With almost 100 pharmacy schools in the United States, potential pharmacy students have many options - so how do you as one narrow down your choices to a manageable few? Pharmacy school rankings may help.
There are several pharmacy school ranking lists, with each relying on different criteria and sources. One of the most popular and widely cited college rankings resources is U.S. News and World Report. Although it is not updated yearly, U.S. News does have a rankings list for graduate-level pharmacy programs. The most recent rankings were published in 2005 and were compiled from survey data collected in the fall of 2004.
The 2005 U.S. News pharmacy schools rankings are based on ratings provided by academic experts such as faculty, program directors, and deans. These experts were surveyed and asked to judge the academic quality of pharmacy programs based on a five point scale. The submitted scores were averaged, and the school with the highest score made the top of the list, the school with the second highest score was placed in second, and so forth. If you consult the U.S. News pharmacy school rankings, please note that they are different from some other U.S. News rankings which incorporate both perception measures and statistical indicators that attempt to measure the quality of a school's students, research, and faculty.
The U.S. News and Annals of Pharmacotherapy lists are perhaps the most notable pharmacy school rankings, but there are other sources to consult. Both USPHARMD.com and Studentsreviews.com provide pharmacy school rankings based on user submissions. These rankings are based solely on the input of website visitors, but they do provide additional information on how programs are viewed by different groups.
No matter what the criteria used or sources considered, just because a school tops a rankings list, that doesn't mean it should top your list. Rankings should be used with other information to help you find a school that will meet your specific needs. When considering a school, you may want to look at the following factors to help you decide whether it is right for you.
The American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy (AACP) offers an online search and compare tool that may help you in narrowing down your choices.
Choosing a pharmacy school can be a tough decision, but information is the best tool you have to help choose the right school for you. School rankings are good sources to consult, but whether a school is at the top or the bottom of a rankings list should be one of many factors, not the only factor, you consider when making your decision.
Choosing the Right Pharmacy School
Composite Table of Some Pharmacy School Rankings
U.S. News and World Report
Annals of Pharmacotherapy