A Doctor of Pharmacy degree is needed to become a Pharmacist, which is no surprise given the great responsibility given to this profession. In addition, they must also pass the proper examinations to prove their knowledge.
Pharmacists play a vital role in the healthcare system, administering prescriptions to their patients who depend on them to know drug interactions and side effects. A mistake by a Pharmacist 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 healthcare needs.
They also provide vital immunizations to both young and old, provide counsel on living a healthy lifestyle, and may offer other services, such as administering health and wellness screenings.
Currently, there are a limited number of Doctor of Pharmacy programs fully accredited by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE), but, your choices of 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. The following elements were considered:
- 100% Online and Hybrid availability, with Clinical/Laboratory on-campus requirements,
- Pharmacy Program leading to the Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) degree,
- Offers innovative technology in patient care and medication management in Pharmaceuticals,
- Focuses on the advanced knowledge needed in-patient counseling, data collection, and medication monitoring, among other topics related to the field of Pharmacy,
- Specializations in Pediatrics, Cardiology, Family Medicine and Gerontology, and others,
- Prepare graduates for Leadership and Management positions in hospitals, pharmacies, clinics, research and government agencies, as well as, in the field of education,
- Cost effective online distance learning programs – with Financial Aid options,
- Proper Accreditation,
- Prepares students for the North American Pharmacist Licensure Exam (NAPLEX) and the Multistate Pharmacy Jurisprudence Exam (MPJE).
Want to learn more? Please see our Methodology page.
Best Online Schools for Doctor of Pharmacy
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.
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 address 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 from 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:
- a completed application along with the application fee,
- official transcripts from all graduate and undergraduate institutions,
- 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
As mentioned above, this online pharmacy school 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 – Denver’s Premium PharmD Degree Program.
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 are 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)
- a completed online application,
- official transcripts from all undergraduate institutions visited,
- two letters of recommendation,
- and official Pharmacy College Admission Test (PCAT) scores.
Sampling of Coursework:
- Patient Assessment
- Chemical Basis of Drug Action
According to students who 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 three years didactic and not anticipated to move faster than intended.
FOR MORE INFORMATION, VISIT Creighton University’s Online Doctor of Pharmacy Degree Program.
About Howard University:
Howard University is located in Washington, D.C., and is traditional, 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 online pharmacy schools 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.
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 of 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 their pharmacy degrees (doctorate) 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
- a Bachelor of Science Degree in Pharmacy
- a valid US Pharmacy License,
- 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
With these pharmacy degrees, 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 at 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 that 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 Non-Traditional PharmD-Doctor of Pharmacy Degree Program.
St. John Fisher College
About St. John Fisher College:
St. John Fisher College, through the Wegmans School of Pharmacy, offers an online doctor of pharmacy program aimed at gearing students to become pharmacists of distinction. Grounded in the sciences, coupled with experiential learning and integrated pharmaceutical care, this clinically-oriented hybrid program features the perfect pathway for students all throughout their online pharmacy school.
This distance education pathway provides a student-centered and experiential approach to pharmacy education with medical outreach opportunities and clinical rotations.
St. John College offers the best pharmacy education grounded with a solid foundation in practice-oriented instruction and sciences. Licensed pharmacists who want to take it to the next level will further hone their drug-administration skills while emphasizing diversity, integrity, and professionalism.
Upon completing the program, online students for the professional doctorate program will be ready to practice their being licensed pharmacists in practically any professional setting.
Campus Location: 3690 East Avenue, Rochester, NY
Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education. The school’s Wegman School of Pharmacy is duly accredited by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE).
This is a specialized accrediting agency recognized by the Council for Higher Education and accredits Doctor of Pharmacy programs offered by schools and colleges of pharmacy in the US. Like any doctorate programs, ACPE sets the standard of education for a licensed pharmacist to prepare him/her for the delivery of pharmacist-provided patient care.
Total Credit Hours Required to Complete the Program: 151 credits
Sampling of Coursework:
- Pharmacy Calculations
- Systems Pharmacology
- State Pharmacy Law
- Communication and Counseling Skills
- Online Application
- No prerequisite courses are required but you must have 62 semester hours (or two years) of pre-professional education at an accredited college or university
- Official Transcript of Records from all the schools previously attended
- Two letters of recommendations
The ACPE accredited program of the Doctor of Pharmacy from this college is given after the online students complete assignments and four years of didactic and experiential professional study.
This professional curriculum is designed in a way that courses integrate information and build upon one another. To give a solid foundation of drug interactions, medicinal chemistry, physiology, and pharmacology, these online classes are integrated so that practicing pharmacists will have a broader view of how the properties of medication interact with the human body.
The first three years of the online courses teach students about patient care settings and the integration and application of information. Along with experiential setting and pharmaceutical sciences, students will complete projects and assignments and develop critical thinking skills.
The course also provides laboratory courses and experiences, as well as a four week clinical rotation program to further develop both the written and verbal skills of pharmacy technicians.
FOR MORE INFORMATION, VISIT St. John Fisher College Doctor of Pharmacy Programs.
Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine
About Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine:
LECOM School of Pharmacy offers its Pharmacy Distance Education curriculum. This four-year online Doctor of Pharmacy degree program is guaranteed the most enhanced learning styles that faculty and administration have continuously worked on using active and interactive teaching strategies.
Most of the program’s online pharmd programs pathway is taught via online courses (synchronous and asynchronous) using the latest technologies so that any practicing pharmacist and student can learn in the comfort of their homes.
Every summer, a student is required to visit the Lake Erie College campus at Bradenton, FL between one and three weeks to complete their laboratory casework and finally obtain state licensure.
The doctor of pharmacy programs gives graduates endless possibilities. You can work as specialists in community pharmacies, hospice and home health care, government agencies, hospital and institutional settings, long-term care facilities, consulting, independent ownerships, and many more.
Campus Location: 1858 W Grandview Blvd., Erie, PA 16509
- A bachelor’s degree or graduate degree in healthcare practice, science, or education
- Overall GPA of 3.0
- GRE must be at least 300
Accreditation: Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE)
Total Number of Hours Required to Complete a Program:
Sampling of Coursework:
- Pharmacy Drugs and Healthcare
- Microbiology and Immunology
- Physiology and Anatomy
- Pharmaceutical Calculations
This doctor of pharmacy online features an innovative curriculum to train pharmacists in pharmaceutical and clinical skills, prescription medications, pedagogical principles, drug therapy, and scholarship of teaching and learning, among others.
Since online students in this program are already bachelor’s degree holders, the program features coursework in pharmacology, pharmaceutics, pharmacotherapeutics, medicinal chemistry, and educational theories.
Regardless of the different career paths one takes after completing the program, it’s imperative for all students to develop extensive skills in modern medicine and knowledge in teaching and scholarship.
This pharmacy school that offers an online degree in pharmacy is indeed a great path toward leading and excelling within the administrative, academic, and pharmaceutical industries.
FOR MORE ABOUT THIS ONLINE DEGREE, VISIT Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine Doctoral in Pharmacy Education.
Frequently Asked Questions
Will I need to take the pharmacy college admission test to enter Online Pharmacy Schools?
To be sure you are ready for the rigors of an online doctor course, you must first take the Pharmacy College Admission Test (PCAT). This is typically the preferred exam required to pass before being accepted into a doctoral program. The exam is divided into five sections, such as:
- Quantitative Reasoning,
- Chemical Processes,
- and Critical Reasonsing.
What type of salary and job growth rate can I expect as a Pharmacist?
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, on average, Pharmacists earn around $128,570 per year (median annual salary). The job outlook for 2021-2031 indicates a growth of 2%, however, due to retiring pharmacists, 11,300 new openings are expected over the next decade.
Will I need to pass licensure tests to become a licensed Pharmacist?
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).
What type of pharmacy practice should I pursue?
There are several types of pharmacy occupations to consider, including:
- Community Pharmacists (public health),
- Clinical Pharmacists,
- Consultant Pharmacists,
- Pharmaceutical Industry Pharmacists,
- and some work as college professors teaching pharmacy students and/or conducting research.
Do I need a doctoral degree to become a Pharmacy Technician?
No, you may elect to earn a professional certificate to become a Pharmacy Technician, therefore, an extensive and expensive Doctor of Pharmacy degree program is not necessary. But keep in mind that you should check with your state’s requirements to see what the minimum education is required. Training programs to become a Pharmacy Technician can take up to two years to complete.