The Bridge    Join    

Internships & Post-Graduate Opportunities

An internship is a great way to broaden your professional experience, learn more about pharmacy, and make connections that will help you after graduation. Whether you want to spend the summer in Iowa or in places like Washington, D.C., Boston, or Chicago, there are diverse opportunities in areas ranging from community and hospital pharmacy to managed care to health policy. Many internships are competitive and have deadlines as early as December, so plan ahead in your search. In addition to information on this page, your Dean’s office may have information on other internship opportunities.

Internship Requirements

Internship hours can be obtained from any of the fifty states. In order to acquire internship hours, you must obtain an intern license from the state you wish to practice. Please note that licensure can vary by state, so please contact the Board of Pharmacy responsible for the state you are interested.
  • For a national listing of Boards of Pharmacy, click here.
  • For information about internship requirements in Iowa, click here.

Association Management

Students interested in learning about association management can find opportunities at the Iowa Pharmacy Association (IPA), the American Pharmacists Association (APhA), the American Society of Consultant Pharmacists (ASCP), the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP), the National Association of Chain Drug Stores (NACDS), and the National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA).

Chain Pharmacies

There are many opportunities available to complete a chain pharmacy internship. The National Association of Chain Drug Stores (NACDS) maintains an extensive page that allows students interested in community pharmacy practice to search for available internships by chain and by state.
  • Walgreens offers both a summer Pharmacy Internship and a Corporate Internship.
  • CVS Caremark has pharmacy internship programs in both Retail Pharmacy and Mail Order Pharmacy (PBM).
  • Other pharmacy internships offered by chain pharmacies include, but are not limited to: Rite Aid, Wal-Mart, and Hy-Vee.

Public Health

The Junior Commissioned Officer Student Training Extern Program (JRCOSTEP) allows pharmacy students to spend up to three months interning at divisions of the Public Health Service at sites throughout the United States. Interns may work for federal entities such as the Food and Drug Administration, the Indian Health Service, the National Institutes of Health, the Health Care Financing Administration, and the Bureau of Prisons.

The Senior Commissioned Officer Student Training Extern Program (SRCOSTEP) allows pharmacy students entering their final year of school to be paid while in school in exchange for committing to enroll in the United States Public Health Service Commissioned Corps upon graduation. Commissioned Corps officers may work for federal entities such as the Food and Drug Administration, the Indian Health Service, the National Institutes of Health, the Health Care Financing Administration, and the Bureau of Prisons. The service obligation is equal to twice the time sponsored.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) offers a variety of hands-on, short-term internship programs for doctoral students. All offer a unique experience in one of many public health fields.

Managed Care

The Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy maintains a site with links to information on internships in various areas of pharmacy, including managed care. This list makes it easy to search by state.

Pharmaceutical Industry

Companies like Abbott LaboratoriesAstraZenecaSanofiGlaxoSmithKlineLillyMerck, and Pfizer offer internships that allow students to see the inner workings of pharmaceutical companies in areas ranging from research and development to management to public relations.

Compiled Lists of Internship Opportunities

Both the Drake University College of Pharmacy and the University of Iowa College of Pharmacy maintain lists of internship opportunities. Additional information may be available in your college Dean's office. Other Pharmacy Internship opportunities may be found on the Pharmacy Times Career Center Website.

Residencies, Fellowships & Other Post-Graduate Opportunities

Pharmacy residencies show a new graduate how to apply coursework to everyday practice, while also demonstrating the many career paths available to pharmacists. Pharmacy residencies give the opportunity to obtain one to two years of organized, directed, intensive training in a specific area of pharmacy practice. Post-Graduate Year 1 (PGY1) residencies are a general training in health systems, managed care, or community setting. A Post-Graduate Year 2 (PGY2) residency program is more specialized for advanced training.

Examples of different specialty areas include: acute care, oncology, pediatrics, and pharmacy management. You must complete a PGY1 program before applying to a PGY2 program. To see more on why you should consider a residency visit the the ASHP webpage. Students interested in American Society of Health-System Pharmacists accredited residencies must use the ASHP match service, but for other residencies you should contact individual residency coordinators. Good places to look for additional information about residencies in particular fields are national associations’ web pages, national association meetings, and your college Dean's office.

Similar to PGY-2 residencies, fellowships offer directed, highly individualized, postgraduate learning opportunities. There are a variety of focuses for fellowships, including academic fellowships within educational institutions that are more focused on research – up to 80% research and 20% clinical experience, and industry fellowships which are typically within the pharmaceutical industry, which allows the fellow to gain experience with the drug research and development process within a pharmaceutical company – through areas including regulatory affairs, commercial, health economics, and pharmacovigilance. Fellowships are not accredited.

Residencies in Iowa

Residency/Fellowship Programs in Association Management

American Pharmacists Association (APhA) Residency Program

  • The Community Pharmacy Residency Program was established by the American Pharmaceutical Association in 1986 to foster the development of formal postgraduate education and training experiences for pharmacists in innovative community pharmacy practice settings. 

Indian Health Service (IHS) Pharmacy Residency Program

  • The Indian Health Service offers several residency positions in a progressive and culturally diverse practice setting serving Native American populations. IHS does not participate in the ASHP match. Applicants to IHS residency programs are notified of application results prior to the ASHP match so that they may proceed in the ASHP match process if not selected for an IHS position.

Pharmaceutical Industry Fellowships

Residency and Fellowship Directories

Pharmaceutical Graduate Degree Programs

Graduate programs are available in many areas for the pharmacist looking to further their education and research within a specific discipline. Individuals may pursue a master of science (MS) or a doctor of philosophy (PhD) across a variety of areas, including pharmaceutical science, data analytics and information systems, health economics, regulatory sciences, and more.