Bachelor's Degrees in Pharmaceutical Science
A bachelor's degree program in pharmaceutical science covers the design and effects of pharmaceuticals, as well as the business of pharmaceutical distribution and regulation. Explore what undergraduate courses you'd take, and review what you could do after graduation, whether it's entering the career field or continuing your education.
What Courses Will I Take to Earn a Bachelor's Degree in Pharmaceutical Sciences?
You'll begin your pharmaceutical sciences program by studying a broad range of foundational sciences, such as biology, chemistry, organic chemistry and physics. Most programs also require calculus. Your pharmaceutical sciences courses will include toxicology, medicinal chemistry, biopharmacy and pharmaceutical manufacturing. You'll take a combination of lecture- and laboratory-based courses, with the latter intended to provide you with hands-on training.
Often, a Bachelor of Science in Pharmaceutical Science (BSPS) program includes internship opportunities, during which you can gain practical work experience that may help you find a job upon graduation. At the bachelor's degree level, programs in pharmaceutical sciences aren't usually offered online. However, should you go on to pursue a graduate degree, online master's degree programs in pharmaceutical sciences are available.
|Common Courses||Pharmaceutical manufacturing, physics, medicinal chemistry, toxicology, organic chemistry|
|Career Options||Pharmaceutical sales and marketing, government regulation, drug research and development, quality assurance|
|Continuing Education Options||Master's degree in pharmaceutical science, M.D., Pharm.D.|
|Median Salary (2018)*||$61,660 (for wholesale and manufacturing sales representatives)|
|Job Outlook (2016-2026)*||5% (for wholesale and manufacturing sales representatives)|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
What Careers Can I Pursue with My Degree?
A bachelor's degree in pharmaceutical sciences prepares you for numerous roles in the pharmaceuticals industry and related organizations; this includes possible careers in private business, non-profit groups and governmental agencies. You can work in drug research and development, a laboratory-based field. You can also work in pharmaceutical sales and marketing, which may be office-based or afford you the chance to travel for your career. Other roles include quality assurance and government regulation.
Note that this degree will not prepare you for licensure as a pharmacist. However, it will prepare you for graduate study that can lead to a career as a pharmacist.
What Graduate Options Can I Pursue?
There are numerous graduate degrees that you can pursue with a bachelor's degree in pharmaceutical sciences. A master's degree in pharmaceutical sciences can further develop your research and technical skills. You can also use a BSPS as a springboard for entry into medical school; your undergraduate coursework will include the pre-medical requirements of most Doctor of Medicine (M.D.) programs.
Alternatively, if you would like to become a pharmacist, you can pursue a Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D.) degree. This degree doesn't require that you have a bachelor's degree, though it does require certain prerequisite, college-level coursework; you'll need to have completed courses in areas such as organic chemistry, biology and physics, which are included in a BSPS program. A Pharm.D. program typically takes four years to complete, which is followed by a residency period. After finishing this training, you can take the required examinations to earn a pharmacist license.