A Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D.) program, which is the minimum education to become a pharmacist, typically last four years. The curricula include didactic, laboratory and elective coursework. There are also clinical rotations in areas such as general practice and ambulatory care. To be considered for admission, the Pharmacy College Admission Test is required, along with reference letters and an interview. Certain prerequisites courses must be completed in such areas as chemistry, biology, anatomy, psychology, economics and calculus.
Chicago State University
The Pharm.D. program at this school in Chicago can be completed in four years. Individuals applying to the program must have completed two years of undergraduate study, including courses in anatomy, speech, physics, biology, statistics, chemistry and psychology. Students must also submit their scores from the Pharmacy College Admissions Test (PCAT) as part of the admissions process. Students are required to participate in at least 41 units of professional practice hours at various pharmaceutical facilities; this is mostly accomplished during the fourth year of the program. Courses include pharmacy and healthcare systems, pharmacy physiology, patient assessment, drug action, pharmacy laws, complementary medicine and drug treatment outcomes.
Midwestern University - Downers Grove
The Downers Grove campus of this university offers a Pharm.D. degree program. Admission requirements for this program include submission of PCAT scores and completion of undergraduate prerequisite coursework (e.g., physics, human anatomy, calculus, chemistry, statistics, biology and communications). Individuals accepted into the program must be enrolled as full-time students. Required courses include human physiology, healthcare systems, immunology, dosage form design, infectious diseases, biopharmaceutics, sterile products, drug action, pharmacy management and quality assurance. This program also requires students to compile a reflective portfolio throughout all four years of the program. Although students participate in clinical training throughout the program, the final year is almost completely focused on advanced pharmacy practice.
This university in Chicago offers one of the few Pharm.D. programs in the nation that can be completed in only three years. The school usually accepts about 68 students to this program each year. Courses in the first year cover pharmaceutics, biochemistry, pharmacy law, healthcare systems and pharmacology research. Students can select a number of elective courses during their second year. The third year includes advanced practices experiences, which provide students with 1,440 hours of pharmacy experience.
Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science
This university is located in North Chicago and features a Pharm.D. programs that can be completed in four years. Students take a variety of courses during their first two years, such as pharmacology, healthcare systems, pharmaceutics and medicinal chemistry. The third year allows students to select an elective practice experience, and the fourth year features a series of advanced experiences totaling 1,350 hours.
Southern Illinois University Edwardsville
There are two pharmacy program options at this school in Edwardsville: the standard Pharm.D. program and a joint Pharm.D./Master of Business Administration degree program. Prior to being accepted to either program, students must meet pre-pharmacy prerequisites and have completed undergraduate studies that included courses in anatomy and physiology, physics, chemistry and biology. Courses in the Pharm.D. program cover drug delivery, healthcare systems, drug information, immunology, clinical pharmacokinetics, health promotion and medication management. Students spend three years at the campus in Edwardsville and one year at a clinical location to gain experience.
University of Illinois at Chicago
Located in Chicago, this university offers a Pharm.D. degree program. The school also has a pre-pharmacy program that can fulfill all prerequisite requirements for admission into the Pharm.D. degree program. The Pharm.D. program only begins in the fall semester each year and takes four years to finish. Pharm.D. courses provide instruction in drug delivery systems, drug therapeutics, human physiology, drug actions, pharmacokinetics, pharmacy systems management and pharmacy law. Students are also expected to complete 36 units of experiential training at actual pharmacies or pharmaceutical facilities.
To become a pharmacist, individuals need to obtain a bachelor's degree and Pharm.D. degree. The Illinois General Assembly stated that all practicing pharmacists in the state must be licensed, which requires applicants to possess a pharmacy degree from an approved school, have supervised experience under a licensed pharmacist and pass an approved exam.
School Comparison: At a Glance
|School Name||School Type & Setting||Pharmacy Degrees Offered||Graduate Tuition and Fees (2018-2019)|
|Chicago State University||4-year; public; large city||Doctor of Pharmacy||$8,957 for residents; $14,447 for non-residents*|
|Midwestern University - Downers Grove||4-year; private, not-for-profit; large suburb||Doctor of Pharmacy||$43,883*|
|Roosevelt University||4-year; private, not-for-profit; large city||Doctor of Pharmacy||$20,466*|
|Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science||4-year; private, not-for-profit; large suburb||Doctor of Pharmacy||$35,479*|
|Southern Illinois University Edwardsville||4-year; public; large suburb|| Doctor of Pharmacy,
Doctor of Pharmacy/Master of Business Administration
|University of Illinois at Chicago||4-year; public; large city||Doctor of Pharmacy||$16,792 for in-state students; $26,479 for out-of-state students*|
Source: *NCES College Navigator.