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Conditional Admission to Pharmacy (CAP)

  1. What is Conditional Admission to Pharmacy (CAP) status?
  2. Why was the CAP opportunity developed?
  3. What are the benefits for students admitted to CAP status?
  4. Do I have to attend Waterloo to be awarded CAP status?
  5. What undergraduate Science program must I take at Waterloo in order to qualify for CAP status?
  6. How many CAP places are available?
  7. What are the eligibility criteria for high school students to be admitted to CAP status?
  8. How do I apply for CAP status?
  9. Which grades are considered for decisions on CAP status?
  10. When and where are the interviews conducted for the CAP opportunity?
  11. How do I maintain my CAP status?
  12. What happens if I don’t fulfil the criteria to maintain my CAP status?
  13. When selecting my Waterloo undergraduate Science program, can I select the co-op stream when I also plan to apply separately to CAP?
  14. Are international students eligible to apply for CAP status?

1. What is Conditional Admission to Pharmacy (CAP) status?

Conditional Admission to Pharmacy (CAP) status is an opportunity for outstanding high school students to be pre-admitted to the University of Waterloo School of Pharmacy. Normally, applications to the Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) degree program are considered from university students who have completed at least two years of undergraduate science. With CAP status, high school students receive a conditional offer of admission to the School of Pharmacy, to begin the PharmD program in their third year of university studies. Specific criteria must be met in order to maintain CAP status.

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2.  Why was the CAP opportunity developed?

CAP was developed to provide a clear path for outstanding high school students to achieve their goal of becoming pharmacists.

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3.  What are the benefits for students admitted to CAP status?

High school students who are awarded CAP status will have the security and comfort in knowing that, provided they meet the conditions for maintaining their CAP status and are successful in the interview process in second year, they are assured a place within the PharmD program at the University of Waterloo. With CAP status, students will be able to participate in some social and educational activities organized by the School and the Waterloo Society of Pharmacy Students (SOPhS). This will enable CAP students to learn more about the degree program and the profession of Pharmacy. In addition, School of Pharmacy staff will act as resources to CAP students, to guide them toward successful admission into the Pharmacy program.

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4.  Do I have to attend Waterloo to be awarded CAP status?

Yes. All students who are awarded CAP status must take their first two years of science studies at Waterloo. If students choose to attend another institution for their pre-Pharmacy studies, they will be eligible to apply for the School of Pharmacy in the usual manner.

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5.  What undergraduate Science program must I take at Waterloo in order to qualify for CAP status?

Students who earn CAP status must complete the academic requirements for admission to Pharmacy by the end of the Winter (January – April) term of their second academic year. Waterloo undergraduate science degree programs which allow students to meet this condition are: Life Sciences – with Biology as the subject of major interest; Life Sciences – with Biomedical Sciences as the subject of major interest; or Honours Science. Students are responsible for ensuring that, when selecting electives from within these degree programs, they take all of the courses required for admission to Pharmacy by the end of Year Two. Academic advisors will provide guidance and support in this regard. If students decide to enrol in programs other than those listed above, they will be eligible to apply for the School of Pharmacy in the usual manner.

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6.  How many CAP places are available?

Each year, 24 seats are reserved for CAP students in the PharmD program. 

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7.  What are the eligibility criteria for high school students to be admitted to CAP status?

See Are you eligible for CAP Status?

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8.  How do I apply for CAP status?

See How to apply for CAP Status

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9.  Which grades are considered for decisions on CAP status?

Students must have an admission average of at least 90.0%, as calculated by the Registrar’s Office for the Faculty of Science, to qualify for an interview.  We consider the best available high school grades at the time the interview offers are released.  Ideally, the admission average will be based on final grade 12 course grades plus second semester mid-term course grades (or spring interim grades for full year courses).  Where available, the admission average will be calculated using the top six grade 12 marks including any courses that are required for admission to the Faculty of Science.  If the university has not received all such grades, then the Registrar’s Office will use other course grades that are available.

If a student is awarded CAP status, the student’s final admission average, upon completion of high school, must remain at or above 88.0% in order to retain their CAP status. Students who do not meet this 88.0% final average requirement will not retain their status in CAP, but will still retain their offer of admission to the Faculty of Science (assuming they meet all conditions related to that offer of admission). Students in this situation will then be eligible to apply for the Pharmacy program with the rest of the non-CAP students as early as their second year of post-secondary studies.

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10.  When and where are the interviews conducted for the CAP opportunity?

The CAP interviews, for a select group of applicants, will take place at the School of Pharmacy in May. Only those applicants who participate in the interview process will be considered for admission to CAP status, as this is an important component of the selection process.

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11.  How do I maintain my CAP status?

  • Achieve a final high school admission average of ≥ 88.0%, including any courses required for admission to the Faculty of Science at the University of Waterloo; and
  • Enrol at Waterloo for the first two years of a science degree program, with a full course load each term of 2.5 units (5 lecture courses), exclusive of any associated labs; and
  • Successfully complete, within the first two years of study, all of the courses required for admission to the School of Pharmacy, with a cumulative average of at least 75.0% and a special average (based on the required courses) of at least 75.0%; and
  • Provide evidence of completion of at least 200 hours of (paid or volunteer) experience related to pharmacy by the end of the first (fall) term of Year Two; and
  • Continue involvement and leadership in extracurricular activities in your first two years of university; and
  • Complete a CAP Update form and a CAP Academic Requirement Tracking form at the end of Year One, so that the School of Pharmacy can monitor and provide feedback on your progress; and
  • NEW for students admitted into CAP status and commencing studies in the Faculty of Science in Fall 2017: Achieve satisfactory performance on the Personal Characteristic Assessment (CASPer test) administered online early in the winter term of Year Two; and
  • Achieve satisfactory performance on the Pharmacy admission interview and Fundamental Skills Assessment, conducted at the end of the winter term of Year Two; and
  • Complete the CAP Intent to Register form in Year Two, to confirm your intention to join the PharmD program in Year Three.

CAP students who meet all of the above requirements will have their place assured in the PharmD program.

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12.  What happens if I don’t fulfil the criteria to maintain my CAP status?

Students who do not meet the requirements for maintaining their CAP status will have their status removed. Providing they meet the requirements to progress in the science degree program they are registered in, students can continue their studies toward completion of a Science degree. They would still be eligible to apply to the School of Pharmacy as would any other candidate who does not have CAP status, as early as their second year at Waterloo. Such students’ applications will be considered using the same selection criteria as is applied to the rest of the applicant pool.

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13. When selecting my Waterloo undergraduate Science program, can I select the co-op stream when I also plan to apply separately to CAP?

You are permitted to select the co-op stream when making your undergraduate Science degree program selection, if you would like to have that option available to you. In the event that you are not admitted to CAP status, you could then include co-op work terms as part of your Science undergraduate experience. Note that it would then take you more than two years to qualify for admission to the PharmD program. If you are admitted into CAP status and accept your offer of admission, however, you will be automatically moved to the regular stream of your chosen Science degree program because one of the requirements of CAP students is that they finish their PharmD admission requirements by the end of the winter term of second year. This is not possible if a student is enrolled in the co-op stream. Remember that the PharmD program itself is co-op, with three paid work terms comprising part of the degree.

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14. Are international students eligible to apply for CAP status?

Yes, qualified international students are welcome to apply for CAP status.  For information on the admission requirements for the Faculty of Science, please see:  https://uwaterloo.ca/find-out-more/admissions/admission-requirements

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