How to become a pharmacist in Korea

직무 전문성과 변화한 약사직무 대처를 위한 약학대학의 학제 안내

Colleges of Pharmacy: Main Items for Restructuring

In Korea, approximately 1,200 individuals pass the Pharmacy Board Exam at 20 colleges of pharmacy every year. These students have been educated through departments (faculties) of pharmacy (such as pharmacy, pharmaceutics and preventive pharmacy) at each of the colleges.

1. Implementation of the Six-year (2+4)± Education System in Colleges of Pharmacy
To secure a sufficient practical and internship period required to adequately train pharmacists for work in the field, to conform with the global trend toward six-year pharmacy programs in colleges, and to cope with recent changes in the job descriptions of pharmacists, the number of years in a Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy program has been extended to six. Under this new (2+4±) system, students are given more freedom to make mature decisions about their majors and occupations after graduating from high school, and colleges of pharmacy are able to accept students with the appropriate level of life experience and aptitude who have completed two years in an undergraduate program in a major or college other than pharmacy. The admitted students are then able to complete a four-year program at a college of pharmacy.
2. Implementation Schedule
Enforcement from the 2009 School Year

As first-year students are now allowed to enroll in colleges of pharmacy after having completed at least two years of an undergraduate college program, the new system at colleges of pharmacy will actually begin in the 2011 school year.

3. Eligibility to Apply for Admission to Six-year Pharmacy College Programs
To major in pharmacy, students must have completed at least two years of an undergraduate college program, submit a transcript of the Pharmacy Education Eligibility Test (PEET), and satisfy the other requirements defined by each individual college.

Each college will publish their admission requirements (such as prerequisite courses, GPA of undergraduate courses taken for two years, foreign language ability and social volunteer activities) when (or before) they announce their 2009 curriculum plans. The various colleges of pharmacy have been working with the new system to ensure that students who wish to major in pharmacy do not experience any setbacks.

4. Pharmacy Education Eligibility Test (PEET)
As pharmacy education is fundamentally intended to cultivate pharmacists for the health of the people, the Pharmacy Education Eligibility Test (PEET) is required, as a test of the aptitude and character of potential pharmacists. Individual colleges of pharmacy or the Korean Association of Colleges of Pharmacy may determine and enforce specific matters relating to the PEET, including the development and management of the PEET and the utilization of test results.
5. Streamlining of Curriculum and Exam Composition to Meet the Needs of Education System Restructuring
With the goal of escaping from cramming-style education in lecture-focused subjects covered by the National Pharmacy Board Exam, colleges of pharmacy are actively encouraged to improve their curriculums so that students can build comprehensive ability as pharmacists, including the problem-solving ability required to prevent or tackle pharmaceutical accidents. Accordingly, the National Pharmacy Board Exam - which currently has questions divided into 12 subjects - will be changed to test the comprehensive knowledge of students without categorizing the questions, and to evaluate practical performance.