2022 Best Pharmacy Degrees Online (2024)

Overview of Online PharmD Degrees

In order to become a licensed pharmacist, students must complete a PharmD program, which is considered a professional doctorate program on the same level as those for medical doctors and dentists.

The advanced coursework in this type of doctoral program is designed to prepare students to pass the licensing exam. Topics include biochemistry, pharmacology, medicinal chemistry, pharmaco*kinetics, pathology, immunology, and more. PharmD students are also required to complete a specified number of clinical practice hours.

According to the American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education, 15,112 students earned PharmD degrees in the 2018-2019 academic year.

Can You Really Get Your Doctorate in Pharmacy Online?

Yes, it is definitely possible to attend an online pharmacy school in order to earn your PharmD. Several pharmacy graduate programs at accredited colleges and universities have created online pharmacy schools. Students complete coursework online, and with the help of program coordinators, they can find opportunities to complete their clinical practice hours at facilities near their home.

Some programs offer nonclinical pharmacy classes online, some require students to attend brief workshops on campus, and others are considered hybrid, meaning coursework is delivered through a combination of online and on-campus learning activities. Students should research this aspect of each program thoroughly before selecting the best one to suit their needs.

How Long Are Online PharmD Programs?

Although many online PharmD programs are designed to be completed in four years of part-time study, some students require up to six years to complete all of the graduation requirements. Most of these doctorate programs are geared toward students who are working full time, so there are often only two classes per term. Also, some students opt for additional one- or two-year residencies after completing graduate school if they want to specialize in a particular subfield of pharmacology, such as geriatrics, cardiology, or infectious diseases. However, some online pharmacy degree programs allow enrollees to take full-time course loads and graduate in two to three years.

Programs typically require the completion of 60-70 credit hours in total. The first half of these credits are completed in the first two years of the program. They are typically online "didactic" classes, meaning that coursework involves reading texts and materials, viewing or reading lectures, and participating in online activities with classmates. The other half of the credits are devoted to experiential, clinical practice conducted at pharmacies or other relevant health care facilities, and students often need two or more years to fulfill the required number of pharmacy practice hours.

What's the Difference Between a PharmD Degree and a PhD in Pharmacology?

A PharmD is distinctly different from a PhD in pharmacology. While both are doctoral degrees, they prepare students for different career paths. The PharmD degree is the right choice for students who want to become licensed, practicing pharmacists. The PhD in pharmacology is the best choice for students who want to enter the field of pharmacological research and pharmaceutical development. While there are some similarities in the topics covered in the coursework for each online pharmacology degree, a pharmacology PhD program is more focused on research and requires a dissertation.


Prior to enrolling in an online pharmacist program, prospective students should confirm that the program has been accredited by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE).

To become accredited, a PharmD program must undergo an extensive, multi-year evaluation. Accreditation ensures consistency across all programs by documenting that each program's curriculum, faculty, and learning outcomes meet the same national standards.

Choosing an ACPE-accredited program is important for several reasons. Not only does it assure students they're enrolled in a credible degree program that meets high academic standards, it is a requirement for obtaining pharmacist licensure. For a list of accredited online pharmacy programs, students can visit the Council for Higher Education Accreditation or the US Department of Education.

Applying to Online Doctor of Pharmacy Programs

Competition for enrollment in the best PharmD programs is high. Recent statistics from the American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education indicate that approximately 15,000 new students have entered doctorate pharmacy programs in each of the most recent academic years, and approximately 14,000 of those have earned PharmD degrees. This same report, compiled from data contributed by the 144 US schools offering pharmacy degrees, shows that these schools received about 50,000 applications for PharmD programs.

The admission requirements for most online pharmacy programs stipulate that applicants must have earned a pre-pharmacy bachelor's degree or something similar from an accredited, four-year college or university. Many programs also require applicants to have taken a number of prerequisite courses before enrolling in the PharmD program. Some of the more common prerequisites are biology, chemistry, physics, organic chemistry, statistics, and calculus. Additionally, students must have earned a GPA of 2.0 or better in these courses to qualify.

When applying for an online doctor of pharmacy program, applicants must submit an application form. The following items may also be requested:

Official transcripts from all previous colleges attended

Test scores from standardized tests, such as the Pharmacy College Admission Test (PCAT) or the Graduate Record Examination (GRE)

One or more letters of recommendation

A personal statement outlining the student's goals and motivation for enrolling in the program

A resume or curriculum vitae

Pharmacy Career Certification and Licensing Requirements

All 50 US states require pharmacists to have licenses in order to practice. Upon completion of an online PharmD program, graduates must take and pass two exams to obtain a license to practice in the state where they reside.

The required exams are the North American Pharmacist Licensure Exam (NAPLEX), which tests prospective pharmacists on the skills and knowledge required for the career, and the Multistate Pharmacy Jurisprudence Exam (MPJE), which tests prospective pharmacists on the pharmacy laws specific to the state in which they are seeking licensing.

Some pharmacists may also choose to obtain certification in advanced areas of specialization. Certification in such areas as oncology, nutrition, pediatric pharmacy, nuclear pharmacy, and others are offered through the Board of Pharmacy Specialties.

Pharmacy Career Paths

Becoming a licensed pharmacist is just one of several career options for individuals interested in the pharmaceutical industry. The following are some of the career paths students can choose from, along with data from the BLS:

Annual Median Salary:$128,570

Job Growth Rate:-2%

Pharmacists prepare prescriptions and advise patients concerning any potential side effects or drug interactions they may experience while taking medication. They also supervise pharmacy technicians and interns, and they may have inventory management duties for the pharmacy in which they work. Pharmacists must have a professional, post-graduate doctoral degree and a professional state license in order to practice.

Pharmaceutical Researchers

Annual Median Salary:$95,310

Job Growth Rate:17%

The BLS classifies PhD-level pharmaceutical researchers as medical scientists, and they are involved in the development of new medications. They may conduct clinical trials and testing of new medications on animals and humans. Researchers may also work to improve the drug manufacturing process. Minimum educational requirements for pharmaceutical researchers are a bachelor's degree in pharmaceutical sciences, chemistry, or another related field. Many researchers go on to complete a master's or PhD in pharmacology for advancement in their career.

Pharmacy Professors

Annual Median Salary:$102,720

Job Growth Rate:12%

Professors, or health specialties teachers, working in four-year colleges and universities typically need a PharmD and several years of work experience as a pharmacist in order to train future pharmacists. At this level, educators usually begin as assistant professors, and then they advance to associate professors and finally full professors.

Types of Pharmacists

Aside from pharmacy professors and researchers, there are four types of pharmacists:


The most common occupation is a community pharmacist. These are the individuals working in your local drug store that dispense medication. They may provide customers with information about over-the-counter medication, address concerns about side effects, and — in some cases — they may administer vaccines or flu shots.


Behind the scenes you'll find the pharmaceutical industry pharmacists who work for the drug companies. This role includes conducting drug trials through research and development while maintaining quality assurance and adhering to safety regulations.


If you desire to work in a health care setting, like a hospital, clinical pharmacists recommend medication directly to patients. They also keep track of doses and medication schedules.


Similarly, consultant pharmacists work with hospital administrators to recommend medications and provide services that may improve their pharmacy services.

Is Getting an Online PharmD Degree Worth It?

While obtaining a PharmD degree is a requirement for a career as a licensed pharmacist, students may consider multiple factors when deciding whether to pursue this degree online. Students should weigh the various advantages and disadvantages of online PharmD programs in light of their own circ*mstances, resources, and goals.

Potential Benefits

Pharmacists often earn six-figure incomes. Once they've obtained a license to practice, pharmacists can expect a median annual salary of $128,570. However, according to the BLS, it's important to note that while the highest 10% of earners bring home about $165,000, the lowest 10% earn approximately $77,000.

This degree may allow for flexibility when deciding on a career path. Those who've earned PharmD degrees have several career options, from working in ambulatory care as a licensed pharmacist to being an unlicensed medical writer in the pharmaceutical industry. In the growing field of online health care, pharmacists may even be able to work at home via telepharmacy.

Going to school online gives students more choices. Pursuing a pharmacy degree online allows full-time, working students to choose from a broader selection of schools without having to relocate and find a new job.

Potential Drawbacks

Completing the educational requirements to become a pharmacist is a fairly long and expensive process. Licensed pharmacists may spend about eight years earning a bachelor's and PharmD degree. For students interested in the field, there are careers that don't require an advanced degree or the time commitment that goes with it. For example, pharmacy technicians and pharmaceutical sales reps may hold certificates, associate degrees, or bachelor's degrees.

Job opportunities for pharmacists are diminishing. The BLS predicts that demand for pharmacists will decline by 2% over the next 10 years, as people continue to shift toward purchasing medications by mail order.

Working as a pharmacist can be demanding. Some may find that the need for critical attention to detail is stressful, especially considering the responsibilities that range from ensuring a patient's safety and well-being to properly fulfilling corporate mandates.

2022 Best Pharmacy Degrees Online (2024)


Is pharmacy a good degree 2022? ›

It is ranked fourth in the world for Pharmacy and Pharmacology (QS World University Rankings 2022). Placements in community pharmacies, teaching hospitals and GP practices. Interprofessional learning with other healthcare degree students.

Can you do pharmacy degree online? ›

The online MSc Advanced Pharmacy Practice course will equip you with the necessary knowledge, skills, attitude and competencies required for effective advanced practice. The course delivers a focused education, with content mapped to relevant professional development frameworks.

What's the fastest you can become a pharmacist? ›

You can pursue a pre-pharmacy program instead of a bachelor's degree. This program takes an average of two years to complete, cutting the time to become a pharmacist to six years. Ensure you apply to schools that allow a pre-pharmacy program in place of a bachelor's degree.

Which bachelor degree is best for pharmacy? ›

The biology major helps students understand the interaction of drugs on the molecular level and continues to be one of the most popular majors for pre-pharmacy students.

Is pharmacy in demand 2022? ›

The steady demand for pharmacists in the state is due to growing expansion of the pharmaceutical industry along with the rising demand in the use of prescription drugs.

What is the highest paying jobs in pharmacy? ›

The top 5 highest paying jobs as Pharmacist with reported salaries are:
  • clinical pharmacist - ₹27lakhs per year.
  • senior pharmacist - ₹21lakhs per year.
  • pharmacist - ₹19lakhs per year.
  • hospital pharmacist - ₹18lakhs per year.
3 Dec 2022

Is a degree in pharmacy worth it? ›

Pharmacists typically enjoy a comfortable annual salary. This can be very important in your decision to pursue a degree in pharmacy, especially if you need to apply for student loans. The average salary across the board for pharmacists is $128,710, although this amount can vary based on specialization or state.

Which pharmacy course is best? ›

Which course is best for Pharmacy? Bachelor of Pharmacy is one of the most preferred degree options at the undergraduate level. It opens the door to multiple career options like Drug Inspector, Hospital Drug Coordinator, Drug Therapist, Chemical Technician, and more. Graduate students with a degree in B.

Is pharmacy degree a good degree? ›

It's a versatile career path.

A PharmD degree—necessary for your future as a pharmacist—will prepare you for a multitude of careers. For many, their experience with pharmacists is limited to what they see in their local CVS or Walgreens.

Why are pharmacist jobs declining? ›

Yes, pharmacist jobs are declining slightly.

One reason is that, as more people fill their orders online or through the mail, there will be less demand for pharmacists working in retail pharmacies and drug stores. Also, as pharmacy chains reduce the number of their retail locations, there will be fewer jobs available.

What is the future of pharmacy in the next 10 years? ›

Pharmacists will be able to take on a role similar to a physician, and use AI to complement their consulting work. Pharmacists will be able to operate as care providers and advise patients on their medical conditions while delegating administrative tasks like the collection of medications to AI-powered machines.

Is pharmacist still in demand? ›

Demand is projected to increase for pharmacists in some healthcare settings, such as in hospitals and clinics.

What is highest salary of B Pharmacy? ›

What is the highest salary for a B. Pharmacy in India? Highest salary that a B. Pharmacy can earn is ₹4.1 Lakhs per year (₹34.2k per month).

What is the highest pharmacy degree? ›

Students can pursue two types of doctoral degrees in pharmacy: the research-focused Ph. D. and the Pharm. D, which is the professional doctoral degree for pharmacists.

Is pharmacy a difficult major? ›

With required topics such as pharmacology, pharmacotherapy, and pharmaco*kinetics, there can be no doubt that pharmacy school is hard. According to the American Associations of Colleges of Pharmacy it is estimated that more than 10% of people who make it into pharmacy school do not make it through to graduation day [1].

What type of pharmacist makes the most money 2022? ›

The highest paying pharmacists jobs are in-store pharmacist (average salary: $156,000), compounding pharmacist ($150,000), hospital pharmacist ($148,000), and pharmacometrician ($142,000). Pharmacy school is notoriously tough.

Why are so many pharmacists quitting? ›

While this would typically indicate a shortage of qualified personnel, it may actually be due to pharmacist burnout amid the increased pressure from COVID, strenuous working conditions, and billing and reimbursem*nt challenges.

What is the future of online pharmacy? ›

Online Pharmacy is going to be the next big evolution that will impact billions of lives and bring a healthy behavioral change to safer and more convenient tomorrow. The growth of the Internet has given rise to various technology-driven models, to access and serve consumers in a fast-paced and efficient way.

Where are pharmacists most in demand? ›

As expected, the more populous states such as California, Texas, Florida, New York and Pennsylvania have the most pharmacist jobs.

What can I do with a Pharmd besides pharmacy? ›

Alternative Careers for Pharmacists
  • Medical Writer. ...
  • Pharmaceutical Sales Representative. ...
  • Pharmacologist. ...
  • Toxicologist. ...
  • Clinical Research Coordinator. ...
  • Medical Science Liaison. ...
  • Laboratory Technician. ...
  • Research Scientist.

Which state pays pharmacists the most? ›

Geographic profile for Pharmacists:
StateEmployment (1)Hourly mean wage
California33,130$ 70.26
Texas22,550$ 61.21
Florida19,620$ 58.64
New York18,680$ 61.66
1 more row
31 Mar 2022

Is pharmacy school harder than dental school? ›

Unlike pharmacy school, dental school is becoming slightly more competitive with time, not less. The average dental school matriculant has a GPA of 3.5, and a composite DAT score up to 20, which is around the 75th percentile. Of all the students that apply to dental school, approximately 50% matriculate.

What are the disadvantages of being a pharmacist? ›

Cons of being a pharmacist
  • The educational requirements are extensive.
  • The education is expensive.
  • You may need to stand for long periods.
  • The work can be stressful.
  • The environment can be hectic with great responsibility.
  • You may need to work off-hours, weekends, and holidays.

Why do pharmacists earn so much? ›

Not only do pharmacists dispense drugs, but they are critical in making sure that prescribed medications are safe for patients. Because of this extensive training and knowledge, pharmacists are compensated with higher-than-average salaries. Most people understand that working as a pharmacist can be a well-paying job.

Which course is demand of pharmacy? ›

Pharmacy graduates are involved in the research and development of new therapeutics as well as ensure their manufacturing quality control. The demand for pharma graduates is high in sectors like - healthcare, research, manufacturing, medical marketing, pharmacovigilance etc.

Is Pharm D or B Pharm better? ›

If you are all set for working in pharmaceutical or Biotech firms like GSK, Biocon, Mankind, Sun Pharma, Ranbaxy, etc, your choice should be B. Pharm. However, if you wish to work in hospitals or health care centers, Pharm. D is the answer.

Can I complete pharmacy in 2 years? ›

The Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) is a two-year professional post-baccalaureate degree program that combines pedagogical and experiential learning. It provides a specialization in evidence-based pharmacotherapy and administrative pharmacy services.

Is pharmacy hard than nursing? ›

When it comes to comparing the difficulty level of the path to get a job in nursing vs. as a pharmacist, pharmacy school is considered harder. Although you need commitment for both options, studying to become a pharmacist is characterized by a more intense workload and a longer duration.

Are pharmacists oversaturated? ›

With over 10,000 pharmacists graduating every year into a job market that is completely saturated, finding positions in any mode of their profession is extremely difficult.

Does pharmacy have high salary? ›

Highest salary that a Clinical Pharmacist can earn is ₹4.4 Lakhs per year (₹36.7k per month).

Are pharmacists going to be replaced? ›

The pharmacy of the future will likely not be fully automated, as pharmacists provide expert level insight, knowledge and management when it comes to pharmaceuticals. For the foreseeable future, AI and robots will not be able to compete with the expertise of pharmacists.

What age do pharmacists retire? ›


Most pharmacists expect to retire early, with only 30% of those surveyed saying they plan to continue working after age 62.

Will pharmacists be paid more in the future? ›

If there are more open positions and fewer people to fill them, it's easier to get a job. And, thus, pharmacists' salaries would likely increase. But if there are fewer pharmacists job openings and a bunch of pharmacists looking for jobs, it will take longer to find employment. Income can stagnate and even go down.

Is pharmacy on the decline? ›

The number of pharmacists employed in the United States dropped about 1 percent from 2020 to 2021.

Is pharmacy a declining field? ›

Employment of pharmacists is projected to decline almost 2 percent during the decade of 2020 to 2030.

Is pharmacy a happy career? ›

Pharmacists are one of the least happy careers in the United States. At CareerExplorer, we conduct an ongoing survey with millions of people and ask them how satisfied they are with their careers. As it turns out, pharmacists rate their career happiness 2.7 out of 5 stars which puts them in the bottom 9% of careers.

What are the 8 specialty areas of pharmacy? ›

Currently, the Board of Pharmacy Specialties (BPS) recognizes eight specialty areas of pharmacy:
  • Ambulatory Care.
  • Critical Care Pharmacy.
  • Nuclear Pharmacy.
  • Nutrition Support Pharmacy.
  • Oncology Pharmacy.
  • Pediatric Pharmacy.
  • Pharmacotherapy.
  • Psychiatric Pharmacy.

Is it stressful being a pharmacist? ›

Recent survey results reveal that 61.2% of pharmacists report experiencing a high level of burnout in practice, which is one of the highest rates among healthcare professionals.

Can you make a good living as a pharmacist? ›

As a pharmacist, you can make an excellent living which is one of the top advantages of being a pharmacist. The lowest-paid pharmacist is making somewhere around $112,000 a year. The median salary for a career as a pharmacist is approximately $128,000 a year.

Is B Pharm worth it? ›

Yes, you're reading it right. Pharmacy is a diverse career with many opportunities in scientific research, development, patient care and entrepreneurship. There is a huge variety of job roles available for pharmacists after B Pharmacy admission and degree completion.

Which MBA is best for pharmacy? ›

Here are best options for students looking for MBA after B Pharmacy:
  • MBA in Pharmaceutical Management or MBA Pharma.
  • MBA in Pharma Business Management.
  • MBA in General Management or MBA.
  • PGDM in Pharmaceutical Management.

What is the number 1 pharmacy school in the US? ›


About the College: University of California San Diego's Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences is known for its emphasis on research. Nearly half of the 60 students who enter its program each fall will go on to pursue a post-graduate degree.

Do you call a PharmD a doctor? ›

But is a PharmD a doctor? Yes, of course, and pharmacists can use the title of doctor when they are at work – but with a condition! They must immediately identify themselves as a pharmacist during their interactions with patients and their families/caregivers lest the latter become confused.

Are pharmacists paid more than doctors? ›

Pharmacists can earn an average income of $116,886 per year , whereas doctors can earn an average income of $242,523 per year .

What is the easiest pharmacy school to get into? ›

What's the easiest US and Canadian pharmacy program to get into? By acceptance rate, the easiest school is the University of Mississippi at 78%.

Why is pharmacy so hard? ›

Compared to others, pharmacy is a difficult course in general. There's a lot of chemistry and analysis, hard work, dedication, math, and memorization as well. For my alma mater specifically, the pharmaceutical chemistry subjects are notorious in failing a lot of students.

Is pharmacy worth it 2022 UK? ›

If you're interested in a career in pharmacy, then this is a great field to consider! Most clinical pharmacists working in primary care networks earn between £40,000 and £60,000 per year. Some may earn more, depending on their experience and level of expertise.

Is pharmacy a good career for the future? ›

A career in pharmacy is still seen as a viable option. It is a great job if you enjoy helping people. Even if you have little or no prior job experience, you will be able to find work that pays well if you meet the necessary academic criteria and, of course, have a license to practice.

Does pharmacist have a future? ›

Pharmacists will be able to take on a role similar to a physician, and use AI to complement their consulting work. Pharmacists will be able to operate as care providers and advise patients on their medical conditions while delegating administrative tasks like the collection of medications to AI-powered machines.

Is pharmacy a good future? ›

With a range of employment opportunities available in this sector in retail, hospitals, clinics, sales and marketing, drug research and more, Pharmacy is a fascinating career choice that offers a satisfying future with immense growth options.

What is the highest paid pharmacy job UK? ›

Top companies for Pharmacists in United Kingdom
  • Preferred Loc*ms Ltd. 2.6 £62,163per year. 7 reviews234 salaries reported.
  • LloydsPharmacy. 3.0 £56,805per year. ...
  • King's College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust. 3.8 £55,947per year. ...
  • Prime Pharmacy. 3.8 £54,355per year. ...
  • Badham Pharmacy Ltd. 2.6 £54,046per year. ...
  • Show more companies.

Is pharmacy better than nursing? ›

Nursing provides more diverse career opportunities, but a career in pharmacy pays more. Also as Bsc nursing is an undergraduate degree ( 4 years) it has more value than d pharma which is a diploma (2 years ). Further, Pharmacists can earn good salaries and the hours are often very flexible .

Is a career in pharmacy worth it? ›

Pharmacists typically enjoy a comfortable annual salary. This can be very important in your decision to pursue a degree in pharmacy, especially if you need to apply for student loans. The average salary across the board for pharmacists is $128,710, although this amount can vary based on specialization or state.

Is pharmacy major hard? ›

With required topics such as pharmacology, pharmacotherapy, and pharmaco*kinetics, there can be no doubt that pharmacy school is hard. According to the American Associations of Colleges of Pharmacy it is estimated that more than 10% of people who make it into pharmacy school do not make it through to graduation day [1].

Is pharmacy a tough course? ›

Pharmacy isn't that tough and in fact, it is easy to pass compared to many other courses. It is not difficult to obtain a B. pharmacy licence.

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