Becoming a Pharmacist in Texas – Doctor of Pharmacy programs

Pharmacists don’t simply count pills – they’re actively involved in bridging the gap between doctors and patients. Being a Doctor of Pharmacy comes with the responsibilities of consulting with physicians, preparing prescriptions, ensuring a patient has no unsafe drug interactions, patient screenings, administration of immunizations, giving health consultations and overseeing a pharmacy. It is a career that combines health, technology and business.

Requirements for Becoming a Pharmacist

Students who want to become a Pharmacist (PharmD) must enroll in prerequisite courses. These courses include subjects such as biology, chemistry and physics. After these courses are complete, you can enroll in an accredited Pharmacy Program. While some programs require only two years, others need four years of undergraduate work.

Pharmacy Programs usually take a duration of four years to complete. During those four years, you will work hands-on in labs and complete a rigorous curriculum to prepare you to become a Doctor of Pharmacy.

Once you have graduated, you have two exams to pass with a 75% or higher. The first exam is called the North American Pharmacist Licensure Exam (NAPLEX). This exam tests your knowledge and skills in pharmacy work. The second test to complete is Multistate Pharmacy Jurisprudence Exam (MPJE). The MPJE is an exam that is more state-specific in nature.

After you have accomplished your undergrad work, graduated and passed your state exams you can take a sigh of relief. The hardest work is behind you. Your next step is to simply complete 1,500 hours of an internship. An internship that will thrust you into the work field you have worked so hard to achieve.

It is important to know that after you have accomplished your Doctorate and started working in a pharmacy setting, your state requirements are not done. In the state of Texas, all Pharmacists must complete 30 hours of pharmacy continuing education every two years to renew their pharmacist license. One hour of that must be opioid abuse training.

Salary of a Texas PharmD Holder

Salaries for a Doctor of Pharmacy in Texas are substantially higher than in most states. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics states that the national average for a Doctor of Pharmacy is $126,120. The median salary of a Texas Pharmacist comes in at an average of $140,199. The cost of living will vary throughout the states and will affect your take-home salary. It is essential to consider that before deciding where you end up practicing.

Accredited In-Person Pharmacy Programs

Texas has over seven accredited Doctor of Pharmacy Programs to choose from, allowing you to pick a location that works best for you.

The University of Houston (UH) offers a fully accredited, on-campus Pharmacy Program. The campus at UH is the largest and the only Ph.D.-granting university of all its locations. Since opening in 1927, the University of Houston has prided itself in diversity, tradition and academic excellence.

UH is number 31 in the U.S. for receiving research funding. This has assured their students have top-of-the-line equipment and resources at their fingertips. With factors like funding, staff, curriculum, almost 100 years of experience and hands-on approach, the University of Houston’s students have ranked some of the highest in their NAPLEX exam scores.

Admission requirements to consider:

  • Complete all prerequisite courses with a grade of a C or better
  • Although there is no required GPA, a 2.5 or higher is recommended
  • Take the PCAT exam (optional for 2022 and 2023 Cycles)
  • Submit three Letters of Recommendation
  • Complete 25+ hours of community service

Tuition costs can vary greatly per individual. Transportation, living arrangements, financial aid or grants, etc. Here is a brief breakdown of some costs to consider:

  • Estimated cost of books and supplies- $1,338
  • Estimated tuition and fees a semester- $9,221
  • Estimated other expenses (personal expenses, transportation)- $5,064

Click here for a look at the University of Houston’s numerous scholarship and financial aid options.

University of Incarnate Word (UIW) is the only private pharmacy program offered in Texas. Since being founded in 1881, this particular college was the first to offer higher education to women in central and southern TX. Not only has this university advocated for women, but it has also been ranked number one by veterans and graduating Hispanic students with bachelor’s degrees.

The four-year program available at UIW provides approximately 37 hours in pharmaceutical sciences, 11 hours in pharmacy administration and 106 hours in pharmacy practice and experiential learning. They offer a program that will fully prepare you for your future career as a PharmD.

Requirements to apply to UIW:

  • Submit an application
  • Official transcripts of all coursework
  • Minimum GPA of 2.5
  • At least one additional supplemental document as requested by the program

Tuition and fees to keep in mind when considering the University of Incarnate Word are:

  • School of Pharmacy- $39,850 annually
  • Student fee- $2,200
  • Health Insurance- $2,000 (can be waived if the student has proof of their insurance)
  • Living expenses- varies
  • Transportation- varies

Accredited Online Pharmacy Programs

Many today are utilizing virtual options. With as many online schools as there are available now, you have many opportunities to accomplish your Doctor of Pharmacy Program from the comfort of your own home.

St John Fisher College opened its Wegmans School of Pharmacy in 2006. This Pharmacy Program has allowed students to have the opportunity to choose between campus life and online learning. St John Fisher’s online program permits you to complete the Pharmacy Program in any state almost solely online. With the ease of completing the curriculum at home and clinical hours in your community, you will get the knowledge needed for your PharmD career and field experience. The program can be completed in four years. During that duration, you will accomplish 42 clinical rotation weeks. All class sizes are kept small to ensure a more individualized learning experience. This assures you that your pharmacy education will give you everything you need to get your career started.

Admission requirements for Fisher PharmD Online Program:

  • Complete and submit an application through Pharmacy College Application Service (PharmCAS)
  • Official transcripts from all institutions you have attended
  • Two or more Letters of Recommendation
  • Complete an admissions interview. This can be done in-person or virtually
  • Complete 62 semester hours of prerequisite credits. All science lab-based courses must have all been completed in the past five years
  • Have a 2.75 GPA or higher in both science and cumulative courses. This is the minimum GPA. Most students admitted to the program are accepted with a much higher GPA.
  • Pass a background check

Many scholarships and grants are available at St John Fisher College. All freshman applicants are even automatically considered for a scholarship no matter their need for it. Most scholarships range between $7,500 to $18,000 a year.

Pharmacy online students are billed per credit hour instead of an annual lump sum. Here are some tuition and fees to consider at St John Fisher College:

  • Pharmacy fee per credit- $1,175
  • Comprehensive fee- $15
  • Online Pathway fee- $15

Creighton University has been around since 1905. Though it has been around for over 100 years, it first opened its Doctor of Pharmacy program in Phoenix, Arizona in 2021. Creighton University is a little unique because it offers a hybrid experience both in-person and online. Hybrid learning gives you the mix of online lectures at your leisure and on-campus experiences for the hands-on portion of the curriculum throughout the year.

Creighton University prides itself in its partnerships with many large healthcare groups such as Dignity Health, Valleywise Health and District Medical Group, Inc. This opens up doors for your future internship and career.

Admission Requirements for Creighton University:

  • Minimum of 63 semester hours in prerequisite courses completed
  • Apply PharmCAS, a pharmacy centralized application service
  • Official transcripts from each institution you have attended
  • Two Letters of Recommendation. A letter from a professor is ideal. No letters can come from family or friends.
  • Participate in an interview

Scholarships and grants are readily available through Creighton University. In fact, each student accepted automatically receives an Academic Opportunity Award, a $10,000 annual scholarship. Over 500 scholarships are offered to help Creighton students.

Tuition for the hybrid Pharmacy Program will only cost you a reasonable $509 per credit hour.

Job Prospects

More than 25,983 Pharmacists are registered in the state of Texas. Each year those numbers have slowly increased. The demand is high, and opportunities are endless. Some of Texas’ top paying companies for Doctors of Pharmacy are:

  • Stanford Healthcare ($85.43 per hour)
  • Vtech Solutions ($77.11 per hour)
  • Dignity Health ($75.93 per hour)
  • UCLA Health ($75.67 per hour)
  • Meijer ($73.92 per hour)

Becoming a Doctor of Pharmacy in Texas is a rewarding career with endless opportunities for advancement and stability, whether working for a great company or starting your own.