A pharmacist is a licensed health professional who provides information regarding medication to consumers and health care professionals. Pharmacists are ‘medication experts,’ concerned with disease state management and safeguarding the public’s health in matters relating to medication distribution and use.
The necessary prerequisite courses vary significantly among institutions. However, most pharmacy schools require:
1 Year Biology — Bio 111, 112
1 Year Inorganic Chemistry — Chem 111, 241
1 Year Organic Chemistry — Chem 221, 321
1 or 2 Semesters Physics — Physics 109 and 110, Physics 111 and 112 **
1 or 2 Semesters Calculus — Math 111 and Math 112
1 or 2 Semesters Composition — Eng 101 **
**There is considerable variation among pharmacy schools with regard to the amount of Physics & English required. The Purdue Pharmaceutical program requires: Anatomy & Physiology (Biology 321 & Biology 315, respectively), 2 semesters of Calculus (MA 111 and 112), Economics (ECO 101) and Microbiology (BIO 325), in addition to the above courses. See Purdue Pharmacy School for more information. It is important to visit individual school admission sites to understand the specific prerequisites.
Students can learn more about core prerequisite course requirements for each pharmacy school at the Association of Colleges of Pharmacy (AACP) web site.
There is a centralized application process for pharmacy school programs (The Pharmacy College Application Service (PharmCAS). The standardized test required for entrance into approximatley half of the pharmacy school programs is the Pharmacy College Admission Test (PCAT).
Typically, a student needs a minimum GPA of 3.3 on a 4.0 scale to be a competitive candidate.
The Education and Degree: The Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D.) degree program requires at least 2-years of specific pre-professional (undergraduate) coursework followed by 4-academic years (or 3-calendar years) of professional study. Pharmacy colleges and schools may accept students directly from high school for both the pre-pharmacy and pharmacy curriculum, or after completion of the college course prerequisites. The majority of students enter a pharmacy program with 3 or more years of college experience. College graduates who enroll in a pharmacy program must complete the full 4-academic years (or 3-calendar) years of professional study to earn the Pharm.D. degree.
After graduating from pharmacy school, an increasing number of students are seeking residency training in pharmacy practice. Over 400 pharmacy residency programs are offered in hospitals, community pharmacies, and some specialized facilities. These residency programs may be taken in general pharmacy practice, clinical pharmacy practice, or other specialty areas depending upon personal interests and specific career requirements. Completion of a pharmacy residency is sometimes a requirement for employment in hospital pharmacy practice or as clinical faculties at pharmacy schools.
Contact Jill Rogers, the Wabash Pre-Health Profession’s advisor, with questions.