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How long is pharmacist school?

Hey everyone, I'm really interested in becoming a pharmacist, but I'm unsure about the duration of pharmacist school. How long does it typically take to complete your education and become a licensed pharmacist?

6 months ago

Hi there! Pursuing a career as a pharmacist is a great choice. In order to become a licensed pharmacist, you'll need to complete a few steps in your educational path. Here's a general timeline to give you an idea:

1. Undergraduate prerequisites: While a specific undergraduate degree is not required, you'll typically need to complete about two years of prerequisite courses before applying to pharmacy school. Many students choose to finish a full four-year bachelor's degree in a related field, and doing so will make you a much more attractive candidate to graduate degree programs, but it's not mandatory.

2. Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) program: Pharmacy school itself typically takes four years to complete. The curriculum includes both classroom-based instruction in pharmaceutical science and clinical experiences where you'll apply your knowledge in real-world settings.

3. Internship/Residency (optional): After graduating from pharmacy school, some pharmacists pursue a post-graduate residency, which usually lasts one to two years. This can be particularly helpful if you're interested in specializing in a certain area, such as hospital pharmacy, oncology, or pediatrics.

4. Licensing: After completing your PharmD program, you'll need to pass the North American Pharmacist Licensure Exam (NAPLEX) and, in most states, a law exam called the Multistate Pharmacy Jurisprudence Exam (MPJE). Additional state-specific requirements may apply.

In summary, it takes a minimum of six years to become a licensed pharmacist (two years of undergraduate prerequisites and four years of pharmacy school), although it's highly recommended to complete a bachelor's degree before entering pharmacy school, which would make the minimum timeline 8 years. A residency or internship may add an additional one to two years if you decide to specialize. Best of luck in your journey!

6 months ago

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