Last Updated on July 31, 2023 by Oluwajuwon Alvina
Dalhousie University is one of the oldest universities in Canada. It was established in 1818 by George Ramsay, the ninth Earl of Dalhousie and Lieutenant-Governor of Nova Scotia (later, the Governor General of Canada), whose aim was to create a higher education institution accessible to all.
As a proud Scot, Ramsay modelled his College on the University of Edinburgh, using his own money in its construction.
The university began awarding degrees in 1866. Today, the institution that’s affectionately known as ‘Dal’ to its 19,000 students, offers over 200 degree programs across 13 faculties located in Nova Scotia, on Canada’s eastern coast.
Dalhousie’s academic portfolio covers a wide range of subjects, including sciences, medicine, law, engineering and the arts. The university is also home to an agricultural campus, which includes a working farm an hour away from Dalhousie’s Halifax campuses, 1000 acres of research fields, and several gardens and greenhouses. All Dalhousie undergrads have access to experiential learning opportunities in their programs—from co-ops to field-based learning—with nearly 90% of students taking advantage of them.
Throughout the 20th century, the university gradually expanded. In 1997, it merged with the Technical University of Nova Scotia (TUNS), also in Halifax, to build on its research capacity into applied technologies, this also led to the development of a new Faculty of Computer Science. Dalhousie attracts more than C$180 million annually in external research funding.
Notable graduates of the university include three former Canadian prime ministers, the Nobel Prize-winning astrophysicist Arthur B McDonald, Kathryn Sullivan, the first to both walk in space and travel to the deepest part of the ocean.
Pharmacy faculties and schools across the country vary from province to province. As of 2020 admissions, schools across Canada offer PharmD programs and graduate work in Pharmacy. For information on Pharmacy offerings in Canada, please visit the specific school Pharmacy sites, found in the list below, under “Other Schools”.
Dalhousie College of Pharmacy
At Dalhousie University’s College of Pharmacy, you’ll join over 360 undergraduate and graduate students in our mission to enhance health through pharmaceutical education, community service and research.
You might think of the pharmacist as wearing a white lab coat and standing behind the drugstore counter. But pharmacy as a profession has undergone a dramatic shift in recent years. Today, it’s much more patient focused.
Pharmacists now take medication histories, identify goals for drug therapy, provide education to patients regarding medications, make recommendations to other healthcare providers about drug therapy, prescribe medications, give vaccinations and much more.
The College of Pharmacy gives students the knowledge and skills to provide drug therapy which improves patient health. The program’s core curriculum is offered by problem-based learning (PBL), and supported by other types of courses including Critical Appraisal Series (CAS), Practical Experience Program (PEP) and Skills Lab.
With over a century of history behind us, we’ve had time to build a strong international reputation and solid programs that provide everything you’ll need to start your new career.
We’re also accredited by the Canadian Council for Accreditation of Pharmacy Programs (CCAPP), giving your degree the credibility you’ve earned.
““The Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy Program of the College of Pharmacy at Dalhousie University has been awarded Accreditation Status by the Canadian Council for Accreditation of Pharmacy Programs for a Four-Year term ending June 30, 2024.”
The Dalhousie College of Pharmacy is undergoing changes worth considering:
- For 2020 admissions, Dalhousie will require the equivalent of two years of study, including the courses shown in the course-selection plan for Dalhousie Pharmacy. Contact the Medical Sciences Program Coordinator ([email protected]) for more information about the course-selection plans.
Problem-based learning that’s dynamic and patient focused
Pharmacists take medication histories, identify goals for drug therapy, provide education to patients regarding medications, make recommendations to other health-care providers about drug therapy, and much more. You’ll gain the knowledge and skills to provide drug therapy toward improving patient health. The program’s curriculum offers problem-based learning (PBL) and other types of courses, which may include tutorials, lectures, labs, and practical experience in various settings.
What will I learn?
The pharmacy program delivers course content primarily through problem-based learning (PBL) modules. In the first year of the program, you’ll take courses in biomedical sciences, covering all essential subjects including anatomy, biochemistry, microbiology, pharmacology, and physiology.
These courses are fully integrated in years two through four, covering not only the scientific side of pharmacy, but also the social. You’ll look at such topics as therapeutics, pharmaceutical care, inter-professional relations, law and ethics, social and administrative pharmacy issues, and the role of pharmacy in the health-care system.
- Biopharmaceutics and Pharmacokinetics
- Medicinal Chemistry
Careers and future study
With a Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy (BScPharm) degree, you’ll have a wide range of career opportunities. The majority of graduates enter community pharmacy practice. You might also find working in a hospital pharmacy an interesting challenge, particularly in view of pharmacists’ expanding role within the clinical setting. As well, the pharmaceutical industry provides opportunities for pharmacists in the fields of sales and marketing, production, research, and quality control.
The increased role of federal and provincial governments in public health has provided opportunities for pharmacists in analytical laboratories and in administrative positions as consultants, government inspectors, and health officers. Opportunities are also available in universities as teachers and researchers. Careers in the pharmacy field include:
- drug researcher
- lawyer, journalist or consultant specializing in pharmaceutical issues
Future studies could include programs at the graduate level in molecular biology, clinical pharmacy, or pharmacoeconomics.
Undergraduate admission requirements vary based on your previous education and your intended program of study at Dalhousie. To be considered for acceptance, you must either be a student enrolled in the final year of a Canadian entry to practice pharmacy degree program (e.g. BSc (Pharm), PharmD) or be a licensed and practicing pharmacist in direct patient care in Canada.
In addition to Canadian citizens, we will also consider landed immigrants who are currently practicing pharmacists in Canada and possess a strong motivation to attain a high level of competency in the practice of pharmacy.
If you haven’t already, you will need to get a Pharmacy Examining Board of Canada (PEBC) certificate and become licensed as a pharmacist as soon as you are eligible.
At Dalhousie’s College of Pharmacy, we ensure students have core knowledge by providing high-quality educational experiences and learning opportunities to pharmacists at all stages of their careers. Dalhousie’s College of Pharmacy is now offering an undergraduate-level entry-to-practice Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm D) program which will fully replace our current BSc (Pharmacy) undergraduate pharmacy program. We are now accepting applications for the Fall 2021 semester. Applicants will be required to have a minimum 2 years of prerequisite courses.
This four-year, intensive program gives students the education and experience they need to become a practicing pharmacist. Our Problem-Based Learning Curriculum, which has been offered for over 20 years, offers students the ability to solve real-life problems in a small group setting. This means fewer lectures and more experiential learning to prepare students for real-world scenarios. Our 7 skills lab courses build on the learning from other courses and use simulated pharmacy experiences to prepare for practice experiences in the field. We also offer Critical Appraisal Courses, which help students identify appropriate and credible sources of drug and treatment information, search efficiently, helping them become very skilled in critically appraising all that they review and read.
Currently across Canada, this new pharmacy degree is an intensive program of both academic and clinical education, with 40 weeks of clinical rotations, over the current 20 weeks in the BSc (Pharm).
Why choose Dalhousie?
At Dalhousie, your student will be joining a socially conscious community of students who are passionate about making a difference on campus, in society, and around the world.
Excellence in academics, leadership, research and innovation
Why Become a Pharmacist?
1. Improving patient outcomes
Medication adherence and compliance is one of the many patient outcomes that pharmacists have an immense impact on. Half of all patients with chronic diseases do not take their medications as prescribed. Pharmacists play an important role in achieving positive health outcomes, such as fewer hospitalizations, less disease progression and fewer co-morbidities, by being accessible and building relationships with patients. Pharmacists in the field of research also utilize retrospective data to identify and assess target patient populations who are not appropriately adherent or compliant with their medications.
2. Community involvement
Pharmacists play a key role in helping patients feel better and are an integral part of every community. According to recent Gallup Polls, pharmacists’ honesty and ethics were rated highly by a large majority of Americans. Pharmacists are the most accessible health professionals and are visible leaders in most communities
3. Diversity of career options
The variety of career opportunities within the field of pharmacy is very diverse. While the majority of pharmacists (45 percent) work in an independent or retail chain community pharmacy, many others have explored or created new opportunities for themselves. Various healthcare environments for pharmacists include but are not limited to managed care organizations, hospitals, nursing homes, the pharmaceutical industry, colleges and the federal government. Pharmacists work in direct patient care, research, and as part of the legislative process advancing our profession forward. Pharmacists play key leadership roles in all aspects of the healthcare system.
4. Being a part of the healthcare team
Pharmacists work with other health care professionals to improve health outcomes and ensure the continuity of care. Numerous studies have shown the benefits of having a pharmacist on hospital rounds and in ambulatory care settings, to prevent medication errors and reduce costs. The role of pharmacists in the ambulatory care setting is continuously expanding. With the advent of accountable care organizations, pharmacists are now playing a role in reducing hospital readmission rates, chronic disease management and medication therapy management. They are not only part of the medical care team but are also participating in clinics, seeing and counseling patients. MTM is conducted not only in person, but also through telephonic communications as we are advancing into the digital world.
5. Growth potential
Many exciting developments are taking place in the pharmacy profession, including specialty pharmacy, discipline of pharmacogenomics and digital advancements like artificial intelligence. Specialty medications, like biosimilars, are becoming a big part of the pharmaceutical industry and specialty pharmacies are flourishing as demand increases. The same goes for increases in personalized healthcare expansion using genetic testing for genome sequencing and selecting medications based on the patient’s DNA. Furthermore, pharmacy schools are advancing their educational tools to meet the needs of their current students. By using “e-Patient” simulation tools and artificial intelligence, schools are training the next generation of pharmacy professionals.
Pharmacists have the advantage of professional autonomy in choosing their work environment and work hours. Pharmacists are able to redefine their roles in the healthcare setting in order to provide optimal patient care. As healthcare practice becomes more interdisciplinary, the role of a pharmacist continues to change offering greater opportunities in patient care. As an integral part of the health care team pharmacist support clinicians by ensuring patient medication safety and efficacy. There is also the ability to start your own business and establish healthcare services for patients.
Nontraditional work schedules are an advantage to a career in pharmacy that creates a work-life balance. Pharmacists are needed everywhere in the country in many different types of capacities, making it easier to find a position that will fit your lifestyle. There are day shifts, night shifts, 7-on/7-off shifts and longer shifts (10 to 12 hours) which allows for more time off from work. Flexibility in pharmacist work schedules and job description are becoming popular to enhance requirement and retention. In addition, there are increasingly more opportunities for pharmacists to work remotely from home providing 24 hour inpatient services for community hospitals and remote verification for mail-order pharmacies.
8. Career stability
Americans are living longer and over the next decade with the patient population increasing in age, there will continue to be a demand for pharmacy services.
9. Mentor future pharmacists
A benefit of becoming a pharmacist is being able to help others, not only patients and other healthcare professionals. As a pharmacist, we are able to mentor future pharmacists assisting in career paths and choosing pharmacy as a career. No matter the setting of practice, all pharmacists promote enhancing the knowledge of future pharmacists and recent graduates through their knowledge and experience. A 2010 ACCP White Paper cited that mentoring of pharmacy students and junior staff in the workplace are considered a reward and motivator for pharmacists.
10. Consistent growth in professional knowledge
A requirement of licensure is that all pharmacists must meet a mandatory state requisite for Continuing Education credits. This ensures that all pharmacists remain knowledgeable about new treatment guidelines and recent medications approved for treatment. Many employers help to fund meeting this education requirement through support attending professional meetings.