online pre pharmacy programs

Last Updated on August 29, 2022 by

You are a new graduate of an accredited pharmacy college already well qualified to enter the job market, but you want to give it a go online first right? The question arises as there is no definite answer to guide you through this venture. It is foolish instead of wasting your time in signing up with any of the online pre pharmacy programs without considering the fact that how much effective they really are.

If you are learning about pharmacist degree requirements for the first time, the subject might seem overwhelming to those who haven’t explored the subject before, but you are likely to find it fascinating.

Read more about the information on cheapest online pharmacy school, best online pre pharmacy programs, pharmacist degree requirements uk, and pharmacist major degree requirements. You’ll also find related articles on clinical pharmacist degree requirements on collegelearners.

online pre pharmacy programs

One of the key responsibilities of a pharmacist is to distribute prescription drugs to those who are unwell. They help individuals understand the side effects of the medication they are given. Pharmacists can also help people understand more about diseases and illnesses. Most pharmacists work in drugstores and hospitals. Other places of employment include mail-order pharmacies, government agencies, and physicians’ offices.

To become a pharmacist one must complete a Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D); gain experience working in a hospital, clinic, or pharmacy; pass the North American Pharmacist Licensure Exam (NAPLEX); and receive a license to operate as a professional pharmacist. Let’s see what options exist for those wanting to find pre-pharmacy training programs delivered in an online format.

Pharmacy Prerequisites Online

To enroll in a Pharm.D program, students must have a bachelor’s degree in a health-care related area or complete a two-year pre-pharmacy program. Students must also pass the Pharmacy College Admission Test (PCAT) and may be required to attend an interview and provide recommendation letters.

Some of the prerequisite courses for entering a Pharm.D program as stipulated by the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy (AACP) include:

  • Psychology
  • Biochemistry
  • Chemistry
  • Microbiology
  • Computer science
  • Physiology and Pharmacy
  • Behavioral Sciences
  • Ethics

Many of these courses can be found through two-year community college online programs or four-year degree programs offering a pre-pharmacy track online. Admission to these programs varies as some students decide to pursue this type of program after high school while others may transfer in. Transfers may need to have a 3.0 GPA in current coursework and attend a pre-pharmacy workshop. High school students need to have foundational courses in English, math, and lab sciences, and can also meet with a pre-pharmacy advisor.

Pre-Pharmacy Online

For those looking for an online pre-pharmacy degree, most are not degree-granting themselves. Rather, they are intended to ensure that a student is adequately prepared to begin a pharmacy doctoral program. Pre-pharmacy is often considered a track rather than a major but can be applied towards a bachelor’s degree in general science, chemistry or biology. Students can also pursue other health-care related degrees that have pre-pharmacy courses.

Some universities with Doctor of Pharmacy programs offer their own online pre-pharmacy programs, which may facilitate admission for undergraduate students who satisfactorily complete pre-pharmacy requirements.

Alternatively, many community colleges offer Associate of Science degree programs that fulfill the pre-pharmacy course requirements. Thus, one can get pre-pharmacy courses at a community college and still meet the entry point for Pharm.D.

Coursework for a pre-pharmacy program can usually be completed with two years of full-time study, and there are many fully online pre-pharmacy programs. These programs may have different modes of delivery so that students find great convenience and flexibility. Some schools may offer a choice for students to take a mix of online and on-campus courses.

Pre-Pharmacy Courses Online

Pre-pharmacy courses online provide students with a background knowledge of mathematics and science, with a particular focus on biology, chemistry, healthcare law, anatomy, physiology and other subjects relevant to pharmacology. Common courses include:

  • Organic Chemistry – focuses on the structure of carbon-based compounds is the focus of this course. Topics include substitution reactions and elimination reactions.
  • Anatomy – students learn about the structure of the human body. Bones, muscles and organ systems are examined through textbook readings and lectures. Some courses include dissections of cadavers or animals.
  • Microbiology – examines cellular organisms, viruses and bacteria. Common pathogens and immune system responses to them are discussed.
  • Calculus – integrals, derivatives, and other fundamental calculus concepts are studied. Exams cover problem-solving and proof of theorems.

Pre-Pharmacy Schools Online

There are many schools with pre-pharmacy online programs for busy people, parents, and others with tight schedules. Below is one school with pre-pharmacy classes at a community college, one college offering an associate program with pre-pharmacy online classes, and a university with a pre-pharmacy program that prepares students for its own Pharm.D program.

Butler Community College

This community college offers a pre-pharmacy Associate of Science degree that is delivered in three formats: face-to-face, a blend of online and face-to-face, and fully online. The program consists of 70 total credits and takes four terms plus a summer term to complete. Taking this course also provides one with the knowledge needed to prepare for the Pharmacy College Admission Test (PCAT).

South College

South College offers an Associate of Science in Health Science (Pre-Pharmacy). The program is offered 100% online or a mix of on-campus and online. The program includes modules in data entry, pharmacy law, drug safety, and medication names. These modules offer a strong educational foundation for one to enter a pharmacy program.

Portland State University

This university offers a pre-pharmacy pre-professional track that prepares students for its Doctor of Pharmacy program. The program is offered either on campus, 100% online, or a combination of on-campus and online. The university also offers a bridge program with Pacific University. Students can transfer their pharmacy coursework for a Bachelor of Science in Science.

Accreditation for schools with online pre-pharmacy programs

Schools offering pre-pharmacy programs are often accredited by regional accredited bodies such as the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU) or the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC). The Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE) is an accrediting body recognized by the U.S. Department of Education (USDE), and some schools with Pharm.D programs may have this type of accreditation.

Continuing Education Information

Graduates of a Doctor of Pharmacy program must apply for state licensure and pass standardized exams before they can legally practice as pharmacists. As a condition for license renewal, most states require that pharmacists take a minimum amount of continuing education coursework every few years. Such continuing education courses must meet accreditation standards set forth by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education.

Career Information

The median annual salary for pharmacists was $128,090 as of May 2019, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) ( Job openings for pharmacists are expected to show a decline of 3% during the time period of 2019-2029, reported the BLS.

In summary, online pre-pharmacy classes can be found at two year and four year schools. Students may earn an associate degree, apply their credits towards a bachelor’s degree, or use their credits for admission to a Pharm.D doctorate program. Programs are offered in 100% online formats, and applicants need a strong background in math and science and often need to meet with a pre-pharmacy advisor.

cheapest online pharmacy school

Many schools now offer hybrid pharmacy degrees for aspiring technicians and pharmacists. In this format, traditional science courses are taught online; on-the-job training and supervised clinical rotations are arranged in the student’s local area. Some programs also require students to be present on-campus for lab work. For the PharmD, pharmacists may be able to use previous work experience to fulfill clinical requirements.

To pick the best programs, look for:

  • Regional accreditation
  • ACPE accreditation for PharmD degrees
  • ASHP accreditation for pharmacist technician training programs
  • Programs that prepare you for certification/licensure
  • Clinical experiences/internships arranged in your local area
  • A strong “brick and mortar” reputation (Is there a school of pharmacy? How much research does it conduct? What kind of jobs do alumni hold?)
  • Great online rankings in U.S. News & World Report
  • Respected faculty who teach the same courses online as they do on-campus
  • Distance learning support services

School Rankings


Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine

Since August of 2014, the Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine School of Pharmacy has offered an online Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D.) Degree. The school is fully accredited by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education. While students will be required to come to campus to attend orientation and laboratory sessions, the majority of the coursework can be completed online. Students will also be required to complete experiential and clinical rotations at pharmacies, wellness centers, and hospitals, and they will be required to travel to testing sites to complete exams. The program will take four years to complete, and it is ideal for nontraditional students.

Accreditation: Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education


Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences

Massachusetts College of Pharmacy & Health Sciences (MCPHS) offers a postbaccalaureate Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) pathway program for U.S-licensed pharmacists who currently have a bachelor’s degree in pharmacy and want to pursue their Doctor of Pharmacy. Aside from one Saturday visit per semester and one on-campus mandatory orientation. The program can be completed within two years, and students are able to complete the experiential portion of coursework at their current place of employment. All students must complete a four-week clinical rotation at the end of the program. The pathway program will help pharmacists to further develop many skills and abilities including documenting pharmacy practices, managing professional information, and communicating effectively with patients.

Accreditation: Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education


Rutgers University

For nontraditional students interested in pursuing a degree with a pharmaceutical concentration, Rutgers University offers a Master of Engineering in Chemical and Biochemical Engineering with a concentration in Pharmaceutical Engineering. Students in this program should have an undergraduate degree in science, engineering, or pharmacy. Online students have access to the majority of the features available to on campus students, and in this program, students will take courses such as Pharmaceutical Process Design, Statistical Analysis and Design of Pharmaceutical Operations, Pharmaceutical Materials Engineering, as well as Pharmaceutical Development, Administration, and Absorption.

Shenandoah University

The Bernard J. Dunn School of Pharmacy at Shenandoah offers a Nontraditional Doctor of Pharmacy (NTDP) Pathway, which offers licensed pharmacists who already have a B.S. in Pharmacy an opportunity to further their education. The online program allows students to complete a Doctor of Pharmacy while working full-time jobs, and students are able to complete the experiential components of the program at their workplaces. The Bernard J. Dunn School of Pharmacy is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education. The majority of the program is completed online. However, students must attend two executive weekends on campus during the course of the program. Students may begin in the fall, and the program takes two and a half years to complete.

Accreditation: Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education


University of Cincinnati

The James L. Winkle College of Pharmacy at the University of Cincinnati offers a Master of Science in Pharmaceutical Science with Emphasis in Cosmetic Science, a Master of Science in Pharmaceutical Sciences: Pharmacy Leadership, and a Master of Science in Drug Development Sciences entirely online. Several graduate certificates are offered online as well including a certificate in clinical trials design and research, a certificate in global regulatory affairs in drug development, and a certificate in cosmetic science. The M.S. degree may be completed in seven to eight semesters for most students, depending on how many classes each student takes per semester. Students in this program may take such courses as Pharmaceutical Science Journal Club and Statistical Principles in Clinical Research.

best online pre pharmacy programs

For students who want to become pharmacy technicians, pharmacy assistants, and especially if they want to become a licensed pharmacist and get into pharmacy practice, there is a lot of work involved. First, you must attain a four-year Bachelor of Pharmacy degree, a pharmacy administration degree, or a pre-pharmacy degree. Many biology degrees will also prepare you for graduate studies in pharmacy because they have similar prerequisite courses such as those in chemistry, biology, medical terminology, information on drug design, and more.

On top of your coursework in biology, you will also have to have deep knowledge of organic chemistry, health and wellness screenings, prescription medication, drug design, prescription medication options and prescription medication safety, pharmacy law, and more. Some students find these courses in pharmacy studies notoriously difficult, but the hard work is worthwhile, especially once you complete the licensing requirements and discover the rich rewards of being a pharmacist. Keep reading to learn more about a four-year Bachelor of Pharmacy or Pre-Pharmacy degree program. This may also be called a Bachelor of Science in Pharmaceutical Sciences (BSPS program).

If you want to become a pharmacist, your bachelor’s degree can take many different forms. You might graduate with a Bachelor of Science in Pre-Pharmacy, but you might also major in biology. If your desired school doesn’t have a specific pharmacy degree, discuss your career goals with the admissions counselor. There is a good chance that you can graduate with a biology degree with a minor concentration in chemistry, for example, and still meet the qualifications of your pharmacy graduate program.

Your courses from a college Department of Pharmacy or pharmacy school might include topics such as organic chemistry, pharmacology, immunotherapy, microbiology, patient care, and physiology. Your program might have prerequisites, too, such as physics, upper-level calculus, and even communications. Keep in mind that many of your prerequisite courses will require lab work. While lab work is fun and adds an experiential dimension to learning, it can also take a great deal of time. Future pharmacists are often quite familiar with the term all-nighter.


An undergraduate Bachelor of Pharmacy degree program, or a pharmacy administration bachelor’s, has many positive attributes. Chief among these is the fact that, once you graduate you will be prepared for graduate work that leads to a Master of Pharmacy program and fulfilling the licensure requiremets to become a pharmacist. Pharmacy professionals will also have a bevy of skills that you can apply to their pharmacy careers if they wish to take time apart from the rigors of academia, such as talking to their patients about medication and performing health and wellness screenings.

Graduates could also work in pharmacy practice or retail pharmacies as pharmacy assistants or pharmacy technicians. They might also find work in a science lab, including labs for pharmaceutical research on medications. There are other avenues for pharmacy professionals to use their bachelor’s degrees in the pharmaceutical industry, as well. That is, prior to specializing in a Master of Pharmacy Studies in graduate school, you might decide to diverge into pure research, medications, or even veterinary or life sciences. The scientific training required for a Bachelor of Pharmacy degree program will open many doors.


Just as there are many positive attributes to a Bachelor of Pharmacy program, there are also drawbacks. One drawback is that you will still be at least one degree away from becoming a pharmacist: a Master of Pharmacy. Not only are you facing more school, but graduate school is likely to be far more challenging than your four-year, undergraduate work, even with all of the prerequisite courses completed; and then, pharmacy professionals will have to complete very demanding examinations after that if they wish to receive a state licensure and go into pharmacy practice.

School also comes with significant financial responsibilities. You are almost guaranteed to graduate with sizable student loans to pay, and some students even take additional loans to supplement their living allowance. While pharmacists often are quite well-paid, there is no guarantee that you will be able to find the optimum pay to cover all of your obligations and still have a comfortable lifestyle. On the other hand, there may still be an option to take advantage of certain federal student loan forgiveness programs, which require that you work for a non-profit organization or a government-run hospital, such as the Veterans Administration.

Certificate vs. Bachelor’s

What Pharmacy Bachelor’s Degrees are Available Online?

Online Bachelor of Science – Pre-Pharmacy:
This degree is tailored for students seeking a career as a pharmacist. The courses are primarily STEM-related such as chemistry, biology, physics, and calculus. These programs are designed to groom students for graduate work in pharmacy.

Online Bachelor of Science – Biology:
This degree can be applied to your later pharmacy master’s degree if you make sure to add enough of the right chemistry courses. Discuss this approach with your adviser.

Online Bachelor of Arts and Sciences:
Chemistry: Much like the BS in Biology, this degree will help prepare you for a baccalaureate degree in pharmacy, but you should consider taking certain biology courses, such as human anatomy & physiology, as well as non-STEM courses such as Legal Issues in Pharmacy. Your adviser can help you determine how to best prepare for a baccalaureate program.

Online Bachelor/Master of Science – Pharmacy:
These combined-degree programs are a great idea since they streamline your academic preparation. You’ll only need to apply to a single program and when you graduate you will be prepared for work as a Pharmacist.

Admission Requirements

Every baccalaureate program in pharmacy, pre-pharmacy, or biology will have its own requirements for incoming students. Some departments require a full admission process involving a minimum GPA, course prerequisites, and even recommendations from faculty. Regardless, the typical coursework for a pre-pharmacy student is quite rigorous and you should strive to maintain a solid 3.0 average, at a minimum. Though your undergraduate program might not require that, your dream graduate school probably will.

How long does it take to earn a Pharmacy Bachelor’s?

A typical Bachelor’s Degree in Pharmacy is designed to take four years. However, some colleges and universities have structured their curriculum so that you have at least a couple of courses that extend beyond the four-year mark. Additionally, many, if not most students, take up to six years to complete their baccalaureate degrees. This may be because of the demands of work or family but do try to avoid extending your time in school for too long. Once you graduate, you still need to complete an online master’s program to become a pharmacist, so strive to maintain a full load of courses in every term.

Potential Careers in Pharmacy with a Bachelor’s

  • Pharmaceutical Sales Representative:
    Your knowledge of science and any pre-pharmacy courses will certainly help you sell pharmaceuticals to doctors in your sales area. This is a terrific way to put your baccalaureate degree to work if you don’t have any interest in pursuing a graduate degree. Your salary might vary depending on what drugs you represent and the area in which you work.
    Average Salary: $84,500
  • Registered Nurse:
    You will need to return to school for nursing, but your science background and knowledge of pharmacology will help you rise to the top of your field. Registered nurses can work in a wide range of specialty areas including psychiatry, obstetrics, surgery, geriatrics, pediatrics, and more.
    Average Salary: $65,400
  • Laboratory Manager:
    With all of your experience in lab science courses, this position might be the perfect fit after graduation. You’ll ensure that your lab is cleaned to specifications, is stocked with all relevant equipment, and that all relevant safety regulations are followed. With a bit of experience, you could design and set up labs to suit new research projects. You might receive a large bonus if your lab makes a tremendous breakthrough.
    Average Salary: $70,500
  • Medical Equipment Sales:
    Though this profession is quite a divergence from your laboratory science background, your familiarity with the healthcare field is bound to pay off. In fact, you might specialize in research equipment. When you show doctors that you are conversant in the language of science, they are sure to pay attention and offer you their business.
    Average Salary: $59,500
  • Nurse Practitioner:
    With more training, you can put your pharmaceutical training to use in nursing. You’ll first need to become a licensed registered nurse and then work through a graduate degree. Your training will also involve a residency, much like a doctor, but your professional hours will be far less intense.
    Average Salary: $97,500

Options to Advance

Your online Bachelor’s Degree in Pre-Pharmacy or Biology can open a lot of doors on its own. You can move into pharmaceutical sales, laboratory management, or medical equipment sales, for starters. However, you will find that there are few jobs that call for this degree, specifically. However, you will see your opportunities and salary increase when you move on to graduate studies in pharmacy or even medicine. Some biology or pharmacy majors decide that they prefer a more clinical position, so they pursue a career as an RN, or nurse practitioner. Your undergraduate degree will inform your work and can inform your professional life in ways you never imagined.

Best Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy Programs

  • Purdue University
    West Lafayette, INPurdue has an interesting pharmaceutical sciences degree program that can take two tracks. Students can choose a pre-doctoral program that grooms them for a PharmD (doctoral) degree or a non-pharmacist track that prepares student to pursue some aspect of drug research.Degrees Offered:
    • Bachelor of Science in Pharmaceutical Sciences – Pre-Doctor of Pharmacy Program
    • Bachelor of Science in Pharmaceutical Sciences
  • University of Toledo
    Toledo, OHThe University of Toledo’s five-year Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy Degree is designed to prepare you for a life in pharmacy. The degree includes three experiential rotations that you can complete either in Toledo or Cleveland, though the department might accept other locations. If you decide that you’d rather not become a pharmacist, you can elect to take a degree in pharmaceutical sciences, which will prepare you for a career in research.Degrees Offered:
    • Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy
    • Bachelor of Science in Pharmaceutical Sciences
  • Elizabeth City State University
    Elizabeth City, NCECSU’s pharmacy department can prepare you for a PharmD (doctoral) degree in Pharmacy. You might also choose to use your degree to pursue other tracks such as those leading towards academia or pharmaceutical research. ECSU claims that it produces candidates for some of the top pharmacy graduate programs in the nation.Degrees Offered:
    • Bachelor of Science in Pharmaceutical Sciences
    • Bachelor of Science – Biology, Chemistry, or Biology Education
  • University of South Carolina
    Columbia, SCThe University of South Carolina is a major university that has many resources to offer STEM students. State of the art labs and first-rate instructors will groom you for you later master’s or doctoral work in pharmacy. Some students even complete a two-year pre-pharmacy program and then progress directly into a PharmD program that results in a doctoral degree and a career as a pharmacist.Degrees Offered:
    • Bachelor of Science in Pharmaceutical Sciences
    • Pre-Pharmacy & PharmD
  • Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences
    Albany, NYThe Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences aims to create scientists who work to further the advancement of our pharmaceutical options. For your degree choices, you must either pursue pharmacology or pharmaceutics. Some may even take the BS/MS track that results in a master’s degree in only five total years.Degrees Offered:
    • Bachelor of Sciences – Pharmacology Concentration
    • Bachelor of Sciences – Pharmaceutics Concentration
    • Bachelor/Master of Science in Pharmaceutical Sciences

Traditional Schools Offering a BS in Pharmacy

  • Grand Canyon University
    OnlineGCU specializes on online education and their BS in Biology – Pre-Pharmacy Degree. Their program lets you add a few courses to your biology degree that will prepare you for the Pharmacy College Admission Test (PCAT).Degrees Offered:
    • Bachelor of Science in Biology – Pre-Pharmacy option
    • Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
  • University of Florida – Online
    OnlineThe University of Florida Online offers a biology degree that you can apply to your later studies in pharmaceutical sciences. You can discuss your specific career plans with an adviser who can point you in the direction you need to prepare for the Pharmacy College Admission Test (PCAT).Degrees Offered:
    • Bachelor of Arts in Biology
  • Excelsior College
    OnlineExcelsior College offers an online degree in natural sciences which offers a concentration in biology. With a biology concentration, you can apply your coursework to further studies in chemistry and thus become prepared for the Pharmacy College Admission Test (PCAT).Degrees Offered:
    • Bachelor of Science in Natural Sciences – Biology Concentration

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