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What is a pharmacy residency?

A pharmacy residency is an organized, directed, postgraduate training program in a defined area of pharmacy practice. It provides the knowledge and experience that pharmacy practitioners need to face challenges in today's complex health-care environment, while also providing essential skills to meet the practice demands of the future. Increasingly, many employment opportunities indicate a strong preference for individuals who have completed an ASHP-accredited residency.

It's been estimated that 1-2 years of residency training is equivalent to 3-5 years of practice experience, given the extended hours worked and exposure to multiple specialty clinical roles.

The short and long term benefits of completing a residency program are numerous. Benefits offered during residency vary from program to program but often include a salary range of $45,000-$55,000, health insurance, paid time off, meal discounts, parking, laptop, electronic and physical library, monogrammed lab coat and scrubs, BLS and ACLS certification, live continuing education, professional pharmacy organization membership, and paid conference attendance. 


Looking to the future: 

Over the last 5 years, almost 15,000 graduates have earned PharmD degrees each year. Looking to the future, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimated little to no growth in pharmacists jobs between 2018 and 2028. Retail pharmacist positions are expected to decrease by 9,000 (-5.1%), while clinical positions are projected to increase by 5,100 over that time span. (Leonard, B. Matched. p7)


Residency application process

ASHP residency programs, both accredited and seeking accreditation, can be found on the ASHP Online Residency Directory website. On this site you can filter by program type, specialty, location and other desired parameters. the program listings include application requirements and due dates, residency program and residency program director contact information, National Matching Services codes, program descriptions, and unique benefits. 

To complete a residency application, signing up for the "PhORCAS" service is required. PhORCAS is a service that allows you to provide personal information, upload your CV and letters of intent, and request letters of recommendation and official transcripts. 

The "Match" is the required matching program used by ASHP and administered by the National Matching Service. This is where rank order lists are submitted by candidates and programs after interviews are completed. 

After submitting your final application materials through PhORCAS, interview invitations will be sent out in the next couple of weeks.

Residency timeline and key dates

The exact Match timeline is updated every year, but generally the schedule is as follows (2020-21 dates in parentheses). 

  • (Nov 3-Dec 31, 2020): Register for PhORCAS and the Match. 

  • (Program specific, target Jan 1, 2021): Applications due

  • (January/February): Interviews conducted

  • (March 5, 2021): Phase I rank order list due

  • (March 19, 2021): Phase I Match results are released mid-March

After the Match results are released, a list of unmatched program positions become available. if you didn't match in Phase 1, now is when you can apply for Phase 2. You will again need to submit applications to your desired programs through PhORCAS. This process is a little more streamlined and follows a similar yearly schedule:

  • Applications due in mid-to late March

  • Interviews conducted in late march and early April

  • (April 7, 2021): Phase 2 rank order list due

  • (April 14, 2021): Phase 2 Match results released

How can I become a strong candidate?


  • Programs look for well-rounded students with clear professional and personal goals. Grades matter but they are not the most important component in getting a residency.  Good communication skills are vital.

  • Get involved in pharmacy organizations and community service activities that match your goals.  It is not the quantity but the quality that matters.

  • Select rotations that are clinically challenging or unique.  Make sure you go above and beyond the rotation expectations.

  • Consider co-authoring or doing a poster presentation.

  • Develop strong relationships with faculty, preceptors and employers who will provide you with a strong reference letter.

General information to help you with your residency needs:


What is  a residency? Video


How will you benefit? Video


 Selecting the right residency

           Click here to  read the document



Glossary of residency terms

  • Click here to find out the different terminology and acronyms that are used when it comes to residencies.


  • Residency checklist & timeline

  • ​Don't miss important dates to prepare for your residency interview and submission of your application. Click here to open the residency timeline. 


  • Understanding residencies   

  •  To learn more about PGY1 and PGY2 residencies click here.


Round 2 of the Match

Click here for schedule of dates



How many Pacific students are placing into residencies and fellowships each year?

"Results from the AACP Curriculum Improvement Surveys from 2010-2015 indicate that Pacific's graduating students feel prepared to enter practice (85-90% vs. 95% national) [AACP Survey Results 2012-15]. However, graduates appear to be practice ready based on Pacific 2012-2015 NAPLEX passage rates ranging from 96-98% (vs. 96-97% overall in California), ASHP residency matching rates ranging from 17-22% (vs. 18-20% national), and 21-28% placement in post-graduate training and education during the period from 2012 to 2014 [NAPLEX CPJE Results 2012-2015, Postgraduate Training & Education]."



Why should I do a  pharmacy residency?