Early Entry Essentials
The University of Mississippi’s Early Entry Program provides highly-qualified high school seniors with guaranteed seats in the professional pharmacy program upon completion of three years of pre-pharmacy coursework, avoiding the competitive selection process for regular entry admission. However, all students who complete the three-year pre-pharmacy curriculum and first year of the professional curriculum will also receive a Bachelor of Science in Pharmaceutical Sciences degree. Upon earning the B.S.P.S. at the end of the first year of the professional program (senior year), students will then complete three additional years of study in the professional program before earning a Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D.) degree and sitting for the national licensure exam to practice pharmacy.
The Early Entry Experience
Students admitted to the Early Entry Program enjoy far more than simply a guaranteed seat in the professional pharmacy program. They receive the benefits of an experience unlike any other on campus, the Early Entry Experience.
From the moment early entry students first step foot on campus until the day they receive their white coats and begin the professional program, these students truly become a close-knit “phamily” through a number of special program initiatives.
Acceptance into the Early Entry Program is based on an applicant’s academic ability and aptitude for the study of pharmacy. Two primary factors considered in the selection process are performance on the ACT or SAT and high school grade-point average. Extra-curricular activities (e.g., service, leadership and employment) and performance during a campus interview are also considered.
To be considered for early entry admission students must:
- Attain a minimum of 25 on their ACT or a minimum of 1130 [Math (M) plus Verbal (V)] or 1700 (M+V+Writing) on their SAT. Students must attain a minimum of 25 Math ACT subscore or equivalent Math subscore on the SAT. If a student does not meet this minimum, they may take prerequisite courses for biology and chemistry in order to enroll.
- Equal or exceed a score of 65 when inserting composite ACT score (or SAT equivalent) and high school GPA into this formula: composite ACT + (10 x GPA). For example, a 31 on the ACT and a 3.5 GPA would yield a score of 66.
An adjusted GPA resulting from participation in advanced placement or honors courses will be used if provided by a high school official.
Enrollment in the freshman early entry class is capped. Residency is not a consideration in filling the top half of the class, but Mississippi residents are given preference for positions in the remainder of the class. Applications from non-Mississippi residents are encouraged.
Over the past five years, incoming early entry classes have had an average ACT score of 29.1 and an average GPA of 4.17, and approximately two-thirds of the students are Mississippians.
The School of Pharmacy offers seven-year scholarships of $1,000 per year to selected early entry applicants. Continuation of these scholarships is dependent upon retaining early entry status. All accepted applicants are considered candidates for these awards, and recipients are selected based on admission criteria.
Following completion of the freshman year, all participants who achieve at least a 3.5 GPA on required courses will receive a performance scholarship for the second year. The scholarship amount will be increased each succeeding year that the 3.5 GPA on required courses in the preceding year is maintained, through completion of the Doctor of Pharmacy program.
Maintaining early entry status
To maintain status in the Early Entry Program, a student must:
- Maintain continuous university enrollment (excluding summer terms) and enroll in a minimum of 14 hours per semester
- Take all required courses at the Oxford campus. Electives may be taken during the summer session, intersession or at another institution. A student must complete requirements for the B.S.P.S. degree by the end of his or her fourth year of college.
- Achieve a 3.25 on required courses attempted the first year, and a cumulative GPA on all required courses attempted at the end of the second and third years.
- Early Entry students who have less than a 3.25 GPA will be dismissed from the Early Entry Program and will be changed to pre-pharmacy status.
- Receive no grades below C in required courses.
- Obtain a composite scaled score of at least 400 on the PCAT (Pharmacy College Admission Test) and a 3.0 on the PCAT Writing Test prior to the end of the spring semester of the junior year.
Often, students unable to complete the Early Entry Program transfer to pre-pharmacy student status and gain admission to the professional degree program through regular entry admission.