Become a Pharmacist: Explore Pacific's Flexible Degree Paths

Graduate in as little as three years, or as many as five, to become a pharmacist with Pacific’s flexible degree tracks in pharmacy and pharmaceutical science.

Start seeing your self at Pacific's School of Pharmacy! Tour campus, talk to expert faculty, chat with current students, and learn more about starting a career in pharmacy at one of the Pacific Northwest's most acclaimed healthcare programs.

Pharmacists do so much more than simply measure and provide medications.

A degree in pharmacy leads to a meaningful and rewarding healthcare career with countless opportunities for research as well as direct, personal interaction with those in need.

As one of the most accessible healthcare professionals in people’s lives, doctors of pharmacy promote public health in ways that reach far into communities and do tangible, meaningful good.  

With an average starting salary of nearly $130,000 and steady demand for pharmacists as anticipated by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there has never been a better time to become a pharmacist.

Plus, with Pacific’s flexible degree paths — graduate in a little as three years or take five with our extended pathway — becoming a pharmacist, toxicologist, or medical researcher is more within reach than ever before.   

Ready to become a pharmacist and jumpstart your healthcare career? Let’s jump in.


Do I need a specific bachelor’s degree to attend pharmacy school?

While it may seem that only applicants with a STEM background are admitted to pharmacy school, there is no set undergraduate degree requirement for most programs.

What matters instead are the prerequisites your program sees as essential to success as you work toward your doctorate.  

Those prerequisites are heavy in math and science, so while you can major in everything from geology to gender studies, exploring your university’s pre-pharmacy track will make you a more competitive pharmacy candidate.

Many pre-pharmacy students pursue undergraduate degrees in biology and chemistry, two fields which often fulfill pharmacy school prerequisites naturally.

A group of pharmacy students looks at data displayed on a lab equipment screen.

Pacific also offers bachelor’s degrees in environmental chemistry and toxicology, concentrations that provide above-average preparation for careers in pharmacy.

Some undergraduate programs offer accelerated pathways that combine undergraduate and doctoral tracks. Pacific’s 3+3 Pathway allows you to begin pharmacy school as soon as your senior year of undergrad.

This means that you could graduate with both an environmental science undergraduate degree and a graduate degree in pharmacy in as little as six years and launch into your career as soon as possible.    

I’m almost done with undergrad. How do I apply for pharmacy school?

The Pharmacy College Application Service (PharmCAS) makes applying for pharmacy school easy, as it allows you to submit applications to multiple programs at once using a single submission form.

Pacific uses PharmCAS, but, unlike many other programs, we do not require the difficult and expensive Pharmacy College Admission Test (PCAT) or the GRE, and neither will be considered alongside your application.

Rather than focus on standardized testing, Pacific’s application requirements enable you to focus on what makes a pharmacy school application more competitive.

  1. Prerequisite Courses. Completing your prerequisite curriculum with a strong GPA (Pacific recommends a 2.7 or above in the areas of math and science, especially) will show the admissions committee that you are prepared for the program’s scientific rigor.

    These courses are available through most pre-pharmacy tracks.  

  2. References. Pacific requires two unique references to accompany your application. These references can be professors, employers, or mentors who can speak to your desire to become a pharmacist.

    Some of the strongest references come from healthcare professionals, especially licensed pharmacists, who students have volunteered with or observed in a clinical setting.

  3. Healthcare experience. While not required, volunteer or observation experience in a healthcare setting can make a candidate stand out in an enormous way.

    Not only does it demonstrate a working knowledge of what a career in pharmacy can look like, but it shows a drive to seek out relevant job training, a key aspect of pharmacy school.

While many pharmacy programs have firm application dates, Pacific uses a rolling submissions window, meaning that applicants can receive both admissions decisions and scholarships well in advance of the application deadline if they apply early.

We know you’re anxious to know your application status, so we won’t make you wait. 


The faculty here really cares about seeing you grow as a pharmacist, and are open to discussions about your thoughts and goals. 

– Ethan Dentler '25

I’m ready to change careers and become a pharmacist, but I’ve been out of school for a few years. Is it too late to apply?  

Whether you’ve been out of school for five years or fifteen, it’s never too late to become a pharmacist.

A bachelor’s degree is not required in order to apply to pharmacy school at Pacific, which means that as long as you fulfill the prerequisite courses (regardless if they are completed at the community college or university level) you can continue your degree and advance toward your doctorate in pharmacy. 

Want a new career? Pacific’s five-year pharmacy doctorate balances part-time coursework with life beyond the classroom, resulting in a flexible degree path with results equal to that of our three-year pathway.

Whether you’re a pharmacy technician looking to take the next step in your career or just want the versatility that comes from working while going to school, this innovative degree track allows more access than ever to a degree in pharmacy.

What should I look for in a pharmacy school?

When choosing a pharmacy school one of the most important factors is cost. There’s no question that pharmacy programs can be expensive, so making the most of your time is essential.

Pacific has the only pharmacy program in Oregon that allows you to graduate in three years. The accelerated three- year pathway not only saves you money on associated secondary costs — like housing and transport while you're in school — but gets you into your career sooner and earning one of the best starting salaries in healthcare. Altogether the three-year pathway is a good choice for those looking for a less expensive, faster option than a traditional four-year PharmD program.  

Three pharmacy students examine a computer screen in a medical lab.

Want variety? A pharmacy doctorate can lead to lots of different careers in health and research, and hybrid programs like Pacific’s Doctor of Pharmacy & MS in Pharmaceutical Science Joint Degree Program allow you to focus not only on a passion for healthcare, but also in the innovative and exciting field of pharmacological research.

Or take the management approach by concurrently earning your healthcare MBA, increasing your earning potential significantly after graduation. 

Of course, no pharmacy program would be worth attending if it didn’t have a strong foundation of hands-on job training, and Pacific’s School of Pharmacy is no exception. Only half of pharmacy school at Pacific is spent in the classroom.

The rest is out working alongside healthcare professionals in settings that matter to you.

Want to work with oncologists? Gerontologists? Veterans? We can place you in an environment where you will not only learn tangible pharmacy skills, but also network with professionals in your area for careers after graduation.  


I chose Pacific because I felt that the faculty cared for my success as a pharmacist and as a person versus just a statistic.

– LeAnn Phanakhone '24

I got in! How do I make the most of it?

While academically difficult, pharmacy school is exceptionally rewarding, and through it you will become part of a compassionate and tightly knit cohort of people equally invested in public health and healthcare.

But the pharmacy school experience is so much more than classes and clinic time, and the wealth of opportunity for growth outside the course schedule is large.

Here’s just a few ways you can take full advantage of the extracurricular experiences in pharmacy programs.

  1. Participate in research. Available to any interested pharmacy students (including select undergrads), pharmacological research at Pacific is an exciting chance for aspiring pharmacists to gain real-world experience in fields like toxicology, infectious disease, cancer research, and more.     

  2. Study abroad. Collaborate with healthcare professionals around the world with programs in Japan, Belize, and India and learn more about the diverse research and practices of global pharmacy.

  3. Explore electives. A diverse education results in well-rounded pharmacists, and elective coursework can allow you not only to delve into new specializations, but also unlock undiscovered pathways for innovative care.     

What can I do after I graduate from pharmacy school?

Congratulations! After successful completion of the North American Pharmacist Licensure Examination (the licensing exam taken after graduation) you can begin to explore the expanding job field available to pharmacists nationwide.  

One option available to recent graduates of pharmacy school is residency programs. Residencies place new pharmacists directly in clinical, academic, or research settings and empower them to advance in their field at a rapid rate.

Pacific offers two different post-graduate residency programs, each aimed at a different aspect of pharmacy science.

Graduates can either choose from a track focused on community pharmacy (imagine the pharmacist you see at your local drugstore) or one centered on outreach and outpatient care.

Regardless of what option students choose, 91% (option one) and 100% (option two) of Pacific pharmacy graduates were placed in their first-choice residency, a rate far higher than the national average, and were able to jumpstart their career and immediately start helping those in need. 

The best time to take the next step in your pharmacy career is right now. Inquire today and speak with an expert admissions counselor who can answer all your questions about application deadlines, prerequisites, campus visits, and more.