Have you ever wondered how long does it take to become a pharmacist? When you are learning more about pharmacy degree programs, you may be considering how much schooling to be a pharmacist is required and how many years of college to be a pharmacist is needed in order to complete your educational requirements. The American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy now mandates that all aspiring pharmacists complete at least a three-year or four-year doctorate degree program after their first few years of college-level studies. Doctorate degree programs, (Pharm.D.) prepare students for the pharmacy licensing exam and also provide adequate training in the form of clinicals, research projects and other activities for a rewarding career in the field.

Number of Years to Become a Pharmacist

If you've wondered how many years of college to be a pharmacist is required, you can speak with an admissions counselor or advisor at the College of Pharmacy of your educational institution of choice. Many people interested in pharmacy careers evaluate how long it takes to become a pharmacist so that they know what to expect when they enroll in a degree program.

Pharmacy degree requirements typically include the following:

  • Undergraduate degree in the medical or science field, with an emphasis on advanced courses in subjects such as chemistry, biology, physics and mathematics
  • Graduate studies in a related field (optional)
  • Completion of a pre-pharmacy education program
  • Application to a College of Pharmacy doctorate degree program
  • Passing the College of Pharmacy admissions test
  • Obtaining references from professors or employers
  • Submission of an accurate application that includes a personal statement

How Much Schooling to Be a Pharmacist?

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In most cases, it will take you between three and four years to complete your doctorate degree program, but the amount of schooling you need to become a pharmacist could vary depending on the area you are choosing to specialize in, and the number of credits you are taking each semester. If you decide to complete a portion of your pharmacy degree online, you may end up lengthening your educational track. For some students, completing a doctor degree of pharmacy takes only three years. For others, it can take up to five years or more depending on their area of study, types of research projects they want to undertake, and their course workload each semester.

How Many Years of College to Be a Pharmacist?

Licensed pharmacists typically have several years of college experience before they are able to apply for a position in their field. Most employers prefer to hire graduates from an accredited college or university with a doctorate degree, because these advanced degree programs require students to complete several years of intensive research, participate in labs and clinicals, and take advanced science and math courses. If you've wondered how many years of college to be a pharmacist is required, you can expect to complete your program within five to eight years after your undergraduate degree. This can be a challenging educational track for many, and the field of pharmacy is becoming increasingly competitive as employers look for only the most experienced and dedicated graduates to join their team. Taking advanced courses early on in your educational career can put you in a better position to complete your pharmacy degree requirements as quickly as possible and get your Pharm.D. degree within a few years after your bachelor's degree or other college-level training.