5 Things You Should Do Before Graduating Pharmacy School


Pharmacy school graduation is right around the corner, and it is definitely a time for celebration.

Pharmacy school graduation is right around the corner, and it is definitely a time for celebration. As you begin to prepare for this momentous occasion, it is important to reflect upon your journey and set goals for your future. Check out these 5 things you should do before graduating pharmacy school.

  • Thank your family for their support.

Your family has played an important role in your pharmacy school journey. Through the long nights of studying, they have been there for support. Take the time to personally thank them for understanding when you had to decline family functions to study for your final exams. They are very proud of all of your accomplishments!

  • Start preparing for the pharmacy licensure exams.

Your pharmacy school may have a review course prior to graduation to help prepare you for the North American Pharmacist Licensure Examination (NAPLEX) and Multistate Pharmacy Jurisprudence Examination (MPJE). Also, consider taking the pre-NAPLEX, which includes questions similar to what you will see on exam day.1 In fact, previous NAPLEX questions are used on the pre-NAPLEX. Check first with your college of pharmacy to see if they have vouchers that cover the cost of the pre-NAPLEX. The practice test includes 100 questions and takes 140 minutes to complete.1 The pre-NAPLEX can be taken twice, and the cost is $65. Practice tests are a great way to simulate test day.

Download the NAPLEX/MPJE registration bulletin, which includes competency statements for the exams and important test day information. The NAPLEX includes 250 questions divided between the following 2 areas:2

  • Ensure Safe and Effective Pharmacotherapy and Health Outcomes-67%
  • Safe and Accurate Preparation, Compounding, Dispensing, and Administration of Medications and Provision of Health Care Products-33%

The MPJE consists of 120 questions with the following 3 content areas:

  • Pharmacy Practice-83%
  • Licensure, Registration, Certification, and Operational Requirements-15%
  • General Regulatory Processes-2%

  • Find ways to minimize stress.

It may have been challenging to find time to relax during pharmacy school. Now is the time to start introducing strategies to minimize stress so that you can balance both your personal and professional life. Plan a vacation to take right after graduation before starting your first job as a pharmacist. Whether you plan a Disney vacation, a trip to Las Vegas, or a spa retreat, it is a well-earned departure from daily stresses. Take the time to reset and think about the next chapter in your life.

  • Create a portfolio folder.

Create a portfolio folder including your curriculum vitae or resume, presentations, and projects. This is a great time to organize all of your great accomplishments throughout pharmacy school. Bring this to job interviews and keep adding to your portfolio throughout your career. If you are completing a residency, this is a great way to showcase your research and teaching when applying for your next job.

  • Set professional goals.

Take the time to set professional goals. Ask yourself questions such as:

  • Where do I see myself in 5 years?
  • Am I interested in completing a residency or fellowship down the road?
  • Should I become board certified?
  • Are there any certificate programs that I would like to complete?
  • Would I like to become a preceptor?
  • Should I speak at a continuing education program?

Congratulations and the best of luck on your future endeavors!


  • Pre-NAPLEX. NABP website. https://nabp.pharmacy/programs/pre-naplex/. Accessed March 16, 2017.

2. NAPLEX. NABP website. https://nabp.pharmacy/programs/naplex/. Accessed March 16, 2017.

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