Pharmacist Schooling Requirements

Pharmacists are health professionals who follow instructions from physicians regarding the amount and type of medication to distribute. Research licensing requirements and career opportunities in order to choose an appropriate pharmacy program.

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How to Choose a Pharmacy Program

Pharmacy programs are available through 4-year colleges and universities.

Summary of Important Considerations

  • Accreditation
  • Licensure requirements
  • Clinical experience opportunities
  • Dual degree options

Accreditation

Students interested in pursuing a career in pharmacy must earn a Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D.) from a school accredited by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE).

Licensure Requirements

Before beginning professional practice, pharmacists must satisfy various licensing requirements. In addition to holding a PharmD., candidates in most states must pass two tests administered by the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy. The North American Pharmacist Licensure Exam tests pharmacy skills, and the Multistate Pharmacy Jurisprudence Exam tests knowledge of pharmacy law. Therefore, students may want to ask programs about their graduates' success rate on these exams to find out which programs are providing the best preparation for licensure.

Clinical Experience Opportunities

Applicants must also complete a minimum number of clinical experience hours before receiving their license. Prospective students may want to seek programs that provide clinical experience in a variety of settings, such as hospitals and community pharmacies, so that they will be more informed about employment opportunities upon graduation.

Dual Degree Options

Students who aspire to own and manage their own stores may want to consider schools that offer dual-degree programs that allow students to earn a Master of Business Administration alongside their Pharm.D.

Pharmacy School Program Overview

Pharm. D.

Pharm.D. programs include courses in:

  • Pharmacology
  • Biochemistry
  • Immunology

Prospective pharmacists spend four years studying clinical practice, ethics and pharmaceutical law. After graduating, some complete pharmacy residency programs to gain specialty training in various areas of pharmaceutical science, such as psychiatric pharmacy, geriatric pharmacy or nuclear pharmacy.

Applicants to Pharm.D. programs need to fulfill course prerequisites and take the Pharmacy College Admission Test (PCAT). Most programs require 60-90 credits of prerequisite coursework covering chemistry, biology, composition, math and physics. Students that hold bachelor's degrees in a closely related major may be exempt from some course requirements.

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Online Schools to Become a Pharmacist: How to Choose

Popular Schools

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must live within close proximity to school locations
    • Must be graduated from high school by 2011
    School locations:
    • Florida (3 campuses)
    • Minnesota (2 campuses)
    • New Jersey (1)
    • New York (2)
    • Texas (3)

    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?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must be 18 years of age or older
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

    Distance Learning Programs

    What is your highest level of education?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must be at least 16 years old and have a high school diploma or GED.
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

    Online Programs

    • Master
        • MBA --Healthcare Management

    What is your highest level of education?

Other Schools:

  • School locations:
    • Florida (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at University of Florida include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: Post Master's Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Medical and Health Professions
      • Communication Disorders Sciences
      • Dental
      • Health and Fitness
      • Medical Administrative Services
      • Medical Diagnostic and Treatment Professions
      • Medical Residency Programs
      • Mental Health Services
      • Nursing Professions
      • Pharmaceutical Sciences and Administration
        • Pharmacy
      • Public Health and Safety
      • Therapeutic and Rehabilitation Professions
      • Veterinary Medicine and Clinical Sciences
  • School locations:
    • Georgia (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at University of Georgia include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Medical and Health Professions
      • Communication Disorders Sciences
      • Health and Fitness
      • Nutrition Services
      • Pharmaceutical Sciences and Administration
        • Pharmacy
        • Pharmacy Administration and Regulation
      • Public Health and Safety
      • Therapeutic and Rehabilitation Professions
      • Veterinary Medicine and Clinical Sciences
  • 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:
    • Pennsylvania (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Temple University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: First Professional Certificate, Post Master's Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Medical and Health Professions
      • Communication Disorders Sciences
      • Dental
      • Medical Administrative Services
      • Medical Residency Programs
      • Nursing Professions
      • Pharmaceutical Sciences and Administration
        • Clinical and Industrial Drug Development
        • Medicinal and Pharmaceutical Chemistry
        • Pharmaceutics and Drug Design
        • Pharmacy
      • Podiatry - DPM
      • Public Health and Safety
      • Therapeutic and Rehabilitation Professions
  • School locations:
    • Tennessee (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at The University of Tennessee include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Medical and Health Professions
      • Clinical Laboratory Science Professions
      • Communication Disorders Sciences
      • Dental
      • Health and Fitness
      • Medical Administrative Services
      • Medical Residency Programs
      • Nursing Professions
      • Nutrition Services
      • Pharmaceutical Sciences and Administration
        • Medicinal and Pharmaceutical Chemistry
        • Pharmacy
      • Public Health and Safety
      • Therapeutic and Rehabilitation Professions
      • Veterinary Medicine and Clinical Sciences

Popular Schools

Avg. Wages For Related Jobs

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics