PharmD Frequently Asked Questions


What is a Doctor of Pharmacy?

A Doctor of Pharmacy, known as a PharmD, is a professional degree for pharmacists. Similar to a Doctor of Medicine (MD), it is neither a graduate degree nor undergraduate degree. An individual is eligible to practice as a pharmacist after completing a PharmD program and passing a licensure exam.

How long is the PharmD program?

Pharmacy student

The Ohio State University Doctor of Pharmacy program is a four year post baccalaureate program.

The Ohio State University Doctor of Pharmacy program is a four year post baccalaureate program.

What is the employment outlook for OSU PharmD grads?

Eighty percent of 2014 pharmacy graduates who responded to an exit employment survey had post-graduate plans at the time of graduation. About 37% of graduates accepted jobs, primarily in the community setting, and about 43% accepted residencies or fellowships. Student satisfaction with post-graduation plans was high; 74% of graduates were pleased with the offers received, and 85% received placement in their preferred practice setting.  Further details can be found here.

What undergraduate major should I choose?

Ohio State does not give preference to one undergraduate major over another. It is more important what classes a student has taken and how he or she performed in those classes. Students are encouraged to consider majors that interest them. Majors that lend themselves to incorporating the prerequisite courses needed for application to the program include: pharmaceutical sciences, biology, chemistry, and others.

What does a competitive student look like?

Ohio State is looking for students with a demonstrated ability to be successful in the PharmD program. To do this we look for students with strong academic ability in the sciences. Each student will look different; however, our previous classes have had competitive PCAT scores in the 60-99 percentile range and an overall GPA range of 3.15-4.0. We are also looking for students with an interest in pharmacy as demonstrated by pharmacy-related volunteer/work/shadowing/leadership experience. Strong candidates will have significant pharmacy-related experience.

Do I need experience working in a pharmacy?

Experience working in a pharmacy practice environment is not required, however it is strongly encouraged and considered in the admission process. This experience can take various forms. Some of these might be participation in a pharmacy related organization, work as a pharmacy technician, volunteer work in a health care setting or a charitable pharmacy, along with other educational or extracurricular opportunities. The admission committee looks for extended pharmacy volunteer or work experience from competitive candidates.

How many students apply to the PharmD program each year?

The number of applicants varies from year to year. We typically receive 650–750 applications.

Is preference given to Ohio residents or Ohio State students?

We do not give preference in the application process based on residency status or undergraduate institution. That being said, a high percentage of applicants and admitted students do reside in the state of Ohio.

How do I apply to Pharmacy School?

Students who have completed or are in the process of completing the required coursework and a bachelor’s degree, will begin by applying through a national, centralized application service called PharmCAS, then will complete a supplemental application with Ohio State. 

What are typical NAPLEX passage rates?

While each year is slightly different, our passage rate for first time test takers is consistently 98% or higher.