Scientific advances, an aging population, and expansion of insurance coverage for more Americans all will contribute to growth in the pharmacy industry. Employment of pharmacists is expected to increase by 25 percent from 2010 to 2020, faster than the average for all occupations.
The Doctor of Pharmacy degree (Pharm.D.) is the professional degree needed to enter the pharmaceutical field. Most Pharm.D. programs take four years to complete (there are some 3 year programs) after completion of the minimum pre-requisites or an undergraduate degree. Entrance to pharmacy school is competitive and there are more applicants than there are open seats. Different schools also have different prerequisites; it is very important that students consult with the pre-pharmacy advisor every semester beginning freshman year in addition to communicating with pharmacy schools they plan to apply to.
UWM offers all of the prerequisite coursework necessary for students to apply to professional pharmacy schools and colleges throughout the country. Although it is theoretically possible to complete the pre-pharmacy requirements in two years and proceed directly to pharmacy school, the current national average for completion of the pre-pharmacy coursework is three years. In addition, given the highly competitive nature of gaining admission to pharmacy school, students may present a stronger application if they complete four years of college and earn a Bachelor's degree before going to Pharmacy school.
We have partnerships with two Pharm.D. schools - Midwestern University Chicago College of Pharmacy and Concordia University Wisconsin. The Midwestern University program offers two options. Option 1 offers dual admission to UWM's pre-pharmacy program and Midwestern University's Pharm.D. program while still a high school senior. In this program, a student would complete two years of science coursework at UWM before completing three and a half years at Midwestern. Option 2 offers early admission to UWM freshmen on a pre-pharmacy track. Students have up to three years to complete the pre-pharmacy coursework at UWM which is followed by three years at Midwestern. This brochure provides more details on the program.
Concordia University Wisconsin and UW-Milwaukee offer a dual degree program leading to a Bachelor of Science in biological sciences from UWM and a doctorate in pharmacy from Concordias School of Pharmacy. In the program, students will spend three years in a pre-pharmacy program through UWMs College of Letters and Science, then four years in Concordias doctor of pharmacy (PharmD) program. The dual degree program, which can be completed in seven years, would be one year shorter than completing a bachelors and then entering the pharmacy program. Several first and second year courses in the Concordia pharmacy program will fulfill requirements for the bachelors degree at UWM. This brochure provides more details on the program
Please review the Pre-Pharmacy Fact Sheet at the right for information about suggested undergraduate courses to prepare for pharmacy school, career outlook for pharmacists, and options for your major. Pre-Pharmacy is not a major, and students must still choose a major. Since most of the pre-requisites necessary for application to pharmacy school are in the sciences, many students choose a science major, though it is not required. Our specialized pre-pharmacy advisor works with students to ensure they understand all of the milestones that must be met in college in order to be a competitive applicant to pharmacy school. We recommend students begin meeting with this advisor as soon as freshman year in order to plan all needed activities into your college career.
Exploring the pharmacy profession and pharmacy schools
Applying to Pharm.D. Programs
- UWM Office of Undergraduate Research (OUR)
- UWM Center for Community-Based Learning, Leadership, and Research (CBLLR)
- Milwaukee Institute for Drug Discovery
- Medical College of Wisconsin Research Programs
- WiscAMP Excel Program at UW-Madison
- Wisconsin Area Health Education Centers (AHEC)
- Prevent Blindness Wisconsin
- Summer Health Professions Education Program (SHPEP)