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Best Pharmaceutical Colleges: List of Top Schools

Learn about two of the best pharmaceutical colleges in the nation. Go over program specifics and rankings for these schools, and also get a look at a list of strong schools offering pharmaceutical programs.

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School Overviews

A Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D.) degree is required to become a licensed pharmacist in the U.S. Applicants to a pharmaceutical program often have two or three years of pre-pharmacy study at the undergraduate level. Most professional pharmaceutical degree programs take four years to complete. The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC) offers programs for aspiring pharmacists as well as researchers and administrators, while the University of Minnesota offers five Ph.D. programs in pharmacy.

Top Pharmaceutical Programs

1. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

U.S. News & World Report ranked UNC's Eshelman School of Pharmacy the 2nd best pharmacy school in 2012. The school offers three degrees for those interested in pharmaceutical study. Students in the 4-year Pharm.D. program complete coursework in pharmaceutical therapy, pharmacy law and immunization, and perform ten months of residency work at the end of their study.

Graduates of a pre-pharmacy or similar program may opt for a Master of Science (M.S.) in Pharmacy, which is ideal for those who wish to go into pharmaceutical administration careers; the degree does not qualify graduates to become a pharmacist. A Pharm.D. combined with a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degree program is available for students who wish to pursue pharmaceutical research.

2. University of Minnesota - Twin Cities

The University of Minnesota (U of M) was named the 3rd best school for pharmacy by U.S. News & World Report in 2012. It is also the only pharmacy school in the state that offers a Pharm.D., as well as five graduate Ph.D. programs in pharmacy.

Students at the school's Twin Cities Pharm.D. program take classes in five areas of pharmaceutical study, including pharmaceutical care and health systems, experimental and clinical pharmacology, medical chemistry and pharmaceutics. Future pharmacists interested in higher levels of administration can combine a Pharm.D. with a Master's of Business Administration (MBA).

A Ph.D. program offers degrees concentrating on pharmaceutics, social and administrative pharmacy, experimental and clinical pharmacy, and medicinal chemistry. Those planning a career in pharmaceutical leadership can pursue an M.S. degree in social and administrative pharmacy or experimental and clinical pharmacy.

Good Schools with a Pharmaceutical Program

College/University Name Distinction Location
Rutgers University - New Brunswick In 2014, U.S. News & World Report listed Rutgers #26 on its list of top public schools. New Brunswick, NJ
University of Arizona The college of pharmacy houses the History of Pharmacy museum, which holds artifacts from drugstores circa 1880 to 1950. Tucson, AZ
University of Florida Students can focus on several areas of research, including medicinal chemistry and pharmacodynamics. Gainesville, FL
University of Michigan - Ann Arbor The pharmacy college's financial aid program gave out 2-3 million dollars in direct student funding each of the past four years. Ann Arbor, MI
University of Minnesota - Twin Cities The university offers several pharmacy courses online. Minneapolis, MN
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill UNC ranked #5 on U.S. News & World Report's 2014 list of top public schools. Chapel Hill, NC
University of Texas at Austin In 2012, U.S. News & World Report ranked UT-Austin #4 on its list of the best pharmaceutical colleges in the country. Austin, TX
University of Washington - Seattle Campus In 2012, the school's chapter of the American Pharmacists Association - Academy of Student Pharmacists was awarded the AAA Division Chapter Achievement Award.Seattle, WA
University of Wisconsin - Madison The university placed #5 on U.S. News & World Report's 2012 list of top pharmacy schools. Madison, WI
Virginia Commonwealth University VCU offers BEST - Broadening Experiences for Scientific Training - for pharmacy students to gain professional development. Richmond, VA
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