Updated On 21 July 2023
The huge demand for healthcare professionals in Canada has encouraged a large number of international students to study pharmacy courses in Canada. There has been a recent rise in the number of international students studying pharmacy courses in Canada, considering their career prospects.
Moreover, the country is home to some of the top-notch universities in the world, which offer amazing quality of education, making students career ready and acquire the best job opportunities.
If you are also planning to study pharmacy courses in Canada, this blog is for you. This blog lets you explore all about studying pharmacy courses in Canada – top universities, eligibility criteria, job opportunities and more.
Canada has a wide range of pharmacy courses that equip students with the knowledge and skills to excel in the rapidly evolving healthcare industry. The duration of pharmacy programs varies from university to university and program to program. International students can find full-time and part-time pharmacy programs in Canada. It can be offered as research, thesis-based, or non-thesis-based courses.
Apart from this, you can easily find a wide range of specialisations in pharmacy courses and related disciplines in Canada at the bachelor’s as well as master’s levels.
These courses cover areas such as drug discovery, clinical pharmacy, pharmacology, pharmaceutical, pharmacokinetics, and regular affairs, ensuring that students are well-prepared for various career paths.
In addition, with a focus on practical training, students gain hands-on experience through internships, co-op options, and laboratory work, fostering critical thinking and problem-solving abilities.
Canada is considered one of the best destinations for international students planning to study pharmacy. Here are a few compelling reasons to study there for international students:
Canada hosts some of the most prestigious universities in the world, which are renowned for healthcare and pharmacy courses. Moreover, the universities offer a wide range of specialisations in the field to support students’ dream careers.
The universities in Canada believe in providing practical based knowledge to students. This helps students gain real-world experience and makes them job-ready beforehand.
The increased use of pharmaceutical items in Canada will drive the pharmacy business to grow quickly. Additionally, healthcare costs are projected to rise by more than 11% of Canada's GDP.
Numerous research has determined that by the year 2028, there will be an increase of 13,000 job vacancies in the pharmaceutical industry, with 90% of students applying to pharmacy-related courses in Canada anticipated to find employment.
Below are some of the best pharmacy colleges in Canada for international students:
University of Toronto
University of Montreal
University of British Columbia
University of Alberta
University of Calgary
University of Waterloo
Memorial University of Newfoundland
The eligibility criteria to enrol for pharmacy courses in Canada varies according to the university and program. However, the basic eligibility criteria remain the same. So, check the basic eligibility criteria to enrol for pharmacy courses in Canada after the 12th.
High School: Most bachelor of pharmacy courses in Canada require a minimum high school level of education. In order to enrol for pharmacy courses, students are required to pursue their 11th and 12th grades from the science bio stream. Generally, the students have to score a minimum overall of 60% in their 12th boards.
English Proficiency Test: In order to enrol for English-taught courses in Canada, students from non-native English-speaking countries are required to demonstrate their language proficiency through tests like IELTS and TOEFL.
To enrol for a bachelor’s in the pharmacy program in Canada, international students require an overall 6.5 bands in IELTS (or equivalent score in any other proficiency test that their preferred university accepts).
Standardise Admission Test Scores: Standardise Admission Test Scores allow the university’s admission committee to select international students’ applications on common ground. Some universities in Canada may require tests such as Pharmacy College Admissions Test (PCAT) or the Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT) to accept students’ applications.
Prerequisite Courses: The prerequisite courses help the students to gain the basic knowledge of the subject and build a foundation for further studies or specialisation. To study pharmacy courses in Canada after 12th, students may be required to have finished specific prerequisite courses in biology, chemistry, and other pertinent topics.
Letters of Recommendation: Applicants are often required to provide letters of recommendation from their educational institution or the organisation in which they have worked. These letters provide insights into the applicant's skills, achievements, and potential for success in a pharmacy program. For bachelor’s, generally, students require two letters of recommendation.
Statement of Purpose or Personal Statement: Applicants are usually required to submit a statement of purpose or personal statement explaining their motivation for pursuing a bachelor’s in pharmacy, their career goals, and how the program aligns with their aspirations.
Here are the basic requirements for masters in pharmacy in Canada.
Bachelor’s degree: Generally, to enrol for a master’s in pharmacy degree in Canada, students require a minimum of 4 years of bachelor’s degree from a recognised educational institute in a relevant field. Also, students require a minimum of 65% overall in their bachelor’s degree.
Standardise Admission Test Scores: Some universities in Canada may require tests such as GRE (Graduate Record Examination) in order to accept students’ applications for master’s in pharmacy.
Work experience: Few top-notch universities in Canada may demand 1 to 2 years of field-relevant work experience to accept a student’s application. Make sure that you gain work experience in healthcare or related industries.
English Proficiency Test: In order to enrol for English-taught courses in Canada, students from non-native English-speaking countries are required to demonstrate their language proficiency through tests like IELTS and TOEFL. To enrol for a master’s in the pharmacy program in Canada, international students require an overall 6.5 bands in IELTS (or an equivalent score in any other proficiency test that their preferred university accepts).
Letters of Recommendation: Applicants are often required to provide letters of recommendation from their educational institution or the organisation in which they have worked. These letters provide insights into the applicant's skills, achievements, and potential for success in a pharmacy program. For masters, generally, students require two to three letters of recommendation.
Statement of Purpose or Personal Statement: Applicants are usually required to submit a statement of purpose or personal statement explaining their motivation for pursuing a master’s in pharmacy, their career goals, and how the program aligns with their aspirations.
NOTE: It's important to note that the eligibility criteria can vary among universities and specific pharmacy programs.
Here is a list of some basic documents required to study pharmacy courses in Canada for international students:
Academic transcripts and mark sheets (10th, 12th, and bachelor’s)
English proficiency test score certificate
Standardise admission test score certificate (if required)
Certificate of field-relevant work experience (if applicable)
Proof of enough funds to bear the living as well as education cost
2-3 LOR (Letter of Recommendation)
Statement of Purpose (for university application as well as visa application separately)
Valid Passport (must be valid till 3 months more than your course completion date)
Graduates of pharmacy courses in Canada have promising opportunities for careers in academia, research, healthcare, and the pharmaceutical industry. The country has a huge demand for graduates from the healthcare and pharmacy sectors. Here are some job options you can grab after completing the pharmacy course.
Average Salary (approx)
Clinical Research Associate (CRA)
75,900 CAD per year
85,700 CAD per year
50,400 CAD per year
94,600 CAD per year
Pharmaceutical Sales Representative
103,271 CAD per year
98,750 CAD per year
1,17,300 CAD per year
1,20,400 CAD per year
Q: What is the cost of studying pharmacy degree in Canada?
A: The cost of studying pharmacy in Canada varies from university to university and course to course. However, in general, the cost of studying for a diploma in pharmacy is around 18,000 CAD to 28,000 CAD per year. At the same time, the cost of studying bachelor’s or master's degree is around 25,000 CAD to 50,000 CAD per year.
Q: How long does it take to become a pharmacist in Canada?
A: Becoming a pharmacist in Canada takes 6 to 7 years. Firstly, the students are required to complete their 4 years of bachelor's degree and then pursue 2 years of master in pharmacy or related fields to become pharmacists. However, in some cases, students may also require a prerequisite course of 1 year before enrolling for a bachelor in Canada.
Q: Are pharmacists in demand in Canada?
A: Yes, the ageing population, increased access to healthcare services, and expanding roles of pharmacists in patient care gave contributed to the growing demand for pharmacists in Canada.
Q: Can a graduate in Pharmacy in Canada work as a registered pharmacist in Canada?
A: Yes, a graduate in Pharmacy in Canada work as a registered pharmacist. Upon successfully completing the required education, examination, and practical experience, graduates are eligible to apply for licensure with the regulatory body responsible for pharmacy practice in their province or territory.
Q: What is the cost of living in Canada for international students?
A: The average cost of living in Canada for international students is around 10,000 CAD per year, which includes accommodation, food, stationery, and travelling expenses.
The country assures a great quality of education along with rewarding career options for students planning to study pharmacy courses. You can also avail 2 years of post-study work permit benefits after completing your studies. So without any further delay, get started on your career in pharmacy in Canada.
If you are still unsure, we encourage you to have a word with our team of expert counsellors at Meridean Overseas Education Consultants (MOEC). If you are unable to travel, we offer online counselling services via our website. Our dedicated counsellors will guide your application to study in Canada. We’ll also support you in the SOP and visa application. Don't hesitate to contact us at email@example.com or 1800-1230-00011.