home | contact us | disclaimer  

Pharmacy Schools: Pharmacy College, Pharmacy Career, Online Pharmacy Degree, Top Pharmacy Schools

Pharmacists work in conjunction with doctors and pharmacy technicians to fill prescriptions and dispense drugs to patients. A pharmacy career requires extensive training in the natural sciences, mathematics, and study of the human body. A pharmacy career may involve direct interaction with patients, or work within the pharmaceutical research industry.

Job Description and Responsibilities of Pharmacy School Graduates for a Pharmacy Career

Graduates of pharmacy schools are expected to:

  • Put patients at ease by explaining health concerns and physician's recommendations
  • Work in conjunction with pharmacy technicians and pharmacy aides
  • Administer vaccinations
  • Complete various administrative duties and learn about insurance paperwork
  • Counsel and answer patient questions
  • Dispense medication
  • Evaluate drug-use patterns and provide advice
  • Maintain confidentiality and health industry codes of ethics

Pharmacy Career Options After Pharmacy School or Pharmacy College

Students of pharmacy school or pharmacy college can choose to work in: 

  • Hospitals

  • Physician offices

  • Chiropractor's offices

  • Group practices

  • Medical laboratories

  • Nursing care facilities

  • Outpatient care centers

  • State and local government health care agencies

  • Retail stores

  • Community pharmacies

Pharmacy Career Specializations

Pharmacy career students and pharmacy school graduates may choose to pursue a variety of specializations such as:

  • Nuclear Pharmacy to administer radioactive drugs during therapy
  • Geriatric Pharmacy to treat diseases and disorders of elderly patients
  • Pediatric Pharmacy to administer drugs to children
  • Nutrition Support Pharmacy to provide specialized plans for optimal nutrition
  • Psychiatric Pharmacy to specialize in treatment for psychiatric disorders

Pharmacy School Training, Certification, and Pharmacy College Degree Programs

Prospective pharmacy school students can obtain training and certification through a formal degree program, or choose to purse an online pharmacy school program. Preparation for a pharmacy school degree generally requires enrollment in a pre-pharmacy program. This can take up to two years of study with a highly-structured curriculum. Most pharmacy college students will enroll in classes such as:

  • General Chemistry
  • Fundamentals of Biology
  • Intro Analysis of Calculus
  • Anatomy & Physiology
  • Intro to Microbiology
  • Organic Chemistry
  • General Physics

The Bachelor of Science in Pharmaceutical Sciences (BSPS) is a four-year degree program offered at the undergraduate level through the School o f Pharmacy. The Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm. D) is a six-year program that enables students to obtain a license in addition to the hands-on experience.

All students interested in pursuing a pharmacy career must obtain a state license. The pharmacy college student or pharmacy school graduate must pass an exam from an accredited pharmacy institution. All States in the United States test pharmacy school students by administering the North American Pharmacist Licensure Exam (NAPLEX). The District of Columbia requires all students to pass the Multistate Pharmacy Jurisprudence Exam (MJPE). California is the only state which does not require extensive reexamination to pharmacists who obtained a license in another state. Most states do require ongoing education in order to renew the pharmacist license, and each state board outlines the details for license renewal, examination procedures, and transfers.

Graduate programs for pharmacy schools can lead to a Master of Science or Ph.D. degree. Continuing education programs may involve non-degree certificate programs in each division. Common continuing education programs for pharmacy students include:

  • Nuclear Pharmacy Certification

  • Diabetes Patient Care Certification

  • Pharmaceutical Care Certification

  • Asthma Patient Care Certification

Online Pharmacy Degree Options with Online Pharmacy Schools

Another option is to enroll in an online pharmacy degree program. An online pharmacy school can offer the flexibility of working on an independent schedule, while still including comprehensive research material for review and study. Obtaining a pharmacy degree online is a valuable option for many students who are returning adult students, have full-time jobs, or are located too far from their prospective pharmacy school.

Accreditation of Pharmacy Schools

Pharmacy school accreditation is conducted through the U.S. Department of Education (USDE) and the Council for Higher Education Association (CHEA). The Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE) sets the standards for the majority of pharmacy programs and pharmacy colleges. Six regional bodies throughout the United States also accredit pharmacy education, and the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy enforces many guidelines and standards.

Pharmacy School and Pharmacy College Graduates Earning Potential and Employment Prospects

With scientific advances increasing in scope, the demand for highly-trained pharmacists is growing at a faster than average pace. The rise in healthcare services, especially for the elderly population, makes a pharmacy career a very valuable employment option. Community pharmacies continue to grow and expand throughout the country, and licensed pharmacists can look forward to a promising, long-term pharmacy career. The median salary for pharmacists was $89,400 in 2004. Earnings vary depending on location, employer, and skill level. Related occupations include:

  • Pharmacy aides

  • Chemists

  • Medical scientists

  • Physicians and surgeons

  • Biological scientists

  • Pharmaceutical sales

  • Pharmaceutical research 


Back to Pharmacy Schools: Pharmacy College, Pharmacy Career, Online Pharmacy Degree