Does It Matter What Pharmacy School You Go To?

Does It Matter What Pharmacy School You Go To?

Choosing a career path has to be the hardest or easiest thing one has to do. After slaying that giant, comes a bigger one, which college or university to join. Looking back, the latter was a slam dunk for me as pursing a pharmacy had been a dream of mine. Choosing what pharmacy school to attend however was the real challenge.

Does it matter what pharmacy school you go to? 

Yes, it does matter what pharmacy school you go to and here is why.


To become a licensed pharmacist, you are required to have graduated from a recognized and accredited university. The Pharmacy and Poisons Board has approved these 7-best bachelor of pharmacy universities. This means the education provided by these schools meets an acceptable level of quality. While degrees from most universities are only recognized locally or regionally, the USIU-Africa enjoys both local and American accreditations making their degrees internationally recognized.

Do proper research on the qualifications of the university you wish to attend, lest you risk discontinuation when the government cracks the whip on unqualified schools. University rankings too do matter, be sure to check them out.


The money aspect is critical and deserves a sober sitting before deciding on what pharmacy school you will go to. You might be required to dig deeper into your pockets as pharmacy school is relatively expensive. There are the privileged who need not break a sweat footing the bills but before plugging head first into student loans and debts, it is wise to have a clear idea of how much is needed.

Every year the Kenya University and Colleges Central Placement Service KUCCPS handles the placement of these government sponsored students into various private and public universities. Tuition fee paid by government sponsored students amounts to about Ksh 30,000 per year. Since the government can only support so much students to do as expensive a course as this, the KUCCPS selection is highly competitive and many miss out. Don’t write off the dream of yourself in a white coat just yet. You can still join pharmacy school as a self-sponsored student.

When compared to private schools, you might think tuition fee in public unis is a bit cheaper. This however is not the case with some of the universities offering pharmacy course in the country. I would advise looking up and comparing fee structures to find the school within your price range.

Bodies like Higher Education Loans Board help cushion this financial burden by dishing out student loans of up to Ksh 60,000 per year to students who might need it. To find out how you can apply for HELB loans, click here. While such loans offer a relief, it is important to remember they are loans not free aids. You will be required to pay back, often with interest, once done with school.

Besides the tuition fee paid to the school, extra coins are needed for accommodation, food, books and personal utilities. Most schools offer on campus accommodation at an added cost. May you choose to stay off campus, include commuting fee to your budget.


I knew pharmacy school was no walk in the park and I needed my family and friends close to see me through tough weeks. For this reason, I chose a school near my home town. I have friends who don’t share in my sentiments and ended up enrolling to in schools miles away from home. Something about finding new environments challenging and an opportunity to learn and grow. Whichever floats your boat, far away or close to home.

Emotionally stained opinions aside, the physical location of an institution is of importance. The better part of the 5 years in pharmacy school will be spent in the town your school is located. This will be the starting point of your career as a pharmacist. The number and quality of networks you build whilst there will determine the direction your profession will take. Big cities are laden with learning opportunities and brushing shoulders with giants in the profession is bound to happen more often than in the rural/small towns. 

 Visit the School

After checking all the previous boxes, you should be down to two or three schools you can apply to. Physically visit the schools and get a feel of the environment. The admissions office is usually generous with information, do not be afraid to ask any questions you might have. Tour the school, see the lecture halls and if possible, visit their laboratories too. Do you see yourself studying there?

At this point, you have gone through all the information available online about the said school. Seeing for yourself and proving that what is sold in the websites is the same thing delivered is key. If you have friends in these schools, getting a candid opinion from them would be a plus. You might find out more this way compared to tapping behind a computer.

When all said and done, things don’t always happen how we plan them out to. You might not get into the pharmacy school of your choice. I understand how disappointing this might me but we got to play with the cards we are dealt with. Adapt fast and let the reason you got into pharmacy motivate you to give your best in the 5 years of study. After graduation, the Pharmacy and Poisons Boards subjects everyone to an exam(s) before granting you the license to practice. With the title Dr. before your name, it will not matter much which school you attended.

What are your thoughts on todays topic? Do you think it matters which Pharmacy school you go to? Kindly share and comment down below. Also check out our previous blog post on 15 Best Books Every Pharmacy Student Should Read if you haven’t already. 


  1. Great piece Vata????????????another considerable factor is how timely students finish their degrees once they enroll

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