Choosing to go to school to become a pharmacist is an excellent idea. Pharmacists are always in demand (the need for pharmacists is growing) and the pay scale is very good. But before you can become a pharmacist, you have to look at pharmacy schools and decide which on to attend.
Pharmacy schools now grant the degree of Doctor of Pharmacy, known as a Pharm.D. This is a four-year program, but students wishing to enter the program must have at least 2 years of college prior to being admitted. Courses in science (biology, chemistry, and physics) and mathematics are requirements that must be completed in college before even thinking about attending pharmacy school. About two-thirds of pharmacy schools in America require that a student take the PCAT (Pharmacy College Admissions Test) before he or she will be considered for admittance.
In 2003, PharmCAS (Pharmacy College Application Service) was launched. The American Association of College of Pharmacy developed PharmCAS. It is a centralized service that allows students to use one web-based school application and one set of transcripts to apply to multiple pharmacy schools. This is easier on the student wishing to attend pharmacy school. Rather than fill out multiple applications, they can fill out one central application.
Once accepted to pharmacy school, students are required to complete at least six hours of postsecondary study as well as pass the State board of pharmacy’s licensure exam. Pharmacy schools require students to take courses that teach students about drug therapy as well as professional ethics, how to communicate with patients, and the concept of public health in general. Students also spend about a quarter of their time in a pharmacy, under the supervision of a licensed pharmacist. This gives the student job experience while still being under the care of a licensed professional.
Graduate study areas in pharmacy include pharmaceutics, pharmaceutical chemistry, pharmacology, pharmacy administration, and toxicology.