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,
|University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill||Chapel Hill, NC||4-year, public||Doctoral||$11,083.33 in-state,
|University of Minnesota||Minneapolis, MN||4-year, public||Doctoral||$12,870 in-state,
|University of Texas at Austin||Austin, TX||4-year, public||Doctoral||$4,692 in-state,
|University of Kentucky||Lexington, KY||4-year, public||Doctoral||$27,250 in-state,
|University of Wisconsin-Madison||Madison, WI||4-year, public||Doctoral||$18,008 in-state,
$25,740 for Minnesota residents,
|Ohio State University||Columbus, OH||4-year, public||Doctoral||$21,168|
|Purdue University||West Lafayette, IN||4-year, public||Doctoral||$11,013 in-state,
|University of Michigan-Ann Arbor||Ann Arbor, MI||4-year, public||Doctoral||$12,571 in-state,
|University of Arizona||Tucson, AZ||4-year, public||Doctoral|| $12,700 in-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.