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Pharmacy Technician

Certificate of Applied Science

Program Director: Pamela Christianson

This program is offered online (except for the on-site clinical)

NOTE: This program is currently under review. Please contact the program director or your advisor.

Gainful Employment Programs Information

The Great Falls College MSU Pharmacy Technician Programs prepares students for entry-level positions in hospital, retail, and other types of pharmacies. The two semester program includes didactic, simulated, and experiential learning opportunities. Students are required to rotate to experiential sites and some may be outside of the Great Falls area. Transportation and housing are the student's responsibility.

The Pharmacy Technician Program is a fall entry program. Applicants to the pharmacy technician program must complete the program specific application packet which can be obtained on the Great Falls College MSU webpage. The application deadlines can also be found on the Great Falls College MSU webpage. Generally, applications to the program are due April during the spring semester prior to the fall semester start. Documentation of required preshy; requisites must be included in the application packet. Students must complete the following preshy; requisite courses prior to enrollment in the Pharmacy Technician Program. These courses include Introduction to Computers, College Writing, and Intermediate Algebra and take one of the following courses Intro to Interpersonal Communication, Introduction to psychology, or Introduction to Sociology.

The Great Falls College MSU Pharmacy Tech Program is a limited enrollment program, accepting 23 students each year. Interested students are urged to contact the Program Director or the Advising & Career Center Advisors for student advising specific to program admission requirements and criteria for program acceptance. Students must complete the fall PHAR classes with a C- or higher to proceed to the spring semester. If a student does not pass the required courses with a C- or better, he/she will not be able to continue in the program and will need to apply for readmission into the program the following year. A student may take any required course a maximum of two (2 times).

Once students are accepted into the program, all students are expected to register with the State of Montana as Pharmacy Technicians-in-Training. The link to the application is:

Students who successfully complete the program are awarded a Certificate of Applied Science and are well prepared for and encouraged to sit for the national certification exam such as offered through the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB). Graduate students of the program will have the skills and knowledge required for an entry-level pharmacy technician position.

Background checks: Being convicted of a crime (misdemeanor or felony) could leave an individual ineligible for participation in the certifying test and/or becoming registered in Montana as a certified pharmacy technician. Background check and drug screening are required prior to internships. Please contact PTCB (Pharmacy Technician Certification Board), and the Montana State Board of Pharmacy if this a potential problem.

Job Opportunities:

About 72 percent of pharmacy technicians work in retail pharmacies that are independently owned or part of a drugstore chain, grocery store, department store, or mass retailer. The other 18 percent are employed in hospitals, and a small proportion work in mail-order and Internet pharmacies, offices of physicians, pharmaceutical wholesalers, and the federal government.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics predicts the employment of pharmacy technicians to increase by 20 percent from 2012 to 2022, which is much faster than the average for all occupations. The 2012 median hourly wage was $14.10/hr with a median annual salary of $29,320.

Graduates are prepared to:

  • Practice as a qualified, licensed pharmacy technician working with pharmacists to provide medication and other healthcare products to patients.

  • Demonstrate positive work ethic, professionalism, and appropriate interpersonal skills whether in a hospital, clinical, or retail setting.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of medical terminology, pharmacy calculations, ethics, pharmacology , and healthcare delivery methods pertaining to pharmacy law, practice, and calculations.

Estimated Resident Program Cost*

Tuition and Fees $4,882
Application Fee $30
Lab/Courses Fees $145
Montana Board of Pharmacy Licensing Fee $60
Books/Supplies $1,273
Total $6,391


Fall 2017 MUS Student Health Insurance Premiums will be changing. Please check the Health Insurance website and/or Student Central for confirmed premium rates. Students will be charged an additional fee of $21 per credit for online/hybrid courses.

Many students need preliminary math, science, and writing courses before enrolling in the program requirements. These courses may increase the total number of program credits. Students should review their math and writing placement before planning out their full program schedules.

GFC MSU Additional Graduation Requirement

COLS 103Becoming a Successful Student +1

Prerequisite Coursework

The following courses must be completed prior to admission into the Pharmacy Technician Program. All prerequisite coursework must be completed with a minimum grade of C- in each course. Grades in prerequisite courses are a major factor in ranking applications for program acceptance.

Science courses must be completed within five (5) years of application to the program, and other courses must be completed within 15 years of applying to the program.


Prerequisite semester
CAPP 131Basic MS Office +3
M 095Intermediate Algebra **,+4
WRIT 101College Writing I **,+3
Select one of the following
COMX 115Intro to Interpersonal Communc +3
PSYX 100Introduction to Psychology +3
SOCI 101Introduction to Sociology +3

Program Course Requirements After Formal Acceptance

Once enrolled in Pharmacy Technician courses, a minimum of a grade of C- in all courses is required to continue in the program. The courses listed below are required in the program of study for the Certificate of Applied Science degree in Pharmacy Technician. The courses are offered at GFC MSU in the following sequence:

First Year
BIOH 104 Basic Human Biology & Lab **,+ 4
HTH 180 Pharmaceuticals for HC Provdrs *,+ 1
PHAR 100 Intro Pharm Practice for Techs *,+ 3
PHAR 101 Pharmacy Calculations *,+ 3
PHAR 104 Pharm Dispensing Lab *,+ 4

First Year
AHMS 144 Medical Terminology + 3
PHAR 120 Medication Safety *,+ 3
PHAR 198A Internship-Retail *,+ 4
PHAR 198B Internship-Hospital/other *,+ 4
Total Credits29



Indicates prerequisites needed.


Placement in course(s) is determined by placement assessment.


A grade of C- or above is required for graduation.