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Essential Career Preparation for Pre-Pharmacy Studies

The job outlook for pharmacists in this country is more than bright. It's more like blinding. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, hospitals, drug stores, managed care facilities, and other employers of pharmacists are predicted to increase hiring by a whopping 22 percent during the 2006-2016 decade. If you're considering enrolling in a pre-pharmacy program to qualify for pharmacy school, now might be the best time to launch your career.

There are two-year programs in pre-pharmacy studies that provide the backbone of pre-requisite courses vital to entry into a full pharmacist career-training program. Typically, you'll receive two years of education in biology, microbiology, general and organic chemistry, anatomy, calculus, and physics. All programs have their subtle differences, so it's important to evaluate the entry requirements of your continuing, four-year pharmacist program to ensure you're loading up on the right courses.

Here's a general review of the main areas of study offered in today's pre-pharmacy degree or training programs:

General Chemistry
You can't get by without it. Your studies should delve into atomic and molecular properties, thermodynamics, and chemical structure. A companion segment should offer practical laboratory experience in observing, recording, and interpreting data.

Organic Chemistry
Laboratory and lecture segments should add up to a complete foundation course in properties, structure, reactions, and mechanisms of organic molecules, along with practical applications.

You'll probably take one or two semesters of study in chemistry, structure, functioning, and energy transformations in animal and plant cells. Your school may also integrate your studies with courses in botany or zoology.

Microbiology and Biochemistry
You'll undertake studies in infectious diseases, basic immunology, as well as metabolism of biological compounds.

Additional Courses
Most programs will also expect you to complete general studies courses in composition and writing, speech, humanities, and social science.

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

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