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Pharmacy programs prepare people to work as pharmacists.

Pharmacy programs prepare people to manage a pharmacy. Students learn to combine and dispense prescribed medicines. They study chemistry, biology, and other sciences.

Pharmacy programs include topics such as:


During your final year of a pharmacy program, you complete an internship. During this period, you work under the supervision of a licensed pharmacist.


Several colleges and universities offer degrees in pharmacy (PharmD). This usually requires at least two years of college to prepare for pharmacy school and four more years after you enter pharmacy school.

Many universities offer graduate degrees in pharmacy. A master’s degree typically requires one or two years of study beyond a PharmD. Doctoral (PhD) degree programs usually require three or more years or study beyond the PharmD.

See schools that offer this program.

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Program Admission

You can prepare for this program by taking courses in high school that prepare you for college. This typically includes four years of English, three years of math, three years of social studies, and two years of science. Some colleges also require two years of a second language.

Admission to pharmacy programs is competitive. You must complete at least two years of college to qualify for admission. In addition, you must have completed courses in the following areas:

You also must have good grades, letters of recommendation, and good scores on the Pharmacy College Admission Test (PCAT).

Below is a list of high school courses that will help prepare you for this program of study:

Typical Course Work

Program Courses

This program typically includes courses in the following subjects:

In most pharmacy programs, students spend their fourth year doing an externship or clerkship. This means that students work in a pharmacy and treat patients, but are closely supervised by licensed pharmacists. On the job, students:

In addition, students learn how to communicate with patients and health care workers. They also develop assessment skills so that they can monitor how patients respond to medications.

Things to Know

You may find that taking courses in Latin or Greek may help you learn medical terminology.

Pharmacists may choose to specialize in community health, home health, or hospital medicine. Or you may focus on specialties such as nuclear pharmacy or quality control.

Pharmacists must have a license from the state where they live in order to practice.


East Side Area

Washington State University - Pullman

King-Snohomish Area

University of Washington - Seattle

Spokane Area

Washington State University Health Sciences - Spokane

Yakima Area

Washington State University - Pullman (Yakima)