Pharmacist School RequirementsMajors Overview February 15, 2013
Physicians rely on certain health professionals to ensure that the right type and amount of medication is distributed; those professionals are known as pharmacists. To select an appropriate pharmacy program, students should do research on career opportunities and licensing requirements.
How to Select a Pharmacist Program
Aspiring pharmacists are required to complete a Doctor of Pharmacy program from a school that carries accreditation from the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE). To practice their profession, aspiring pharmacists are required to obtain licensure. Apart from a Pharm. D. program, majority of states require students to pass two tests that the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy administers. While knowledge of pharmacy law is tested by the Multistate Pharmacy Jurisprudence Exam, pharmacy skills are tested by the North American Pharmacist Licensure Exam. Therefore, prospective students should conduct research about the programs graduates’ success rate on these examinations to discover the programs that provide the best preparation for licensure.
Before students can receive their license, they have to complete a minimum number of required clinical experience hours. Potential students should seek programs, which offers clinical experience in a variety of environments such as community pharmacies and hospitals, so once students graduate from the program they will be well informed about employment opportunities. Students who want to start their own pharmacies after they graduate could select dual degree programs by choosing schools that offer candidates Master of Business Administration along with Pharm.D. program.
Overview of Pharmacy School Program
Coursework in Pharm.D. programs include subject areas such as immunology, biochemistry and pharmacology. These programs take four years to complete and train students in topics such as pharmaceutical law, ethics and clinical practice. Some students will complete a pharmacy residency program because they are able to gain specialty training in different areas of pharmaceutical science such as nuclear pharmacy, geriatric pharmacy and psychiatric pharmacy. Pharm.D. programs applicants need to take the Pharmacy College Admission Test (PCAT) and fulfill course prerequisites. Majority of programs require sixty to ninety credits of prerequisites coursework that will cover physics, math, composition, biology, and chemistry. Some course requirements may be excused for students who possess an undergraduate degree that is closely related to their major.