After high school has been completed a number of academic steps still need to be followed on the way towards qualifying as a retail, clinical, or research pharmacist. A set of college level courses still need to be completed. Two paths lie ahead for the college student who wishes to qualify as a pharmacist. First and foremost, undergraduate coursework needs to be completed before moving onto a graduate program which, of course, is going to lead the student towards specialization.
Depending on the school the student has linked up with, and critically, also depending on the academic criteria set by the academic and health services institutions in the area or country of residence, the undergraduate and graduate programs could be combined into one qualifying pharmacy degree. Generally speaking, early college level programs will be concluded after a period of two or four years, assuming that the student is enrolled for fulltime study and has passed his or her semester and end of year exams.
It will be during these formative years of academic training that the college student will learn what it may take to obtain the pharmacy degree and go into the profession after final graduation. It is here that they should be able to make choices as to what areas they may wish to specialize in. Four year degrees are generally made up of general education and liberal arts classes. But the two year programs could be more focused, assuming that the student’s mind is already made up.
It is straight onto the relevant courses. All students will be required to study English. After all, apart from being able to read and determine scrips, how else are they to communicate well with their future patients. This should not pose challenges for non-native English speakers because they will have already been introduced to the formalities of the language during their very first year of college studies in the country.
Related courses of course have its familiarities with other specializations within the health services industries. Needless to say, all pharmacy students will be required to study both general and organic chemistry. They will also be required to sit for courses in molecular and cellular biology. Further than that, there will be studies in human anatomy and physiology. But lest the student forget, he or she will also be required to do calculus and statistics.
And so once all courses have been completed successfully and much to the satisfaction of the college deans, the student can then apply to do a four year pharmacy major or doctoral program. The level of study now becomes fairly involved where, much like those students majoring to become MDs, study periods can be as long as six or seven years. By the by, the number of years here should not intimidate. It is merely a rough guide to all the accumulated years of study required for qualification. But before that, the Pharmacy College Admissions Test still needs to be mastered in order to qualify for a graduate program.