How to Become Pharmacist in the USA from Top 10 Pharmacy Schools

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Coming years will turn out to be bright for US Pharmacists. The industry of pharmacy has achieved a wide scope and bright career chances, in the field of medicines, all over the world.

Western countries favor pharmacists more than a physician and make such setups to encourage them for more research for the modification of drugs as well as in the discovery of new medicines also. 

  • In the United States there are around 67,000 pharmacies.
  • Nearly half of those pharmacies are in drug shops, grocery stores, hospitals, department stores, health clinics, Surgery Clinics, nursing centers, prisons, etc.
  • Average Annual Salary of a US Pharmacist was found t be $123,670 in year 2018, according to the stats of Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

Scope of Pharmacy in the US: 

In the united state of America, 50% of pharmacies are located within 

  • Hospital setups, 
  • Medicinal clinics, 
  • Grocery stores 
  • Nursing homes 
  • Universities 
  • Prison 

The remaining 50% of pharmacies are either independent or privately owned by legally authorized & professionally competent Pharmacist 

Requirements for being a US Pharmacist:  

Now, Let’s jump to answer your question on “How to become a US Pharmacist “. In all states. A PharmD degree is a compulsory requirement of becoming a pharmacist. In addition to it, a license is also required for practicing medicine within a community pharmacy or in a hospital pharmacy. 

A pharmacist needs to pass these two licensing examinations forgetting his legal license 

  • NAPLEX (North American Pharmacist Licensing exam) 
  • MPJE (multi-State pharmacy Jurisprudence Exam) 

These two licenses are necessary in order to get a legal right to practice and be called a US pharmacist. But, What happens if you don’t clear these exams, which are a necessary step to get his license. Without licenses, USA pharmacists can’t practice medicines but they can provide their service to academics or pharmaceutical industries. 

Top 10 Pharmacy Schools in Unites states

A pharmacy school or college is an institute that generates your degree of PharmD after completion of required courses and credit hours.

These pharmacy schools are also registered by the government of that particular state. by summarizing it, we can simply say that For a US pharmacist or generally speaking for a pharmacist, his education, degree, and license should be registered by a respective government. 

Here is the list of top 10 pharmacy schools that are well known for institutions for producing Pharmacist 

1. The University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

On number 1, you can consider the University of North Carolina to become a US Pharmacist. The University of North Carolina ranked as top college value in public education, not once or twice but 16 times.


Image is Taken From Wikipedia Creative Commons

2. The University of Southern California of San Francisco (UCSF)

The Second best choice for the school of Pharmacy is UCSF, which is one of the oldest schools educating the great minds of US pharmacists. The University of California‘s UCSF School of Pharmacy is a pharmacy school in San Francisco. It was founded in 1872 and is California’s oldest pharmacy school. its PharmD curriculum provides the foundation of scientific thinking to students. it gives its students professional skillsets and expertise to become a pharmacist

It offers a variety of degree programs for career development. following degree programs are offered by them

  • PharmD
  • PharmD/MSCR
  • Pharmd/PhD
  • M.S in Translational medicine degree program
  • PhD in pharmaceutical sciences

3. The University of Minnesota, twin cities

The University of Minnesota is known well for its PharmD Degree. The four-year Pharmacy Ph.D. (PharmD) students of this school join the field as well as highly trained and successful pharmacists. It aims to educate students for becoming pharmacy practitioners. It also believes that the center of pharmacy practice is patient care.

It offers a wide range of degree programs including

  • A docter of pharmacy
  • Dual degree programs include pharmD/MBA Dual degree
  • Postgraduate Pharmacy residency programms
University of Minnesota
University of Minnesota

Special Stats of University of Minnesota


4. The University of Texas at Austin

Next on Our List of 10 top Pharmacy Schools, is the University of Texas at Austin. If you reside in Texas, this is the best option for you to become a US Pharmacist. They offer a Pharm D degree, which you can select as your bachelor’s program.

Their professional training consists of a systematic approach to the management of drug treatment. Their Pharm D degree requires students to go through a series of seven six-week internship rotations. The internship course consists of 40 to 50 hours of on-site training (Training Programs), supervised by the professors.

It is encouraging advanced training of pharmacists at a professional level and research in the University of Texas as the college of pharmacy. Its research area focus and covers the following fields

  • Drug discovery
  • Chemical biology
  • Infectious desease
  • Mechanism of cancer at molecular level
  • Neuropharmacology
  • Research in Dug delivery

5. University of Georgia

The fifth top-rank deserving university for studying pharmacy in the US is the University of Georgia. This university is well known for its department of pharmaceuticals and departments of biomedical sciences.

These two are dominant parts of UGA’s school of pharmacy. This university provides its degree and graduate programs with experience of advanced practice and is accredited by Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education. strength of students is found to be 36.130. The list of degree programs is summarized below.

  • PharmD degree
University of Georgia Image From Wikipedia Creative Commons

Graduate programs are available in the area of following fields

  • Clinical and administrative pharmacy
  • Pharmaceuticals and Biomedical sciences
  • Regulatory affairs and clinical trials

6. Texas A& M university Rangel College of Pharmacy

Found in 2006, Irma Lerma Rangel College of Pharmacy is a new addition to the Texas A&M Health Science Center. It is densely populated and the strength of students is reported as 63,813.

An appreciable fact about this college of pharmacy is its 8:1 student to faculty ratio that ensures proper attention and response to every individual student.

It is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy education. it offers a PharmD degree and a dual degree of PharmD /MBA degree.

Texas A& M university Rangel College
Texas A& M university Rangel College From Wikipedia Creative Commons

7. The University of Illinois at Chicago college of pharmacy

For students seeking admission in Chicago, the University of Illinois at Chicago should be the ultimate goal. It is accredited by the accreditation council for pharmacy education. strength of students is found to be 29,048. It has a collaboration with the University of Illinois Hospital and health sciences systems. it also provides residency programs to pharmacists.

The list of degrees and programs awarded by it is listed below:

  • PharmD degree
  • PharmD/PhD
  • PharmD/MSHI (master of science in health formation)
  • PharmD/MBA (master of business administration)
  • PharmD/MS CTS ( master of science in clinical and translational science)
The University of Illinois at Chicago college Image by Wikipedia Creative Commons

8. The University of California, Davis

One of the leading public research universities, with over 10 campuses, operating with 5 medical centers, is the University of California.

The strength of students reported is 35,186. It offers graduate programs in domains of pharmacy like pharmacology. Some of its graduate programs are coordinated by the college of agriculture and environmental sciences.

It offers a graduate program in toxicology and pharmacology it has four areas of focus:

  • Biotechnology
  • Organism-environment interaction
  • Reproductive biology
  • Translational research

9. University of Florida

Now, Let’s talk about the best college in Florida to become a US Pharmacist. This College of pharmacy is reported with a strength of 50,645 students and has a joint degree program with other universities that offer students dual degree programs like PharmD/MBA.

This school of pharmacy at the University of Florida offers a PharmD degree in two programs for the convenience. The id of One program for students seeking a professional PharmD degree while another one is Working professional PharmD (WPPD), for a licensed pharmacist to get advanced skills in the field of pharmacy.

University of Florida’s college of pharmacy has 5 major areas :

  • Medicinal chemistry
  • Pharmaceutics
  • Pharmacodynamics
  • Pharmaceutical outcomes and policy
  • Pharmacotherapy and research
The University of Florida by Wikipedia Creative Commons

10. University of buffalo 

University at Buffalo is New York’s No. 1 public university, it is also ranked No. 31 nationwide. No doubt it’s a great option for New Yorkers to become US pharmacists. It is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy education. It offers Pharm D programs to the students with an option of earning the following joint degrees

  • PharmD/MBA
  • PharmD/MPH
  • PharmD/JD (Juris docter)

It also offers a BS in pharmaceutical science. it also provides a 5-year degree program known as BS/MS program

University of Buffalo Image
The University of Buffalo Image taken from Wikipedia creative commons

How to register yourself as a pharmacist in the US? 

Pharmacist becomes graduated from other countries can fulfill their desires to become US pharmacists. For this purpose, they need proper registration for getting their license. here are some major steps of registration 

  1. Applicant needs to apply for the Foreign pharmacy graduate Equivalency exams (FPGEE) and pass it.
  2. Applicant needs to take a Test of English as a foreign language (TOFEL).
  3. Applicant needs to get the Foreign Pharmacy Graduate Examination Committee (FPGEC) certification.
  4. Applicant must attempt and clear the North American Pharmacist Licensure Examination (NAPLEX)
  5. Applicant needs to take the Pharmacy Law test.

Annual Income of US pharmacist: 

The median salary for US pharmacists is around $118,309 per year. Skills . and experience also contribute a lot to an increase in his earning 

Five best states for US pharmacist 

Not all states have the same number of opportunities for pharmacists and hence the pay scale for them is different as well. US pharmacist is highly paid and being valued in these states: 

  • Alaska ($139,880) 
  • California ($139.690 ) 
  • Vermont ($135,420 ) 
  • Maine ($133,050) 
  • Wisconsin ($132,400) 

Five best cities for US pharmacist: 

  • Tyler, Texas 
  • Santa Cruz California 
  • Vallejo California 
  • Santa Maria, California 
  • Sanjose, California 

Job employments for pharmacists in the U.S 

US pharmacist has many job opportunities as they are very attentive and prominent figure among the general public. They have a variety of jobs and employment related to their field such as 

  • Clinical Pharmacist 
  • Community pharmacist 
  • Staff pharmacist 
  • Supervisory Pharmacist 
  • Pharmacist for quality management 

Career Goals for US Pharmacist: 

Pharmacy is a field with bright career goals and aims. It is a life-saving profession. Developed countries like the US also enhance their importance within their states. US pharmacists can choose any door for their future career like 

  • Retail chain pharmacy 
  • Pharmaceutical industry 
  • Quality control departments 
  • Nutrition support pharmacy 
  • Oncology pharmacy 
  • Pediatric pharmacy 
  • Psychiatric pharmacy 

As a pharmacist, you can also pursue your career by taking additional courses, training, and certificates to increase your skills in a specific field in the domain of can go towards the option of 

  • Ph.D. in pharmaceutical sciences 
  • MBA 
  • Degree in public health 

Job prospectus for US pharmacists: 

It is stated and mentioned by the Bureau of labor statistics (BLS) that 

“The job opportunities and employment for pharmacists in the US will rise by 14% till 2022, and that is almost average for all other occupations.” 

What to do for becoming a clinical pharmacist? 

Clinical Pharmacist has direct dealing with the patient. In this case, they carry some serious responsibilities on their shoulders. Clinical Pharmacist don’t have any chance of a mistake in prescribing medications to the Pharmacist.

They should have updated themselves with proper and revised additions of pharma guides from time to time.

Ward rotations and clinical rounds during their pharm d degree education are so helpful part and a chance to learn about correct prescription with correct combinations of medicines in appropriate doses. 

So being a clinical pharmacist is challenging and it demands experience on the basis of internships under senior pharmacists at hospitals and clinics. 


The US is supposed to be a well-known country in favoring pharmacists and pharmacies. US pharmacists get a lot of benefits and advantages from the country. But also there are very serious and strict protocols. A pharmacist’s license can also be canceled in case of any emergency due to the wrong prescription or overdose.