Becoming a Pharmacist in Hawaii – The PharmD Degree

Becoming a Pharmacist in Hawaii is a rewarding career that’s on the rise as health concerns and public safety become valuable assets to one’s thoughts about career choice. With demands for pharmaceutical intervention and the need to keep the population safe from another global crisis, one can see that getting a Doctorate in Pharmacy (PharmD) is an excellent choice.

What’s most alarming, however, is that only 900 Pharmacists reside and are practicing Pharmacy in Hawaii when there are more than 1.4 million people currently living in Hawaii. It’s a crisis that creates a volatile situation and stresses the high demand and need for more Pharmacists in Hawaii. The Bureau of Labor and Statics reports project that employment of pharmacists will grow faster than average over the next decade,

Average Pharmacist Salary in Hawaii

The fast-paced career being a Pharmacist allows flexibility of schedule while having an annual mean wage of 128,080 or 61.58 hourly in Hawaii. Comparatively, the national average is at $128,570, making Hawaii not far behind the rest of the states. However, the cost of living in Hawaii is 70% higher than the U.S. average, so consider these facts when choosing a school versus where you decide to reside permanently and begin to practice.

Hawaii Requirements for Pharmacists

According to the Board of Pharmacy in Hawaii, there are a few ways you can obtain a Pharmacy license. First, after attending school, you have the choice to take the licensor examination, which the board must then approve for pharmacists. However, the board may grant a license to someone who already holds a board-approved license from another state.

Becoming a New Pharmacist

Hawaii requires everyone new to the profession to become a licensed pharmacist to keep up the practice’s professionalism, stay up to date with local and federal laws, and help sustain public trust.

  • Final certified transcripts from an accredited college of pharmacy or college that is accredited or has received  candidate status by the American Council Pharmaceutical Education (“ACPE”)
  • Successfully passed the North American Pharmacist Licensure Examination (NAPLEX) with a passing score of 75.
  • Successfully passed the Multistate Pharmacy Jurisprudence Examination (MPJE) with a passing score of 75. 

Once you have completed all of your necessary schooling and passed all required exams, you can fill out an Application for Exam and License- Pharmacist and pay the non-refundable $50 fee.

Transferring Your License to Hawaii from Another State or Country

Suppose you have already practiced pharmacy in another state and have had the necessary education. In that case, you can transfer it to Hawaii, which is called reciprocity– which is recognizing another state’s program that is similar to or exceeds the standard set by the Hawaiian Board of Pharmacy. There are only a few requirements to cover before you can successfully start practicing in Hawaii.

  • Must have passed MPJE with a minimum score of 75.
  • Must have passed NAPLEX with a minimum score of 75.
  • Take the Hawaiian state jurisprudence examination.
  • Practical experience in pharmacy totaling 1,500 hours.
  • Submit a verification form displaying the licensing authority you received your license.
  • Foreign educated applicants will need to submit copies of certificates showing a passing score for the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), Foreign Pharmacy Graduate Equivalency Examination (FPGEE), and Test of Spoken English (TSE)

In-State Schools with PharmD in Hawaii

There is only one accredited school you can attend physically to obtain a PharmD in Hawaii. The Daniel K. Inouye College of Pharmacy at the University of Hawaii- Hilo. Although this is the only in-state option, the University of Hawaii has provided many benefits to its students and transfer students that want a piece of the island life.

You won’t be isolated from the rest of the school when you take this four-year pharmacy program. Instead, you’ll be working alongside other students working to be leaders in medicine like nursing, public health, social work, and psychology- providing diversity. They’ll be working alongside other students. If you’re an average student, the University of Hawaii could be a good choice.

Not only can you earn your Doctorate of Pharmacy, but the University of Hawaii- Hilo offers a Doctorate in Pharmaceutical Science for those interested in research or people who want to continue their education credits and stay up to date with local and national licensing.

General Requirements to Enroll in the University of Hawaii- Hilo Pharmacy program:

  • Prerequisite course work must be complete before August and have a minimum cumulative grade average of “C.” Great news, they have no minimum GPA requirements for admission.
  • International students must have their official transcript evaluated.
  • In addition, students will need to fill out their PharmCAS Application.

The admissions department recommends submitting all of your admissions paperwork and necessary forms early, so don’t delay; their admissions process can be competitive. It’s also good to get started early on your financial aid paperwork. Estimated costs should also include other necessities that will make the price vary considerably. Below are the estimated costs of attendance, including considerations such as fees, tuition, books, meals, personal expenses, and transportation.

  • In-State Residents pay on average $21,418 living on campus and $34,706 living off-campus.
  • Non-Residents pay $34,378 to live on campus and pay around $47,666
  • Attend small, live classes from the Fisher faculty.
  • Read Full transcripts of the course recordings and never miss a lecture.
  • Access download all videos and assignments to your device with 24-hour tech support.

If you’re interested in attending the University of Hawaii- Hilo, visit or apply online or learn more about your options and eligibility requirements.

Schools That Offer Online PharmD Programs                                                      

You may be a person that needs to pace your life based on lifestyle and gives the flexibility to consider family or to learn at a steady pace while remaining at home, the online PharmD programs can be a great fit, and they make it easy for you to get started.

St. John Fisher College

St. John Fisher College is a school that is based out of New York and prides itself on offering a complete and comprehensive PharmD program without ever needing to visit a campus or be a part of a hybrid cohort- offering the most flexibility of the online PharmD programs.

You don’t have to worry about getting a quality education and getting your PharmD online; they have over 16 years of history using hands-on training through their Wegmans School of Pharmacy. They have crafted an identical engaging course load that provides inclusion and community support in response to new learning styles. There are many ways you’ve made part of the classroom environment.

Fisher College offers students more when it comes to hands-on experience giving each person 2,000 hours of clinical rotations and training, setting you apart from most programs offered.

The total cost of obtaining your PharmD with St. John Fisher College varies on your living situation. The tuition starts at $1,130 per credit hour. They mention expecting a slight increase in tuition price each semester. Financial aid is available to those who apply. 

You can expect admission requirements to be rigorous, so plan to make lists for your most important tasks, course hours, and GPA requirements. However, if the flexibility and quality education are what you’re looking for, don’t hesitate to apply for St. John Fisher College’s online PharmD program.

Creighton University

Creighton University’s School of Pharmacy is another online option that provides on-campus classes and hybrid options but prides itself on its total capacity to teach students and provide an entirely online environment. While they have many pathways to receiving a degree, this school could provide significant value if you’d like to continue living in Hawaii while attending school online.

  • One of the first online programs created– the Distance Pathway, became available in 2001. Interactions occur through video conferencing and other media outlets.

Tuition for a PharmD at Creighton University differs for each year. Estimates for years one through three are $38,514, and in year four, you’ll pay around $58,318. Keep in mind these costs do not reflect the additional costs of attending school. Budgeting for them now will help you plan for a stable future, and Financial aid may be provided to those who qualify.

  • Loan Fee’s ($1,600)
  • Books/Supplies ($2,068)
  • Living Allowance ($16,200)
  • Program Fee ($255)
  • Lab Fee ($300)
  • Travel ($1,300)

If you believe that Creighton University will meet your essential needs in a school and living environment, check out these important dates so that you don’t miss your chance to enroll, and if you’re already on top of your planning, jump to apply online.

Beginning Your Lucrative Pharmacy Career            

Getting your PharmD in Hawaii can be a challenge if you’re looking for various in-person schools on the island. However, applying yourself to get your Doctorate online may prove to be better for your style of learning and preferred environment. There are specific requirements for each school, so be sure you stay on top of admission dates, testing, and forms you need to turn in.

Becoming a PharmD and making it a lucrative career means looking at the complete picture of your life and assessing where you’d like to be in the world when you’re attending school while taking financial matters into your hands early.