General Information

"To prepare students to enter professions related to pharmacy and human nutrition by offering high quality, challenging undergraduate programs"

is our College's goal in undergraduate education. We offer the following degrees:

  • Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy (B.S.P.) (last admit 2016); Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD effective 2017)
  • Bachelor of Science in Nutrition (B.Sc.[Nutrition])

About Our Undergraduate Programs

  • PharmD and B.Sc.(Nutrition) degrees lead to excellent career opportunities and rewarding, challenging careers.
  • "Internships" or what we term "structured/professional practice experiences" are included in both programs.
  • "Structured/professional practice experiences" give students the chance to apply the knowledge they are gaining out in the field with professional Pharmacists and Dietitians/Nutritionists.
  • "Structured/professional practice experiences" enable students to get almost immediate registration as a professional Pharmacist or Dietitian upon graduation (following completion of licensing exams).
  • Both of our programs are fully accredited by national accrediting bodies.

The College has approved disability accommodation procedures and policy documents. The purposes of these documents are as follows:

  1. To outline the procedures which students with disabilities, who are applying to the Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy or Bachelor of Science in Nutrition program or who are accepted into the one of those programs, are to follow regarding the registration of a disability.
  2. To outline the process for the provision of accommodation in the admission process as well as the provision of accommodation in the classroom, laboratory and structured practice experiences or internship settings. 

Policy (PDF)
Procedures (PDF)

We welcome your inquiries! For more information on undergraduate programs, please call (306) 966-6327 or e-mail Undergrad-Pharmacy-Nutrition@usask.ca.

Admission Overview

The College of Pharmacy and Nutrition at the University of Saskatchewan offers undergraduate degrees in both Pharmacy and Nutrition.  Enrolment is limited and, therefore, it is not possible to admit all qualified applicants.  Because the number of applicants far exceeds the number of available places, the College strongly recommends that prospective applicants take a program of study which will not only meet the requirements for entry to Pharmacy or Nutrition, but will make them eligible for completion of an alternative program.

Applicants for Pharmacy and Nutrition are selected on a competitive basis in which overall performance, including academic performance and other factors, is considered.  Assessment of academic performance uses an Admission Average based on the 30 credit units (Nutrition) or 60 credit units (Pharmacy) of required subjects [weighted as 40% of the overall average] and the cumulative average obtained at the university level [weighted as 60% of the overall admission average].  Assessment of other factors includes a Test of Critical Skills and a Personal Video Interview.  Each eligible applicant (i.e. meeting all requirements), for whom all required information has been received, is assigned an Admission Score calculated from the academic and non-academic data combined.  Applicants for each program are divided into two groups [Saskatchewan residents and non-residents] determined by their permanent home location and their Admission Scores are ranked.  Candidates are then offered a seat in the program, until the respective admission quotas for each program are met.

In the final selection of applicants, the College chooses those who not only demonstrate academic potential, but who most aptly display a motivation for and understanding of a career in pharmacy or nutrition/dietetics.  Successful candidates must also demonstrate that they possess the critical qualities and skills most valuable to be an effective professional, including the ability to read, write and think critically.  Reference letters and other items such as award letters are not used in the selection process and should not be sent in support of the application.  Supplementary documents are used only if specifically requested by the College.

Admission Statistics

The following statistics represent the results of the Fall 2016 student intake:

Pharmacy

Applications Received
SK resident: 283
Non-resident: 197
Total: 480

Fully Qualified Applications
(30 cu prerequisite courses; admission average 70% and completed TCS/video interview requirements)
SK resident: 202
Non-resident: 90
Total: 292

Positions Available
SK resident: 76
Non-resident: 14
Total: 90

Nutrition

Applications Received
SK resident: 51
Non-resident:23
Total: 74

Fully Qualified Applications
(30 cu prerequisite courses; admission average 70% and completed TCS/video interview requirements)
SK resident: 41
Non-resident: 6
Total: 47

Positions Available
SK resident: 24
Non-resident: 4
Total: 28

Academic Requirements

Admission Requirements for the PharmD Program (2017)

The College of Pharmacy and Nutrition will launch a Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) program in fall 2017 to replace the Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy as the first professional degree required to practice as a licensed pharmacist. The new degree program has been passed by the Board of Governors, University Council and confirmed by University Senate.

Prerequisite Coursework

Candidates for admission must have completed 60 credit units (or equivalent) by April 30 of the year admission is desired. The coursework must include 24 credit units taken in at least one academic year (September to April).

The following courses (or equivalent) are required in the 60 credit units:

  • Biology : 6 credit units (BIOL 120.3 and BIOL 121.3 at U of S)
  • Chemistry : 3 credit units General and 6 credit units Organic (CHEM 112.3, CHEM 250.3, and CHEM 255.3 at U of S)
  • English : 6 credit units (ENG 110.6 or two of ENG 111.3, 112.3, 113.3, 114.3 at U of S)
  • Biochemistry : 3 credit units Biomolecules and 3 credit units Metabolism (BMSC 200.3 and BMSC 230.3 at U of S)
  • Physiology : 6 credit units (human body systems) (PHSI 208.6** at U of S)
  • Mathematics (Calculus) : 3 credit units (MATH 125.3 at U of S)
  • Statistics : 3 credit units (STAT 246.3 at U of S)
  • Microbiology : 3 credit units (BMSC 210.3 at U of S)
  • Nutrition : 3 credit units (NUTR 120.3 at U of S)
  • Electives : 15 credit units : 6 credit units from psychology, sociology, native studies, or philosophy; and 9 credit units any electives

**The Department of Physiology has determined that students with BIOL/BMSC 224 and the upper level classes of PHPY 301, PHPY 302, and PHPY 303 will have met the prerequisite requirement equivalent to PHSI 208.6 for the explicit purpose of admisison to professional colleges only, upon completion of an undergraduate degree in Physiology and Pharmacology.

Other Admission Requirements: 1) Test of Critical Skills (can only be written in Canada); 2) Video Interview

Please Note:  The requirement for “English” must include English Literature and Composition.  A general “academic writing” course is not sufficient.

Prerequisite courses completed more than 10 years ago are not normally considered for credit as part of the admission application and will need to be repeated. As each situation is unique, students can request a review of prerequisite courses they have completed more than 10 years ago by contacting the College directly.

Applicants must have a minimum average of 70% to be considered for admission.  Acceptance into the PharmD program is based on the calculated post-secondary Admission Average (60% of admission decision), the Test of Critical Skills (30%) and the Personal Video Interview (10%).  Currently, 90 candidates are admitted; up to 14 may be non-residents of Saskatchewan (including both out-of-province and international students).  A maximum of four Saskatchewan resident spaces are reserved for Saskatchewan Aboriginal students who self-declare and provide proof of their Aboriginal ancestry.  One Saskatchewan student may be admitted under special circumstances or for compassionate reasons.  Applicants applying for admission under special circumstances or compassionate reasons must provide appropriate documentation by February 15 for review and these applicants are considered on a case-by-case basis.  This position may not be filled every year.

Nutrition Admission Requirements

To be considered for admission to the B.Sc.(Nutr.) program in September 2017, applicants must have completed at least 30 credit units of course work at the university level before April 30, 2017, including the following courses or their equivalents 

  • 6 credit units General Biology (with lab) (BIOL 120.3 and 121.3 at U of S)
  • 3 credit units General Chemistry (with lab) (Chem 112.3 at U of S)
  • 3 credit units Organic Chemistry (with lab) (Chem 250.3 at U of S)
  • 6 credit units English Literature and Composition (Eng 110.6 or two of Eng 111.3, 112.3, 113.3, 114.3 at U of S; OR Lit 110.6 or FR 121.3 (or 122.3) and 125.3)
  • 6 credit units must include Psychology or Sociology
  • 6 credit units of unrestricted electives

Other Admission Requirements: 1) Test of Critical Skills (can only be written in Canada); 2) Personal video interview

Please Note:  The requirement for “English” must include English Literature and Composition.  A general “academic writing” course is not sufficient.

Prerequisite courses completed more than 10 years ago are not normally considered for credit as part of the admission application and will need to be repeated. As each situation is unique, students can request a review of prerequisite courses they have completed more than 10 years ago by contacting the College directly.

Applicants who have a deficiency in 6 credit units of electives may be considered, only if they have completed 30 credit units and the courses they have taken instead of the electives are included in the Nutrition program. The deficiency must be completed prior to entry into the second year of the B.Sc. (Nutr.) program.  [NOTE:  This means that applicants must have completed the prerequisites in Biology, Chemistry (both courses) and English (or French or Literature) prior to April 30, 2017, to be considered for admission in 2017.]  

Applicants must have a minimum average of 70% to be considered for admission.  Acceptance into the B.Sc. (Nutr.) program is based on the calculated post-secondary Admission Average (60% of admission decision), theTest of Critical Skills (30%) and the Video Interview (10%). For the 2017-2018 academic year, we will be admitting 28 students; up to 4 may be non-residents of Saskatchewan (including both out-of-province and international students).  A maximum of two Saskatchewan resident spaces are reserved for Saskatchewan Aboriginal students who self-declare and provide proof of their Aboriginal ancestry.  One Saskatchewan student may be admitted under special circumstances or for compassionate reasons.  Applicants applying for admission under special circumstances or compassionate reasons must provide appropriate documentation by February 15 for review and these applicants are considered on a case-by-case basis.  This position may not be filled every year. 

IMPORTANT NOTES:

  • For those who are not familiar with the University of Saskatchewan, a “6 credit unit” course at the University is generally a course which includes three lecture hours weekly for a full academic year (approximately 26 weeks); such courses may also include additional laboratory or tutorial components.  A “3 credit unit” course is one which involves three lecture hours weekly for one term (semester, approximately 13 weeks).  Applicants who are concerned about the equivalency of courses taken at other institutions should contact Diane Favreau, Administrative Officer/Academic Advisor at diane.favreau@usask.ca or (306) 966-6335.

  • Please refer to the PDF document below for a listing of courses at many universities/colleges that are considered acceptable equivalencies for admission to the College of Pharmacy and Nutrition. This document gets updated on a regular basis. For courses not listed on the chart, students should submit to Diane Favreau a detailed course outline (not calendar description) for evaluation.

Admission Average

Calculation of Admission Average

The Admission Average is calculated using all post-secondary (college, university and technical schools) courses taken by the applicant. The Admission Average is based on the 30 or 60 credit units of required subjects [weighted as 40% of the admission average] and the cumulative average obtained on all courses at the university level [weighted as 60% of the admission average]. Grades from post-secondary institutions which use grading systems other than a percentage system are converted to percentages using established criteria provided by Student and Enrolment Services and then used in calculating the admission average. If courses are repeated, they are treated as follows: in the calculation of the “prerequisite component” of the admission average, the higher of the two grades is used, unless the original grade was greater then 60%, in which case an “average” of the two grades is used. In the calculation of the “cumulative average component” of the admission average, an average of the two grades is used. The College does not encourage applicants to repeat courses unless a failing grade has been obtained.

Because there are three components to the admission score, it is important for applicants to perform as well as possible on all three components. There is no average which will guarantee admission. It is possible that an applicant with a high average (e.g. 80%) will fail to gain admission because of a poor performance on the Test of Critical Skills or Video Interview. Conversely, applicants with lower academic standing sometimes achieve a high non-academic assessment which can raise the overall admission score. In the final selections, only applicants who meet minimum standards in each component (e.g. in the admission average and in the non-academic assessment) and whose overall “admission score” is high (relative to the other applicants) will be offered admission.

Because of the large numbers of highly qualified applications we receive, most individuals offered admission have had averages well above 70%. For the Pharmacy program, most have had averages above 75%.

Test of Critical Skills and Personal Interview

The College of Pharmacy and Nutrition Test of Critical Skills and the Personal Video Interview must be completed by each applicant in the year for which the application is made.  Applicants are required to attain a minimum level of achievement on the Test of Critical Skills to be considered for admission, regardless of the performance on other criteria.  Applicants who fail to write the Test of Critical Skills at the scheduled location and time or who fail to complete the Personal Interview by February 28, 2017 will be ineligible for admission.

For the 2017 admission cycle, the Test of Critical Skills will be completed at testing centres on Saturday, March 18, 2017.  The start time is 10:00 AM (or at the time scheduled by the Test site in your area).  Candidates will be given one hour to complete the Test of Critical Skills.

Applicants will be asked to choose a city from the list provided on the online application form where they would like to write the Test. 

The choices are as follows:  Saskatoon, Regina, Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Toronto, Montreal, or Halifax. If a candidate cannot write at one of the designated sites, written documentation explaining why an alternate test site is required must be provided to the Associate Dean, Academic, Dr. Yvonne Shevchuk at yvonne.shevchuk@usask.ca – prior to the February 15, 2017 application deadline.

NOTE: Only alternate test sites in Canada will be considered.

Any additional costs for Test administration at sites outside of Saskatoon or Regina must be paid by the applicant. 

For candidates whose religious convictions prohibit their testing on a Saturday, or who are unable to write on Saturday due to other documented commitments, individual testing arrangements will be made for an alternate date (TBD).  To request such a special administration each candidate must provide written documentation specifying that an alternate administration date is needed, and include supporting evidence in support of the request (e.g., a letter on letterhead from a rabbi, pastor, or religious leader) and send it to Dr. Yvonne Shevchuk at yvonne.shevchuk@usask.ca.  

Candidates who are registered with Disability Services for Students should discuss their situation and possible requirements for writing the Test of Critical Skills with Dr. Yvonne Shevchuk before the application deadline of February 15, 2017.  Additional documentation may be required.

Notices confirming registration at the chosen test centre will be emailed to all applicants whose completed and paid applications have been received by the College by the February 15, 2017 deadline. NO OTHER INDIVIDUALS WILL BE ADMITTED TO THE TESTING CENTRES.  Each applicant should receive the registration/test centre confirmation notice no later than TBD.  If you do not receive the required information by TBD, you must contact our office at (306) 966-6368 as soon as possible to obtain your registration. 

Please consider carefully the testing centre for which you register, since changes may not be possible after your application has been processed.  Choose the centre closest to where you will be residing on March 15, 2017.  Anyone appearing at a centre for which they are not registered will be denied entry and will be ineligible for admission consideration.

Please remember to take your registration confirmation notice (as proof of registration for the test) and an extra pen with you to the writing centre.  Arrive at least 30 minutes ahead of the scheduled testing time at the designated test site.  All candidates must be registered and seated in the exam room 5 minutes before the Test begins.  Latecomers may not be admitted.  Testing will begin promptly at 10:00 a.m. (or at the time scheduled by the Test site in your area) and will end at approximately 11:00 a.m.

You must present positive photo identification such as a driver's licence, school identification card or valid passport when you check in at the testing centre.  Your identification must include a recognizable photograph and signature.  Items such as photo ID credit cards are NOT acceptable.  No aids such as dictionaries, books, notes, or electronic devices will be allowed.

The Test of Critical Skills

[The following section is adapted from materials provided by Dr. Cleo Boyd, the University of Toronto.]

The Test of Critical Skills is in essay format.  Candidates are asked to write a formal, persuasive academic essay, of at least 300 words (maximum 500 words), in response to a proposition drawn from a short reading.  The topic of this essay will not be directly related to pharmacy or nutrition.  Applicants are required to attain a minimum level of achievement on the Test of Critical Skills to gain consideration in the final selection (regardless of the performance in other criteria).

To prepare for the Test of Critical Skills, the College recommends that applicants complete a course which emphasizes critical thinking (an example would be PHIL 140.3 [Critical Thinking] at the U of S), or other appropriate course(s), which may help develop, or further develop, the ability to read, think, and write on a critical level.  Essays are assessed on three main criteria:

  1. the precision of the response to the task,
  2. focus, organization and development of the argument, and
  3. the command of expression, grammar, and punctuation demonstrated in the response.

The Personal Video Interview

For the 2017 admission cycle, the personal interview will be conducted as a video interview. There will be no face to face interviews. Once a student has applied and paid the application fee, they will receive instructions for accessing the video interview process. If you do not receive instructions for accessing the video interview process within two weeks of your application AND payment, please contact our office at (306) 966-6368. The video interview must be conducted between January 16 and February 28, 2017. An internet connected computer with a functioning webcam and microphone or smartphone is required.

To prepare for the Personal Interview, the College encourages all applicants to investigate the profession(s) of Pharmacy and/or Nutrition/Dietetics.  Although the specific focus of the individual Interview questions may shift from year to year, candidates should be prepared to discuss why they have chosen the health care profession they want to enter and how they perceive the role of the pharmacist or dietitian.  Direct pharmacy or nutrition/dietetics experience is not a specific admission requirement, but those who have gained such exposure may be better prepared to respond to at least one of the questions in the Interview.  If you are unable to gain work or volunteer experience directly related to the profession you should explore other options which would help enhance your knowledge of the profession.  You should also reflect upon your previous life/work experiences and how ‘transferable’ they are to those attributes expected of a student in a health care profession.

Samples of Tests (PDF)

Critical Skills and How to Improve Them slides (PDF)

Items Required to Complete Your Application

Effective immediately, the application fee is now $125

1.  Online Application (now live) - https://pawnss.usask.ca/banprod/bwskalog.P_DispLoginNon   

IMPORTANT: Deadline to apply including payment is 4:30 p.m. on February 15, 2017

2.  Test of Critical Skills – Saturday, March 18, 2017

3.  Submission of Transcripts – deadline June 1, 2017

4. Personal Video Interview - between January 16 and February 28, 2017

5.  Choosing an Admission Category: You may apply to ONE of the following categories: 

  • Saskatchewan Resident -- individuals who have lived and worked full-time in Saskatchewan for at least 12 consecutive months prior to admission without being a fulltime student (i.e., prior to September 1, 2016). To qualify, you must pay income taxes in Saskatchewan and have a Saskatchewan health card. You cannot qualify for residency by attending school if your home is elsewhere. Applicants from border communities (e.g., Lloydminster, AB and Flin Flon, MB), residents of the Yukon, Northwest Territories and Nunavut, members of the R.C.M.P. or the Canadian armed forces, graduates of the University of Saskatchewan, and children or spouses of graduates of the University of Saskatchewan are considered Saskatchewan residents for the purpose of their admission application to Pharmacy or Nutrition. 

  • Non-Saskatchewan Resident -- individuals who live outside of Saskatchewan and who do not meet the SK resident criteria indicated above.

  • Student Authorization (Student Visa) -- individuals who are international students. 

  • Repeating or Returning Student -- individuals who have previously attended the College of Pharmacy and Nutrition (and completed at least one full semester in the program).

  • Education Equity Program -- Saskatchewan Residents who are Aboriginal students who self-declare their Aboriginal ancestry. Proof of aboriginal ancestry must be submitted to our office by February 15, 2017. This can be a copy of your status card or a letter from the Band/Local you belong to. 

  • Special Admission -- Saskatchewan Residents who feels there are circumstances which merit special consideration. For example, if someone has had a health problem or some personal circumstance which has impacted his/her academic average in a pre-year, he/she should write a letter documenting the situation. This letter and any additional supporting documentation (e.g. medical information, funeral notice, etc.) must be submitted to Dr. Yvonne Shevchuk (yvonne.shevchuk@usask.caby February 15, 2017. All information submitted is strictly confidential. Applications which are not considered in the special consideration category are automatically considered in the Saskatchewan resident pool.

5.  Proof of English Proficiency – if English is not your first language. 

6.  Proof of Permanent Residence - Please indicate your citizenship status. If you are a Landed Immigrant, you must send a copy of your Permanent Residence Card to our office.

Tuition Fees

Pharmacy (effective September 2017)

$17,000 per year

Nutrition

For the 2016-2017 academic year, a first year Nutrition student (33 credit units) was assessed $7603.  Additional student fees in 2016-17 were $795.  These fees do not include the cost of books or supplies (estimated at $1680.00 for first year Nutrition) or living expenses while at the University.

The University of Saskatchewan assesses tuition for Nutrition based on the number of credit units taken, multiplied by a tuition category. Therefore, an individual’s tuition fee will vary depending on the number and type of courses taken. Tuition and fees for 2017-18 will be established by the University sometime in early 2017.


Education Equity Program

The goal of the College’s Education Equity Program is to encourage Aboriginal students to enroll in and graduate from the College of Pharmacy and Nutrition. Each year there are four spaces in the first year of the Pharmacy program, and two positions in the first year of the Nutrition program, for qualified Aboriginal applicants. If there are more applicants to the Education Equity Program than spaces, then students are selected on the basis of admission selection criteria. Applicants who wish to be considered for the Education Equity Program are requested to indicate this on their application forms.


Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD)

We offer a four-year program leading to the degree of Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD), after completing 60 credit units of pre-Pharmacy courses in Arts and Science or other programs. Applicants to the Education Equity Program must have completed the pre-Pharmacy years with a minimum average of 70%.

The PharmD program is designed to prepare graduates for a wide range of careers as pharmacists, who may be employed in or operate their own store in the community, or work with hospitals or medical centres providing pharmaceutical care for patients and drug information for health care workers. The pharmaceutical industry employs pharmacists in research, production, testing and sales of pharmaceutical products. Pharmacy graduates may also be employed in federal or provincial government agencies such as the departments of health.


Bachelor of Science in Nutrition

Our Nutrition program involves a partnership with colleagues in the Regina Qu'Appelle Health Region, Saskatoon Health Region, other Regions and Tribal Councils throughout the province. One year of pre-Nutrition studies is required, after which students apply to enter the B. Sc.(Nutr.). Within the four year degree, practicum experiences required for the dietetics profession are included. On completion of a national exam, graduates qualify for professional registration through their provincial association for membership in Dietitians of Canada, and for positions as professional dietitians.

Career opportunities are excellent and include health care organizations such as hospitals (clinical and administrative dietetics), outpatient clinics, public health services and home care, medical clinics and community health centres, food, foodservice, and pharmaceutical industries, food marketing boards, fitness/wellness centres, private practice and consulting, research, media and consumer services. Advanced studies lead to university faculty positions and work with international health agencies.

 

We welcome your inquiries! For more information on undergraduate programs, please call (306) 966-6327 or e-mail Undergrad-Pharmacy-Nutrition@usask.ca.

FAQs

Effective immediately, the application fee is now $125
  1. What is the expected number of applicants to each program and how many will be accepted?
    For 2016 admission, we received 480 applications for 90 positions in first-year Pharmacy and 74 applications for 28 Nutrition positions.

  2. I have heard that the admission quota is sometimes exceeded - is this true?
    In the past, we have occasionally had an extra student taking some of the first year courses.  This has occurred when some students take only a partial year (for example, due to illness), or must repeat some courses.  However, classroom size limits the number of students who are able to participate in our courses, and we therefore do not routinely exceed our enrolment quotas.

  3. How many years does it take to complete the Pharmacy or Nutrition programs?
    Both programs are four years in length.  This does not include the one or two years of university level studies required prior to admission to the program.

  4. What are the tuition fees?
    NUTRITION:

    The University of Saskatchewan assesses tuition for Nutrition based on the number of credit units taken, multiplied by a tuition category.  Therefore, an individual’s tuition fee will vary depending on the number and type of courses taken.  For the 2016-2017 academic year, a first year Nutrition student (33 credit units) was assessed $7603.  Additional student fees in 2016-17 were $795.  These fees do not include the cost of books or supplies (estimated at $1680.00 for first year Nutrition) or living expenses while at the University.  Tuition and fees for 2017-18 will be established by the University sometime in early 2017.

    PHARMACY:
    Year 1: $19,371.66
    Year 2: $18,185.64
    Year 3: $16,604.28
    Year 4: $13,836.90
    

  5.  How and when do I apply for admission to the Pharmacy or Nutrition program at the University of Saskatchewan?
    You will become eligible to apply for admission in the year in which you will have completed at least 30 or 60 credit units at the university level. However, you do not have to take all 30 or 60 CU in one academic year, nor do you have to take a 30 CU year immediately prior to the year in which you wish to be admitted to Pharmacy or Nutrition.  Applications go live in early November and are on-line as follows:  For existing U of S students wishing to apply to the Pharmacy or Nutrition program, please log onto PAWS, select “Student Services” from the Academic Services channel, and then select the “Admissions” link to proceed with your application.  Under Application Type, please choose from the drop down menu, either “Pharmacy” or “Nutrition”.  For non U of S students wishing to apply to the Pharmacy or Nutrition program, please visithttps://pawnss.usask.ca/banprod/bwskalog.P_DispLoginNon and click on “First time user account creation” – It will then ask you to create a Login ID and PIN.  Once you create a Login ID and PIN, under Application Type, please select from the drop down menu, either “Pharmacy” or “Nutrition”.  Application deadline is February 15, 2017 at 12:00 midnight, but applications are accepted at any time before that date.  Applicants who are taking their first year of university courses are encouraged to apply AFTER receiving first term grades (i.e., wait till January to apply, after you know that your academic average will meet the minimum requirement.)  Late applications will not be considered under any circumstances. 

  6. Should I write the Pharmacy College Admission Test (PCAT)?
    No. We do not consider PCAT scores in our admission decisions.  If it is necessary for you to write the PCAT for admission consideration for other schools of Pharmacy you can obtain information online at: http://pcatweb.info or by calling 1-800-622-3231.

  7. Can I get special consideration as a “Mature Student”?
    No.  You must meet the admission requirements as outlined in this booklet and you will be ranked on the basis of the “Admission Score”.  Age is not a criteria used in selecting candidates for admission.

  8. Is there a preference for applicants who have completed more than one year of university study, or who have completed another degree program?
    No preference is given to applicants who have completed more than the one or two year requirement.  Many of our applicants have completed several years of university, or have already completed one or more degree(s) (including graduate degrees) but they are not given any special preference on this basis.

  9. Is there a preference given to students who complete the prerequisites at the University of Saskatchewan?
    No.  As long as you have completed courses that are equivalent to those at the University of Saskatchewan, you will be eligible for admission.

  10. If I have attended a technical institute (such as Polytechnic in Saskatchewan), will I receive transfer credit for any of my courses?
    Courses are evaluated on an individual basis to determine if transfer credit is possible.  In general, it is not possible to meet all the prerequisite requirements for Pharmacy or Nutrition by attending a technical institution.

  11. Can I apply directly to an upper year if I have already completed several years of university or have completed one or more degrees? 
    No.  All applicants will be considered for year one, including applicants who may have already completed a degree(s).  Applicants who are offered admission will be assessed for transfer credit upon admission.  However, even with the maximum allowable number of course exemptions the total length of the program remains four years, with a reduced course load in the years in which exemptions are granted.  Since both programs include a number of courses (for which equivalent courses are not offered elsewhere) offered in each year of the program with the previous year course always being a prerequisite, and because of possible timetable implications, it is not possible for successful applicants to be eligible for direct entry to an upper year of study.

  12. Can I apply directly to an upper year if I am transferring from another school of Pharmacy or Nutrition?
    No.  As mentioned in Question #11, all applicants will be considered for entry to year one.  Applicants who are offered admission will be assessed for transfer credit upon admission.  However, it is generally not possible for students from other schools of Pharmacy or Nutrition to be admitted directly to an upper year of study.  Individuals who already have a degree in Pharmacy will not be considered for the Pharmacy program.  Individuals who have completed a degree in Nutrition (or related discipline) will not be considered for the Nutrition program.  (The University will not award a duplicate degree.)  Completion of a graduate program has no impact on admission decisions.

  13. How will the College calculate my cumulative university average if I have completed more than one year of university? 
    This calculation will include the results of all university level courses attempted.  All years of study and all grades, including failures, will be included in the calculation.  Graduate level courses are not included in the average calculation.

  14. If I have repeated courses how will this affect my application?
    The grades from all attempts at individual courses, including failures, will be included in the calculation of the cumulative university average.  If a repeated course is one of the prerequisites, the higher grade will be used in calculating the “prerequisite component” of the admission average if the original grade achieved was less than 60%.  If the original grade was 60% or greater, then an average of the two grades will be used.  In the calculation of the “cumulative average component” of the admission average, an average of two or more grades from repeated courses will be used.

  15. I know that I must successfully complete each of the prerequisite courses, but is there a minimum grade requirement for these subjects?
    At present, only a passing grade is required, but applicants should be aware that both programs are essentially “science-based”.  Therefore, it is important to have a strong background in sciences, particularly chemistry, to be successful in these programs.

  16. Although my academic performance during my first year of university was poor, my grades improved in upper years.  Will the upper years, with advanced level courses, be weighted differently?
    No.  All will be given the same weighting.  Applicants who perform poorly in one or more years of their university studies must make an extra effort in subsequent years to raise their cumulative average.  This may take two or three years to accomplish depending on your current average.  For example, if you obtained an average of 60% in first year, you must obtain 80% in second year to achieve a cumulative average of 70%.  However, this is generally unrealistic.  It is more realistic to expect to complete at least two or more years to raise the cumulative average, if your first year average was low.

  17. Although the “Admission Average” section indicates that a cumulative university average of 70% is required for Pharmacy or Nutrition, I have heard that the minimum average accepted is generally much higher.  Since there are far more applicants than spaces available do I really need to have a higher average to be competitive and gain admission?
    Because there are three components to the admission score, it is important for applicants to perform as well as possible on all three components.  There is no average which will guarantee admission.  It is possible that an applicant with a high average (e.g. 80%) will fail to gain admission because of a poor performance on the Test of Critical Skills or Personal Interview.  Conversely, applicants with lower academic standing sometimes achieve a high non-academic assessment which can raise the overall admission score.  In the final selections, only applicants who meet minimum standards in each component (e.g. in the admission average and in the non-academic assessment) and whose overall “admission score” is high (relative to the other applicants) will be offered admission.  Because of the large numbers of highly qualified applications we receive, most individuals admitted in the past 3-5 years have had averages well above 70%. 

  18. What weight will be applied to each of the respective admission factors?
    Academic average - 60%, Test of Critical Skills - 30%, Personal Video Interview - 10%.

  19. What subjects could I use to satisfy the open electives category?
    Any course with a credit of at least 3 c.u. Applicants who have questions about any course’s appropriateness for credit should consult the College office.

  20. If I have not taken all required courses could I complete any missing courses in the summer session directly prior to September admission?
    No, Spring and Summer session grades are issued too late to be considered for September admission of the same year.  Applicants should complete the required courses in the regular (Winter) session prior to admission (i.e. all courses should end no later than April 30 to allow official transcripts to be received in our office by early June). Nutrition applicants who are deficient in 6 CU of Psychology or Sociology or an elective course may be admitted as long as 30 CU are completed by April 30, and have taken courses that are included in the Nutrition program in lieu of the missing electives.  Any deficiencies in prerequisites must be cleared before entry to the second year.

  21. Which courses can I complete prior to applying to Pharmacy or Nutrition that will be used for transfer credit purposes?
    For the Pharmacy program, there are no courses that students can complete for transfer credit purposes as part of the 4-year program requirements. The College does NOT encourage potential applicants to take courses which are included within the Nutrition program, unless these courses also apply toward the completion of another degree.  Completing such courses before admission does not provide any advantage to candidates seeking admission to the program.  All courses taken at the university level are included in the calculation of the admission average, so applicants completing more than one university year prior to admission should take courses where they can excel (to maximize their academic average), and which will also help them achieve completion of another degree (e.g., a B.Sc. or B.A.).  

    It is NOT possible for students who are granted course exemptions in the Nutrition program to reduce the total number of years of study.  Rather, these students will have a lighter course load in the first (and perhaps second) year of the program.  Students who have credit for courses in the Nutrition programs should also be aware that they may have to take additional elective courses (which do not count towards the degree) if they wish to meet the minimum course load required to qualify for student loans (9 CU per term), bursaries (18 CU per academic year) or scholarships (18 CU per academic year).

  22. What is the definition of a “Saskatchewan resident”?
    Saskatchewan residents are those individuals who have lived and worked full-time in Saskatchewan for at least 12 consecutive months prior to admission (i.e., prior to September 1) without being a full time student.  To qualify, you must pay income taxes in Saskatchewan and have a Saskatchewan health card.  You cannot qualify for residency by attending school full time if your home is elsewhere.

    Applicants from border communities (e.g., Lloydminster, AB and Flin Flon, MB), residents of the Yukon, Northwest Territories and Nunavut, members of the R.C.M.P. or the Canadian armed forces, graduates of the University of Saskatchewan, and children or spouses of graduates of the University of Saskatchewan are considered Saskatchewan residents for the purposes of their admission application to Pharmacy or Nutrition.

  23. Will my past work experience, especially if it is in the medical field, be considered?
    No.  Work experience is not a criteria for admission, although such experience may help you in answering some of the questions on the Personal Interview.

  24. If I work or volunteer in a pharmacy or a food service area, will my chances of getting admitted improve?
    Although such work or volunteer experience is not directly considered in the admission criteria, it may provide you with additional background information about the profession(s).  This experience, along with some self-reflection about your personal characteristics and interests, may be helpful to you when you complete the Personal Interview

  25. What is the difference between a dietitian and a nutritionist?
    Our B.Sc.(Nutr.) students are educated in both the science of nutrition and the profession of dietetics for preparation in a career in dietetics and as a dietitian. In Saskatchewan, the title "Registered Dietitian", "Professional Dietitian", and "Dietitian" are protected by law - through provincial legislation - so that only qualified practitioners who have met national standards for education and training can use these titles and their protected initials (R.D., P.Dt.). Dietitians are accountable to provincial regulatory bodies for their professional conduct and the care they provide.

    The term nutritionist is not protected by law. People with different levels and types of training and knowledge can call themselves a "Nutritionist". They are not necessarily qualified in nutrition nor are they accountable to a provincial regulatory body. Some dietitians call themselves "nutritionists" (e.g., community nutritionist, public health nutritionist), but they are still registered dietitians.

    For more information, please visit Dietitians of Canada.

  26. If my university average is good and I have performed well in all subjects including the Humanities/Social Science subjects, why does it matter if I do not do well on the Test of Critical Skills? 
    The Test of Critical Skills was introduced to coincide with the start of our revised programs in Pharmacy and Nutrition which include new Professional Practice courses.  To succeed in these courses, students must already have achieved a certain level of skill in reading, writing and thinking on a critical level.  The Test of Critical Skills was developed specifically to measure these skills.  Using grades assigned for individual courses is not a reliable means of making this specific kind of assessment.

  27. What are the criteria that will be used to evaluate the Test of Critical Skills? 
    Essays are assessed on three main criteria:

    1. the precision of the response to the task,

    2. focus, organization and development of the argument, and

    3. the command of expression, grammar, and punctuation demonstrated in the response.

    Each essay is assessed anonymously and independently by two reviewers, and, if necessary, by an expert in the assessment of these critical skills.  To ensure consistency and validity, the review process is completed over a short time, with reviewers who are trained and standardized for the task.  Test results are used only for admission decisions and it is not possible to provide individual feedback or scores to candidates.

  28. How can I prepare to complete the Test of Critical Skills
    Recognize that this test is designed to test your critical reading, thinking and writing skills.  Polishing only your writing skills will not be a good use of your time.  Applicants who perform well on this test read critically, think actively about what they have read, and communicate that thinking in a coherent, organized, and grammatically competent manner.  Essays that are well organized and grammatically competent, but that only partially or tangentially address the given task are not successful.  You may have developed these skills in various courses or through various other experiences.  However, if you are interested in taking a course, one which emphasizes critical thinking (for example, courses in Philosophy, History or Political Sciences or other disciplines) would probably be helpful.  This is not to say that simply taking a Philosophy course, or one like it, guarantees success.  Only courses that develop and accurately evaluate all three critical skills will be useful to you.  Also, remember that critical skills take time to develop, and require on-going use to maintain and improve them.  This means that you should practise these skills prior to taking the test - if you are not taking any courses which require you to write persuasively or to complete an argument in the year that you apply, then you should find other ways to practise these skills.

  29. How can we help you prepare to write the Test of Critical Skills? 
    One way is to help you understand the nature of this test.  To facilitate that objective, we are providing you with an explanation of what we expect.  The task is divided into two sections.  The first section includes the critical reading of a text designed to spur your thinking about a topic of general interest.  You should use the reading to help you compose your response to the proposition that follows it.  Successful essays demonstrate that the writers have read and made effective use of the reading in deciding to support or not support the proposition that follows the reading. 

    The second section of the task is the proposition itself. It is always written in italics on the test form.  You are asked to write a formal, persuasive essay, either supporting or not supporting the proposition.  Many applicants simply respond to the proposition, or some part of it, without careful consideration of what it actually advocates, whether or not it is a logical or reasonable response to the general issue addressed in the reading, or whether it proposes anything that is useful or even appropriate.  Applicants who take these approaches are unsuccessful.  Take note that this task is not a response paper or an opportunity to dump information. You do not get credit for presenting facts not relevant to any analysis of the proposition.  The task is a critical analysis of the proposition, not a general discussion of it.  Only those facts relevant to the analysis are useful. 

    The second way that we hope to help you is by giving you an example of the task.  The following is a real example of a Test of Critical Skills that has been used in the past.  You would have one hour to complete this task.

The following is an excerpt from an article published by CBC News in February 2007 that provides a brief synopsis of the divisive debate about the adoption or rejection of the Kyoto Protocol by the nations of the world.  The excerpt sets up the debate and provides useful information about which nations have adopted the Protocol and which have not.  It reads as follows:

Depending on who you talk to, the Kyoto Protocol is either a) an expensive, bureaucratic solution to fix a problem that may not even exist; or b) the last, best chance to save the world from the “time bomb” of global warming.

Those are the extremes in what has become a polarizing debate that has engaged governments, consumers, environmental groups and industry all over the world for more than 20 years.

The problem the Kyoto Protocol is trying to address is climate change, and more specifically, the speed at which the earth is warming up.  Whether Kyoto can accomplish this is very much a matter of debate.

For the record, when the Kyoto Protocol went into effect Feb. 16, 2005, 141 countries had ratified it, including every major industrialized country – except the United States, Australia and Monaco.  The U.S. is responsible for about a quarter of the emissions that have been blamed for global warming.

Two of the world’s fastest polluters – India and China – have signed on.  But because they are considered developing countries, with other serious problems to overcome, they have been given a pass on the first Kyoto round and do not have to begin making emissions cuts until after 2012.

The Writing Task:  Consider the proposition given below in italics, and write a formal, persuasive essay of 300-500 words arguing for or against it.  Use your analysis of the reading to trigger and add depth to your thinking about the proposition.

Nations should not adopt the Kyoto Protocol until the debate over whether adopting it can actually address the problem of climate change is resolved.

  1. How can I prepare to complete the Personal Video Interview?
    An excellent start would be to investigate the profession(s) of Pharmacy and/or Nutrition/Dietetics.  Although it is not a specific admission requirement, if you have direct related work or volunteer experience you may be better prepared to answer at least one of the questions included on the Interview.  If you cannot gain direct experience you could explore other options (such as interviewing a series of pharmacists or dietitians, reading, etc.).  You should be prepared to discuss such things as why you have selected pharmacy or nutrition as your choice of health care profession, your exposure to the profession, and how you perceive the role of the pharmacist or dietitian.  If you are interested in both programs and are applying for both, you should be prepared to discuss your experiences and interests in both professions.  However, professional exposure alone will not ensure you achieve a good assessment. Although there is no "magic" formula, you want to present yourself as a mature, responsible individual who is not only motivated toward a career in Pharmacy or Nutrition, but who displays attributes important to being an effective professional.

  2. When will I hear whether I will be admitted to Pharmacy or Nutrition? 
    The Admission Scores of applicants who have met the minimum standards for all admission criteria (as described above) are calculated as soon as all data is received.  Because the last date for receipt of transcripts is June 1st, the admission decisions cannot be completed until mid-June.  Letters via email to the individuals selected for admission will be sent in late June, offering positions in the first year classes of Pharmacy or Nutrition, according to established quotas.  Individuals will have approximately 7-10 days to respond to this offer.

    A certain number of the remaining qualified applicants are placed on waiting lists (usually approximately 20 applicants), and are also informed of their status by email in late June.  If an applicant declines the offer of admission, the next person on the waiting list is contacted.  Generally, the admission process is complete by late July, but occasionally the College has accepted students from the waiting lists right up to mid-September.  Once quotas are filled, all remaining applicants on the waiting lists are so informed by email.  The remaining qualified applicants who are not offered admission also receive an email in late June.

    Applicants who are unsuccessful are notified as soon as possible.  Applicants are told the reasons for their lack of success (e.g., failure to achieve the minimum admission average, incomplete transcripts, prerequisites not met and/or failure to meet the critical skills performance standard) but individual results on the Test of Critical Skills or the Personal Video Interview, and subsequent Admission Scores are not released. 

  3. How many applicants are placed on the waiting lists and how many are actually moved off the lists and offered admission?
    Two waiting lists are created for each program - a “Saskatchewan residents” list and a “Non-Saskatchewan residents” list.  The numbers on the waiting lists vary each year, but generally we place up to 20 names on each list for Pharmacy and up to 25 names on the wait lists for Nutrition.  The number of individuals from the waiting lists who are actually offered admission also varies each year.  For example, in 2014, 9 applicants from the Saskatchewan resident waiting list and 15 from the non-Saskatchewan resident waiting list were offered admission to Pharmacy, and 6 applicants from the Saskatchewan resident list and 2 from the non-Saskatchewan waiting list were offered admission to Nutrition.

  4. What happens after I am offered admission and I accept the offer?
    When we send you an offer of admission, we will also send information about the program of study (i.e., the classes to take in each year) and a copy of your individual program record.  If you have been granted any credits for courses you have taken, this will be reflected on the record form.  Once you have accepted admission to Pharmacy or Nutrition you will receive registration information from the University, and you must register for all the courses in the first year of Pharmacy or Nutrition (for both terms) by accessing the PAWS registration system on-line.  Spaces in required courses are guaranteed for all our first year students.  If you have already registered in some courses (e.g., in the College of Arts and Science) by the time you are offered admission to Pharmacy or Nutrition, you will be removed from those courses by Student and Enrolment Services Division and switched into our college which will then allow you to register for your courses.

  5. What should I do if I do not get an offer of admission, but I am interested in reapplying?
    If you have completed the prerequisites for Pharmacy and/or Nutrition, you should choose an alternate degree program (e.g., B.Sc., B.A.) and take courses which will lead toward that degree.  There is no guarantee that your application to Pharmacy or Nutrition will be successful on subsequent application(s) - we expect that competition for available entry positions will remain high.  Therefore, you should NOT take courses at random, and you should not take courses that are included in our degree programs unless they are also needed for your alternate degree.  To determine what courses you need to take to complete another degree, you should consult the appropriate College or Department offices.

    If you wish to continue at the university and wish to improve your academic average, you would be well advised to take courses in which you can do well.  You should also think about developing or improving your skills in reading, writing and critical thinking, and to investigate the Pharmacy or Nutrition profession.  No preference is given to applicants who have completed several years of study or to those who may already completed a degree(s).  Each year you apply you are competing with new applicants and are ranked relative to the performance of the others.

  6. Is it possible to get into Pharmacy by being admitted to Nutrition and then transferring to Pharmacy after one year, and vice versa?
    No.  You would have to reapply to enter Pharmacy and/or Nutrition and would have to meet all requirements, including writing the Test of Critical Skills and completing the Video Interview again.  You would be competing against all others who are also interested in admission to Pharmacy or Nutrition in that year.  Your grades in the first year of the current program would be included in the calculation of your admission average.

  7. If I am offered admission this year, is it possible to defer my entry to the program until next year?
    No.  Since the number of applicants far exceeds the number of available places, we are not able to reserve admission spaces for future years.

  8. What types of applications qualify for “special consideration”?
    Any Saskatchewan resident can apply in this category if he/she feels there are circumstances which merit special consideration.  For example, if someone has had a health problem or some personal circumstance which has impacted his/her academic average in a pre-year, he/she should write a letter documenting the situation.  Additional supporting documentation must also be submitted (e.g. medical information, funeral notices, etc.).  Applications which are not considered in the special consideration category are automatically considered in the Saskatchewan resident pool.