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Masters in Pharmacy in USA: A Guide for International Students

Sonal Vaid Sonal Vaid
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, masters in pharmacy is available at over 50 universities in the USA. The tuition fees for Masters in Pharmacy in the USA ranges from 22,400 USD to 103,000 USD.

  • Healthcare is a sector that is destined to grow. Healthcare workers are in high demand along with pharmacists which allows a median salary of 126,120 USD per year.
  • The universities offering Masters in Pharmacy in the USA are accredited by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education.
  • For becoming a pharmacists in USA it is mandatory to have a PharmD though you can still get into industry and work under similar job roles. 
  • Some popular recruiters for pharmacy graudates in USA are Merck, Allergan and other research aread in phamacrutica, drug research and manufatcuring and regulatory degres.  

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 is expected to grow a little by 2028. However, students with a pharmacy degree working within the healthcare sector can expect a faster growth.  
  • A pharmacist working in the USA earns a median pay of 126,120 USD per year.
  • 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. The details of the program fess and the duration of the program has also been included within the table:

UniversityQS National Ranking 2020Program DurationTotal Program Fees (USD)
Masters in Pharmacology
University of Michingan Ann Arbor221 year24,102
Masters in Pharmaceutical Sciences
University of Minnesota411 year43,036
University of Pittsburgh451 year37,678
University of Southern California51-1002 years77,120
North East University51-1002 years103,000
The Ohio State University51-1001 year23,392
University of Arizona151-2001 year22,400
Rutgers University151-2002 years74,962
University at Buffalo151-2002-3 years46,200
University of Georgia151-2002-3 years38,400
University of Maryland-16 months28,560

Pursuing a masters in USA will allow you to get into the industry, look for PharmD courses abroad and earn better package within the same industry as compared to other countries. There are a lot of top universities offering PharmD programs in the USA. 

Masters in Pharmacy in USA Highlights

CourseMasters in Pharmacy
Duration2-3 years
EligibilityBachelors with chemistry or biology as a subject of study, Language Requirements
Exam PatternSemester
Tuition Fee20,000-60,000 USD
Entry Level Package20,000 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 and application package with required documents. Detailed below are these aspects of the application process for masters in pharmacy from the USA. 

Eligibility 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 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:

UniversityGRE RequirementsMinimum TOEFL ScoresMinimum IELTS Scores
University of Michigan NA 84 (ibt)
560 (pbt)
The Ohio State UniversityNA797.0
University of Southern CaliforniaRequired906.5
University of MarylandNA967.0
University of PittsburghRequired1007.0
University of MinnesotaRequired1006.5
University of ArizonaOptional797.0
Rutgers UniversityRequired906.5
University at BuffaloRequired796.5
North East UniversityRequired1007.5
University of GeorgiaNot Required806.5

Documents Required for Admissions to Masters in Pharmacy in the 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, some of them are stated 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:

ExpensesFee (in USD)
Admission application fees45- 125
GRE fees205
F-1 Visa Application Fees510
Flight Fare1100

Tuition Fees for Masters in pharmacy in USA

Pursuing Masters from 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. You will required additional funds to survive and live in the USA. 

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 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 NameUniversity NameAward
Dean’s Pharmaceuticals Sciences Scholarship for International StudentsUniversity of Southern CaliforniaUSD 5,000+
Global Excellence ScholarshipUniversity of MinnesotaUSD 10,000- USD 25,000
Graduate School International Chancellor’s Merit ScholarshipRutger UniversityUSD 12,000- USD 14,000
University College funding for International Students, USAUniversity of MarylandUSD 1,500
Fulbright Foreign Student Scholarship ProgramAllTuition 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 an 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 RoleSalary USD(Annual)
Medical Representative72,000
Clinical Researcher72,500
Drug Control Director150,000
Pharmacy Technician65,000
Pharmaceutical Researcher135,000
Pharmaceutical Process Engineer92,700
Pharmaceutical Sales Representative67,700

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 own your on pharmacy or work as a pharmacist in the USA, you must pursue this degree. 

Helathcare 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 Docotorate 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 pharmacists. 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 country of your choice. 

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. An 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 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. 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, however, you cannot become a pharmacists. 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 country of your choice. 

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