As the field of pharmacy and pharmaceutical research becomes more competitive, employers are requiring their employees to have a Doctor of Pharmacy or PhD in Pharmacy in order to practice as a pharmacist. Having a pharmacy degree from an accredited college or university can give you a competitive advantage when you are applying for pharmacy jobs.

The top ranking schools in the country offer intensive educational programs that include clinicals, lab work and research projects, to provide students with a well-rounded, high quality education. Some schools in the United States now offer a pharmacy degree online. Online pharmacy degree programs can give a student more flexibility with their schedule, and are also beneficial to medical professionals who want to advance in their careers or branch out into other specialties.

Pharmacy Degree Programs - Before You Enroll

Pharmacy degree programs prepare students for positions as a pharmacist, pharmacy aide, pharmacy technician or pharmaceutical researcher. Students who only complete a graduate pharmacy degree program or lower are typically qualified to apply for entry-level positions in the field. Employers today are looking for graduates with a Doctor of Pharmacy degree for pharmacist and research positions.

Before enrolling in a pharmacy degree program, it's a good idea to learn about the different roles of a pharmacist or pharmaceutical researcher, and decide whether you have the motivation and drive to continue your education in this field through your lifetime. According to the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy, the primary roles of a pharmacist include:

  • Curing diseases
  • Eliminating and reducing symptoms of diseases and ailments
  • Slowing down or stopping a disease process
  • Preventing disease
  • Diagnosing disease
  • Dispensing medication to produce a desirable result for the patient

Pharmacy degree programs prepare students to assume all of these roles and provide necessary training so that the individual can advance in their careers.

Completing an Online Pharmacy Degree

Since pharmacy degree programs require both classroom training and clinicals, students enrolled in an online pharmacy degree program may be required to complete their lab work or research project hours at an assigned location. Online pharmacy degree programs are typically comprised of simulations, online tutorials, online quizzes and tests, and may require a student to be an active participant in discussion forums on various topics.

Students who are working on their pharmacy degree online may also collaborate with other students and teachers from around the country on assigned projects, have access to online research materials and industry whitepapers, and will submit most of their assignments and research projects over the web.

An online pharmacy degree program is typically offered by an accredited college or university's College of Pharmacy and may lead to a doctorate degree in the field. Distance-learning options give students more flexibility with their schedules, and having a doctorate degree can open the door to many attractive job options and career opportunities.

Other Information about Getting a PhD in Pharmacy Online

Some colleges and universities offering online pharmacy degree programs give students two options for learning: a Remote Model or a Regional Model. In a Remote Model, the students has access to regional site locations and may be required to attend a single class once per week or a few times each semester. In the Regional Model, students can attend a physical classroom for an entire day at a certain location, solely for the purpose of completing clinical discussions and assessment requirements with a facilitator.

It's important to remember that a doctor of pharmacy degree program requires extensive research time and clinicals. Students can expect to spend a significant number of hours each semester doing research, writing reports and preparing for their final exams.