The doctor of pharmacy degree (PharmD) replaced the bachelor of pharmacy degree (BPharm) program in the United States. The Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education changed the degree requirement nationwide for licensed pharmacists from bachelor's degree to doctorate degree in 1997, and the transition was completed in academic year 2004-2005. Therefore, graduates holding a bachelor's degree in pharmacy must return to school and earn a PharmD in order to obtain licensure, which is required for pharmacists who work in a clinical setting or retail pharmacy.

Visit the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy website. Click on student center under the resources tab. Go to pharmacy school locator. Select the region of attendance or the list of AACP institutional members.

Select PharmD schools to attend. Choose schools that have regular institutional membership, which means they are fully accredited. Schools with an associate institutional membership are candidates for accreditation.

Go to selected schools websites, which are available through the school locator. Look at each selected school thoroughly. Some schools offer the PharmD program fully online, partially online, or through face-to-face classes.

Apply to selected schools. Be sure to include all admission forms, such as application, college transcript and letters of reference. Wait for acceptance letters and choose which school to attend.

Begin classes for PharmD program, which typically takes four years for completion. Time to complete varies depending on how many courses are taken each semester. Maintain the required grade point average throughout the entire program.