What Should Aspiring Pharmacists Major In?

Pharmacists are healthcare workers who distribute prescription drugs to individuals from a community, retail or hospital pharmacy. Aspiring pharmacists can study in an undergraduate pre-pharmacy program, or they can focus on the sciences.

View 7 Popular Schools »

Pharmacy Major

Students considering pharmacy careers should look for universities that offer pre-pharmacy programs; however, the student's official major will likely be chemistry or general science. The pre-pharmacy program can prepare students to transfer directly into a 4-year Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D.) graduate program, which may be done after the student's sophomore year. Pre-pharmacy programs can also allow students to work toward their bachelor's degree in general science.

Pre-pharmacy programs differ by college and university, but most programs require classes in general chemistry, organic chemistry, chemistry laboratory classes, biology, statistics, physiology, microbiology, physics and economics. In addition to these classes, the student will likely be taking typical courses associated with a bachelor's degree, such as English, history and art electives.

Pharm.D. Program

These programs are designed for future pharmacists, and students typically cannot enter them before their junior year of college. The Pharm.D. program should not be confused with a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Pharmacy, which is meant for students who aspire to work as researchers and professors at the university level. Pharm.D. programs prepare students for careers as pharmacists.

Curriculum

The courses in Pharm.D. programs are designed around the sciences, math and aspects of drug therapy, which will be required knowledge for working as a pharmacist. Other topics of study may include physiology, medicinal chemistry, pharmaceutical sciences, biochemistry and pharmacy.

Practical Experience

During the pharmacist student's final year, he or she may be required to complete a series of rotations at a pharmacy and other healthcare facilities associated with his or her major. Some Pharm.D. graduates go on to residency and fellowship programs, as well. These are often required for those wishing to work in a clinical setting.

Pharmacist: Overview

In addition to drug distribution, pharmacists may conduct patient advising and deal with physicians to help them understand the interactions, dosages, selection and side effects of the prescription drugs they've prescribed. Besides these main responsibilities, pharmacists may specialize in specific areas, such as nutrition, cancer, geriatrics and psychiatric pharmacy, which is used to treat mental illnesses and disorders.

Career Information

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (www.bls.gov), pharmacists earned a median annual income of $119,280 in May 2013. A 14% increase in jobs was projected for pharmacists between 2012 and 2022, per the bureau.

Show me popular schools

Related to What Should Aspiring Pharmacists Major In?

  • Related
  • Recently Updated
  • Popular
Assistant Pharmacist: Salary, Duties and Requirements

Assistant pharmacists require little formal education. Learn about the education, job duties, salary and job growth predictions...

Pediatric Pharmacist: Job Description & Requirements

See what pediatric pharmacists do. Learn about the education and training required for employment. Discover the job prospects...

Clinical Pharmacist Career Information

Read on to discover what a clinical pharmacist does. See what the education and training requirements are for this job, and...

Pharmacy Technician: Educational Overview

Pharmacy technicians help pharmacists with patients and their prescriptions. This article discusses the education,...

Talking Shop: A Retail Store Transforms a College Curriculum

Popular Schools

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must be 21 years of age or older and have completed some college or 24 years of age or older and a high school graduate for a Bachelor's degree
    • Masters degree applicants must have a Bachelors degree
    • Doctorate degree applicants must have a Masters degree
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

    What is your highest level of education?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must complete an application online and submit transcripts for their highest degree earned.
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

    Online Programs

    What is your highest level of education?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must be a high school graduate or have completed GED
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

    What is your highest level of education completed?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must be a high school graduate or have completed GED
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

    What is your highest level of education?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must be a high school graduate or have completed GED
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

    Which degree level do you plan to pursue?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • A minimum 2.0 GPA
    • Submit high school transcript(s)
    • Submit college transcript(s) (if applicable)
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

    Online Programs

    • Bachelor
        • B.S. in Health Sciences

    What is your highest level of education?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must be a high school graduate or have completed GED
    • Currently not accepting applications from Texas residents
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

    Online Programs

    • Bachelor
        • Bachelor of Science - Healthcare Management With a Dental Hygiene Emphasis

    Which subject are you interested in?

Other Schools:

  • School locations:
    • Iowa (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at University of Iowa include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Medical and Health Professions
      • Clinical Laboratory Science Professions
      • Communication Disorders Sciences
      • Dental
      • Health and Fitness
      • Medical Diagnostic and Treatment Professions
      • Medical Residency Programs
      • Mental Health Services
      • Nursing Professions
      • Pharmaceutical Sciences and Administration
        • Clinical and Hospital Pharmacy
        • Medicinal and Pharmaceutical Chemistry
        • Pharmacy
      • Public Health and Safety
      • Therapeutic and Rehabilitation Professions
  • School locations:
    • Connecticut (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at University of Connecticut include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Medical and Health Professions
      • Clinical Laboratory Science Professions
      • Communication Disorders Sciences
      • Dental
      • Medical Administrative Services
      • Medical and Health Preparatory Sciences
      • Medical Assisting
      • Medical Diagnostic and Treatment Professions
      • Nursing Professions
      • Nutrition Services
      • Pharmaceutical Sciences and Administration
        • Pharmaceutics and Drug Design
        • Pharmacy
      • Public Health and Safety
      • Therapeutic and Rehabilitation Professions
  • School locations:
    • Utah (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at University of Utah include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: Post Master's Certificate, Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Medical and Health Professions
      • Clinical Laboratory Science Professions
      • Communication Disorders Sciences
      • Health and Fitness
      • Medical Administrative Services
      • Medical Diagnostic and Treatment Professions
      • Medical Residency Programs
      • Mental Health Services
      • Nursing Professions
      • Nutrition Services
      • Pharmaceutical Sciences and Administration
        • Medicinal and Pharmaceutical Chemistry
        • Pharmaceutics and Drug Design
        • Pharmacy
        • Pharmacy Administration and Regulation
      • Public Health and Safety
      • Therapeutic and Rehabilitation Professions

Popular Schools

Avg. Wages For Related Jobs

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics