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MS in Pharmacy USA, admission requirements, types of degree, jobs and career prospects.

Pharmaceutical studies aim at bettering human healthcare by analyzing drugs and other chemical compounds. With the number of diseases on the rise globally, there is a need for not just modern drug therapy but also skilled candidates in the field of Pharmaceutical Sciences. A bachelor’s degree in pharmaceutical sciences teaches students the skills they need to fill prescriptions and counsel patients. A Master's degree in Pharmacy can help you become an expert in the field of drug therapy and services and place you at the crux of human health management.

What does the Degree cover?

Generally, you can take the beginner, intermediary and advanced subjects in pharmacology, including advanced chemistry. The degree combines academic research with more vocational training and professional pharmacy skills. Learn about the various topics through lectures, labs, and collaborative projects; theoretical and practical studies such as - ethical and legal issues, and how to interact with patients. You will also learn all about drugs, medications, prescriptions and clinical practice and how to respond to different scenarios. Some programs help gain practical experiences of working in intensive care, pediatrics, infectious disease, internal medicine or other kinds of pharmacy.

Top pharmacy schools prepare prospective pharmacists for innovations in human health. As you study pharmacy, you will have the opportunity to specialize in a particular field of medical care (such as infectious diseases or geriatrics i.e. care of the elderly), or in a particular type of role (like patient care and new medicine development). The degree will also help you to gain skills that assist you to think critically, take a scientific approach to problems and plan projects, thus making you a better pharmacist and a more organized individual. Moreover, the degree prepares you to be mentors in the pharmacy industry.

Admission requirements

The admission requirements include a relevant Bachelor's degree. The minimum GPA you would require for admission varies from school to school but you will almost certainly need to have studied high-level chemistry preferably alongside a combination of physics, biology, and mathematics. As entry is typically very competitive, your grades should be excellent in all of these subjects. Additionally, international students would also need a high score in either of the English language proficiency tests - TOEFL or IELTS. In most cases, related work experience is valued by universities. That may include work experience in the pharmaceutical industry or as a registered pharmacist.

The degree opens up a lot of opportunities if you are seeking a career in the Health Sciences domain. While the course can be costly, especially if you are an international student, the job prospect after graduation will more than make up for the initial investment. Scholarships and awards are available but limited in numbers for international MS students. All international students have to provide financial documents and proof of ability to pay tuition and living expenses.

Since pharmaceutical students work in healthcare settings, it is especially important that you complete immunizations to protect yourself and your patients. These requirements can generally be completed after you are admitted into the program.

Types of Master’s Degree

Depending on your career interest, the degree is available in a wide variety of specializations. If you prefer to work on policies and drug laws, consider a master's degree in Pharmacy Regulations. If you are interested in management and business you can opt for a master's degree in Pharmacy Administration. There are joint degree programs available offering a Master of Business Administration (MBA) along with a Master of Science in Pharmacy. Through a program in Pharmacoeconomics, you can also study how populations are affected by the cost of healthcare. Additional master's programs include Forensic Pharmacy, Pharmaceutical Research, and Drug Risk Management.

Some of the top universities offering a master’s degree in pharmacy include but are not limited to - University of Illinois-Chicago, Ohio State University, University of California, University of Cincinnati, University of Kentucky etc.

What is included in the Coursework?

The syllabus and course content is generally prepared with futuristic intentions. Programs in drug laws and policies include coursework in federal regulations of pharmaceuticals, drug costs, access, abuse statistics, and distribution. Pharmacy administration degree programs will have you studying health care systems, pharmaceutical marketing, and sales.

In pharmacoeconomics programs, you examine pharmacy services and the use of medicines from an economics standpoint. You learn how this data affects the policies and decisions made within the healthcare system.

The duration of the course is 2 years which consists of 4 semesters. Whatever you decide to choose, you would be required to complete a master's thesis and a comprehensive exam.

Due to the ever-changing trends, a Pharmaceutical Science degree is a highly demanding field. The related careers are ample because of the growing number of hospitals and diseases, current shortages and the need for well-developed resources to manage it all.

Scope of a Masters Degree in Pharmacy

As a pharmacist, you can be associated with the pharmacies in hospitals, clinics, and drugstores. You can also practice as compound pharmacists formulating different versions of a drug or act as a consultant advising patients on drug usage and safety.

Apart from this, you can also find opportunities in academia, with regulatory bodies and with the pharmacy industry as a whole. There are ample job opportunities available if you complete the degree. These are usually high paying in nature and can offer you a rewarding career in this field.

Pharmacy colleges or schools may offer acceptance into the professional program through an early assurance program. Upon successful completion of entrance requirements and application procedures, students may be accepted with early assurance matriculate into the professional degree program.

Job options

Pharmacists are always in demand since humans will always require drugs to combat diseases no matter the state of the economy. A master’s degree will offer you enough job opportunities after graduation.

Jobs directly related to the MS degree include a Research Scientist (medical), Community pharmacist and Hospital pharmacist. On the other hand, jobs where your degree would be useful include a Pharmacologist, Research Scientist (life sciences), Clinical Research Associate, Product/Process Development Scientist, Medical Sales Representative, Medical Science Liaison, Regulatory Affairs Officer, Higher Education Lecturer, Science Writer or Toxicologist.

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