How Do You Become a Pharmacist?


Quick Answer

Pharmacists must earn a doctor of pharmacy degree and pass licensing and pharmacy law exams to find employment in the clinical pharmacy or research fields. Those who want to advance in their career or open a pharmacy need additional certifications and licenses.

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Full Answer

Pharmacy students should have a strong background in biology, chemistry and anatomy to gain acceptance into a doctor of pharmacy degree program. This degree program provides additional training in anatomy, pharmacology, medical ethics and hospital administration. A doctor of pharmacy degree program typically takes three to four years to complete and may require students to intern at health clinics, drug store pharmacies, hospitals or other health care facilities to graduate.

After completing a Doctor of Pharmacy degree program, students must pass the North American Pharmacist Licensure Exam and the Multistate Pharmacy Jurisprudence Exam to gain employment as a pharmacist or clinical researcher. Students who want to open a pharmacy may have to earn additional degrees in business administration or public health. Students who want to advance their career by specializing in specific fields, such as oncology, geriatrics or children's medicine, may have to complete additional coursework to gain experience and knowledge in caring for and treating specific illnesses and conditions.

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