One of the biggest obstacles individuals face in obtaining a degree in pharmacy is finding the cheapest pharmacy schools. However, there are many low-cost pharmacy universities where you can earn your degree without breaking the bank.

This article outlines the cheapest pharmacy degrees from the most affordable pharmacy schools in the United States. Included below are details about the educational programs they offer, including school rankings, as well as the average cost of each pharmacy degree program. We’ll also cover some of the highest-paying job roles available to graduates.

What Are the Most Affordable Pharmacy Schools in the US?

The most affordable pharmacy schools in the US include the University of South Florida, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and South Dakota University. These cheap pharmacy schools have an excellent reputation and provide students with world-class experiential education. This top education enables graduates to secure high-paying jobs in the pharmacy profession.

How Much Do the Cheapest Pharmacy Schools Cost?

The cheapest pharmacy schools’ cost of attendance ranges between $6,000 to $44,000 per year. Students can supplement these costs through loans, grants, and other state or federal funding options. Attending an affordable pharmacy school can launch you into a high-paying career in the pharmacy field without accumulating student debt.

Cheapest Pharmacy Schools Costs Breakdown

  • Tuition. Tuition costs represent the amount you pay yearly for your university’s educational instruction. The annual tuition fee usually accounts for the majority of your college expenditure.
  • Accommodation. Whether you choose to live on or off-campus, you will also need to pay for housing costs.  
  • Books and supplies. Pharmacy requires a lot of studies, and you will be required to pay for textbooks and other learning resources during your program.
  • Transportation. While some schools provide free transportation within their premises, others may need you to cover your own transportation costs while pursuing your degree.
  • Health insurance. You will also need to stay up to date on your medical insurance payments to ensure that you have access to proper healthcare when necessary. Many schools offer health insurance that can be supported by the campus medical facility for an additional fee.

Why You Should Attend a Pharmacy School

You should attend a pharmacy school because a career in pharmacy allows you to earn a lucrative salary while directly contributing to the health and wellness of your community and environment. You will be taught by expert faculty that will train you to thrive in your role as a pharmacist working in community clinics, or even as a professor in higher learning institutions.

In addition, the requirements for pharmacy school are not very difficult. According to PharmCAS, 88.6 percent of applicants were accepted into pharmacy colleges between 2020 and 2021.

Best Pharmacy School Career Options

By attending a pharmacy school, you’ll have access to a wide range of exciting career opportunities. Graduates with a pharmacy degree can work as retail pharmacists, hospital pharmacists, medical research scientists, postsecondary teachers, or medical writers in the field of pharmacy.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the demand for pharmacists is expected to decline by 2 percent between 2020 and 2030. However, pharmacy jobs are still among the highest-paying medical jobs, and you can secure an industry or academia job with the right skill set and strong career goals.

Pharmacy Salary

The average salary for a graduate with a Doctor of Pharmacy degree is $122,000 per year, according to PayScale. However, individuals can increase their annual salary by pursuing additional degrees or dual degree options or by applying for jobs in higher-paying companies.

Can You Attend Pharmacy School for Free?

No, you typically cannot attend pharmacy school for free. However, you can take advantage of the numerous healthcare scholarships and other forms of financial aid available to cover your tuition cost and other critical expenses.

You can also fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form to discover how much federal funding you are eligible to receive while in pharmacy school.

Cheapest Pharmacy Schools That Won’t Break the Bank

School In-State Tuition Out-of-State Tuition Graduation Rate
University of South Florida $6,410 $17,324 75%
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill $9,028 $36,891 90%
South Dakota State University $9,299 $12,809 60%
Purdue University $9,992 $28,794 83%
University of Texas at Austin $11,752 $40,966 88%
Auburn University $11,826 $31,986 81%
Southern Illinois University – Edwardsville $12,132 $12,219 52%
Texas A&M University – College Station $13,239 $40,134 83%
University of California – San Diego $14,700 $44,454 89%
Rutgers University – New Brunswick $15,804 $33,005 84%

What Are the Cheapest Pharmacy Schools? A Deep Dive

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University of South Florida | Average Annual Cost: $8,346

The University of South Florida is a large, public research-focused university with a student population of 50,000. The public school has three campuses in Tampa Bay, St. Petersburg, and Sarasota. USF provides opportunities for students to enjoy a world-class educational experience and top-notch athletic programs. 

University of South Florida Overview

  • Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
  • Acceptance Rate: 49%
  • Overall Graduation Rate: 75%
  • US News National Ranking: 103
  • Post-Grad Median Salary: $50,262
  • Pharmacy Degrees Offered: Master of Science, Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD)

Top Pharmacy Degrees at University of South Florida

  • Master of Science in Pharmaceutical  Nanotechnology. This one-year, 32-credit graduate degree program provided by the Taneja College of Pharmacy allows students to conduct groundbreaking research while attending graduate school. Degree concentration options include coursework in drug discovery, delivery, development and manufacturing, and biomedical engineering.
  • Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD). The University of South Florida’s doctorate program is a full-time degree accredited by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE). PharmD students are taught by exceptional faculty and are expected to complete 154 credit hours of coursework and internship programs. 

University of South Florida Pharmacy Key Takeaway

The University of South Florida is one of the most affordable universities in the United States to obtain a graduate degree in pharmacy.





University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill | Average Annual Cost: $12,469

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is a public institution with over 30,000 students and a student-to-faculty ratio of 13:1. UNC-Chapel Hill has several departments providing graduate and undergraduate programs across a wide range of disciplines, including public policy, sociology, and environmental science.

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Overview

  • Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
  • Acceptance Rate: 25%
  • Overall Graduation Rate: 90%
  • US News National Ranking: 28
  • Post-Grad Median Salary: $61,915
  • Pharmacy Degrees Offered: Master of Science, Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD), Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Top Pharmacy Degrees at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

  • Master of Science in Health-System Pharmacy Administration. This two-year, 35-credit-hour pharmacy program allows students to learn about pharmacy operations and health systems while gaining leadership, administrative, and clinical experience working with any partner health care facility. 
  • Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD). PharmD students enrolled in this program will spend at least four years gaining hands-on experience and learning from the university’s world-class faculty. The curriculum covers immersion in patient care and engagement in inquiry and innovation. It also includes advanced and elective pharmacy practice experiences.
  • PhD in Pharmaceutical Sciences (Pharmacoengineering Track). The Eshelman School of Pharmacy allows students to conduct research in the new and rapidly growing field of pharmacoengineering. Alongside their research and seminar, PhD students will take core courses in biotransport and pharmacoengineering in drug delivery.  

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Pharmacy Key Takeaway

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is an excellent public school if you want to get practical experience working in healthcare settings while pursuing your pharmacy degree.





South Dakota State University | Average Annual Cost: $18,578

South Dakota State University is a public university established in 1881 in Brookings, South Dakota. SDSU serves more than 11,000 students and consists of eight colleges and schools offering various undergraduate and graduate degree programs. 

South Dakota State University Overview

  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
  • Acceptance Rate: 89%
  • Overall Graduation Rate: 60%
  • US News National Ranking: 288
  • Post-Grad Median Salary: $49,845
  • Pharmacy Degrees Offered: Master of Science, Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD), Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Top Pharmacy Degrees at South Dakota State University

  • Master of Science in Pharmaceutical Sciences. Enrolled students can choose between thesis, project, and coursework options to obtain this graduate degree. The essential topics of study include advanced concepts in pharmacology, pharmaceutics, biomedical sciences, and pharmacogenomics. 
  • Doctor of Pharmacy. This doctoral ACPE-accredited program is a six-year degree provided by the College of Pharmacy and Allied Health Sciences. Students enrolled in this program will complete a two-year pre-pharmacy track before taking more advanced courses, including one year of advanced pharmacy practice experiences.
  • PhD in Pharmaceutical Sciences. Participants in this doctoral program will conduct novel research and learn advanced concepts ahead of a potential career in academia or the field of pharmacy. Pharmacy school graduates are expected to have completed 90 credits, including a seminar and dissertation.   

South Dakota State University Pharmacy Key Takeaway

South Dakota State University offers a smooth pathway with an affordable annual tuition fee to individuals looking to begin a career in the pharmaceutical industry and features high first-time pass rates on the national certifying exam.





Purdue University | Average Annual Cost: $13,377

Purdue University is a public research university founded in 1869 in West Lafayette, Indiana. It has a student population of about 43,900, as well as more than 200 programs and 10 schools and colleges. Purdue University also provides distance learning opportunities via its online campus, Purdue Global. 

Purdue University Overview

  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
  • Acceptance Rate: 67%
  • Overall Graduation Rate: 29%
  • US News National Ranking: 49
  • Post-Grad Median Salary: $65,257
  • Pharmacy Degrees Offered: Bachelor of Science, Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD), Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Top Pharmacy Degrees at Purdue University

  • Bachelor of Science in Pharmaceutical Sciences. This four-year program prepares graduates for roles in academia or industry involving drug discovery and development. Students enrolled in this 120-credit undergraduate program learn vital concepts in chemistry, anatomy, and human physiology. 
  • Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD). This 146-credit, four-year program provides an affordable pathway to becoming a top-notch pharmacist. Students enrolling in this program must have completed the necessary basic science requirements via Purdue University’s Pre-Pharm or a program with similar courses at another university.  
  • PhD in Industrial and Physical Pharmacy. This doctorate degree is typically pursued by pharmacists who maintain a keen interest in learning and conducting advanced research in pharmaceutics. This program’s common research areas include pharmaceutical engineering, nanomedicine, and pharmaceutical biotechnology.

Purdue University Pharmacy Key Takeaway

By separating its pre-pharmacy curriculum from its four-year doctorate degree, Purdue University provides one of the cheapest pathways to secure a well-recognized pharmacy degree.





University of Texas at Austin | Average Annual Cost: $18,350

The University of Texas at Austin is a public research-focused university that attracts over $650 million in funding annually. It currently has about 50,000 students and provides various highly-ranked graduate and undergraduate programs in public affairs, business, natural sciences, nursing, engineering, and fine art. 

University of Texas at Austin Overview

  • Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
  • Acceptance Rate: 32%
  • Overall Graduation Rate: 88%
  • US News National Ranking: 38
  • Post-Grad Median Salary: $67,839
  • Pharmacy Degrees Offered: Master of Science, Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD), Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Top Pharmacy Degrees at University of Texas at Austin

  • Master of Pharmaceutical Sciences. This two-year, 42-credit program features expert faculty that teaches courses exploring clinical research design methods, statistics in translational science, and ethics in science and clinical practice. Graduates will cultivate the necessary skills to conduct pharmaceutical research in industry and academia.
  • Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD). Individuals interested in becoming licensed pharmacists can meet their career goals by completing this four-year professional program. In addition to coursework, PharmD students will gain practical clinical experience by completing seven six-week rotations as their capstone requirement.
  • PhD in Molecular Pharmaceutics and Drug Delivery. This doctorate program is perfect for individuals interested in formulation science, pharmacokinetics, and biopharmaceutics research. Students enrolled in this advanced degree must complete a minimum of 18 credit hours of core coursework.  

University of Texas at Austin Pharmacy Key Takeaway

The College of Pharmacy at the University of Texas at Austin provides a wide array of pharmacy master’s and doctorate degrees for individuals looking to begin or advance their pharmacy career goals.





Auburn University| Average Annual Cost: $24,018

Auburn University is a public institution in Auburn, Alabama. Founded in 1856, it is one of the largest universities in Alabama, with more than 31,500 students. Auburn University has 12 colleges and schools and provides over 150 majors for prospective students. 

Auburn University Overview

  • Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
  • Acceptance Rate: 85%
  • Overall Graduation Rate: 81%
  • US News National Ranking: 99
  • Post-Grad Median Salary: $56,933
  • Pharmacy Degrees Offered: Master of Science, Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD), Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Top Pharmacy Degrees at Auburn University

  • Master of Science in Pharmaceutical Sciences (Medicinal Chemistry). This 30-semester-hour master’s degree track is one of four options offered by the university. In addition to advanced medicinal chemistry and pharmaceutical sciences courses, graduating students must complete a thesis and seminar.
  • Master of Science in Pharmaceutical Sciences (Pharmacology). The MS degree is a 30-semester-hour program with courses in cellular and molecular pharmacology and toxicology, organ system pharmacology, and pharmaceutical science. 
  • Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD). Auburn University’s Doctor of Pharmacy degree is an intensive, four-year program split into three years of classroom learning and one year of experimental rotations. Students will participate in eight five-hour advanced pharmacy practice experiences to sharpen their skills and become competent pharmacists.

Auburn University Pharmacy Key Takeaway

Auburn University’s Harrison School of Pharmacy provides affordable pharmacy degree programs that can enable students to receive the best quality of education without accumulating tens of thousands of dollars in student debt.





Texas A&M University – College Station| Average Annual Cost: $18,919

Texas A&M University – College Station was established as a public research institution in 1876. Its 5,200-acre campus is home to over 73,000 students seeking degrees from one of its 17 schools and colleges. Texas A&M also provides many extracurricular options in more than 1,000 student organizations. 

Texas A&M University Overview

  • Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
  • Acceptance Rate: 63%
  • Overall Graduation Rate: 83%
  • US News National Ranking: 68
  • Post-Grad Median Salary: $66,566
  • Pharmacy Degrees Offered: Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD), Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) 

Top Pharmacy Degrees at Texas A&M University

  • Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD). The Irma Lerma Rangel College of Pharmacy provides a professional Doctor of Pharmacy degree for students who want to become licensed pharmacists. This four-year degree combines pharmaceutical, biomedical, and clinical science concepts with advanced pharmacy practice experiences. 
  • PhD in Pharmaceutical Sciences. This doctorate program offers five tracks in pharmaceutics and drug delivery, pharmacology and toxicology, medicinal chemistry, clinical pharmacokinetics, and biomedical sciences. Students must complete 60 or 90 credit hours, depending on whether they enrolled with a master’s or bachelor’s degree.

Texas A&M University Pharmacy Key Takeaway

Texas A&M University is one of the leading universities in the United States and provides holistic, interdisciplinary, and ethics-based pharmacy programs led by expert faculty.





Southern Illinois University – Edwardsville | Average Annual Cost: $14,462

Southern Illinois University – Edwardsville rests on a 2,660-acre campus in Edwardsville with two other campuses in Alton and East St. Louis. It has seven schools and colleges and provides graduate and undergraduate degree programs to a population of over 12,800 students.

Southern Illinois University – Edwardsville Overview

  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
  • Acceptance Rate: 85%
  • Overall Graduation Rate: 52%
  • US News National Ranking: 299 – 391
  • Post-Grad Median Salary: $51,671
  • Pharmacy Degrees Offered: Bachelor of Science, Master of Science, octor of Pharmacy (PharmD), Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Top Pharmacy Degrees at Southern Illinois University – Edwardsville

  • Bachelor of Science in Chemistry (Pharmaceutical Chemistry). This four-year, 157-credit-hour program is split into two years of basic science, physiology, and anatomy courses, and professional pharmaceutical courses, including pharmacokinetics, principles of drug action, and biopharmaceutics and drug delivery.
  • Master of Science in Pharmaceutical Sciences (Pharmacology). This two-year, 33-credit-hour track is one of the three options provided by the School of Pharmacy at Southern Illinois University. It covers several critical subjects, including principles of pharmacology and cellular targets for drug discovery. 
  • Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD). Students seeking to participate in this four-year professional degree program must complete a two-year pre-pharmacy program. Upon completion, they will take professional pharmacy courses for three years before participating in APPE rotations in their final year.

Southern Illinois University – Edwardsville Pharmacy Key Takeaway

Southern Illinois University features exceptional faculty and has produced several highly-skilled pharmacists employed in various academic and industry roles.





University of California – San Diego | Average Annual Cost: $15,240

The University of California – San Diego is a leading public research institution founded in 1960 and today serves more than 39,000 enrolled students. The University of California San Diego is an excellent location for students pursuing research-focused degrees, as the school has secured over $1 billion in research funding annually for the past 12 years. 

University of California – San Diego Overview

  • Accreditation: WASC Senior College and University Commission
  • Acceptance Rate: 37%
  • Overall Graduation Rate: 89%
  • US News National Ranking: 34
  • Post-Grad Median Salary: $74,771
  • Pharmacy Degrees Offered: Master of Science, Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD), Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Top Pharmacy Degrees at University of California – San Diego

  • Master of Science in Drug Development and Product Management. The Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences offers this 36-unit, three-quarter-long graduate program covering biologics and biosimilars drug development, health outcomes evidence, and pharmacotherapy and diseases. 
  • Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD). This four-year professional degree equips pharmacy school graduates with the fundamental knowledge to work in community pharmacies, clinical settings, research companies, academia, and other industry-based roles. Students must complete a research project and advanced pharmacy practice experiences.
  • PhD in Pharmaceutical Sciences and Drug Development. This doctorate program provides advanced courses on pre-clinical drug discovery and development. Students will also learn pharmacogenomics, pharmaceutical biochemistry, and biopharmaceutics concepts. 

University of California – San Diego Pharmacy Key Takeaway

The University of California San Diego is a top-ranked, highly affordable university for aspiring pharmacy professionals.





Rutgers University – New Brunswick | Average Annual Cost: $23,035

Rutgers University – New Brunswick is a public university founded in 1766 and the oldest campus of the Rutgers University system. It has highly respected faculty members and over 300 research centers, making it one of New Jersey’s most important research universities. Rutgers University – New Brunswick currently has a student population of about 50,400.

Rutgers University – New Brunswick Overview

  • Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education
  • Acceptance Rate: 67%
  • Overall Graduation Rate: 84%
  • US News National Ranking: 63
  • Post-Grad Median Salary: $65,661
  • Pharmacy Degrees Offered: Master of Science, Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD), Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Top Pharmacy Degrees at Rutgers University – New Brunswick

  • Master of Science in Pharmaceutical Science. The Ernest Mario School of Pharmacy at Rutgers University – New Brunswick provides a 30-credit MS in Pharmaceutical Science degree, comprising a six-credit original research project. This program equips students with the technical skills to work at top pharmaceutical companies.  
  • Doctor of Pharmacy. Rutgers University – New Brunswick’s PharmD program is a six-year-long degree split into two years of pre-professional and four years of professional studies. Upon graduation, each student will become a licensed pharmacist with knowledge of infectious diseases, pharmaceutical care, and other essential topics.
  • PhD in Pharmaceutical Science. Students enrolled in this intensive program must complete 45 credit hours of research in addition to 27 credit hours of coursework covering topics such as advanced pharmacokinetics and pharmacogenomics.  

Rutgers University – New Brunswick Pharmacy Key Takeaway

Rutgers University – New Brunswick’s exceptional faculty makes it one of the best learning institutions to obtain a pharmacy degree in the United States.

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Paying for Pharmacy School With Financial Aid

Several financial aid options exist for students that are ready for pharmacy school. They include federal grants, federal loans, private loans, and work-study programs. With these financial aid benefits, students can cover all or part of their tuition and other essential expenses.

Federal Grants

Federal grants are non-repayable financial awards given by the United States government to eligible students pursuing a degree from an accredited university. State governments also provide grants to resident students who meet their eligibility criteria. Examples of federal grants include the Federal Pell Grant and the Federal Supplemental Education Opportunity Grant.

Federal Loans

Federal loans allow students to borrow money to cover the cost of their tuition and other expenses. However, these loans contain strict repayment terms and a specific amount of interest. The United States offers students Direct Subsidized, Direct Unsubsidized, Direct PLUS, and Direct Consolidation loan options.

Private Loans

Private loans are a form of financial aid provided to students by banks, credit unions, and other lending agencies. Although private loans can be a valuable source of funding for students needing financial assistance, in most cases, their repayment plans are not as flexible as federal loans.

Work Study

Federal work-study programs enable students to cover some of their college expenses by taking up a part-time job. These jobs are available to students enrolled in full-time or part-time programs. The total amount of money a student can earn from a work-study program depends on the timing of their application, their school’s funding, and the severity of their financial need.

Best Schools For Your Area of Study

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How to Apply for Federal Aid to Finance Your Pharmacy School Program

Provided you meet the criteria for financial aid and complete the FAFSA form before the deadline, you can have access to financial aid packages to help you fund your education through pharmacy school. Applying for federal aid is straightforward and can be completed by following a few easy steps.

  1. Gather all the necessary documents. The first step in your application is to ensure that you have your social security number or parent’s social security number (for dependent students), driver’s license, federal tax information, and other tax-related documents. You also need to provide your financial information, including savings and checking account balances.
  2. Fill out the FAFSA form. After gathering all the required documents, you can complete the FAFSA form online via fafsa.gov or the myStudentaid app, download a PDF copy and send it via mail for processing, or have it sent by your school.
  3. Review your Student Aid Report. After submitting your FAFSA form, you should receive a student aid report. Your student aid report should contain your expected family contribution (EFC), a data release number (DRN), and a detailed history of any financial aid you have previously received.
  4. Evaluate your options. Next, you must check with your school’s financial aid office to know what financial aid options are available to you. These options include federal loans, work-study options, scholarships, and grants.
  5. Choose the best financial aid offers. After evaluating all the offers you have been provided, you must now choose which would be best for you considering your unique circumstances and how much assistance you need.

Best Pharmacy Scholarships

  • Tylenol Future Care Scholarship | Amount: $10,000 or $5,000. Recipients of this award must be US citizens who are high school seniors or university graduates intending to pursue a Master’s or PhD in Pharmacy, Nursing, or Medicine.
  • CVS Health Minority Scholarship for Pharmacy Students | Amount: $8,000. This scholarship is awarded to underrepresented minority students with a minimum GPA of 3.0 who have demonstrated strong leadership abilities and have received admission into an ACPE-accredited pharmacy degree program.
  • Walmart Health Equity Scholarship for Pharmacy Students | Amount: $5,000. This scholarship is available to P1, P2, or P3 students in a four-year program, P1 or P2 students in a three-year program, or P2 to P5 students in a six-year program. Recipients must also demonstrate an interest in helping rural or medically disadvantaged areas.
  • American Society of Health Systems Pharmacists (ASHP) Student Leadership Award | Amount: $2,000. Recipients of this award must be ASHP members enrolled in ACPE-accredited programs. They must also have completed one academic year with a minimum GPA of 2.75.
  • Health Resources and Services Administration Scholarships (HRSA) for Disadvantaged Students | Amount: Up to $40,000. This award is available to low-income US citizens or residents pursuing a healthcare degree at an accredited university.

Cheapest Undergraduate Pharmacy Schools

Aspiring students seeking an undergraduate pharmacy degree can pursue an associate degree or a professional Doctor of Pharmacy program. The list below covers the cheapest pharmacy schools in the United States for these degree options.

Most Affordable Pharmacy Associate Degree Programs

  1. Mount Wachusett Community College | Associate of Science in Pre-Pharmacy | $25/credit-hour (resident); $230/credit-hour (non-resident). Students enrolled in this 62-credit associate degree will learn topics in organic chemistry, biology, physics, anatomy, and physiology to enable them to pursue a professional pharmacy degree.
  2. Oklahoma City Community College | Associate of Science in Chemistry (Pre-Pharmacy Option)| $100.84/credit (resident); $191.70/credit (non-resident). This 61 to 64-credit associate degree covers all the basic science fundamentals for individuals to pursue a Doctor of Pharmacy degree in any college of pharmacy in the United States.
  3. Henry Ford College | Associate of Science in Pre-Pharmacy | $108/credit (in-district); $188/credit (out of district); $237/credit (out of state). Upon completing the required 41 credit hours for this program, graduates can transfer to a four-year college to obtain a Doctor of Pharmacy degree.
  4. Casper College | Associate of Science in Pre-Pharmacy | $147/credit (in-state); $357/credit (out of state). This two-year program prepares students to pursue a professional pharmacy degree at the university. Students are required to complete 70 credits.
  5. Seminole State College of Florida | Associate in Arts in Pharmacy| $79.97/credit. This 60-credit associate degree contains biology, organic chemistry, anatomy, and physiology courses to prepare students for a professional degree at a four-year institution.

Most Affordable Doctor of Pharmacy Programs

  1. University of South Florida | Doctor of Pharmacy | $347.91/credit (resident); $877.17/credit (non-resident). This affordable pharmacy degree offered by the USF requires PharmD students to complete a minimum of 150 credit hours, with 50 of those hours being from introductory pharmacy practice experiences.
  2. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill | Doctor of Pharmacy | $586.23/credit (resident); $1,602.45/credit (non-resident). UNC at Chapel Hill provides a world-class pharmacy education to students in their 139.5-credit program via lectures, immersion experiences, and clinical sessions.
  3. South Dakota State University | Doctor of Pharmacy | $5,096/semester (resident); $10,903/semester (non-resident). SDSU is an excellent location to pursue a professional PharmD degree. This program lasts for six years and includes a two-year pre-pharmacy program.
  4. University of Texas at Austin | Doctor of Pharmacy | $10,774/semester (resident); $24,620/semester (non-resident). The University of Texas at Austin’s PharmD program ensures that graduates are ready to take up leading roles in the pharmaceutical industry by providing numerous 40 to 50-hour practical internship sessions.
  5. Purdue University | Doctor of Pharmacy | $11,148/semester (resident); $20,278/semester (non-resident). Purdue University’s cost-effective, 146.5-credit PharmD program accepts individuals who have completed a pre-pharmacy degree from Purdue University or any other accredited institution.

Best Online Associate Degrees

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Best Online Bachelor’s Degrees

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Cheapest Graduate Schools for Pharmacy

The cheapest graduate schools for pharmacy provide students with top-notch master’s degrees and doctoral programs taught by world-class faculty members at an affordable cost. Students at these institutions can obtain graduate degrees and land high-paying jobs at leading pharmaceutical companies.

Most Affordable Schools for Master’s Degrees in Pharmacy

  1. South Dakota State University | Master of Science in Pharmaceutical Sciences | $340.15/credit (resident); $888.10/credit (non-resident). This master’s degree is an excellent choice for pharmacy professionals seeking further education to land better job opportunities within their field.
  2. University of South Florida | Master of Science in Pharmaceutical Nanotechnology | $347.91/credit (resident); $877.17/credit (non-resident). This 32-credit graduate program provides an affordable route for students to get involved in one of the most in-demand industries. It is available in online and on-campus formats.
  3. Southern Illinois University – Edwardsville | Master of Science in Pharmaceutical Sciences (Pharmacology Track) | $350/credit. This 34-credit graduate program is an affordable option for professionals seeking advanced drug discovery knowledge.
  4. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill | Master of Science in Health Systems and Pharmacy Administration |$586.23/credit (resident); $1,602.45/credit (non-resident). This 35-credit graduate degree is a low-cost pathway to kickstart a career in administrative healthcare roles such as health systems management.
  5. Auburn University | Master of Science in Pharmaceutical Sciences (Medicinal Chemistry) | $560/credit (resident); $1,680/credit (non-resident). This 30-credit master’s program allows students to learn about drug discovery and development in a hands-on manner.

Most Affordable PhDs in Universities

  1. Purdue University | PhD in Industrial and Physical Pharmacy | $347.85/credit (resident); $948.30/credit (non-resident). Students with a pharmacy, chemical engineering, or biological science background seeking to pursue a low-cost PhD that covers drug discovery and pharmaceutical biotechnology can enroll in this program.
  2. University of Texas at Austin | PhD in Molecular Pharmaceutics and Drug Delivery | $1,362/credit (resident); $2,013/credit (non-resident). This affordable doctoral degree equips students with the essential skills to work as researchers in academia or with top pharmaceutical agencies.
  3. Texas A&M University – College Station | PhD in Pharmaceutical Sciences | $8,026/semester (resident); $17,558/semester (non-resident). This program focuses on cutting-edge pharmaceutical techniques. Upon admission, students will be exposed to intense training in drug discovery and development and dosage formulation.
  4. Rutgers University – New Brunswick | PhD in Pharmaceutical Science | $9,876/semester (resident); $16,944/semester (non-resident). This doctoral program incorporates the latest information on genomics and big data with modern pharmaceutical science research to produce highly-knowledgeable graduates.
  5. University of California – San Diego | PhD in Pharmaceutical Science and Drug Development | $46,210/year (resident); $58,455/year (non-resident). Advanced knowledge of drug discovery is an essential requirement at most major pharmaceutical companies. This degree helps pharmacy professionals get into this industry with ease.

Best Online Master’s Degrees

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Best Online PhD Programs

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How to Choose a Good and Affordable Pharmacy School

A pharmacist holding two bottles filled with prescription drugs.
Attending the right pharmacy program led by world-class faculty will significantly improve your job chances after graduation.

Although there are many low-cost pharmacy schools available, not all of them are a good choice to pursue your pharmacy degree. Before deciding on the perfect fit, you’ll need to consider the school’s pharmacy program’s reputation, curriculum, accreditation status, and faculty. Selecting the right school is important for your future career prospects.

Quality of Curriculum

When searching for an affordable pharmacy college, it’s important to consider the quality of the school’s curriculum. You should carefully search for universities that offer pharmacy programs that feature world-class faculty and comprehensive coursework. Enrolling in a school with low tuition costs and a quality teaching experience is always the best choice.

Program Reputation

The overall reputation of your prospective program among recruiters, employers, and industry leaders is critical when seeking admission into pharmacy school. One of the best ways to determine how your program is perceived within the pharmacy field is to examine its overall percent job placement rate.

Accreditation

Some low-cost pharmacy universities may not be accredited. It is crucial to determine a school’s accreditation status before applying. You can easily check your prospective institution’s accreditation status on the National Center for Education Statistics websites or the university’s website.

Tips for Saving Money While Attending Pharmacy School

  • Maintain a budget. Having and sticking to a budget while in pharmacy school is essential to keep track of your expenditure and save as much money as possible.
  • Find affordable accommodation. Housing costs are one of the biggest expenses for university students at pharmacy schools. Be sure to find accommodation that is within your budget range.
  • Take advantage of student offers. Many retailers and service providers offer discounts to students. Searching and using these offers is a great way to save some extra money.
  • Share textbooks when you can. Rather than buying textbooks you don’t use often, you could borrow from a friend or visit your school’s library. Furthermore, buying used textbooks instead of new ones will significantly save you money.
  • Manage your credit card expenditure. Avoid accumulating unnecessary credit card debt. The easiest way to do so is to avoid using your credit card and pay with cash whenever possible.

Cheapest Online Schools for Pharmacy

There are several cheap schools for pharmacy online. By enrolling in these colleges, you can secure a Master’s or Doctor of Pharmacy degree while taking your lectures virtually. The most affordable online pharmacy schools are listed below.

School Tuition Graduation Rate
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill $586.23/credit (resident); $1,602.45/credit (non-resident) 90%
Ohio State University $722.50/credit (resident); $922.50/credit (non-resident) 88%
University of Florida $750/credit 72%
University of Cincinnati $783/credit (resident); $798/credit (non-resident) 73%
St. John Fisher College $1,130/credit 73%

Most Affordable Online Doctor of Pharmacy Programs

  • St. John Fisher College | Doctor of Pharmacy | $1,130/credit. This online 151-credit professional pharmacy degree is New York’s first online pharmacy program. Students can take internship rotations at locations within their community.
  • Massachusets College of Health Sciences | Non-Traditional Doctor of Pharmacy | $1,060/credit. Employed, licensed pharmacists who have previously obtained a pharmacy degree and want to upgrade to a Doctor of Pharmacy can do so by enrolling in this 24-month online program.
  • Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine | Doctor of Pharmacy | $28,605/year. This four-year online PharmD program allows students to receive state-of-the-art training while gaining clinical experience by practicing in community settings. Students must visit LECOM’s Bradenton campus during the summer for laboratory sessions.
  • Duquesne University | Doctor of Pharmacy | $1,773/credit. Duquesne University allows aspiring pharmacists to earn their Doctor of Pharmacy online within four years. Enrolled students will take classes online and make brief, scheduled visits to the school’s campus to complete their laboratory hours.
  • Creighton University | Doctor of Pharmacy| $39,514/year (years 1-3); $58,318(year 4). Students participating in this highly-ranked four-year program will take lectures and interact with faculty members via virtual platforms and practice their rotations at any of Creighton University’s designated locations within or outside the United States.

Most Affordable Online Pharmacy Master’s Programs

  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill | Master of Science in Health-System Pharmacy Administration | $485/credit (resident); $1,720/credit (non-resident). This 35-credit online master’s program includes courses on health system pharmacy leadership and advanced hospital pharmacy operations.
  • Ohio State University | Master of Science in Translational Pharmacology | $722.50/credit. This 30 to 36-credit online master’s program offers clinical pharmacology, clinical trial design, and toxicology and safety pharmacology specialization tracks.
  • University of Florida | Master of Science in Pharmaceutical Regulation | $750/credit. Students enrolled in this program have access to a wide array of specialty tracks, including applied pharmacogenomics, pharmaceutical regulation, managed care pharmacy systems, and medication safety and quality systems.
  • University of Cincinnati | Master of Science in Pharmaceutical Science (Drug Development) | $783/credit (resident); $798/credit (non-resident). This two-year, 30-credit, fully online program prepares students for job openings as clinical researchers, quality assurance specialists, and medical project managers.
  • Drexel University | Master of Science in Drug Discovery and Development | $1,552/credit. This 38 to 41-credit master’s degree provides thesis and non-thesis options. In addition to drug discovery and development courses, students will also learn concepts from pharmacology and biostatistics.

Will Attending an Online Pharmacy School Save Me Money?

Yes, attending an online pharmacy school will save you money. Online programs help eliminate extra expenses such as housing and transportation costs which could become an added financial burden for many on-campus students.

Benefits of Online Pharmacy Programs

  • Convenience. Online pharmacy programs allow you to access a world-class educational experience without relocating from your state or country. You can easily enroll in a leading pharmacy program from anywhere in the world.
  • Affordability. By enrolling in an online pharmacy program, you can eliminate added costs such as accommodation and transportation.
  • Rewatchable lectures. A significant advantage of attending an online pharmacy school is prolonged access to your course content. You can revisit your lectures and take notes as many times as possible within a particular period.
  • Flexibility. Online pharmacy programs are very flexible and allow you to adjust your learning times to fit in with your current schedule.
  • Opportunity to learn modern workplace skills. Online pharmacy programs will also teach vital remote work and time management skills that many 21st century companies require.

Highest-Paying Pharmacy Careers

Pharmacy Job Pharmacy Degree Average Salary
Community Pharmacist Doctor of Pharmacy $128,570
Ambulatory Care Pharmacist Doctor of Pharmacy $128,570
Medical Research Scientist Doctor of Pharmacy or PhD $95,310
Pharmacy Lecturer Doctoral Degree $79,640
Medical Writer Bachelor’s Degree $78,060

Best Pharmacy Jobs Explained

The best pharmacy school jobs pay attractive salaries and allow licensed pharmacists to apply their knowledge and skills to solve real-world healthcare challenges. These jobs include community pharmacist, ambulatory care pharmacist, and medical research scientist.

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Community Pharmacist

Overall Job Growth: -2%
Highest-paying States: California, Alaska, Oregon

Community pharmacists typically work in pharmaceutical retail outlets. Their primary duty involves handing out prescription medicines and occasionally providing drug-related advice. They also sell medical devices and instruct people on how to use them effectively.





Ambulatory Care Pharmacist 

Overall Job Growth: -2%
Highest-paying States: California, Alaska, Oregon

Ambulatory care pharmacists work at outpatient centers. They are responsible for dispensing prescribed drugs and over-the-counter medications to patients diagnosed with chronic illnesses. In many cases, they also educate patients on the effects of their drugs and inform them of any possible side effects.





Medical Research Scientist

Overall Job Growth: 17%
Highest-paying States: Connecticut, Maine, Delaware

Medical research scientists are employed in academia, healthcare, pharmaceutical, or biotechnology companies where they apply their knowledge of medical science in discovering innovative solutions to present-day health challenges.





Pharmacy Lecturer

Overall Job Growth: 12%
Highest-paying States: Washington, Mississippi, Connecticut

Pharmacy lecturers work at universities where they are responsible for the training of individuals seeking a graduate or undergraduate pharmacy degree. Among their several responsibilities, they also conduct research on high-interest areas in pharmacy and publish their findings in reputable journals.





Medical Writer

Overall Job Growth: 12%
Highest-paying States: Delaware, California, Massachusetts

Medical writers are tasked with creating written content to create awareness or promote relevant medical information. They typically work for non-governmental or research organizations, medical device companies, and biotechnology or pharmaceutical companies.

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Pharmacy Schools Ranking Methodology: How We Ranked the Most Affordable Pharmacy Schools

We chose the most affordable pharmacy colleges based on tuition and general costs information from the schools’ official websites, the US Department of Education’s database of accredited schools, and the US Department of Education’s College Scorecard tool.

Additional Reading About Pharmacy

[query_class_embed] https://careerkarma.com/blog/how-to-get-into-pharmacy-school/ https://careerkarma.com/blog/pharmacy-tech/ https://careerkarma.com/blog/trends-in-pharmacological-sciences/

Cheapest Pharmacy Schools FAQ

Do pharmacists make a lot of money?

Yes, pharmacists make a lot of money. Pharmacy jobs are among the highest-paying healthcare career options. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, pharmacists make an average of $128,570 per year. In comparison, registered nurses make about $77,600 per year.

What is the difference between a pharmacy technician and a pharmacist?

A pharmacy technician works closely with a pharmacist and helps them hand out medications to customers or patients. Unlike pharmacists, pharmacy technicians only need a high school diploma or its equivalent to begin their career journey.

Can I get a pharmacy job without a degree?

No, you cannot get a pharmacy job without a degree. However, if you are passionate about healthcare, there are many non-degree healthcare jobs that you can apply for that also pay a decent salary.

Is pharmacy school the same as medical school?

No, pharmacy school is not the same as medical school. Pharmacy school usually requires six years of study, upon which graduates are awarded a Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) degree. Medical school lasts four years after the completion of a four-year bachelor’s degree, and graduates receive a Doctor of Medicine (MD) degree.

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