Attaining the education you need to work as a pharmacist has a different setup from your traditional degree programs. Students seeking to practice in the United States are required to earn a doctor of pharmacy degree from an accredited school, and it’s important to recognize now that the program can be lengthy and costly.
It requires at least two years of undergraduate college study, then four academic years (or three calendar years) of professional pharmacy study, according to the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy. You will likely enter the pharmacy degree program after at least three years of college, and then you’ll be on your way toward completing the all-important doctor of pharmacy degree.
As a result, it can be costly to earn a doctor of pharmacy, with some tuitions adding up to well over six figures.
So what does it really cost for a pharmacy education?
The American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy provided us a breakdown of costs, based on 2009-2010 first-year pharmacy tuition and mandatory fees. Remember, though, that the costs vary due to differences in tuition and fees throughout the various years of the program and other factors such as inflation, association officials tell us.
Public Schools – Instate
Four-year program: $63,070
Public Schools – Out Of State
Four-year program: $115,756
Four-year program: $122,209
Those costs don’t include costs for books, which some schools estimate as costing $695 per semester, plus important exams like the Pharmacy College Admission Test (PCAT), which has a $150 registration fee for 2010.
Pharmacy colleges and schools could offer some financial assistance, and federal and state grants and scholarships are an option, although the association notes that most are generally reserved for the most economically disadvantaged students. The best options for finding out about loans, scholarships and grants are your college advisors, so take advantage of that resource, too.
The expenses of earning your education will be worth it when you start to reap the rewards (and high salary potential!) of this in-demand career.