Study in USA

Pharmacists Jobs in USA

U.S. Pharmacy Study: Preparation and Admissions

Over 110 colleges and schools of pharmacy in the United States offer first professional degree programs (the Pharm.D., or Doctor of Pharmacy degree) accredited by the American Council on Pharmaceutical Education, with additional institutions currently in precandidacy status.

The Pharm.D. is currently the only first professional degree credential awarded

in the United States. A B.S. credential was also issued in the past but has been discontinued. Some



nontraditional Pharm.D. programs exist that are intended for individuals holding the B.S. credential. Some of these may also be appropriate for individuals who have already earned a pharmacy degree outside the United States and are seeking a shorter pathway to

a Pharm.D. degree than is usual.

Almost 10 percent of the over 54,000 individuals graduating with Pharm.D. degrees were international students, according to recent figures from the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy.

Large Group of People Holding American Flag Board

Most pharmacy schools require students to complete at least two years of undergraduate study prior to admission to a first professional Pharm.D. program, most students enter after three or four years, and some schools give admissions preference to those who have completed a full bachelor’s degree. A smaller number of schools offer either “0-6” programs that students can apply to immediately upon high school completion or “early assurance” programs through which students are guaranteed admission to pharmacy school following successful completion of two years of pre-pharmacy study.
Even individuals who do hold a bachelor’s and/or other advanced degrees must still complete the four academic years (or three calendar years) involved in a pharmacy first professional degree program in addition to the minimum two years of undergraduate study.

Most pharmacy schools require students to complete at least two years of undergraduate study prior to admission to a first professional Pharm.D. program, most students enter after three or four years, and some schools give admissions preference to those who have completed a full bachelor’s degree. A smaller number of schools offer either “0-6” programs that students can apply to immediately upon high school completion or “early assurance” programs through which students are guaranteed admission to pharmacy school following successful completion of two years of pre-pharmacy study.
Even individuals who do hold a bachelor’s and/or other advanced degrees must still complete the four academic years (or three calendar years) involved in a pharmacy first professional degree program in addition to the minimum two years of undergraduate study.

Students interested in pharmacy study should start preparing for entrance to college while still in secondary school. As admission requirements vary, students need to check the catalogs of individual pharmacy schools. By carefully planning their secondary school and preprofessional study, students increase their chances of acceptance to pharmacy school.

Courses in mathematics, biology, chemistry, and physics provide essential preparation for pharmacy study. Good written and verbal communication skills are also important.

Students preparing for pharmacy school do not necessarily need to pursue undergraduate study specifically in “prepharmacy.” Chemistry is a common major because the standard curriculum of chemistry programs typically includes all or most of the courses that will be prerequisite for pharmacy school entrance. However, students are admitted from all undergraduate majors. Some pharmacy schools do not accept pre-pharmacy credits from outside the United States, meaning that international students must complete additional U.S. undergraduate study before entering the program.

Factors such as grade point average, completion of prerequisite courses, pharmacy-related work and volunteer experience, letters of recommendation, TOEFL testing for international students, and so forth are typically involved in Pharm.D. application.

More than 75 percent of Pharm.D. programs require students to take the Pharmacy College Admission Test (PCAT). This multiple-choice examination includes multiple-choice sections relating to verbal ability, biology, reading comprehension, quantitative ability, and chemistry as well as an essay section with two writing exercises. The test takes about four hours to complete. It is administered several times a year in the United States and Canada only.

About half of all Pharm.D. programs participate in the PharmCAS centralized application system. Candidate applications are submitted online and the same application form can be submitted to multiple schools.

A large majority of pharmacy schools accept students with foreign degrees into their programs; however, a few schools give preference to individuals from the state/region in which they are located, or only enroll such students.

Pharmacy school admissions requirements vary considerably from program to program and prospective applicants should do research on the Web sites of schools of interest as well as the PharmCAS site before applying.

Pharmacy Graduate Degree Admissions

Students who have earned a professional degree from an accredited pharmacy school or college or the equivalent overseas may qualify to enter a Master of Science (M.S.) or Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degree program. Students with an undergraduate degree in a pharmacy-related field (such as chemistry or biology) can also apply to programs, though some schools may admit only students with first professional pharmacy degrees.

International students make up about 28 percent of those earning a Master of Science (M.S.) degree in the pharmaceutical sciences, and 42 percent of students pursuing a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degree, according to recent figures from the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy.

M.S. and Ph.D. degrees do not qualify students to take U.S. licensure examinations—only a Pharm.D. degree qualifies pharmacy graduates for such tests. M.S. and Ph.D. programs are usually geared toward those interested in conducting research, teaching, or pursuing a specialty. International pharmacists interested in clinical practice may also want to consider a Pharm.D. degree (degree programs designed for individuals already holding a B.S. in pharmacy may be particularly appropriate)

International students should contact individual schools to inquire about their requirements for admission into graduate programs. A large majority of pharmacy schools accept students with foreign degrees into their programs; however, a few schools enroll individuals from the state/region in which they are located only.

Pharmacy Residencies

According to the American Society of Hospital Pharmacists (ASHP), a pharmacy residency is “an organized, directed postgraduate training program with a stipend in a defined area of pharmacy practice.” Residencies allow students to directly apply the skills they have acquired in a professional environment. They may be of particular interest to pharmacy graduates whose career goals include hospital practice or becoming a member of a clinical faculty at a pharmacy college or school.

The ASHP is the accrediting body for pharmacy residencies and most residencies are ASHP-accredited (exceptions exist in certain pharmacy settings such as home health care or community pharmacy). International pharmacists considering residencies that are not ASHP-accredited need to look with special care at other indications of quality to ensure that the residency has the resources to meet their needs.

Two main types of pharmacy residencies exist: pharmacy practice residencies and specialized residencies. Pharmacy practice residencies are designed to develop skills and knowledge in a broad range of pharmaceutical services, including acute patient care, ambulatory patient care, drug information, drug use policy development, and practice management.

Most pharmacy practice residencies are not affiliated with a pharmacy school but are administered by U.S. hospitals and medical centers. However, some residencies, called “affiliated residencies,” are administered in conjunction with a Pharm.D. or M.S. program. These residencies usually last a year or more longer than do non-affiliated residencies because students pursue the residency part-time while also academic work to earn their degree. The minimum time requirement for residency completion is 2,000 hours over at least 50 weeks.

To obtain a residency in pharmacy practice, U.S. pharmacists generally enter the Residency Matching Program (RMP), sponsored by the ASHP to match applicants and programs. Entering the RMP does not guarantee that a candidate will be accepted to a residency program. Pharmacists must also apply directly to individual residency programs in addition to participating in the RMP.

Graduates of pharmacy schools outside the United States can enter the RMP only upon earning a Foreign Pharmacy Graduate Examination Committee (FPGEC) certificate. To obtain an FPGEC certificate, students must pass the Foreign Pharmacy Graduate Equivalency Examination (FPGEE) and achieve a score of at least 550 on the TOEFL. To be eligible to take the FPGEE, students must have earned a degree from a school of pharmacy that has at least a four-year curriculum or its equivalent and be licensed or registered to practice pharmacy in the country where their degree was earned.

The FPGEE is a one-day examination testing knowledge of the preclinical sciences (physical science, biological science, and mathematics); pharmaceutical sciences; biomedical sciences; social and behavioral sciences; and pharmaceutical services management. It is administered only once a year in the Chicago, IL, area.

Certain pharmacy residencies require residents to be U.S. licensed. Others may accept only Pharm.D. graduates of schools accredited by the American Council on Pharmaceutical Education (ACPE)—that is, U.S. schools—into their residency programs. On the other hand, occasionally ASHP-accredited pharmacy practice programs allow foreign pharmacy graduates to apply directly for pharmacy practice residencies without participating in the RMP. Foreign pharmacy graduates should check with individual programs to determine their eligibility for residencies.

Specialized Residencies

Pharmacists are generally expected to have completed a pharmacy practice residency prior to applying for a specialized residency. However, some programs may accept professional experience as a substitute for the pharmacy practice residency.

Specialty area residencies accredited by the ASHP include programs in administration, adult internal medicine, clinical pharmacokinetics, critical care, drug information, geriatrics, nuclear pharmacy, nutritional support, oncology, pediatrics, primary care, and psychopharmacy. Far fewer specialized residency programs exist than do pharmacy practice residencies and many of the specialized programs are university-affiliated.

Specialized residency programs do not participate in the RMP. Individuals interested in such opportunities should contact programs of interest directly to get information on their programs and requirements.

U.S. Pharmacy Licensure Requirements

Requirements for obtaining a license to practice pharmacy, which is required for some (but not all) residency experiences, vary from state to state. Foreign pharmacy graduates who wish to obtain a U.S. license need to contact the boards of pharmacy in states of interest to inquire about their prerequisites, especially as in some states, U.S. citizenship or legal, permanent residence in the state is required.

To obtain a license, pharmacy students generally are expected to have graduated from a school approved by the State Board of Pharmacy or accredited by the American Council on Pharmaceutical Education (ACPE). As of 2009, the only such institution located outside North America was the Lebanese American University’s school of pharmacy.

However, states often allow foreign graduates to gain licensure eligibility by earning an FPGEC certificate (see article in this section, “Pharmacy Residencies,” for more information on the FPGEC). It must be emphasized that the FPGEC certificate is not a license to practice. The certificate’s function is limited to rendering a candidate eligible to apply for licensure in most states as well as being a requirement for some clinically focused educational experiences.

States may have additional testing or other requirements for licensure. Pharmacists should contact the board of pharmacy in the state in which they want to become licensed for the most current details; contact information can be found on the Web site of the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy.


Program Overview

                                                                           The Advanced Standing Program for international pharmacy graduates
educates students to achieve the same outcomes as the entry level Pharm.D. degree program, but in an accelerated format.  Courses are taken with the entry-level students in an integrated classroom.  The curriculum focuses on clinical courses, as well as additional coursework to prepare students for advanced pharmacy practice.  Outside of the United States, pharmacy programs typically focus on pharmaceutics or dosage forms.  The growth of patient care responsibilities has created the need for pharmacists to study disease process, acquire pharmacotherapeutic knowledge and improve patient monitoring skills.  Courses integrate information and build upon one another to provide students with the knowledge and skills necessary to be successful in the profession.  Students admitted with advanced standing may have individualized coursework, depending on their previous pharmacy coursework.  The advanced standing curiculum outline is representative of the typical international pharmacy graduate entering the Pharm.D. degree program.

Professional Program Goal: The goal of the College of Pharmacy (COP) professional degree program curriculum is to provide graduates with the knowledge, professional skills, attitudes and values necessary to address the pharmacy-related needs of society

Graduation rates, NAPLEX & MPJE scores

  1. NAPLEXpass rate for the Class of 2015: 90.2%
  2. MPJE pass ratefor theClass of 2015: 92.5%
  3. On time (6 year) graduation rates

Pharm.D. Entry Level Program:

2015 83% 9% 2% 94%
2014* 86% 6% 1% 93%
2013* 76% 15% 2% 93%
2012 84% 8% 1% 95%

* Percentage is lower than previous years due to a change in the manner in which the data is reported. The 2013 graduation rate does not include those students who graduated in December 2013, as they will be included in the 2014 data. Data only includes graduation rates between January 1 and August 31, 2013. Future years will include graduation rates from September 1 to August 31.

Pharm.D. Advanced Standing Program:

2015 90% 3% -% 93%
2014 88% 3% -% 91%
2013 95% -% -% 95%
2012* -% -% -%

*no graduating class

Admission Requirements

The College of Pharmacy selects international pharmacy graduates for the program based on previous academic performance, GRE scores (if applicable), TOEFL/IELTS scores (if applicable), written applications, pharmacy experience, and letters of reference.

  1. Prior to matriculation, applicants must have an earned Bachelor of Pharmacy degree from an accredited institution. The college will evaluate all official transcripts to determine if the student has successfully completed the courses listed below with a grade of 2.0 or higher on a 4.0 scale:
Anatomy and Physiology 6
Biochemistry 4
Microbiology 3
Pharmacology 6
Pharmaceutics 6
Pharmacokinetics 4
Total 29

The college may require an applicant to complete additional prerequisite courses in order to strengthen his or her academic background.

  1. It is required that applicants have a minimum 2.75 GPA, on a 4.0 scale, on all college-level coursework completed.
  2. An official course-by-course evaluation of foreign coursework with the cumulative grade point average included (see under application procedures for further details).
  3. Proof of English proficiency is required of all applicants. The following standardized tests currently satisfy NSU College of Pharmacy English requirements for nonnative English speakers:
  • Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)*
    – 213 or above on a computer-based test; 80 or above on the Internet-based is required
  • International English Language Testing System (IELTS)*
    – 6.0 or above on the test module is required

*TOEFL & IELTS scores may be no more than two years old at the time of interview

  • Candidates who have taken college courses in the United States may also prove English proficiency by completing two college-level English composition courses at a regionally accredited college or university in the United States with a grade of a 2.0 or higher on a 4.0 scale.
  1. Three letters of reference are required from the dean/director of a pharmacy program, registered pharmacists, or professors. One of the letters must be from the dean/director of your previous bachelor of pharmacy program.
  2. Applicants are strongly recommended to submit official scores from the Graduate Record Examination (GRE).
  3. For more information visit

Western University of Health Sciences

Program Overview

The PharmD professional program at Western University of Health Sciences is a four year program designed to train students for the degree of Doctor of Pharmacy. Students will need to complete a minimum of two years of preprofessional education at an accredited college or university before being admitted to the Pharm.D. program (see View Requirements).

Application Requirements

Completion of prerequisite courses as outlined above

60 semester hours or 90 quarter hours of coursework from a regionally accredited U.S. institution at the time of application

Minimum overall and science GPA of 2.75

Although not required, pharmacy experience (volunteer work) is strongly recommended

Preference is given to those who have earned a Bachelor’s Degree (in any field), but is not required

Access to a computer meeting the minimum technical standards

Proof of legal US residency – If Required

  • If you are an international applicant or any other applicant who is not U.S. citizen and is living in the U.S., you should be prepared to provide proof of legal U.S. residency at the time of interview

Test of English language proficiency – If Required

Required for all applicants submitting coursework from foreign schools.TOEFL scores are valid for two years and must be submitted by March 1, prior to matriculation.

  • Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)minimum score
    • Internet-Based test (IBT) minimum score: 79
    • Computer Based test minimum score: 213
  • The test of English language proficiency will be waived if you meet one of the following criteria:
    • You are a permanent and temporary residents of the United States and have completed the English and Speech prerequisite from an accredited U.S. institution
    • English courses taken from foreign countries whose native language is English will be accepted (e.g. Canada, Australia, Great Britain)

*Pharmacy Intern License Requirement: All students are required to be licensed interns with the California State Board of Pharmacy during all phases of the experiential program (IPPE, APPE, and AE). Students unable to obtain a valid pharmacy intern license will not be permitted to begin any clincial practice experience. Students found not eligible for an intern license by the State Board of Pharmacy will be dismissed from the PharmD program. The California State Board of Pharmacy is a body independent of the College of Pharmacy. The College of Pharmacy assumes no liability for decisions made by the Board regarding the status of a student’s intern license.

For more information visit

USA Visa Requirements

Visa Interview

American Consulate has introduced a system of prior appointment for Visa Interview. On the given date, the applicant has to appear for a personal interview. The applicant should convince the visa officer that he / she has the necessary funds to cover the cost of education. The applicant should prove that he / she has strong ties with India and also that he / she is not an intending immigrant. While answering the questions, one should be brief and to the point.

One should not be surprised or angry if the officer is unable to review all the documents that are carried by the applicant. Since officers have very little time for each applicant, they may not be able to look at many or even any documents at times. Therefore one should be prepared to explain one’s situation orally and to answer all questions promptly, patiently and confidently.

The applicant will be informed whether he / she has been granted or refused a visa on the same day. The name of the University whose I-20 has been submitted to the consulate, will also be mentioned on the passport. Therefore it is advisable to make the final selection of the University very carefully. If, for some reason, your visa is rejected in the first attempt, you can reapply after 3 working days.

Document Checklist

The following is a list of some of the documents that you are supposed to carry along with you on the day of VISA interview:

  • Passport having validity of atleast six months
  • Visa Fee Receipt
  • Interview Appointment Letter
  • I-20 and Admission Letter from the University / College mentioning the total cost of education in USA (If You have received Admission letters / Rejection letters from more than one University, carry all of them)
  • Evidence of Scholarship / Aid / Grant, if any
  • Sponsorship Letter
  • Educational Certificates, Degrees, Diplomas & Mark sheets
  • Score Reports of TOEFL and GRE / GMAT / SAT
  • Work Experience Certificate / Reference Letter from Employer, if Employed
  • Bank Statements / Pass Books of the sponsors for the last Three Years
  • Summary Statement of Assets and Total Income of Family Members
  • Income Tax papers of the sponsor and his Family for the last 3 years
  • Proof of all movable and immovable assets

For more updated information on Student Visa and the latest Fees, Kindly visit the websites:

Some of the Questions likely to be asked by th Visa officer:

  • What is the purpose of your trip?
  • Which university are you planning to go to?
  • Who is sponsoring you?
  • Why do you want to do MS / MBA?
  • Why do you wish to study in the US and not in India?
  • Why did you select this University?
  • Do you have any relatives in the US?
  • Why is your GRE / GMAT / SAT / TOEFL score low?
  • What are you plans after completing your studies?
  • What is your father’s annual income?