The most efficient path to becoming a pharmacist normally takes at least six years. A person must complete a Doctor of Pharmacy degree, which takes four years. Some programs require two years of undergraduate study before granting a candidate admission to the program, while others require a four-year bachelor's degree.
Some pharmacy programs accept high school graduates, who then complete the undergraduate and graduate degree work together over a six-year period. An additional one or two-year residency also is required to gain a position in a hospital or research laboratory. All states require pharmacists to complete a national licensing exam and a separate exam regarding specific state laws.