A pharmacy degree can be the key to a very lucrative and rewarding career, but it all stars with choosing the right pharmacy college. There are many things that will go into the choice of such a school. These might include such factors as the types of programs offered, time line for graduation and competitiveness. In addition, the location, costs and access to financial aid may also play a role in choosing a good pharmacy college.
For those students who know pharmacy is their choice coming out of high school, finding a pharmacy college with an assured entrance program may be very important. This assures those students who are potentially choosing the pharmacy program will be allowed into the program after completing the general education requirements and prerequisites. This may come with other conditions, such as maintaining a minimum grade point average. If this is not offered, a college of pharmacy may only offer spots through a competitive process, even if the students have been taking all the lower level courses at the university.
Another issue to consider when looking at a pharmacy college is how individualized the training can be. Choosing a college that offers some other sort of degree along the way to a PharmD degree is important for some students. Others may want to find an accelerated program so that the degree does not take five or six years to earn. Still, those who plan on an accelerated option should understand pharmacy classes will require a great deal of study and hard work, making accelerated programs especially difficult.
Financial considerations and location are two of the most important considerations for many students when choosing a pharmacy college. Some students may want a college close to home. Others may want a chance to get away from their home town and parents. In some ways, it may be cheaper to stay closer to the student's home. Though many types of financial aid are uniform throughout the university system, some colleges may offer scholarships specific to pharmacy. This can be of great benefit for those who feel they will struggle paying for college.
Other important points to consider are the facilities and availability of internships. While there is a significant amount of book knowledge and theory required to earn a degree in pharmacy, the student must also get practical experience. That means getting hands-on training in simulated environments, as well as getting real-world experience by doing internships. Pharmacy colleges located near large cities are likely to provide more of this type of opportunities.