How long does it take to become a pharmacist?


Quick Answer

State licensing requirements and educational program requirements vary; it can take an aspiring pharmacist anywhere from six to 10 years to meet the requirements to become a pharmacist. The most significant amount of time is involved in meeting undergraduate and graduate education requirements.

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Full Answer

A Doctor of Pharmacy degree takes three or four years to complete. Undergraduate requirements for admission vary. Some doctoral programs require a bachelor's degree, while others may only expect two years of undergraduate course work. Therefore, it is possible to complete schooling with a couple of years of undergraduate work and three or four years of grad school. However, it could take as long as four years for each degree.

On top of the educational requirements, pharmacists typically complete one- or two-year residency programs. The two-year residency is necessary for people who want to specialize in internal medicine or another area. After finishing all of the education and training requirements, an aspiring pharmacist must complete both state and national licensing exams before earning a license to practice pharmacy.

It is possible that a business-minded pharmacist may have to complete even more schooling. A pharmacist who wishes to start her own pharmacy business commonly earns an MBA to learn the facets of business management and marketing.

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