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Bachelor's Degree in Pharmacy: Info for Pharmacy Majors

Students interested in pharmacy-related positions can pursue a bachelor's degree in pharmacy, more commonly known as a bachelor's in pharmaceutical sciences. To become a pharmacist, a Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D.) degree is required.

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Essential Information

A Bachelor of Science in Pharmaceutical Sciences (BSPS) is a four-year program designed for students interested in going on to a Doctor of Pharmacy program, as well as for students who want to work in the drug or health care industries. Applicants should have a background in science, although most programs are open to all students with a high school diploma. Some schools require students to complete an internship or clinical rotations before graduating.


Find schools that offer these popular programs

  • Clinical and Hospital Pharmacy
  • Clinical and Industrial Drug Development
  • Medicinal and Pharmaceutical Chemistry
  • Pharmaceutical Economics
  • Pharmaceutics and Drug Design
  • Pharmacognosy
  • Pharmacy
  • Pharmacy Administration and Regulation
  • Physical Pharmacy and Cosmetic Sciences

Bachelor of Science in Pharmaceutical Sciences

In a Bachelor of Science in Pharmaceutical Sciences (BSPS) program, students learn about the research, testing and manufacturing of pharmaceuticals. Such programs are science-intensive with a focus on chemistry and biology. Though some bachelor's degree programs in pharmaceutical sciences delve into advanced pharmacy topics, most include a strong core of basic sciences. The following are common courses:

  • Organic chemistry
  • Anatomy and physiology
  • Introduction to pharmacology
  • Microbiology
  • Pathophysiology

Popular Career Options

In addition to a career as a pharmacist, which requires further education, graduates with a bachelor's degree in pharmaceutical sciences are qualified for many other careers. These include:

  • Pharmaceutical research
  • Pharmaceutical sales
  • Drug product testing
  • Drug marketing

Employment Outlook and Salary Info

As of 2014, there were 297,100 employed pharmacists, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (www.bls.gov). A majority of these, around 42%, worked in retail pharmacies and drug stores. Between 2014 and 2024, employment in the field is expected to grow 3%. The median annual wage for pharmacists was $121,500 as of May 2015.

Continuing Education Information

Pharmacists are required to hold a license in all states. To earn a license, an individual must complete a Pharm.D. program followed by a series of examinations. These include the North American Pharmacists Licensure Exam (NAPLEX) and, in most places, the Multistate Pharmacy Jurisprudence Exam (MPJE), which are both offered by the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP). These tests evaluate an individual's knowledge of pharmacy skills and laws.

Pharmaceutical sciences bachelor's programs cover research, testing and manufacturing, with a strong concentration in the sciences. Students will have direct experience opportunities through internships and clinical rotations.

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