How to Become a Pharmaceutical Scientist

How to Become a Pharmaceutical Scientist

1. Earn Your Bachelor's Degree (4 Years)

To enter the field of pharmaceutical science, you will need a bachelor’s degree, at the very least, with a strong emphasis on the sciences such as biology, chemistry, and mathematics. You must be comfortable with the scientific process.

Those who wish to pursue this as a career should major in one of the following:

  • Pharmacy
  • Medicine
  • Chemistry
  • Biology
  • Engineering

Your college curriculum will be dependent on which major you choose. But could look like the following if you go into the pharmacy, pre-med, or biology majors:

Grade Level Example Courses
  • General Chemistry I & Lab
  • General Chemistry II & Lab
  • Calculus I
  • Calculus II
  • Humanities Requirements
  • Electives
  • Statistics
  • Human Anatomy & Physiology I
  • Human Anatomy & Physiology II
  • Organic Chemistry I & Lab
  • Organic Chemistry II & Lab
  • Humanities Requirements
  • Electives
  • Exercise Physiology
  • Lower Body Injury Evaluation
  • Athletic Training Clinical I & II
  • Physics I & Lab
  • Physics II & Lab
  • Humanities Requirements
  • Electives
  • Health in the US
  • Health Education & Planning
  • Healthcare Management
  • Health Policy
  • Capstone
  • Remaining Requirements & Electives

It is considered a good idea to join the student chapter of the American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists, which can not only provide career guidance and support, but also provide information about co-ops or internships.

2. Earn a Master's, Medical, or Pharmacy Degree

Many pharmaceutical scientists go on to receive advanced degrees to further their careers, and in fact, many pharmaceutical companies will even pay for this training for bright and promising employees.

But, it's not required and you can get a job in the field after receiving your Bachelor's Degree. If you do decide to continue your education, you can complete post-grad degrees such as:

  • Master of Science (M.S.)
  • Master of Public Health (MPH)
  • Doctor of Medicine (M.D.)
  • Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D.)
  • Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

These degree can help you advance in your career and go into academics and research.