13 Pharmacy Schools In California | Rankings 2023

Basically, the United States has the best pharmacy schools in the world. Some of these pharmacy schools are found in California. However, settling for one can pose a challenge. Hence, this article on pharmacy schools in California to help you make a choice.

If you live in California and desire to pursue a career in pharmacy, this article is just for you. It is a guide to show you some of the best pharmacy schools here in California.

I’m certain you understand this is a must-read for you!

Unarguably, pharmacy is a diverse and rewarding career, with many opportunities for patient care, scientific research, and innovation. It is one of the top-notch careers in healthcare that has played a very important role in the system.

Getting a university-level education is one of the compulsory requirements if you must pursue a career in pharmacy. However, different countries have different stipulated requirements candidates must meet before they receive a license to practice pharmacy.

In the United States, you will need to earn a Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D) degree to work as a pharmacist.

On the other hand, pharmacists play an important role in the healthcare team. They dispense medications to patients and ensure they are used in the safest and most effective way. Also, they are responsible for checking that the doses are safe and that there are no potential drug interactions that could adversely affect the patient.

Additionally, they may be involved with health screening, help to take blood pressure tests, provide vaccinations and give recommendations about the optimal use of medications.

Stick with me now, because…

In the next few lines, I will show you the list of top pharmacy schools in California. Meanwhile, see the table of contents for an overview of what to expect in this article.

How Many Pharmacy Schools in California?

Right now we can say precisely how many pharmacy schools you can find in California but even so, there are about 13 notable schools of pharmacy in California and we have already shown them to you. See them again below:

Why Should I Choose an ACPE Accredited Doctor of Pharmacy Program in California?

Enrolling in an ACPE Accredited school will raise your prestige and market value in the labor market. In this case, you will be certain you will receive a top-notch career education.

Also enrolling in an ACPE Accredited program will save you a lot of embarrassment from these professional bodies.

Moreover, employers are always looking for accredited program graduates, so you can land that coveted job much sooner.

Not obtaining your Pharm. D. Program from an ACPE Accredited can deny you juicy opportunities that may come your way.

So do ensure you enroll for an accredited program in an accredited school while choosing your pharmacy school.

How Much is My Pharmacy Program Going to Cost?

Wondering how much you are likely going to spend acquiring your Pharm. D?

This is it!

The tuition cost of Doctor of Pharmacy programs in California usually ranges between $150,000 to $250,000. Tuition fees usually differ from school to school.

For example, you will pay a whopping sum of $183,200 if you are going to get your Pharm .D from Touro University. While you can get it at a lesser sum of $161,708 from the University of California San Diego.

That’s about a $21,492 difference. And this can really make a huge difference in helping you take care of certain needs and requirements in school.

So, carefully conduct your research, find out the schools with minimal costs, and enroll for them. Interestingly, you can get quality while spending little if you apply for these scholarship opportunities for pharmacy students.

How Long is My Pharmacy Program Going to Last?

Well, just like you and I know, the duration of the program will largely depend on what degree you are aiming at.

If what you want is a bachelor’s degree, then, you might just spend like usual 4 years to complete your program.

But if you aim for a Doctor of Pharmacy degree, you might have to spend a little more time in school.

Usually, the Pharm. D. requires at least two to four years of undergraduate study to complete the pre-pharmacy curriculum requirements. Thus, you will require about six to eight years of college study to earn a Pharm. D. degree.

What Is the Coursework at California Pharmacy Schools?

Course work usually varies from school to school. As a pharmacy school fresher, you will begin with foundational courses. You will be introduced and exposed to core basics in biomedical, pharmaceutical, social, administrative, and clinical sciences.

Along with the classroom learning, students complete Introductory Pharmacy Practice Experiences (IPPE). The IPPE allows students to apply the newly acquired knowledge in various practice settings.

Towards the end of the third and fourth year, students complete the Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experiences (APPEs), usually set in healthcare settings such as ambulatory care, acute medicine, community pharmaceutical care, and hospital.

What are the Best Pharmacy Schools in California?

CA is one of the most populous in the whole United States. It has over 40 million people living there. California contains the second largest city (Los Angeles), 3 of the largest 10 cities (Los Angeles, San Diego, and San Jose), and the largest county (Los Angeles County) in the United States.

To meet the health needs of this large population, pharmacists, as well as other healthcare providers, are always in demand. In 2018 alone, a report said there were about 30,900 pharmacists working in the state earning an average annual salary of $136,730.

You see there is a great career opportunity for you here.

Thus, It is on this premise we have packaged this article, to help you find the best pharmacy schools in California to enable you to get a share of this cake.

The schools here are ranked using the ACPE standard and parameters for accrediting pharmacy schools in CA. The ranking was according to their NAPLEX performance.

Find below our list of top California pharmacy schools:

California Health Sciences University


San Joaquin Valley

Program Length:

4 years



The California Health Sciences University (CHSU) is apparently the first university in the Central Valley. It is a private pharmacist school in California that had its inauguration in 2012.

It is head-bent and committed to health sciences research and improving the access and delivery of quality health care in the San Joaquin Valley.

CHSU is one of the best pharmacy schools in California where you can acquire your Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) Degree. You can also acquire a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (DO) Degree.

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California Northstate University College of Pharmacy


Elk Grove

Program Length:

4 years



The California  Northstate University College of Pharmacy is a prestigious pharmacy school in California. It offers an array of degree programs in pharmacy and pharmaceutical technology.

The MPS program is a two-year program available to students interested in research in Drug Design / Discovery & Development, Pharmacology, Medicinal Chemistry and more!

Graduates of this program may pursue various career opportunities within the pharmaceutical industry or use the degree to enhance their opportunity to gain entry into the Doctor of Pharmacy or Medicine programs.

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Chapman University School of Pharmacy



Program Length:

4 years


$140, 000

Another reputable pharmacy school in California is the Chapman University School of Pharmacy (CUSP).

The school trains student pharmacists and scientists who desire to make a difference in people’s lives by improving human health in local communities worldwide.

The school offer pharmacy at various levels, from the bachelor’s to masters and doctoral levels.

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Keck Graduate Institute School of Pharmacy and Health Sciences


Los Angeles

Program Length:

4 years


$187, 000

The KGI School of Pharmacy and Health Sciences is another accredited pharmacy school in California. It was founded in 2014.

The School of Pharmacy and Health Sciences Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) program has its accreditation from the official body of the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education.

KGI School of Pharmacy and Health Sciences offers a four-year Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) program which builds and develops innovative, collaborative, culturally competent, articulate, and caring pharmacists

Generally, the school prepares its students to be at the forefront of the industry, technology, and patient care.

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Loma Linda University School of Pharmacy


Loma Linda

Program Length:

4 years


$205, 600

Loma Linda University School of Pharmacy is one of the pharmacy schools in California. It is a Seventh-day Adventist Christian school. It started its first admission in the Fall quarter of 2002.

As one of the best pharm schools in California, it offers students a full-time, four-year professional program leading to the PharmD degree.

Basically, the specific objective of the Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) degree program is to raise pharmacists that will provide high-quality pharmacy care as fully participating members of health-care teams committed to whole-person care.

Their curriculum follows the best education practices and evaluation of the American Council on Pharmaceutical Education.

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UCSF School of Pharmacy


San Francisco

Program Length:

3 years


$152,943 (Resident), $189,678 (Non-Resident).

USCF school of pharmacy is another prestigious school among the list of pharmacy schools in California.

The School started in 1872 as the first pharmacy school in Western  American.

This School of Pharmacy, USCF, is a premier graduate-level academic organization that is out to improve health through precise therapeutics.

Interestingly, its success is due to its undaunted innovative research, educating PharmD health professionals and Ph.D. science students, and caring for the therapeutic needs of patients.

USCF school of pharmacy is integral to UC San Francisco, a leading university dedicated to promoting health worldwide.

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UCSD Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences


La Jolla

Program Length:

4 years



UC San Diego is one of the best pharmacy schools in California. It offers pre-eminent health sciences, professional education, and research opportunities. It is ranked among the top research-intensive universities in the whole of California.

Furthermore, UC San Diego SSPPS provides a broad-based curriculum with strong basic science, diverse clinical experiences, and the opportunity for independent study in various research and clinical settings.

Below are some of the programs they offer:

  • Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D.) degree awarded in a four-year program
  • Joint B.S. in Chemistry/Pharm.D. degree awarded in a seven-year program in cooperation with UC San Diego’s Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry
  • Dual Pharm.D./Ph.D. Program
  • Ph.D. Program in “Pharmaceutical Sciences and Drug Development”
  • Master’s Degree in Drug Development and Product Management.

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Western University of Health Sciences



Program Length:

4 years



The College of Pharmacy at Western University in Pomona is among the California pharmacy schools worth attending. This pharmacy school is an exciting place to visit and an exciting place to learn.

WesternU is a graduate university for the health professions committed to preparing graduates.

It tends to raise pharmacists in a learner-centered academic and professional environment, who will serve the health care needs of society for today and the future.

One of the ways they accomplish this is by delivering an innovative curriculum by a team of dedicated faculty and professional staff who promote independent and group learning, problem-solving, and continuous self-assessment.

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West Coast University School of Pharmacy


Los Angeles

Program Length:

4 years



West Coast University School of Pharmacy is another pharmacy school in California you can attend. The doctor of Pharmacy program at West Coast University School of Pharmacy is committed to providing students with a learning environment that emphasizes patient-centered care, interprofessional education, and leadership development.

Furthermore, they are committed to fostering a culture of scholarship among faculty and students.

In addition, they strive to lead the pharmacy profession to the forefront of an integrated and innovative practice.

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Touro School of Pharmacy



Program Length:

4 years



The College of Pharmacy at Touro California is another pharmacy school in California. This school stands out for its innovative 2+2 PharmD program.

Two years of foundational knowledge are taught in the classroom and after which, another two full years of clinical experience follows.

Interestingly, it is the only school that does a two-year clinical experience session for its students. This exposes its students more, advancing their experience.

Furthermore, the College of Pharmacy at Touro also has training programs for PharmD residents and fellows and a master’s program in health sciences.

In addition, it has opportunities for its students to earn a dual PharmD/MPH.

The high quality of education that Touro California students receive sows clearly in their many awards and accolades each year and the publications they generate working with faculty mentors.

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Marshall B. Ketchum University College of Pharmacy



Program Length:

4 years



Marshall B. Ketchum University College of Pharmacy is among the best pharmacy schools in California worth going for. As solely a health professions university, MBKU is positioned perfectly to train expert pharmacists and clinicians.

Furthermore, with two health clinics – Ketchum Health (Anaheim) and UECLA (Los Angeles), the university is at the forefront of providing caring, compassionate and competent patient-centric health care to the community.

At MBKU, you will earn these five certifications from the American Pharmacists Association (APhA):

  • Delivering Medication Therapy Management Services
  • Pharmacy-Based Cardiovascular Disease Risk Management
  • Pharmacy-Based Immunization Delivery,
  • The Pharmacist and Patient-Centered Diabetes Care
  • Pharmacy-Based Travel Health Services.

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University of the Pacific Thomas J. Long School of Pharmacy and Health Sciences



Program Length:

3 years



University of the Pacific Thomas J. Long School of Pharmacy and Health Sciences is one of the best pharmacy schools in California, founded on July 10, 1851.

The University of the Pacific is a nationally ranked university with three distinct campuses united under one common goal: to educate and prepare the leaders of tomorrow through intensive academic study, experiential learning, and service to the community.

The university offers more than 80 undergraduate areas of study in 11 schools and colleges, 30 graduate and professional programs and 12 accelerated programs.

And the student population is about 3,700 undergraduates and more than 2,600 graduate and professional students.

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USC School of Pharmacy


Los Angeles

Program Length:

4 years



The University of Southern California(USC or SC) is among the pharmacy schools in California. USC is a private research university founded in Los Angeles, California in 1880.

For the 2018–19 academic year, there were 20,000 students enrolled in four-year undergraduate programs.

USC also has 27,500 graduate and professional students in several programs, including business, law, engineering, social work, occupational therapy, pharmacy, and medicine.

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Where can I Work as a Pharmacist?

You can find career opportunities in several areas after your graduation from pharmacy school.

But however, the traditional workplace of a pharmacist should be in a pharmacy to provide the public with safe and informed access to the right medications.

But even so, there are other areas the services of a pharmacist are heavily demanded. They include the following:

  • Pharmaceutical companies
  • Governmental/ Non-governmental health agencies
  • Hospital pharmacy
  • Medical center pharmacy etc…

How Much do Pharmacists Earn?

Pharmacists across the globe earn very high. This is because their profession is a noble profession that has a lot of prestige attached to it.

Moreso they are paid very high because their profession deals with human lives.

Pharmacists get different payouts depending on their country’s pay scale and economy.

In the United States, a typical pharmacist in California earns an average of $136,730 annually.

In other countries, the pay may differ.

For instance, in Uk, the average annual salary of a pharmacist is $122,230.

What is the Job Outlook for Pharmacists in 2023?

Due to the high demand for Pharmacists in California, there is an approximate number of 1530 job openings created for pharmacists yearly.

With this yearly growth, the current 21,300 workforces of pharmacists will increase to 31,700 by 2026.

What else Can I do after My Pharmacy school?- Licensure

It is not all after you have graduated from your pharmacy school. It would be best if you also were licensed before you start practicing as a pharmacist.

To become a licensed pharmacist in California, you must pass both the NAPLEX, administered by the NABP and the CPJE, developed by the California State Board of Pharmacy.

NAPLEX: This exam is taken by NABP. Before applying for NAPLEX, you must contact the California State Pharmacy Council if you are eligible for this exam. Once the board has determined you qualify, you can pay a non-refundable fee and apply for NAPLEX via the NABP website.

CPJE: To obtain a pharmacy license in California, you must send CPJE in addition to the obtained NAPLEX. Send your application to the state board and wait 30 days for them to process your request. You can only schedule this exam after the jury determines you are eligible. Candidates can find detailed information about the exam here. You can even go through a hands-on test provided by the state administration.

Are there Special Qualities a Pharmacist should have?

The work you will do as a pharmacist is a very sensitive and delicate one and it will require quite a lot of carefulness.

  • Analytical skills to assess patient needs, prescriber’s instructions and ability to use technical knowledge to make the best decision.
  • Communication skills to explain how medications work and possible side effects to patients.
  • Computer (computer) skills to easily use Electronic Medical Records (EPDs).
  • Management skills to progress in your career, manage a pharmacy inventory, and monitor staff such as other younger pharmacists.
  • Detailed guidance for accurately completing prescriptions and using technical information to make decisions that are relevant to each patient’s well-being.

Pharmacy School Rankings

RankSchool NameLocationSchool TypeProgram LengthNAPLEX Performance
1University of California, San DiegoLa Jolla, CAPublic4 Years94.60%100.00%98.40%100.00%
2University of Wisconsin MadisonMadison, WIPublic4 Years94.60%99.20%98.30%98.72%
3University of WashingtonSeattle, WAPublic4 Years98.90%95.50%98.80%97.28%
4South Dakota State UniversityBrookings, SDPublic6 Years98.70%98.60%100.00%97.37%
5University of HoustonHouston, TXPublic4 Years94.70%99.00%97.40%97.58%
6Virginia Commonwealth UniversityRichmond, VAPublic4 Years89.70%96.10%98.40%97.56%
7University of Southern CaliforniaLos Angeles, CAPrivate4 Years96.40%95.90%96.50%96.45%
8University of KentuckyLexington, KYPublic4 Years95.20%97.80%97.60%97.10%
9Butler UniversityIndianapolis, INPrivate6 Years93.10%97.40%99.20%94.95%
10University of North CarolinaChapel Hill & Asheville, NCPublic4 Years95.20%92.00%95.50%94.26%
11Ohio State UniversityColumbus, OHPublic4 Years94.80%94.10%95.60%92.97%
12University of TennesseeMemphis, Knoxville & Nashville, TNPublic4 Years95.30%95.50%95.40%93.92%
13University of the PacificStockton, CAPrivate3 Years92.50%93.70%95.80%96.86%
14University of California San FranciscoSan Francisco, CAPublic3 Years96.40%98.10%91.10%96.15%
15University of Texas at AustinAustin, TXPublic4 Years96.50%95.20%97.30%94.21%
16University of MinnesotaDuluth and Twin Cities, MNPublic4 Years90.70%97.50%95.10%93.75%
17Drake UniversityDes Moines, IAPrivate4 Years93.30%97.20%93.10%92.93%
18Ohio Northern UniversityAda, OHPrivate6 Years92.00%93.30%92.20%92.25%
19University of IowaIowa City, IAPublic4 Years94.30%96.10%89.40%92.63%
20Creighton UniversityOmaha, NEPrivate4 Years89.90%94.60%91.10%93.04%
21University of PittsburghPittsburgh, PAPublic4 Years91.60%92.30%93.60%90.83%
22Purdue UniversityWest Lafayette, INPublic4 Years89.90%93.60%85.70%96.30%
23Rutgers UniversityNew Brunswick, NJPublic6 Years93.40%94.40%90.00%90.86%
24Temple UniversityPhiladelphia, PAPublic4 Years94.50%96.20%89.70%92.37%
25University of FloridaGainesville, Jacksonville & Orlando, FLPublic4 Years94.30%89.20%91.90%88.13%


Deciding to pursue a career in Pharmacy is a great decision you have made. We desire to really see you succeed in this pursuit. Hence, this article that answers all questions about getting a Pharmacy degree in California to the best Pharmacy school in California is written for you.

We do hope you make the most of it. Ensure you follow this guide word for word and you will be glad indeed. If you find value in this article, do let us know in the comment section.


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