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Pharmacy Technician Curriculum: What Incoming Students Can Expect


While it is essential to know the day-to-day functions, responsibilities, and job outlook as a pharmacy technician, it is equally as important to understand how those skills are taught, how the material is broken down, and whether students will graduate prepared to meet industry challenges.

The University of Providence’s Pharmacy Technician Certification program teaches students to meet the needs of the pharmacy industry in under six months. Everything from course structure to program layout is designed to prepare future technicians by giving them the skills they need to succeed in a rapidly growing and understaffed industry vital to hospitals and clinics


1 Year

2 Semesters

3 Sessions


That’s all it can take to graduate UP’s Pharmacy Technician Certificate program. Through UP’s pharmacy tech program, students can spend as little as 24 weeks or six months preparing to become pharmacy technicians depending on course load and pre-requisites.

While it may seem like a short time (similar certificate or associate programs can last up to a year or even two), the structure and layout of UP’s courses are designed to set a strong foundation of knowledge students can build upon.


3 Sessions

2 Courses Per Session

3 Credits Per Course


UP’s Pharmacy Technician Certificate breaks courses into three eight-week sessions designed to progressively build students’ knowledge of pharmacy technicians’ core principles, functions, and responsibilities. Students spend 16 weeks learning pharmacy practice skills for the first semester over six courses. Students can expect to learn the following skills during the first six courses.


Introduction to Pharmacy

Through UP’s online learning platform, students are exposed to the core functions and job responsibilities required of technicians. The course covers foundational knowledge and understanding of pharmacy and medical services by introducing medical terminology and abbreviations, human anatomy, dosing calculations, business communications, and more.


Pharmacy Practice I

Building off the foundations, students move on to understanding and identifying pharmaceutical classifications, medication contradictions, applications, and side effects. Students also learn how to safely dispense medications, perform advanced dosage calculations, patient confidentiality, patient and business communication skills, and more.


Pharmacy Practice II

Students are introduced to technological systems required for job function in retail, ambulatory, and hospital care settings, move on to complex dosing calculations, enhanced business and patient communication skills, prescription workflow, prevention of medical errors, and the steps of pharmacokinetics, sterile and non-sterile compounding, and more.


Pharmacy Practice III

With more knowledge of medications, students learn to apply safe medication therapy by studying regulations, standards, references, and legal/ethical responsibilities. Students advance to comparing pharmacy practice across different technical settings, perform highly complex dosing calculations, summarize pharmacy workflow, and simulate pharmacy functions like inventory. **Students also take a 4-hour AIDS safety training course**


During the first 16-week session, students participate in weekend skills labs designed for students to apply the skills they’ve learned through coursework in an in-person setting. Skills labs introduce students to simulated environments where they can get their first hands-on interaction with course learning material such as medications, tools, and more. Students work alongside fellow students, ask instructors questions, and further discover how skills can be applied in the pharmacy setting.

Once coursework is completed for the first 16-week session, students move on to the second 8-week session, which provides the last credits required before completion of the program.

Through UP’s unique partnerships with local hospitals and health systems across the central and pacific northwest, students are assisted in finding internship locations. The last 8-week session covers the following material:


Pharmacy Technician Exam-Prep Course

In addition to graduating with a pharmacy technician certificate from UP, students are expected to take the Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam (PTCE) offered through the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB). The course prepares students to sit for the nationally recognized PTCE exam by reviewing exam questions, concepts, and scenarios.


Pharmacy Internship

UP’s Pharmacy Technician internship pairs students with a currently practicing pharmacist, to apply the skills they learned during the course curriculum and skills labs in a real-world setting. The internship shows students how a natural pharmacy setting functions and how the skills learned in the first 16-week session are applied in real time. Under the guidance of a practicing pharmacist, students learn more about the field. They can build connections with other technicians and pharmacists who support students through their journey.


12 Semester I Credit

8 Semester II Credits

20 Total Required Credits


The University of Providence’s Pharmacy Technician Certificate program sets a solid foundational groundwork to teach future pharmacy technicians the skills they need to perform in the industry. Through online coursework, weekend skills labs, exam-prep courses, and an internship, students graduate ready to meet the needs of the industry by performing patient-centered care.


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