The mission of pharmacy practice is to help people get the best outcomes from medication therapies to achieve a healthier society. Before the Industrial Revolution, pharmacists manually compounded most medicines. With the growth of pharmaceutical manufacturing, pharmacists compounded fewer drugs and focused on safe and accurate dispensing procedures. In the Information Age, pharmacists have placed an emphasis on a practice orientation known as pharmaceutical care, which entails a shared responsibility between the patient, pharmacist and other health professionals toward achieving positive therapeutic outcomes. Pharmaceutical care inherently invokes a patient-focused orientation to pharmacy practice. Today, pharmacists provide comprehensive drug therapy management, including the provision of medications and medical devices, educating patients and other health care providers on the proper use of prescription and over-the-counter products, and monitoring the outcomes of drug therapy.
Students with a desire to help people in a health care environment and an interest in math and science will find the profession of pharmacy particularly well suited to them. Drug therapy is the most common means of treating disease. With the development of more complex and expensive therapies, the aging of the U.S. population, and the dynamic nature of the health care market, pharmacists are well positioned to help patients receive the best benefits from their medications and to reduce the estimated $177 billion spent each year in the United States due to the improper use of prescription drug products.
Pre-professional is a category for any student who intends to enter professional school after graduating with a bachelor’s degree. Pre-health is the pre-professional program for students interested in the health professions, including dentistry, medicine, optometry, pharmacy, physical therapy and veterinary medicine. Identifying your pre-professional interest will enable your college advisor, your major advisor and your pre-professional advisor to provide you with a wide range of support to realize your goals.
Students at Ohio State pursue a Doctor of Pharmacy education after the completion of the bachelor’s degree. The undergraduate major may be in any area as long as program prerequisites are satisfied. Candidates are encouraged to consider diverse areas of study in preparation for a people-oriented profession.
The entry-level Doctor of Pharmacy is a four-year graduate professional program. Applicants must have completed a bachelor’s degree prior to PharmD matriculation. Applicants are not required to have prior pharmacy education; any undergraduate major is acceptable as long as prerequisites are met.
Admission to the Doctor of Pharmacy program is competitive and based on a faculty committee review of the following:
- performance in prerequisite course work
- cumulative and math/science grade-point averages
- Pharmacy College Admission Test scores
- communication skills
- full disclosure of prior misdemeanor or felony convictions
- personal statements completed by the applicant
- extracurricular leadership and work experience
- letters of recommendation
- personal interviews
Applications are coordinated through a centralized admissions service. For more information, visit their website at pharmCAS.org. The deadline for submitting the regular decision application is March 2, 2021. Ohio State also offers an early decision option by September 8, 2020. It is in the student’s best interest to submit application materials early in order for the Admissions Committee to make a decision about an interview invitation.
The College of Pharmacy also offers a seven-year combined undergraduate and Doctor of Pharmacy degree program for undergraduate students who are committed to pursuing a PharmD from Ohio State. The combined degree program identifies course efficiencies between the BSPS and PharmD curricula in order to provide a seamless, streamlined student learning experience.
Students pursuing this option typically complete three years of the BSPS curriculum and then matriculate into the four year PharmD program. Students will receive their bachelor's degree at the end of their first year of the PharmD program. As such, the time to both degrees is lessened by one year.
The professional component of the entry-level PharmD program constitutes four years of study. The first three years consist of mostly didactic course work, and the fourth year is full-time professional experience. The professional curriculum incorporates courses or series of courses in the following areas:
- Medicinal chemistry and pharmacognosy
- Pharmacy law
- Pharmacy practice
- Pharmacy management
Various courses incorporate lecture and recitation sections, case study workshops, laboratories, and field experience.
A graduate from the College of Pharmacy can choose from a variety of career paths tailored to individual interests and aptitudes with a choice of lucrative employment opportunities. Pharmacists in community settings provide pharmaceutical care to ambulatory patients including the provision of prescription and non-prescription drugs, medical equipment and devices, and drug-related information and educational services to patients, the public and other health care professionals. Pharmacists in institutional settings (e.g., hospitals) provide service to inpatients and are involved in the medication dispensing process, clinical services, drug information and a number of specialty practices (e.g., cardiology, psychiatry, pediatrics, oncology, nuclear pharmacy, nutritional support).
The pharmaceutical industry offers career opportunities in sales and marketing, drug research and development, quality assurance, and professional services. Faculty positions in colleges of pharmacy offer the opportunity to teach, conduct research and provide professional service. Pharmacists are employed by a number of federal agencies involved in drug regulation or national health care services. For example, the Food and Drug Administration, Drug Enforcement Agency, National Institutes of Health, Public Health Services, Veteran’s Administration and military services provide exciting career opportunities. Nontraditional areas of employment also include pharmaceutical journalism, pharmacy law and positions on state boards of pharmacy or in professional associations.
In 2019, Ohio State PharmD graduates averaged $100,240. Graduates of the Doctor of Pharmacy program can expect to earn a salary of more than $100,000 in most careers.