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Careers in Pharmacy

The principal goal of pharmaceutical care is to achieve positive outcomes from the use of medication which improves patients' quality of life.


  • are specialists in the science and clinical use of medications
  • possess knowledge about the composition of drugs, their chemical and physical properties
  • stay informed about the manufacture and uses of drugs  as well as how products are tested for purity and strength
  • possess experience in understanding the activity of a drug and how it works within the body

In addition, pharmacists

  • are consistently ranked as one of the most highly trusted professionals because of the care and service they provide 
  • play an integral part of the total healthcare team 

Their expertise is needed to advise physicians and establish policies as drug therapies get more complicated. And more and more prescribers rely on pharmacists for information about various drugs, availability and activity.

There is an unprecedented demand for pharmacists in a wide variety of occupational settings and can include additional years of study as well as residencies and fellowships in a variety of specialties.

Pharmacy students come from a wide variety of educational backgrounds with chemistry as the most common major for pharmacy.  The Pharm.D. degree program requires at least two years of pre-professional (undergraduate) coursework followed by four academic years of professional study.

Employment and Career Options

  • Regulatory – on a federal or state level
  • Institutional – government, hospitals, long-term care, medical/dental or veterinary
  • Consulting – medical, home health care
  • Academia – administration, clinical, continuing and experiential education, pharmaceutics, pharmacology
  • Industry – administration, business, research and development/manufacturing, technical/scientific
  • Community – chain, group/HMO or independent
  • Other – legal, mail order, wholesale, Armed Services


  • Acquire a solid education in high school science and math as they are good preparation for the advanced science courses required in the Doctor of Pharmacy curriculum
  • Courses in biology, chemistry, physics, and mathematics are especially desirable
  • Develop good written and verbal communication skills
  • Demonstrate a potential for contributing to the profession
  • Become involved and volunteer in health-related environments
  • Shadow pharmacists in various fields to obtain an idea of a typical day in the profession