What is a PharmD?

A Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) is a professional doctorate degree needed to become a pharmacist. After obtaining a PharmD degree and passing the proper licensure examinations you can practice pharmacy in the US.

How long is a PharmD program?

A PharmD program is generally four years long.

Typically, students interested in becoming a pharmacist take two years of undergraduate prerequisite courses then apply to pharmacy school. Keep in mind though that most pharmacy schools require a bachelor’s degree to ensure applicants are adequately prepared for the rigor of a PharmD program. Be sure to check the requirements for each school you plan to apply to.

Is a PharmD program the same as a PhD program?

No. A PharmD program is not the same as a PhD program. Though both programs are similar, they are quite different. A PharmD program is tailored for those who want to become pharmacists, while a PhD program is tailored for those who wish to pursue a career in research.

A PharmD program trains students for careers as pharmacists. The curriculum primarily focuses on gaining knowledge of the biological sciences with a clinical component that teaches future pharmacists to be health care providers; whereas, a PhD in a pharmacy related topic is more research focused and gives students the opportunity to pursue their own original research project. Many students take at least five years to complete their PhD coursework and dissertation, while a PharmD program is typically four years long.

In terms of career paths, PharmD graduates typically work in a patient care setting, while PhD recipients primarily hold positions in academia or in pharmaceutical research settings.

Does UCI have a PharmD program?

Currently, UCI does not have a PharmD program, but the UCI Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences offers the following undergraduate and graduate programs in pharmaceutical sciences:

B.S. in Pharmaceutical Sciences

UCI is the #1 feeder program to pharmacy schools nationwide, and its undergraduate degree in pharmaceutical sciences is among the top-10 pharmaceutical sciences departments in the nation. The program curriculum integrates concepts from biology, chemistry, chemical engineering, pharmacology and physiology.

Medicinal Chemistry and Pharmacology Graduate Program

The Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences offers a unique gateway graduate program in Medicinal Chemistry and Pharmacology leading to a PhD in Chemistry, Molecular Biology & Biochemistry, or Pharmacological Sciences with a Concentration in either Pharmaceutical Sciences or Pharmacology. The program is both interdisciplinary in nature while at the same time offering an in-depth, individualized state-of-the-art practical and theoretical training in each student’s specific field of interest.

Pharmacological Sciences PhD Program

The Departments of Pharmaceutical Sciences and Pharmacology offer an interdepartmental program leading to a PhD in Pharmacological Sciences with a Concentration in Pharmaceutical Sciences or Pharmacology.

Post-baccalaureate Program in Pharmaceutical Sciences

The Post-baccalaureate Program in Pharmaceutical Sciences is designed for individuals who are seeking to strengthen their application to competitive graduate programs in pharmacy or other health fields, or for individuals whose undergraduate degree is not in pharmaceutical sciences and are seeking entry or advancement in a career related to pharmaceutical sciences. This program is ideal for career changers or individuals taking a gap year.

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