What Are the Different Types of Pharmacy School Prerequisites?

K. Kinsella
K. Kinsella
Pills from a pharmacy.
Pills from a pharmacy.

Pharmacy schools are educational establishments at which individuals can study undergraduate or postgraduate pharmacy degree programs. While pharmacy school prerequisites vary between colleges, in most instances enrollees must have achieved higher than average scores in science related courses. Additionally, some schools require applicants to have gained some industry-related work experience before applying for college.

Many major universities have specific pharmacy colleges, while other schools only offer degree programs in this area. For undergraduate courses, pharmacy school prerequisites usually include satisfactory completion of high school level chemistry and general science courses. Many schools require applicants to have achieved minimum grades in these specific subjects while other institutions require certain scores in all subjects, even non-science related topics. In some instances, pharmacy schools do not offer first and second year undergraduate level classes in all subject areas, which means that enrollees must complete some college level courses at community colleges or universities before applying for acceptance into pharmacy programs. Some colleges have ratio requirements for transfer students, requiring students to complete a percentage of courses in-house.

Aside from undergraduate courses, many institutions also offer masters and doctorate courses and these programs prepare students to work as teachers or researchers. Pharmacy school prerequisites for postgraduate programs include successful completion of an undergraduate degree course in the subject. As with bachelors degree courses, competition for places is often intense and many colleges only accept students who achieved a certain grade point average during high school and college. Additionally, some schools have an entrance examination; applicants must pass this test before they are admitted.

Many schools only allow experienced pharmacists to enroll in masters and doctorate degree programs and in many instances, these courses combine classroom-based study with practical research, typically undertaken in the workplace. Therefore, postgraduate students are typically licensed professionals which means that pharmacy school prerequisites for advanced programs include successful completion of the national or regional professional certification process. In many instances, this process includes a series of lectures and a practical and written exam.

Some institutions offer both Bachelor of Arts (BA) and Bachelor of Science (BS) degrees in pharmacy; the former is theory based while the latter includes more practical elements. Since postgraduate courses usually contain some practical components, many advanced degree programs only accept applications form students who completed BS undergraduate degrees. Some institutions offer advanced joint honors courses, in which case a BA pharmacy degree may be accepted along with a completion of a similar program in a different topic area.

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      Pills from a pharmacy.