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Prospective Students

Are You Interested in a Career in Pharmacy?

The American Association of Colleges of Pharmacies (AACP) has presentations, brochures, and information for prospective students as well as pharmacists who talk to prospective students. 

Now is the most exciting time to get involved in the pharmacy profession! As one of the most trusted professionals in America, according to annual Gallop polls, today’s pharmacists work with patients and healthcare professionals on all aspects of medication therapy, educate patients about healthy lifestyles, and take responsibility for the health outcomes of their patients. Pharmacists are highly respected by the public and by healthcare professionals alike as accessible medication experts who make a difference in patients’ lives.

As America’s senior population grows and healthcare advances are made, pharmacists will continue to take on additional responsibility as a primary source of patients’ health information and care. Pharmacists work in a variety of healthcare settings, ranging from community pharmacies to hospitals to managed care organizations, to help patients feel better and live longer. The varied practice areas pharmacists work in will only expand as the profession continues to evolve over the coming years.

Some areas where pharmacists practice include:
  • Hospitals
  • Community/Retail Pharmacies
  • Long Term Care Facilities
  • Managed Care Organizations
  • Universities
  • Associations
  • Local, State, and Federal Governments
  • The Armed Services
  • The Public Health Service
  • The Pharmaceutical Industry
  • Nuclear Pharmacies
  • And Many More Exciting Options
You might enjoy a career in pharmacy if you...
  • Enjoy helping others feel better and improving their quality of life
  • Have a strong interest in math and science
  • Are committed to life-long learning
  • Possess good communication skills and would enjoy talking to patients and other healthcare providers
  • Can work collaboratively as part of a patient’s healthcare team
  • Enjoy the challenge of identifying problems and working to resolve them

What education is required?

High School
Preparing for a pharmacy career while in high school means taking a well-rounded series of classes with an emphasis on science, math, and communication. Good grades are important at the high school level, as many pharmacy colleges require a minimum grade point average for admission.

Once you make the decision to pursue a career in pharmacy, talk with the colleges of your choice about entrance requirements and pre-college areas of study, so you can be well prepared when you enter a particular pharmacy program.

To obtain a Doctor of Pharmacy Degree (Pharm. D.), you must successfully complete six years of education in a recognized college of pharmacy. The program generally consists of two years of pre-pharmacy, including basic sciences, math, communications, and electives; as well as four years in a college of pharmacy studying professional pharmaceutical course work.

Upon graduation, you will be required to take a licensure examination in order to become licensed to practice pharmacy. Once licensed, you will be required to participate in continuing education opportunities in order to apply for relicensure (typically every 2 years, however this varies by state). Click here for examples of continuing education opportunities.

You are encouraged to continue exploring this website to find out more about the profession of pharmacy in Iowa. Iowa pharmacists pride themselves on innovation and professionalism, and include some of the most respected pharmacists in the country. We hope you choose to join us!

Colleges of Pharmacy