Top 5 Pharmacy Schools with Best NAPLEX Passing Rates

FEBRUARY 26, 2016
Meghan Ross, Senior Associate Editor
The National Association of Boards of Pharmacy just released the 2015 North American Pharmacist Licensure Examination (NAPLEX) passing rates for pharmacy schools in the United States.

In 2014, 9 US-based pharmacy schools saw 100% of its students pass the NAPLEX on their first attempt. This year, however, significantly fewer schools achieved the same accomplishment.

Only 2 schools saw 100% of their students pass the test on their first try, but 3 other schools weren’t far off, with around 99% of their students passing.

Here are the top 5 schools with the strongest NAPLEX passing rates.

(Note: One school that is not on this list, Lebanese American University, achieved a 100% passing rate, but since it is not located in the United States and 2 students took the exam, it is not included here. However, Lebanese American University is an accredited American University; it operates under a charter from the state of New York.)

1. South Dakota State University (100% NAPLEX pass rate, 82 first-time attempts)

Located in Brookings, South Dakota, this pharmacy school offers a PharmD/PhD in pharmaceutical sciences and a BS in medical laboratory science. Pharmacy was first offered at the school as a branch of chemistry in 1887.

In 2014, the school had a 98.65% passing rate with 74 students taking the test.

2. University of Pittsburgh (100% NAPLEX pass, 105 first-time attempts)

The University of Pittsburgh School of Pharmacy has around 72 full-time faculty members. It offers a unique Master of Science in Pharmacy Business Administration program through its pharmacy and graduate business schools.

In 2014, with 101 first-time attempts, the school achieved a 100% passing rate.

3. University of Southern California (99.43% NAPLEX pass, 176 first-time attempts)

Founded in 1905, this school created the country's first clinical pharmacy program.

With 176 first-time attempts in 2014, the school had a NAPLEX pass rate of 98.83%.

4. Butler University (99.22% NAPLEX pass, 128 first-time attempts)

Located in Indianapolis, Indiana, the Butler University College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences hosts a 6-year PharmD program with opportunities for an MBA or MS dual degree.

With 111 first-time attempts, it also achieved a 100% passing rate in 2014, as well. 

5. University of California, San Francisco (99.15%, 117 first-time attempts) 

US News & World Report ranks the University of California, San Francisco School of Pharmacy as the top public pharmacy school in the United States.

In 2014, the pharmacy school had a pass rate of 99.13% with 115 first time attempts. 

*Correction: Southwestern Oklahoma State University College of Pharmacy was originally included on this list, but it did not have a 100% pass rate in 2015.