THIS SITE

Information for

  1. How many spaces are there in the School of Pharmacy for first-year students? How many people will apply?
  2. How many years does it take to complete the Pharmacy program?
  3. What is the tuition fee?
  4. As a Pharmacy applicant, can I secure a space in one of the University of Waterloo residences?
  5. Can I arrange to go on a tour of the School of Pharmacy?
  6. Why does your program start in January?
  7. What are some examples of potential co-op jobs for Pharmacy students?
  8. What is the difference between a Pharmacist and a Pharmacy Technician?
  9. What is the difference between Pharmacy and Pharmacology?
  10. What graduate study opportunities in Pharmacy exist at University of Waterloo?
  11. Are pharmacy students eligible for loans, lines of credit, or other financial assistance to help pay for their education?
  12. Is the entry-to-practice Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) a graduate or doctoral program?

1.  How many spaces are there in the School of Pharmacy for first-year students? How many people will apply?

The School of Pharmacy currently plans to admit 120 students into each first year class of the program. The application process is competitive, as we receive approximately 600 applications each year.

Back to top

2.  How many years does it take to complete the Pharmacy program?

The PharmD program is a four-year professional degree program. More specifically, it runs over a course of 44 months. To be considered for admission to the Waterloo School of Pharmacy, a minimum of two years of post-secondary level study is generally required. The pre-Pharmacy years are typically taken through a Faculty of Science, although this is not an absolute requirement as long as the specific prerequisite courses are successfully completed.

Back to top

3.  What is the tuition fee?

For current information about tuition and incidental fees schedule. A number of financial institutions offer low interest lines of credit for Pharmacy students. There are also bursaries and scholarships available for financial assistance. During the paid co-op work terms, students earn money which can help cover the costs of their next academic term.

Back to top

4.  As a Pharmacy applicant, can I secure a space in one of the University of Waterloo residences?

Since all Pharmacy students have been previously enrolled in post-secondary studies, they are considered 'second entry'. While Pharmacy students are not guaranteed a space in residence at the main Waterloo campus, there are a limited number of these residence spaces accessible to Pharmacy students each year. The main campus in Waterloo is located about 5 km from the Downtown Kitchener Health Sciences Campus and is accessible by public bus transportation. Most students choose to live in off-campus housing which can be found in closer proximity to the Health Sciences Campus. Waterloo has a very active Off-Campus Housing office that is working to help students find suitable accommodations near the School.

Back to top

5.  Can I arrange to go on a tour of the School of Pharmacy?

Tours of the Pharmacy building are typically held in conjunction with the  Open Houses held in November and March. Due to the heavy use of the building, tours cannot generally be arranged at other times. For further information about the Open Houses, visit find out more at Waterloo.

Back to top

6.  Why does your program start in January?

The historical sequencing of the academic and co-op work terms makes it desirable to retain the January start date for subsequent admission cycles.

Back to top

7.  What are some examples of potential co-op jobs for Pharmacy students?

  • Community pharmacy practice, working with licensed pharmacists, in settings such as a retail pharmacy or a family health clinic
  • Institutional pharmacy practice, working with licensed pharmacists in hospitals, specialty facilities, or long term care institutions
  • Working at national, provincial, or local pharmacy organizations such as professional associations or regulatory agencies
  • Working with federal or provincial government agencies in the areas of drug approvals, health policy, or health informatics
  • Working across the country, the continent, and the world, as we will support and encourage international co-op work experience initiative

Back to top

8.  What is the difference between a Pharmacist and a Pharmacy Technician? 

A Pharmacist is a university-trained health professional. Practicing Pharmacists are licensed by a provincial regulatory body (e.g. Ontario College of Pharmacists) as health care providers who are held accountable for the skills required to ensure a patient receives optimal drug therapy. To become licensed, one of the requirements is that the candidate be a graduate of an accredited Pharmacy degree program. 

A Pharmacy Technician is typically community or business college-trained in the technical aspects of drug distribution in a community or hospital pharmacy practice site. These health professionals complete the ‘mechanics’ of the acquisition/distribution of drugs through a pharmacy, including the administrative aspects of documentation and third party billing. In Ontario, and some other provinces, Pharmacy Technicians can take responsibility for dispensing functions, freeing up the pharmacist to focus on direct patient care through the application of their therapeutic knowledge.

Back to top

9.  What is the difference between Pharmacy and Pharmacology?

A degree in Pharmacy (available from only ten universities in the country) provides the academic preparation required to become licensed as a Pharmacist. 

Pharmacology is the study of drugs and their actions within the body. Pharmacology is a component of the university Pharmacy program, and other Science degree programs. A degree in pharmacology on its own would not fulfil the academic requirements to become a licensed Pharmacist. A pharmacologist typically holds a graduate degree, and conducts research.

Back to top

10.  What graduate study opportunities in Pharmacy exist at University of Waterloo?

The School of Pharmacy is pleased to offer a broad-based Master of Science in Pharmacy program that offers courses and research opportunities in various Pharmacy disciplines. We also offer a PhD in Pharmacy program. For more information, please see the graduate section of our website.

Back to top

11. Are pharmacy students eligible for loans, lines of credit, or other financial assistance to help pay for their education?

Prospective students are encouraged to review the Student Awards & Financial Aid Office website, to explore financial assistance options, including OSAP. In addition, a number of financial institutions offer special programs for professional Pharmacy students, further information about which can be found on the Special Financial Services page.

Back to top

12. Is the entry-to-practice Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) a graduate or doctoral program?

The PharmD program is a second-entry professional degree, which will prepare students for entry into the professional practice of pharmacy. It is not a graduate degree, as a student is not required to complete an undergraduate degree prior to admission. For graduate programs, UWaterloo offers an MSc in Pharmacy and a PhD in Pharmacy.

Back to top