scale and even though I don’t have the 1-on-1 patient interaction, the work that I do can have long lasting contributions to overall patient health. 

Opinions and information published by the author here on PharmDDegree.com are of my own and do not necessarily represent the views or opinions of my employer.

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Pharmacy School Personal Statement Tips


Many programs require a personal statement as part of the pharmacy school application. This is essentially an essay that addresses why you want to be a pharmacist, and how your personal background and achievements support this goal. This writing sample provides the only opportunity to express yourself in writing to differentiate your application from your competitors. A significant effort should be made to have the best possible personal statement that addresses the interests of the admissions committee.

  • How to write a pharmacy school personal statement

pharmacy student on computer

PharmCAS provides general guidance on how to craft a personal statement. Each year, they provide a prompt that directs the topic of the statement. They recommend that applicants do not tailor their writing to one program, because you will only be permitted to submit one personal statement per application cycle. PharmCAS will send this statement to all programs to which you are applying that year.

For many applicants, the personal statement will be the most difficult part of the application preparation. Applicants know this is important, so they may overthink it or suffer from writer’s block. A useful exercise before you begin writing is to think about the answers to the following questions:

  • Why do you want to be a pharmacist? You should demonstrate a genuine interest in the profession and helping people.
  • What experiences have prepared you to be successful in this career?
  • What qualities do you most admire in pharmacists? Can you demonstrate that you have these same qualities through your academic achievements or work experience?
  • What makes you stand out as a unique candidate? Do you have real-life experience? Have you volunteered in health care settings?
  • Is there any deficiency in your application that you want to proactively explain? This may be your only opportunity to explain any low grades, gaps in education, or suboptimal PCAT scores. However, do not make excuses; own your mistakes and show how you have learned from them.
The personal statement should address the topics that you think are the most important to paint a picture of you as a successful pharmacy student.

The personal statement should address the topics that you think are the most important to paint a picture of you as a successful pharmacy student. Mission statements of the schools to which you are applying can help direct your writing, but you should keep the statement general enough that it can resonate with the admissions committees of any program.

Ultimately, the personal statement is a story that will show the admissions committee that you are a unique person who is worth more than their GPA and PCAT scores. The statement should be an authentic representation of your story and give the reader a glimpse into what you would be like as a pharmacy student and professional. The text should show, not tell, the reader what you bring to the table. A strong opening is important: Grab their attention with a relatable anecdote or quote.

pharmacy student studying

One approach to writing the statement is to brainstorm all the questions above, taking notes as you think of the answers. Then, sketch an outline of the statement that will help get the juices flowing. Try to write the first rough draft in one setting, not worrying about the exact words. You can go back later to refine wording, add details, and revise. Lastly, you should proofread the statement multiple times. Essays riddled with grammatical errors and typos send a message to the reader that you do not pay attention to detail , which is an important skill for pharmacists. Consider having another person who is unbiased proofread it. Numerous companies offer professional essay proofreading and editing services, such as Scribd .

  • What does a school look for in a personal statement?
Each program is looking for well-rounded students who are likely to succeed at their institution. They do not expect all students to be the same.

Each program is looking for well-rounded students who are likely to succeed at their institution. They do not expect all students to be the same. Diversity is desirable, so don’t pretend to be something you are not because you think it is what they want to hear. Admissions committees can see right through disingenuous statements. Content that schools may be looking for include the following:

  • Is this person applying to pharmacy school for the right reasons? You won’t be happy or motivated in a job that you are doing only for money, job security, or to meet someone else’s expectations.
  • Do they understand the job and its demands? Speak to any relevant experience you have working, volunteering, or shadowing pharmacists.
  • Has the applicant demonstrated personal growth in the years leading up to their application? If your grades improved in the last year, you can explain that it shows your commitment to education and renewed work ethic. If you took on new extracurricular responsibilities or work assignments, highlight any leadership skills you’ve developed.
  • Is the essay organized and clearly written? Communication skills are important for pharmacists, because they communicate with customers, physicians, and insurers daily.
  • Has the applicant explained any weak points in their application? Admissions committees realize that life can be messy. Be honest if personal circumstances affected your grades or PCAT scores. Make it clear that you’ve moved past these circumstances and they won’t impact your ability to be a successful pharmacy student. However, don’t make excuses for shortcomings that don’t have a good explanation.
  • Do they demonstrate a “fit” for the values of the program? Use anecdotes to demonstrate that you live their values and mission.

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  • What should you avoid in a pharmacy school personal statement?

Admissions committees have numerous applications to review. You want to make sure every sentence in your personal statement adds value and has no chance of leaving a negative impression. Here are examples of things to avoid:

  • Don’t repeat your transcript and PCAT scores. They already have these in their file. Essay word counts are limited, so make the most of every word of your essay to provide new information.
  • Don’t write off topic. Tell your story directly and concisely. Going off on a tangent or adding words just to make it appear longer will distract from the message you are trying to convey.
  • Don’t include irrelevant academic achievements. No matter how proud you are that you won the geography bee in fifth grade, it isn’t relevant to your aptitude for success in a pharmacy career.
  • Do not plagiarize. This is a major sin in academia. It will get your application tossed to the “no” pile without a second thought.
  • Avoid clichés. Cue eye roll from the admissions committee who is forced to read hundreds of statements, many with poor attempts to use clichés or humor.
  • Do not talk about controversial topics. The essay should be professional. Topics like religion, personal emotions, money, and politics have no place in the workplace.
  • Don’t have grammatical errors or spelling mistakes. Hire a professional editor to proofread your writing, or use a do-it-yourself tool, such as Grammarly .

Pharmacy school personal statement examples

pharmacy class notes

Personal statements are one of the most important components of your application. They are your only opportunity to show the admissions committee that you are more than your GPA and PCAT score. This is your chance to stand out from the crowd. The quality of your essay will be determined by how much work you put into the writing. Several examples of essays from students who were accepted to pharmacy programs can be found on the internet at sites like Studential and Applytouni . Reading these can give you an idea what a good statement looks like before you begin writing your own.

  • Additional Resources:
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  • Pharmacy School Letter of Recommendation Tips

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Tips for Writing a Pharmacy School Personal Statement

Like in any other field of education, a pharmacy statement is a way of selling yourself to the admission tutors by showing them why you are a great pharmacy candidate. A personal statement is an opportunity to detail your skills, strengths, and career objectives in pharmacy. A personal pharmacy statement allows you a maximum of 4000 characters. It would be best to discuss why you are interested in pursuing a pharmacy degree in as few words as possible while ensuring you stand out from the crowd of prospective students. 

  • 1 Why is a personal statement important?
  • 2 What makes a good personal statement?
  • 3 Common mistakes to avoid
  • 4 What to include in your statement 
  • 5.1 1. Preparation
  • 5.2 2. Proper grammar
  • 5.3 3. Proper structure
  • 5.4 4. Connect with your reader
  • 5.5 5. Include only Pharmacy relevant achievements
  • 5.6 6. Avoid plagiarism
  • 5.7 7. Avoid controversial topics
  • 5.8 8. Proofread your work

Why is a personal statement important?

Statistics show that at least 50% of pharmacy school applications get rejected. These applications are not always denied because of poor scores. These students typically have scored just as good as their accepted counterparts. A personal statement is essential because it is what makes or breaks your application. This is because admission tutors are keen to welcome candidates who are genuinely passionate about and dedicated to the profession. 

What makes a good personal statement?

An excellent personal statement uses evidence. Support all your claims. It would be best if you remembered that the admission tutors already know you are trying to convince them that you are a suitable match, as are all the contenders. Sure, you can go on and on about how willing you are to learn, but it would be more effective if you backed such claims with real-life examples. 

Please use a personal statement writer service to get professional custom help in writing a good pharmacy personal statement. As a matter of fact, CustomWritings is considered to be one of the most reliable services on the market currently.

Common mistakes to avoid

It is important to remember that the perfect pharmacy personal statement does not have to follow a specific format. Remember that the admission tutors will only review your pharmacy statement for 10-30 minutes, no matter how much time you spend on it. This is not to say that you should rush through it but focus on capturing and maintaining the tutors’ interests. The tutors will review your statement from different angles, meaning you cannot afford to leave room for misinterpretation. 

Please resist the urge to follow a predetermined formula you acquired online or from your friends, regardless of how they scored on it. You may easily be tempted to borrow ideas from successful pharmacy students, but this will compromise your authenticity. The admissions tutors have likely seen numerous personal statements so do not embarrass yourself by submitting a copied statement. Besides, you want to show how passionate you are about pharmacy, don’t you?

Read Also: How to Become a Chemistry Problem Solver

What to include in your statement 

  • Pick a specific pharmacy area you are most interested in and explain why you are interested in that area. Show that you are passionate about that subject (it helps if you are passionate about the area you choose to write about). 
  • Highlight your motivations for studying pharmacy. When did you realize you wanted to pursue pharmacy? Why? Are you able to support this with evidence from your life?
  • Describe your hobbies and extracurricular activities (especially if they are related to pharmacy). The goal is to highlight the skills you have gained from these activities and how they will benefit you in your studies as a pharmacist. 
  • Include any work experience placements in related fields such as nursing or medicine. Talk about what you learned from these experiences. 
  • Talk about your traits and qualities that you feel make you a good pharmacy student. 
  • Please demonstrate that you are a good reader by talking about recent related reads and how they have shaped your thinking. Feel free to respectfully share any views and opinions, always remembering to support them with solid evidence. 

How to Write a Good Pharmacy School Personal Statement

Below are a few tips to make sure your statement makes your application stand out and increase your chances of getting accepted into your program of choice:

1. Preparation

Preparation is key. Start early so that you do not end up rushing and producing a mediocre statement. Start planning early as you don’t want to be pressed for time.

2. Proper grammar

Use proper grammar and punctuation. Poor grammar makes for a wrong first impression. Polish your basics on grammar and avoid submitting a statement riddled with error.

3. Proper structure

Structure your statement correctly. Ensure the first statement captures your reader’s attention and then has a few supporting paragraphs. You have a tiny window of grabbing your reader’s attention, so use it wisely. Finally, have a conclusion that ties it all together. 

4. Connect with your reader

Connect with your reader, even if it means sharing a few personal stories. The goal here is to make sure you communicate who you are. A personal statement is a monologue to the admission committee, and if they can connect with you, they will like you.

Show the admission tutors that you are aware of the challenges that await you and that you are committed regardless. Talk about how rewarding you think this path will be for you, your family, your community, your patients, and the pharmacy practice itself. 

5. Include only Pharmacy relevant achievements

If you have lofty achievements outside the pharmaceutical field, do not include them in your statement. Include only pharmacy-related experiences.

6. Avoid plagiarism

Committee members can always see through plagiarized works, so avoid this at all costs. This will only destroy your credibility in the field.

7. Avoid controversial topics

The personal statement is not a discussion ground for questionable topics. Do not alleviate issues that disagree with the overall subject in question.

8. Proofread your work

Sometimes people miss tiny mistakes by not proofreading their work. Have friends and family check your work and act on the comments. Inadequate proofreading can be catastrophic, so ensure you correctly use your language before sending the statement to the admission committee.

As now you are well acquainted with the components of writing an impeccable pharmacy personal statement , you should have no trouble in getting admitted into Pharmacy school. Pharmacy school is about honor and prestige, and you need the best of luck in this noble endeavor.

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Writing a Personal Statement for Pharmacy School (10 Tips)

Author: Rafal Reyzer

They say, “The art of medicine consists of amusing the patient while nature cures the disease.”

The medicine business will never run out of demand and thus, being a pharmacist is undoubtedly a promising career. If you choose to be a pharmacist and want to get into a good pharmacy school, you need to write a personal statement. It is usually a part of the college’s admission requirements. Not sure how to write a personal statement for pharmacy school? Hey, I’m here to help.

Why is a personal statement important?

Statistics have revealed that the rejection rate of pharmacy schools is as high as 50%. No, they’re not denied because of lower grades. These students’ scores are as good as the other applicants. The differentiating factor is none other than the personal statement. The admission committee welcomes dedicated students who are passionate about the profession. An outstanding personal statement may give that lasting good impression that they are looking for. Now, let me share a few tips to get you started.

pharmacist holding medicines

10 Tips on Writing a Good Personal Statement for Pharmacy School:

1. start early.

An amazing pharmacy school personal statement needs a bit of preparation . You do not want to rush it and create a mediocre one, do you? Once you’ve decided which schools you want to apply to, take the time and start planning early about what to write . I’d say it takes at least a month of serious thoughts and several drafts before you can pen down a good one!

2. Introduce Yourself Properly

Start the personal statement with a catchy line to grab the reader’s attention . Once you’ve hooked them to read further, switch to describing yourself next. You must connect with the reader, even if it requires sharing a few personal anecdotes. The aim is to communicate who you are as a person. Think of it as a written monologue you submit to the admission committee. The more the readers connect with you on a personal level, the better the chances they’ll like you and eventually accept you.

introduce yourself properly

Always be genuine when introducing yourself. Let your real personality shine.

3. Have a Proper Structure and Organize Your Essay Well

Ensure your personal statement essay has an appropriate structure. As I mentioned above, you must start with a catchy sentence to grab the recipient’s attention. This will keep them intrigued to read more. Once you have a proper “first statement” follow it up with smaller paragraphs. Try to keep your essay theme-based. Talk about every topic distinctively and move from one topic to another seamlessly. Also, you must have a strong conclusion that would summarize the entire personal statement. Try to stay away from controversial or highly debatable topics and make your essay as reader-friendly as possible.

4. Show Your Enthusiasm and Commitment

Unless you’re passionate about pursuing a career that involves legally preparing and dispensing drugs, you should not apply for admission to a pharmacy school. Your lack of interest would reflect in your essay if you are just applying for the sake of getting into college. Trust me, pharmacy school and the subsequent post-graduate courses you’d attend are no joke! You do not want to be unhappy in the future for choosing this profession halfheartedly. So, once you’re committed to writing your statement, show your enthusiasm through your words. Don’t overdo it, though. There’s a long road of struggle ahead and the admission committee must understand that you’re committed to winning the battle!

enthusiastic man

Your enthusiasm and commitment to the course must be reflected in your statement.

5. Do Not Add Fillers

Fillers are nothing but including unnecessary information in your writing. Simply put, it is “beating around the bush”. Please do not do it. In any form of writing, including fluff words is inessential, and it is uncalled for. Research pharmacy topics and trends and come prepared to write a personal statement . Stick to the point and do not add irrelevant content just to meet a certain word limit or make your essay seem longer. The admission committee will most likely lose interest in your essay if you do so. Put your focus on writing clear and concise content.

6. Include Academic Successes that are Pharmacy-related

Talking about achievements unrelated to the course will not help you earn brownie points. Why would winning an art contest or achieving top grades in mythology interest the admission committee? On the flip side, are there any distinctive academic successes that connect your aptitude for science or your passion for enrolling in a pharmacy school ? Be sure to include that. Try to show how you are suited for this profession. However, do not force-fit anything by talking about unrelated achievements.

pharmacy-related experience

If you excel in science subjects in high school, particularly those that involve laboratory experiments, include this in your statement.

7. Ensure the Grammar and Punctuation are error-free

Always proofread your work. Even if that means reading it 5 times in a row. There is always room for improvement, you know. Ask for feedback and work on the content and structure of your statement if needed. You could leverage online writing add-ons or apps such as Grammarly or ProWritingAid to check your grammar and punctuation. The admission committee can spot even tiny mistakes easily, and you wouldn’t want to make one, right? Here’s a pro tip. Ask your English professor or teacher to read through your essay once. Who can check your work better than them? Incorporate changes as necessary.

8. Say No to Plagiarism

Plagiarism or copying others’ work is your expressway toward rejection. Not only does it affect your credibility in the field, but plagiarism is also a punishable offense . There are multiple apps and tools to detect plagiarized content, so do not even think of it. Yes, you can research and look through similar examples for ideas on the content and structure. However, always write your pharmacy school personal statement in an original format and your own words. If you must copy an idea from some published sources, make sure that you paraphrase the sentences and paragraphs well.

proofreading a friend's work

9. Get a Second Opinion

I mentioned earlier about connecting with your English professor or asking others for feedback on your content. I want to put it out here once again, that you must connect with your friends or family who may or may not have pharma experience, to check your work. Their unique perspective can offer guidance to help you improve your content. Take any constructive feedback with a positive attitude and work on bettering your final copy.

10. Display Confidence

It requires immense sincerity and self-reflection to write a pharmacy school personal statement. For your readers, to relate better to your essay, you must also consider their point of view. Your statement should exude confidence. Include selling points and market your brand by providing pieces of evidence or cases. For example, if you want to mention that you have exemplary communication skills, tell them how and authenticate your content.

Final Thoughts

A pharmacist’s job requires hard work, dedication, and utmost passion. If this is your calling, jump at the opportunity of applying to top pharma schools. Keep these tips in mind while writing your pharmacy school personal statement. Did I miss anything above that may have worked for you? Next up, you may want to explore a guide to the best marketable skills you can learn today .

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Pharmacy Personal Statement Examples

In this article, we discuss pharmacy personal statement examples and how to write a strong statement for pharmacy school.

Find out how a chemistry set and a mom who was a nurse put one candidate on the path to becoming a pharmacist, and how another candidate learned about patient advocacy in rural Cameroon. We’ll also find out how a potential international student plans to contribute to the community in the USA.

The pharmacy personal statement is one of the most important parts of your application. It’s your chance to show who you are as a person and why you want to study pharmacy.

Your personal statement should be well-written, honest, and specific to you as an individual. To help you get started, we’ve put together some pharmacy personal statement examples below.

Table of Contents

What is a pharmacy personal statement, how to write a strong personal statement for pharmacy school, pharmacy personal statement example 1, pharmacy personal statement example 2, pharmacy personal statement example 3, faq (frequently asked questions), more personal statement tutorials.

It’s a short personal essay written about yourself that is used to help graduate schools decide if you would make a good candidate for their programme.

It explains why you want to pursue pharmacology, any awards or achievements you have received, any relevant work or internship experience, and attributes that make you a good candidate, such as excellent people skills, strong attention to detail, and strong organisational skills.

It can also provide an opportunity to showcase qualities that can’t be easily articulated in words, such as empathy, leadership, and motivation. Ultimately, it can be the deciding factor in your acceptance into a pharmacy programme.

Step 1: Explain your USP (unique selling point)

When writing a personal statement for pharmacy school, it is important to determine your approach – what do you need them to know? What is your USP?

You should consider your motivation for pursuing pharmacy as a career, the experiences that have prepared you for pharmacy school, your personal qualities that make you a strong candidate, and how you fit with the pharmacy school you are applying to.

By reflecting on these factors, you can develop a clear and compelling personal statement that highlights your strengths, experiences, and passion for pharmacy.

As an international student, I am committed to bringing a unique perspective to the classroom and contributing to the cultural diversity of the pharmacy program. I believe that my background and experiences will enable me to connect with patients and colleagues from different cultures and build strong relationships based on mutual respect and understanding. I particularly look forward to volunteering with Spanish speakers in the local community during my time at pharmacy school.

Step 2: Read and reread the institution’s instructions

When writing a pharmacy personal statement, it is important to carefully read and reread the instructions provided by the institution to ensure that you meet all the requirements and guidelines.

Start by reading the instructions thoroughly, taking notes on key points, highlighting important details and asking for clarification if needed.

Make sure to pay attention to what is to be included in your personal statement (for example a key question) and if there is a word limit.

Step 3: Consider getting help from an expert

  • Identify potential experts. You can do this by reaching out to your academic advisor, contacting your local pharmacy association, or searching online.
  • Reach out to them respectfully
  • Provide them with the necessary information such as your academic history, work experience, and goals for pursuing pharmacy.
  • Listen to their feedback carefully
  • Express your gratitude for their time and expertise.

Remember to be respectful of their time and follow up in a timely manner.

Step 4: Write your personal statement

  • Begin by summarising your suitability for the role. Make sure to write from the first-person viewpoint.
  • Outline your qualifications and experience, followed by your relevant skills. Be sure to emphasize your enthusiasm for the field of pharmacy and the role you are applying for.
  • Keep your personal statement brief and include details relevant to the role.
  • Be open and honest in your writing. Being honest in your personal statement will help to prevent any exaggeration or incorrect information.
  • Talk about how you solved a problem, really connected with a patient or learned something important relating to pharmacy studies.
  • During a placement in Cameroon, I learned to ask the obvious and not so obvious questions. Why were several HIV patients from one village suddenly presenting with stomach ulcers? It turned out that some villagers only ate once a day and without support, could not follow the instructions to take medications twice a day with food. A local NGO helped with training on nutritious plants that were safe to eat, in order to take the second dose of medication. I realised that I want to be the type of pharmacist that goes the extra mile to understand the everyday healthcare challenges in the lives of her patients, and support them where needed.

Step 5: Determine your target audience and message

To determine your target audience and message for your pharmacy personal statement:

  • Research the pharmacy program: Learn as much as you can about the pharmacy program you are applying to, including its mission statement, values, and requirements. This will help you to understand what the program is looking for in its applicants.
  • Identify the target audience: Consider who will be reading your personal statement, such as admissions officers or faculty members. Think about what they are looking for in an applicant and what they might be interested in hearing from you.
  • Consider your message: Think about what you want to convey in your personal statement, such as your passion for pharmacy, your experiences that have prepared you for pharmacy school, and your goals for your pharmacy career. Make sure that your message aligns with the values and mission of the pharmacy program you are applying to.
  • Tailor your message to the audience: what are you most interested in learning about? For this candidate, it’s the way in which pharmacists can use new technology.

In particular, I am interested in exploring the ways in which technology can be leveraged to improve patient outcomes and streamline healthcare delivery. During the recent pandemic, apps such as HealthPass made it much safer for more vulnerable patients to participate in daily life. As the healthcare landscape continues to shift towards a more patient-centered, value-based model, I believe that pharmacists must be at the forefront of innovation and change.

Step 6: Keep your personal statement concise and clear

Make sure that each point is concise. Paraphrase and condense the content where possible. Make sure that your final statement does not exceed one page.

The order of your paragraphs must make sense. Make sure your points flow logically and that there is a smooth transition from one point to the next.

Step 7: Share your personal statement with a trusted reviewer

Have an expert review your personal statement. Ask someone you trust to read over your statement and provide feedback on the grammar, structure, and content.

Make any necessary changes. Based on the feedback you receive, adjust your statement to make it stronger.

As a dedicated and passionate student of pharmacy, I am committed to making a difference in the lives of others through my work. I believe that pharmacists have a unique opportunity to improve the health and well-being of patients, and I am eager to contribute to this important field.

My interest in pharmacy began at a young age when I saw first-hand the impact that medications can have on a person’s quality of life. I witnessed my grandmother struggle with a chronic illness, and I was inspired by the role that her pharmacist played in helping to manage her condition. This experience motivated me to pursue a career in pharmacy, and I have been working diligently towards this goal ever since.

Throughout my academic career, I have taken a rigorous course load that has prepared me well for the challenges of pharmacy school. I have excelled in courses such as organic chemistry, biochemistry, and pharmacology, and I have gained practical experience through internships and volunteer work. I am confident that my academic background has prepared me well for the challenging curriculum of pharmacy school, and I am excited to continue my education in this field. In addition to my advocacy experience and academic accomplishments, I possess a number of personal qualities that I believe make me a strong candidate for pharmacy school. I am detail-oriented and meticulous in my work, and I am committed to providing the highest level of care to patients. I am also an excellent communicator, and I believe that effective communication is essential to building strong relationships with patients and healthcare providers.

During a placement in Cameroon, I learned to ask the obvious and not so obvious questions. Why were several HIV patients from one village suddenly presenting with stomach ulcers? It turned out that some villagers only ate once a day and without support, could not follow the instructions to take medications twice a day with food. A local NGO helped with training on nutritious plants that were safe to eat, in order to take the second dose of medication. I realised that I want to be the type of pharmacist that goes the extra mile to understand the everyday healthcare challenges in the lives of her patients and support them where needed.

Ultimately, my goal as a pharmacist is to improve the health and well-being of patients through compassionate care and innovative solutions. I am committed to lifelong learning and professional development as a pharmacy professional, and I am excited to contribute to the dynamic and constantly evolving field of pharmacy. Thank you for considering my application.

As a very young child playing with a $10 chemistry set, I was sure that if I tried hard enough I could mix up a medicine that could save all the sick people in the hospital where my mother worked as a nurse! As a dedicated and motivated student of pharmacy, I am thrilled to have the opportunity to pursue an advanced degree in this exciting and constantly evolving field. Throughout my academic career, I have been driven by a passion for helping others and a deep curiosity about the science of medicine.

I believe that pharmacy is uniquely positioned at the intersection of science and patient care, and I am excited to explore the many ways in which pharmacists can make a difference in the lives of patients. From a young age, I was fascinated by the stories of patients my mother would tell, explaining how medicines had helped them to get better. I realised that as researchers work on developing new drugs and therapies to provide education and counselling to patients, pharmacists play a critical role in improving healthcare outcomes and promoting wellness.

In particular, I am interested in exploring the ways in which technology can be leveraged to improve patient outcomes and streamline healthcare delivery. During the recent pandemic, apps such as HealthPass made it much safer for more vulnerable patients to participate in daily life. As the healthcare landscape continues to shift towards a more patient-centred, value-based model, I believe that pharmacists must be at the forefront of innovation and change.

In pursuing an advanced degree in pharmacy, I am excited to collaborate with other healthcare professionals and experts in the field to explore new solutions and approaches. I am eager to learn from experienced professionals, conduct research, and apply my knowledge and skills to real-world challenges to make a meaningful impact on the health and well-being of patients and the ongoing evolution and growth of the field. I am so excited to embark on this exciting new chapter in my academic and professional journey.

As an international student, I am excited to have the opportunity to pursue a degree in pharmacy in the USA. I am drawn to the USA’s reputation for excellence in healthcare and its innovative approach to pharmacy education.

My passion for pharmacy began in my home country, where the numbers of hospitals and doctors per capita are very low and most people would go to a pharmacy rather to a private doctor. I can see the critical role that pharmacists play in promoting wellness and managing chronic conditions. In Mexico, the obesity crisis means that around 14 million adults are living with diabetes, a rise of about 10% in the last few years. This number includes eight of my relatives and without supportive, empathetic pharmacists, I believe that some of my family members would not have survived. As a biology major for my undergraduate degree, I am eager to build on the foundation and gain a deeper understanding of the science of medicine, as well as the complex healthcare systems that underpin patient care.

I am confident that studying pharmacy in the USA will provide me with the knowledge, skills, and experience I need to excel in this challenging and rewarding field. I am particularly excited about the opportunities for hands-on learning and practical experience, as well as the chance to collaborate with other students and professionals from diverse backgrounds.

My goal as a pharmacist is to make a meaningful difference in the lives of patients and to contribute to the ongoing advancement of healthcare in my home country and beyond. I am confident that studying pharmacy in the USA will provide me with the knowledge, skills, and networks I need to achieve this goal, and I am excited to embark on this exciting new chapter in my academic and professional journey.

Some of these questions were already covered in this blog post but I will still list them here (because not everyone carefully reads every paragraph) so here’s the TL;DR version.

What are the essential components of a strong pharmacy personal statement?

A strong pharmacy personal statement should include:

  • an introduction
  • knowledge and interest in pharmacy
  • work or voluntary experience, hobbies and interests
  • why you want to pursue pharmacy
  • what about that particular university’s programme appeals to you
  • any achievements or awards you’ve received
  • any relevant internships or work experience
  • why you’d make a good candidate
  • qualities such as excellent people skills, strong attention to detail, honesty and integrity, and good communication skills.

What qualifications do I need to apply to a pharmacy school program?

In order to apply to a pharmacy school program, you need to have a foundational degree in the field of pharmacy.

A pharmacy degree program in the United States usually involves at least 2 years of specific undergraduate coursework followed by 3-4 years of professional study.

Finally, it’s important to note that depending on the particular university you plan on attending, there may be some additional institutional requirements. These will be listed on the university’s website and/or in the admissions packet for the school.

How do I demonstrate my enthusiasm for a career in pharmacy?

Below are a few tips to help you demonstrate enthusiasm for a career in pharmacy including some examples.

Describe any relevant work experience you have gained in local pharmacies.

This work experience has helped me gain a better understanding of how pharmacies work, as well as how to build trust in dealing with customers. I have also demonstrated empathy, active listening, and confidence in customer interactions.

Discuss the knowledge you have gained from working in different pharmacies.

Through my work in different pharmacies, I have developed an understanding of over-the-counter and prescription medications, treatments, relief, and side effects for common conditions including asthma, diabetes, and hypertension.

Showcase your commitment to learning and development.

I have taken part in self-directed learning to stay abreast of the dynamic field of pharmaceuticals. Through workshops, conferences, and courses, I have learned more about natural treatments, the human body, medicine, and recovery.

How can I demonstrate my suitability for a pharmacy degree programme?

  • Academic preparation: Show that you have the necessary academic preparation for a pharmacy degree programme by highlighting your performance in relevant courses, such as biology, chemistry, and mathematics.
  • Relevant experiences : Highlight any relevant experiences that demonstrate your interest in pharmacy, such as work or volunteer experience in a pharmacy or healthcare setting.
  • Personal qualities: Emphasize the personal qualities that make you a good fit for a pharmacy degree programme. This can include qualities such as attention to detail, strong teamwork and communication skills, the ability to work well under pressure, and a commitment to patient care.
  • Career goals : Discuss your career goals and how a pharmacy degree will help you achieve them. Show that you have a clear understanding of the profession and how you see yourself contributing to the field in the future
  • Community involvement : Discuss any involvement in your community, such as volunteering at a hospital, patient advocacy or participating in community health initiatives. This can help to demonstrate your commitment to making a positive impact in the lives of others.

What information is required in the body paragraphs of a pharmacy personal statement?

The applicant’s knowledge and interest in pharmacy, work or volunteer experience, and hobbies and interests.

The applicant’s values, goals, and motivations for wanting to pursue a career in pharmacy.

Any relevant awards, certifications, or other accomplishments that set them apart from other applicants.

The applicant’s unique qualities, such as enthusiasm and dedication, will benefit the pharmacy program.

How can I demonstrate my knowledge of the healthcare profession and pharmacology?

  • Research extensively on pharmacology and the healthcare profession, including current trends and related topics.
  • Organise work experience at pharmacies, paying close attention to how pharmacists interact with customers and handle various prescription drugs.
  • Take a course related to the healthcare profession and pharmacology.
  • Volunteer with charities or organizations that are related to the healthcare profession, such as Oxfam.

What types of work experience placements are appropriate for pharmacy school applications?

These placements can be found in both the public and private sectors.

In the public sector, pharmacy placements may be available in hospitals and healthcare facilities. Placements may involve assisting with the dispensing of medications, managing the inventory of medications, and providing customer service to patients.

In the private sector, placements may be available in retail stores such as supermarkets and drug stores. Placements may involve managing the inventory of medications, providing customer service to customers, and assisting with the dispensing of medications.

Additionally, placements may be available in pharmaceutical companies. Placements may involve assisting with research and development, managing the inventory of medications, and providing customer service to customers.

How do I make sure my pharmacy personal statement is free of spelling and grammar errors?

To make sure your personal statement is free of spelling and grammar errors, it is important to follow these steps:

  • Start writing your pharmacy personal statement as early as possible. This gives you the time to brainstorm some ideas, and then begin your first draft.
  • After writing your first draft, carefully revise and edit it first. Then, ask classmates or an academic advisor for feedback and incorporate their comments and suggestions.
  • Hire a professional editor to proofread your writing or use a do-it-yourself tool like Grammarly to check for any grammar and spelling mistakes.
  • Finally, make sure that your pharmacy personal statement is just on or below the required word count.
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A Quick Guide to Writing Pharmacy School Personal Statement

Table of Contents

When it comes to applying to pharmacy school, your personal statement is one of the most important pieces of your application. It’s your opportunity to stand out from the rest of the applicant pool. So how do you write a personal statement that will make an impression? This article provides valuable tips and a pharmacy school personal statement sample to study and use as inspiration while writing one for yourself.

So read on for everything you need to know about writing a successful pharmacy school personal statement!

What Is a Pharmacy School Personal Statement?

Pharmacy school personal statements are documents that allow pharmacy students to introduce themselves and their reasons for wanting to attend pharmacy school. They can also highlight any unique experiences or qualifications the student has that would make them a good candidate for admission into pharmacy school.

Personal statements are important because they help admission committees get to know potential students beyond just their grades and test scores. Your statement should be well-written, honest, and reflective of who you are as a person.

What Do Colleges Look for in Pharmacy Students?

The skills and qualities that colleges look for in pharmacy students typically include the following:

Strong Analytical and Problem-Solving Skills

Pharmacy is a science-based profession, so the ability to think critically and solve complex problems is essential.

Solid Math Skills

A foundational knowledge of math is necessary for understanding the concepts behind pharmaceutical calculations.

Excellent Communication Skills

The pharmacist’s role involves communicating with patients, other healthcare professionals, and pharmacists at different pharmacies. Good communication abilities are essential for success in this field.

Passion for Helping Others Improve Their Health

Pharmacists play a significant part in improving patient care. So it’s important that potential students have a sincere desire to help others achieve better health outcomes.

orange and white medication pills over a pale orange background

Tips to Write a Pharmacy School Personal Statement

Here are some practical tips to keep in mind when writing your pharmacy school personal statement :

  • Start early: Give yourself plenty of time to write a strong personal statement. This isn’t something that can be rushed, so start thinking about it well before the application deadline.
  • Be specific: Don’t just say that you want to become a pharmacist because you like helping people. Give concrete examples of how you’ve helped others in the past and what motivated you to pursue this career path.
  • Sell yourself: Emphasize your strengths and why you believe pharmacy is the right fit for you. Think about what sets you apart from other candidates.
  • Show, don’t tell: Rather than simply stating your goals or qualifications, use anecdotes or stories to illustrate them. This will make your essay more engaging and unique.

Pharmacy School Personal Statement Sample

Use the following pharmacy school personal statement sample as inspiration to craft your own:

Ever since I was a little girl, I loved going to the pharmacy with my mom. Watching her talk to the pharmacist always fascinated me and sparked my interest in pursuing a career in pharmacy. As I grew older, I began to realize that pharmacies are more than just places where you can buy medication. They play a crucial role in our healthcare system by ensuring that medications are dispensed correctly and safely. This is why I am so passionate about becoming a pharmacist myself. I want to help contribute to making sure that people have access to quality medications when they need them most.

While attending college, I had the opportunity to work as an intern at several different pharmacies. This gave me invaluable experience working directly with patients and pharmacists alike. Through these experiences, I developed a strong love for chemistry and pharmacology. This has only solidified my desire to pursue a degree in Pharmacy once I complete my undergraduate studies.

Ultimately, my goal is to become licensed as PharmD and work within a community or hospital setting. I want to dispense medication prescribed by physicians optimally and safely to facilitate patients’ healing process. Providing high-quality care combined with warmth, compassion, and individualized service excellence will make a difference in the lives of those we encounter every day.

The purpose of a personal statement is to give the admissions committee a preview of what you have to offer as a prospective student . It allows a recruiter to form a personal opinion of you.

This article provides valuable tips with a strong sample to help you craft a pharmacy personal statement and present yourself as a qualified applicant.

A Quick Guide to Writing Pharmacy School Personal Statement

Abir Ghenaiet

Abir is a data analyst and researcher. Among her interests are artificial intelligence, machine learning, and natural language processing. As a humanitarian and educator, she actively supports women in tech and promotes diversity.

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  • How to Write a Winning Pharmacy Personal Statement with Ease
  • Great Ideas for Writing a Killer Pharmacy Personal Statement

Great Ideas for Writing a Killer Pharmacy Personal Statement

Why is it so important?

Why consider the target audience, how to write the best admission essay for a pharmacy school, the role of an introductory section, why use attention grabbers, your self-reflection, get a second opinion, how to impress your admission officer, dos and don’ts of creating the best pharmacy personal statement, what is a key secret, check compatibility, pharmacy personal statements examples, sample of pharmacy school personal statement – describing the development of student’s interests from the beginning of school, explaining my interest in pharmacy and how i am fit for this college – one of the most popular pharmacy school personal statement topics, my critical view on the current state of the pharmacy science – an alternative pharmacy school essay example., final words.

Writing essays can be difficult for some students. Creating an impressive pharmacy personal statement is a challenge. It’s hard for many people to do the following:

  • Come up with an interesting subject;
  • Organize important information;
  • Make reasonable personal statement conclusions ;
  • Grab readers’ interest;
  • Reflect related skills or a life experience.

Realize the role it plays in the future career of pharmacists and take your pharmacy school personal statement very seriously. There are many people who want to pursue this career. Most of them have high test scores, good grades, personal achievements, and other strong sides, but only a few of them capture the attention of admission officers.

Use your pharmacy personal statement as a chance to succeed. It should present your personality to the committee. Make sure that it turns uninteresting information, such as awards, grades, courses, and test scores into prominent traits of your individuality. Your personal essay for a pharmacy school should highlight not only your academic accomplishments but also show you as an asset to its community. It makes your application noticeable.

Pay close attention to your target audience because you submit a personal statement to study pharmacy to admission officers who will read and evaluate it. They spend only a few minutes of each application. That’s why your paper should stand out. They analyze not only personal statements, but they also check science GPAs, research projects, letters of recommendation, transcripts, etc. Officers search for candidates with these basic traits:

  • Strong analytical skills ;
  • Critical thinking;
  • High intellect;
  • The ability to learn fast;
  • Suitable personality for helping people.

Your pharmacy application should leave a lasting impression.

How to write a good personal statement  to the chosen pharmacy school? The answer is simple - make sure that:

  • It contains a catchy introductory paragraph;
  • You use a strong opener;
  • It includes a lot of self-reflection;
  • You get a second opinion.

The introduction plays a decisive role because it can either grab readers’ interest or ruin your application success. Write it when the main body is ready. This paragraph serves many important functions, such as providing the audience with a short plan of what you will tell them further.

Use catchy attention grabbers in your opening lines or sentences to add more color to your paper without overdoing with intrigue. Opt for neutral starters if you share a really meaningful experience.

The best application to a pharmacy school involves a lot of self-reflection, sincerity, and honesty to make it easier for readers to relate to it. You may find it hard to share your life experiences and feelings, but it’s something you need to do to stand out. Don’t go overboard.

Ask other people (your friends or family) to read your final draft and share their opinions. Their advice can help you transform a mediocre paper into a brilliant and winning one because they encourage you to look at it from different angles. Otherwise, you may revise your essay many times in vain.

"Before I answer this I’d like to state upfront that there are three hurdles that applicants must clear to gain admission to the top colleges. So bear in mind that you can’t focus on just one quality for your candidacy at the expense of others. This said, most admissions officers to whom we have spoken agree that demonstrating fit is the one quality that most impresses them when reviewing applications. This means showing the school that you understand what makes it unique as well as what you have to offer and, consequently, why you sincerely want to attend that school. Far too many applicants view the admissions game as purely numeric. Smart applicants realize they need to put 100% of their best effort into each stretch school they target. Consequently, they understand why it is better to apply to 10 schools with each application reflecting 100% of their best effort than to get stretched too thin and apply to 20 schools with each application only reflecting 50% of their best effort. So, in conclusion, be sure to spend the time to demonstrate a strong fit with each stretch application you submit. Quality will triumph quantity every time." By admission consultant David Petersam.

If you lack enough experience in this field, look at dos and don’ts because they will guide you in the right direction. What should you do?

  • Start early to set aside enough time to complete all stages;
  • Keep the target audience in mind;
  • Use a correct structure;
  • Organize all ideas to keep readers’ interest;
  • Use proper punctuation , grammar, and tone;
  • Mention future goals;
  • Reveal your true personality;
  • Edit and proofread a final draft a few times.

What are the things that can ruin your admissions essay?

  • Repeating the same ideas (they make your application to a pharmacy school boring and weak);
  • Including a tangential discussion;
  • Being in a hurry;
  • Exceeding a word count;
  • Making excuses;
  • Using redundancies and fillers;
  • Expressing your viewpoints on controversial topics;
  • Underestimating the chosen profession;
  • Making your pharmacy school statement too emotional or personal;
  • Listing irrelevant achievements.

Take into account the basic criteria that define the overall success of your pharmacy school application:

  • Appropriateness;
  • Time management.

The key secret of writing a successful application is to convince admission officers in your interest and dedication to the chosen specialization. How can you do that? Tell them about the impulse that led to this decision. Explain your desire to pursue a pharmacy career path clearly to let the committee understand your reasoning and logic behind it.

Know why you want to prosper in this profession. Give the answers to some basic questions to determine the following:

  • What attracts you in this field?
  • Why did you choose pharmacy?
  • What does a pharmacist do?
  • What inspires you to study hard?
  • The life event that spurred you to choose this career.
  • How you differ from other applicants?

Helping people was my passion beginning from studying in elementary school. At first, it was mostly assisting my parents and neighbors but later I began reading the special literature and even developed a specific interest in chemistry and microbiology books (as well as related free online content on related Web resources). This was a powerful motivation for me to achieve higher grades during my studies because of understanding of the necessity to enter a higher education institution afterward. After graduating from high school I had to choose between medical sciences and pharmacy services fields and finally decided to stay with the latter.

Applying to this college means a lot to me. I believe that after studying here I can obtain the most valuable knowledge and support to pursue my career in the area of my interest and also to bring some real value and positive results to the society which generally summarizes my ISAT personal statement on this decisive day. Pharmacy terminology is like a special language which I have started to learn and hope to master completely quite soon.

Looking for dental school personal statement  or personal statement for residency ? Browse our library, you will find everything there with ease.

Chemistry and biology were my favorite subjects during the whole process of studying, particularly because some of my relatives have been working in these spheres. There were a lot of specialized books (not only in the English language) on related subjects at my home so as a passionate reader I have explored all of them early enough, during my free time. Eventually, it led me to building solid plans of continuing my learning in a pharmacy college, improve my medical skills and obtain great experience.

After graduating from my high school with a diploma with honors, I feel prepared to enter this college and to successfully obtain a degree which will allow me to proceed to higher levels of scientific research and reach the maximum of content because of this knowledge. My skills include all basic kinds of chemistry operations, basic knowledge about microbiology, familiarity with most widespread kinds of germs and medicine (antibiotics and others), first aid services, vitamins and their influence on children and adults, volunteering, etc. In this letter of intent, I would like to express my hopes and dreams which might come true as a result of this application day.

Unlike many people I know, I’ve never regarded science as something far away from daily life, especially pharmacy and chemistry which are so much involved into everyone’s existence. Observing tangible effects of work, bringing support to the society and helping out people that are close to me – these are the main factors motivating me to proceed with professional studying in the U.S. or international pharmacy field. This is the first of my personal statements for this college and I am happy for this opportunity to be free to speak up.

Apart of basic chemistry and biology knowledge received in the process of my general learning and additional online training, I have read a lot of specific research works and eventually became familiarized very well with the history of pharmacology theory and practice in the U.S and Canada beginning from the late 19th century up to the modern day, particularly with problems and challenges which have been noticed lately in this sphere ( antibiotics overuse is one of the brightest examples). My dream is to play a notable part in dealing with those challenges and making certain contribution to the development of better results of medicine services for everyone!

Your admission essay is a great chance to show who you really are and focus on your positive traits. What if you can’t write it yourself? Get expert help not to compromise your academic future. Hire professional personal statement writers to do this job and let them help you succeed and submit an impressive application and cool personal statements that support you with ease.

If you are applying for a nursing degree at university, then you should attach a personal statement to your application and take care of its stellar content. Being one of the most important selling points in your bachelor degree application, your nursing personal statement should demonstrate that yo...

Some students think that the residency personal statement (RPS) is the same as the graduate essay, but it’s not quite right. Personal statement residency is one of the great ways to share your character and abilities and plans for your career as a physician. One of its goals is for applicants to add...

If you want to become a law school student, you don’t have any chance to explain to the committee why you’re a perfect fit, except for your application. Look for legal examples to get the academic consulting necessary to submit a successful law school personal statement and succeed at the interview....


Personal Essay

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In this section, write a personal essay that addresses why you selected pharmacy as a career and how the Doctor of Pharmacy degree relates to your immediate and long-term professional goals. Describe how your personal, educational, and professional background will help you achieve your goals.

Do not personalize your essay for a particular pharmacy degree institution. You cannot edit your personal essay after you submit your completed application.


  • Keep your essay topic general : Follow the prompt to write your statement. Keep the statement general as this essay is sent to all the programs you apply to. If you plan to only apply to one program, we still strongly recommend keeping your statement general in case you later apply to additional programs. Once you submit your application, the statement cannot be edited or changed.
  • Do not exceed the maximum length : You can see both the word and character count below the field in the application. The right-hand number shows the maximum number of characters that you can use in your essay. As you type, you can see how many characters are still available and the associated word count. Characters include spaces, carriage returns, and punctuation. You cannot save your essay if it exceeds the 4,500 character limit.
  • Use your own words : Plagiarizing any part of your essay is a violation of the Applicant Code of Conduct and may subject you to sanctions. See the Plagiarism section below for more information.
  • Use simple formatting : Formatting such as tabs, italics, multiple spaces, etc., will not be saved. To delineate paragraphs, type a double return between each paragraph.
  • Copy and paste from Notepad : Some formatting characters used in Microsoft Word (i.e., angled quotes, accents, special characters, bold, underline, or italic text) do not display properly in PharmCAS. We recommend copying and pasting your statement from Notepad, or a similar plain text editor.


Be sure to read over your essay several times to catch any spelling, grammar, punctuation, etc., errors before submitting. Once you submit your application, you cannot edit your essay. If you find an error after submission that you believe could have major effects on your application, we recommend sending a corrected copy directly to the programs you applied to.

Your personal statement is subject to a similarity review via iThenticate/Turnitin (an online plagiarism checker used by PharmCAS) for detection of plagiarism and other potential violations of the Applicant Code of Conduct. Submitted personal statements and other materials may be used as source documents in the iThenticate/Turnitin for Admissions reference database solely for purposes of detecting plagiarism of such documents.


  • UCAS Guide >
  • Pharmacy Advice

Writing the Perfect Pharmacy Personal Statement: Expert Tips

Smiling pharmacist mixing medicine expertly.

Crafting the perfect pharmacy personal statement can be a nerve-wracking endeavour. With the high stakes and fierce competition, how do you make your application stand out ?

In this blog, we’ve gathered expert tips to transform your personal statement from average to outstanding. Whether you’re a seasoned wordsmith or find writing daunting, our practical advice will steer you in the right direction. 

Let’s dive in and unlock the doors to your dream pharmacy school!

How to Write a Pharmacy School Personal Statement

Candidate crafting a compelling Pharmacy Personal Statement.

Crafting a compelling pharmacy school personal statement is crucial to making a lasting impression on the admissions committee . Your personal statement is a powerful tool to showcase your passion for pharmacy and demonstrate how your background and achievements align with this career path. 

To help you create an outstanding personal statement that sets you apart from other applicants, follow these essential steps :

1. Research and Understand the Requirements

Before you begin writing, thoroughly research the pharmacy schools you’re applying to and understand their specific requirements for personal statements. While some schools may provide prompts, others may allow more flexibility in your topic choice. Take note of any word limits or formatting guidelines to tailor your statement accordingly.

2. Showcase Your Genuine Interest in Pharmacy

Start your personal statement by showcasing your authentic passion for pharmacy. Explain why you want to become a pharmacist and how this career aligns with your personal goals and values. Share a significant experience or moment that ignited your interest in pharmacy, and highlight how helping people and making a positive impact drives your ambition.

3. Highlight Relevant Experiences and Achievements

Pharmacy schools value applicants with diverse experiences and achievements that reflect their readiness for this profession. Identify experiences, such as volunteer work, internships, or relevant coursework, that have prepared you for success in pharmacy. Describe how these experiences have shaped your skills and character, making you a well-rounded candidate .

4. Demonstrate Qualities of a Successful Pharmacist

Showcasing the qualities of an excellent pharmacist is crucial in your personal statement. Discuss the attributes you admire in pharmacists, such as empathy, problem-solving abilities, or effective communication skills. Substantiate your claims by providing concrete examples from your academic achievements or work experiences that exemplify these qualities.

5. Emphasise Your Uniqueness

Stand out by highlighting your unique strengths, qualities, or experiences . If you have real-life experience in the healthcare industry or have volunteered in relevant settings, share these aspects to demonstrate your commitment to pharmacy and your understanding of the field.

6. Address Any Weaknesses Proactively

If your application has any weaknesses, such as low grades , consider addressing them proactively in your personal statement. However, avoid making excuses and instead focus on how you have learned from these challenges and how they have shaped your determination to succeed.

7. Structure Your Personal Statement Effectively

A well-structured personal statement is easier to read and leaves a lasting impact. Organise your statement into an introduction, body paragraphs, and a conclusion. Each paragraph should address specific points or themes coherently. Begin with a compelling opening that captures the reader’s attention and maintains their interest.

8. Craft a Strong Opening Paragraph

The opening paragraph is your chance to make a strong first impression . Consider starting with an engaging anecdote, a thought-provoking quote, or a captivating question that hooks the reader. This will set the tone for the rest of your personal statement and encourage the admissions committee to continue reading with enthusiasm.

9. Show, Don’t Tell

Avoid vague statements and use descriptive language and vivid examples to illustrate your qualities and experiences. Show the admissions committee how your skills and attributes have manifested in real-life situations , reinforcing your suitability for pharmacy school.

10. Seek Feedback and Revise

After completing your first draft, seek feedback from trusted individuals, such as teachers, mentors, or peers. Accept constructive criticism and make necessary revisions to refine your personal statement further. Multiple rounds of proofreading and editing will ensure your statement is error-free and communicates your message effectively.

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Avoiding Common Mistakes in Pharmacy Personal Statements

White sheet with common mistakes written on it.

Writing a pharmacy personal statement can be challenging, but avoiding common mistakes can significantly improve its impact on the admissions committee. Your personal statement reflects your passion for pharmacy and your suitability for the profession. 

To help you create a compelling and polished personal statement , let’s explore some common errors to avoid and essential proofreading and editing tips to ensure a stellar final draft.

Generic Statements:

One of the most common mistakes applicants make is using generic or clichéd statements that lack originality. Avoid using overused phrases and anecdotes that do not truly represent your experiences and motivations.

Lack of Focus: 

Your personal statement should clearly focus on pharmacy and why you are passionate about pursuing this profession. Avoid including unrelated experiences or irrelevant details that may distract from your main message.

Exaggeration and Overconfidence: 

While it is essential to highlight your strengths and achievements, avoid exaggerating or appearing overly confident . Be honest and genuine about your experiences and abilities.

Grammatical Errors and Typos: 

Spelling mistakes, grammatical errors, and typos can create a negative impression on the reader. Proofread your personal statement thoroughly to eliminate any such errors.

Long and Unstructured Paragraphs: 

Lengthy, unstructured paragraphs can make your personal statement difficult to read. Aim for concise and well-organised content to keep the reader engaged.

Focusing Solely on Academics: 

While academic achievements are crucial, a pharmacy personal statement should also emphasise your personal qualities, motivation, and relevant experiences that align with the profession.

Final Takeaways

Mastering the perfect pharmacy personal statement is vital for securing your dream program . Our expert tips will help you create a captivating, error-free statement highlighting your passion for pharmacy. Tailor it to each school, showcase your future goals, and stay authentic. 

A well-crafted personal statement can set you apart from other applicants. Follow the guidance this Medic Mind blog provides, and best of luck on your journey to pharmacy success!

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→ Q: Should I include my academic achievements even if they are not directly related to pharmacy?

A: Yes, including relevant academic achievements can showcase your dedication and discipline. However, focus on highlighting experiences that demonstrate your passion for pharmacy.

→ Q: How long should my pharmacy personal statement be?

A: Aim for a concise statement, ideally one to two pages. Ensure it includes all essential information while keeping the reader engaged.

→ Q: Is it necessary to mention extracurricular activities in my personal statement?

A: Including extracurricular activities can show a well-rounded personality. Highlight experiences that demonstrate your leadership, teamwork, and commitment to service.

→ Q: Can I address any weaknesses or gaps in my academic history in the personal statement?

A: Yes, you can briefly address any weaknesses or gaps, but focus on how you have learned from those experiences and how you plan to overcome them in your pharmacy journey.

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What to include in a Personal Statement

personal essay pharmacy school examples

Personal Statement Tips

Personal statement examples pharmacology personal statements.

Discover personal statement examples written by students accepted onto pharmacology and related courses. Read through the examples to help shape your own personal statement.

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Pharmacology Personal Statement Advice

Your personal statement is the final piece of the puzzle for your UCAS application and is arguably the most important one. Your Pharmacology personal statement is your chance to really sell yourself to a university and is also the chance to show your passion for the subject. Universities love to see students with passion and a real vested interest in the subject. When writing your Pharmacology personal statement, we recommend having a quick look at some Pharmacology personal statement examples beforehand. These examples will give you a sense of the tone you should use, the kind of things you should be including and what structure your Pharmacology personal statement should be following. Your Pharmacology personal statement doesn’t need to be War and Peace, but it should be a clear and concise picture of you and who you are. Don’t worry about the character count, you can easily write 4,000 words once you get into the swing of things. One quick tip from us, is when you're writing your Pharmacology personal statement, we recommend trying to link as much of the content back to Pharmacology where possible, as this will make the statement more cohesive and synergetic.

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Sample Essay on Personal Essay for a pharmacy school

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The pharmaceutical field is among the most interesting and ever-changing fields in the modern world. New medicines, just like technology are being revealed and new formula for administration are being put forward. The field is an intriguing one with numerous opportunities for an individual qualified. A person with a doctoral degree in pharmacy is likely to in the majority of the pharmaceutical companies as they have added advantage over individuals with diploma and degree certificates. Consequently, it is due to this fact, my passion and motivation that I applied to pursue the course at the university. As a child, I watched my father carry out his duties at a pharmacy company. The books my father used to read as well as the remedies he prescribed created in me the desire and interest to pursue the field in order to assist others. At the age of 5, my grandmother became sick and I was the one responsible for reminding her to take her medication as my parents used to go to work. The experience I gained gave me the longing to pursue this field. The experience and education I have gained from the university is not enough to provide the essential experience needed to have knowhow in the industry. My years at the university were not only interesting but enjoyable. Throughout the pharmacy courses, I managed to learn about life more, health and the manner in which treatment should be administered. I found it fascinating to learn different body composition and the chemical makeup. I look forward to learning more about different medicines as well as the manner in which they interact with the body system. As a pharmacist, I will be in the position to apply the knowledge I have acquired in my career. It is important to note my academic performance is very appealing as I passed all the subjects with exception of one where I acquired average points. This indicates I have passion for education and especially, pharmaceutical course.

I have a short term goal which is to become employed in a huge company as I look for funds to start my own business that is pharmacy related. During my internship and attachment, I acquired exemplary skills. The experience is vital since it supplements my learning as I have learnt more about the field of pharmacy in both practical and theoretical aspects. After completing my university education and getting my pharmacy technician certificate, I volunteered at Glandale Memorial hospital and at the Landmark pharmacy as well working as a pharmacy technician. At Glandale, my duties included dispensation of medication for children and drugs dispensation. I monitored the response of patients to medication and was as well involved in education of patients and consumers on use of prescriptions as well as other issues that are related to “over the counter medications”. Additionally, I provided my expertise to nurses, physicians as well as other health professionals on decisions that are related to drugs. It was while at Landmark pharmacy that I was able to offer my expertise regarding drug compositions which included chemical, biological and physical properties as well as their manufacture and use. Therefore, I also ensured drug strength and purity was upheld so drugs stayed safe without interaction with other properties in a manner that was harmful. My admission into the university will aid me in increasing the pharmacology knowledge I have and an advanced application and approach of what I have learnt in various college sittings and my duration working. Usually, pharmacists provide a sense of hope and reassurance to patients. By making advancements in pharmacy, I can incorporate what I have learnt in my career in order to gain more knowledge to advance technology. My devotion, as well as volunteer work in the field of pharmacology, will give me the push to learn more to acquire the knowledge necessary to serve and assist others. I will appreciate it if my dream to pursue pharmacy course from the college is made complete.

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Home — Essay Samples — Geography & Travel — Travel and Tourism Industry — The History of Moscow City


The History of Moscow City

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Published: Feb 12, 2019

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personal essay pharmacy school examples

Columbia University in the City of New York

Miriam and ira d. wallach art gallery.

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Moscow: City, Spectacle, Capital of Photography

April 30–june 21, 2003.

Moscow: City, Spectacle, Capital of Photography , an exhibition of 20th-century photographs of Moscow, opens at Columbia University's Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Art Gallery on Wednesday, April 30, 2003 and remains on display through Saturday, June 21, 2003.

Moscow has been a powerful magnet for many Russian photographers of the 20th century. Moscow: City, Spectacle, Capital of Photography presents the work of 31 photographers, whose images have defined the visual experience of Moscow from the 1920s to the present. Diverse in form and strategy, the 90 photographs chosen for the exhibition trace the history of Russian documentary photography and offer insight into individual practices. From Aleksandr Rodchenko's constructivist visions and Evgenii Khaldei's humanist landscapes to Igor Moukhin's scenes of urban spectacle and alienation in the works of Russia's key 20th-century photographers, Moscow ventures beyond the expected image as a site of famous landmarks, architectural treasures and dramatic lifestyles.

Early 20th-century photographers Boris Ignatovich and Arkadii Shaikhet saw themselves in the vanguard of an emerging mass-media culture, defining with their cameras the visual experience of Soviet modernity. For nearly 70 years, Soviet photography was assigned the duty of maintaining the ideological rigidity of the Soviet State. Yet, as examples of the work of Iakov Khalip, Anatolii Egorov, Mikhail Savin, and Mark Markov-Grinberg show, Soviet photographic practices were much more complex than has been previously acknowledged. The works of these photographers remain intensely compelling to a modernist eye.

Contemporary Russian photographers, such as Lev Melikhov, Valerii Stigneev and Sergei Leontiev, engage with the legacy of the Soviet documentary photography. But for them the documentary is a complex and multivalent genre, which incorporates subjectivity, ambiguity and reflexivity and comments on social and cultural issues without losing sight of the position from which that commentary is made. In the recent photographs by Vladimir Kupriyanov, Igor Moukhin, Anna Gorunova and Pakito Infante, the "real" space of Moscow is replaced by an imaginary and optical spaces of virtuality.

The works in the exhibition are on loan from Moscow's Cultural Center Dom, and many are being shown outside Russia for the first time. In conjunction with the exhibition, the Wallach Art Gallery is publishing an illustrated catalogue with a scholarly essay by the exhibition curator, Nadia Michoustina, a Ph.D. candidate in Columbia University's Department of Slavic Languages. The essay presents a nuanced history of Russian photography of the 20th century, and contributes to an interpretation of extraordinary images.

2018 Primetime Emmy & James Beard Award Winner

A History of Moscow in 13 Dishes

Jun 06 2018.

War, hunger, and some of the world’s great doomed social experiments all changed the way that Moscow eats.

Moscow, the European metropolis on Asia’s western flank, has always been a canvas for competing cultures. Its cuisine is no different. The ancient baselines of winter grains, root vegetables, and cabbage acquired scaffolding from both directions: eastern horsemen brought meat on sticks, western craftsmen brought pastries, and courtly French chefs came and drowned it all in cream.

History has a place on the plate here, as well: war, hunger, and some of the world’s great doomed social experiments from Serfdom to Communism to Bandit Capitalism all changed the way that Moscow eats. So in the spirit of all of those grand failures, we—a Russian chef and an American writer—will attempt here to reduce the towering history of this unknowable city to 13 dishes, with some Imperial past but a special emphasis on the more recent decades of culinary paroxysms as Moscow emerged from its Soviet slumber.

Olivier Salad

personal essay pharmacy school examples

To visualize the long marriage between French and Russian cuisines, picture Peter the Great, on a diplomatic sojourn to Paris in 1717, a “ stranger to etiquette ”, meeting the 7-year-old boy-king Louis XV and lifting him in the air out of sheer elán. These things were simply not done, and yet, there they were. Peter’s joyful (and often envious) fascination with all things French took hold, among other places, in the kitchen. He brought French chefs back to his palaces, and then the lesser nobility followed suit, and when the first restaurants emerged in Moscow, they also spoke French. The Hermitage Restaurant, which was open from 1864 until history intervened in 1917, had a Francophone Belgian named Lucien Olivier as a chef, and he made a salad that was a perfectly unrestrained combination of French flavors and Russian ingredients: grouse! Veal tongue! Proto-mayonnaise! The ingredients now tend toward the pedestrian—boiled beef, dill pickles, various vegetables all bound with mayonnaise—and it has become a staple of Russian cuisine, especially on New Year’s. And yes, if you’ve ever seen the lonely Ensalada Rusa wilting behind the sneezeguard of a Spanish tapas bar, that is supposed to be a successor to the Olivier. But in Moscow, you should eat Matryoshka ’s version, which is not the original recipe but has some of that imperial richness: crayfish, quail, sturgeon caviar, and remoulade, all under a translucent aspic skirt, for 990₽ ($16).

There’s a type of expression around bottling things—bottled lightning, summer in a jar, etc.—that feels very apt here. What exactly is bottled with vareniye (jam)? A lot more than just fruit. These jams, which tend to be thinner than western varieties—with whole berries or fruit chunks in syrup—are bottled with a lot of Russian identity. There’s the Russian love of countryside. Deep dacha culture of summer cottages and personal orchards. Traditional naturopathy (raspberry vareniye taken with tea will fight fever). And above all, friendship is bottled here— vareniye made from the overabundance of fruit at one’s dacha is the most typical Russian gift, real sharing from real nature, even in the often-cynical heart of Europe’s largest megacity. Visitors who are short on lifelong friendships in Moscow can pick some up fine vareniye at any Lavka Lavka shop (we recommend the delicate young pine cone jam) or, curiously enough, at many Armenian stores.

Borodinsky Bread

personal essay pharmacy school examples

The clinical-sounding title of Lev Auerman’s 1935 classic Tekhnologiya Khlebopecheniya ( Bread Baking Technology) doesn’t promise scintillation. But Auerman’s recipe for rye bread changed Russian bread forever. An older legend had it that the bread was baked dark for mourning by a woman widowed in the battle of Borodino in 1812, but the real birth of the bread came from Auerman’s recipes. A modification on sweet, malted Baltic breads, Auerman’s Borodinsky bread was 100% rye and used caraway or anise. The recipe has evolved a bit—today it is 80% rye and 20% wheat high extraction flour and leans more on coriander than caraway. But its flavor profile (sweet, chewy) as well as its characteristic L7 mold —a deep brick of bread—has made it easily identifiable as the traditional, ubiquitous, every-occasion bread of Moscow. You can buy it everywhere, but the Azbuka Vkusa high-end markets have a reliably good sliced version.

Buckwheat Grechka

Look closely at those Russians who have followed their money to live in London, or are vacationing in Cyprus or Antalya. See the slight melancholy that not even cappuccinos or sunshine can erase. It’s not because Russians are gloomy by nature; it’s probably because there is no real grechka outside of Russia and Ukraine, and that is devastating. Buckwheat grain and groats— grechka (or grecha in Saint Petersburg)—are deep in the culture. It’s a wartime memory: May 9 Victory Day celebrations feature military kitchens serving buckwheat like they did at the front. It’s a little slice of Russian history that lies somewhere between oatmeal and couscous. In Moscow, eat it at Dr. Zhivago with milk (180₽/US$2.90) or mushrooms (590₽/US$9.50), and rejoice.

Mimoza Salad

personal essay pharmacy school examples

This fantastically expressive egg-and-canned-fish salad is a testament to Soviet ingenuity—it’s the ultimate puzzle to make a drastically limited food chain sparkle—and the universal human thrill of layering foods. The geological creation starts with a base layer of fish, then layers of grated cooked potato, mayonnaise, shredded cheese, grated carrots, sweet onion, diced egg whites and then capped with a brilliant yellow crumble of boiled egg yolk. It sits there on the plate, dazzling like the flowering mimosa tree it is named after. The taste? Well, it’s comfort food. Pick some up to go at any Karavaev Brothers location —the excellent deli chain sells it for 650₽ (US$10.40) a kilo.

It seems odd, almost impossible, to imagine a time in Russia before shashlik. It’s meat on a stick, something that all humans should have had on the menu since at least the time of Prometheus. But shashlik as we know it know—cubes of marinated meat cooked with vegetables over a mangal grill—didn’t really take off in Russia until the early 1900s. And due to a lack of suitable meat in much of the Soviet era (there were no meat cattle herds, only dairy), we’re starting the clock on shashlik in the late Soviet period. Despite its relatively recent (re)appearance, it is now the ubiquitous grill phenomenon of Russia, a welcome ritual of summer.

personal essay pharmacy school examples

Much of Russian cuisine has borrowed heavily from Central Asia and further east over the millennia ( pelmeni anyone?), but plov is a striking example of an entire eastern dish making its way directly into Russian households. With the collapse of the Soviet Union and upheaval in many Central Asian Soviet Republics, mass economic migration to Moscow took off in the late 80s and early 90s. Central Asians today are the lifeblood of the Moscow labor force (part of up to 10-12 million Central Asian migrants living in Russia), and plov—rice steamed in stock with meat and vegetables—has jumped from the migrant communities to the homes of Muscovites everywhere. It has developed an unfortunate reputation for being a food that even finicky kids will eat, so there is a lot of harried domestic plov being made. But you can get a fully expressed Uzbek version at Danilovsky Market, online at plov.com , or at Food City—the surf-and-turf Tsukiji of Moscow.

The Big Mac

personal essay pharmacy school examples

So many of the difficulties in American-Russian relations come down to one foundational attitude problem: The Americans (that’s half of this writing duo) were incredibly, distressingly smug through the entire fall of the Soviet Union. We mistook Soviet failure for an American victory, and that made all the difference. What does that have to do with a Big Mac? Well, when Russia’s first McDonald’s opened on Pushkinskaya in 1990 and 5000 people turned out to wait in line for the first taste of America, we back home in the states mistook it for culinary and commercial superiority. But there was something more complicated happening: Russians had been denied Western goods for so long and with such force that any outside identity was much-needed oxygen. And the long-term victory, as McDonald’s has continued to thrive in post-Soviet Russia, really belongs to the local franchise, which used higher-quality ingredients than in the U.S. and created a chain that was successful not because of its American identity but because of its Russian modifications. We wouldn’t recommend eating at any McDonald’s, especially not when there is Teremok for your fast-food needs, but having a soda in the original location is one way to sit and ponder the sin of hubris. And to use the free toilet and Wi-Fi.

The crown jewel of Levantine meat preparations, perhaps the single greatest street meat in the world: Shawarma. It first came to Moscow with a shawarma joint across from the Passazh mall, opened in the early 90s by Syrian cooks who dazzled masses with their sizzling, spinning, spiced meat emporium. Lines that stretched into the hundreds of people weren’t uncommon in those heady early days. And even though the original spot closed many years ago, Moscow shawarma only grew from there, mutating into the beast it is today, where you’re likely to find chicken, cabbage, mayo and a thin tomato sauce all combining to make the Levant a distant memory.

Fish Tartare aka Sashimi

One result of the aforementioned American smugness is that the West seemed surprised at how rapidly 1990s Russia assimilated some of the most hardcore capitalist traits, including but not limited to conspicuous consumerism. Moscow’s new elite was very, very good at that. What could be more conspicuous that recreating a restrained, exclusive seafood cuisine from Japan in the chaotic, landlocked megacity of Moscow? The very improbability of high-end sushi and sashimi in Moscow fueled much of its allure, and even though the trends have moved on from sushi, you can still tell the emotional attachment that the oligarch class has to those formative wastes of money. Sumosan restaurant started in Moscow back in 1997 and has since expanded to Monte Carlo and Londongrad , where they serve a dish that they call Fish Tartare, among others, in their restaurants and through their private jet catering service.

Blue Cheese roll

If the early elite sushi restaurants in Moscow were the frivolous edge of a food phenomenon, then Yakitoriya , a chain which started in the late 1990s, democratized it with affordable sushi rolls geared to local tastes. The Blue Cheese Roll, available now on their menu, seems like the apex (or nadir) of the Russianized roll: salmon, smoked eel, cucumber, cream cheese, Blue Cheese sauce. It might not be Jiro’s dream, but a true Russian middle class, one that can work honestly, earn meaningful salaries, and have a freaky sushi roll at the end of the week just like the rest of us—that’s something worthing dreaming for. Blue Cheese Roll, Yakitoriya, 417₽ (US$6.70)

personal essay pharmacy school examples

If you’re American, have you ever wondered why tacos took over middle America but sopes remain virtually unknown? It’s curious how a country can assimilate some foods from their neighbors and but remain blissfully ignorant of others. That may explain what took place two years ago in Moscow, when the city seemingly discovered, as if for the first time, the bagged awesomeness that is khinkali , a soup dumpling from Russia’s southern neighbor Georgia. It became very trendy very quickly, and khinkali joints sprouted across Moscow like griby after a rain. But it wasn’t just that dish: what they were serving was a bit of the imagined southern, sybaritic lifestyle of the Caucasus, as promised in restaurant names like Est’ Khinkali Pit Vino ( Eat Khinkali Drink Wine ). Your best bets are at the stately Sakhli , around 100₽ (US$1.60) per soft, fulsome dumpling, or the more modernized Kafe Khinkalnaya on Neglinnaya Street , 100₽ (US$0.80) a dumpling.

personal essay pharmacy school examples

We have named burrata—yes, that Italian alchemy of cheese and cream—the Perfect Dish of Moscow 2018, if only because it is the Dish of the Moment, ready to be enjoyed at the height of its faddishness now, and equally ready to be replaced when the city decides to move on. Read Anna Maslovskaya’s masterful breakdown of why—and where—to eat burrata in Moscow.

Top image: Olivier salad with chicken. Photo by: Kvector /Shutterstock

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    Yet, as examples of the work of Iakov Khalip, Anatolii Egorov, Mikhail Savin, and Mark Markov-Grinberg show, Soviet photographic practices were much more complex than has been previously acknowledged. The works of these photographers remain intensely compelling to a modernist eye. ... The essay presents a nuanced history of Russian photography ...

  21. 13 dishes that explain the story of modern Moscow

    The clinical-sounding title of Lev Auerman's 1935 classic Tekhnologiya Khlebopecheniya (Bread Baking Technology) doesn't promise scintillation. But Auerman's recipe for rye bread changed Russian bread forever. An older legend had it that the bread was baked dark for mourning by a woman widowed in the battle of Borodino in 1812, but the real birth of the bread came from Auerman's recipes.