Most schools worldwide offer 6-year pharmacy programs though some also offer pharmacy for 5 years. One may not say there is a disadvantage in offering pharmacy for 5 years or staying the extra 6th year.
However, what matters most isn’t the number of years one studies pharmacy but how knowledgeable and competent one becomes in practice.
Students who study pharmacy for 6 years are likely to have more experience than those who study for 5 years. Students who stay the extra 6th year are awarded PharmD. The Pharm.D. is a professional degree similar to a Doctor of Medicine (MD) or Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS).
As a doctorate, it represents pharmacists’ increasing responsibility in health care systems and the high trust Americans have in pharmacists.
The duration for acquiring a Pharm.D is 6 years which is 5 years of study plus 1 year of internship or residency. It is a post-graduate (PG) qualification; hence, Pharm.D graduates can register directly for Ph.D.
All candidates awarded the Pharm.D degree are eligible to use the prefix “Dr.” before their name, which will reflect on the certificate issued to them by their PCI-approved institute/ university.
After earning a Doctor of Pharmacy degree and passing licensure examinations, pharmacy graduates can practice pharmacy anywhere in the world.
I will share major schools worldwide where you can gain 6-year pharmacy programs in this article.
Are there courses I should take to prepare for the 6-year pharmacy program?
Yes, having a good understanding and education in science and math is very important to prepare for pharmacy study.
High school science classes help prepare students for the advanced science courses required in the Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D.) degree curriculum.
Furthermore, high school biology, chemistry, physics, and mathematics courses are especially desirable. High school students considering a career in pharmacy should also have good written and verbal communication skills.
These skills will help create an educational foundation on which to grow.
Will I take any tests before enrolling in the pharmacy school?
Different Pharm.D schools may require different tests. Some may require you to pass their school aptitude test, and there may also be a requirement for you to submit Advanced Placement (AP), International Baccalaureate (IB), College-Level Examination Program (CLEP), SAT, ACT, or other test scores before you can enroll to study a 6-year pharmacy program.
List of schools that offer 6-year Pharmacy Programs
Below is a list of top schools that offer 6-year PharmD programs in the US.
- University of North Carolina–Chapel Hill
- University of Minnesota
- The University of California–San Francisco
- University of Michigan–Ann Arbor
- University of Texas–Austin
- Ohio State University
- University of Illinois–Chicago
- University of Kentucky
- Purdue University
- University of Maryland–BaltimoreUniversity of Maryland–Baltimore
#1. Eshelman School of Pharmacy, University of North Carolina
The UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy is an internationally recognized leader in pharmacy practice, education, and research. It is one school that offers 6-year pharmacy programs.
The school is known for building and developing leaders in pharmacy education, pharmacy practice, and pharmaceutical sciences who make a difference in human health worldwide.
Furthermore, the School offers pharmacy and pharmaceutical sciences opportunities that are not available anywhere else.
The School is part of the University of North Carolina, a major research university with a large teaching hospital and schools of medicine, public health, nursing, and dentistry.
UNC anchors one corner of North Carolina’s famed Research Triangle Park, which hosts an abundance of pharmaceutical, biotech, and healthcare companies.
This environment offers abundant opportunities for collaboration in research, education, and patient care with partners in academia, industry, and health care.
In 2014, the Eshelman School of Pharmacy entered a collaboration with the pharmacy schools at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia, and University College London. These three institutions formed what is known as the PharmAlliance.
The PharmAlliance is an international partnership among the leading institutions of their kind on three continents. The alliance will take on challenges that no pharmacy school will overcome alone.
In addition, this is to advance and transform research, education, and practice in pharmacy and the pharmaceutical sciences worldwide.
#2. University of Minnesota College of Pharmacy
The College of Pharmacy at the University of Minnesota has been established for over 10 decades. The University of Minnesota, College of Pharmacy, has prepared pharmacists to be leaders in health care and society and is consistently recognized as one of the best pharmacy schools.
Furthermore, the college was established in 1892. Ever since, the University of Minnesota College of Pharmacy has improved the health of Minnesotans and other people around the world through innovative education, pioneering research, and interdisciplinary practice development.
The staff, students, alumni, and partners work together to shape the pharmacy field, and accelerate innovations in education, drug discovery and development, healthcare, economics and policy, pharmaceutical care, medication management, and progressive practice.
The College of Pharmacy was recently recognized as one of the best pharmacy schools in the nation and ranked #2 by U.S. News & World Report.
In addition, the sole mission of the school is to improve health through innovative education, pioneering research, and interdisciplinary practice development that attends to the diverse needs of the people of Minnesota and the world.
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#3. University of California
The UCSF is one college with 6-year pharmacy programs. A PharmD degree program in this school prepares you academically for a wide-open future in pharmacy practice and supports your professional growth and well-being as a student.
The school has made it a duty to be sure their students thrive in their study of pharmacy. They help you, the student develop skills that will further help you balance priorities, attend to your own health and well-being, have the learning resources you need to succeed, and take advantage of opportunities to lead and take part within teams and organizations.
Furthermore, they also help prepare you for the next steps after you graduate, including post-graduate training.
Upon this foundation, you’ll surely build the core knowledge, pharmacy practice skills, and patient care experiences you’ll need for a career in pharmacy as a caring, patient-centered expert in the safe and effective use of medicines.
#4. College of Pharmacy University of Michigan
There’s no better place where you can find value, opportunity, or preparation for success as a PharmD candidate than at the University of Michigan College of Pharmacy.
This college of Pharmacy is a small school in one of the world’s most prestigious universities-University of Michigan.
Furthermore, this school which is amongst the colleges with 6-year pharmacy programs, is affiliated with world-class health care and research organization at the University of Michigan.
These factors make the University of Michigan 0-6 PharmD program an outstanding choice for your professional training.
Basically, the school aims to provide exposure to all facets of the field, increase awareness of healthcare issues, enhance critical thinking, and improve patient care skills.
Values you will enjoy at the University of Michigan College of Pharmacy:
- Competitive tuition: consistently lower than other top 10 competitors
- Substantial scholarship support available for students
- World-class practice and teaching at the University of Michigan Health System
- Small class size (typically 85) with an enviable student/faculty ratio of 4:1
- Multi-year research projects
- Inter-professional classes with medical, dentistry, nursing, public health, kinesiology, and social work students
- Faculty lecturers who are nationally renowned clinical practitioners and researchers
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#5. University of Texas
The College of the Pharmacy University of Texas at Austin is one of the country’s premier institutions of pharmaceutical education and research.
The 6-year Doctor of Pharmacy program here prepares future practitioners to meet challenges as lifelong learners and leaders in drug therapy management.
Also, this school of pharmacy offer graduate programs leading to research-focused M.S. or Ph.D. degrees in pharmacy, including the inter-institutional Ph.D. program in translational research.
The school is an exceptional faculty that brings cutting-edge research and clinical expertise to the classroom and supervises student-learning experiences in patient care and research. What starts in this school will change the world.
#6. Ohio State University College of Pharmacy
You can learn from an innovative curriculum with leaders in the profession at one of the top-ranked colleges of pharmacy and health science environments in the country-Ohio State University College of Pharmacy.
The Ohio State University College of Pharmacy’s 0-6 Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) program develops best-in-class care providers who serve as the responsible medication experts in the healthcare delivery system.
Graduates of the program are exceptionally well prepared for pharmacy practice and advanced pharmacy education globally.
The school has seven health science colleges and is located in a comprehensive, nationally ranked medical center.
Student pharmacists have access to world-class faculty members in the College of Pharmacy, where they can learn from scientists and clinicians who are discovering tomorrow’s cures and treating today’s most complex diseases.
Current rankings by the US NEWS has placed this school on the list of top 10 pharmacy schools in the US.
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#7. University of Illinois
The UIC College of Pharmacy is ranked the No 1 college of pharmacy in Illinois and the No 6 college in the country. This is according to a recent ranking by US News and World Report.
The excellence of this school, however, goes beyond rankings. You see it daily in the world-class faculty, brilliant researchers, and amazing students.
The spark inside everyone at the UIC College of Pharmacy drives everyone in this community to change the face of healthcare.
The College of Pharmacy offers the Doctor of Pharmacy degree, a 6-year PharmD program.
The PharmD curriculum at UIC emphasizes a patient-centered course of study. It provides a structure that will enable students to develop into reflective practitioners with skills and attitudes to expect change, criticize, evaluate, and change practice in a changing healthcare arena.
Also, the curriculum provides a fundamental core of knowledge, skills, and attitudes, which promotes the fulfillment of the adopted professional competencies for a generalist practitioner who delivers pharmaceutical care.
At the end of the program, the students should be able to:
- serve society as ethical and caring professionals;
- solve problems on behalf of their patients;
- educate, communicate, and collaborate with patients, colleagues, and other health professionals;
- practice pharmacy in traditional and nontraditional settings;
- assume a leadership role.
#8. University of Kentucky
The University of Kentucky, College of Pharmacy, is a college of pharmacy in Lexington, Kentucky. In 2016, U.S. News & World Report recognized the UK College of Pharmacy as one of the nation’s top ten pharmacy programs.
This school is one college with a 6-year pharmacy program in the United States. Students at the University of Kentucky, College of Pharmacy, earn a PharmD degree through a 4-year professional program comprising 3 years of didactic courses followed by 1 year of clinical pharmacy rotations.
In addition, the College of Pharmacy offers several dual-degree programs that allow prospective pharmacists to receive an additional degree along with a PharmD.
These include the Master’s of Pharmaceutical Science, the Master’s of Public Health, and the Masters of Business Administration.
#9. Purdue University
Are you ready to lead the way? The Purdue College of Pharmacy is the place for you. This school is one school that offer 6-year PharmD programs. The Mission of the Purdue University College of Pharmacy is to:
- Educate and train students to become leading pharmacists and scientists,
- Advance scientific discovery and development, and
- Maximize global health outcomes through patient care and public service.
Graduate programs leading to M.S. and Ph.D. degrees are offered in three departments (Industrial and Physical Pharmacy, Medicinal Chemistry and Molecular Pharmacology, and Pharmacy Practice).
Additionally, the school offers several non-degree certificate programs and post-graduate continuing education activities.
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#10. The University of Maryland School of Pharmacy
The University of Maryland School of Pharmacy, founded in 1841, is the nation’s fourth oldest school of pharmacy.
The School is one of seven professional schools and a graduate school located at the University of Maryland, a thriving center for life sciences research and community service.
So, through its education, research, and service programs, the School of Pharmacy strives to improve the health and well-being of society by aiding in the discovery, development, and use of medicines.
- Department of Pharmacy Practice and Science (PPS): Faculty in PPS address health disparities, medication use, and best practices to prevent and treat various diseases, with clinical science research activities focused on gaining a better understanding of drug efficacy and delivery.
- Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences (PSC): Researchers in PSC work to identify and develop new drugs to treat drug abuse, cancer, metabolic diseases, and infection.
- Department of Pharmaceutical Health Services Research (PHSR): Faculty in PHSR provide valuable information on the economic costs and public policy issues that arise once drugs and therapies are available to the public.
FAQs on 6-year Pharmacy Programs
Pharmacy schools that accept all or most students directly from high school are referred to as “0-6” programs because these students can complete their pre-pharmacy and professional study within six years after high school.
Most stand-alone Pharm.D. programs take four years to complete. If you complete a bachelor’s degree before entering your program, it will take eight years to become a pharmacist. Still, if you enter a program after two or three years of undergraduate study, you can start practicing sooner.
According to your answers, a pharmacist isn’t a suitable career choice for you. … To become a pharmacist, one needs a Pharm.D. degree which can take from six to eight years after high school graduation to complete. This includes two to four years of college coursework and four years of professional study.
The employment of pharmacists is projected to grow 6 percent from 2016 to 2026, about as fast as the average for all occupations. Demand is projected to increase for pharmacists in various healthcare settings, including hospitals and clinics.
Yes. Some pharmacy schools accept students immediately after they graduate from high school. Pharmacy schools that accept all or most students directly from high school are referred to as “0-6” programs because these students can complete their pre-pharmacy and professional study within six years after high school.