The State of Pharmacy Education

As pharmacy students head back to school, an American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy (AACP) infographic offers an informative look at the state of pharmacy education.

As pharmacy students head back to school, an American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy (AACP) infographic offers an informative look at the state of pharmacy education.

This time last fall, there were 63,927 students enrolled in a PharmD program, and about half of these students (50.6%) had earned a bachelor’s degree before entering a Doctor of Pharmacy program. The majority (86.2%) of students also worked while pursuing their PharmD.

Almost half (48%) of students were age 25 or younger, while the second most common age group was 26 to 30. Around 8% were ages 31 to 35, and the rest were 36 or older.

Women were the more dominant gender in pharmacy last year—females made up 61.4%, while males counted for 38.6%.

The pharmacy student racial makeup in 2014 was 52.2% white, 25% Asian, 3% international or foreign, 2.1% 2 or more races, and 5.3% unknown, according to AACP.

Both instate and out-of-state students who attended public universities had cheaper first-year tuition on average compared with those who attended private institutions.

The average public school tuition for an instate student was $18,269 and $35,022 for an out-of-state student. Meanwhile, private school tuition was around $36,459 for instate students and $36,710 for out-of-state students.

More students reported having to borrow money to pay for college expenses in the last year compared with 2009. That year, 87.4% of students reported having to borrow, while 89.2% of 2014 students had to do the same.

By graduation, students who attended public institutions in 2009 had borrowed around $85,410 on average, while those in 2014 borrowed around $120,000. At private institutions, the median amount of money borrowed was $119,784 in 2009 and $165,000 in 2014.

Even though the majority of pharmacy students will be paying off student loans for long time, almost all students (94.9%) reported feeling prepared to enter pharmacy practice, and 81.8% said they would choose pharmacy if they had the chance to start school over again. Additionally, 79.6% said they would recommend a career in pharmacy to friends or relatives, according to the AACP.

The AACP infographic is based on profiles of graduating pharmacy students, student and tuition surveys from 2014, and Bureau of Labor Statistics data.