Pharmacology school offers post-secondary training programs focused on studying the interaction between drugs and the body's organs and systems. This type of school is usually part of a larger university or college. There are four items to consider when choosing the best pharmacology schools: student services, course selection, access to laboratories, and reputation.
Selecting the best school typically takes at least three to six months of research and review. There are a series of important questions that need to be explored before even looking at the different schools. Items such as the length of program, total cost, location, and preliminary career plan should all form part of the criteria. This information is readily available on the websites and in the published brochures provided by every school. Take the time to review it, as there is a significant amount of information.
Student services are at the center of every school. Organized groups, teams, associations, and off-campus programs are an essential part of the educational experience. The primary role of student services is to encourage and support the growth and success of students. In addition to the social aspects, they are also responsible for providing supportive services to encourage success. Look for schools with a well-established career center, internship program, counseling service, and student center.
Course breadth and depth is another important criterion that is easy to overlook. Within the pharmacology school, the courses will be focused specifically on the study of drugs and biological systems. Look at the courses offered in the senior year, and read the prerequisites. Make a list of the course offerings and determine how many streams or areas of focus are available within the school. Look at the elective options, and make sure that students can complete courses in other faculties as part of the program.
The best pharmacology school will have a large set of laboratories, with equipment available for student use. This includes after-hours access, high-powered microscopes, computer simulation models, and testing and diagnostic equipment. Check the average class size to ensure you will have ample opportunity to use this equipment.
Reputation is harder to judge and evaluate, but is an important aspect of any school selection. Expand your information pool to include scientific journals, industry newsletters, and other academic press. The information available in the mainstream media is primarily based on media reports and releases provided by the school. Information from an independent source is the most valuable when making a decision about the best pharmacology school for you.