How Do I Get a Doctor of Pharmacy Degree?

Erin J. Hill
Erin J. Hill
A pharmacist.
A pharmacist.

In order to get a doctor of pharmacy degree, you will need to first obtain a four-year college degree, as well as take two years of pre-pharmacy courses. From there, you can continue with college to join a doctoral program. This will usually take several more years of education. Each city, state, or country may have its own standards and requirements for getting a doctor of pharmacy degree, so it's important to speak with someone who is knowledgeable about requirements in the area where you live.

Pills from a pharmacy.
Pills from a pharmacy.

The first step you'll need to take, in most cases, is to obtain a bachelor's degree at an accredited university. You should consider majoring in science related courses, since these will help you when you are doing your doctorate program. Chemistry is one good choice. If you don't major in these courses, you should at least take several science classes as electives whenever possible, as this might help you get into a good school for your graduate program. Some students might not have to get obtain four full years of school, although most students do.

Once you have graduated with a four-year degree, you will need to apply with a school offering pre-pharmacy courses if you did not take these in your regular school programs. Check with a student advisor at the pharmacy school you want to attend to determine which classes you'll need. Not all schools offer this, so you may be limited unless you're willing to travel. Sometimes, courses might be offered online, so that is another option you can look into.

After you have completed this level of training, you can enter a doctor of pharmacy degree program. During your doctor of pharmacy program, you will learn about various medications, their chemical makeup, and what they do for patients. Since you will responsible for patient health and well-being as a pharmacist, the program will likely be strenuous and very detailed. You will have to be fully committed in order to complete all the coursework. Be prepared to spend free time studying rather than hanging out or doing other casual activities.

When you have completed the course, you will likely have to take a government mandated exam in order to become licensed. Without doing so, you won't be able to practice as a pharmacist. You may also have to complete an internship or residency working alongside an experienced pharmacist in order to gain firsthand experience completing the job and interacting with patients. If you do not pass your exam, some locations may allow you to take it again at a later date, although this is not always the case.

You might also Like

Readers Also Love

Discuss this Article

Post your comments
Login:
Forgot password?
Register:
    • A pharmacist.
      A pharmacist.
    • Pills from a pharmacy.
      Pills from a pharmacy.