Graduates in this field usually earn a Master of Science (MS) in Pharmaceutical Administration or an MS in Pharmaceutical Sciences with an emphasis on pharmacy administration. These degree programs are sometimes partially available online. It typically takes two years of full-time study to complete an MS in Pharmaceutical Administration program, and a thesis or a master's project is required for graduation. Degrees may even be available partially online.
Universities usually prefer that applicants have a bachelor's degree in pharmacy, pharmaceutical sciences, or another closely related field before entering a master's degree program in pharmaceutical administration. However, any field of study might be acceptable if an applicant can demonstrate a strong interest and aptitude for pharmaceutical administration.
Master's Degrees in Pharmaceutical Administration
A student in a pharmaceutical administration program can expect to take medical and business courses that provide an understanding of the role of the pharmacy and pharmacy managers as they relate to healthcare systems. Most degree programs require students to research, produce and defend a master's project or thesis. Common courses may include:
- Healthcare policy
- Pharmaceutical research
- Drug development
- Healthcare marketing
- Health services management
Popular Career Options
Those who graduate with a master's degree have the skills to work as supervisors in medical settings. They also have the knowledge to analyze data and develop workplace policies. Graduates can find positions at hospitals, pharmacies, clinics, and healthcare management companies. Some common career opportunities may include:
- Pharmacy manager
- Health information manager
- Administrator for hospitals, clinics or pharmacies
- Policy analyst
- Researcher for pharmaceutical or healthcare companies
Employment Outlook and Salary Information
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), medical and health services managers earned a median annual income of $94,500 as of May 2015. The overall employment outlook in the field is strong, with a 17% job growth expected from 2014-2024 (www.bls.gov).
Continuing Education Information
Some colleges and medical universities offer a Ph.D. degree program in pharmaceutical administration. Ph.D. programs are more focused on research related to pharmaceutical and healthcare topics, such as managed healthcare, consumer health behavior, or information systems. Most Ph.D. programs require students to complete a dissertation.
Both a master's in pharmaceutical administration and pharmaceutical science teach students about concepts such as medical information systems and how to work in a pharmacy setting. While graduates can comfortably find work with only a master's degree, many go on to enter a Ph.D. program to complete their education and improve employability.