Becoming a pharmacist requires a Doctor of Pharmacy degree (PharmD) earned at a school accredited by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education. Prospective students in Doctor of Pharmacy programs do not always need a bachelor’s degree depending on the school; however, at least 2 years of prerequisite coursework is necessary to gain acceptance into a program.
The following is a list of the top pharmacy schools in the United States.
1. University of California—San Francisco
Located in San Francisco, the school of pharmacy is ranked #1 by US News. The program is highly competitive. Only 122 students are admitted out of over 1500 applicants. The Doctor of Pharmacy degree takes 4 years to complete, which includes general curriculum and also offers students the ability to focus their studies on Pharmaceutical Sciences, Pharmaceutical Care, or Health Services & Policy Research.
Admission requirements include completing prerequisite courses, a minimum GPA of 2.8, and an interview. The tuition for the program is $34,803 per year for residents and $47,048 for non-residents.
2. University of North Carolina—Chapel Hill
Ranked #2 by US News, The Eshelman School of Pharmacy is located in Chapel Hill, NC. The program is known for its world class faculty and offers students the opportunity to gain experience in the school’s Pharmaceutical Care Labs and at nine Area Health Education Centers.
Admission to the PharmD program is extremely competitive and applicants should have an above average undergraduate GPA and PCAT scores. Although a bachelor’s degree is not a necessity, 80 percent of applicants admitted to the program hold a bachelor’s degree. The four year program consists of classroom instruction as well as hands on patient care.
3. University of Minnesota
University of Minnesota’s College of Pharmacy is housed on two different campuses in the Twin Cities and Duluth. One of the top pharmacy schools in the United States, the college is involved in various research and clinical activities including Pharmacy management and economics, Pharmaceutics and drug delivery, and rural pharmacy.
The doctor of pharmacy degree program takes four years to complete and consists of three years of laboratory coursework and one year of clinical experience at various sites throughout Minnesota. The school also offers several PhDs and master’s degrees in various pharmaceutical areas.
4. University of Texas—Austin
One of the best pharmacy schools in the country is located at the University of Texas in Austin. Ranked #4 by US News, the program features exceptional faculty and prepares students for the responsibilities and leadership involved in the pharmacy profession.The Doctor of Pharmacy program utilizes classroom and laboratory components to instruct students in an integrated and problem-based method in the area of disease management.
The PharmD degree also includes an internship for students involving seven, six week rotations that require 40-50 hours per week. In addition to the Doctor of Pharmacy degree, the school offers various graduate degrees in pharmacy for those wishing to conduct research as a career.
5. University of Kentucky
The University of Kentucky’s school of pharmacy is ranked #5 by US News. In addition to the world-class faculty, the school is home to world’s largest pharmacy building which is 286,000 square feet. A close knit student body can be found within the program, and many students have gone on to become leaders and innovators in the field of pharmacy.
The Doctor of Pharmacy program is four years in duration. Three years are spent studying on campus, while the fourth year is spent gaining experience in a supervised setting. The university also offers a master’s and PhD in Pharmaceutical Sciences.
5. University of Wisconsin—Madison
Located in Madison, Wisconsin, the pharmacy program at the University of Wisconsin is one of the top pharmacist schools in the United States. The program is known for its exceptional faculty and training facilities, and also offers students the opportunity to study internationally through the Global Health in Pharmacy Program.
The Doctor of Pharmacy degree is a four year program that consists of coursework and clinical training so that students will be able to comprehend diseases and treatment and the use of appropriate drugs. Attention is also given to patient care and students will learn tools to assist with patients and their needs.
7. Ohio State University
Located in Columbus, Ohio, the College of Pharmacy at Ohio State has been an innovative program since its beginning in 1885. The college strives to make advances in the pharmacy industry and has received more than 40 drug patents in the past five years.
The school offers a Doctor of Pharmacy degree with a class size of 130. During the four year program, students spend three years engage in classroom study which includes an introduction to practical experience. In their last year, students complete 9 months of pharmacy rotations. A bachelor’s degree in Pharmaceutical Sciences (BSPS), several master’s degree programs, and a PhD are also offered at Ohio State.
7. Purdue University
Ranked #7 by US News in 2012, Purdue University’s College of Pharmacy offers prospective pharmacy students the opportunity to study in a college with over 85 faculty members and over 500 clinical clerkship preceptors. The school’s Pharmacy Practice Laboratory enables students to gain experience in a simulated setting.
The Doctor of Pharmacy program at Purdue requires applicants complete prerequisite pharmacy courses, but a bachelor’s degree is not necessary to gain entrance into the program. The program is a structured one, and in order to complete it in four years, students must pass courses their first attempt. Purdue also has graduate degree programs in pharmacy and a bachelor’s degree in Pharmaceutical Science.
7. University of Michigan—Ann Arbor
The University of Michigan’s College of Pharmacy is ranked as a top pharmacy school in the United States. Located in Ann Arbor, the college has a small student body and a large, outstanding faculty who are contributing new theories in the area of patient care.
The Doctor of Pharmacy program at the University of Michigan takes four years to earn a degree. Students must complete prerequisite pharmacy courses prior to admission. The program is intensive and requires a substantial amount of clinical training. The first three years consist of 2 semesters each, and the fourth year is made up of three semesters. The College of Pharmacy also offers a Bachelor’s in Pharmaceutical Sciences, several graduate degree programs, and a dual PharmD/PhD program.
10. University of Arizona
Ranked as the #10 best pharmacy program in the country by US News, the College of Pharmacy at the University of Arizona was established in 1947. The college houses the first poison control center in the state. The school is also home to the Center for Health Outcomes and PharmacoEconomics which studies pharmacoeconomics and was one of the first centers of its kind in the world.
The Doctor of Pharmacy program admits 100 applicants to each entering class, and students spend three years completing coursework and one year engaged in clinical rotations. In addition to the PharmD, a master’s degree and PhD programs in Pharmaceutical Sciences are also offered at the college.