Building a Strong Foundation in Undergrad

Undergraduate Education

There are 2 paths to pharmacy school. One involves 2 years of undergraduate coursework before transferring to a 4 year pharmacy school and the other involves completing a 4 year Bachelor degree and then going to a 4 year pharmacy school. It is important to maintain a good GPA and to excel in the science courses. The introductory chemistry courses will be an important foundation for future classes in pharmacy school.

At this time, students should meet with pharmacy students so they can get an idea of what to expect in pharmacy school. Also, students should try to get a job at a pharmacy and gain experience.

Key Milestones:

  • Complete undergraduate education with a 3.5 or higher GPA
  • Network with current pharmacy students to get an idea of what to expect
  • Get a 430 or higher score on PCAT (if necessary)
  • Complete pharmacy school application (if necessary)
  • Prepare for pharmacy school admission interview
  • Get a job at a pharmacy

Time for Completion: 4-6 years

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Continue to Pharmacy School

Starting from High School

High School

Students can get an early start to become a pharmacist by getting good scores on the SAT and maintaining a high GPA. Courses to focus on are biology and chemistry. Several colleges will give students credit if they pass the AP exams.

Also, students should get a job at a retail pharmacy as a pharmacy technician or a cashier working in the pharmacy area. While many people enjoy pharmacy, it is important for you to experience firsthand if pharmacy is the right career for you.

Key Milestones:

  • Complete high school with a 3.5 or higher GPA
  • Get a 4 or higher score on the AP biology exam
  • Get a 4 or higher score on the AP chemistry exam
  • Get a 2100 or higher on the SAT
  • Get a job at a pharmacy
  • Complete college applications

Time for Completion: 4 years

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Pharmacy College Admission Test (PCAT)

Getting a good score on the Pharmacy College Admission Test (PCAT) is necessary to become a pharmacist unless you are in a 6 year pharmacy program direct from high school.  The exam is scored between 200 – 600 and a percentile rank is given.  Usually a score above 430 is high enough for any pharmacy school and other factors in your application will determine if you are admitted.

The exam contains 240 multiple choice questions and 2 essays.

Further breakdown by category:

  • Writing section (2 essays) – 30 minutes each
  • Verbal section (48 questions, 60% analogies, 40% sentence completion) – 30 minutes
  • Biology section (48 questions, 50% general biology, 20% microbiology, 30% anatomy and physiology) – 30 minutes
  • Chemistry section (48 questions, 50% general chemistry, 30% organic chemistry, 20% bio chemistry) – 30 minutes
  • Reading Comprehension section (48 questions with 6 reading passages) – 50 minutes
  • Quantitative section (48 questions, 15% basic math, 20% algebra, 20% probability and statistics, 22% pre-calculus, 23% calculus) – 40 minutes

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Wyoming Pharmacist License

Pharmacist in Wyoming

A license is necessary to practice pharmacy in the state of Wyoming.

Requirements include:

  • Must pass the NAPLEX
  • Must pass the MPJE
  • 1200 internship hours
  • Degree from an accredited College of Pharmacy
  • No criminal record

Application also requires:

  • $75 fee

Foreign graduates and non-US citizen have additional requirements:

  • Must pass FPGEE
  • Must pass TOEFL

Wyoming also allows licensure by reciprocity.

To maintain a pharmacist license in Wyoming, pharmacists need 12 CE (continuing education) credits every year.

For more information, visit the Wyoming Board of Pharmacy.

http://pharmacyboard.state.wy.us/

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Wisconsin Pharmacist License

Pharmacist in Wisconsin

A license is necessary to practice pharmacy in the state of Wisconsin.

Requirements include:

  • Must pass the NAPLEX
  • Must pass the MPJE
  • 1500 internship hours
  • Degree from an accredited College of Pharmacy
  • No criminal record
  • Medical history

Application also requires:

  • $155 fee

Foreign graduates and non-US citizen have additional requirements:

  • Must pass FPGEE
  • Must pass TOEFL

Wisconsin also allows licensure by reciprocity.

To maintain a pharmacist license in Wisconsin, pharmacists need 30 CE (continuing education) credits every 2 years.

For more information, visit the Wisconsin Board of Pharmacy.

http://dsps.wi.gov/Default.aspx?Page=50667d91-727c-4c8c-9236-a643a06a5bb0

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West Virginia Pharmacist License

Pharmacist in West Virginia

A license is necessary to practice pharmacy in the state of West Virginia.

Requirements include:

  • Must pass the NAPLEX
  • Must pass the MPJE
  • 1500 internship hours
  • Degree from an accredited College of Pharmacy
  • No criminal record
  • At least 18 years of age

Application also requires:

  • Must pass Errors and Ommissions exam

Foreign graduates and non-US citizen have additional requirements:

  • Must pass FPGEE
  • Must pass TOEFL

West Virginia also allows licensure by reciprocity.

To maintain a pharmacist license in West Virginia, pharmacists need 30 CE (continuing education) credits every 2 years.  Two credits must be on end of life care education.  Six live credits.

For more information, visit the West Virginia Board of Pharmacy.

http://www.wvbop.com/

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Washington Pharmacist License

Pharmacist in Washington

A license is necessary to practice pharmacy in the state of Washington.

Requirements include:

  • Must pass the NAPLEX
  • Must pass the MPJE
  • 300 internship hours (does not include school externship hours)
  • Degree from an accredited College of Pharmacy
  • No criminal record
  • Medical history

Application also requires:

  • $145 application fee
  • At least 7 hours of AIDS education

Foreign graduates and non-US citizen have additional requirements:

  • Must pass FPGEE
  • Must pass TOEFL

Washington also allows licensure by reciprocity for $335.

To maintain a pharmacist license in Washington, pharmacists need 15 CE (continuing education) credits every year.

For more information, visit the Washington Board of Pharmacy.

http://www.doh.wa.gov/LicensesPermitsandCertificates/ProfessionsNewReneworUpdate/Pharmacist.aspx

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Virginia Pharmacist License

Pharmacist in Virginia

A license is necessary to practice pharmacy in the state of Virginia.

Requirements include:

  • Must pass the NAPLEX
  • Must pass the Virginia Pharmacy Law Exam
  • 1500 internship hours
  • Degree from an accredited College of Pharmacy
  • No criminal record

Foreign graduates and non-US citizen have additional requirements:

  • Must pass FPGEE
  • Must pass TOEFL

Virginia also allows licensure by endorsement.

To maintain a pharmacist license in Virginia, pharmacists need 15 CE (continuing education) credits every year.

For more information, visit the Virginia Board of Pharmacy.

http://www.dhp.virginia.gov/Pharmacy/

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Vermont Pharmacist License

Pharmacist in Vermont

A license is necessary to practice pharmacy in the state of Vermont.

Requirements include:

  • Must pass the NAPLEX
  • Must pass the MPJE
  • 1740 internship hours (only 1240 hours can be from school externship)
  • Degree from an accredited College of Pharmacy
  • No criminal record

Application also requires:

  • $110 application fee
  • Passport style photo

Foreign graduates and non-US citizen have additional requirements:

  • Must pass FPGEE
  • Must pass TOEFL

Vermont also allows licensure by reciprocity.

To maintain a pharmacist license in Vermont, pharmacists need 30 CE (continuing education) credits every 2 years.  Ten credits need to be live.

For more information, visit the Vermont Board of Pharmacy.

https://www.sec.state.vt.us/professional-regulation/list-of-professions/pharmacy.aspx

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Utah Pharmacist License

Pharmacist in Utah

A license is necessary to practice pharmacy in the state of Utah.

Requirements include:

  • Must pass the NAPLEX
  • Must pass the MPJE
  • 1500 internship hours
  • Degree from an accredited College of Pharmacy
  • No criminal record

Application also requires:

  • $250 application fee

Foreign graduates and non-US citizen have additional requirements:

  • Must pass FPGEE
  • Must pass TOEFL

Utah also allows licensure by reciprocity.

To maintain a pharmacist license in Utah, pharmacists need 30 CE (continuing education) credits every 2 years.  Fifteen credits must be about drug therapy and patient management.  One law credit.  Twelve credits must be live.

For more information, visit the Utah Board of Pharmacy.

http://www.dopl.utah.gov/licensing/pharmacy.html

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