Masters in Pharmacy in USA: A Guide for International Students

    Bhavya Rawal logo

    Bhavya Rawal

    Study Abroad Expert

    Masters in Pharmacy in USA is a 2-3 years master's course that delves at the heart of healthcare, taking on job roles that offer treatment, prescription, and healthcare management. Offered majorly as MS in Pharmaceutical Sciences or MS in pharmacology, it is available at over 50 universities in the USA. The tuition fees for pursuing masters in pharmacy in USA from the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy ranges from 22,400 USD to 103,000 USD. For Indian students, this cost goes up to 16-77 lakhs

    The universities offering Masters in Pharmacy in the USA are accredited by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education. Some popular recruiters for pharmacy graduates in USA are Merck, Allergan, and other research areas in pharmaceutical, drug research and manufacturing, and regulatory degrees. You can plan on working with these firms as QA/QC analysts, drug researchers, etc which can earn you salaries around an average salary of 70,000 USD to 80,000 USD (~52 to 59 LPA).

    Why Study Masters in Pharmacy in USA?

    • Over 25 pharmacy colleges in USA rank among the top 100 as per QS World University ranking by Subject (pharmacy and pharmacology, 2020). 
    • According to the US Bureau of Labour Statistics, employment of healthcare occupations is projected to grow 14% from 2018 to 2028 which is faster than the average of all other occupations.
      • Though pharmacists as an occupation are expected to grow a little by 2028. However, students with a pharmacy degree working within the healthcare sector can expect faster growth.
      • A COVID-19 world is expected to see a rise in medicine, healthcare industry, and related sectors. 
    • US federal agencies invested a total of USD 37.6 billion in medical health R&D in 2016 accounting for 22% of the total US Medical and Health R&D funding.
    • Pharmacists in the USA can work in various fields such as general merchandise stores, food and beverage stores, hospitals, pharmacies, and drug stores, etc. 

    Top Universities for Masters in Pharmacy in USA

    The table below shows the top universities according to QS Rankings 2020 offering Masters in Pharmacy in USA. Tabulated below are additional related details like the program duration at the university and the cost involved. 

    University QS National Ranking 2020 Program Duration Total Program Fees (USD)
    University of Michigan Ann Arbor 22 1 year 24,102
    University of Minnesota 41 1 year 43,036
    University of Pittsburgh 45 1 year 37,678
    University of Southern California 51-100 2 years 77,120
    North East University 51-100 2 years 103,000
    The Ohio State University 51-100 1 year 23,392
    University of Arizona 151-200 1 year 22,400
    Rutgers University 151-200 2 years 74,962
    University at Buffalo 151-200 2-3 years 46,200
    University of Georgia 151-200 2-3 years 38,400
    University of Maryland - 1.3 years 28,560

    For becoming a pharmacist in USA it is mandatory to have a PharmD, though you can still get into the industry and work under similar job roles without PharmD. The healthcare sector in US is destined to grow, given the current circumstances and US’s response to COVID-19. Currently, as per the Bureau of Labor USA, healthcare workers are in high demand along with pharmacists and are offered a median salary of 126,120 USD per year. You must note such high salaries are offered to licensed pharmacists, for which you will need a doctorate degree from USA. 

    Pursuing a master's in USA will allow you to get into the industry, look for PharmD courses abroad, and earn better packages within the same industry as compared to other countries. There are a lot of top universities offering PharmD programs in the USA. Some of these universities are listed below:

    • Auburn University: Ph.D. Pharmaceutical Sciences
    • The Arizona University-  Ph.D. Drug Discovery & Development, Health & Pharmaceutical outcomes, Pharmacology & Toxicology, and Pharmaceutics &Pharmacokinetics
    • UC, San Fransisco- Ph.D. Pharmaceutical Sciences & Pharmacogenomics
    • University of Southern California- Ph.D Pharmaceutical & Translational Sciences.
    • Florida A&M University- Ph.D. Pharmaceutical Sciences
    • University of Illinois, Chicago- Ph.D. Biopharmaceutical Sciences, Pharmacy. 
    • Purdue University- Ph.D. Pharmacy Practice 

    Aside from theses, there are many more universities offering PharmD in USA. You can dive into the details on the AACP website.  

    Masters in Pharmacy in USA Highlights

    Degree MPharm
    Courses Available Masters in Pharmaceutical Science, Masters in Pharmacology
    Duration 2-3 years
    Eligibility Bachelors with chemistry or biology as a subject of study, Language Requirements
    Exam Pattern Semester
    Tuition Fee 20,000-60,000 USD
    Entry Level Package 20,000 USD

    Masters in Pharmacy in USA: Admissions

    The pharmacy admissions to American universities are highly competitive. There are a limited number of seats for international applicants in a Masters in Pharmacy program in USA. 

    Where to Apply? Most of the US universities offering a Masters in Pharmacy program require a student to complete their admission application form online through the university website. Visit the program page for your choice of university and apply for the program. While applying to study in USA, you will be required to fulfill minimum entry-requirements, submit application fees, and produce an application package with required documents. Detailed below are these aspects of the application process for masters in pharmacy from the USA. 

    Eligibility for Masters in Pharmacy in USA 

    Students who have studied bachelor's with a science background in chemistry, biology, pharmacy, chemical engineering, or a related subject should make their profile as an applicant for a master's in Pharmacy in USA. A minimum GPA of 3.0 or equivalent is required by a student. Applicants are required to provide high scores in GRE. The suggested scores are a minimum of 150 in Verbal Reasoning and 150 in Quantitative Reasoning is preferred. 

    Applicants are also required to showcase relevant research or working experience in related fields. The table below shows the minimum required scores for Masters in Pharmacy:

    University GRE Requirements Minimum TOEFL Scores Minimum IELTS Scores
    University of Michigan  NA  84 (ibt)
    560 (pbt)
    The Ohio State University NA 79 7.0
    University of Southern California Required 90 6.5
    University of Maryland NA 96 7.0
    University of Pittsburgh Required 100 7.0
    University of Minnesota Required 100 6.5
    University of Arizona Optional 79 7.0
    Rutgers University Required 90 6.5
    University at Buffalo Required 79 6.5
    North East University Required 100 7.5
    University of Georgia Not Required 80 6.5

    Documents Required for Admissions to Masters in Pharmacy in USA

    Applicants must make sure to submit the following documents to be eligible for Masters in Pharmacy in the USA:

    • Completed admission application form
    • Academic transcripts from all educational institutions attended which are evaluated by a credential evaluation company such as WES
    • Proof of English language proficiency through one of the tests like TOEFL, IELTS, etc.
    • CV/Resume
    • Letter of recommendation(2-3)
    • Statement of Purpose
    • Scores of standardized exams to study in USA such as GRE, and others
    • Proof of finances to cover at least a year of study in USA
    • Copy of Passport

    Student Visa to USA

    Students who want to study Masters in Pharmacy in USA need to apply for an F-1 Student Visa to the USA for full-time study. Requirements for applying for F-1 visa are:

    • Minimum bank balance equal to first year’s tuition fees
    • Bank statement and proof of scholarships given by the university in the US
    • I-20 form provided by the university to apply for an F-1 visa
    • Complete the SEVIS I-901 form and register with the international visitor database
    • Pay the SEVIS Fee which is USD 200 for F Visa.

    Students will also need to appear for a visa interview at the US Embassy or Consulate. 

    Cost of Studying Masters in Pharmacy in USA

    International students must endure various expenses when studying abroad. These include various types of pre and post-departure expenses, where pre-arrival are the one’s you will be spending on application fees, visa, fees etc before leaving home country and post-arrival include tuition fees and cost of living. Some of these are discussed in detail below. 

    Pre-arrival expenses to USA

    The costs of pursuing a Masters in Pharmacy starts way before actually landing in the US. The GRE and TOEFL exams are costly and so is applying for the Universities. Some of the pre-arrival costs to the USA include:

    Expenses Fee (in USD)
    Admission application fees 45- 125
    GRE fees 205
    TOEFL 180
    F-1 Visa Application Fees 510
    Flight Fare 1100

    Tuition Fees for Masters in Pharmacy in USA

    Pursuing a Masters from the USA is a hefty affair for an international student. The tuition fees for an Indian student will widely lie in the range of 21 Lakhs to 77 Lakhs. This is majorly the tuition fees of the program, which compared to Indian universities is extremely high. The cost of studying Mpharm in US is not only higher than India but also some other top study abroad destinations.

    Country Total Course Fees (INR)
    USA 21-77 Lakhs
    India 50,000-5 lakhs
    Canada 7-59 Lakhs
    Australia 33-55 Lakhs
    UK 16-76 Lakhs

    Cost of Living in the USA

    The cost of living in the USA is pretty expensive, thus it is of utmost priority to estimating the budget of expenses from before. The image below shows the monthly living expenses in various cities in the USA:

    Cost of Living in USA

    Masters in Pharmacy in USA with Scholarships

    Living in the USA may be costly but there are various scholarships for international students to help with the costs. According to the National Center for Educational Statistics, there are 750,000 scholarships available for qualified students totaling an amount of USD1.2 billion. Some of the scholarships to study Masters in Pharmacy in USA are tabulated below:

    Scholarship Name University Name Award
    Dean’s Pharmaceuticals Sciences Scholarship for International Students University of Southern California USD 5,000+
    Global Excellence Scholarship University of Minnesota USD 10,000- USD 25,000
    Graduate School International Chancellor’s Merit Scholarship Rutger University USD 12,000- USD 14,000
    University College funding for International Students, USA University of Maryland USD 1,500
    Fulbright Foreign Student Scholarship Program All Tuition fee, Airfare, Stipend, Health Insurance

    Looking for more scholarships to pursue masters in USA, find out more about it here

    Masters in Pharmacy in USA: Scope 

    A person working in the pharmaceutical sector in the USA earns an average of around USD 93,300 per year. Starting from 12,000 USD to more than 140,000 USD per year. Around 50% of the employees in the sector earn USD 107,000 or less whereas 25% of the employees earn less than USD 44,800. 

    The biggest hike in salary comes after 5 years of work experience which is around 36%, thus with a Master’s degree, an individual is expected to get a hike of 23%. On average, there is a 9% increment every 15 months which when compared to the national average is 8% every 16 months in the US. On average, there has been a 2% increase in average salaries in 2019 as compared to 2018 for after Masters in Pharmacy in the USA.

    You must note that for working as a pharmacist in the USA you will require a PharmD degree. However, other work profiles where you can still apply post completion of your masters in pharmacy in UK are given below:

    Job Role Salary USD(Annual)
    Medical Representative 72,000
    Clinical Researcher 72,500
    Drug Control Director 150,000
    Pharmacy Technician 65,000
    Pharmaceutical Researcher 135,000
    Pharmaceutical Process Engineer 92,700
    Pharmaceutical Sales Representative 67,700

    Students can look for various job opportunities in the USA after a Masters in Pharmacy in top industries such as hospitals, food and beverage industry, general stores, pharmacies, etc. 

    An applicant interested in R&D can go for a doctoral program in pharmacy after completing a Masters in Pharmacy in USA. It is suggested that if you wish to have your own pharmacy or work as a pharmacist in the USA, you must pursue this degree. 

    Healthcare in the USA is one the best in the world but there is a problem with the availability of such great healthcare to the people. With several work options after completing the degree, a Masters in Pharmacy in USA will allow the students to work closely with the healthcare department. Post completion of the program, graduates are offered cushy median salaries and can work under or alongside other pharmacists in the country who has a license from AACP and have completed their Doctorate in Pharmacy. 


    Ques. Is it worth pursuing an Masters in pharmacy in USA?

    Ans. .Pursuing masters in pharmacy in USA can get you in the industry of QA and QC, biochemists, pharmacy technicians, etc. However, you cannot become a pharmacist. You can rather pursue other related jobs within the sector. Pursuing masters in pharmacy in USA  will allow you to pursue PharmD from any of the countries of your choice. 

    Ques. Which country is best for masters in pharmacy?

    Ans. 3 universities of the USA rank among the top 50 universities of the world offering Masters in Pharmacy. It costs around 28,000 USD to 103,000 USD whereas graduates can earn up to 135,000 USD per annum. Thus, USA is one of the top countries for pursuing Masters in Pharmacy. 

    Ques. How much does a Masters in Pharmacy in USA cost?

    Ans. .Pursuing masters in pharmacy in USA can cost you around 28,000 USD to 103,000 USD. This is mostly the tuition fees for pursuing the program. International students is required to have an additional 2000 USD per month for living in the USA. 

    Ques. What is the eligibility for pursuing masters in pharmacy in USA?

    Ans. .For studying masters in pharmacy in USA, you must have a GPA of 3,0 on a scale of 4.0 (83-86%) in your UG degree with relevant subjects. Additionally, you may be asked for your GRE scores (300 or more). English language proficiency scores are required for admissions of international students, IELTS- 6.5 and TOEFL- 79. 

    Ques. How much can you earn with a masters in pharmacy in USA?

    Ans. .A graduate from masters program in pharmacy in USA can explore jobs related to pharmaceutical sciences, QA and QC, medical representative, etc. You can earn as much as 135,000 USD with a masters degree in pharmacy in the USA 

    Ques. How many years does it take to study pharmacy in USA?

    Ans. Masters in Pharmacy in USA take 2 to 3 years whereas a bachelor’s degree in the same field can be completed within 3 to 4 years.