Pharmacist Schools, Colleges, and Universities in the U.S.

All pharmacists must hold a Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D.) degree from an accredited school and pass a licensure exam before they can practice. Universities around the country provide training for aspiring pharmacists.

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After earning a bachelor's degree and fulfilling undergraduate prerequisite course requirements, aspiring pharmacists can enroll in a Pharm.D. program. These programs provide the education necessary for state licensure; from there, they can start practicing in the field or enroll in a more advanced residency program.

Top 10 Pharmacy Schools

These accredited schools offer Pharm.D. programs, and some offer specific areas of study.

College/University Location Institution Type Degrees Offered Tuition and Fees (2016-2017)*
University of California - San Francisco San Francisco, CA 4-year, public Doctoral $38,151 in-state,
$50,396 out-of-state
University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill Chapel Hill, NC 4-year, public Doctoral $11,083.33 in-state,
$22,315.33 out-of-state
University of Minnesota Minneapolis, MN 4-year, public Doctoral $12,870 in-state,
$18,840 out-of-state
University of Texas at Austin Austin, TX 4-year, public Doctoral $4,692 in-state,
$8,927 out-of-state
University of Kentucky Lexington, KY 4-year, public Doctoral $27,250 in-state,
$49,480 out-of-state
University of Wisconsin-Madison Madison, WI 4-year, public Doctoral $18,008 in-state,
$25,740 for Minnesota residents,
$32,808 out-of-state
Ohio State University Columbus, OH 4-year, public Doctoral $21,168
Purdue University West Lafayette, IN 4-year, public Doctoral $11,013 in-state,
$20,143 out-of-state
University of Michigan-Ann Arbor Ann Arbor, MI 4-year, public Doctoral $12,571 in-state,
$21,008 out-of-state
University of Arizona Tucson, AZ 4-year, public Doctoral $12,700 in-state,
$32,400 out-of-state

Source: *School websites

School Selection Criteria

Students should keep these considerations in mind when choosing a school:

  • Students should make sure that the program is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE).
  • Prospective students may want to find out about the pass rates for graduates of the school on the two tests that all pharmacists are required to take for licensure: the National Pharmacist Licensure Exam (NAPLEX) and the Multistate Pharmacy Jurisprudence Examination (MPJE).
  • Students who plan to pursue more advanced education after they graduate may want to look at residency placement rates in their field of interest.
  • For students who are interested in opening their own pharmacy, it may be helpful to find a program that allows candidates to pursue a dual master's degree in business.

Doctor of Pharmacy Programs

In Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D.) programs, students take advanced courses in pharmacological chemistry and the biological sciences. In addition, they gain extensive hands-on experiences in clinical and pharmacy settings. There are also schools that allow students to conduct research in the field. In total, most programs take four years to complete, although there are some that offer three-year accelerated options or six-year combined bachelor's/Pharm.D. degrees. Upon completion, graduates can take the NAPLEX and MPJE tests in order to start practicing in the field or advance to residency programs. They may also take professional certification exams in specialty areas such as diabetes, nutrition or oncology.

Students interested in working in pharmacy must earn a Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) degree from an accredited school. When selecting a pharmacist school at which to prepare, prospective students should look for accredited programs where graduate have high success rates on licensure exams.

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