Academic Catalog

Pharmacy Technician

Program Description

The Certificate of Achievement in Advanced-Level Pharmacy Technician (ASHP/ACPE Accredited) curriculum is a nine-month sequential program accredited by the Pharmacy Technician Accreditation Commission (ASHP/ACPE accredited), with entry in the Fall Quarter only. This program prepares students for pharmacy technician positions in a variety of pharmacy settings—hospitals, nursing homes, community/retail, home health care and public and government agencies. Graduates will be awarded a Certificate of Achievement and are qualified to apply and register with California State Board of Pharmacy as a Pharmacy Technician. Registration is a legal requirement in order to work as a Pharmacy Technician.

An optional two-year expanded Pharmacy Technician Associate in Science degree program is also available which includes general education. This two-year course sequence offers the student the ability to transfer to a four-year college or to enter the job market with additional technical and theoretical background. General education course work can be completed either before or after acquiring the Advanced-Level Pharmacy Technician Certificate.

Students may also elect to take additional coursework at Foothill College to satisfy all prerequisite course requirements for Pharmacy School admission. For more information regarding Pharmacy School prerequisites, consult with a counselor.

The Certificate of Achievement in Pharmacy Assistant (Aide/Clerk)1 is the first in a series of stackable pharmacy career certificates. This short-term, entry-level certificate serves as a direct CTE pathway for high school/rising students to pursue careers within the pharmacy profession or pursue other entry-level allied health profession. The academic curriculum, competency-based training, and transferable skills development will result in skills and credentials necessary to secure living wage skilled positions in the pharmacy profession with the potential for promotion and opportunities for future educational advancement in pharmacy or any health care related career.

The Certificate of Achievement in Basic Pharmacy Technician1 is a nine (9) month, part-time, stackable program, which serves as a direct CTE pathway for students to pursue careers within the pharmacy profession and various entry-level allied health profession. The academic curriculum, competency-based training, and transferable skills development will result in skills and credentials necessary to secure living wage skilled positions in the pharmacy profession with the potential for promotion and opportunities for future educational advancement in pharmacy or any health care related career. Students must be 18 years old and possess a high school diploma/GED or equivalent to participate in externship and apply for a license with the California Board of Pharmacy.

Learn more about the program on the Pharmacy Technology website.

Program Learning Outcomes

  • Graduates will demonstrate pharmaceutical knowledge, clinical skills and values necessary to practice as a competent pharmacy technician in both community/retail and hospital pharmacy settings.
  • Graduates will demonstrate competency with entry-level clinical skills in accordance with ASHP/ACPE accreditation requirements.

Career Opportunities

Pharmacy technician opportunities are available in community/retail pharmacies, hospitals, home health care, mail order, nursing homes, long term care, health insurance companies, veterinary clinics, and public and government medical facilities.

Award Type(s)

  • AS = Associate in Science Degree
  • CA = Certificate of Achievement

Units Required

  • Major: 41
  • Certificate(s): 13.5-41

Program Application

Admittance to this program is through an application process. Program information, admission criteria and application to the program can be found on the Pharmacy Technician Program website.

Program Prerequisites

Must be completed with a grade of "C" or better.

BIOL 14HUMAN BIOLOGY (or equivalent)5
MATH 180QUANTITATIVE REASONING (or equivalent)5
PHT 200LPHARMACY TECHNICIAN AS A CAREER (offered Spring and Summer quarters)1

Associate Degree Requirements

Optional Associate Degree Requirements:

English Proficiency
Select one of the following:
ENGL 1ACOMPOSITION & READING5
ENGL 1AHHONORS COMPOSITION & READING5
ENGL 1S
ENGL 1T
INTEGRATED COMPOSITION & READING
and INTEGRATED COMPOSITION & READING
8
or equivalent
Mathematics Proficiency
Select one of the following:
MATH 105INTERMEDIATE ALGEBRA5
MATH 180QUANTITATIVE REASONING5
or any MATH course approved for Foothill GE Area V, Communication & Analytical Thinking

A minimum of 90 units is required1 to include:

  • Completion of one of the following general education patterns: Foothill General Education, CSU General Education Breadth Requirements or the Intersegmental General Education Transfer Curriculum (IGETC)
  • Core courses (41 units)


Note:  All courses pertaining to the major must be taken for a letter grade. In addition, a grade of "C" or better is required for all core courses used for the degree or certificates.

Core and Support Courses

Core Courses

Plan of Study Grid
First Year
Fall QuarterUnits
AHS 50A INTRODUCTION TO ALLIED HEALTH PROGRAMS 1.5
PHT 50 ORIENTATION TO PHARMACY TECHNOLOGY 2
PHT 51 PHARMACY LAW FOR PHARMACY TECHNICIANS 2
PHT 53 AMBULATORY PHARMACY PRACTICE 3
PHT 54A DOSAGE CALCULATIONS A 3
PHT 55A PHARMACOLOGY A 3
 Units14.5
Winter Quarter
AHS 50B INTERPROFESSIONAL PATIENT COMPETENCIES 0.5
PHT 52A INPATIENT DISPENSING 3
PHT 54B DOSAGE CALCULATIONS B 3
PHT 55B PHARMACOLOGY B 3
PHT 64A PHARMACY CLINICAL A 4
 Units13.5
Spring Quarter
PHT 52B ASEPTIC TECHNIQUE & IV PREPARATION 4
PHT 56 DISPENSING & COMPOUNDING 3
PHT 63 PHARMACY TECHNICIAN CERTIFICATION EXAM (PTCE) REVIEW 2
PHT 64B PHARMACY CLINICAL B 4
 Units13
 Total Units41

Certificate Requirements

Certificate of Achievement in Advanced-Level Pharmacy Technician (ASHP/ACPE Accredited)

  • Units: 41

The certificate of achievement is awarded upon completion of the core courses. General education courses are not required; however, the program prerequisite requirements must be met.

Certificate of Achievement in Pharmacy Assistant (Aide/Clerk)

  • Units: 13.5

Note: This certificate will not be offered in Academic Year 2021-22 but will resume Fall Quarter 2022.

AHS 51HEALTH CAREERS EXPLORATION1.5
PHT 101PHARMACY CAREERS A4
PHT 102PHARMACY CAREERS B4
PHT 103PHARMACY CAREERS C4
Total Units13.5

Certificate of Achievement in Basic Pharmacy Technician

  • Units: 19.5

Note: This certificate will not be offered in Academic Year 2021-22 but will resume Fall Quarter 2022.

AHS 50AINTRODUCTION TO ALLIED HEALTH PROGRAMS1.5
or AHS 51 HEALTH CAREERS EXPLORATION
PHT 63PHARMACY TECHNICIAN CERTIFICATION EXAM (PTCE) REVIEW2
PHT 64APHARMACY CLINICAL A4
PHT 101PHARMACY CAREERS A4
PHT 102PHARMACY CAREERS B4
PHT 103PHARMACY CAREERS C4
Total Units19.5