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How You Can Become a Pharmacist in India

A pharmacist is the backbone of the medical industry. They work as a medium between doctors and patients. Pharmacists have various options when they chose their career path. It is either under a doctor, field research or a registered chemist. To enjoy a successful and fulfilling career as a pharmacist, it’s essential that you make the right educational path. For students who are considering pharmacy as a career option, it can be daunting to figure out the right course of action.
This article will help you dispel those doubts and gain a clear picture of the path ahead. Let’s begin with the basics.

The 10+2 Level

Before you enroll for a pharmacy degree, you need to pass the 10+2 exam. The combination of subjects you take at this level plays a crucial role in determining your eligibility for a pharmacy degree.
Anyone who has studied these combinations i.e. – PCB (Physics, Chemistry, and Biology), PCM (Physics, Chemistry, and Mathematics), or PCMB (Physics, Chemistry, Mathematics, and Biology) can fulfill his or her dream of pursuing a pharmacy course.

Undergraduate Education

At the graduate level, you can enroll in any of these three courses – a Diploma in Pharmacy, a Bachelor’s Degree in Pharmacy (BPharm course), or the Doctor of Pharmacy course. Here’s a brief guide about the essential aspects of each course.

Diploma in Pharmacy

Duration – This course lasts for two years.

Eligibility – The minimum requirement is 10+2 in the science stream.

Admission – Most universities, offering this course, conduct their own entrance exams to select competent candidates. Often, the exam is followed by an interview before you’re granted admission.

Job scope – Possessing a diploma in pharmacy allows you to run your own drug store and practice pharmacy.

Bachelor of Pharmacy

Duration – The BPharmacy course lasts for three years (or four, in some cases). It includes academic as well as practical training.

Eligibility – The minimum requirement is 10+2 in the science stream, with an aggregate of 50% or higher.

Admission – Candidates need to clear the entrance examinations conducted by the universities offering the BPharm course. One such example is the Manipal Entrance Test (MET), conducted by Manipal College of Pharmaceutical Sciences, which is one of the finest BPharma colleges in India.

Lateral entry – Some universities offer lateral entry into the second year of BPharm, for students pursuing a diploma in pharmacy,

Job scope – With a Bachelor’s Degree in Pharmacy, you can work as a pharmacist in a private or state-run hospital or nursing home. Alternatively, you can also work as a chemist or a pharmacist for big players like Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories or Sun Pharmaceutical, etc.

Doctor of Pharmacy

Duration – Also known as PharmD, this is a six-year course that includes five years of theoretical and academic studies, followed by a year-long internship in a particular hospital.

Eligibility – The minimum requirement is 10+2 in the science stream.

Admission – The norms of the Pharmacy Council of India (PCI) determine the process(es) for garnering admission into this course.

Lateral entry – For students pursuing a Bachelor of Pharmacy, there is a provision to gain lateral entry into the fourth year of PharmD, based on merit.

Job scope – The PharmD qualification opens up several professional avenues and offers qualified candidates an opportunity to work as drug inspectors, researchers, analytical chemists, and clinical or retail pharmacists, among others.

Postgraduate Education

While a graduate degree is almost always sufficient to qualify as a pharmacist, there are also two postgraduate courses that interested candidates can pursue. These two options are:

A. Master’s Degree in Pharmacy

Duration – The MPharm course lasts for about two years.

Eligibility – The minimum requirement is an undergraduate degree in pharmacy.

Specializations – Students pursuing the postgraduate course in pharmacy can specialize in areas such as Pharmaceutics, Industrial Pharmacy, Pharmaceutical Analysis, Pharmacognosy, Pharmacology, Pharmaceutical Chemistry, Pharmaceutical Biotechnology, Regulatory Affairs, Pharmacy Practice, or Quality Assurance.

Job scope – When it comes to R&D, postgraduates typically have an edge over undergraduates.

B. Doctor of Pharmacy (Post-Baccalaureate)

Duration – This program includes two years of academic studies followed by a one-year internship.

Eligibility – The minimum requirement is a bachelor’s degree in pharmacy from an approved university or institution.

Admission – As with most pharmacy degrees, you’ll need to get through various entrance tests and interviews conducted by the institute you’re applying to.

Job scope – Possessing a Doctor of Pharmacy (Post-Baccalaureate) degree allows you to qualify for jobs in clinical practice and research.

Additionally, if you wish to get a deeper understanding of pharmaceutical research, you can pursue a Doctorate in Pharmacy. To qualify for a Ph.D. in Pharmacy, you need to possess a master’s degree in the same. Becoming a pharmacist is almost like becoming a doctor; it is a long road ahead which would require hard work. You will need to have thorough knowledge related to medicine. Believe in yourself and be ready for the long hours of study!

About Manipal

Manipal Academy of Higher education (MAHE) is a global institute of repute. Besides courses in various other fields, here are some of the popular ones that students opt for. Click on the course of your interest to find out more about it.

B Tech EngineeringBSC NursingB PharmMBBSBDSBSc AnimationBA Media & CommunicationBHM, and BA Culinary


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Kishlay KishoreManipal Academy of Higher Education