Q & A on Pharmacy Residencies
Compiled by Su-Fei Yang

This document is compiled based on inputs from Dr. Jung, Dr. Lopez, Mr. Arlyn Kloesel, Nile Barnes, Jennifer Ziegler, Melanie Moss, and assistance from Meigo Chen. It serves as a supplement to the information posted on ASHP's Residency and Accreditation Information website. Please take a minute to browse the ASHP Website for more details on pharmacy residencies.

What Is Pharmacy Residency?

Why would I complete a pharmacy residency?

A one year residency is often equated to two to three years of working experience. Emerging from residency training, the resident will become a well rounded practitioner with enhanced professional judgment, confidence, experience, and communication skills.

What types of residencies are there?

What is a pharmacy fellowship?

The fellowship program in the clinical sciences is a minimum of one to two years in length, typically divided between research (80% of effort) and advanced practice experiences (20%). While fellows gain additional experience in the provision of pharmaceutical care services, the goal is to prepare the highly motivated participants to become independent researchers. There are opportunities to take graduate coursework and to participate in clinical and laboratory investigations with experienced clinical and basic science faculty. Fellows participate in ongoing funded research as well as in the design and conduct of original research under the guidance of a preceptor.

Applicant requirements include the Pharm.D. degree and one to two years of residency training or equivalent practice experience. Fellowship is designed as an advanced training program in the clinical, basic, and translational sciences for those with a Pharm.D. degree and the clinical knowledge and skills commensurate with a specialty practice residency. Completion of this program prepares the trainee for tenure track academic and research scientist positions.

Does it matter if I choose an ASHP-accredited residency or not?

The fact that a residency program is not accredited does not necessarily mean that it is substandard. It is possible that the program is still new and is in a process of obtaining accreditation. Another possibility is that maybe the preceptor choose not to get the accreditation (such as Dr. Talbert's Pharmacotherapy Program in San Antonio and Dr. Karboski's Internal Medicine Program in Austin), but it may still be a great program. It is then up to you to do more research to figure out the true quality of the program and if it will provide you with adequate education and experience.

Do I need to complete a pharmacy practice residency before going into a specialized pharmacy residency?

No, if you wish to pursue an advanced residency in pharmacy practice management or a specialized residency, it is merely recommended that you first complete a residency in pharmacy practice. However, if you have adequate pharmacy experience, you can apply for the specialized pharmacy residency directly. Note: There are some programs that will take candidates with strong clinical experience in their P4 years, which is a good reason to push yourself during the P4 year to take more difficult rotations.

Develop specialized knowledge and skills enabling the provision of a higher level of patient care, ultimately leading to competence commensurate with Board Certification by the Board of Pharmaceutical Specialties (BPS). BPS will actually allow someone who has completed a year of residency to take the BPS exam; without it you must have three years of experience.

May I enroll in a graduate program in pharmacy while completing a pharmacy residency program?

Yes, there is a combined M.S./Residency program at UT. The Graduate Residency Training Program in Pharmacy at UT consists of one year of residency training in combination with twenty-four semester hours of graduate experiential coursework. Students must enroll in at least six hours of coursework in the second summer term following their admission to the program and in at least nine hours of coursework in the next fall and the next spring semester. This coursework allows the student to receive academic credit for the practical training he or she receives under the direct supervision of a pharmacy faculty member.

To take part, students must be admitted to the residency program and to the Graduate School. Students must apply for admission to the Graduate School as non-degree (graduate) students by completing the Application for Admission to Graduate Study and submitting the appropriate application fee and transcripts from each senior college they have attended. The Graduate Record Examinations General Test is not required. Admission requirements include receipt of the Pharm.D. degree from an institution accredited by the American Council on Pharmaceutical Education. Note: Even though it is not a requirement, scholarships are often decided based on GRE scores, so it may be a good idea to take it.

What types of pharmacy residency/fellowship programs are available through UT and affiliated institutions?

How long will it take to complete a residency?

Will I earn a salary?

Yes, all residency programs provide the resident with a stipend. When comparing salaries, you also need to consider factors such as geographic location, value of any fringe benefits provided, and whether or not it's academically affiliated. Another important factor to compare salary is "staffing requirement" or doing distributive pharmacy duties during residency. Positions with staffing requirements typically pay more, but set the schedule. Non-staffing positions pay less, but allow the resident to "moonlight" sometimes with higher pay or greater flexibility.

How do I apply for residencies?

What are the requirements for admission?

What are the time line and checklist to consider for residency application?

How do I search for residencies and how do I find out details about each residency?

You can find out information on residencies by going to ASHP's Residency Directory site for ASHP accredited residency programs, or American Pharmacy Association or community pharmacy residency programs at APhA website, or go to ACCP Directory of Residencies and Fellowship. You can search by institution name, state, pharmacy practice residencies, or specialized residency program to get a list of pharmacy residencies programs. From there, you can select specific program and obtain detailed information on the program you are interested, including contact information, duration and type of program, number of residency positions offered, estimated stipend, application dateline, special features, fringe benefits, starting date, and information on the institution offering the program, etc.

How do I select the residency program that is right for me?

Points to consider: program accreditation status, program quality/reputation, patient populations and services as compared to your interests, extent of required teaching commitment, service commitment/staffing expectations, work environment, residency projects, competition for getting into a program, choices of electives, timing, geography, cost of living vs. salary, future opportunities.
For more details on how to select the residency program that is right for you, go to
Career Pharm and Selecting a Residency

What kinds of information should I look for in residency programs?

Questions to Ask in General

Questions to Consider Asking Staff and Current Residents

How are residency applicants compared?

Pharmacy residency candidates are generally evaluated based on:

***It is always a good idea to send thank you notes after each interview***

Why should I attend the Midyear Clinical Meeting?

Why should I attend the Residency Showcase? Advantages/Obstacles to Overcome?

Everyone should participate to take a look around and listen to what is offered at each residency program. The Residency Showcase provides opportunities to:

Obstacles to Overcome Residency Showcase

Resources for CV/resume writing

Tips for interviews

Glossary of Terms

Additional Resources

Last Reviewed: July 8, 2008

College Information

Mailing Address:
College of Pharmacy
The University of Texas
at Austin
2409 University Ave.
Stop A1900
Austin, TX, USA

Email Address: pharmacy


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