Is pharmacy in your future?

Assumption College Undergraduate

STEM teachers Many Assumption biology majors pursue advanced and professional degrees, including: medical, veterinary, dental and pharmacy programs. Assumption students who possess ambitious academic goals work one-on-one with their advisors to ensure they have a strong foundation in the fields they want to pursue.

This is true for recent Biology graduate Barry Nicholson, who is pursuing his doctorate of pharmacy (PharmD) at the University of Connecticut.

“Assumption has not only given me a phenomenal education that has prepared me for graduate school, but it has also given me the opportunity to craft my leadership skills,” Nicholson said. “I have been able to succeed in academics and different extra-curriculars, while simultaneously being a part of such a strong community.”

A career in pharmacy can be very rewarding. The goal of pharmacy school is to produce successful pharmacists, who can provide pharmaceutical care to patients, develop and manage medication distribution and control systems, promote public health and provide drug information and education.

Undergraduate students who want to pursue a PharmD should inform their advisors — the sooner the better — to obtain a strong foundation in particular subject areas. These include:

  • Biology, which builds an understanding of anatomy, physiology and the way medicinal substances act and react in humans (or animals).
  • Physics, which is needed to understand the behavior and properties of matter — such as the transfer of heat and behavior of gases.
  • Chemistry, as the active ingredients in medications are pure chemicals, which means pharmacists need to know a lot about reactions, storage, the dangers of combining certain chemicals, and more.
  • Mathematics and social sciences are also very relevant in the study of pharmacy.

The pharmacy school curriculum will include courses like pharmaceutical chemistry, pharmacology (the study of the action of drugs in the body), pharmacognosy (the study of natural drugs, like those found in plants and animals), ethics and business courses and others. Pharmacy programs are typically four years in length, and graduates often seek practicum hours or residency training in hospitals, community pharmacies and specialized facilities.

To read about Barry Nicholson and more Assumption student internships and post-graduate careers, visit our ACachieves page.

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