The Diploma in Pharmacy Administration is no longer commonly offered. More often, master's and Ph.D. programs in pharmacy administration are available. Admission requirements vary; at a minimum, master's degree programs require a bachelor's degree with at least a 3.0 GPA, submission of GRE test scores, two to three letters of recommendation, a personal statement, and above-average grades in the sciences. Some programs may require students to have earned a bachelor's degree in pharmacy or a Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D.) degree.
Doctoral programs require a master's degree in a relevant field to be accepted, although higher-level degrees (such as a Pharm.D.), standardized test results, and up to four letters of recommendation are not uncommon requirements.
Master of Science in Pharmacy Administration
Students develop decision-making skills and perform research in such topics as the role of pharmacy in public policy, medication error prevention, and the best way to manage the pharmaceutical needs of patients. Other areas of study include epidemiology, quantitative reasoning, statistics, and the application of public health issues to other disciplines, such as biology, environmental science, and social sciences.
Some master's programs allow students to focus on either clinical trials or take a social science approach, studying pharmacy administration from a social, behavioral, or economic point of view. Master's programs may have thesis and non-thesis options.
The coursework in a pharmacy administration master's program focuses on preparing students for decision-making and administrative roles within either pharmaceutical or healthcare organizations. Here are some courses a student can expect to take:
- Human resource management
- Marketing health services
- Financial management
- Pharmaceutical analysis
- Pharmaceutical sciences
Ph.D. in Pharmacy Administration
A doctoral program in pharmacy administration generally focuses on research. Graduates of this program can work in the pharmacy industry, government agencies, pharmacy associations, or as educators in the field. Researchers devote themselves to improvements in areas such as marketing or pharmacoeconomics, a discipline that examines the effects and cost of drugs. Passing an exam and writing a dissertation are generally required to complete the program.
The curriculum in a doctoral program is designed to prepare students to become leaders in the field of pharmacy administration as directors and administrators in government and healthcare organizations. Students are also trained to take leadership positions in academia as university professors. Students in a Ph.D. program may take classes in:
- Principles of community health
- Statistical analysis
- Pharmacy administration
- Drug use management
- Healthcare marketing
Students who have earned a master's degree in pharmacy administration are qualified for many jobs in the pharmaceutical industry. They can work in places such as chain pharmacy organizations, government agencies, and pharmacy associations. Jobs for these graduates include:
- Marketing researcher
- Pharmaceutical sales representative
- Hospital administrator
- Nursing home manager
Employment Outlook and Salary Info
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the projected growth for pharmacist jobs was expected to show little or no change from 2018-2028, at 0%. According to a 2018 survey performed by the BLS, the annual mean salary of pharmaceutical industry employees employed in general medical and surgical hospitals was $125,660. Pharmaceutical managers and administrators who worked for the local government made an average yearly salary of $130,510 (www.aaps.org).
While there are no pharmacy administration diploma programs at most colleges and universities, a master's or doctoral degree in the field can teach students the skills needed to organize and direct healthcare groups. Completing these degrees opens up many high-level leadership positions within both the public and private sectors.