10 Best Pharmacology schools In the World | 2021

One of the most promising professions in the world today is Pharmacology. A career in Pharmacology offers a huge number of opportunities in the healthcare sector and beyond. Getting a degree in pharmacology is not a walk in a park. It requires a lot of time and effort to enroll in a bachelor’s program, a postgraduate school, and also obtain licensure.

If you want to make great impacts in this sector, you have to enroll in one of the best pharmacology schools in the world.

The world’s top Pharmacologists like Alexander Fleming a Scottish biologist discovered enzyme lysozyme and antibiotic penicillin. Also, Carl Ferdinand Cori a Czech biochemist and pharmacologist won the 1947 Nobel Prize in Medicine.

It is very possible for you to also emulate these heroes. So, ensure that you begin your career in a reputable institution.

What is Pharmacology?

According to Wikipedia.com, Pharmacology is the branch of pharmaceutical sciences that deals with the study of drugs or medication action. Drugs can be defined as any man-made, natural, or endogenous molecule which exerts a biochemical or physiological effect on the cell, tissue, organ, or organism.

It is also a scientific discipline that studies how drugs interact with the biological structure of the body. These disciplines usually feature the molecular basis of drug action, the actions of drugs on cells, organs, and organisms, the genetic variations in drug action, and drug discovery.

Branches of Pharmacology

There are two major branches of pharmacology as seen below.

  • Pharmacokinetics: This refers to the absorption, distribution, metabolism, and excretion of drugs. Pharmacokinetics describes what the body does to a drug that is, the time taken for drugs to move into, through, and out of the body.
  • Pharmacodynamics: This is the study of the molecular, biochemical, and physiological effects of drugs, including drug mechanisms of action. These effects can include those manifested within animals, microorganisms, or combinations of organisms.

A Pharmacologist

Pharmacologists are knowledgeable professionals who focus their work into researching and understanding the chemical processes that take place between living organisms and different substances and compounds.

What is the difference between pharmacology and pharmacy?

Many people often confuse pharmacology with pharmacy. It is necessary for you to know that pharmacology is a separate discipline in the health sciences from pharmacy. Although they are related, the relationship is that they both deal with Drugs.

Basically, Pharmacology focuses on the study of how a drug affects a biological system of the body and how the body responds to the drug. However, this discipline encompasses the sources, chemical properties, biological effects and therapeutic uses of drugs. Pharmacologists are often interested in therapeutics, which focuses on the effects of drugs and other chemical agents that minimize disease, or toxicology.

While, Pharmacy is the science or practice of the preparation, formulation, and dispensing of medicinal drugs.

Why Should I Get A Pharmacology Degree?

If you’re interested in becoming a pharmacologist, the wellness of people should be your priority. However, there is more to that. Below are some of the reasons why you should aspire to become a pharmacologist.

  • Be part of major innovations in the pharmaceutical industry
  • A Pharmacologist’s advice to patients on the right medications to take in other to get their wellness.
  • You can easily find a job after graduation because Pharmacologists are always in demand.

How Can I Become A Pharmacologist?

Becoming a Pharmacologist takes a lot of time, money and hard work. Firstly you will need to obtain a bachelor’s degree preferably in biomedical science, medical science, pharmaceutical science from an accredited university with a major in pharmacology. These programs take seven to eight years to complete

Usually, the pre-requisite to getting pharmacology or related degree course are 3-A levels in chemistry, biology, and either physics or maths. Also, you will need five GCSEs A-C, including maths, English, and science.

However, to acquire these courses you need to gain your Senior Secondary Certificate of Education(SSCE). These prerequisites courses vary according to colleges. So, you may need to contact the school you are interested in to get more information.

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Entry into the Pharmacology profession is highly competitive. Therefore in other not to be left behind, you have to consider an advanced degree. This may help your chances of finding employment, especially with top pharmaceutical companies, such as Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS), GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), and Amgen.

In addition to the degree program, you need to take professional exams in other to get licensure so that you can identify with the relevant Pharmaceutical bodies and also gain influence. For instance, If you are in the US, becoming a member of organizations like the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI) and the British Pharmacological Society (BPS) will be a good idea.

What Skills Do I Need To become A Pharmacologist?

As a Pharmacologist in a private or public sector. Your work hour maybe a standard nine-to-five day with longer work hours per day. So. here are the skills you require if you want to make the best out of your profession.

  • Good communication skills
  • Love for science and research
  • Ability to think logically and analytically
  • Accurate work ethics
  • You must be highly creatively and solve problems
  • Ability to work with a team

Pharmacology Vs Pharmacy. Click to see the amazing differences and similarities

How Much Does It Cost To Become A Pharmacologist?

It is difficult to estimate the total average cost of acquiring a pharmacology degree. The tuition of various Pharmacology colleges is not the same and other fees. However, the cost of a pharmacology school program can range from $65,000 to $200,000. Despite the costs, the degree of pharmacology is generally considered one of the most promising within the healthcare field.

How do I succeed in a Pharmacology School?

Knowing what to expect from studying at a great pharmacology school is one of the secrets to success in the Pharmacology profession. Here are some tips for you to succeed during your stay in a pharmacology school.

  • Take good notes during lessons. it is called ”Active learning”
  • Stay organized to avoid falling behind and forgetting when things are due.
  • Ensure that you report to school on time.
  • Ensure that you keep a detailed calendar with all of your upcoming exams and assignments, and also your extracurricular commitments
  • Study in groups so that you can engage in more detailed discussions, exchange different perspectives on topics, and identify areas of individual weakness.
  • Get a good Sleep; According to William Dement(MD, Ph.D Stanford University), “The average sleep requirement for college students is well over 8 hours.

There are many more tips, therefore you have to figure out what works best for you in addition to the ones enlisted.

Where Do Pharmacologist Work?

Basically, most pharmacologists work for the National Health Service(NHS), government agencies, Universities and regulatory authorities.

Others work in the private sector such as the pharmaceutical companies, medical research facilities and privately-funded clinical research organisations.

Usually, their role in each of these organizations varies. For instance Pharmacologist in the colleges focuse on academic research. However, for those in the Pharmaceutical companies, their duty is to ensure that drugs and medicines are completely safe and free of any dangerous side effects.

How Much Do Pharmacologist Earn?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median annual wage for pharmacologists was $126,120 in May 2018. Some of the highest-paid professionals in this field earned $140,080, as an average annual salary, working in employment services.

What is a Pharmacologist Career Prospect?

A  degree in pharmacology offers a lot of prospects for research careers in schools, companies, and general healthcare sectors. Those in the universities teach and also conduct research as well.

Others go into the product management area of the company or in areas such as marketing and medical information. They create a link between pharmaceutical companies and doctors, and patients.

Data from BLS shows that the employment of pharmacists is projected to show little or no change from 2018 to 2028.

Just like Pharmacology, Anesthesiology is a science-related discipline. Click to see full details.

What are the Best Pharmacology Schools In The World?

We have made a list of the 10 best pharmacology schools In the World. So, you can choose a school that fits your demands. Each of the schools has received full accreditation. Some of the accrediting bodies include; Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education and the American Board of Clinical Pharmacology The basis of our selection of these schools are; No. of programs, Accreditation, Tuition, Student-faculty-ratio, Acceptance, and graduation rates.

Here is the list of 10 best Pharmacology schools in the world

  • Harvard University
  • University of Cambridge, UK
  • Johns Hopkins University
  • University of Oxford, UK
  • Monash University, Australia
  • Imperial College London, UK
  • Northeastern University
  • Yale University
  • Indiana University
  • University of Michigan, US

#1 Harvard University

It is no surprise that Harvard top the list of best pharmacology schools in the word. Ranks #2 in the 2021 edition of Best Colleges and National Universities. Also, it ranks the first position for medicine, biological sciences, and psychology. Harvard University is a private research university that was established in 1636.

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Harvard University has 10 departments with more than 700 Masters and about 800 Ph.D. student enrollment. Its tuition is 47,074 USD. Acceptance and graduation are 5.4% and 94%.

Pharmacology discipline in Harvard features in many of the courses offered at the College of Medicine. The school research program focuses on areas including systems pharmacology, molecular pharmacology, and translational pharmacology.

#2 Imperial College London, UK

If you are searching for the best pharmacology school in the UK, you have to consider Imperial College London. It is a public research university that was founded in 1851.

According to the Higher Education World University Rankings 2021 The school ranks #1 in London, #3 in Europe, and #10 in the world.

Basically, the Pharmacology program at the Imperial College provides students with coursework that features biochemistry, scientific research, and drug therapy.

With an acceptance rate of 14.3%, it’s clear that the Imperial College London educational model offers an amazing path to success.

#3 University of Cambridge, UK

The University of Cambridge is one of the widely known best Pharmacology schools in the world. It was founded in 1209 and is located in Cambridge, England. The school offers tuition of 9,250 GBP and is committed to providing world-class education and access to the very best teachers, resources, and support.

UC’s Department of Pharmacology features research programs in areas including cellular neuroscience, systems neuroscience, cell signaling, and ion and drug transport mechanisms. Undergraduate students in the department receive courses in natural sciences, medicine, and veterinary science. 

In addition to the academic programs, Cambridge ranks as the world’s second-best university by the Times Higher Education World University Rankings and also ranks 3rd worldwide by Academic Ranking of World Universities, 6th by QS, and 7th by US News.

#4 Northeastern University

Northeastern University’s ranks among the top 20 schools in the 2021 edition of Best Colleges is National Universities. Its tuition and fees are $53,506. At the University, students are exposed to major work experience before receiving their diplomas.

The Pharmacology department features coursework, seminars, and conferences to help students gain exposure to classical approaches that have led to the development of current theories of drug action.

Coursework in the department covers discipline in drugs and their early applications to the development of molecular biology and modern pharmaceutical practices. The aim is to create experts who can utilize specialized knowledge in a variety of drug applications.

In addition to the coursework, the pharmacology department conducts seminars and conferences; this features top researchers and helps keep students updated about the latest developments in pharmacological research throughout their education.

#5 Johns Hopkins University

Johns Hopkins University offers 2 Pharmacology Degree programs. The department of pharmacology engages in cutting-edge research spanning many areas such as chemical biology, immunology, virology, cancer, and neuroscience.

The school’s large private universities are divided into nine schools, five of which serve undergraduate and graduate students. JHU ranks #10 in the 2020 edition of Best Colleges is National Universities. Its tuition and fees are $55,350. 

Also, data from 67 evaluation metrics show that Johns Hopkins University’s pharmacology program ranks in the Top 20 Pharmacy Schools in the United States and the Second Best Pharmacy School in Maryland. 

#6 University of Oxford, UK

I’m not surprised that Oxford is recognized as one of the best Pharmacology college and grad schools. The school offers a wide range of research in various disciplines. it offers a 17.5% Acceptance rate and tuition of 9,250 GBP.

The Department of Pharmacology focuses on drug research and other molecules on biological systems with a view to understanding the mechanisms of the human body.

Also, Pre-clinical research in the Department aims at examining cellular and molecular pathways in living systems as the first step towards a greater understanding of the disease and effective treatment.

Usually, academic staff in the Department lead lectures, seminars and tutorials for undergraduate students on the Medicine and Biomedical Sciences courses.

#7 Yale University

Established in 1810. Yale University ranks #1 in the Pharmacology program among the medical schools in the USA by the National Research Council of the National Academy of Sciences. The school offers 3 Pharmacology Degree programs.

The Pharmacology department at Yale University has a rich history of drug discovery. Today, the department features a lot of events and seminars which include bringing top researchers to work towards understanding and treating human disease.

#8 Monash University, Australia

MU is one of the top destinations for life sciences subjects in Australia. The school also emerges as one of the best pharmacology schools in the world. Monash University is a public research university and was founded in 1958.

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Its Faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences offers a wide selection of undergraduate and postgraduate courses – including combinations such as pharmacy and commerce, or pharmaceutical science with chemical engineering. Key research areas include drug candidate optimization, drug delivery systems, medicinal chemistry and medicine use, and safety.

In addition to the academic programs, Monash University ranked #1 in Pharmacology in Australia, and #3 in the world in Pharmacy and Pharmacology, for the third consecutive year based on recent QS World University Rankings.

#9 Indiana University

Indiana University Bloomington is a public research university located in Bloomington, Indiana. Its tuition is $10,388(In-state)and $34,246(Out-of-state).

The department of Pharmacology at Indiana University makes the list of best pharmacology schools in the world. They are offering outstanding multidisciplinary graduate education in pharmacology and toxicology. The department also trains individuals for careers in academics, government, or the private sector.

This IU School of Medicine basic science department is nationally known for using the most current technologies to teach pharmacology and toxicology to medical and graduate students.

Additionally, the department has an outstanding team of educators that are dedicated to training students to become physicians and scientists in the disciplines of pharmacology and toxicology.

#10 University of Michigan, US

One of the pharmacology best schools in the US is the University of Michigan located in Ann Arbor, Michigan. The school offers tuition of 14,402 USD( In-state), 45,410 USD(Out-of-state ).

The University College of Pharmacy offers degree programs up to Ph.D. and PharmD levels. UM also features dual programs in several interdisciplinary courses, including an MEng in Pharmaceutical Engineering and a Ph.D. in Medicinal Chemistry.

The available Research centers in the departments include the Vahlteich Medicinal Chemistry Core, the Center for Molecular Drug Targeting, and the Center for Drug Discovery.

Additionally, the University of Michigan offers a number of great opportunities for students to work with leaders in the field in one of the top Pharmacology departments in the world.

Best pharmacy schools Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best pharmacy school in the world?

The best pharmacy schools in the world include;
Harvard University
University of Cambridge, UK
Johns Hopkins University
University of Oxford, UK
Monash University, Australia
Imperial College London, UK
Northeastern University
Yale University

Can you become a pharmacologist with a pharmacy degree?

Yes to some extent. However, in addition to your pharmacy degree, you will need to take advanced courses in Pharmacology. A postgraduate qualification may also be a requirement when applying for some jobs.

Is it hard to become a pharmacologist?

Getting a degree in pharmacology may take a lot of time and effort. Usually takes from six to eight years after high school graduation to complete. This includes two to four years of college coursework and four years of professional study.

What are the highest paid locations for a pharmacologist?

According to BLS, the highest paid locations of pharmacologists are Alaska, Maine, and California with mean annual wages of $129,170, $128,030, and $125,800, respectively.


Becoming a Pharmacologist is not easy. However, it requires training, commitment, creative thinking, and also your ability to carry out research. Most Pharmacologists often work in pharmaceutical companies. Others work in government agencies, healthcare, and colleges.

Most times, their role focus on the development and testing of new medications. So, their work is basically researching and understanding the chemical processes that take place between living organisms and different substances and compounds.

There are so many institutions across the world that offer Pharmacology programs. Usually, some schools combine with Pharmacy and other related biological science programs.

If you desire to become a Pharmacologist, you have to, first, earn a degree from one of the best pharmacology schools in the world including the ones enlisted above. Thereafter, you enroll in a graduate program. You may need to go for an advanced degree to gain more experience if you want to improve your earnings.

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