Best Pharmacy Schools in Canada for Domestic and International Students

Canada remains one of the best destinations for international students due to good standard of living, and quality education in the country. In this post, we will discuss the best pharmacy schools in Canada.

Before we list the schools, we will explain how pharmacy schools in Canada handle admission and licensing.

Pharmacy Education in Canada

Pharmacy education is an advanced level study in Canada. Student must pass through a pre-qualifying course in an acceptable university after high school. This course requires a minimum of two academic sessions.

The subjects in the pre-qualifying university courses are Introductory Chemistry, Microbiology, Statistics, Biology BIOL, Biochemistry, Organic Chemistry, Mathematics, Physiology BIOL, Humanities/Social Sciences. They may vary from pharmacy school in Canada to another.

Students are also required to pass the situational judgement test (CASPer) in some universities. For students taking this test, the required documents include government issued ID, working email address, webcam, microphone, and internet connectivity. CASPer has both video and word-based aspects. CASPer is only valid for one admission session, and has to be retaken if you want to start a new application.

The Pharmacy College Admission Test (PCAT), a computerized test taken by prospective pharmacy students in Canada seeking admission to study in pharmacy schools in Canada. It is no longer a requirement in most schools.

In Canada, Pharmacy degree is a four-year program, which on successful completion, the student is awarded the (PharmD) degree. The Doctor of Pharmacy is the minimum qualification to practice as a pharmacist in Canada.

After the awarding of the degree, the pharmacist will take the national board examination through the Pharmacy Examining Board of Canada (PEBC). The test has a written component and a clinical skills component. Success in the national board exam is required to practice as a pharmacist.

Pharmacy schools in Canada pay more emphasis on pharmaceutical sciences, clinical education and practice, use of medicine, patient care, on-field experience. The on-field experience is acquired through the Experiential Education Program, where students put into real life practice what was learnt in the classroom.

All pharmacy schools in Canada are accredited by the Canadian Council for Accreditation of Pharmacy Programs. The licence is mostly for a four or six-year term.

Pharmacy education in Canada is open to Canadian citizens, permanent residents. Other applicants whose first language is not English will be required to present proof of English proficiency.

A graduate from a non-Canadian Pharmacy program that wants to be licensed in Canada have to follow the guideline of the Pharmacy Examining Board of Canada (PEBC). If your credentials are recognized, you will sit for the relevant Board Exams (Evaluating and/or Qualifying Exam).

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You will not need to do another 4-year entry-to-practice Pharmacy degree unless your degree is not recognized by PEBC, or did not pass the Board exams within the maximum allowable number of attempts.

Preference is given to residents of the province where the university is situated, indigenous applicants, while few slots are allocated for out-of-province applicants, and even lesser for international students. It should also be noted that not all pharmacy schools in Canada are open to international students.

Different Pharmacy schools in Canada offer some or all of these undergraduates/graduate courses:

  • Undergraduate Program
  • Graduate Program
  • PharmD/MHA Program
  • Residency Program
  • Preceptor Development Program
  • Continuing Pharmacy Education

University of Toronto

The Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy in University of Toronto is one of the best pharmacy school in Canada. The admission is available from mid-September and ends in January. Application fee is $250. Late application attracts an increment of $50. PCAT is required.

To be considered for admission, the student must have a “B” or 70% at the University of Toronto, and successfully completed a minimum of 8 FCEs (full-credit equivalents) in required subjects by the end of second term. The subjects are Biology, Chemistry, Maths, Humanities / Social Science.

  • University rank: 13 (QS University ranking in courses under Life Sciences & Medicine)
  • Intake: The university takes 250 students per session.
  • Tuition Fees: $18,060.00 CDN per academic session for Canadians / permanent residents international students pay almost double), ancillary fee of $1,416.36 CDN per session. Other fees such as immunization, CPR/First Aid certification, Registration as a pharmacy student with the Ontario College of Pharmacists, Personal Professional Liability Insurance, Course Materials are available.
  • Website: http://www.pharmacy.utoronto.ca/

University of British Columbia

The Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, located in Vancouver. Winter session runs from September to April, with two terms – Term 1 (September to December, and Term 2 (January to April). Applicants must have completed 60 credits of transferable post-secondary coursework, and a minimum score of 70%, or 2.80 GPA in the last 30 credit coursework. PCAT is not compulsory.

The Entry-to-Practice PharmD program is only available to Canadian citizens and permanent residents. Application deadline is in December, and the academic session starts in September.

  • University Rank: 29 (QS University ranking in courses under Life Sciences & Medicine)
  • Slots: 224 admissions per session.
  • Tuition Fee: $5,616.90
  • Website: http://www.pharmacy.ubc.ca/

University of Alberta

Faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences is one of the top three in Canada. Their academic sessions begin in September. In your application, you are required to provide Essential Skills Declaration Form, Letter of Intent, Pharmacist Consultation Form, Course Descriptions (if required), and Responsibilities Form.

In University of Alberta, you must complete 60 credit units of transferable post-secondary coursework, and have a GPA higher than 3.1. PCAT is not compulsory.

The application fee is $125 or $75 for new and former students respectively. New students are also required to pay $500 dollar tuition deposit before they can accept their admission.

  • University Rank: 88 (QS University ranking in courses under Life Sciences & Medicine)
  • Intake: 130 students per academic session
  • Tuition: $11,431.68 estimated tuition fee, $51,000.00 yearly estimated fee for international students.
  • Website: http://www.pharmacy.ualberta.ca/

Dalhousie University

The University is located in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Province of Canada. Applicants into the school of pharmacy must achieve the minimum required grade of B- / 70% for each prerequisite course on the academic record/transcript.

  • University Rank: 191 (QS University ranking in courses under Life Sciences & Medicine)
  • Tuition: estimated $12,587.72 for Canada citizens/residents, $22,320.00 for international students.
  • Website: http://pharmacy.dal.ca/

University of Manitoba

The university of Manitoba College of Pharmacy is located in Winnipeg, the largest city in the Manitoba province of Canada. Just as other pharmacy schools in Canada, the program runs for 4 years. This is after the student has completed the 2-year pre-qualifying courses. Your 2-year course will not be eligible if taken 10 years before seeking admission.

This includes a 48 credit-hours of university-level study in required courses, and score an adjusted grade point average of 3.0 or higher.

The admission can come through either Manitoba Resident Applicant Pool, Canadian Indigenous Applicant Pool, or Out of Province Applicant Pool.

The application fee for a domestic student is $100. Students might be required to submit proof of English Language proficiency, transcript and other documents. Admission usually starts from early November and ends on 1st of March. Academic session then resume on September. Check the full admission requirements here.

  • University Rank: 260 (QS University ranking in courses under Life Sciences & Medicine)
  • Slots: 55 students per session.
  • Tuition: $20,600 for Canadian citizens/residents, they do not take international students.
  • Website: http://www.umanitoba.ca/pharmacy/

University of Saskatchewan

The College of Pharmacy and Nutrition started the PharmD program in 2017 to replace the B. Pharm program. A basic application requirement is the completion of 60 credit units (or equivalent) by April 30 of the year you seek the admission. This will include at least 24 units per academic year.

Additional requirements include a Test of Critical Skills, and a Personal Video Interview. A minimum score of 70% in all the tests is a necessary for admission consideration.

  • University Rank: 340 (QS University ranking in courses under Life Sciences & Medicine)
  • Intake: 90 slots (76 slots for residents, 14 for non-residents, and international students)
  • Tuition: $17,000 per year
  • Website: http://www.usask.ca/pharmacy-nutrition/

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University of Waterloo

This is the only Canadian pharmacy school offering co-op pharmacy program. The School of Pharmacy in the University of Waterloo is located at Kitchener, Ontario. They offers PharmD, M.Sc. and PhD in Pharmacy, MPharm in Advancement Pharmacy practice and Continuing Education.

The PharmD program has 18 months practical work experience, and six months of clinical rotations. The academic program starts in January. Applicants should have a minimum 75% average and complete the required courses.

This university offers Conditional Admission to Pharmacy (CAP), an alternative route to gain pre-admission into Pharmacy. It is reserved for the outstanding high school students, with only 25 CAP slots available.

  • University Rank: 366 (QS University ranking in courses under Life Sciences & Medicine)
  • Number of Slots: 120 admissions per session.
  • Tuition: Maximum of $8,515.00 per term, maximum of $33,868.00 with additional Co-op fees, Incidental fees. Etc.
  • Website: http://www.pharmacy.uwaterloo.ca/
  • University Rank: 366 (QS University ranking in courses under Life Sciences & Medicine)
  • Number of Slots: 120 admissions per session.
  • Tuition: Maximum of $8,515.00 per term, maximum of $33,868.00 with additional Co-op fees, Incidental fees. Etc.
  • Website: http://www.pharmacy.uwaterloo.ca/

Memorial University of Newfoundland

This is one of the cheapest university in Canada. Applicants into the pharmacy school must successfully complete ten prerequisite courses (or their equivalent at another institution) by May 1 on the year of admission.

The admission deadline is on February, and academic session starts on September. Applicants must complete the CASPer test. The application fee is $125 for Canadian applicants and $175 for international students.

  • Slots: 40 admission per academic year (35 slots is for residents of Newfoundland & Labrador, and the remaining five is open for non-residents)
  • Tuition: Fee per credit hour: $111, Co-operative education work terms: $600. For international student, Fee per credit hour: $382, Co-operative education work terms: $1,020.
  • Website: http://www.mun.ca/pharmacy/about

Pharmacy Schools in Canada (French)

There are two universities offering French pharmacy courses in Canada. They are:

  • Université de Montréal
  • Université Laval

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