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Pharmaceutical Sciences Colleges and Schools in the U.S.

Students who are interested in pharmaceutical science may enroll in an undergraduate or graduate-level program in the field, but only a Doctor of Pharmacy degree allows graduates to gain licensure and qualify as a registered pharmacist. Read on to find out more about formal education in pharmaceutical science.

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Pharmaceutical sciences programs are offered at the bachelor's, master's and doctoral degree levels. Programs can be found at traditional universities and pharmacy-dedicated schools.

10 Schools with Pharmaceutical Sciences Programs

The following schools offer pharmaceutical science programs:

College/University Location Institution Type Degrees Offered Tuition (In-state, 2015-2016)*
University of Southern California Los Angeles, California 4-year, Private not-for-profit Master's, Doctoral $39,984
CUNY York College Jamaica, NY 4-year, Public Bachelor's $6,748
Purdue University West Lafayette, IN 4-year, Public Bachelor's, Doctoral $10,002 undergrad, $9,208 grad
University of Michigan Ann Arbor, MI 4-year, Public Bachelor's, Doctoral $13,856 undergrad, $20,638 grad
University of Wisconsin-Madison Madison, Wisconsin 4-year, Public Doctoral $10,728
Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences Albany, NY 4-year, Private not-for-profit Bachelor's, Master's $31,081 undergrad, $20,520 grad
University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, NC 4-year, Public Master's, Doctoral $9,143
University of Colorado - Denver Denver, CO 4-year, Public Doctoral $6,516
Oregon State University Corvallis, Oregon 4-year, Public Doctoral $12,150
Nova Southeastern University Fort Lauderdale, FL 4-year, Private not-for-profit Master's, Doctoral $16,760

Source: *National Center for Education Statistics

College Selection Criteria

Students should consider the following when choosing a school for pharmaceutical sciences:

  • It can be helpful to find out about the school's laboratory facilities in order to ensure that students have access to industry-standard equipment and top-notch research technologies.
  • Prospective undergraduates who know they want to go to graduate school in the future may look for programs that confer a dual BS/MS degree.
  • Students who are considering master's degree programs should check to see if the school offers separate tracks for industry-bound students and future researchers, in order to make sure that the program coincides with their career interests.
  • Prospective students who are considering research-focused graduate programs should make sure that there are faculty members with whom they share research interests who may act as dissertation or thesis advisors.

Bachelor's Degree Programs

Bachelor of Science (BS) in Pharmaceutical Science programs provide a broad introduction to the field of pharmacy through both lecture- and laboratory-based studies. In addition to general education classes, students take basic coursework in biology and chemistry, and then build on this foundation with more advanced electives in topics such as drug discovery, pharmacokinetics and toxicology. Students also learn about production-specific subjects like manufacturing, quality assurance and legal regulations. Graduates are prepared to enter into the industry or advance to graduate or professional school, but they are not qualified to take the state board examination to become a registered pharmacist.

Master's Degree Programs

Master of Science (MS) in Pharmaceutical Science programs give students the chance to pursue more advanced studies in the field. In these two-year programs, students may be able to choose a specialization, such as pharmacology or pharmaceutics. At some schools, students are also able to choose between thesis and non-thesis tracks. The thesis option is for students who want to conduct advanced research in order to prepare for careers in scientific research, while the non-thesis option is intended for those who want to go into the industry immediately after graduation. Graduates can find work in areas such as human resource management, policy development and administration within the pharmacy field.

Doctoral Degree Programs

Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) programs educate students in topics such as pharmacotherapy, disease process and patient monitoring and prepare graduates for licensure. Those wishing to conduct advanced research in the field can pursue a PhD in Pharmaceutical Sciences program. PhD programs allow graduate students to conduct high-level scientific investigations in the area of pharmaceutical sciences, leading to a final dissertation and defense. Students also gain teaching experience in order to prepare for future jobs as university professors.

Pharmaceutical science programs are available at the undergraduate and graduate degree levels. Students may want to consider their career goals when choosing between programs.

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