California Colleges with the Best Pharmaceutical Programs

According to a 2015 US News and World Report, pharmacy is ranked as a top ten career choice, with the top three regions for employment all located in California. Students researching pharmaceutical programs should consider: the reputation and accomplishments of the school’s faculty members as well as the rate of employment upon graduation.

What are the best Pharmaceutical Programs in California?

University of the Pacific

The University of the Pacific was accredited in 1959 by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE). University of the Pacific’s first graduating class consisted of just 16 students, a huge contrast to the hundreds of pharmacy students the school presently admits each year. The school was the first school of pharmacy in California to offer a three-year accelerated pharmacy program.  Currently, four academic programs are offered:

  • Audiology
  • Pharmacy
  • Pharmaceutical therapy
  • Speech-language pathology

The school offers three-degree tracks

  • A dual degree Pharm D/PhD
  • Master of Science
  • PhD

Practice settings at the school include:

  • Community pharmacy
  • Clinical pharmacy
  • Ambulatory Care Pharmacy
  • Hospitals and other institutional settings
  • Managed care pharmacy
  • Pharmaceutical industry
  • Academic pharmacy

University of the Pacific At a Glance:

  • A student needs 68 units of prerequisite courses to be eligible for the program
  • The average GPA for the past several years has been between 3.3 – 3.5
  • Tuition: $57,975 per year
  • Average Salary after graduation: $137,639

University of Southern California   

University of Southern California’s School of Pharmacy was established in 1905. The school ranks among the best pharmaceutical schools in the nation. The school of pharmacy boasts one of the largest collections of offerings for aspiring professionals. Programs offered at University of Southern California School of Pharmacy include:

  • Graduate certificate
  • Doctor of Pharmacy
  • Doctor of Philosophy
  • Doctor of pharmacy/master of business administration
  • Doctor of pharmacy / Master of Science
  • Doctor of Regulatory Science
  • Master of Science

USC at a Glance:

  • Tuition: $46,862
  • Average salary after graduation: $133,328
  • US News and World Report rankings: Number 1 private pharmacy school

University of California, San Francisco

The University of California, San Francisco’s School of Pharmacy was founded in 1872 as the California College of Pharmacy.

The school offers numerous programs:

  • Pharm D with options in pharmaceutical care, pharmaceutical sciences health sciences and policy research
  • D. degree in Bioengineering (Bio E), Bioinformatics (BI), Biophysics (BP) chemistry and Chemical Biology (CCB) and pharmaceutical sciences and pharmacogenomics (PSPQ)
  • MS in Transitional Medicine

Applicants must have a 2.8 GPA as calculated by pharm CAS to be eligible to apply. They must also take pharmacy college admissions test (PCAT). Successful applicants are then invited for an interview.

University of California, San Francisco at a Glance:

  • Tuition for the pharmacy programs: $35,382.
  • Average salary after graduation: $145,297
  • US news education Rankings: number 3 in pharmacy

University of California, San Diego

The University of California, San Diego features Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences. The school of pharmacy is the newest health sciences professional school at the University of California, San Diego. The school was approved by the University of California Regents in summer 2000. The charter class of students was enrolled in fall 2002 and graduated in June 2006. The school offers five educational programs:

  • Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm D)
  • Post Pharm D pharmacy practice and specialty residencies and research fellowships
  • Joint Bachelor of Science (BS) in chemistry and Pharm D.
  • D. degree in pharmaceutical and biomedical sciences
  • A continuing education program for practicing pharmacists

San Diego Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences also offers B.S chemistry / Doctor of pharmacy and a Pharm D / Ph. D program. Applicants must complete the requirements for the bachelor’s degree (B.A or BS) from an accredited university before matriculation into an accredited university. The applicants must have a GPA of 3.6 to be eligible.

University of California, San Diego at a Glance:

  • Tuition: $11,762 per semester for residents and $15,844 for non-residents
  • Average salary after graduation: $127,880
  • US News and World Report News: number 25

Visit California College Bound for more information on schools offering pharmacy programs.

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