How do I get a Pharmacology Degree?

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  • Written By: Carol Francois
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 07 November 2019
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There are four requirements to obtain a pharmacology degree: meet the application criteria, select the appropriate school, pay the tuition, and complete the coursework. A pharmacology degree is widely available from a broad range of universities. A pharmacology degree is required for candidates who want to work in a laboratory, studying the interaction and effects of drugs on the body. This degree is not the same as a pharmacy degree, and upon graduation, candidates are not able to become pharmacists.

In order to gain acceptance in a pharmacology degree program, there are specific application criteria that must be met. Candidates must have successfully completed high school courses in calculus, biology, chemistry, and English. The number of applicants for a pharmacology degree is quite high, which in turn makes the marks required to gain admissions also quite high.

When selecting a school for a pharmacology degree, it is important to review three main items: reputation, breadth of program offerings, and internship opportunities. A school with an excellent reputation has dedicated significant money, time, and resources to the program over a period of years. Look at the qualifications of the professors, their areas of expertise and research. Review recent publications in academic journals to learn more about their philosophies and approach. Read the school website for detailed biographies.


Internship and cooperative job placement opportunities are critical to gaining valuable experience in this field. Even candidates who plan to pursue medical school can learn a great deal of relevant, valuable information about drug interactions and studies in this program. When selecting a school, this may be the most important item to consider. Connections to industry, the level of positions available, and the different areas of focus are all very important.

A pharmacology degree is usually very close in total cost to a bachelor of arts degree, and is significantly less expensive than a pharmacy degree. Be sure to include textbook and equipment costs in your overall budget, as pharmacology students require a series of expensive textbooks. Talk to your academic adviser about scholarships, student loans, bursaries, and grants to help reduce this cost.

The coursework in a pharmacology degree is divided into two streams: theory and application. The theory-based courses include a significant amount of advanced math, organic and synthetic chemistry, human biology, and basic anatomy. The application stream provides courses on chemical synthesis, testing protocols and methodologies, laboratory procedures, and writing research reports.


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I'm 52 and I have a BSN and 18 years of ER/trauma nursing experience. I'm currently in Walden University's MBA program as an avenue to try to reinstate my RN license that was revoked due to an alcohol withdrawal seizure I had while driving six years ago, for which I ended up running over a person and got an ADW.

I just got out of prison for that (they made an example out of me). Anyway, in the meantime, I got accepted at Walden, but I do not like it. So I'm thinking of taking my student loans towards becoming a pharmacist as I wait for the BRN to forgive me and reinstate my RN license. What's the best way for me to get started? --Vicki

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