Do Pharmacy School Rankings Matter? (#1 Pharmacy School)

Are you planning to get into pharmacy? If you want to become a pharmacist, you need to complete the formal education and get the licensure for pharmacy. You won’t be considered as a certified pharmacist until you pass the license exams and get the licensure.

In order to become a certified pharmacist and get a well-paying job after completing the Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) education, it is essential to get admission to the right pharmacy school. Getting admission to the best pharmacy school will enhance your skills and experiences.

In your research, you need to make sure the pharmacy school you have selected is popular. Before we talk about the best pharmacy schools all around the world, let’s discuss which country is best for pharmacy.

Which country is best for pharmacy?

Finally, you have decided to complete undergraduate pharmacy studies, pursue Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD), and get pharmacy licensure. Now, the question is which country you should consider for pharmacy?

Before choosing any country to complete your pharmacy education and working as a pharmacist, you should know about the quality of education in that country.

Some best countries for pharmacy are the US, UK, Canada, and China.

Does Pharmacy School Rankings Matter?

While choosing a pharmacy school, a student needs to consider a list of different factors. It includes factors such as location, graduation rate, student-teacher ratio, cost of education, housing, job placement assistance, etc.

Another factor students often consider while choosing a pharmacy school is rankings. Now, the question is, does pharmacy school rankings really matter?

Whether your pharmacy school rankings matter or not will be based on where you want to work in the future, for example, if you are planning to work in the retail sector as a pharmacist, pharmacy school rankings will make little to no difference. However, if your plan is to get into academics, then rankings will matter.

More than pharmacy school rankings, what matters is your experiences and skills as a pharmacist. Your expertise and skills can make a significant impact in your career.

Top Pharmacy Schools in the U.S.

To help you get admission to the best pharmacy schools in the United States, here we have shared the list of top five pharmacy schools. Here’s the list:

1. The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

The University of North Carolin, Eshelman School of Pharmacy, is ranked first and best school of pharmacy by U.S. News & World Report. And, it is 2nd best Global Universities in Pharmacology and Toxicology by U.S. News & World Report. According to the 2020 QS World University Rankings is 9th Best World Universities in Pharmacy and Pharmacology.

There are three distinctive degree programs available at the University of North Carolin – Doctor of Pharmacy, Pharm.D. program, and Ph.D. program.

2. University of Minnesota

The University of Minnesota College of Pharmacy is the part of one of the largest Academic Health Centers in the United States. The University of Minnesota offers a Doctor of Pharmacy program, Doctor of Pharmacy Dual Degree program, Doctoral Graduate programs, Master of Science Graduate programs, Residency programs, and Summer Undergraduate Experience program.

Through the Dual degree program, the applicant can complete another degree program with Doctor of Pharmacy. The Doctor of Pharmacy Dual Degree Program of the University of Minnesota includes PharmD/MBA, PharmD/MHI, and PharmD/MPH.

3. University of California San Francisco (UCSF)

University of California San Francisco is another pharmacy school that offers different programs. The pharmacy degree programs at USCF include single and dual degree programs: PharmD, PharmD/MSCR, PharmD/Ph.D., and Master of Translational Medicine degree program.

Talking about Ph.D. graduate programs it includes:

  • Ph.D. in Bioengineering (BioE)
  • Ph.D. in Biological and Medical Informatics (Bioinformatics pathway) (BI)
  • Ph.D. in Biophysics (BP)
  • Ph.D. in Chemistry and Chemical Biology (CCB)
  • Ph.D. in Pharmaceutical Sciences & Pharmacogenomics (PSPG)

4. The University of Michigan – Ann Arbor

The University of Michigan has amazing excellence in research, learning, and teaching, sports & arts, etc. It is a public research university located in Ann Arbor, Michigan. This university offers a variety of different programs.

You can choose from a PharmD program, a Ph. D. in Clinical Pharmacy, a Ph. D. in Medical Chemistry, and more. Apart from this, it also offers dual degree programs. You can choose from dual pharmacy programs such as Dual PharmD and MBA program, and Dual PharmD and MPH program.

5. The University of Texas – Austin

The University of Texas, Austin, offers a PharmD program and different specialized graduate programs. The school also focuses on providing advanced professional training and research. The research areas this school focuses on are:

  • Chemical Biology & Drug Discovery
  • Environmental & Developmental Mechanisms of Health and Disease
  • Health Outcomes, Economics, and Equity Research
  • Infectious Diseases
  • Molecular Mechanisms of Cancer
  • Neuropharmacology and Addiction
  • Translational Research in Drug Delivery

30 Best Pharmacy Schools in the United States

If you find difficulty getting admission into the above listed five pharmacy schools, you may consider applying to other top pharmacy schools. Here are 30 best pharmacy schools in the United States:

  1. University of North Carolin – Chapel Hill
  2. University of Minnesota
  3. University of California – San Francisco
  4. University of Michigan – Ann Arbor
  5. University of Texas – Austin
  6. Ohio State University
  7. University of Illinois – Chicago
  8. University of Kentucky
  9. Purdue University
  10. University of Florida
  11. University of Maryland – Baltimore
  12. University of Pittsburgh
  13. University of Southern California
  14. University of Washington
  15. University of Wisconsin – Madison
  16. University of Arizona
  17. University of Iowa
  18. University of Tennessee Health Science Center
  19. University of Utah
  20. Virginia Commonwealth University
  21. University of Kansas
  22. University at Buffalo – SUNY
  23. University of Colorado – Denver
  24. University of Mississippi
  25. Auburn University (Harrison)
  26. University of California – San Diego
  27. University of Georgia
  28. University of Nebraska Medical Center
  29. University of Oklahoma
  30. Medical University of South Carolina

Do Ranking Matter According To The Professionals

So we didn’t want you to only take our word for it so we went out and scoured the internet for responses from Real People that have graduated Pharmacy school to see if it actually makes a difference. We curated this this information from forums, websites, sub reddits meaning nothing has been changed except any spelling or grammar where needed.

Real Opinions

1. Apotheker2015 “Nope” – Nope, no one cares. I went to a top ranked school and really no one cares. Get your PharmD as cheap as you can. Minimize the amount you take out in loans and get to work as fast as you can.

2. Toidalente “Maybe becoming a factor” – Up until 2018/2019, I don’t think so but afterwards I see it becoming a factor. Tuition is the most important but if an employer has plenty of options to choose from (stacks of resumes for 1 position), then having a certain stigma (like abysmal NAPLEX, MPJE scores) attached to a school may impact your chances when they have to go though a quick filter. More applicants means employers can become more picky. I have yet to see this in action but this is an example worth thinking about especially if you are going for competitive positions. If you go to a good school, you shouldn’t have to worry but be careful about how much more you spend for that. It’s about referencing and assessment. Just my 2 cents.

3. CrandalRecker17 “Nobody cares” – I graduated from a top school. I don’t want to give the name away as I want to be able to continue to post freely in these forums. The school’s ranking is in the single digits; i.e., it’s ranked among the top 10 and if this matters in anyway, it’s also ranked among the top 5. It’s quite up there. I noticed that TSU is ranked 80 on the USNews list. It shares that ranking with Nova Southeastern University (NSU) which produces fine and knowledgeable pharmacists. A great friend of mine graduated from NSU and is currently a clinical pharmacist at a major and world renowned health institution. No one cared where he went to school. He got that job because he did an APPE there and right at the end of his APPE, his preceptor directed him to human resources to get his resume on file.

I had that happen several times at the end of my rotations. I got 4 job offers at the end of 4 APPEs. No one ever asked me for my GPA and I guess they knew I came from a *top* school but what matter really was that every time I was there I always put my best foot forward.
For residency, I suppose that you may encounter that a 3.0 from a top ranked school may be considered just fine and equivalent to a 3.5 from a school ranked in the 80’s or 90’s. So if you do choose to go to TSU or any other school with a less than solid reputation, you must make sure your record is impeccable, impressive and displays a solid GPA.

Once you get through residency, no one will care what school you went to. They will care where you trained for residency. All this being said, if you do have credentials to go to University of Texas-Austin, why wouldn’t you? Apply to both or several schools and see where you get in. Our recommendations here are all moot if you don’t actually have the *choice* to choose your school. So apply and make the decision when you have letters of acceptance from the schools that you want to go to.

4. Confettiflyer “Not at all” – Not at all…maybe even locally. If you come to (insert state here), no one will even know how many Texas schools there are.

Only hyperlocally are there p*ssing matches between stubborn alumni.

I get asked where I graduated from all the time…I usually just say “east coast” and get that glazed over look like “okay you’re doing me a favor and telling me the general location of the school because if you actually told me the school name I’d be forced to nod and pretend I know what state that is even in.”

tl;dr = nope, we’re not law school, and anyone who tells you yes is lying/doesn’t actually redline between schools (just between candidates, then says it’s the school, when really it wasn’t all along).

5. Jbrl “Maybe more popular makes a difference” – I think the consensus is “as long as it is a school that people have heard about.” I think the implied advantage of going to a better school could be taken into consideration – better applicants and stronger networks, further reinforced by a self-fulfilling ranking system that then attracts more high-achieving applicants. Might be more important when venturing into non-trad roles, particularly for the who-you-know part of the equation. If a higher % of your class is going the residency/hospital, industry, or other route, it bodes better for you; you’ll be better positioned during schooling for these paths and you’ll know more people in these sectors.

Final Thoughts

If you are planning to get admission into a pharmacy school, it is essential to consider various factors, such as location, cost, teacher-student ratio, etc. Depending on what you want to do as a pharmacist, the school rankings may or may not matter.

If you want to get into retail pharmacy, the rankings may not matter, while if you want to get into academic pharmacy, the pharmacy school rankings do matter.

When it really comes down to it keep the cost of schooling down as much as possible and try to be the best in your class. If you succeed at both you will have not issues in your career and life. If you want to go to a big university go for it, but it doesn’t have to be the best Pharmacy school that is for sure. Especially if you are looking to do a residency that is where your stamp will be made on your career.

Focus on doing the best you can in school and your tests like the Naplex.

Danielle Winner

Hello my name is Danielle Winner. Welcome to my site on Pharmacy School and tips and tricks to hopefully help you get in. It's not easy but hopefully you can learn to not make mistakes that students (myself included) make. Good luck on your journey. I graduated from Albany School of Pharmacy in May 2010 and have had a few different jobs across the east coast of the U.S.

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