Pharmacy Schools in North Carolina - 2024

North Carolina, just like any other state in the nation has witnessed a spurt in the use of prescription drugs due to an increase in the incidence of chronic and lifestyle diseases. This leads to a growing demand for pharmacists in the pharmaceutical industry. As of 2021, there are around 10,350 pharmacists in the state drawing an average annual salary of $126,790. To become a licensed pharmacist, you must complete your Doctor of Pharmacy program from any of the accredited pharmacy schools in the state. To help you take the first step towards becoming a pharmacist we have ranked the ACPE accredited pharmacy schools in North Carolina, based on their NAPLEX performance.

Our Ranking Methodology

We have ranked the 3 pharmacy schools in NC based on their past four years NAPLEX first time pass rates. 40% weightage was given to the school's pass rates of 40% weightage given to 2021, 30% to 2020, 20% to 2019 and 10% to 2018. The first-time pass percentage of NAPLEX can help gauge the success of a pharmacy program as the exam is meant to measure the knowledge and skills required to practice as a pharmacist.

NAPLEX Pass Rate YearWeightage

2024 Ranking of ACPE Accredited Pharmacy Schools in North Carolina

#1. University of North Carolina

Ranking Score: 96.15%
Location: Chapel Hill & Asheville
Accreditation: ACPE
Program Length: 4 Years

About the College: The Eshelman School of Pharmacy at University of North Carolina is consistently counted among the best pharmacy colleges in North Carolina by college ranking experts like "U.S. News and World Report." Pharm.D. students will spend most of their time at the Chapel Hill campus, but a few courses are taught at the satellite campus in nearby Ashville.

Program Details: The School launched a new four-year curriculum in 2015 that emphasizes experiential learning and critical thinking over lecture materials and rote memorization. Clinical rotations begin the summer following the first year of coursework and take place at health care facilities like Duke University Hospital, the Mission Hospitals system and the University of North Carolina Hospitals system. In their fourth year, students are given the opportunity to pursue a Research and Scholarship in Pharmacy elective, to travel to a foreign country as a Global Pharmacy Scholar or to earn a certificate in Rural Pharmacy Health.

University of North Carolina NAPLEX Performance
Year # of Students Attempted Pass Rate

#2. Campbell University

Ranking Score:89.64%
Location: Buies Creek
Accreditation: ACPE
Program Length: 4 Years

About the College: Campbell University's College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences' Pharm.D. program adopted a new curriculum in 2017 that uses a "block" formula for classroom work. Academic coursework now consists of total immersion in a few concentrated subject areas each semester. This Pharm.D. program in NC emphasizes interprofessional education so that graduates will know how to function effectively as part of a health care team.

Program Details: Students carry approximately 19 units per semester while enrolled in this four-year program, and each academic block includes a pharmacy practice skills lab. Clinical rotations begin in the summer of either the first or second year and take place at facilities like East Carolina University/Vidant Medical Center, Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center and the Duke VA Medical Centers system. In their fourth year, students will be divided into four groups-each of which covers a distinct geographic area and sent to smaller community hospitals, long-term care facilities, and chain and independently owned pharmacies for advanced pharmacy practice training.

Campbell University NAPLEX Performance
Year # of Students Attempted Pass Rate

#3. Wingate University School of Pharmacy

Ranking Score: 73.85%
Accreditation: ACPE
Program Length: 4 Years

About the College: Wingate University's School of Pharmacy enrolls 100 students into its Pharm.D. program every year: 80 students at the home campus in Wingate and 20 students at the Hendersonville campus. The curriculum is identical for both sets of students. Synchronous classroom instruction is facilitated by state-of-the-art technology.

Program Details: The School's four-year Pharm.D. program focuses on imparting professionalism as well as in teaching pharmaceutical sciences. Clinical rotations begin during the first year of the curriculum, and by the time they graduate, students will have completed more than 2,150 hours of practice training. In fact, this School of Pharmacy's pharmacy practice component comprises a greater percentage of its curriculum than that of any other pharmacy school in the U.S.

Wingate University School of Pharmacy NAPLEX Performance
Year # of Students Attempted Pass Rate

Typical Pharm.D. Program Details in NC

Why Should I Apply for an ACPE Accredited Pharm. D. Program?

To start with, you must know that an ACPE Accredited Pharm. D. Program is widely recognized anywhere in the nation. Graduating from an accredited pharmacy school will help elbow out competition in the employment market as you will be more preferred by employers. Moreover, you can be assured of studying a coursework that is dynamic and revised, reflecting scientific and technological advances.

Program Length

Well, to complete your Doctor of Pharmacy you will require six to eight years of college study. However, a Pharm. D. Program all by itself takes only four years to complete. The additional two to four years are required to complete the pre-pharmacy curriculum requirements, which you must do before you enroll for a Pharm. D. Program.


Your cost of pharmacy education in North Carolina will depend on the school you choose to study. Before you enroll for a program, it is prudent to know what all is included in the tuition cost. Additionally, your in-state or out-of-state status will greatly impact tuition costs. The cost of pursuing a Pharm. D. Program in NC will range between $99,843 and $197,555.


The curriculum of a Pharm. D. Program is extensive and spans over four years. It combines classroom learning with pharmacy practice experiences and integrates pharmaceutical and clinical sciences. Students are prepared for a career in pharmacy by taking courses in foundational knowledge, clinical sciences and personal and professional development. During the first two years, students get an opportunity to two, month long practice experiences in community and hospital settings. The entire fourth year includes advanced practice experiences in community, ambulatory care, geriatric patient care, in-patient settings and hospital pharmacies. You can get a fair idea about the Pharm. D. coursework by going through the sample curriculum of Campbell University.

Sample Curriculum

P1 YearP2 Year
Pharmacy SeminarCommunity: IPPE
Biomedical FoundationsPharmacy Seminar
US Health CareIntegrated Pharmacotherapy – Cardiovascular
Pharmacy Practice SkillsPharmacy Practice Skills
Personal/Professional DevelopmentHealth Outcomes and Informatics
Pharmaceutics, Pharmacokinetics & CalculationsPersonal/Professional Development
Drug InformationPublic Health & Wellness
Pharmaceutical Sciences FoundationsElectives
Nonprescription TherapeuticsIntegrated Pharmacotherapy – Renal
Integrated Pharmacotherapy - Infection & ImmunityPharmacogenomics
Medical Literature EvaluationLaw & Ethics
Integrated Pharmacotherapy - EndocrineIntegrated Pharmacotherapy - Neurology/Psychiatry
P3 YearP4 Year
Hospital: IPPEAdvanced Community: APPE
Pharmacy SeminarAmbulatory Care: APPE
Integrated Pharmacotherapy – MusculoskeletalGeriatrics: APPE
Clinical Research Design ProjectInternal Medicine I: APPE
Pharmacy Practice SkillsInternal Medicine II: APPE
Personal/Professional DevelopmentAdvanced Hospital: APPE
Integrated Pharmacotherapy - Pulmonary, Otic, Ophthalmic
Integrated Pharmacotherapy - Dermatology & Nutrition
Integrated Pharmacotherapy - Hematology/Oncology
Integrated Pharmacotherapy - Special Populations
Integrated Pharmacotherapy - Clinical Updates
Source: Campbell University

Licensure - Passing the NAPLEX and MPJE in North Carolina

To become a licensed pharmacist in North Carolina, you must pass the NAPLEX as well as MPJE. Go through the basic requirements and then apply to NC Board of Pharmacy to be granted eligibility for both these exams. Once you get a confirmation mail from the board you must create your e-profile on the NABP and then pay for the NAPLEX and MPJE through the site. The exams are administered through Pearson VUE, Monday through Saturday, excluding holidays.

North Carolina Pharm.D. Graduates NAPLEX Performance (2018-2021)

When we look at the NAPLEX Pass rates over the last four years, we see pharmacy students in North Carolina perform consistently well. Each year the performance has been better than the national aggregate, and in the most recent 2021, compared to the national aggregate of 89.63%, 302 NC students passed with a higher percent of 83.33%.

School Location 2018 2019 2020 2021
#Taken Pass % #Taken Pass % #Taken Pass % #Taken Pass %
University of North Carolina Chapel Hill 155 95.50% 129 92.00% 133 98.00% 134 97.00%
Campbell University Buies Creek 111 96.40% 96 90.00% 103 92.00% 93 86.00%
Wingate University School of Pharmacy Wingate 86 89.53% 104 78.00% 81 75.00% 75 67.00%
Overall California NAPLEX Performance 352 93.81% 329 86.67% 317 88.33% 302 83.33%

How Much Do Pharmacists Make in North Carolina?

A pharmacist in North Carolina earns an annual salary of $126,790, which is less than the national average of $125,690. Pharmacists working part-time earn an hourly wage of $60.96. Hickory-Lenoir-Morganton, Durham-Chapel Hill, and Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia are some of the top pharmacist paying metros in the state.

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Pharmacist 10-Year Job Outlook in North Carolina

The projected employment growth rate for pharmacists in NC is 3.33% which is slightly higher than the national average of -2.14% in negative. The supply of pharmacists is in balance with demand and a relatively low percentage of pharmacists are entering retirement age as more young pharmacists are entering the job market. Annually NC will have 410 job openings available for pharmacist positions, which include new as well as replacements.

2020 Employment2030 EmploymentGrowthProjected Annual Job Openings (New + Replacement)
Source: Career One Stop

Also Check Out

  • 25 Best Pharmacy Schools - 2024
  • Find the Best Pharmacy Technician Schools in North Carolina