Pharmacists are health care professionals that dispense drugs that have been ordered by physicians. They provide information to patients about the safe and effective use of prescription drugs. To be a pharmacist, one must earn a doctorate in pharmacy, a Pharm.D. 

There are also graduate programs leading to the MS or PhD in pharmaceutical sciences. These programs prepare students for careers in pharmaceutical research leading to drug development and application. 

Pharm.D./ PhD, Pharm.D./MBA and Pharm.D./MPH combined degree programs are also offered.

Required courses. Requirements vary by program. The list here includes courses required by most programs. Requirements for specific Pharm.D. programs can be found at

Biology (BIO 150/L and 160/L, with lab)

General Chemistry (CHM 111 and 280, with lab)

Organic chemistry (CHM 122 and 223, with lab)


Physics (one semester)

Human Anatomy with lab (offered in HES to HES majors, or with POI)

Human Physiology with lab

Biochemistry (BIO 370 or CHM 370)

Microbiology (BIO 326)

Also recommended:



Ethics (Can be taken in the philosophy or biology departments)


Additional requirement: About two-thirds of pharmacy programs require the Pharmacy College Admission test. For information on this test, visit  Other schools require the general GRE exam.

Years of post-graduate education required: It generally takes four years to earn the Pharm.D. degree, two years for the MS, and four-five years for a PhD. Some pharmacy programs allow students to transfer in after their sophomore year of college.