What is a PharmD?

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?

Yes! UCI’s inaugural PharmD class will enroll in Fall 2021. The four-year program will prepare graduates to be practice-ready pharmacists who are problem solvers, independent lifelong learners, team players, and leaders who will drive transformative changes in the healthcare system. The curriculum will be taught by faculty from the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences and Department of Clinical Pharmacy Practice and delivered using innovative instructional methods and applying evidence-based practices.

The UCI School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences also offers several other degree programs, including:

B.S. in Pharmaceutical Sciences 

UCI’s 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.

Ph.D. in Pharmacological Sciences

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

Master of Science In Pharmacology (MSP)

The Master of Science in Pharmacology (MSP) is a two-year, 100% online degree program geared toward teaching students: The fundamental principles of pharmacology, mechanisms of drug action, current topics in drug discovery, strategies, techniques, and critical thinking skills needed for drug research.

The program is designed for working professionals who are interested in advancing in their careers or enhancing their competitiveness for admission to other degree programs.

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