Pharmacists dispense drugs prescribed by physicians and health care practitioners and provide information to patients about medications. They must understand the use and effects of medications. They work in a variety of settings including hospitals, drugstores, long-term care facilities and health clinics. They work directly with the public to provide counseling about possible drug interactions, dosage, and instructions for taking medication.
To become a pharmacist, students complete at least two years required courses including:
- general biology
- calculus & statistics
- general chemistry
- organic chemistry
- anatomy & physiology
- recommended core curriculum: public speaking, psychology, & economics
Students must take the Pharmacy College Admission Test (PCAT) and then apply to a PharmD degree program. The American Association of College of Pharmacy (AACP) maintains a list of PharmD Program admissions requirements. PharmD programs are typically for years. Some areas of pharmacy require a one to two year residency after graduation. Students must also take a licensing exam according to the state where they plan to practice.
AACP has a common application service PharmCAS. The application opens in July. Early application is recommended.
Pharmacy is Right for Me is an excellent source of information for pre-pharmacy students.