Many potential PharmD candidates may be interested or desire to finish a degree in fewer years than a typical or traditional four-year curriculum. Those that do not have much time to endure a four-year PharmD program could consider a pharmacy school that offers a Doctor of Pharmacy degree in three years. One could expect that an expedited curriculum to include a program that entails many courses, more semesters per year, and also speedy teaching with the goal to cover as much material as possible within four years. Both accelerated three-year and traditional four-year PharmD programs have some pro’s and con’s associated with each.
Earning a degree in less than four years have the obvious benefits of beginning a career early and earning a year’s salary ahead of time. It will also save a year’s time needed to begin one’s life and take care of personal obligations and responsibilities. Some of the disadvantages could include the quality of teaching that may be done too briskly, and possibile omission of much material that would otherwise have been covered within a traditional four-year curriculum. It may also be harder to retain the material covered in the short period of time for retention needed for later examinations or even board examinations. The years during an accelerated program could be rigorous due to the need to finish much material early, and may lead to less time to perform the things in life needed outside of schoolwork. It may also be more competitive to enroll in an accelerated program because of the many applicants who prefer to finish a PharmD program early and begin earning an income.
The pro’s of a traditional four-year PharmD program include the benefits of undergoing a steady-paced and not rushed teaching curriculum. For those that are not in a rush to graduate, or do not have a need to earn a salary and begin their career ahead of time could enjoy the lifestyle benefits of a college student. Networking with graduate colleagues, attending many social events, programs, college functions, and even college sporting events, as well as having more time for the things outside of school may aid in the quality of life during the four years. Some of the con’s of a four-year program are obvious. Four years is a long time. For those who have dependents and need to earn income early, they would have to wait an additional year before competing for a pharmacist position and earn a pharmacist’s salary.
Accelerated pharmacy schools may differ in the time needed to finish. Some may or may not offer programs that accept exceptional students out of high school to include a five-year program. More information about accelerated pharmacy schools could be found by contacting the pharmacy schools that you are interested in and checking to see if they do offer or are expected to offer an accelerated pharmacy school. The best way to do the research of schools that offer these special programs are by emailing them or calling them for the latest current information.