Pharmacists know everything about medication from how it works to dangerous interactions between prescriptions. If you would like to prepare medications and counsel patients on the proper use of certain drugs, consider majoring in Pharmacy/Pharmaceutical Sciences.
Pharmacists oversee pharmacies, work with patients, keep records of pervious prescriptions, and inform people about potential side effects of medications. If you decide to major in this area of study, you will take classes in chemistry, math, biology, anatomy and physiology, and medical ethics to learn the scientific background of medications and the reactions they cause within the body.
Along with the option to major in general Pharmacy, students are also able to concentrate in certain areas such as Pharmacy Policy and Regulatory Affairs, Pharmaceutics and Drug Design, Medicinal and Pharmaceutical Chemistry, Natural Products Chemistry and Pharmacognosy, Clinical and Industrial Drug Development, Pharmaceutical Economics, Physical Pharmacy and Cosmetic Sciences, Pharmaceutical Sciences, Pharmaceutical Marketing and Management, and many others.
Pharmacy/Pharmaceutical Sciences was the 53rd most popular major in the 2020-2021 school year. Colleges in the United States reported awarding 20,393 degrees in this year alone. This is a difference of 957 over the prior year, a growth of 4.7%.
Our 2023 Best Pharmacy/Pharmaceutical Sciences Schools ranking analyzes 144 of these schools to determine the best overall colleges for pharmacy/pharmaceutical sciences students. Continue reading to check out one of our many unbiased rankings of pharmacy programs later in this article.
Pharmacy/Pharmaceutical Sciences students should have strong analytical skills and pay close attention to detail. As a professional, they will be responsible for checking patients' history to ensure they are not taking other medications that may be dangerous to mix with new ones. They must also fill prescriptions accurately and keep them organized so they go to the right person. Since you will counsel people picking up prescriptions, it is important to have strong interpersonal and communication skills in order to relay understandable information.
Most graduates in this field work fulltime in pharmacies, drug stores, hospitals, and grocery stores, but a percentage of pharmacists are part time. Pharmacies are usually open during normal business hours, but some Pharmacy/Pharmaceutical Sciences professionals may work on weekends or at night to ensure people can get medication whenever necessary. Other graduates pursue careers in medical labs researching new and more effective drugs.
While some areas in this field only require a bachelor's degree, students who are interested in becoming pharmacists must receive their Doctor of Pharmacy degree. It typically takes 4 years to finish a doctoral program. Along with an advanced degree, graduates must also be licensed in the state they plan on working in.
New students will need to have completed high school or a GED program and each school will have their own minimum GPA and SAT/ACT test requirements. Once you obtain your degree, additional pharmacy certifications required to pursue a career in this field.
There are many different pharmacy degree levels. Pharmacy/Pharmaceutical Sciences programs offered by schools range from a to a , which is the highest pharmacy degree you can get. Depending on the pharmacy/pharmaceutical sciences degree you choose, obtaining your diploma can take anwhere from 1 to 4+ years.
Typical Program Length|
Program required coursework including thesis or dissertation|
At least 4 years|
A bachelor's degree is the most common level of education achieved by those in careers related to pharmacy, with approximately 29.5% of workers getting one. See the the most common levels of education for pharmacy workers below.
Level of Education|
Percentage of Workers|
First Professional Degree|
This of course varies depending on which pharmacy career you choose.
Pharmacy/Pharmaceutical Sciences graduates typically work in pharmacies located in drug stores, hospitals, and grocery stores. However, some people work in medical labs creating new drugs to fight diseases.
Want a job when you graduate with your pharmacy degree? Pharmacy/Pharmaceutical Sciences careers are expected to grow 11.4% between 2016 and 2026.
The following options are some of the most in-demand careers related to pharmacy/pharmaceutical sciences.
Health Specialties Professors|
Pharmacy/Pharmaceutical Sciences graduates between 2017-2019 reported earning an average of $95,543 in the 2019-2020 timeframe. Earnings can range from as low as $18,068 to as high as $124,319. As you might expect, salaries for pharmacy graduates vary depending on the level of education that was acquired.
Salaries for pharmacy/pharmaceutical sciences graduates can vary widely by the occupation you choose as well. The following table shows the top highest paying careers pharmacy grads often go into.
Median Average Salary|
Health Specialties Professors|
With over 590 different pharmacy degree programs to choose from, finding the best fit for you can be a challenge. Fortunately you have come to the right place. We have analyzed all of these schools to come up with hundreds of unbiased pharmacy school rankings to help you with this.
One of 30 majors within the Health Professions area of study, Pharmacy/Pharmaceutical Sciences has other similar majors worth exploring.
Other Pharmacy, Pharmaceutical Sciences, and Administration|
Pharmaceutics and Drug Design|
Pharmacy Administration and Pharmacy Policy and Regulatory Affairs|
Health & Medical Administrative Services|
Allied Health & Medical Assisting Services|
Practical Nursing & Nursing Assistants|
Allied Health Professions|