How Can I Earn a Pharmacy Practice Degree?

If you are you interested in becoming a practicing pharmacist, you'll need to learn about the ways in which medicinal drugs interact with the human body. This article discusses education and licensure requirements for pharmacists. Read on for further details. Schools offering Pharmacy Technology degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Earning a Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D.) Degree

If you want to work as a pharmacist, you will first need to earn the Pharm.D. degree. Prior to entering a Pharm.D. program, you'll need to complete at least two years of undergraduate study. However, some programs may require a bachelor's degree. While there is no specific major required for admission, you'll need to take certain prerequisite courses such as biology, chemistry, physics, microbiology and anatomy.

Your Pharm.D. program will last four years. During this time, you'll learn how to distribute drugs, manage a pharmacy and educate patients about medicine. Your classes might include:

  • Pharmacotherapy
  • Pharmacy law and ethics
  • Toxicology
  • Principles of diagnosis
  • Pharmaceutical chemistry
  • Drug metabolism
  • Health economics

The program will also have clinical, or Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experience (APPE) requirements. The fourth year of many Pharm.D. programs is dedicated to these hands-on, supervised clinical experiences. During this time, you'll work at clerkship sites and apply what you've learned in the classroom to pharmacy environments. You may rotate through several different pharmacies before completing your APPEs.

Important Facts About Degrees in Pharmacy Practice

Prerequisites Pharmacy College Admissions Test (PCAT) scores may be required
Online Availability Fully online Pharm.D. degrees available
Possible Careers Pharmacy professor, pharmacist, clinical researcher, regulatory affairs manager, pharmaceutical sales director, drug analyst, manufacturing technologist, healthcare administrator
Continuing Education Master of Science degrees in academic pharmaceutical areas (such as Pharmaceutical Outcomes & Policy) and professional certifications available

Consider Completing a Residency

If you would like to work in a clinical setting, you may need to complete a residency after graduating from pharmacy school. Residency programs typically take one to two years to complete. As a resident, you'll have more opportunities for hands-on, supervised practice in the specialty of your choice. Some of the residency programs you may choose from include pediatrics, critical care, community practice and ambulatory care. You'll rotate through a variety of clinical experiences related to your chosen specialty.

In addition to completing clinical rotations, you may attend classes, conferences and seminars. Your program may also require you to complete a research project and act as a preceptor to students.

Earn Your License

Before you can become a practicing pharmacist, you'll need to become licensed in your state. To earn your license, you must hold a Pharm.D. degree from an accredited school, meet professional experience requirements and pass a series of qualifying examinations. In most states, you'll need passing scores on both the North American Pharmacist Licensure Examination (NAPLEX) and the Multistate Pharmacy Jurisprudence Examination (MPJE). The National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP), which administers both the NAPLEX and the MPJE, reports that if you live in Arkansas, California, Virginia, Guam, Puerto Rico or the Virgin Islands, you won't need to take the MPJE (www.nabp.org). However, these states and territories administer their own jurisprudence examinations.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

  • 1. Degree Options:
The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

Popular Schools

  • The George Washington University

    The George Washington University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at The George Washington University:

    • Master
    • Bachelor Degrees

    Online Programs Available

  • Independence University

    Independence University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Independence University:

    • Master

    Online Programs Available

  • Penn Foster High School

    Penn Foster High School responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Penn Foster High School:

    Online Programs Available

  • Fortis College

    Fortis College responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Fortis College:

    • Certificates

    Campus Locations:

    • Maryland: Towson
  • Penn Foster

    Penn Foster responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Penn Foster:

    • Certificates

    Online Programs Available

  • Grand Canyon University

    Grand Canyon University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Grand Canyon University:

    • Doctoral
    • Master
    • Bachelor Degrees

    Online Programs Available

  • Regent University

    Regent University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Regent University:

    • Doctoral
    • Master

    Online Programs Available

  • Purdue University Global

    Purdue University Global responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Purdue University Global:

    Online Programs Available

  • Southern New Hampshire University

    Southern New Hampshire University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Southern New Hampshire University:

    • Master

    Online Programs Available

  • Keiser University

    Keiser University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Keiser University:

    • Associate Programs

    Online Programs Available

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