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50 Best Pharmacy Schools in the U.S.
At a Glance
- The U.S. hosts top pharmacy schools for aspiring pharmacists.
- Top five schools: University of North Carolina, University of Minnesota, UCSF, University of Michigan, and University of Texas.
- Comprehensive list of the top 50 pharmacy schools aids informed decision-making.
- Admissions consider GPA, recommendations, and test scores; holistic approach is crucial.
If you are interested in becoming a pharmacist, it’s definitely worthwhile to research the top pharmacy schools in the US. You’d want to make sure you get as much exposure as possible to this unique and groundbreaking field.
To help you out, we take a closer look at the current top 5 pharmacy schools in the US, then we’ll list the latest best 50 pharmacy schools in order.
Top 10 Pharmacy Schools in the U.S.
When it comes to pursuing a career in pharmacy, choosing the right school is a crucial step. The United States boasts some of the finest pharmacy schools in the world, each with its unique offerings and strengths. Let’s take a closer look at the top 5 pharmacy schools in the U.S. and what makes them stand out.
1. University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill
The University of North Carolina Eshelman School of Pharmacy stands as a beacon of excellence in pharmaceutical education and research. Nestled in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, this school boasts a rich history of producing top-tier pharmacists and pharmaceutical scientists. Its commitment to innovation and patient-centered care sets it apart as a leader in the field of pharmacy education. With a diverse range of programs and a strong emphasis on research, UNC-Chapel Hill offers aspiring pharmacists a robust foundation for a successful career.
NAPLEX Pass Rate: 97%
- Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D.): This program prepares students for a career as a pharmacist, emphasizing patient care and medication management.
- Ph.D. Program: The Ph.D. program provides unique research experiences and a specially-tailored curriculum for advanced training in drug development, drug delivery, and drug policy.
- Pharm.D./Ph.D. Dual Degree: For those interested in a combination of clinical practice and research, this dual degree program is an excellent choice.
2. University of Minnesota
The University of Minnesota’s College of Pharmacy is a renowned institution dedicated to the advancement of pharmaceutical knowledge and practice. Situated in Minneapolis, Minnesota, this college takes pride in its comprehensive approach to pharmacy education. It prepares students to become not just pharmacists but leaders in the healthcare industry. With a wide array of programs, including dual degrees and graduate studies, the University of Minnesota offers a dynamic learning environment for those passionate about pharmacy.
NAPLEX Pass Rate: 81%
- Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D.): This program educates students to become generalist pharmacy practitioners, focusing on patient care.
- Graduate Programs: The college offers various graduate programs, including Medicinal Chemistry and Integrated Biological Sciences, allowing students to specialize in their areas of interest.
- Dual Degree Programs: For those seeking a broader skillset, the college offers dual degree programs, such as Pharm.D./MBA and Pharm.D./MPH.
3. University of California San Francisco (UCSF)
The UCSF School of Pharmacy is a pillar of pharmaceutical education and research excellence on the West Coast. Located in the vibrant city of San Francisco, California, UCSF has earned a reputation for its commitment to innovation in healthcare. The school’s Pharm.D. program and various graduate degree offerings prepare students to excel in patient care and pharmaceutical research. With a focus on translational medicine and a wide range of career development opportunities, UCSF equips its students to be at the forefront of the evolving pharmacy landscape.
NAPLEX Pass Rate: 93%
- Pharm.D. Program: This program equips students with the knowledge and skills required to become competent pharmacists.
- Master’s and Ph.D. Programs: UCSF offers various Ph.D. graduate degree programs, allowing students to delve into specialized areas such as bioengineering, biophysics, and pharmaceutical sciences.
- Master of Translational Medicine: This program bridges the gap between research and patient care, preparing students for careers in translational medicine.
4. University of Michigan – Ann Arbor
The University of Michigan College of Pharmacy is a prestigious institution nestled in Ann Arbor, Michigan. With a legacy of excellence dating back over a century, it is known for its diverse and robust pharmacy programs. Whether you’re interested in patient care, research, or a combination of both, this college offers the tools and resources to help you succeed. Its dedication to producing well-rounded pharmacists and pharmaceutical scientists makes it a top choice for those aspiring to make a difference in healthcare.
NAPLEX Pass Rate: 96%
- Pharm.D. Program: This program focuses on producing well-rounded pharmacists capable of providing patient-centered care.
- Ph.D. Programs: The college offers Ph.D. programs in clinical pharmacy, medicinal chemistry, and more, allowing students to pursue advanced research.
- Dual Degree Programs: Students can combine their Pharm.D. with other degrees like an MBA or MPH, broadening their career options.
5. University of Florida – Gainesville, Florida
The College of Pharmacy at the University of Florida is renowned for its commitment to stellar pharmaceutical education and ranks #1 in student diversity among pharmaceutical programs. Situated in Gainesville, Florida, the college excels in providing an innovative and rigorous PharmD program, shaping future leaders in pharmaceutical health and science.
NAPLEX Pass Rate: 86%
- PharmD Program: This program is known for its rigorous curriculum and has led the nation in students matching into competitive pharmacy residency programs for six of the last seven years.
- Other Programs: The University offers a PhD and Residential Masters Program in Pharmacy and an Online Masters of Science in Pharmacy, making it an ideal choice for those aiming for residency programs post-PharmD.
6. University of Kentucky – Lexington, Kentucky
The University of Kentucky’s College of Pharmacy, operating for over 150 years, is home to the world’s largest pharmacy education and research building. Located in Lexington, Kentucky, it’s known for its comprehensive and collaborative PharmD program.
NAPLEX Pass Rate: 83%
- PharmD Program: Combining groundbreaking curriculum and collaborative coursework, the program includes experiential courses and offers dual degrees (PharmD/Masters of Public Health, PharmD/MBA, PharmD/Masters of Pharmaceutical Science).
- Other Programs: Besides the PharmD, the college also offers a PhD in Pharmaceutical Sciences.
7. Ohio State University – Columbus, Ohio
Ohio State University, with its rich history dating back to 1886, hosts a College of Pharmacy known for its world-class facilities and leadership in Pharmacy studies.
NAPLEX Pass Rate: 90%
- PharmD Program: The curriculum includes extensive on-the-job experience through the IPPE and APPE programs, offering a competitive edge to its graduates.
- Other Programs: Ohio State also offers a range of programs including Joint Master/PhD in Pharmaceutical Sciences, MS in Pharmaceutical Science, MS in Translational Pharmacology, and a PhD in Pharmaceutical Sciences.
8. Purdue University – West Lafayette, Indiana
Purdue University’s College of Pharmacy stands out with its unique approach to experiential learning in its PharmD program, making up 30% of the curriculum.
NAPLEX Pass Rate: 87%
- PharmD Program: Focuses on experiential learning, preparing students for real-world pharmacy challenges.
- Other Programs: Offers Master and PhD programs in Industrial and Physical Pharmacy, Medicinal Chemistry, Molecular Pharmacology, and Pharmacy Practice, including a PharmD/PhD option.
9. University of Illinois-Chicago – Chicago, Illinois
The University of Illinois-Chicago’s College of Pharmacy is a pioneer in offering diverse study options in pharmaceuticals, with over 150 years of history.
NAPLEX Pass Rate: 82%
- PharmD Program: Offers choices between two campuses, a PharmD, PharmD/PhD, PharmD/MBA, and eight different concentrations.
- Other Programs: Includes Master of Science in Comparative Effectiveness Research, PhD in Pharmacy (Systems, Outcomes, and Policy), and PhD in Pharmaceutical Sciences.
10. University of Texas – Austin
The University of Texas College of Pharmacy in Austin, Texas, is a hub of pharmaceutical education and research in the heart of the Lone Star State. With a focus on innovation and discovery, this college offers a range of programs that prepare students to excel in the ever-evolving field of pharmacy. From a strong Pharm.D. program to specialized graduate studies and advanced research opportunities, the University of Texas College of Pharmacy equips students with the knowledge and skills to address complex healthcare challenges.
NAPLEX Pass Rate: 94%
- Chemical Biology & Drug Discovery: Exploring novel drug compounds and their applications.
- Health Outcomes, Economics, and Equity Research: Studying the impact of healthcare interventions on patient outcomes.
- Infectious Diseases: Investigating the prevention and treatment of infectious diseases.
- Neuropharmacology and Addiction: Researching the mechanisms of addiction and potential interventions.
- Translational Research in Drug Delivery: Developing innovative drug delivery systems.
Top 50 Ranking U.S. Pharmacy Schools
|University of North Carolina–Chapel Hill
|Chapel Hill, NC
|University of California–San Francisco
|San Francisco, CA
|University of Michigan–Ann Arbor
|Ann Arbor, MI
|University of Minnesota
|University of Florida
|University of Kentucky
|Ohio State University
|West Lafayette, IN
|University of Illinois–Chicago
|University of Texas–Austin
|University of Washington
|University of Wisconsin–Madison
|University of Pittsburgh
|University at Buffalo–SUNY
|University of Maryland–Baltimore
|University of Southern California
|Los Angeles, CA
|University of Utah
|Salt Lake City, UT
|University of California–San Diego
|La Jolla, CA
|University of Iowa
|Iowa City, IA
|University of Arizona
|University of Colorado–Denver
|University of Tennessee Health Science Center
|Virginia Commonwealth University
|Rutgers University (Mario)
|University of Georgia
|University of Kansas
|University of Mississippi
|University of Nebraska Medical Center
|University of Connecticut
|University of Cincinnati
|Medical University of South Carolina
|Oregon State University
|University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences
|Little Rock, AR
|University of Houston
|University of Missouri–Kansas City
|Kansas City, MO
|University of Oklahoma
|Oklahoma City, OK
|West Virginia University
|University of Rhode Island
|University of South Carolina
|Washington State University
|University of New Mexico
|Wayne State University
|Des Moines, IA
|St. Louis College of Pharmacy
|St. Louis, MO
|Texas A&M Health Science Center
Loans for Pharmacy School
As the healthcare landscape evolves, pharmacy stands out as a pivotal profession. While the promise of a rewarding career is enticing, the cost of pharmacy education can be daunting. To aid in this journey, we’ve highlighted lenders best suited for varying credit backgrounds to help you fund your pharmacy dreams.
AmOne (Best for Okay to Good Credit)
As future pharmacists embark on their academic journey, AmOne serves as an ideal partner for those with okay to good credit histories. Bridging the gap between aspiring healthcare professionals and an array of lenders, AmOne stands out with its adeptness at pairing students with financial solutions tailored to their individual credit situations. With the rigorous demands and potential rewards of pharmacy school, students who’ve maintained a reasonable credit standing can count on AmOne to secure the funds needed for their specialized education.
Loans (Best for Bad and No Credit)
Dedication to the pharmaceutical field should not be thwarted by past financial hurdles or a lack of credit history. Recognizing this, Spring
First Premier Lending (Best for Bad Credit)
For budding pharmacists who have faced credit challenges but are determined to excel in the healthcare sector, First Premier Lending offers a beacon of hope. With a belief that everyone deserves a second chance, this lender delves beyond mere credit scores. By examining potential and understanding the long-term rewards of a pharmacy degree, First Premier Lending provides opportunities that help students overcome their past financial setbacks and focus on their future roles as healthcare leaders.
College Ave (Best for Good Credit)
College Ave, renowned for its comprehensive student loan offerings, is the go-to choice for pharmacy students with solid credit standings. Providing competitive interest rates and unmatched flexibility, College Ave applauds the commitment of pharmacy students by offering loan solutions that reflect their financial diligence. With the costs of pharmacy school being substantial, students can lean into College Ave’s customized loan options, ensuring their hard work in both academics and credit management is rewarded.
Sallie Mae (Best for Very Good Credit)
A stalwart in the student financing realm, Sallie Mae is the pinnacle choice for pharmacy students who have consistently excelled in their credit endeavors. Recognizing the significance and potential returns of a pharmaceutical education, Sallie Mae has curated loan offerings that cater to the specific financial dynamics of pharmacy school. By merging transparent lending terms, competitive rates, and top-notch service, Sallie Mae ensures that the brightest in the pharmaceutical field receive the financial support they truly deserve.
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The great news is your options are not few and far between when it comes to finding the top pharmacy schools in the U.S. There are many great schools you can choose from in your pursuit of finding the top pharmacy school. We wish you well in deciding which one of these amazing schools you will attend.
Top Pharmacy Schools FAQ
What is the number one pharmacy school in the US?
As of the latest rankings, the University of North Carolina–Chapel Hill holds the top spot in the U.S. News & World Report rankings for pharmacy schools.
What are the top colleges ranked for pharmacy?
The top pharmacy schools in the U.S. can vary from year to year, but some consistently highly-ranked institutions include the University of California–San Francisco, the University of Michigan–Ann Arbor, and the University of Minnesota.
What is the easiest pharmacy school in the US?
There is no definitive answer to this question as the difficulty of pharmacy programs can vary based on individual preferences and strengths. What might be “easier” for one person could be challenging for another. It’s essential to choose a pharmacy school that aligns with your goals and learning style.
What GPA do most pharmacy schools require?
The GPA requirement for pharmacy schools can vary, but many competitive programs typically look for a minimum undergraduate GPA of around 3.0 to 3.3. However, it’s essential to check the specific requirements of the schools you are interested in, as requirements may differ.
What is the hardest year of pharmacy school?
The difficulty of pharmacy school can vary by program and individual experiences. Typically, the first year of pharmacy school is often considered challenging due to the foundational coursework. However, each year presents its unique set of challenges as students progress into more specialized and advanced coursework.
Is pharmacy school harder than medical?
Comparing the difficulty of pharmacy school to medical school is subjective and depends on personal preferences and strengths. Both pharmacy and medical schools are rigorous and demanding in their ways, but they focus on different aspects of healthcare. Medical school typically involves more extensive clinical training and a more extended educational path.
Is pharmacy more difficult than nursing?
The difficulty of pharmacy school versus nursing school also varies based on individual strengths and preferences. Nursing programs often involve a strong emphasis on clinical skills and patient care, while pharmacy programs focus on medication management and pharmacotherapy. Both fields require dedication and hard work.
Is a 3.6 GPA good for pharmacy school?
A 3.6 GPA is generally considered competitive for many pharmacy schools. However, it’s essential to remember that admissions decisions are based on a holistic review of an applicant’s profile, which includes GPA, standardized test scores (if required), letters of recommendation, and more. Meeting the minimum GPA requirements is a good start, but other factors also play a crucial role in the admissions process.