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Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D.) Program

The professional curriculum leading to the Pharm.D. requires four years of study and admission into this program requires completion of the Pre-Pharmacy requirements. The entire curriculum is highly structured, allowing time for only a modest amount of elective study. Also, to complete the professional program in four years, students must consistently be successful in their completion of all of the required courses in each year of the program.

The Doctor of Pharmacy is a professional degree, not a graduate degree. Admission into the Pharm.D. program requires some prior college level study, but not a Bachelors degree. However, while completion of other degree programs is not required for admission, it is not excluded. Every year some students join the Pharm.D. program after completing a Bachelors degree and in a few cases, other professional degrees. Individuals who have completed a five-year BS in Pharmacy program may seek a Pharm.D. though the traditional program.

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The Purdue Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D.) program is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education, which is the national agency for the accreditation of professional degree programs in pharmacy and providers of continuing pharmacy education.

The Pharm.D. professional program is only one step, albeit a required one, in the process of becoming a registered pharmacist. The other steps include preparation for college study, admission to college, completion of the Pre-Pharmacy requirements, and after completion of the Pharm.D., sitting for and passing the licensure examination (NAPLEX) and completing the application materials and processes required for licensure. Specifics of the examination and licensure processes vary by state, and such information is best obtained from the State Board of Pharmacy for the state of interest. Some very useful general information about the NAPLEX is available from the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy (AACP).

If you are considering a career as a pharmacist and would like more information to help you in your decisions, see our pages on Becoming a Pharmacist and Career Options and Job and Salary Outlook for Pharmacists.

Detailed information about all undergraduate and professional degree programs offered by the College of Pharmacy is available in the Pharmacy Bulletin. This PDF file is available for downloading, viewing and printing, but it requires the use of Adobe Acrobat Reader software, which is available for free.

Academic Advising:

Once a student is admitted to the College, he or she is assigned an individual academic advisor. All advisors in the College of Pharmacy are part of the Office of Student Services (OSS). Advisors help in planning schedules and must approve the courses which each student selects at registration (students in this program are required to meet with their advisor every semester as part of the regular registration process). They advise on electives and assist in determining the best schedule for a student to take. The advisor is the first person to go to when a student is having academic or personal problems, and should be considered a personal friend. Remember, your advisor is interested in you, and has the experience and ability to give you help when you need it.


Students in the Professional program must pay a special professional tuition rate. This rate applies only during study in the Professional program (typically four years), and does not apply while in the Pre-Pharmacy program. The University Undergraduate Admissions office maintains an estimate of costs of attendance. However, the University's fee structure is complex, and depends in part on which semester you first enrolled at Purdue. Please see the Bursar's list of tuition and fee rates for Pharm.D. students for more information.

Practical Experience:

Students in this program are required to gain experience in the practice of pharmacy. This is accomplished through required practical experience courses. This training meets some of the practical training requirements of the Indiana State Board of Pharmacy for licensure in Indiana.

In addition to the required practical experience, students have the option of gaining experience in research. Several research fellowships for undergraduate research are available on a competitive basis to students enrolled in one of the College of Pharmacy undergraduate programs. These include summer research fellowships as well as many other opportunities for interested students. These are administered by Dr. Eric Barker, the Associate Dean for Research.

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