***DISCLAIMER: Published April 2019. All information subject to change. The information provided is not comprehensive. Self-research will be required to supplement the information provided.
1. What are the pre-pharmacy prerequisites that I should take?
Open the link to the right to see an informative spreadsheet !
2. How many years is pharmacy school?
A majority of pharmacy schools have a 4-year program (e.g. UCSD, USC, etc.). However, there are pharmacy schools that have a 3-year program that runs year round (e.g. UCSF, UOP, etc.).
3. What are some alternate routes to getting a PharmD?
Traditional route (Four Year College): Most pharmacy schools require applicants to obtain a Bachelor’s degree from a University, this could be in any area (Biology, Chemistry, History, Sociology) as long as every pre-requisite for the Pharmacy school is satisfied before attending. Generally, most individuals will apply to a Pharmacy school program during their fourth year. Annual application cycles open in late July and will close at the beginning of November (for programs not on a rolling basis).
Gap year route (Four Year College + 1-2 years): After obtaining a Bachelor’s degree from a University, individuals can choose to wait on applying and instead pursue a job, volunteer in a medical setting, or pursue internships or research opportunities in other areas to improve their understanding of the pharmaceutical field. This is a viable option as during this period individuals can save money in anticipation of the financial burden of pharmacy school and this period can improve one’s exposure to a pharmacy setting. Applicants can then add these opportunities onto their resume before the annual application cycle.
Professional route (Four Year College + Professional/Master’s Degree): After receiving a Bachelor’s degree, students may apply to graduate school programs in other areas outside of pharmacy such as medical schools, professional schools, master degree programs, etc. Following the completion of these professional or master’s programs, individuals can pursue a PharmD by applying to a pharmacy school program during the annual application cycle.
Hybrid degree route (Two years of undergraduate education + Four years of Pharmacy schools): Some pharmacy schools do not require a Bachelor’s degree or have expedited programs.
Two years of relevant undergraduate coursework in chemistry, biology, anatomy, physiology, advanced math and English (all prerequisites).
Depending on the school, students are required to take the PCAT in order to apply to the university’s pharmacy school program. Students in the program are not guaranteed into the pharmacy school program and must apply during the annual application cycle.
If admitted, the student will continue the program and complete the four year-pharmacy school program to receive their PharmD.
4. How much is pharmacy school?
The price of pharmacy school can range from approximately $152,000 ($38,0000 per year) to $232,000 ($58,000 per year). Tuition for each pharmacy school differs, depending on public/private and in/out-of-state schools. Cost of living and housing should also be considered depending on location of pharmacy school.
5. What does the timeline for applying to pharmacy schools look like?
Here is a general timeline, based on this Academic Year (2018-19). Please keep in mind that there are some schools that vary in application deadlines, rolling admission dates, and interview periods. This is meant to provide a rough outline that is based on the November 1st deadline that you will have to tailor to your specific schools and plans.
Here is another timeline format.
6. What schools require the PCAT (as of Fall 2019)? When is it typically offered every year?
PCAT Testing Dates for 2019-2020: http://pcatweb.info/downloads/About/ImportantPCATDates.pdf
Example of pharmacy schools that have required the PCAT in 2018 application cycle:
University of Washington, University of Utah, University of Pittsburgh, University of Minnesota,
University of Michigan, University of Florida, University of Georgia, University of Colorado,
University of Arizona, University of Texas at Austin, Chapman University.
7. What fields of pharmacy can you pursue with a PharmD?
There are a variety of pharmaceutical fields, including psychiatric, oncology, ambulatory care,
industrial... the list goes on! A more comprehensive list(with details) can be found here.
8. How do I apply for a pharmacy technician license (for CA)?
Step 1: Get your Pharmacy Technician Certification
Create an account on the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board website
Create an account with PearsonVUE. Keep in mind you will need your account number from your PTCB account to schedule a test date.
Using PearsonVUE schedule an exam date and location that works best for you. The Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam will cost $129. The exam will take 2 hours and a score of 1,400 (scaled: 1,000-1,600) is required to pass.
Step 2: Apply for Pharmacy Technician License
Once you have obtained your Pharmacy Technician Certification, you will need to apply for your license through the California Board of Pharmacy.
In addition to filling out the application you will be required to supply: $140 check for application fee, high school transcript, PTCB certificate, self-query report, Social Security Number, fingerprints, and a passport style photo.
Once you have all the necessary components of your application, you will need to mail them to the California Board of Pharmacy. It may take anywhere from 45-60 days for you application to be processed.
9. How does the pharmacy technician license process differ for international students?
Foreign High School Graduate: Attach a notarized copy of your foreign secondary school diploma or certificate OR a notarized copy of your foreign secondary school transcripts. If not in English, then include a certified translation in English. The translation may be from an evaluation service that states your education is equal to graduating high school in the U.S.
Each state has different requirements, but California specifically needs an SSN (Social Security Number) or TIN (tax identification number). See the state requirements here.
10. How do I renew my pharmacy technician license?
Both your pharmacy technician license and certification have expiration dates. Check both of your documents for those specific expiration dates. Renewing the license and reapplying for recertification are two different processes.
Renewing your license:
Visit pharmacy.ca.gov website here.
You can renew online or by mail.
Fill out the application. You will need your license number and address.
Pay the $140 fee.
Renewing your certification:
Visit the PTCB website & log into your account. The application is online.
You must earn 20 hours of CEs (Continuing Education). The PTCB website has criteria for acceptable CEs. 1 hour out of the 20 hours has to be in the subject of pharmacy law. Another 1 of the 20 hours has to be in the subject of patient safety.
TIP: You can use one of your science courses here at UCLA that you earned a “C” or better in for 10 hours of CE. You will have to make sure that it qualifies.
Fill out the application and pay the $40 fee.
The earliest you can submit your application for recertification is 60 days prior to your certification expiration date. The last day to submit is the expiration date. Keep in mind that it takes up to 10 business days for the application to be processed and has the potential to be denied due to unqualified CEs.
You can also refer to the PTCB website.