When you are completing a Pharm.D. degree or other pharmacy training program, you'll need to review the prerequisites and course requirements. A counselor or advisor at the College of Pharmacy can recommend an educational track to prepare you for the rigorous pharmacy training program, and you may be able to take some introductory pharmacy courses early in your educational career to prepare you for the upper-level courses later. Course requirements vary slightly from school to school, and by the type of training program the student is enrolled in.

Pharmacist Training Programs

There is no national standard for pharmacist training programs, but most employers do prefer to hire candidates who have a doctorate degree. This means you will need to complete several pre-pharmacy courses, pass an examination to get into the College of Pharmacy, and fulfill all educational requirements for a Pharm.D. degree before you sit for your licensing exam. Pharmacy courses for a Pharm.D. degree typically include both classroom and clinical work, so you will need to spend a significant time on campus performing experiments, participating in research studies, and attending workshops or educational seminars.

In order to enroll in a pharmacy training program at an accredited college or university, you will need to have completed at least two years of postsecondary study - preferably in the medical or science field - and then apply for a doctorate degree program. Some students choose to enter a pharmacist training program after completed graduate school or some graduate-level studies in medicine or science. The courses taken at this level can also be helpful when working towards a Pharm.D. degree.

Types of Pharmacy Training Programs

Many pharmacy degree-granting institutions offer a few different types of pharmacy training programs or specialized courses in the field. These include:

  • Retail pharmacy - training to work at a retail store or a neighborhood pharmacy
  • Hospital pharmacy - training to work in an inpatient or outpatient pharmacy setting
  • Home care pharmacy - also known as home infusion pharmacy
  • Pharmaceutical research - training for advanced research studies

Types of Pharmacy Courses

Most pharmacy courses focus on drug therapy, patient communication and medication distribution. Pharmacy training courses prepare students for the licensing exam and also give students a solid educational foundation for advanced courses in the field.

Some of the most common types of pharmacy courses available at accredited colleges and universities include:

  • Pharmaceutical Sciences
  • Basic Pharmaceutics
  • Drug Development
  • Physical Chemical Principles
  • Regulatory Practices
  • Manufacturing Processes
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Medicinal Chemistry
  • Biometrics and Pharmaceutical Analysis
  • Molecular Targets
  • General Pharmaceutical Care
  • Principles of Public Health Science
  • Community and Institutional Pharmacy
  • Medical Health Physics
  • Pediatric Pharmacotherapy
  • Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experience (APPE)

Some schools allow a student to complete a portion of their pharmacy training courses online, but the student will still need to complete some coursework at a classroom or training center in order to fulfill their degree requirements.

Tips for Completing Pharmacy Training

In addition to completing all required pharmacy courses, student show are enrolled in a pharmacist training program can increase their opportunities for an attractive career after graduation by:

  • Networking
  • Attending workshops and professional association meetings
  • Obtaining as much practical experience as possible
  • Maximizing opportunities available through internships
  • Researching the different fields and specialties to choose the right career path