Admission Considerations to UNC’s PharmD Program


University of North Carolina's Enshelman School of Pharmacy pic
University of North Carolina’s Enshelman School of Pharmacy

Sherif Mohamed El-Refai joined the Markey Cancer Center in 2014 to work as an oncology pharmacist. Prior to this stint, Sherif Mohamed El-Refai earned his PharmD at the University of North Carolina’s Enshelman School of Pharmacy.

The doctor of pharmacy (PharmD) is a professional degree for pharmacists that enables an individual to take a licensure exam and practice as a pharmacist in the clinical setting. In evaluating candidates for admission, the University of North Carolina considers several factors.

Prior to seeking admission, the applicant must have already completed two years of undergraduate study, but they may be accepted regardless of whether they will have a baccalaureate degree or not. For those entering without a baccalaureate degree, a transfer equivalency process will need to be undertaken. All math, science, and general education prerequisites should also be completed.

The admissions committee will do a holistic review of the applicant’s academic performance: Pharmacy College Admission Test exam scores, extracurricular activities, community service experiences, and leadership experiences. The applicant’s personal statement is also weighed into the decision.

While prior pharmacy-related or healthcare experience is not a prerequisite, having them in one’s portfolio is recommended. Prior experience in undergraduate or professional research is also a plus.


Duties of an Oncology Pharmacist

An experienced pharmacist, Sherif Mohamed El-Refai is pursuing a PhD in pharmaceutical sciences at the University of Kentucky. Sherif Mohamed El-Refai also works as an oncology pharmacist at the Markey Cancer Center, where he focuses his research on lung cancer.

At the most fundamental level, oncology pharmacists are responsible for tailoring drug therapies for patients with cancer. To develop the most effective pharmaceutical treatments possible, oncology pharmacists create, execute, monitor, and adjust pharmacotherapeutic plans for individual patients. Oncology pharmacists typically coordinate patient care with other health professionals in a clinical setting.

In addition to patient care, oncology pharmacists must stay current on the latest oncology research and evaluate it with a critical eye. Using new information from scholarly publications, oncology pharmacists make recommendations for clinical use and create educational materials for patients. Oncology pharmacists also play a central role in the oncology drug development process, which includes activities such as developing research protocols, collecting data, and recruiting patients.

North Carolina Association of Pharmacists – Benefiting the Profession

An oncology pharmacist at the Markey Cancer Center, Sherif Mohamed El-Refai is pursuing his doctorate in pharmaceutical sciences at the University of Kentucky. To stay current on the issues of his profession, Sherif Mohamed El-Refai maintains membership in the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists and the North Carolina Association of Pharmacists (NCAP).

Established in 2000, the North Carolina Association of Pharmacists unified four different state-based pharmaceutical organizations with a mission to advance, serve, and unite the pharmacy profession. Offering continuing education courses and a professional journal, the NCAP helps members stay at the forefront of the profession through a wide variety of seminars and annual conventions. Open to active and retired pharmacists as well as students both in and out of state, the NCAP offers a wide range of benefits for its members, including discounts on meetings, lobbying on legislative changes, a number of practice tools, and assistance with its members’ pharmacy school loans.