Pharmacy Schools in Virginia - 2024

The 'Mother of Presidents', Virginia has a steady demand for pharmacists. As of 2021, there were 6,820 pharmacists working in the state, earning an annual salary of $123,380, which is higher than the national average. To become a pharmacist, you must enroll in a Pharm. D. program in any of the ACPE accredited pharmacy schools in Virginia. We have made your choice easier by ranking these schools based on their NAPLEX first time pass rates.

Our Ranking Methodology

Passing the NAPLEX is a crucial milestone, without which you cannot start your career as a pharmacist. Schools that have graduates pass the exam on the first attempt are suggestive of a conducive learning environment and fruitful teaching methodology. Taking this into consideration we have evaluated each school for their NAPLEX first time pass rates over the last four years. 40% weightage given to 2021, 30% to 2020, 20% to 2019 and 10% to 2018.

NAPLEX Pass Rate YearWeightage

2024 Ranking of ACPE Accredited Pharmacy Schools in Virginia

#1. Virginia Commonwealth University

Ranking Score: 93.85%
Location: Richmond
Accreditation: ACPE

About the College: Established in 1898, Virginia Commonwealth University School of Pharmacy is the oldest pharmacy school in VA, and one of the 18 health science centers in the nation. The school comprises of 4 health science schools, an academic health center and several medical clinics, providing world-class patient care. As per U.S. News and world report, the school ranks 17th in the country, offering 12 residency and fellowship programs.

Program Details: The 4-year PharmD program at VCU starts twice every year during Fall and Spring. Curriculum is designed with the latest pharmacy standards, supported by innovative classroom lectures, laboratory training and intro and advanced level of pharmacy practice experiences. The 96% on-time graduation rate and 84% residency acceptance rate, represents the quality of education being offered at the school.

Virginia Commonwealth University NAPLEX Performance
Year # of Students Attempted Pass Rate
2018 129 98.45%
2019 127 97.00%
2020 119 94.00%
2021 110 91.00%

#2. Shenandoah University

Ranking Score: 85.08%
Location: Winchester
Accreditation: ACPE

About the College: Shenandoah University's Bernard J. Dunn School of Pharmacy is well-known for providing genetics-based pharmacy education, state-of-the-art technology, and preparing ethical practitioners who cater the needs of patients effectively. The school facilitates pharmacy courses, experiential education and residency programs. You get personalized education from dedicated faculty; typically student-to-faculty ratio is 10:1.

Program Details: At the Bernard J. Dunn School of Pharmacy you get a variety of options to complete your PharmD education. You can choose to select your desired location as this program is offered at two campuses - Winchester and Fairfax location. Admissions are accepted each fall on a rolling basis. This program is offered in both traditional (4-Years) and through non-traditional pathway where you can complete the course in just 2 and a half years. You also have an option to opt for dual degree programs such as - PharmD/MBA, PharmD/master of public health and PharmD/pharmacogenomics and personalized medicine.

Shenandoah University NAPLEX Performance
Year # of Students Attempted Pass Rate
2018 76 90.79%
2019 66 83.00%
2020 57 90.00%
2021 78 81.00%

#3. Appalachian College of Pharmacy

Ranking Score: 71.87%
Location: Oakwood
Accreditation: ACPE

About the College: Founded in 2003, Appalachian College of Pharmacy provides affordable healthcare education in the state of Virginia. With a vision to improve patient care standards in the Central Appalachian, the pharmacy college facilitates interactive classrooms, impeccable services, highly trained faculty and scholarships to educate students with excellence and infuse a belief of social responsibility through collaborative environment.

Program Details: At Appalachian you can complete your Doctor of Pharmacy course in just 3 years. The coursework comprises of didactic classes, theoretical studies and a 1,700-hour experiential program which covers both introductory and advanced level of pharmacy experience in a variety of practice settings. The biggest advantage of this program is that you can join the workforce a year before compared to the traditional 4-year PharmD programs offered by other institutions.

Appalachian College of Pharmacy NAPLEX Performance
Year # of Students Attempted Pass Rate
2018 64 79.69%
2019 64 78.00%
2020 70 73.00%
2021 53 66.00%

#4. Hampton University

Ranking Score: 62.87%
Location: Hampton
Accreditation: ACPE

About the College: Hampton University School of Pharmacy is committed to accomplish health impartiality and eradicate disparities from the local community and establish improved healthcare standards for all. The pharmacy school currently offers professional development courses, pre-professional pharmacy program, pharmacy program prerequisite, pharm D program and experiential education.

Program Details: The 4-year Pharm D Program at Hampton is a mix of core pharmaceutical coursework, laboratory sessions and hands-on training. The first three years of the curriculum is divided into two semesters each - fall and spring, comprising of theoretical coursework and introductory level of pharmacy practice experiences. The fourth and last year is devoted to advanced pharmacy practice in various healthcare settings. With expert guidance by the faculty, the students end up with a rewarding career in various pharmacy settings.

Hampton University NAPLEX Performance
Year # of Students Attempted Pass Rate
2018 44 72.73%
2019 63 62.00%
2020 46 52.00%
2021 26 69.00%

Licensure - Passing the NAPLEX and MPJE in Virginia

To become a licensed pharmacist in Virginia you must apply to the state board along with the application fee. Once the board confirms your eligibility you must apply to the NABP for the NAPLEX and MPJE.

Virginia Pharm.D. Graduates NAPLEX Performance (2018-2021)

The overall performance of pharmacy graduates in the last four years has been slightly above average. In 2021, only 76.75% of pharmacy graduates managed to pass the exam on first attempt, the least in the last four years. The best performance was in 2018 with an aggregate of 85.42%.

School Location 2018 2019 2020 2021
#Taken Pass % #Taken Pass % #Taken Pass % #Taken Pass %
Virginia Commonwealth University Richmond 129 98.45% 127 97.00% 119 94.00% 110 91.00%
Shenandoah University Winchester 76 90.79% 66 83.00% 57 90.00% 78 81.00%
Appalachian College of Pharmacy Oakwood 64 79.69% 64 78.00% 70 73.00% 53 66.00%
Hampton University Hampton 44 72.73% 63 62.00% 46 52.00% 26 69.00%
Overall Virginia NAPLEX Performance 313 85.42% 320 80.00% 292 77.25% 267 76.75%

Pharmacist Salary in Virginia

On an average a pharmacist earns a salary of $123,380, higher the national average of $125,460. You can expect to start with a salary of $59,840 and go on to earn $164,040 with few years of experience. The highest salaries in the state come from Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport, with pharmacists earning an average of $127,970.

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Pharmacist Job Outlook in Virginia

The projected employment growth rate in the state for a 10-year period from 2020 to 2030 is 10.58%. During this period there will be 840 new job openings that will be created. Annually 400 new and replacement positions will be available. Richmond hires the highest number of pharmacists in the state.

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

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