This summer program is designed for sophomores, juniors and seniors in high school who want to learn more about careers in pharmacy. Students will participate in work-based learning experiences, personal development workshops and math and science enrichment activities. Learn more about Pathways to Pharmacy.
The College of Pharmacy at Northeast Ohio Medical University is designed for students who want to advance community health in Northeast Ohio and beyond. If you’re interested in becoming a pharmacist, this resource will provide you with all you need to know about pharmacy degree programs, applying to pharmacy school and more.
Ready to help people live better, healthier lives? This resource is the first step on your journey to changing your community for the better. Let’s get started!
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Earn Your White Coat: Pharmacy Degree Programs
Students who want to become pharmacists often wonder what kind of pharmacy degree programs exist, and what degree they need—a Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D.) or a doctorate in pharmacy (Ph.D.). While both degrees will open doors to careers in the field, only the Pharm.D. will allow you to practice as a pharmacist.
Pharm.D. vs. Ph.D.
Generally speaking, the Pharm.D. prepares students to become generalist pharmacy practitioners, while the Ph.D. prepares students for careers in academia or research and development. The Pharm.D. is offered through the College of Pharmacy at NEOMED, and a Ph.D. in Integrated Pharmaceutical Medicine is available through the College of Graduate Studies.
NEOMED also provides the opportunity for Pharm.D. students to attain a Ph.D. through the College of Graduate studies in less time than if they were to complete the degrees in sequence.
If you’re unsure which degree makes the most sense for your career goals, there are three key differences to consider:
→ In addition to preparing students to work as pharmacists, the Pharm.D. paves the way for careers in government agencies, pharmaceutical companies, hospitals, universities and more.
→ Ph.D. holders can pursue similar career paths as Pharm.D. holders, but are not qualified for careers as pharmacy practitioners.
→ NEOMED’s Pharm.D. program only requires students to complete 60 hours of prerequisite courses—no bachelor’s degree required. Students can secure their seat in pharmacy school as early as high school with early assurance.
→ Ph.D. programs require students to have a bachelor’s degree (or higher) in chemistry, biochemistry, the biological sciences or related fields and meet minimum GPA guidelines.
→ The Pharm.D. curriculum at NEOMED blends classroom and practice experiences for student-centered learning while incorporating interprofessional learning.
→ The Ph.D. curriculum at NEOMED offers a unique perspective on disease mechanisms and targets for therapeutic interventions in neurodegenerative diseases, heart and blood vessel diseases, auditory neuroscience diseases, musculoskeletal diseases, diabetes, obesity and metabolic disorders.
The key takeaway? If you want to work as a pharmacist, you need a Pharm.D. You don’t necessarily need a Ph.D. to work as a pharmaceutical researcher or scientist, though some pharmacists may choose to pursue both degrees.
Is Pharmacy School
Right for Me?
As you research degree requirements and career paths, it’s also a good time to start thinking about the skills and qualities you’ll need to succeed in pharmacy school. Pursuing an advanced degree is a big commitment. Knowing if you’re prepared both mentally and academically before you start will save you time and stress in the long run.
From the classroom to the lab to business and provider services, future pharmacists need to be able to think on their feet, pay attention to detail and communicate effectively. At NEOMED, we’re committed to equipping future pharmacists with the skills and knowledge they need to succeed in pharmacy school and beyond.
Our typical applicants include:
- students looking to serve as leaders in the field of community pharmacy.
- students interested in pursuing post-graduate residencies in general or specialized areas in pharmacy.
- students who have worked as pharmacy technicians or in other health care settings.
Here are some qualities we look for in future pharmacists:
- A good memory
- Attention to detail
- Scientific aptitude
- Interest in pharmacy
Here are other skills that will give you a solid foundation to build on:
- Time management
Of course, in addition to the right characteristics and abilities, you’ll also need to meet some academic prerequisites. Read on to learn more about what it takes to get into pharmacy school.
Getting In: Pharmacy School Requirements
If you know for sure you want to be a pharmacist, the Pharm.D. program can help save you time and money compared to other medical and advanced degrees. At NEOMED, you’re not required to attain a bachelor’s degree before you can be admitted. In fact, our early assurance program allows students to apply during their senior year of high school and reserve a pharmacy school seat until their prerequisites are completed.
Prerequisites? Didn’t we just say you don’t need a bachelor’s degree?
You don’t! Students only need to complete 60 hours of pre-professional coursework to be eligible for pharmacy school admission. Even better? Your pre-pharmacy coursework can be completed at any accredited college or university, so you can choose the school that best fits your needs.
If you want to know more about how you can earn your Pharm.D. without a bachelor’s degree, check out our educational resource, No Bachelor’s? No Problem! How to Become a Pharmacist in 2021. It has everything you need to understand your path to working as a pharmacist.
If you still want to pursue a bachelor’s degree before attending pharmacy school, you can! Knowing that your final goal is to become a pharmacist, you can work with your advisor to plan your undergraduate major and courses so you’re prepared for the next step on the path to pharmacy school.
How to prepare for pharmacy school as an undergraduate student
Students who decide to take a more traditional path to pharmacy school by first earning a bachelor’s degree can set themselves up for success by taking courses and majoring in subjects related to pharmacy study. Many students who choose this path major in biology or chemistry, though a science major isn’t required. Regardless of your major, you will need to take several STEM courses to meet the prerequisite requirements.
Your undergraduate coursework should include the following:
- Biology & other life science sequences (with labs) - 8 semester hours
- General Physics - 3 semester hours
- General chemistry - 8 semester hours
- Organic chemistry - 8 semester hours
- Biochemistry - 3 semester hours
- Microbiology - 3 semester hours
- Statistics - 3 semester hours
- English composition sequence - 6 semester hours
- Calculus - 3 semester hours
- General education or additional science courses - 15 semester hours
You should earn at least a C- in all prerequisite courses. NEOMED also recommends that you earn at least a 2.5 GPA in your science courses and maintain an overall college GPA of 2.5. Students who meet the overall GPA requirement are more likely to be considered for an admission interview.
As you near completion of your prerequisites, you should start thinking about your pharmacy school application. Candidates are encouraged to apply for admission early and interview while prerequisite coursework is still in progress.
Pharmacy School Application Checklist
Ready to apply? Use this checklist to submit a stand-out application.
- Complete the Pharmacy College Application Service (PharmCAS) application.
- Demonstrate your interest in becoming a pharmacist through extracurricular activities, employment, volunteer experience or leadership skills.
- NEOMED doesn’t require a supplemental application for our Pharmacy program.
- NEOMED is a PCAT optional program. The PCAT is no longer required for admission consideration (effective 2017-2018).
Once you submit your application, it’s time to start prepping for your pharmacy school interview.
What to expect during the pharmacy school interview
An essential part of getting accepted to pharmacy school is acing the interview. Keep in mind that not everyone gets to interview, so it’s important to use your application to showcase your abilities and interest. If you do get invited to interview, you might experience some stress leading up to the big day. Whether you’re asked to interview on campus or virtually, there are some steps you can take to make the process easier.
Look up common pharmacy interview questions online and practice giving your answers. You might also want to ask a friend or roommate to role play the interview with you and offer constructive feedback.
Many schools, NEOMED included, will include a calculation test as part of the interview process. If it’s been awhile since you’ve taken a math or science course, brush up on your knowledge of equations and basic arithmetic.
One major reason pharmacy schools ask students to interview is so they can better understand why a candidate wants to become a pharmacist. You may be asked to give your “why” statement during the interview or even as an impromptu essay. Do yourself a favor and practice drafting a compelling reason. You should be able to concisely describe why you want to become a pharmacist without rambling or over generalizing.
Want to know more about the interview? Read our blog 4 Tips for Your Pharmacy School Interview for more advice.
How NEOMED’s Pharmacy Program
Will Set You Up for Success
At NEOMED, we’re redefining what it means to be a pharmacist. As a student, you’ll receive a strong interprofessional education and work side-by-side with physicians and other healthcare professionals in a team-oriented environment. Our graduates are prepared to change the lives of the communities they serve through hands-on clinical experience designed to prepare them to excel as professionals in the world of pharmacy, whether they choose to work as practitioners, researchers or anything in between.
From pre-pharmacy to licensure and continuing education, you can do it all right here at NEOMED.
If you’re interested in pharmacy, NEOMED’s educational and enriching pre-pharmacy programs are the perfect place to start. These courses allow you to learn about the field of pharmacy and potential career paths before beginning pharmacy school at NEOMED.
Pathways to Pharmacy Camp
This day-long experience is designed to give high school students an inside look at pharmacy school and potential careers in pharmacy. Learn more about Pharmacy 101.
High school seniors and current undergraduate students will get an inside look at pharmacy school and explore the pharmacy profession during this day-long experience on NEOMED’s campus. Learn more about Pre-pharmacy Bootcamp.
Pre-pharmacy Bootcamp Week
This event is the ideal program for undergraduate college students interested in a career in health care! This program is designed to prepare undergrads for the professional world. Learn more about Pre-pharmacy Bootcamp Week.
Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D.)
Students from Ohio and all over the United States choose the Pharm.D. program at NEOMED to prepare them for a fulfilling pharmacist career. Pharmacy school at NEOMED is designed for students with an interest in advancing community health. Our typical applications include those who are interested in:
- Becoming leaders in the emerging field of pharmacy as an integral part of the healthcare team
- Challenging themselves with interprofessional coursework and hands-on experiences
- Advancing community health in various pharmacy settings
- Developing skills outside of the classroom at one of NEOMED’s hundreds of clinical practice sites throughout northeast Ohio
- Learning side-by-side in and out of the classroom with future physicians, healthcare providers and researchers
- Changing the lives of the communities they serve, particularly medically underserved areas where they can make the greatest impact
- Participate in rigorous residency preparation and other post-graduate training
Pursuing pharmacy residency experience will give you the cutting edge while looking for a job. Residency programs at NEOMED give participants opportunities to practice under experienced pharmacy preceptors, expand their professional network, gain insight on potential career paths and apply what they’ve learned to real patients and settings. Residents gain extensive experience in providing patient-centered care, developing leadership skills and providing patient education. NEOMED also has support to help you prepare for post-graduate training outside of our own residency programs as well.
NEOMED offers four residency programs:
PGY1 Pharmacy Residency
Designed to cultivate practitioners who develop clinical expertise, educate future pharmacists, enhance their leadership and project management skills, and engage in research.
PGY2 Internal Medicine Residency
University Hospitals Geauga Medical Center, in conjunction with the College of Pharmacy at NEOMED, offers a postgraduate year two (PGY2) internal medicine residency program with a focus in academic administration, providing experiences in academic pharmacy, enhancing leadership and project management skills and engaging in research.
Teaching & Learning Curriculum Program
This program is designed specifically for PGY1 and PGY2 pharmacy residents and pharmacists in Northeast Ohio. Participants who complete all required program activities will earn a Teaching Certificate from the Department of Pharmacy Practice at the NEOMED College of Pharmacy.
Combined Master of Science Degree/Residency
The NEOMED College of Graduate Studies offers a combined Master of Science degree/residency program in Health-Systems Pharmacy Administration that is geared toward graduating pharmacy students or recent graduates. The residency position is handled through the ASHP Resident Match Program in partnership with the Cleveland Clinic or Akron General Medical Center.
The Office of Continuing Professional Development at NEOMED provides continuing education opportunities through joint sponsor relationships with other organizations including state health agencies, community and regional hospitals and medical professional societies. Activities are developed based on needs assessment data to ensure that all activities present current, state-of-the-art, evidence-based information to improve the competence, performance or patient outcomes of health professionals.
Academics, Courses & Curriculum
The College of Pharmacy offers an original and progressive curriculum that blends classroom and practice experiences to give graduates the knowledge, skills and professional attitude to succeed as a pharmacist.
NEOMED’s Pharmacy School curriculum offers a unique education that emphasizes interprofessional learning experiences. The curriculum is designed to focus on a central theme each year that will serve as a foundation for successive years in pharmacy school. Our faculty are empowered to explore and integrate new technology and methods that enhance student engagement and opportunities for hands-on learning.
The Department of Pharmacy Practice provides students with an innovative approach to learning and advances the practice of pharmacy through the interprofessional education of exceptional and well-rounded pharmacists who will deliver optimal patient care.
The Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences focuses on interdisciplinary investigation of pathophysiological mechanisms of chronic illnesses, identification of novel therapeutic targets, drug discovery and development. Students will enhance their knowledge of pharmaceutical sciences through classroom/laboratory experiences, discoveries and innovations.
The Experiential Education Program is designed to focus on key aspects of pharmacy practice through the four-year program, from Introductory Pharmacy Practice Experiences (IPPEs) to Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experiences (APPEs). Students will apply the knowledge and skills they learn in the classroom to real-life situations and gain the hands-on training needed to succeed as practicing pharmacists.
The pharmacy residency track at NEOMED is a four-year program designed to prepare incoming pharmacy students to apply for and secure a residency following graduation. Students will attend residency information sessions, shadow current pharmacy residents, attend conferences to network with other pharmacy professionals and more.
Get in Touch with Us Today
Contact us to discuss the most accessible career path in health care — pharmacy!
Pharm.D. holders graduate from NEOMED prepared to pursue meaningful careers in pharmacy, provide excellent patient care and advance community health.
of the class of 2019 is employed.
of graduates are practicing in Ohio.
first-time NAPLEX pass rate for the class of 2019.
residency match rate in 2020 (24% higher than the national average!).
Student Spotlight: What is it like to pursue your Pharm.D. at NEOMED?
Here’s what a real student has to say about their time at NEOMED.
Doctor of Pharmacy Candidate, Class of 2023
1. What initially got you interested in pharmacy?
Growing up, I had always considered a career in healthcare. In middle school, I took a test that matched my interests to career options and being a pharmacist was at the top of the list. The more I looked into pharmacy and the more science classes I took, I knew being a pharmacist would be an excellent career.
2. Did you encounter any hesitations, obstacles or fears about pursuing a Pharm.D.?
I was initially hesitant to take any chemistry or biology classes in undergrad. I was told that they were nearly impossible to pass and that I wouldn't be able to get good grades in them. After overcoming that fear, I was afraid to apply to pharmacy school and I thought there is no way I would ever get in. Once I got into pharmacy school, I thought I would not be able to handle the course load. Even though I was hesitant and afraid during every step of getting to pharmacy school, I now realize that if I am passionate and work hard at something, I can do anything I put my mind to.
3. Why did you choose the pharmacy program at NEOMED? Now that you’ve experienced the program, what’s your favorite part about it?
I chose NEOMED because it is close to home and I have always heard great things about their program. NEOMED is also more affordable than most pharmacy programs since it is a public school, and I was able to complete the prerequisites in 2 years at a public institution. My favorite part about NEOMED is the community setting. All the students and faculty know everyone, and it creates a great environment to learn in.
"My advice for prospective students is that if you have a strong interest in pharmacy, don't be afraid to apply and start pharmacy school. Everyone at NEOMED is here to help you succeed."
4. What resources do you feel set NEOMED apart from other Pharm.D. programs?
NEOMED has fantastic professors! I think it is unique that the majority are shared faculty and practice at a pharmacy in addition to teaching. NEOMED also provides every student with a faculty advisor that helps with any academic or career questions. I also think the interprofessional collaboration that NEOMED has is amazing. So far, I have done projects with medicine, nursing, and social work students. Interprofessional education is such a great way to learn about what other professions on a team are capable of and an excellent opportunity to educate them about what pharmacists can do.
5. What achievement, project, or experience are you most proud of from your years in pharmacy school?
My proudest accomplishment so far throughout pharmacy school is writing a policy proposal for NEOMED's chapter of the American Pharmacists Association (APhA). Before pharmacy school, I knew very little about pharmacy legislation. I love that pharmacy school has helped me advocate for my future profession. Before pharmacy school, I was not confident in my writing ability and never held any leadership positions. So to be able to write a policy proposal and then represent NEOMED's chapter of APhA at regional and national pharmacy events is a huge accomplishment for me.
6. What are your career dreams or plans? How has the Pharm.D. program at NEOMED helped prepare you for your future?
My dream career is to be a pharmacist that loves their job and makes a difference in patients' lives every day. I currently have strong interests in internal medicine and ambulatory care. NEOMED is helping me prepare for my future by providing me the best pharmacotherapy education possible. NEOMED has enabled me to join great student organizations such as the Student Society of Health-System Pharmacists (SSHP), American Pharmacists Association (APhA), and Student College of Clinical Pharmacy (SCCP). These groups have speakers from different areas of pharmacy to help expose me to as many career pathways as possible.
7. Is there anything else you’d like to add? Any advice or wisdom you would pass along to a prospective student?
My advice for prospective students is that if you have a strong interest in pharmacy, don't be afraid to apply and start pharmacy school. Everyone at NEOMED is here to help you succeed.
What Can You Do With a Pharmacy Degree from NEOMED?
Career opportunities in the pharmacy industry are practically endless. Pharm.D.s from NEOMED are qualified to do much more than fill prescriptions in retail pharmacies (though, they’re pretty great at that, too!).
Below are just some of the many career options for pharmacists. Find out more about what you can do with your Pharm.D. by reading our blog, Fast Forward: You Have Your Pharm.D., Now What?
Here are some potential career specialities you could pursue with a Pharm.D. after NEOMED prepares you to be at the top of your license:
Ambulatory Care Pharmacist
- Treat and counsel patients with multiple, short-term or long-term medical conditions who frequently take multiple medications
- Provide care by applying medication expertise, rather than directly handling medications
- Work with members of your local community
- Prepare and dispense medications, counsel patients, provide immunizations and help community members live healthier lives through health-centered programming
- Prepare customized prescription medications
- Create customized medications for humans or animals in a laboratory by making different dosage forms, different dose options, and different flavors (if you like cooking/baking, this might be a great option for you!)
- Work as part of a high-functioning care team in hospital settings
- Prepare and dispense medications, review patient charts, monitor medication therapy and develop pharmacy procedures to ensure patients receive the right medication and the right time
Infectious Diseases Pharmacist
- Work in hospitals, medical centers, public health agencies and medical clinics
- Focus on the care of patients with or at risk for infections and promote the appropriate use of antibiotics to eradicate harmful microorganisms and stop the spread of disease in a patient or population
Poison Control Pharmacist
- Work in hospitals or poison control centers
- Make quick decisions and respond to urgent questions about poisonous chemicals, toxins and drug interactions and provide care by applying extensive medication expertise
- Work in hospitals, veterinary schools, zoos, aquariums and more
- Compound, dispense and administer medications for sick and injured animals
Start your Professional Degree in Health Care at Northeast Ohio Medical University
Ready to take the next step toward your rewarding career as a pharmacist? The College of Pharmacy at NEOMED can help you realize your dream, whether you’re just starting to explore the industry or looking for continuing education opportunities. Contact NEOMED’s College of Pharmacy to learn more about pharmacy degree programs, admission requirements and options in your future as a pharmacist!