Pharmacy Schools in Tennessee - 2021

The 16th most populous state in the nation, with a booming pharmaceutical industry has a steady demand for pharmacists in varied positions. Tennessee attracts a large number of tourists each year which further adds to the growth of prescription drug use. As of 2020, there are approximately 7,190 pharmacists working in the state, drawing an average annual salary of $118,880. You can be part of this workforce by completing a Pharm. D program from any of the pharmacy schools in the state. To help you get started, we have ranked ACPE accredited pharmacy schools in Tennessee based on their NAPLEX performance.

Our Ranking Methodology

Our ranking of pharmacy schools is mainly based on the NAPLEX first time pass rates. The performance of a school's graduates on the NAPLEX speaks volumes about the quality of education it offers and a successful performance clearly indicates the success of the program. NAPLEX pass rates of pharmacy colleges in Tennessee over the past four years were evaluated, giving 40% weightage to 2020, 30%to 2019, 20% to 2018 and 10% to 2017.

NAPLEX Pass Rate YearWeightage

2021 Ranking of ACPE Accredited Pharmacy Schools in Tennessee

#1. Union University

Ranking Score: 97.50%
Location: Jackson
Accreditation: ACPE

About the College: In 2008, Union University College of Pharmacy first opened its doors with a mission to provide patient-centered training through innovative learning solutions with an underlying Christian belief. The pharmacy college maintains 8:1 student to faculty ratio, facilitating student-focused and personalized education that records 95% NAPLEX pass rate.

Program Details: Accredited by the ACPE, the 4-year Pharm.D. Program offered at Union University imparts non-prescription drugs and anatomy knowledge straight from the first semester and within one year, you will receive education on human patient simulator technology. The college provides a Providence Hall where you can conduct extensive research, and practice in hospital pharmacy settings. At Union University, you can also opt for a 1-year PG pharmacy residency experience program where you gain valuable clinical experience in a specific residency of your choice.

Union University NAPLEX Performance
Year # of Students Attempted Pass Rate
2017 55 94.55%
2018 52 94.23%
2019 37 100.00%
2020 49 98.00%

#2. Lipscomb University

Ranking Score: 91.49%
Location: Nashville
Accreditation: ACPE

About the College: Lipscomb is the nation's first college of pharmacy that provided IBM Watson Analytics platform, facilitating student pharmacists to import and generate data, and explore the insights on their own. The college of pharmacy boasts of 100% job placement rate, 95.83% NAPLEX pass rate and 78.7% residency placement rate. The student to faculty ratio at Lipscomb is 8:1.

Program Details: The four-year Doctor of Pharmacy course offered at Lipscomb College of pharmacy comprises three years of clinical and scientific coursework, and the last year includes advanced practices. This full-time course is a cohort program that facilitates you with an option to opt for one of the three dual degree programs -

- Pharm.D. & Master of Health Care Informatics

- Pharm.D. & Master of Management in Healthcare

- Pharm.D. & Ph.D.

You can also include residency program in pharmacy practice, ambulatory care, community pharmacy, pharmacy informatics or psychiatric pharmacy.

Lipscomb University NAPLEX Performance
Year # of Students Attempted Pass Rate
2017 72 95.83%
2018 67 91.04%
2019 60 98.33%
2020 76 85.50%

#3. University of Tennessee

Ranking Score: 94.10%
Location: Memphis
Accreditation: ACPE

About the College: UTHSC College of Pharmacy is one of the highest ranked pharmacy colleges in TN and constantly features among the top 20 PharmD programs in the nation. The college offers a PharmD with four major concentrations. It also offers other pharmacy programs such as certificates in HIIM and nuclear pharmacy and a PhD. Some of the key highlights of the college include:

· 100 years of experience in pharmacy practices, programs and research.

· Most affordable pharmacy education in the state of Tennessee.

· More than $1 million scholarships every year to eligible students.

· An international rotation program that will provide broad exposure.

Program Details: The 4-year PharmD program offered at UTHSC College is an integration of an innovative new curriculum designed to provide student pharmacists with a solid foundation in the pharmaceutical studies and practical training experience required to deliver population-based and patient-focused knowledge. To ensure students gain enough practical experience the program includes extensive practice sessions in mock pharmacy at a simulation center, 300-hour IPPE and a minimum of 11 APPEs (each rotation takes up to 4 weeks' time).

University of Tennessee NAPLEX Performance
Year # of Students Attempted Pass Rate
2017 156 95.51%
2018 154 95.45%
2019 181 93.92%
2020 148 93.20%

#4. Belmont University

Ranking Score: 91.66%
Location: Nashville
Accreditation: ACPE

About the College: Located at McWhorter Hall in Nashville, TN, Belmont University's College of Pharmacy first began preparing students for a successful career in the field of pharmacy in 2010. The hall is spread over 90,000 square foot, equipped with latest medical equipment and facilities such as on-campus pharmacy, medical simulation spaces, research laboratory, and drug info center.

Program Details: After completion of the 2-year pre-pharmacy course at Belmont, you can get an early assurance to its 4-year PharmD program. This program covers an extensive coursework that can be completed in any of the five major concentrations: Pharmacotherapy, Informatics, Management, Public Health, and PharmD/MBA. First year curriculum includes theoretical lectures; in second and third year, you will learn about therapeutic case studies in a cohort environment, and in the fourth or last year, you receive an individualized-centered instruction to gain clinical expertise and problem-solving skills.

Belmont University NAPLEX Performance
Year # of Students Attempted Pass Rate
2017 67 94.03%
2018 61 93.44%
2019 67 94.03%
2020 86 88.40%

#5. East Tennessee State University

Ranking Score: 86.03%
Location: Johnson City
Accreditation: ACPE

About the College: East Tennessee State University's (ETSU) Gatton School of Pharmacy is known for providing excellent education and inter-professional training to aspiring pharmacy professionals through academic programs such as PharmD, PhD, dual degrees and PG residencies; all these programs are fully accredited by ACPE and ASHP.

Program Details: The 4-year Doctor of Pharmacy course at Gatton School of Pharmacy is a patient-focused and population-based care education, imparting resource management as well as inter-professional skills among students. Curriculum comprises of practical training and theoretical studies, and 30% of the coursework will be dedicated to experiential education classified into IPPEs during first three years and month-long APPEs in the last year. Graduates will be fully prepared to practice as pharmacists in a variety of healthcare settings.

East Tennessee State University NAPLEX Performance
Year # of Students Attempted Pass Rate
2017 79 93.67%
2018 73 86.30%
2019 70 90.00%
2020 63 81.00%

#6. South College

Ranking Score: 77.97%
Location: Knoxville
Accreditation: ACPE

About the College: South College School of Pharmacy, provides its students the highest level of classroom learning environment and state of the art research laboratories. Accredited by ACPE, this pharmacy school provides effective patient-centered and efficient team-driven training to aspiring pharmacy professionals.

Program Details: The College offers a fast-track 3-year Pharm.D. Program in TN and you will also have the option to further your education by taking up the 1-year residency program. In a span of four years you can complete your PharmD and residency program compared to traditional programs that take 5 years' time. The curriculum comprises of integrated courses in medicinal chemistry and pharmacology, and individual studies in pathophysiology and biochemistry during the first year. In the second year, you will gain advanced pharmacy skills and experience the introductory pharmacy practices; and your third and final year will be dedicated to APPEs.

South College NAPLEX Performance
Year # of Students Attempted Pass Rate
2017 86 87.21%
2018 82 68.29%
2019 74 87.84%
2020 78 73.10%

Licensure - Passing the NAPLEX and MPJE in Tennessee

To become a licensed pharmacist in TN apply to the state board to gain your eligibility to take the NAPLEX as well as the MPJE. Once the board approves your application you must apply to the NABP to take and pass both the exams.

Tennessee Pharm. D. Graduates NAPLEX Performance (2017-2020)

Over the last four years the performance of Pharm. D. graduates in TN has been quite good with more than 88% students passing the NAPLEX.

School Location 2017 2018 2019 2020
#Taken Pass% #Taken Pass% #Taken Pass% #Taken Pass%
Union University Jackson 55 94.55% 52 94.23% 37 100.00% 49 98.00%
University of Tennessee Memphis 156 95.51% 154 95.45% 181 93.92% 148 93.20%
Belmont University Nashville 67 94.03% 61 93.44% 67 94.03% 86 88.40%
Lipscomb University Nashville 72 95.83% 67 91.04% 60 98.33% 76 85.50%
East Tennessee State University Johnson City 79 93.67% 73 86.30% 70 90.00% 63 81.00%
South College Knoxville 86 87.21% 82 68.29% 74 87.84% 78 73.10%
Overall Tennessee NAPLEX Performance 515 93.47% 489 88.13% 489 94.02% 500 86.53%

Pharmacist Salary in Tennessee

A pharmacist in Tennessee earns an average annual salary of $123,550, which is lower than the national average salary of $125,510. The highest salaries in the state come from Kingsport-Bristol-Bristol where a pharmacist salary averages at $132,580. A pharmacist working part time earns an hourly wage of $57.15, which is lower than the national hourly wage of $60.34.

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

10-Year Pharmacist Job Outlook in Tennessee

Well, considering a period of 10 years and taking 2018 as the base year, a pharmacist's employment growth rate in TN is projected to be at 2.71% in negetive which is quite encouraging as compared to the national growth of -0.06%. By 2028, there will be about 7,190 pharmacists working in the state. Each year the state will have 310 job openings that includes new as well as replacement positions.

2018 Employment2028 EmploymentGrowthProjected Annual Job Openings (New + Replacement)
Source: Career One Stop

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