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Top Pharmacy Universities in 2022-23

Mar 29, 2022

Best Pharmacy Colleges and Universities in the World

About Pharmaceutical/Pharmacy Studies

Pharmaceutical studies combine a broad range of scientific disciplines that are critical to the discovery and development of new drugs and therapies. Pharmaceutical sciences can be broadly classified into several categories, with many specialized fields within each category. Some of the major specializations in the pharmacy field are drug discovery and design, drug delivery, drug action, conducting research trials for drugs such as vaccines, antidotes, etc. Some of the professions under pharmaceutical studies are chemists and druggists (pharmacists), pharmaceutical scientists.

Duties of a Pharmacist

  • Preparing and administering appropriate pharmaceuticals to patients.
  • Reviewing the physician’s prescriptions, checking their accuracy and legality.
  • Organize the pharmacy in an efficient manner to make the identification of products easier and faster.
  • Maintain proper records and communication over-delivering, stocking, and labeling medicine and other products.
  • Monitoring the medicine to check their usage limit and replace expired ones.
  • To communicate with the patient properly and give them any appropriate medicine if required, or advise them to go to the doctor based on the condition.

Duties of a Pharmaceutical Scientist

  • Assists a biotech company in the discovery of new drugs or new uses of existing drugs.
  • Monitoring the progress of the new drug being made.
  • Assist in conducting trials for determining the efficacy of the new drug.
  • Assist in giving the correct information regarding drugs such as vaccines, antidotes to ensure they are safe and effective for use.

Pharmacists vs. Pharmaceutical Scientist

Pharmacists provide medications, monitor their use, and collaborate with other healthcare providers to treat patients. They typically work in pharmacy and hospital settings and are directly involved in patient care. On the other hand, Pharmaceutical scientists are engaged in the process of discovering and testing new drugs. Their work is driven by research, and they typically work in a laboratory environment.

Qualities of a good Pharmacist

The most important quality of a pharmacist is paying attention to the small details of medicine, interpreting the prescription provided by doctors correctly, and ensuring that the patients get the correct medicine for their illness/disease. Another important quality is good communication. Pharmacists must communicate with the patients properly to understand their health issues, what type of medication is required, and if the issue requires further consultation from doctors. A pharmacist must also have good management skills to manage the drug store, ensure sufficient stock of medicines (especially essential ones), and properly coordinate the drug store staff.

Popular Degrees for Pursuing A Career in Pharmaceuticals

Bachelor’s Level

  • Bachelors in Pharmaceuticals (B.Pharm)
  • Bachelor of Science in Pharmaceutical Sciences (BPSP)

Master’s Level

  • Masters in Pharmaceuticals (M.Pharm) 
  • Masters in Science in Pharmaceutical Sciences
  • Masters in Science in Pharmaceuticals Evaluation and Policy

Doctorate Level

  • Ph.D in Pharmaceutical Sciences
  • Ph.D in Pharmacogenomics

A Ph.D. is required if a pharmaceutical aspirant aims to become a researcher and not just an assistant to the researcher or an assistant to a biotech company.

Specializations under Pharmaceutical Studies

After a Bachelor’s degree, one can do a Master’s in Pharmacy by opting for specialization or field of interest. Some specializations under Pharmaceutical studies are:

  • Pharmaceutics

 This specialization deals with the production of drugs and technology that assist in the production of such drugs. The major topics under this specialization are formulations of drugs, research in formulations and excipients, manufacturing, drug regulatory affairs.

  • Pharmacology

Pharmacology is the science of how drugs act on biological systems and how the body responds to the drug. This specialization enables one to work at multiple settings from clinical hospitals to pharmaceutical companies. Consultancy and Research-based jobs are the most suitable for students who study pharmacology.

  • Pharmacokinetics

Pharmacokinetics is the study and application of pharmacokinetic principles to the safe and effective management of drugs in an individual patient. It includes the study of the time course of drug absorption, distribution, metabolism, and excretion.

  • Pharmacogenomics

Pharmacogenomics is the study of how genes affect a person’s response to drugs. It combines the study of pharmacology and genomics and analyzes how the genetic makeup of an individual affects their response to drugs.

  • Clinical Pharmacy

Clinical pharmacy is the branch of pharmacy in which trained pharmacists provide specialized patient care that involves the use of medication and promotes health, wellness, and disease prevention.

  • Hospital Pharmacy

A hospital pharmacist works in close collaboration with other health professionals to ensure that the medication for each patient is administered to achieve the best outcomes. They may also be involved in clinical trials and in modifying medications for individualized dosing.

Average Salary of Pharmacists

Studying Pharmacy programs provides job security and the demand for pharmacists grows at a steady pace. Due to the covid-19 pandemic, medical stores became all the more important, with Governments all over the world trying to ensure a regular supply of essential drugs. These medical stores required knowledgeable and professionally trained pharmacists, and thus the demand for pharmacists grew along with the incentives offered to them. 

The following are the average salaries of pharmacists in different countries-

  • The USA- USD 125, 460 (US Bureau of Labor Statistics)
  • The UK- USD 61,441 (Indeed Median Salary)
  • Canada- USD 92,584 (Canada Talent)
  • Australia- USD 72,567 (Australia Talent)

Duration of Completing Pharmaceutical Studies

Country Bachelor Level Masters Level Doctorate Level
USA & Canada 4-6 Years 2-3 Years 4-6 Years
UK 3-4 Years 1-2 Years 4-6 Years
Australia 5 Years 1-2 Years 3-5 Years

Top 50 Pharmaceutical Universities Based on Various Rankings

QS World Rankings Shanghai Rankings US World News Rankings University Country Bachelor’s Programs Master’s Programs
1 4 NA University of Oxford United Kingdom Click here Click here
2 18 2 Monash University Australia Click here Click here
3 1 1 Harvard University United States Click here Click here
4 6 NA University of Cambridge  United Kingdom Click here Click here
5 NA 5 University of Nottingham United Kingdom Click here Click here
6 9 6 University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill United States Click here Click here
7 5 3 University College London United Kingdom Click here Click here
8 2 14 University of California, San Francisco United States Click here Click here
9 16 4 Johns Hopkins University United States Click here Click here
10 10 22 University of Toronto Canada Click here Click here
11 36 24 Leiden University Netherlands Click here Click here
12 51-75 17 National University of Singapore Singapore Click here Click here
13 50 31 The University of Sydney Australia Click here Click here
14 51-75 66 The University of Manchester United Kingdom Click here Click here
15 101-150 70 The University of Tokyo Japan Click here Click here
16 8 8 The University of Copenhagen Denmark Click here Click here
17 7 9 Karolinska Institutet Sweden Click here Click here
18 12 59 Yale University United States Click here Click here
19 21 79 King’s College London United Kingdom Click here Click here
20 3 7 University of California, San Diego United States Click here Click here
21 46 64 ETH Zurich – Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Switzerland Click here Click here
22 51-75 38 Seoul National University South Korea Click here Click here
23 29 27 University of Michigan-Ann Arbor United States Click here Click here
24 28 16 University of Washington United States Click here Click here
25 37 NA McGill University Canada Click here Click here
26 15 43 Imperial College London United Kingdom Click here Click here
27 51-75 84 University of British Columbia Canada Click here Click here
28 NA 86 The University of Auckland New Zealand Click here Click here
29 101-150 18 Peking University China Click here Click here
30 51-75 45 Purdue University United States Click here Click here
31 38 19 The University of Queensland Australia Click here Click here
32 20 10 Utrecht University Netherlands Click here Click here
33 19 42 Duke University  United States Click here Click here
34 22 29 The University of Edinburgh United Kingdom Click here Click here
35 NA 92 University of Geneva Switzerland Click here Click here
36 43 60 University of Minnesota  United States Click here Click here
37 76-100 NA Trinity College Dublin (Dublin University) Ireland Click here Click here
38 25 40 Uppsala University Sweden Click here Click here
39 NA NA Kyoto University Japan Click here Click here
40 48 88 University of Basel Switzerland Click here Click here
41 32 NA KU Leuven Belgium Click here Click here
42 13 30 University of Pennsylvania United States Click here Click here
43 76-100 15 Fudan University China Click here Click here
44 NA NA Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München Germany Click here Click here
45 151-200 47 Sungkyunkwan University South Korea Click here Click here
46 101-150 70 King Abdulaziz University (KAU) Saudi Arabia Click here Click here
47 31 46 Columbia University United States Click here Click here
48 NA NA Goethe-University Frankfurt am Main Germany Click here Click here
49 NA NA Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg Germany Click here Click here
50 NA NA Université catholique de Louvain Belgium Click here Click here

Top Pharmaceutical Universities in USA

Universities QS World Rankings US World News Rankings Bachelor’s Programs Master’s Programs
Harvard University 1 1 Click here Click here
University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill 2 3 Click here Click here
University of California, San Francisco 3 7 Click here Click here
Johns Hopkins University 4 2 Click here Click here
Yale University 5 18 Click here Click here

Top Pharmaceutical Universities in Canada

Universities QS World Rankings Shanghai Rankings Bachelor’s Programs Master’s Programs
University of Toronto 1 1 Click here Click here
McGill University 2 2 Click here Click here
University of British Columbia 3 5 Click here Click here
University of Alberta 4 4 Click here Click here
University of Montreal 5 7 Click here Click here

Top Pharmaceutical Universities in United Kingdom

Universities QS World Rankings Shanghai Rankings Bachelor’s Programs Master’s Programs
University of Oxford 1 1 Click here Click here
University of Cambridge 2 3 Click here Click here
University of Nottingham 3 11 Click here Click here
University College London 4 2 Click here Click here
University of Manchester 5 8 Click here Click here

Top Pharmaceutical Universities in Australia

Universities QS World Rankings Shanghai Rankings Bachelor’s Programs Master’s Programs
Monash University 1 1 Click here Click here
University of Sydney 2 3 Click here Click here
University of Queensland 3 2 Click here Click here
University of Melbourne 4 4 Click here Click here
University of Adelaide 5 12 Click here Click here

Academic requirements for studying Bachelor’s in Pharmacy in top-ranked Universities

Bachelor’s Level

The eligibility criteria may vary depending upon the country of study and the ranking of the University. However, the minimum eligibility criteria for studying pharmacy in a good university is:

  • Completion of High school with an average of at least 50%, with Biology, Chemistry, Physics/Mathematics as compulsory subjects.
  • For English proficiency, the applicant must have received prior education in English or submit the scores of any recognized English proficiency tests (IELTS, TOEFL etc).

Different universities may have different requirements of GPA and subjects required to be studied before applying to their programs. Some universities also offer courses with a foundation year/sandwich year, wherein the student’s course duration will get extended.

Master’s Level

For the Master’s degree as well, the requirement varies depending on the eligibility criteria set by the universities. But the commonly demanded requirements by top-ranked universities are as follows:

  • A Bachelor’s degree in Pharmacy (B.Pharm).
  • A decent GPA in Bachelor’s (Preferably 2.5 and above).
  • Updated Resume with relevant work experience.
  • Most top Universities prefer a work experience of at least 2 years.

Pharm.D Program

The Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D.) degree program in the United States requires at least 2-years of specific pre-professional (undergraduate) coursework followed by 4-academic years (or 3-calendar years) of professional study. In India, the duration of the program is 4 years. After studying the Pharm.D program, the student will be eligible to give the exam for obtaining a license as a pharmacist.

Exams to be passed for obtaining a Pharmacist License

USA-NAPLEX ( North American Pharmacist Licensure Examination)

After obtaining the necessary qualifications, the student must take the NAPLEX. After passing the NAPLEX, students may have to take the Multi-State Jurisprudence Examination (MJPE), a state-specific test of pharmacy, insurance, and healthcare laws.

Foreign pharmacy graduates have to take the Foreign Pharmacy Graduate Equivalency Examination (FPGEE) and an English proficiency test (Test of English as a foreign language), i.e., TOEFL, before becoming eligible for writing NAPLEX.

Syllabus of NAPLEX

THE NAPLEX is divided into three parts:

  • Assessment of Pharmacotherapy: Covers 56% of the questions. 

This part of the NAPLEX exam syllabus aims at the identification of therapeutic agents and their categories, the administration of drugs, preventive measures to be taken for each of the doses prescribed, and what may amount to proper or improper usage., side effects of each medication are given detailed scrutiny, together with the appropriate recommendations.

  • Medicine Preparation: Covers nearly 33% of the questions. 

This part of the NAPLEX syllabus is responsible for assessing safety and the precise preparation of drugs. Here, the syllabus covers the safety around proper medication and keeping up to date with the current trends.

  • Healthcare Information: Covers 11% of the questions.

The third and last part of the NAPLEX syllabus revolves around assessing healthcare and making the necessary recommendations concerning public health. Here, guidelines on using various appliances in surgical operations and other general medical procedures are given. Handling of emergency cases immunization programs is covered under this part.

UK-General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) exam

After obtaining the necessary qualifications, the student must take the GPhC exam, which is valid in all states.

Syllabus of GPhC

The exam is divided into two parts:

  • Professional and Legal Practice
    • Structure and functioning of pharmaceutical organizations and bodies.
    • Professional ethics
    • Code of conduct
    • Legal aspects of providing pharmaceutical services
    • Prerequisites of operating a pharmacy
  • Clinical and Pharmaceutical Practice
    • Therapeutic aspects of pharmaceutical services
    • Reading and interpreting prescriptions
    • Adverse drug reactions and side effects
    • Emergency Measures
    • Counseling requirements
Frequently Asked Questions

The most preferred countries for studying pharmacy are the USA, Canada, UK, Australia, and Singapore.

Pharmacists get paid heights in the following countries-

  • The USA: An average salary of USD 125,460.
  • Iceland: An average salary of USD 106,000.
  • Canada: An average salary of USD 92, 584.
  • Switzerland: An average salary of USD 83,600-127,000.
  • Australia: An average salary of USD 72, 567

The time required for different levels are:

  • Bachelor’s Level: 3-6 Years.
  • Master’s Level: 1-3 Years.
  • Doctorate Level: 3-6 Years.

An applicant must have completed high school with an average of at least 50%, with Biology, Chemistry, Physics/Mathematics as compulsory subjects. For English proficiency, the applicant must have received prior education in English or submit the scores of any recognized English proficiency tests (IELTS, TOEFL, etc). The scores required may vary depending on the ranking of the University.

Students must complete a Doctorate in Pharmacy (Phard.D) program for becoming eligible to write the license exam. The license exam will be different depending upon the counties. For example, for the USA, it is NAPLEX; for the UK, it is GPhC. In the USA, the students may be required to write a state-specific exam for practicing as a pharmacist in that particular state.

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