Scholarships for Pharmacy Students

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A shift in U.S. age demographics continues to contribute to an increased need for qualified medical personnel.  As baby-boomers move through their twilight years in greater numbers; additional nurses, physician’s assistants, doctors and health technicians are needed. Pharmacists are in demand, along with other health care providers.

Pharmaceutical Sciences, Pharmacology and Pharmacy Technician programs around the country draw from dedicated groups of science-oriented career-seekers who gain admission to worthy U.S. programs.  Preparation for success in these competitive educational fields includes a strong science background, but it is also important for pharmacy degree candidates to earn well-rounded educational foundations.  Pharmacy degree programs are light on courses in history, literature and other humanities, so these curricular areas should be emphasized during earlier stages of education – alongside each student’s science preparation.

High school biology, chemistry and physics are subjects that lend themselves to Pharm.D. pursuits.  Strong mathematics skills and effective communication are additional prerequisites for successful pharmacist careers.Pharmacy students

Popular Pharmacy Scholarships

Pharmacy scholarships originate from a range of sources, including industry associations, foundations, corporations and private philanthropic organizations.  These examples illustrate some of the scholarship opportunities available for pharmaceutical science majors:

The “Gateway To Research” Scholarship is a joint effort put forth by the American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists and the American Foundation for Pharmaceutical Education (AFPE). The funding is specifically disbursed to encourage promising pharmacy students to enter research fields and continue into higher education programs that lead to PhD degrees.  Up to three $5,000 scholarships are distributed annually to help pharmacy degree students earn degrees centered on research. The scholarships also provide $500 stipends for winners to attend the annual American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists conferences. To qualify for the scholarship, undergraduate pharmacy students apply after they have completed one year of a bachelor’s degree program.

The American Foundation for Pharmaceutical Education also sponsors some “Gateway” Scholarships independently.  Up to eleven awards are granted annually, in much the same way the joint awards are administered.  Additional AFPE resources for Pharmaceutical Science students include:

  • First-year graduate school fellowships
  • Pre-doctoral clinical scholarships
  • Faculty development fellowships in community pharmacy practice
  • Faculty development fellowships in geriatric pharmacy
  • Minority pre-doctoral fellowships

Rite Aid Competitive Pharmacy Scholarships are intended for pharmacy students maintaining  grade point averages of at least 2.5.  Qualified applicants have completed at least 2 years of a pharmacy degree program. The Rite Aid internship program opens doors to this scholarship, which is reserved for interns and dependent of Rite Aid employees. School-specific funding is also available, thanks to Rite Aid. The corporation recruits in states like Arkansas, Minnesota, and Wisconsin, where Rite Aid pharmacy is not established as a retail presence. Students attending pharmacy schools in these states qualify for scholarships.

The American Pharmacists Association (APhA) provides Student Scholarships for degree candidates who have completed at least one year of education in a pharmacy program.  Qualified applicants maintain 2.75 grade point averages and submit 500-word essays to the scholarship committee. The scholarship is offerred to applicants who are active within their local American Pharmacists Association Academy of Student Pharmacists chapter (APhA-ASP).

American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy administers a stable of financial aid for pharmacy education.  By partnering with corporate sponsors and other interested parties, AACP expands opportunities for educational financing.  The group’s Walmart Scholars Program, for instance, encourages students to pursue academic pharmacy careers, by awarding stipends that allow students and mentors to jointly attend the AACP Annual Meeting.  75 student/faculty pairs benefited from a recent year’s program, which provided $1000 to each pair.  Graduate students, professional doctoral candidates and pharmacy residents are invited to apply alongside their sponsoring mentors.  Each eligible pair qualifies by submitting letters of intent and demonstrating dedication to the profession.  Additional AACP Scholarships:

  • New Investigator Award – Specifically reserved for start-up costs associated with pharmacy research facilities.
  • IOM Anniversary Pharmacy Fellowship – One pharmacy fellowship is funded by this new initiative annually.
  • FMI Foundation Health and Wellness Pharmacy Practice Ideation Award – Supports student research projects that expand pharmacy’s role in preventing illnesses.

CVS Pharmacy is a multi-national chain with a big stake in advancing pharmacy-related professions.  As a result, the company takes an active role in education.  CVS Caremark Charitable Trust Pharmacy Scholarships.  Fully accredited institutions of pharmacy education, within the United States and Puerto Rico, are eligible to participate in the program, which grants institutional funding to be distributed to worthy pharmacy students.

Additional Campus Resources

Schools like Purdue University maintain campus-specific financial aid programs for pharmacy students.  Endowments or purpose-grants provide resources that are distributed to worthy degree candidates, at all levels of pharmacy study.  Doctor of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences Scholarships, for example, support Purdue pharmacy students with annual scholarships valued at $500 – $2000 each.  Approximately 150 awards are granted each academic year, with a portion reserved exclusively for new entrants to the pharmacy program.  In addition, dozens of designated Purdue Pharmacy College Endowments enable school-specific research funding for pharmacy projects.

South Carolina College of Pharmacy extends scholarships to worthy educational program participants.  Awards are issued primarily based on each applicant’s performance, but a need-based component is included in the candidate review process.  The awards selection committee also considers special individual circumstances. Campus endowments provide perpetual funding for several pharmacy scholarship programs put forth by SCCP.  The Vivian F. Platt, Sr. Memorial Endowed Scholarship, for example, awards $10,000 annually to a South Carolina pharmacy student who maintains a 3.0 GPA.


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