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How do I Determine the Top Pharmacy Schools?

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  • Written By: G. Chung
  • Edited By: C. Wilborn
  • Last Modified Date: 21 September 2018
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Finding the top pharmacy school can seem like a daunting task with the multitude of websites out there touting school rankings. There are a few bona fide resources available to you that can help you make the right determination. Armed with personal educational goals, rankings, and individual program information, you will be able to find the top pharmacy schools for you.

U.S. News and World Report has been a leader in ranking educational programs for years. Their rankings for top pharmacy schools are based on peer evaluations sent to deans, other administrators, and/or faculty at accredited degree programs. Respondents were asked to rate the academic quality of the programs on a 5-point scale: outstanding (5), strong (4), good (3), adequate (2), or marginal (1). Only fully accredited programs in good standing with the highest average scores appear in the rankings.

It is important that you use the rankings to supplement your quest to find the top pharmacy schools. What might be the best-ranked pharmacy school in the country may not be the best pharmacy school for you. It is imperative that you consider factors that affect your own educational needs, such as program content, location, faculty, facilities, experiential training opportunities, student demographics, and cost.

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There are different program configurations to become a pharmacist. In order to earn a Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D.) degree, you will need at least two years of undergraduate work, followed by four years of pharmacy study in a professional capacity. Most pharmacy students enter pharmacy degree programs after at least three years of college, though there are also some degree programs, called “0-6” and “Early Assurance” programs that accept students after they graduate high school. Again, it is your responsibility to understand what your own educational goals and needs are in order to find your top pharmacy schools.

The American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy® (AACP) is a great resource for anyone looking for top pharmacy schools in the US. It has a wealth of resources including a pharmacy school locator, which links you to each individual program, so that you can decide if the program fulfills your personal requirements. It also contains a link to PharmCAS™, the Pharmacy College Application Service. Over two-thirds of all US pharmacy degree programs participate in PharmCAS™ for admission. At PharmCAS™, you can learn about each program, and prepare, access, and submit your application to each program.

Every college and school of pharmacy in the US undergoes a rigorous accreditation process, required by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education&reg (ACPE). On their website you can find out what the requirements of accreditation are, as well as which schools and programs made the cut. Other countries have their own accreditation requirements.

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