Study In Canada

Pharmacy Courses in Canada: A Complete 2024 Guide

8 min read
Blog Summary If you're thinking about studying pharmacy in Canada, you're in for a treat. Canadian universities offer some fantastic programs that blend solid academics with hands-on experience. You've got a variety of choices, from diplomas to doctorates, and the vibe in Canada is just as diverse as its education system. Plus, with an average IELTS requirement of 6.5 and tuition fees around CAD $130,000, it's a practical choice for many international students. Schools like the University of Toronto and McGill University stand out with their top-notch courses. And let's not forget, Canada's known for its quality of life - a big bonus for any student! So, if you're eyeing a career in pharmacy, Canada's definitely a place to consider.

Pharmacy Courses in Canada: Highlights

Pharmacy courses in Canada are recognised for offering a distinctive blend of top-tier education, hands-on experience, and research opportunities in one of the world's most livable countries. These courses are meticulously designed to furnish students with the essential knowledge and skills required to excel in the dynamic and challenging field of pharmacy. 

According to Erudera, Canada is the world’s third-leading destination for international students to get a higher education degree. As of 2023, there are 373,599 international students enrolled in tertiary education alone in Canada. 

Graduate Degrees

Diploma, Graduate Certificate, Post Graduate Diploma, Masters


8 months to 4 years


GPA – 2.6 out of 4.0

Tests Required

IELTS – 6.5 or above

Average Annual Tuition Fee

CAD $130,000


Read more: How to Study Masters in Pharmacy in Canada

Why Study Pharmacy Courses in Canada?

Studying pharmacy courses  offers several interesting and compelling advantages:

  • High-Quality Education System: Canada is renowned for its excellent education system. Canada has top pharmacy colleges with advanced programs in pharmaceutical research and practice.
  • Diverse Learning Environment: Canadian universities, known for their multicultural environment, attract students globally, including those seeking pharmaceutical courses in Canada. This diversity provides a rich cultural exchange and a global perspective on pharmacy practice.
  • Research Opportunities: Canada invests significantly in research, even  in the field of pharmacy and pharmaceutical sciences. Students enrolled in pharmacy colleges in Canada have opportunities to engage in groundbreaking research projects, often in collaboration with industry leaders.
  • High Standards of Practice: The Canadian healthcare system, among the best in the world, relies heavily on pharmacists. Studying here enables students to learn and practice under high standards of care and ethics, preparing them for successful careers in various healthcare settings.
  • Career Opportunities: Graduates from Canadian pharmacy programs are highly sought after due to their rigorous training. Canada's growing healthcare sector also offers numerous job opportunities for pharmacists, both within the country and internationally.
  • Focus on Practical Skills: Pharmacy programs in Canada often include hands-on training through internships, co-op programs, and practical workshops, allowing students to gain valuable real-world experience. This is especially true for specialised programs like the pharmacy technician course in Canada.
  • Regulatory Framework: Canada's robust regulatory framework for pharmaceuticals provides students, especially those enrolled in a pharmacy course in Canada after 12th, with an in-depth understanding of the legal and ethical aspects of pharmacy practice.
  • Quality of Life: Known for its high quality of life, safety, and inclusiveness, Canada is an attractive destination for international students, including those pursuing 1 year pharmacy courses in Canada.
  • Technological Advancement: Canadian pharmacy courses often incorporate the latest technology in their teaching, preparing students for a rapidly evolving digital healthcare landscape.
  • Global Recognition: Degrees from Canadian universities are recognised and respected worldwide, giving graduates an edge in the global job market.

Top Universities to Study Pharmacy in Canada

Several universities offer exceptional Pharmacy courses in Canada, each distinguished by its unique approach to education and research in the pharmaceutical sciences. Here’s a table detailing some of the top universities to study pharmacy in Canada, along with their QS Rankings, popular courses offered, duration of the courses, and average tuition fees:

Best Pharmacy Colleges in Canada     

QS Ranking (Pharmacy & Pharmacology)

Popular Courses Offered


Canada pharmacy courses cost (Approx)

University of Toronto

Top 20

Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD), Master of Science in Pharmacy (MScPhm), PhD in Pharmaceutical Sciences

PharmD: 4 years, MScPhm/PhD: Varies

CAD 45,000 - 55,000

University of British Columbia

Top 30

Bachelor of Pharmacy (BPharm), PharmD, MSc and PhD in Pharmaceutical Sciences

BPharm: 4 years, PharmD: 4 years, MSc/PhD: Varies

CAD 40,000 - 50,000

McGill University

Top 50

Bachelor of Science (Pharmacy), PharmD

BSc: 4 years, PharmD: 1-2 years post-BSc

CAD 25,000 - 35,000

Southern Alberta Institute of Technology

Top 100

Bachelor of Pharmacy (BPharm),, MSc and PhD in Pharmacy

BPharm: 4 years, PharmD: 4 years, MSc/PhD: Varies

CAD 20,000 - 30,000

University of Waterloo

Top 150

Bachelor of Pharmacy (BPharm), PharmD, MSc and PhD in Pharmacy

BPharm: 4 years, PharmD: 4 years, MSc/PhD: Varies

CAD 30,000 - 40,000

Explore more universities with AECC Search

Eligibility Criteria for Pharmacy Courses in Canada

Pursuing a career in pharmacy in Canada is a goal for many students, both domestic and international. The path to becoming a pharmacist is rigorous and starts with understanding the eligibility criteria for pharmacy course. This guide provides a detailed look into the prerequisites required to embark on this educational journey.

  • Educational Background: To enroll in pharmacy courses , especially post-secondary programs, a strong foundation in science subjects during high school (12th grade) is essential. This includes proficiency in biology, chemistry, mathematics, and sometimes physics.
  • Undergraduate Degree: For advanced pharmacy programs, such as a Master's or Doctorate in Pharmacy, a relevant undergraduate degree in sciences or pharmacy is typically required.
  • Language Proficiency: Non-native English speakers must demonstrate language proficiency through tests like IELTS or TOEFL, as English is the medium of instruction in Canadian universities.
  • Entrance Exams: Some universities may require scores from standardised tests like the PCAT (Pharmacy College Admission Test).
  • Relevant Experience: Prior experience or internships in healthcare or pharmaceutical settings can be advantageous for admission into competitive programs.
  • Licensure Requirements: Post-graduation pharmacists must obtain a license to practice, which involves passing the Pharmacy Examining Board of Canada (PEBC) exams.
  • Work Permit and Visa: International students should secure a study permit and, if planning to work during or after studies, a relevant work visa.

Admission Requirements for Pharmacy Courses in Canada

Canada offers pharmacy courses, each with its own set of admission requirements. These requirements are designed to ensure that students are well-prepared for the challenges of pharmaceutical courses in Canada. Here's a breakdown of the key admission requirements:

  • High School Diploma: Essential for those considering pharmacy courses in Canada right after 12th grade. Students need to complete high school with strong grades in science subjects like Chemistry, Biology, and Mathematics.
  • Undergraduate Studies (Optional but Preferred): An undergraduate degree, or at least two years of university-level science courses, is preferred by many programs. This is particularly important for advanced pharmacy programs in Canada.
  • Pharmacy College Admission Test (PCAT): This test is required by several Canadian pharmacy schools to assess scientific and general academic skills. It's a crucial step for admission into many pharmacy in Canada.
  • English Language Proficiency: Essential for non-native English speakers. Proficiency is typically demonstrated through tests like IELTS or TOEFL. In French-speaking regions, French proficiency might be required for certain pharmaceutical courses in Canada.
  • Healthcare-Related Experience: Prior work or volunteer experience in healthcare settings is highly valued, especially for those applying to comprehensive pharmacy programs in Canada.
  • Extracurricular Activities: Involvement in activities that demonstrate leadership, teamwork, and communication skills is beneficial.
  • Personal Statement: A detailed statement is crucial, outlining the student’s motivation, understanding of the pharmacy profession, and career aspirations. This helps in personalising the application for pharmacy courses in Canada.
  • Letters of Recommendation: These should preferably come from academic instructors or healthcare professionals who can vouch for the student's abilities and potential in the field of pharmacy.
  • Canadian Study Permit: International students looking to enrol in pharmacy courses  must obtain this permit, showing proof of financial stability and the intent to return home after their studies.
  • Medical Examination: This may be required as part of the visa process, especially for international students enrolling in pharmacy programs in Canada, depending on the student's country of origin.
  • Basic Understanding of the Canadian Healthcare System: While not a formal requirement, this is beneficial for integrating into the program and understanding the context of pharmaceutical practice in Canada.

Cost of Studying Pharmacy in Canada

Pharmacy courses in Canada offer a unique blend of world-class education, a multicultural environment, and excellent career prospects. Enrolling in one of the many esteemed pharmacy colleges in Canada allows students to embark on a profession that is highly respected and offers a wide range of opportunities in health care, research, and the pharmaceutical industry. The curriculum in Canadian pharmacy programs is known for its rigorous combination of theoretical knowledge and practical experience.

Best pharmacy colleges in canada     

Program Duration

Canada pharmacy courses cost (Approx)

Additional Costs (Books, Materials, etc.) (Approx)

University of Toronto

4 years

CAD $40,000 - $45,000

CAD $1,000 - $2,000

University of British Columbia

4 years

CAD $38,000 - $42,000

CAD $1,000 - $1,500

University of Alberta

4 years

CAD $20,000 - $25,000

CAD $800 - $1,500

McGill University

4 years

CAD $35,000 - $40,000

CAD $1,000 - $1,500

University of Manitoba

4 years

CAD $14,000 - $18,000

CAD $500 - $1,000

Job Prospects After Pursuing Pharmacy in Canada?

Studying pharmacy courses in Canada opens doors to a world of opportunities in the pharmaceutical and healthcare sectors. With a focus on quality education and diverse career prospects, international students can build a rewarding future in Canada. Here are some promising career opportunities:

Pharmacy Job Roles

Job Description

Retail Pharmacist

Dispense medications, offer health advice, and manage pharmacy operations in retail settings.

Hospital Pharmacist

Work in hospital settings, ensuring safe and effective medication use, collaborating with healthcare teams.

Clinical Pharmacist

Provide direct patient care, conduct medication therapy management, and optimise treatment plans.

Pharmaceutical Researcher

Conduct research on drug development, clinical trials, and contribute to advancements in pharmaceuticals.

Regulatory Affairs Specialist

Ensure compliance with drug regulations, manage approvals, and liaise with regulatory authorities.

Pharmacovigilance Specialist

Monitor and report adverse drug reactions, ensuring drug safety and compliance with regulatory standards.

Community Health Pharmacist

Focus on public health, providing services such as immunisations, health screenings, and medication management.

Pharmaceutical Sales Representative

Promote and sell pharmaceutical products to healthcare professionals and institutions.

Clinical Research Coordinator

Manage clinical research studies, including patient recruitment, data collection, and protocol adherence.

Pharmacy Manager

Oversee the operations of a pharmacy, including staff management, inventory control, and regulatory compliance.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Which pharmacy course is best in Canada?

The Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D.) programs at the University of Toronto and the University of British Columbia are often considered the best in Canada, known for their comprehensive curriculum, focus on clinical practice and excellent research opportunities.