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2023 Pharmacy/Pharmaceutical Sciences Degree Guide

Pharmacists know everything about medication from how it works to dangerous interactions between prescriptions. If you would like to prepare medications and counsel patients on the proper use of certain drugs, consider majoring in Pharmacy/Pharmaceutical Sciences.

Pharmacists oversee pharmacies, work with patients, keep records of pervious prescriptions, and inform people about potential side effects of medications. If you decide to major in this area of study, you will take classes in chemistry, math, biology, anatomy and physiology, and medical ethics to learn the scientific background of medications and the reactions they cause within the body.

Along with the option to major in general Pharmacy, students are also able to concentrate in certain areas such as Pharmacy Policy and Regulatory Affairs, Pharmaceutics and Drug Design, Medicinal and Pharmaceutical Chemistry, Natural Products Chemistry and Pharmacognosy, Clinical and Industrial Drug Development, Pharmaceutical Economics, Physical Pharmacy and Cosmetic Sciences, Pharmaceutical Sciences, Pharmaceutical Marketing and Management, and many others.

A Spike in Pharmacy/Pharmaceutical Sciences Degrees

#53 Most Popular Major
20.4k Degrees Awarded
4.7% Increase in Graduates

Pharmacy/Pharmaceutical Sciences was the 53rd most popular major in the 2020-2021 school year. Colleges in the United States reported awarding 20,393 degrees in this year alone. This is a difference of 957 over the prior year, a growth of 4.7%.

Our 2023 Best Pharmacy/Pharmaceutical Sciences Schools ranking analyzes 144 of these schools to determine the best overall colleges for pharmacy/pharmaceutical sciences students. Continue reading to check out one of our many unbiased rankings of pharmacy programs later in this article.

2023 Best Colleges for Pharmacy/Pharmaceutical Sciences
2023 Overall Best Pharmacy/Pharmaceutical Sciences Colleges >

Best Pharmacy/Pharmaceutical Sciences Schools by Degree

Associate Degrees in Pharmacy/Pharmaceutical Sciences
Bachelor's Degrees in Pharmacy/Pharmaceutical Sciences
Master's Degrees in Pharmacy/Pharmaceutical Sciences
Doctorate Degrees in Pharmacy/Pharmaceutical Sciences


Requirements for Getting a Degree in Pharmacy/Pharmaceutical Sciences

Pharmacy/Pharmaceutical Sciences students should have strong analytical skills and pay close attention to detail. As a professional, they will be responsible for checking patients' history to ensure they are not taking other medications that may be dangerous to mix with new ones. They must also fill prescriptions accurately and keep them organized so they go to the right person. Since you will counsel people picking up prescriptions, it is important to have strong interpersonal and communication skills in order to relay understandable information.

Most graduates in this field work fulltime in pharmacies, drug stores, hospitals, and grocery stores, but a percentage of pharmacists are part time. Pharmacies are usually open during normal business hours, but some Pharmacy/Pharmaceutical Sciences professionals may work on weekends or at night to ensure people can get medication whenever necessary. Other graduates pursue careers in medical labs researching new and more effective drugs.

While some areas in this field only require a bachelor's degree, students who are interested in becoming pharmacists must receive their Doctor of Pharmacy degree. It typically takes 4 years to finish a doctoral program. Along with an advanced degree, graduates must also be licensed in the state they plan on working in.

Getting Accepted Into a Pharmacy/Pharmaceutical Sciences Program

New students will need to have completed high school or a GED program and each school will have their own minimum GPA and SAT/ACT test requirements. Once you obtain your degree, additional pharmacy certifications required to pursue a career in this field.

Types of Pharmacy/Pharmaceutical Sciences Degrees

There are many different pharmacy degree levels. Pharmacy/Pharmaceutical Sciences programs offered by schools range from a to a , which is the highest pharmacy degree you can get. Depending on the pharmacy/pharmaceutical sciences degree you choose, obtaining your diploma can take anwhere from 1 to 4+ years.

Degree Credit Requirements Typical Program Length
Associate Degree 60-70 credits 2 years
Bachelor’s Degree 120 credits 4 years
Master’s Degree 50-70 credits 1-3 years
Doctorate Program required coursework including thesis or dissertation At least 4 years

A bachelor's degree is the most common level of education achieved by those in careers related to pharmacy, with approximately 29.5% of workers getting one. See the the most common levels of education for pharmacy workers below.

Level of Education Percentage of Workers
Bachelor’s Degree 28.5%
Doctoral Degree 19.2%
Master’s Degree 17.2%
First Professional Degree 12.7%
Post-Doctoral Training 12.2%

59.4% of pharmacy workers have at least a master's. View the chart below to get an idea of what degree level most of those in pharmacy/pharmaceutical sciences careers have.


This of course varies depending on which pharmacy career you choose.

Career Opportunities for Pharmacy Majors

Above Average Number of Jobs
$95.5k Average Starting Salary
11% Growth Job Outlook 2016-26

Pharmacy/Pharmaceutical Sciences graduates typically work in pharmacies located in drug stores, hospitals, and grocery stores. However, some people work in medical labs creating new drugs to fight diseases.

Solid Growth Projected for Pharmacy Careers

Want a job when you graduate with your pharmacy degree? Pharmacy/Pharmaceutical Sciences careers are expected to grow 11.4% between 2016 and 2026.

The following options are some of the most in-demand careers related to pharmacy/pharmaceutical sciences.

Occupation Name Projected Jobs Expected Growth
Sales Managers 414,400 7.5%
Pharmacists 329,900 5.6%
Health Specialties Professors 294,000 25.9%
Marketing Managers 240,400 10.1%
Medical Scientists 136,100 13.4%

How Much Money Do Pharmacy Grads Make?

Pharmacy/Pharmaceutical Sciences graduates between 2017-2019 reported earning an average of $95,543 in the 2019-2020 timeframe. Earnings can range from as low as $18,068 to as high as $124,319. As you might expect, salaries for pharmacy graduates vary depending on the level of education that was acquired.


Highest Paid Pharmacy Careers

Salaries for pharmacy/pharmaceutical sciences graduates can vary widely by the occupation you choose as well. The following table shows the top highest paying careers pharmacy grads often go into.

Occupation Name Median Average Salary
Marketing Managers $147,240
Sales Managers $140,320
Pharmacists $123,670
Health Specialties Professors $122,320
Medical Scientists $96,420

Getting Your Pharmacy/Pharmaceutical Sciences Degree

With over 590 different pharmacy degree programs to choose from, finding the best fit for you can be a challenge. Fortunately you have come to the right place. We have analyzed all of these schools to come up with hundreds of unbiased pharmacy school rankings to help you with this.

One of 30 majors within the Health Professions area of study, Pharmacy/Pharmaceutical Sciences has other similar majors worth exploring.

Pharmacy Focus Areas

Major Annual Graduates
Pharmacy 15,637
Pharmaceutical Sciences 2,139
Other Pharmacy, Pharmaceutical Sciences, and Administration 876
Pharmaceutics and Drug Design 503
Pharmacy Administration and Pharmacy Policy and Regulatory Affairs 240

View All Pharmacy Concentrations >

Related Major Annual Graduates
Nursing 322,592
Health & Medical Administrative Services 89,359
Allied Health & Medical Assisting Services 84,492
Practical Nursing & Nursing Assistants 84,274
Allied Health Professions 82,308

View All Pharmacy Related Majors >


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