You have been working diligently with your mentor to discuss career options. For your classmates who aren't going retail, everyone is talking about residency training. You think that might be the direction you want to go, but you are wondering if there are other post-PharmD options for you.1
“It's exciting to consider all of the different areas of science and healthcare I can access after I graduate pharmacy school.”
Cyle W. – Pharmacy Student, Tennessee
This chapter will give you some introductory insight into advanced degrees that provide expanded career opportunities for individuals with a PharmD. Many of the programs described are intimately related to the pharmacy world.2 Some may take you outside of the profession completely. We will focus here on those degrees that are most related to pharmacy or may take you to one or two degrees of separation. Table 25-1 lists the various areas of study that will be discussed and potential career opportunities.
Table 25-1 Advanced Degree Programs and Career Opportunities ||Download (.pdf)
Table 25-1 Advanced Degree Programs and Career Opportunities
Management-related degrees including MS pharmacy administration, MBA, MHA
Pharmacy administration, business (including managed care or retail pharmacy) healthcare administration, pharmaceutical industry, academia, government healthcare agencies
MS (science focus)
Research (basic science or clinical) in industry or academia
Public health or health policy (MPH or PhD)
Governmental agencies (e.g., Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), state and local health departments, nonprofit organizations, pharmaceutical industry, insurance companies, academia.
Regulatory affairs, industrial pharmacy, drug development (MS or PhD)
Pharmaceutical industry, governmental agencies, academia
Clinical research, clinical, and translational research
Academia, pharmaceutical industry, health-systems
A great way to begin is by visiting the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy (AACP) web site where they have a listing of all colleges of pharmacy that offer advanced degrees.3 According to the site of the 126 accredited colleges of pharmacy, there are at least 69 colleges that offer a wide variety of graduate degrees. There are also a number of degree opportunities that are not associated with colleges of pharmacy. For some career goals, it would be wise to look at programs with a relationship to a college of pharmacy, but this is not necessary in all cases.
We can start with a few common options. These include Masters of Science (MS) in pharmacy administration, Masters of Business Administration (MBA), and Masters of Healthcare Administration (MHA). These degrees will relate most to your pharmacy degree if your future interests are in management and leadership in pharmacy or health care.
The MS in pharmacy administration is not a uniform degree as some programs are geared toward the business and leadership ...