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How do I go about being a pharmacist?


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Umar’s Answer

Hi Sarah. I recently graduated from MCPHS University (Boston) with my PharmD. There are 2 common paths into pharmacy.

1) bachelors degree (science) --> pharmacy school (can be 3 year accelerated or 4 year standard). 7-8 years completion

2) 5-6 year accelerated programs (2 years undergrad + 4 years grad or 2 years undergrad + 3 years accelerated grad) 5-6 years completion

Once you have your PharmD you have various options to pursue a career in; community, institutional, industry, etc. These are all very different and understanding your preferences about work could help you decide what is a best fit for you. Feel free to reach out if you have additional questions.

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Kristen’s Answer

Look at colleges/universities that have a school of pharmacy. Some you can apply for pharmacy school in your initial application, others will have you apply once you finish the pre-requisites.

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Estelle’s Answer

You can apply for pharmacy school when you are applying to colleges. You must complete the degree and become licensed.

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Michael’s Answer

You need to attend an accredited School of Pharmacy at a major university, it is a 6 year program. It is heavy with science and math. You then need to pass a license exam in your state.

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Michael’s Answer

You need to attend an accredited School of Pharmacy at a major university, it is a 6 year program. It is heavy with science and math. You then need to pass a license exam in your state.

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Hanna’s Answer

If you are currently in college, look into Pharmacy schools you would be interested in attending and make sure you complete all the prerequisites.

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Umar’s Answer

Hi Sarah. I recently graduated from MCPHS University (Boston) with my PharmD. There are 2 common paths into pharmacy.

1) bachelors degree (science) --> pharmacy school (can be 3 year accelerated or 4 year standard). 7-8 years completion

2) 5-6 year accelerated programs (2 years undergrad + 4 years grad or 2 years undergrad + 3 years accelerated grad) 5-6 years completion

Once you have your PharmD you have various options to pursue a career in; community, institutional, industry, etc. These are all very different and understanding your preferences about work could help you decide what is a best fit for you. Feel free to reach out if you have additional questions.

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Stephanie’s Answer

Hi Sarah!

I highly encourage you to shadow pharmacists and apply for pharmacy technician positions in order to gain exposure to different pharmacy environments (such as retail or independent pharmacies, hospital pharmacies, etc.). Obtaining experience and networking is very important in the pharmacy profession, and it will also benefit you greatly when transitioning into a pharmacist. I definitely recommend experience prior to applying for pharmacy school so you know you will love the profession you're going into.

The next step is to talk to an advisor from pharmacy schools you plan to apply in order to accurately set up your pre-requisite classes to meet their requirements for admission. Pharmacy schools will also require a PCAT (Pharmacy College Admission Test), which is a standardized test that includes math, science, reading and writing - I recommend studying for this using Dr. Collins PCAT Prep. Again, talking with pharmacy school advisors will really help create the path for exact steps that need to be taken in order to apply to pharmacy school.

Pharmacy school itself is typically 4 years after undergrad or 5-6 years in an accelerated combined program. Once you finish pharmacy school, you will have the option of applying to residencies for more clinical-based hospital positions, fellowships with pharmaceutical companies, or the option of applying for pharmacist positions right out of school.

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Stephanie’s Answer

Hi Sarah!

I highly encourage you to shadow pharmacists and apply for pharmacy technician positions in order to gain exposure to different pharmacy environments (such as retail or independent pharmacies, hospital pharmacies, etc.). Obtaining experience and networking is very important in the pharmacy profession, and it will also benefit you greatly when transitioning into a pharmacist. I definitely recommend experience prior to applying for pharmacy school so you know you will love the profession you're going into.

The next step is to talk to an advisor from pharmacy schools you plan to apply in order to accurately set up your pre-requisite classes to meet their requirements for admission. Pharmacy schools will also require a PCAT (Pharmacy College Admission Test), which is a standardized test that includes math, science, reading and writing - I recommend studying for this using Dr. Collins PCAT Prep. Again, talking with pharmacy school advisors will really help create the path for exact steps that need to be taken in order to apply to pharmacy school.

Pharmacy school itself is typically 4 years after undergrad or 5-6 years in an accelerated combined program. Once you finish pharmacy school, you will have the option of applying to residencies for more clinical-based hospital positions, fellowships with pharmaceutical companies, or the option of applying for pharmacist positions right out of school.

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