Best Pharmacy Schools

Updated on January 4, 2024

Pharmacy is a competitive field, and getting into a top-ranked pharmacy school can set you on the path to success. The following are 10 of the highest rated pharmacy schools based on factors like admissions selectivity, reputation, and career outcomes.

University of California, San Francisco School of Pharmacy

Location: San Francisco, CA

Rating: 9.5/10

Acceptance Rate: 7%

Tuition: $39,300 (in-state), $45,400 (out-of-state)

Website: https://pharmacy.ucsf.edu/

The UCSF School of Pharmacy is consistently ranked the top pharmacy school in the United States. It has exceptionally selective admissions with a focus on training leaders and innovators in the field. UCSF places emphasis on research and has pioneering programs in areas like pharmacogenomics and precision medicine.

University of North Carolina Eshelman School of Pharmacy

Location: Chapel Hill, NC

Rating: 9/10

Acceptance Rate: 9%

Avg SAT Score: 1350

Tuition: $22,000 (in-state), $47,000 (out-of-state)

Website: https://pharmacy.unc.edu/

The UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy offers small class sizes and abundant research opportunities. Students can customize their PharmD curriculum with electives and dual degree options. With a strong emphasis on medication outcomes and pharmacy practice, UNC prepares graduates to be leaders in patient care.

University of Michigan College of Pharmacy

Location: Ann Arbor, MI

Rating: 8.5/10

Acceptance Rate: 11%

Avg SAT Score: 1400

Tuition: $39,500 (in-state), $61,200 (out-of-state)

Website: https://pharmacy.umich.edu/

The University of Michigan College of Pharmacy offers top-notch academics along with a collaborative environment. Michigan provides abundant global engagement, research, and experiential learning opportunities. Graduates enjoy high residency attainment and career success.

Ohio State University College of Pharmacy

Location: Columbus, OH

Rating: 8.5/10

Acceptance Rate: 25%

Avg SAT Score: 1280

Tuition: $30,000 (in-state), $49,000 (out-of-state)

Website: https://pharmacy.osu.edu/

Ohio State’s College of Pharmacy has a strong focus on community engagement and improving public health. Students can pursue dual degrees, specialized tracks, and abundant experiential rotations and research projects. Graduates have excellent residency placement and job prospects.

University of Pittsburgh School of Pharmacy

Location: Pittsburgh, PA

Rating: 8.5/10

Acceptance Rate: 29%

Avg SAT Score: 1270

Tuition: $33,352 (in-state), $44,970 (out-of-state)

Website: https://www.pharmacy.pitt.edu/

Pitt Pharmacy stands out for its focus on technology and innovation with state-of-the-art labs. Students can pursue flexible dual degrees, global engagement opportunities, and abundand research and leadership training. Pitt also has top residency placement numbers.

University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Pharmacy

Location: Madison, WI

Rating: 8.5/10

Acceptance Rate: 58%

Avg SAT Score: 1340

Tuition: $21,273 (in-state), $49,023 (out-of-state)

Website: https://pharmacy.wisc.edu/

The University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Pharmacy provides excellent clinical training opportunities through the UW Health system. Students benefit from smaller class sizes, individual faculty attention, and can pursue joint degrees. UW emphasizes developing pharmacy leaders through professional development.

Purdue University College of Pharmacy

Location: West Lafayette, IN

Rating: 8.5/10

Acceptance Rate: 27%

Tuition: $28,798 (in-state), $55,526 (out-of-state)

Website: https://www.pharmacy.purdue.edu/

Purdue’s pharmacy program leverages the university’s strengths in engineering and technology. The curriculum emphasizes patient counseling, leadership development, and research skills. Purdue also provides global engagement opportunities and top career placement.

University of Tennessee Health Science Center College of Pharmacy

Location: Memphis, TN

Rating: 8/10

Acceptance Rate: 35%

Tuition: $34,442 (in-state), $73,170 (out-of-state)

Website: https://uthsc.edu/pharmacy/

The UT Health Science Center College of Pharmacy offers early admission programs and focuses on training community-based pharmacists. Students benefit from small class sizes, accessible faculty, and extensive practice experience through pharmacy residency sites. Graduates have excellent board exam pass rates.

University of Kentucky College of Pharmacy

Location: Lexington, KY

Rating: 8/10

Acceptance Rate: 50%

Tuition: $24,944 (in-state), $49,584 (out-of-state)

Website: https://pharmacy.uky.edu/

The college of pharmacy at UK boasts advanced practice and research facilities. Students can access global engagement experiences and pursue residencies at top healthcare institutions. The program emphasizes critical thinking skills and prepares graduates to deliver innovative patient care.

University of Illinois at Chicago College of Pharmacy

Location: Chicago, IL

Rating: 8/10

Acceptance Rate: 60%

Tuition: $21,600 (in-state), $36,100 (out-of-state)

Website: https://pharmacy.uic.edu/

UIC College of Pharmacy students benefit from the diversity of Chicago and have abundant patient interaction through the extensive UIC Medical Center. UIC offers cutting edge research options. Students also have the opportunity to study global pharmacy practice models abroad.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Which pharmacy schools have the highest acceptance rates?

Some of the pharmacy schools with the highest acceptance rates include the University of Wisconsin-Madison (58%), the University of Kentucky (50%), and the University of Illinois at Chicago (60%). However, these are still fairly competitive given the number of applicants.

How important are test scores and GPA for getting into pharmacy school?

Test scores and GPA are very important admissions factors for pharmacy school given the competition for spaces. Competitive applicants generally have at least a 3.0 to 3.5 undergraduate GPA or higher. Average PCAT scores for admitted students range in the 60th to 90th percentile.

How much will pharmacy school cost?

Pharmacy school tuition varies widely but expect an investment. On average, pharmacy students graduate with $166,000 in debt according to the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy. In-state public university programs average around $30,000 per year while private programs cost over $50,000 per year.

What can you do with a pharmacy degree besides community or hospital pharmacy?

With a PharmD, students can pursue careers in research, pharmaceutical sciences, academia, managed care organizations, government agencies, pharmaceutical and biotech companies, health informatics, clinical program management, and consulting. Residencies after graduation open specialized career paths.

Is the pharmacy field oversaturated for jobs?

While the pharmacist job market has tightened in recent years, the Bureau of Labor Statistics still projects a 2% job growth for pharmacists from 2020 to 2030. New pharmacy graduates may face more competition initially for jobs and take longer to find positions. Gaining residency training helps boost prospects.

Should I get a PharmD or a PhD in pharmacy?

The PharmD is the required degree to become a licensed, practicing pharmacist. PhD programs do not provide clinical training, instead focusing on research specialization in fields like pharmaceutics, toxicology, pharmacology, social and administrative sciences. Obtaining a PhD is required for academic research careers.

How long does it take to complete pharmacy school?

Most pharmacy programs take four years to complete after finishing undergraduate pre-requisites, granting graduates a PharmD degree. Some schools offer an accelerated three-year option. All accredited programs include classroom instruction and clinical rotations.

When should I apply to pharmacy school?

Most pharmacy schools use PharmCAS which opens for submissions starting in July for entry the following fall semester. Application deadlines range from November through February depending on the school. Applicants must also complete PCAT exams before deadlines.

What classes and exams do I need to take to apply for pharmacy school?

Typical pre-requisites are biology, anatomy, physiology, microbiology, organic chemistry, calculus, statistics, physics, economics, public speaking, psychology. The Pharmacy College Admission Test (PCAT) is also required. Some schools have additional requirements so check with individual programs.

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Rohit Mittal

Rohit Mittal is the co-founder and CEO of Stilt. Rohit has extensive experience in credit risk analytics and data science. He spent years building credit risk and fraud models for top U.S. banks. In his current role, he defines the overall business strategy, leads debt and capital fundraising efforts, leads product development, and leads other customer-related aspects for the company. Stilt is backed by Y Combinator and has raised a total of $275M in debt and equity funding to date.