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Pharmacy in USA for International Students + Top 10 Universities

pharmacy in usa for international students
Considering the exciting advancements in pharmacy, choosing the right pharmacy college is crucial, especially for international students. This Abroadin blog post guides you through the top 10 US pharmacy schools, highlighting their strengths. If you want to know more about pharmacy in USA for international students keep reading. In this guide:

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Pharmacy in USA for International Students

The US pharmaceutical industry is experiencing significant growth, leading to an increased demand for qualified pharmacists. This brings strong job security and potential for career advancement. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts healthcare industries will see faster growth than the national average, offering graduates with a Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D.) degree quicker advancement opportunities within the healthcare sector. The United States boasts a well-deserved reputation for exceptional academic education. International students pursuing a Pharm.D. in the US will benefit from top-tier institutions, many of which consistently rank among the world’s best according to QS World University Rankings. A Pharm.D. degree from the US opens doors to many career paths beyond the traditional pharmacy setting. Graduates can find employment in various healthcare settings, including hospitals, clinics, and research institutions. Opportunities exist in the pharmaceutical industry, government agencies, and even the food and beverage industry. This great flexibility allows pharmacists to tailor their careers to their interests and goals. By carefully considering these benefits and researching specific programs, international students can make an informed decision about pursuing a rewarding career in pharmacy within the dynamic US healthcare system. Earning a Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D.) in the US typically takes four years of dedicated study. This program equips graduates with the knowledge and skills for diverse pharmacy careers. While some programs offer accelerated options or dual degrees, these often involve a more intensive course load or require higher academic qualifications for admission. Interestingly, Pharm.D. graduates in the US enjoy competitive salaries, with the national average hovering around $125,000 annually. While the average annual salary for graduates in India is less than $3,600 in 2024. Now let us take a look at the requirements and admission process to the pharmacy in USA for international students during 2024-2025. If you have any question, please leave a comment below this Abroadin article. if you want to know reasons why to study in USA read this article:

Pharmacy Degree Requirements in the US

International students seeking a Pharm.D. (Doctor of Pharmacy) degree in the US will encounter a unique admissions process. While a bachelor’s degree isn’t mandatory, completing two years of specific prerequisite courses in science and related fields is essential. These fields usually include:
  • Anatomy and Physiology
  • Biochemistry
  • General Biology and Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • English Composition
  • Calculus and Statistics
  • Microbiology and Interpersonal Communication
  • Economics and Humanities/Social Sciences
Having a bachelor’s degree in science alongside these prerequisites strengthens your application. These prerequisites must be completed within the past five years of applying. The applications will also be evaluated based on the following criteria:
  • Grades: Aim for a C or higher in prerequisite courses.
  • GPA: A bachelor’s degree with a GPA of 2.5 or higher (on a 4.0 scale) is preferred.
  • Experience: Pharmacy experience hours can highlight your passion for the field.
  • International Credentials: Official transcripts need evaluation by a service like World Education Services (WES).
  • Recommendations: Secure professional recommendations (ideally two).
  • Supporting Documents: Prepare a resume, student visa application, personal statement, passport photocopy, and bank statement demonstrating sufficient funds for at least one year of tuition.
  • Language Tests: Demonstrate English proficiency through IELTS (score of 6.0 or higher) or TOEFL (score of 90 or higher).
  • PCAT: Take the Pharmacy College Admissions Test.
Aspiring clinical pharmacists or researchers may pursue a 1-2 year residency program (general or specialized) after completing their Pharm.D. Residency applications are submitted during the final year of Pharm.D. studies through the Pharmacy Online Residency Centralized Application Service (ASHP), which typically opens on November 3rd annually.  

Applying for Pharmacy in USA for International Students

Earning a Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D.) in the US opens doors to a rewarding career path. While the admissions process for international students is competitive, careful planning can increase your chances of success. For international students pursuing a Pharm.D. in the US, the Pharmacy College Application Service (PharmCAS) simplifies the process. This centralized system lets you apply to multiple schools with one application, reducing administrative headaches. However, some colleges may require additional, school-specific applications alongside PharmCAS. Here’s a breakdown of the Pharm.D. application journey:
  • Complete the PharmCAS Application: Fill in your details, upload official transcripts, request letters of recommendation, detail your coursework and experience, and include PCAT scores (if required).
  • Submit and Pay Fees: Submit your application electronically and pay the associated fees.
  • PharmCAS Review and Distribution: PharmCAS verifies your application data, calculates your GPA, and forwards it to your chosen schools.
  • School Review and Interview: Individual colleges review applications and shortlist candidates for interviews. Passing the interview strengthens your application.
  • Acceptance and Visa: Upon receiving an acceptance letter, pay tuition fees and apply for a student visa.
  • Arrival and Enrollment: Fly to the US and complete any remaining administrative formalities, including student housing arrangements.
Note that not all US pharmacy schools accept international students. Competition can be fierce for limited slots, so ensuring strong academic credentials and relevant experience is crucial. pharmacy in usa for international students

Top 10 Universities for Studying Pharmacy in the US

The following is a list of the best colleges and universities to study pharmacy in the USA for international students. Read through and choose the best one according to your academic qualifications and career goals.  

1. Harvard University

Harvard doesn’t have a pharmacy department; however, pharmacology is featured in many of the courses offered at Harvard Medical School. Key research areas include systems pharmacology, molecular pharmacology, and translational pharmacology. While the MD program at Harvard Medical School typically takes four years to complete, students can extend their studies for an additional year. This option allows them to pursue another graduate degree (such as a Master of Public Health or Public Policy), engage in a year-long scholarly project, or take a deeper dive into their chosen field through additional coursework.  

2. Johns Hopkins University

Johns Hopkins’ pharmacy residency programs hold accreditation from the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). This prestigious accreditation signifies that the programs meet rigorous standards for quality and provide a well-rounded foundation in clinical practice. By participating in these residencies, graduates gain the necessary skills to excel in various professional settings, ensuring they are prepared to deliver exceptional patient care across diverse healthcare environments.  

3. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Steeped in over 125 years of pharmaceutical science excellence, UNC-Chapel Hill is one of the nation’s most established institutions. Its commitment to global leadership is evident in its innovative curriculum, designed to prepare students in all relevant pharmacy and pharmaceutical studies areas. Getting into pharmacy school requires strong credentials! The national average acceptance rate is 83.3%, but some schools are more competitive. For instance, in 2020, the University of California, San Francisco School of Pharmacy had a very low acceptance rate of only 17.7%, and the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill School of Pharmacy wasn’t far behind, at 18.9%.  

4. University of California, San Francisco

The School prioritizes a science-driven approach to improving health outcomes. This focus manifests in three key areas: groundbreaking biomedical research, exceptional pharmacy education, and high-quality patient care. Over the past four decades, the College of Pharmacy of UCSF has been recognized as the number one recipient of research funding from the National Institute of Health annually.  

5. University of California, San Diego

The UC San Diego Skaggs School of Pharmacy, founded in 2000, offers a Doctor of Pharmacy program designed to prepare future leaders in the field. Their curriculum focuses on preparing graduates to excel in various pharmacy settings, including hospitals, clinics, and research. The UCSD School of Pharmacy offers two programs that can be completed: a traditional four-year program and a combined seven-year Bachelor of Science (BS) and Pharm.D. program. This combined program offers a streamlined path to a pharmacy career, allowing students to complete their undergraduate degree and Pharm.D. in less time than the typical eight years it would take if pursued separately. The program leverages existing UC San Diego faculty and anticipates future advancements in healthcare, such as pharmacogenomics. With a focus on innovation and a diverse faculty, the Skaggs School aims to equip graduates to deliver exceptional patient care. pharmacy in usa for international students

6. University of California, Los Angeles

UCLA’s Department of Molecular and Medical Pharmacology partners with the School of Medicine on two combined MD/Ph.D. programs. The first, MSTP, is for medical students accepted into a unique program integrating medical studies with doctoral research. The second, STAR, is for doctors already in residency or fellowship programs who want to pursue a Ph.D. in pharmacology research alongside their medical training.  

7. Yale University

Yale’s Department of Pharmacology’s impressive legacy in drug discovery includes pioneering the first cancer chemotherapy trials. Research spans various diseases today, solidifying its position as the #1 Pharmacology program in US medical schools. There’s more to getting into Yale’s Pharmacy program than just good grades! While a GPA above 3.0 is a baseline requirement, meeting all of Yale’s eligibility and admission requirements is crucial for acceptance.  

8. University of Michigan

The University of Michigan College of Pharmacy is a prestigious Ann Arbor, Michigan institution. Whether you’re interested in patient care, research, or both, this college offers the tools and resources to help you succeed. The UM College of Pharmacy offers bachelor’s, Master’s, and Ph. D.-level programs. It also co-runs several interdisciplinary courses, including an MEng in Pharmaceutical Engineering and a PhD in Medicinal Chemistry.  

9. Columbia University

Columbia’s revamped Pharmacology PhD program offers a blend of tradition and cutting-edge research. It equips students with a strong foundation in cellular mechanisms and their connection to human disease. Faculty expertise spans diverse areas like cancer and neuropharmacology, emphasizing interdisciplinary approaches to new therapies. The individualized program allows students to tailor their studies while gaining a comprehensive understanding of pharmacology.  

10. University of Washington

The University of Washington School of Pharmacy (UWSOP) achieved impressive recognition, ranking #2 out of 144 schools nationwide in the 2022 National School of Pharmacy rankings by the Pharmacy Technician Institute. UW School of Pharmacy fosters a collaborative learning environment. Students have the unique opportunity to learn alongside peers from other top-ranked health science programs at the university. This integrated, interprofessional approach allows them to gain knowledge in science, technology, and cutting-edge pharmacy practices under the guidance of world-class faculty. if you want to know about student life in USA read this article:


Acceptance in the pharmacy field in the USA for international students requires focusing on strong grades in prerequisite science courses, considering pursuing a bachelor’s degree in a related field and gaining relevant pharmacy experience. If you need help applying for pharmacy at American universities, Abroadin experts are here to help. Contact us to get more information about pharmacy in USA for international students and the fastest process for getting acceptance in your desired university.   Resource:

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