Pharmacy Degree Facts
Technically speaking, a Pharmacy Degree is a graduate level degree. To become a pharmacist, you need a Doctor of Pharmacy degree (PharmD) before you can take the licensure exam to become a pharmacist. The typical undergraduate degree which you’ll find useful to achieve this is would be a Bachelor of Science in Pharmaceutical Sciences. But you don’t really need a 4-year degree as some schools offer a pre-pharmacy program that lasts only two years.
Your studies will include pharmacology (how drugs interact with the human body), pharmaceutics (how medicines are created), chemistry, human biology and physiology. You can then specialize and focus on a particular subject such as:
- Pharmacology. You’ll study how drugs can treat various conditions and how poisons can harm the body. Methods of delivering drugs are studied. You’ll know how drugs are absorbed and how they may react to various substances.
- Drug development. This is focused on how medicines are created. You’ll learn how to conduct trials and research, find out about manufacturing processes, learn about regulations regarding drug manufacture, and also discover how financial viability plays a factor.
- Microbiology. This is where you learn how micro-organisms can cause illnesses. This subject is often learned along with immunology, which is the study of the immune system.
What Can You Do with a Pharmacology Degree?
According to the US Bureau of Labor, the demand for pharmacists will increase by 25% from 2010 to 2020. This is due to the growing average age of the population, and spread of health insurance. As of 2012, the median annual wage for pharmacists in the US is $116,670.
Perhaps the most common place you’ll find a pharmacist these days is at a pharmacy. These places are tailor-made for pharmacy graduates. Here you can help dispense the proper medicines and advice consumers on what medicines to get.
Other places where you can work include:
- Hospital pharmacies. These are the pharmacies located right in the hospital. Aside from the generic pharmacist duties, you’ll also help buy and test medicines that the hospital stocks.
- Research labs. Here you can study how to come up and develop new drugs, how to help develop new delivery systems, how to minimize risk, and how to optimize medical prescriptions.
- Veterinaries. You can also work here to make sure that animal patients get the right medicines.
- Government regulatory bodies. Here you can help set and implement proper medicinal policies and regulations.
- Universities. You can work as a researcher or teach a pharmacy related subject to future pharmacists.
What are the Best Schools to Get a Pharmacy Degree?
While the UK holds most of the top spots among the best colleges and universities for Pharmacy graduates, there are quite a few topnotch pharmacy universities in the US as well:
- Harvard University
- Yale University
- University of Michigan
- University of California, San Francisco
- University of California, San Diego (UCSD)
- University of Arizona
- University of Pennsylvania
- Duke University
- University of Wisconsin – Madison
- Johns Hopkins University
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