Pharmacist Schooling Requirements

Pharmacy programs are available through 4-year colleges and universities. Students interested in pursuing a career in pharmacy must earn a Doctor of Pharmacy from a school accredited by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education.

How to Choose a Pharmacy Program

Before beginning professional practice, pharmacists must satisfy various licensing requirements, which includes completing a Pharm.D. program. These programs are typically four years in length and include both lecture-based and hands-on training components. Some schools offer dual-degree programs that allow students to earn a Master of Business Administration alongside their Pharm.D.

Considerations when searching for schools with pharmacy programs:

  • Search for a school accredited by the ACPE.
  • Inquire about graduates' success rate on tests administered by the National Association of Board of Pharmacy.
  • Seek programs that provide clinical experience in a variety of settings.

Pharmacy School Program Overview

Pharm. D.

Pharm.D. programs include courses in:

  • Pharmacology
  • Biochemistry
  • Immunology

Prospective pharmacists spend four years studying clinical practice, ethics and pharmaceutical law. After graduating, some complete pharmacy residency programs to gain specialty training in various areas of pharmaceutical science, such as psychiatric pharmacy, geriatric pharmacy or nuclear pharmacy.

Applicants to Pharm.D. programs need to fulfill course prerequisites and take the Pharmacy College Admission Test (PCAT). Most programs require 60-90 credits of prerequisite coursework covering chemistry, biology, composition, math and physics. Students that hold bachelor's degrees in a closely related major may be exempt from some course requirements.

Top 10 Schools with Pharmacy Programs

College/University Institution Type
University of California - San Francisco 4-year, Public
University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill 4-year, Public
University of Minnesota 4-year, Public
University of Texas - Austin 4-year, Public
University of Kentucky 4-year, Public
University of Wisconsin - Madison 4-year, Public
Ohio State University 4-year, Public
Purdue University 4-year, Public
University of Michigan Ann Arbor 4-year, Public
University of Arizona 4-year, Public

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