Best Online Schools for Doctor of Pharmacy

Pharmacists play a vital role in the healthcare system, administering medications and prescriptions to their patients who depend on them to know drug interactions and side effects that could possibly change a patient’s life forever. Pharmacists work directly with healthcare professionals and their patients to provide the best possible dosage of medications to keep them healthy and on track with their needs. They also may administer health and wellness screenings, provide vital immunizations to both young and old, and provide counsel on living a healthy lifestyle.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, on average, Pharmacists earn around $120,000 per year. The job outlook for 2016-2026 shows a 6% increase which is “as fast as average” for all occupations, according to BLS.com. To become a Pharmacist, you must be licensed, which requires passing two exams, the North American Pharmacist Licensure Exam (NAPLEX) and the Multistate Pharmacy Jurisprudence Exam (MPJE).

There are several types of pharmacists: Community Pharmacists, Clinical Pharmacists, Consultant Pharmacists, Pharmaceutical Industry Pharmacists, and some work as college professors teaching pharmacy students and/or conducting research. In August 2017, there were 128 Doctor of Pharmacy programs fully accredited by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE), but, your choices in online programs are sparse at the time. In developing this list, Online-PhD-Degrees.com, chose not to list the schools in an ordered way, but instead highlighted schools exceeding the expectations of their counterparts and showcasing each of their own unique strengths.

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CREIGHTON UNIVERSITY

About Creighton University:
Located in Omaha, Nebraska on a 140-acre campus, Creighton University is a Jesuit, Roman Catholic, private, coeducational founded by the Society of Jesus in 1878. The university is one of 28-member institutions of the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities. The university is accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools and is Nebraska’s largest private religious university. The school has a student body of over 8,000 students and among many sections includes the School of Pharmacy and Health Professions.

Program Standouts:
Creighton University ranks third in the nation among private pharmacy schools (U.S. News & World Report) and is, also, one of the leading pharmacy programs in the country. They pride themselves on being pioneers in the healthcare field by offering an innovative way to achieve a Doctor of Pharmacy degree online. The focus of the Pharm.D. program centers around the innovative side of today’s pharmaceutical needs including medication therapy management and the patients’ care, counseling, monitoring and evaluations.

Creighton’s Distance Pathway paves the way for the online student to attend full-time in obtaining their Doctor of Pharmacy degree. Covering the same classroom material as their traditional campus program, the Distance pathway, which started in 2001, offers flexibility and is taught on a semester basis. Interactions with the faculty is held via email, telephone, discussion boards, web conferencing, as well as other media communications. Keep in mind that some portions of the Distance Pathway are completed on campus, such as, lab courses during two to four-week sessions held during the summertime. Also, you will be expected to attend “live” lectures.

According to Creighton’s website, “The clinical component of the distance pharmacy pathway is the same as the campus pharmacy pathway. A total of eight five-week clinical rotations are required, five of which are in required subject areas, with the remaining three in elective subject areas. These unpaid clinical rotations provide experience in actual pharmacy practice. Sites for clinical rotations are available in a variety of locations throughout the country and internationally.”

Campus Location: Omaha, NE

Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission (HLC)

Admission Requirements:
Applicants to this program must submit a completed online application, official transcripts from all undergraduate institution visited, two letters of recommendation, and official Pharmacy College Admission Test (PCAT) scores.

Sampling of Coursework:

  • Patient Assessment
  • Chemical Basis of Drug Action
  • Pharmacotherapeutics

Class Structure:
According to students whom have attended the Distance Pathway for Creighton’s Doctor of Pharmacy, this program is not taught in an “at your own pace” type delivery method. For example, if on campus students have a test on X day, distance students have a test on that same day, however, you may typically watch lectures on your own time. Exams, quizzes, assignments, etc. are all due at the same time as those attending the brick and mortar counterpart. The curriculum is designed to be 3 years didactic and not anticipated to move faster than intended.

FOR MORE INFORMATION, VISIT Creighton University’s Online Doctor of Pharmacy Degree Program!

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HOWARD UNIVERSITY

About Howard University: Howard University is located in Washington, D.C. and is traditionally, since its inception, a nonsectarian school open to students of all races and genders. Howard is classified as a Tier 1 national university and is placed highly on a plethora of impressive rankings reports, including U.S. News and World Report, Bloomberg Businessweek, and the Princeton Review to name a few. Howard University’s College of Pharmacy is one of the oldest and top technologically advanced schools of pharmacy in the United States.

A fun fact is that in 2011, Howard was named the second best-dress college in the nation by the Huffington Post! Another very interesting fact is that the most black doctorate recipients of any non-profit university are produced by Howard University. Needless to say, students attending Howard, either online or on-campus, are part of a hugely successful path of others just like them working towards their career goals and dreams.

Program Standouts:
The success of their traditional on-campus program led to the development of what they coin as their Non-Traditional Doctor of Pharmacy (NTDP) Program which is designed specifically for practicing pharmacists. One of the biggest standouts with this university is that the program is designed to be completed in two years, however, a student who is admitted to the online program has a maximum of five years from the initial date of enrollment to complete the program and receive the Pharm. D. degree. This flexibility allows for “life” to happen and for you to complete the program on your time. There are required visits highlighted below in the “Class Structure” section.

Campus Location: Washington, D.C.

Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission (HLC)

Total Credits Required to Complete the Program: 65 credits

Admission Requirements:
Applicants must have at a minimum a Bachelor of Science Degree in Pharmacy to even be considered for admission. In addition to also possessing a valid US Pharmacy License, all applicants must complete the Professional Study and Supplemental Application forms, as well as, all other required documentation.

Sampling of Coursework:

  • Applied Pharmacokinetics & Pharmacogenomics
  • Biostatistics and Biotechnology
  • Patient Assessment I & II

Class Structure: 

With this program, you may only enroll in the fall of each year and the curriculum is set in phases… I, II, and III. There are two times it is mandatory to make a campus visit. These are called “Executive Weekend Seminars” The first weekend is held in the very beginning of the first semester and is intended to orient the students to the hows, whens and whys of the program. A few weeks later, the second Executive Weekend is scheduled. Phase I is a two month orientation which includes the first and second Executive Weekend Seminar, the second phase is a 16 month course of study divided into three semesters and the final Phase III is a 6 week experiential component.

According to Howard’s website, “The Howard University Non-traditional Doctor of Pharmacy (NTDP) program normally requires two years to complete. Pharmacists are admitted once a year as members of a cohort. Cohorts consist of not geographically bounded pharmacists who joined the program at the same time and will progress through it at the same pace.”

FOR MORE INFORMATION, VISIT Howard University’s Online Doctor of Pharmacy Degree Program!

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UNIVERSITY OF COLORADO – DENVER

About The University of Colorado-Denver: The University of Colorado-Denver is a public research university and is part of the University of Colorado system. While the main college campus is located in Denver the Anshutz Medical Campus, which houses the Skaggs School of Pharmacy is located in neighboring Aurora, CO. With more than 18,000 students enrolled at both campuses, The University of Colorado-Denver is the largest research institution in Colorado.  The university also offers online degrees via its CU Online option.

Program Standouts:
The University of Colorado Denver Skaggs School of Pharmacy offers distance education through their iPharm degree program for both international and North American-trained pharmacists. The North American track is a flexible online only program while the International track requires both on-campus and online attendance. You have your foundation courses such as, Clinical Skills Foundation and Immunology. Pharmacotherapy courses addresses the pathophysiology, advanced pharmacotherapeutics, pharmacokinetics and professional skills development for two to three body systems. Experiential training is also part of the curriculum which derives of six advanced pharmacy practice experiences.

Campus Location: Aurora, CO

Accreditation: The Higher Learning Commission; Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE)

Total Credits Required to Complete the Program:

Admission Requirements:
CHANGE ….All student applicants are required to submit a completed application along with the application fee, official transcripts from all graduate and undergraduate institutions, as well as, recommendation letters, and GRE/TOEFL/IELTS scores.

Sampling of Coursework:

  • Introduction to Pharmacogenomics
  • US Based Patient Centered Self-Care
  • Evidence-Based Medicine and Drug Literature Evaluation

Class Structure:
As mentioned above, the North American track allows the most flexibility. All didactic courses are delivered online meaning there are no on campus requirements. However, all students may complete their rotations at one of their world-class Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experience (APPE) sites in Colorado. The International Trained program does require two campus visits but the majority of the courses are delivered online offering real-time interaction with the faculty and other pharmacists from around the world. With both tracks, you are offered discussion groups with other classmates, as well as, lecture handouts and readings. Experiential training is also flexible with both tracks.

FOR MORE INFORMATION, VISIT UNIVERSITY OF COLORADO’S – DENVER iPHARMD DEGREE PROGRAM