Top 10 Pharmacy Schools in the U.S.

Read about the top ten pharmacy schools in the U.S. which prepare students for work as pharmacists or researchers in hospitals, clinics, research organizations or public health agencies. Learn about the programs at three universities, and find a list of ten of the top pharmacy schools in the country.

School Overviews

Three of the top ten pharmacy schools in the U.S. include the University of California, Ohio State University and Purdue University, all three of which have received high rankings from U.S. News & World Report for the quality of their pharmacy colleges. Each of the three schools offers a Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D.), required of all practicing pharmacists in the U.S., as well as a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in a specialized area. Additional programs, available at the individual schools, can lead to a bachelor's, master's or combined degree.

1. University of California - San Francisco

School Highlight: UCSF's Pharmacy school has an operating budget of $81 million.

The University of California in San Francisco (UCSF) is a public institution that had the best pharmacy school in the country for 2012, according to U.S. News & World Report. The UCSF School of Pharmacy offers a Pharm.D., a Ph.D. and several combined degree programs. The Pharm.D. program allows for concentrations in pharmacy sciences and health policy, pharmaceutical care and management. Students in the Ph.D. program can study biophysics, pharmaceutical sciences, chemistry or medical informatics. The combined degree programs include a dual Pharm.D./Master of Public Health (MPH), Pharm.D./Master of Science (M.S.) in Clinical Research and Pharm.D./Ph.D.

2. Ohio State University in Columbus

School Highlight: Ohio State is home to the Campus Chemical Instrument Center.

As of 2012, Ohio State University's College of Pharmacy ranked tied for seventh-best in the country by U.S. News & World Report. In 2015, the university was also named a 'Best Midwestern College' by The Princeton Review. Ohio State University offers a Bachelor of Science in Pharmaceutical Sciences (BSPS) and an M.S. in Health-System Pharmacy Administration. Students interested in business administration or public health coursework can pursue a combined degree program. The university also offers additional learning opportunities in conjunction with Ohio State University Medical Center.

Ohio State's Pharm.D. program, which requires four years of study, provides students with advanced research-based courses and one year of clinical pharmacy experience. Students enrolled in the Ph.D. program can focus on medicinal chemistry, translational science, pharmacology, pharmaceutics or pharmacy administration.

3. Purdue University in West Lafayette, IN

School Highlight: Purdue offers a Graduate Certificate Program in Regulatory and Quality Compliance.

The Purdue College of Pharmacy at this public research institution tied with Ohio State for seventh on U.S. News & World Report's list of top pharmacy schools in 2012. Two professional degrees are offered, including a BSPS and a Pharm.D. Additional programs can lead to a M.S. or Ph.D.; continuing education courses are also available.

Top Pharmacy Programs

School Name Distinction Location
University of Arizona History of Pharmacy Museum Tucson, AZ
University of Illinois - Chicago Consistently ranks in the top seven of NIH funding among pharmacy schools Chicago, IL
University of Iowa Professional Outreach and Development Societies (PODS) provide pharmacy students with education and networking opportunities Iowa City, IA
University of Kentucky Produces the most students that pass the national pharmacy licensing exam the first time Lexington, KY
University of Michigan - Ann Arbor Vahlteich Medicinal Chemistry Core facility Ann Arbor, MI
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Dual Pharm.D./Master of Business Administration (MBA) program Chapel Hill, NC
University of Southern California Dual Pharm.D. and master's in gerontology program Los Angeles, CA

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