Pharmacy school enrollment still growing

April 4, 2005

Interest in pharmacy as a career remains high as the nation's pharmacy schools reported a 54% jump in admission applications and awarded a record number of Pharm.D. degrees last year, according to an annual survey of the profession's educational landscape.

Interest in pharmacy as a career remains high as the nation's pharmacy schools reported a 54% jump in admission applications and awarded a record number of Pharm.D. degrees last year, according to an annual survey of the profession's educational landscape.

A record 72,799 applications to first professional degree programs were received by the nation's 89 pharmacy schools from September 2003 through August 2004, according to the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy's 2004 profile of pharmacy students. There were seven applications for every student slot in fall 2004, compared with 4.8 applications per enrolled student in 2002-03, with females submitting nearly two-thirds of the applications.

Enrollment among first-year Pharm.D. students rose 5.3% and a record number of 8,158 Pharm.D. degrees were awarded, up 9% from the previous year. And most students who start pharmacy school are still around to pick up their diploma, as the survey found that only 1.3% of students who matriculated in 2001 dropped out.

High interest in pharmacy is something of a double-edged sword. Up to 10 new schools of pharmacy will be open by 2010, and existing schools are expanding their own enrollments to meet the demand. More students mean more pressure on schools to find qualified faculty and preceptor sites.

The full results of the AACP survey are posted on the Web at http://www.aacp.org/