Best Pharmacy Schools in 2020

best pharmacy school

US News and World report released it’s best pharmacy schools list in 2020 recently. Are you an aspiring pharmacist and wanted to do research on your prospective pharmacy schools and wanted to see which school or colleges of pharmacy best fit your needs?

Usually finding out the rankings of pharmacy schools is a good place to start when I am looking to apply to pharmacy schools. Does it really matter which pharmacy you’re going to? A PharmD is a PharmD right? Well it matters most when you want to further your education such as going on to a residency or fellowship programs.

US News and World Report is probably the best place to go to check out the latest best pharmacy schools ranking.

Pharmacy rankings are based solely on the results of peer assessment surveys sent to deans, other administrators, and/or faculty at accredited degree programs or schools in each discipline. All schools surveyed in a discipline were sent the same number of surveys.

Respondents rated the academic quality of programs on a scale of 1 (marginal) to 5 (outstanding). They were instructed to select “don’t know” if they did not have enough knowledge to rate a program. Only fully accredited programs in good standing during the survey period are ranked. Those schools with the highest average scores appear in the rankings sorted in descending order based on their average peer assessment score.

US News

For the 2020 Best Pharmacy Rankings there are a total of 134 schools and colleges accredited by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE).

Top 10 Best Pharmacy Schools

The Top 10 Best Pharmacy Schools in the United States in 2020 according to US News.

Name and RankScoreGPAPCATNAPLEX
1. University of North Carolina–Chapel Hill4.93.587%96.8%
2. University of California–San Francisco4.83.5596.2%
3. University of Michigan–Ann Arbor4.73.575%96.4%
4. University of Minnesota–Twin Cities4.73.5570%96.1%
5. University of Florida4.594.4%
6. University of Kentucky4.43.679%97.7%
7. University of Illinois-Chicago4.492.%
7 (tie). University of Texas–Austin4.43.685%97.8%
7 (tie). University of Washington4.43.5979%98.94%
7 (tie). Ohio State University4.43.570%96.8%
7 (tie). Purdue University4.43.570%94.7%
Data is from clincalc.com

Name and RankScoreGPAPCATNAPLEX
134. South College–Knoxville, TN1.581%
132. West Coast University–Los Angeles, CA1.666.1%
132. Husson University–Bangor, ME1.675.9%
128. Touro College–New York, NY1.776.2%
128. South College–Savannah, GA1.781%
128. Chicago State University–Chicago, IL1.775.3%
128. California Northstate University College of Pharmacy1.789.4%
126 (tie). Harding University–Searcy, AZ1.888.64%
126 (tie). D’Youville College–Buffalo, NY1.885.4%
119. Union University–Jackson, TN1.91005
119. (tie) Sullivan University–Louisville, KY1.985.8%
119. (tie) Roosevelt University–Schaumburg, IL1.989%

Best Pharmacy Schools in Texas

Name and RankScoreAdmitted-GPAPCATNAPLEX
1. University of Texas–Austin, TX4.43.685%97%
2. University of Houston–Houston, TX3.53.5198.2%
3. Texas A&M Health Science Center–Kingsville, TX3.23.4665%91.2%
4. Texas Tech Health Science Center–Amarillo, TX3.23.4268%94.9%
5. University of North Texas–Forth Worth, TX2.33.4987.5%
6. Texas Southern University–Houston, TX2.13.4087.8%
7. University of Texas–Tyler–Tyler, TX2.13.24
8. University of the Incarnate Word–San Antonio, TX2.190.9%

Since we are ranking pharmacy schools in 2020, let’s also look at which schools have the lowest tuition. I found the data from here.

  1. Florida A&M University College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences ($5, 161 in-state, out-of-state $18,693)
  2. Skaggs School of Pharmacy, University of Montana ($5,182 in the state, $23,062 out-of-state)
  3. Texas A&M University Irma Lerma Rangel College of Pharmacy ($7,632 in-state, $47,592 out-of-state)
  4. University of Connecticut School of Pharmacy ($11,998 in-state, $34,066 out-of-state)
  5. Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center School of Pharmacy ($13,455 in-state, $24,765 out-of-state)
  6. University of Wyoming School of Pharmacy ($15,198 in-state, $32,164 out-of-state)
  7. The University of Texas at Austin College of Pharmacy ($16,794 in-state, $43,412 out-of-state)
  8. Ernest Mario School of Pharmacy, Rutgers University ($13,741 in-state, $33,117 out-of-state)
  9. Texas Southern University College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences
  10. University of Toledo College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences ($8,052 in-state, $17,390 out-of-state)

Final Thoughts

Pharmacy schools applications has been trending down. As an aspiring pharmacy student, you have plenty of choices and numerous schools to choose from. Future pharmacy students interested in a pharmacy career can get a better feel of the quality of the education they are getting if they do a little research into the program that they’re interested in.

The most important metrics to look at is the schools admitted students profile, they usually list GPA and PCAT scores. You can see where you fit into the picture if you compare and contrast between the different schools you are interested in.

The quality of the school will be determined on each pharmacy’s school North American Pharmacy Licensing Exam (NAPLEX) passing rates, the Multi-state Jurisprudence Exam (MSJE), and the attrition rate of each institution.

Rankings such as the US News Ranking is not entirely objective but it does reflect upon the pharmacy’s school overall reputation among their peers. It can serve as a good measuring stick to the type of program you’re expecting.

Good luck! A pharmacy career can be both rewarding and taxing. Regardless, it’s still a good career choice in my opinion.

However, the latest BLS report is projecting that pharmacist jobs are saturated and is projecting jobs growth from 2018 to 2028 to be zero percent. That’s right, that is not a typo. There’s a negative of 100 jobs for pharmacists for the period of 2018 to 2028 according to BLS. Needless to say the jobs market will be competitive.

You can set yourself apart by obtaining a residency either PGY-1 or PGY-2 or a graduate degree such as an MBA of you’re planning on obtaining a managerial role.

Additional credentials such as board certification and residency may open up more career choices and increased salary.

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