Frequently Asked Questions


What does the PharmD credential represent?
Unlike the PhD that focuses on research, the Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) degree is an undergraduate, professional doctorate. This post-professional (post-BSc Pharmacy) provides advanced education in patient care.
Why should I consider obtaining my Doctor of Pharmacy degree?
Pharmacists are having an ever-increasing role in patient care and the management of more complex medication therapies. The PharmD for Practicing Pharmacists program is designed to enhance the skills of practicing pharmacists in patient care. Areas of focus include patient assessment and pharmacotherapy management. The program also aims to foster critical thinking skills to aid in the development of advanced competencies in: evidence-based practice, the ability to work in teams and the provision of education to patients, families and other healthcare professionals.
What is the difference between the PharmD for Practicing Pharmacists program and a hospital-based residency program?


How are admission decisions made?
Applicants are ranked on academic achievement, professional experience, cover letter, letters of reference, and a personal interview with selected candidates. Please see the Admissions Requirements page for more details.
When can I apply?
There online application (LaunchPad) portal opens to applications for this program each year on July 1st. Please see the PharmD Admissions Timelines page for more details.
When is the application deadline?
Currently, there is one application deadline per year (February 1st). However, applicants can choose to start the program in either Fall or Winter term of the same academic calendar year. Please see the PharmD Admissions Timelines page for more details.
What happens if all of the required application documents are not submitted by the posted deadlines?

Unfortunately, your application cannot be evaluated unless all of the required documentation is submitted on time.

Transcripts, in particular, can often take weeks or even months to arrive. Therefore, please request transcripts (and, if requested, corresponding course descriptions) from your previous institutions long in advance of the application deadline.

I am not licensed to practice pharmacy in Canada. Can I still apply to the program?

Pharmacists must be licensed in the jurisdiction in which they plan to complete experiential placements in order to be considered for admission to the program. Currently, experiential placements are completed in most Canadian provinces. Thus, licensure to practice pharmacy in Canada is currently necessary for admission.

Internationally educated pharmacists hoping to practice in Alberta must first complete the CCPP program (as part of the overall licensure process) before applying to the PharmD for Practicing Pharmacists program.


What is the cost of the program?
The tuition and fees for the program will total approximately $25,000. In addition, the following fees may apply:
Are there any additional costs for the program?
Additional costs include textbooks and other materials required for the coursework. It is highly recommended that all students own a laptop computer. Students are also required to have a high quality (external or internal) webcam and microphone. All students are required to pay for their own travel and accommodation expenses for the experiential placements.
Is there a confirmation deposit?
A non-refundable, $1000 confirmation deposit (applied to tuition) will be required upon offer of Conditional Admission (fourth-year students) or Final Admission (practicing pharmacists). Payment will be required by the date specified in the letter of acceptance.
What forms of student financial assistance are available?
The Doctor of Pharmacy is a post-professional degree and is classified as an undergraduate degree. There are currently no bursaries available for this program. Students are advised to contact student financial services for eligibility regarding student loans or other financial assistance.


What are the degree requirements?
Students must complete 18 credits of mostly online coursework and (up to) 36 weeks of supervised experiential learning completed at various practices sites (community pharmacies, hospitals and clinics) across the Alberta and Canada.
How long will it take me to complete the program?
Unique in Canada, the entire program can be completed in as little as 18 months. However, students can also take a more gradual approach to coursework, resulting in a variety of other program completion options (up to a maximum of 5 years). Please see the Courses page for sample accelerated and slower-paced course pathways.
What is the estimated workload to complete online coursework?
It is anticipated that students will spend approximately 6-10 hours per week per course to complete required online readings, assignments and discussions.
Can I complete online coursework at my own pace and schedule?
Learners can take a minimum of 1 course per term or up to 3 courses per term depending on how quickly they want to complete the program. Each course has a set schedule and must be completed according to the course outline.
What experiential placements are required?
36 weeks (6 placements, 6 weeks each) of supervised experiential training is required. This include experiences in inter-professional teams, acute care, community/ambulatory care, as well as electives. Please see the Courses page for experiential course descriptions.
Can I challenge any of the experiential placements or courses?
Yes, a recognition of prior learning process is offered for students wishing to obtain credit for some of the course and experiential education requirements of the program.
Where can I complete the experiential placements?
There are a wide number of experiential sites available across Alberta in both urban and rural locations. Options are also available to establish new placements sites, including those that are out-of-province. All experiential courses are coordinated by the Experiential Education Department at the Faculty.


Will I need to come to the University of Alberta to complete any of the degree requirements?
No, the bulk of the coursework is completed online from a distance. Experiential placements are completed in-person at a variety of different placements sites.
Will I have to take time off from work to complete the program?
The program is intended to allow more flexibility for working pharmacists to complete coursework while still maintaining their employment. However, students will be required to be away from work to complete the experiential placements. The total amount of time required to be away from your current employment will vary depending on the number of experiential courses you will be required to complete. The experiential course work can be completed at any time after the coursework is completed over the remainder of the 5 years of the program. Pharmacists may condense or spread out the experiential courses according to their own needs and schedule.

Still have questions?

Contact Student Services at the Faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences with any additional questions: