What does a pharmacist do?

“Pharmacists are medication experts who enhance patient care and promote wellness. You will use your professional knowledge as a pharmacist to prepare and dispense prescriptions, ensure medicines and doses are correct, prevent harmful drug interactions, and counsel patients on the safe and appropriate use of their medications. As a pharmacist, you will have unique and specialized expertise about the composition of medicines, including their chemical, biological, and physical properties, as well as their manufacture and use” (AACP).

To learn more about the responsibilities and activities of pharmacists, explore the AACP’s page, Learn about Pharmacists.

Choosing This Field

When exploring whether pharmacy is the right profession for you, make sure to look at various resources to inform you about careers, engage in self reflection regularly, and seek out relevant clinical and service experiences.

The American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy (AACP) makes it incredibly easy to explore whether a career in pharmacy is right for you. Navigate to their Pharmacy Is Right for Me website to find career quizzes, information about opportunities, blogs, and much more.

What is the required preparation?

There is no required major for pre-pharmacy students—students are welcome to explore their major options. PharmCAS, the centralized application service for pharmacy schools, cites that the most popular major among pharmacy school applicants is biology, followed by chemistry.

There is variability when it comes to course requirements for entrance to a pharmacy program, so applicants are encouraged to explore their specific programs of interest and research their coursework expectations

UConn’s School of Pharmacy, for instance, requires: 

  • One semester of Biology
  • One year of General Chemistry
  • One semester of Math
  • One semester of Physics
  • One year of Anatomy and Physiology
  • One year of Organic Chemistry
  • One semester of Microbiology
  • One semester of Biochemistry

A Doctor of Pharmacy program takes four years to complete. For information on the application process and how to prepare, visit PharmCAS’s page Pre-Pharmacy Prep.

Finding a Program

To find pharmacy programs, use PharmCAS’s School Directory; note that you can use this to compare specific programs and explore MS/PhD options. The AACP also has a School Locator for pharmacy schools across the globe. 

If you want to know more about programs and opportunities through the university, visit the UConn School of Pharmacy.