Explore Summer Pharmacy Programs for High School Students
Introductory Information about Pharmacy Summer Programs
Pharmacists play an integral role in healthcare. Pharmacists fill prescriptions, examine potential reactions that medications can cause, share information with patients, collaborate with other medical professions, and do much more. Pharmacists can work in a variety of settings such as hospitals, nursing homes, universities, retail settings, and various other medical facilities.
Pharmacy summer programs and camps provide high school students with the opportunity to explore careers in the field. These programs often enable students to gain insight into the profession, learn from college professors and/or clinical pharmacists, develop an understanding of the educational pathways that can lead to becoming a part of the field, and participate in hands-on active learning experiences to get a sense of what a pharmacist does on a day-to-day basis.
Learning about Educational Pathways through Pharmacy Summer Programs
Summer pharmacy programs can help high school students to begin to determine if a college track and career in the field would be a good fit for them. The programs can allow students to see pharmacists in action, engage in simulations, and learn about key aspects involved with a job in pharmacy. These experiences can provide valuable information to high school students, who have an interest in pursuing a career in the pharmacy profession.
In general, summer pharmacy programs provide students with meaningful information about the educational pathways involved in pursuing a career in the field. The summer programs can also help students to think about whether they would like to engage in academic endeavors that can lead to entering the pharmacy profession.
According to the University of California, Irvine, a Pharm.D is a doctoral degree in pharmacy, which can lead to becoming a licensed clinical pharmacist. There are a number of colleges and universities that offer Pharm.D programs, but not every college has a program.
A Pharm.D is considered to be a graduate professional program. There are typically undergraduate requirements that are needed to enter a graduate program in pharmacy. When high school students are researching, visiting, and considering colleges it can be helpful to find out each institution’s educational preparation for the field of pharmacy.
Different College Options
Some colleges have pre-pharmacy or pre-professional tracks that help students to meet the standard undergraduate requirements for attending a graduate Pharm.D program. For example, the University of Evansville has a pre-pharmacy track along with advising that is designed to prepare students for a graduate program in pharmacy. Other universities try to streamline the educational process by connecting a bachelor’s degree with a Pharm.D. For example, the Ohio State University College of Pharmacy has a combined Bachelor of Science in Pharmaceutical Sciences, which is streamlined with a Pharm.D degree.
Summer pharmacy programs can be beneficial for high school students with regard to learning about the educational options and having experiences that can help begin to assess the level of interest in the pursuit of a career in the field of pharmacy.
Pre-College Pharmacy Summer Programs
Many summer pharmacy programs are considered to be pre-college programs that take place on a college campus. These programs provide high school students with the opportunity to gain experience in a college setting while learning about pharmacy.
Pre-college summer programs are designed to introduce or help students become more familiar with a college environment. Pre-college pharmacy summer programs often enable students to utilize resources on a campus, speak with current undergraduate or graduate students who are pursuing a pharmacy degree, meet professors, preview post-secondary academic expectations, and experience life in a college setting.
It can be helpful for high school students to gain exposure to academic opportunities as well as to life in college. The experiences in a pre-college program can also help build confidence for the transition that occurs when high school concludes. Pre-college pharmacy programs allow students to learn about a subject of interest while previewing what it is like to live and learn in college.
What if I Cannot Participate in a Summer Pharmacy Program?
There can be many reasons why high school students may be unable to take part in a summer program. While pharmacy programs can help high school students learn about the profession and educational options, there are alternative ways in which students can enhance their knowledge about pursuing a career in pharmacy. The summer months can provide a good opportunity for high school students to become more informed about the field of pharmacy.
One option for high school students is to shadow a pharmacist in a local area. Job shadowing can provide students with the chance to observe a pharmacist in action and learn about the types of activities that are involved with the profession. It can also be useful for students to shadow multiple pharmacists in different settings. High school students can inquire about job shadowing with local pharmacies and medical facilities.
Another possible option to learn about pharmacy involves interviewing a pharmacist or multiple pharmacists. Students can learn about the profession by asking question such as:
- What was your educational pathway to become a licensed pharmacist?
- What types of responsibilities do you have on a regular basis?
- What do you like best about a career in pharmacy?
- What is your least favorite aspect about the pharmacy field?
- What led you to pursue a career as a pharmacist?
Obtaining Information from the School of Pharmacy at a Local College or University
Another option that students can consider is to contact the Department of Pharmacy at a nearby college. By setting up an appointment to visit the university, students can find out information about the pharmacy program. This can be valuable as students plan out high school coursework and learn about the types of college courses that can be helpful for a career in pharmacy. Students can also inquire about opportunities to speak with current undergrads or Pharm.D students to gain information from someone who is currently pursuing a degree in pharmacy.
STEM Summer Programs
If a pharmacy program does not work due to the schedule, length, or location, high school students may want to consider a summer program in a related area such as science or math. There are a variety of STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) programs that may be useful for students who are interested in pharmacy. While STEM programs often do not specifically focus on pharmacy, they can provide meaningful experiences that involve learning about topics, such as biology and chemistry, that can help prepare students for pharmacy-based coursework. There is more information about STEM programs on the following page: Summer STEM Programs.
Volunteering in a Medical Field
One option that can be meaningful and helpful for students involves volunteering in a medical setting, particularly in a place where pharmacists work. Pharmacy is a part of the healthcare/medical field. As a result, it can be useful for high school students to gain experience in a medical environment such as a hospital or clinical medical facility. This can be a good opportunity for students to make a difference in the community. There may also be an opportunity for students to speak with a pharmacist to find out more about the profession.
If students have an interest in participating in a summer pharmacy program, but there is an issue with finances or cost, it is recommended that students contact a program representative to inquire about possible options. While it does not always work out, speaking with a program representative can sometimes be useful. Additionally, students can also consider speaking with a school counselor, as the counselor may know about programs or opportunities that would be feasible.
Researching and Finding Summer Pharmacy Programs
When high school students are interested in participating in a pharmacy summer program, it can be useful for them to take some time to research and read about potential options. While pharmacy programs are designed to provide beneficial learning experiences, they can differ in regards to length, dates, costs, structure, instruction, daily experiences, location, and other factors.
This article provides examples of different summer pharmacy opportunities that may be of interest to high school students. The list of pharmacy summer programs is not meant to be exhaustive. Instead, it is intended to provide examples of the types of experiences that can be offered through a summer program that focuses on the pharmacy profession.
Examples of Pharmacy Summer Programs
Auburn University Summer Pharmacy Camp
Auburn offers a summer pharmacy camp that is designed to help upper-grade level high school students learn more about the pharmacy profession. The program provides students with the opportunity to engage in experiential learning activities utilizing the resources at the university. This gives participants a chance to preview tasks that are often done by pharmacists.
The summer program also provides high school students with the opportunity to learn about different settings in which pharmacists can work. Participants have a chance to see pharmacists working and find out information about the profession.
One of the features of this program involves the interaction between high school students and current pharmacy students. This provides a chance for high school students to learn about the type of educational experiences that are offered through a pharmacy degree.
This pre-college program is designed to be residential and students can stay on the campus in university-run housing. This allows students to become more familiar with living and learning in a college environment.
There is an application for this program and there are a limited number of scholarship opportunities available. The program is intended to be for rising high school juniors and seniors as well as those students who just completed high school.
University of Wisconsin Summer High School Pharmacy Program
The Summer Pharmacy Program at the University of Wisconsin, Madison enables upper-grade level high school students to become more familiar with education and career opportunities in the field of pharmacy. During the program, participants have the opportunity to speak with professors, learn about the Pharm.D program, and utilize resources available through the School of Pharmacy.
Through this program, students have the chance to visit work settings and learn about the different types of healthcare facilities that employ pharmacists. Participants also can speak with current pharmacy students to inquire about their experiences in a pharmacy program.
This program also gives students hands-on experiences related to pharmacy. Students participate in labs and active learning exercises to gain insight into the responsibilities of a pharmacist.
This program is designed to be residential, which enables students to get a preview and a feel for college life. During the program, students can stay in university dormitories and have meals in campus dining facilities.
There is an application for this program. The program is intended to be for rising high school 11th and 12th grade students.
University of Findlay Summer Pharmacy Camp
The Pharmacy Summer Camp is run by the College of Pharmacy at the university. The summer program is designed to provide high school students with an overview of the pharmacy profession as well as the educational program at the university.
During the program, students have the opportunity to gain insight into a variety of topics and current practices pertaining to the pharmacy field. For example, students can learn about topics such as compounding medication, the integral role that pharmacists play in healthcare, emerging medications, and more.
The program is also designed to give students an understanding of the employment settings in which pharmacists work and to visit local pharmacies to learn more about the daily responsibilities of practicing pharmacists.
This pre-college summer program provides a residential option for students, which enables them to stay in dorms and have meals in the university’s dining facilities. The program is designed for high school students who will be going into the 11th or 12th grade.
University of Connecticut Pre-College Pharmacy Summer Program
The Summer Pharmacy Course, known as Explore the Field, is a part of the U Conn Pre-College Program. This summer opportunity provides high school students with a thorough overview of the educational path and career fields in pharmacy. Students meet, speak with, and learn from faculty members from the University of Connecticut’s College of Pharmacy.
This summer program enables high school students, who are interested in the field of pharmacy, to gain insight into a variety of aspects of the profession. It also helps students obtain information to answer questions such as:
- What are the educational requirements to become a practicing pharmacist?
- What types of career options are available for licensed pharmacists?
- What kind of skills are utilized in the pharmacy profession?
Through this program, participants also have the chance to speak with Pharm.D students to find out first-hand about their experiences. In addition, participants take part in a variety of instructional activities that are designed to help them learn about aspects of the pharmacy profession.
As a part of the university’s pre-college program, students can stay on the campus and utilize campus facilities. There is an application for this program. The pre-college program at the university is intended for students who be going into the 10th, 11th, and 12th grades.
University of Pittsburgh Pharmacy Summer Program
The summer pharmacy program at the University of Pittsburgh is called Rxplore. This program provides upper-grade level high school students with a comprehensive overview of the field of pharmacy. Participants have the opportunity to regularly interact and learn from current aspiring pharmacists in the university’s program. The program is led by current pharmacy students. As a result, high school students can learn about why aspiring pharmacists have chosen this career field and the path that has led them there.
In the program, students learn about a variety of topics pertaining to pharmacy such as medication development, patient consulting, medication compounding, collaboration with other healthcare providers, and more. Participants also have the chance to engage in experiential learning with the use of resources from the College of Pharmacy. In addition, students learn about and visit places where pharmacists practice.
This summer experience can provide participants with the opportunity to learn about pharmacy, converse with pharmacy students and professors, gain insight into career options, become more familiar with the university, and get a preview of college life. This program is designed to be residential in nature, which gives students the opportunity to reside on the campus during the program.
There is an application for this program and financial aid is available for qualifying students. The program is intended to be for students who will be going into the 11th and 12th grades.
University of Arkansas for Medical Science Summer Pharmacy Camp
The Pharmacy Summer Camp is designed to help upper-grade high school students become more familiar with the field of pharmacy. The camp is run by the College of Pharmacy and it is meant to provide students with important and interesting information about careers in pharmacy. This summer program is also intended to provide students with information pertaining to the education that is required to become a licensed pharmacist, which includes ideas about high school and college classes that can be used to prepare for a doctoral degree program in pharmacy.
Through the summer camp, students have the opportunity to learn from and interact with professors from the College of Pharmacy. Participants also have the chance to learn from activities such as lectures, demonstrations, simulations, and lab-based exercises. In addition, students get to visit local pharmacists at their places of work and get a better idea of the way that knowledge and skills gained in a pharmacy program can be applied in a real-world setting.
This pre-college program is residential-based with students staying on the university’s campus. There is an application for the program and scholarships are available for students with a financial need. The summer camp is designed for high school students going into the 12th grade and for those who have just finished the 12th grade.
The University of Mississippi Pharmacy Summer Programs
There are two summer pharmacy opportunities for high school students at the University of Mississippi. These programs are designed to introduce high school students to the field of pharmacy and to help them become more familiar with career opportunities in the profession.
One of the programs, known as the Summer College Pre-Pharmacy Program, is a part of the larger Summer College experience that is offered by the university. The pharmacy program enables students to learn from faculty members, go on trips to places where pharmacists work, engage in project-based learning, participate in experiential-based activities, and collaborate with peers. This program provides participants with foundational knowledge, information, and skills that can help them to determine if they would like to pursue an educational path that could lead to a career in pharmacy.
A large variety of topics are covered through the Summer College Pre-Pharmacy Program. This experience is designed for high school students who are a minimum of fifteen years old prior to the program beginning and who meet certain academic requirements.
Another summer program that is offered by the School of Pharmacy is called the Rebel Summer Camp. This program is approximately a week in length and it is designed to provide high school students with a solid introduction to the field of pharmacy. Through this summer camp, students have the opportunity to gain knowledge from professionals in the field of pharmacy, meet graduates of the university’s pharmacy program, learn about significant topics pertaining to the pharmacy profession, and participate in active and experiential learning exercises. There are also trips to local sites that are built into this summer camp. The summer camp is intended for students in grades nine through twelve.
Additional Examples Pharmacy Summer Camps for High School Students
University of Georgia Summer Pharmacy Institute
- This program enables students to learn about pharmacy through instruction as well as guided learning activities. Participants have the chance to work collaboratively with peers, meet professors from the College of Pharmacy at the university, become more familiar with college expectations, utilize university-level resources, and learn about current topics in the area of pharmacy.
- This program has been designed for high school students, who are going into the 11th and 12th grades. There are some scholarships available based on financial need.
Learn more: Summer Pharmacy Program at UGA
University of Kansas Summer Pharmacy Program
- The pharmacy summer camp offers students a chance to gain insight into what it is like to become a pharmacist. During the program, students participate in a variety of activities and learn about a range of topics that pertain to the pharmacy profession. Participants also have a chance to interact with graduate students and professors from the Pharmacy School.
- The summer camp is designed to be residential. It is intended to be for high school students as well as recent high school graduates.
Learn more: KU Summer Pharmacy Camp
The University of Missouri-Kansas City Pharmacy Summer Camp
- This summer pharmacy camp is held on three of the university’s campuses. The program enables students to learn about the field of pharmacy, educational tracks that can lead to becoming a part of the pharmacy profession, and topics that are significant for pharmacists. The program provides participants with the opportunity to meet aspiring pharmacists at the university, which can be helpful in gaining a better understanding of the training that leads to being a pharmacist.
- The program is intended for high school students who have completed freshman year and up.
Samford University Bulldog Summer Pharmacy Camp
- This summer camp provides a chance for upper-grade high school students to learn about topics and career options in pharmacy. Students participate in a variety of activities such as viewing demonstrations, engaging in hands-on learning, and going to places where pharmacists work.
- The week-long summer camp is residential-based and is intended for rising high school 11th and 12th graders.
Learn more: Samford Pharmacy Summer Camp