Pharmacy Technology Certificate

Mary McHugh, Program Director

The American Society of Health System Pharmacists (ASHP) - accredited Pharmacy Technology Program at the University of Montana-Missoula College prepares students to function in hospital-based pharmacies, community  pharmacies, and a number of other types of pharmacies. The two-semester program includes classroom, lab, and experiential learning opportunities. Lab and experiential hours allow students to integrate their classroom knowledge into the practical setting. Students are required to rotate to experiential sites and some may be outside the Missoula area. Transportation and housing are the student's responsibility.

The Pharmacy Technology Program is an autumn entry program.  Applicants to the Pharmacy Technology program must complete the program specific application packet which can be obtained on the UM Missoula College Pharmacy Technology webpage. Please note that application deadlines are also found on the program webpage. Generally, applications to the program are due April 1 during the spring semester prior to the autumn semester program start. Documentation of required math and writing assessments must be included in the application packet. Transcripts are not accepted in place of the assessments. Students should place in Level 3 or higher in the ALEKS Math Assessment, and should attain a 7 or better on the E-Write Assessment, or provide alternate assessment scores as instructed in the application packet. Students who do not score high enough on assessments should consult with an advisor to arrange enrollment in the necessary courses to build their skills. Students must either complete Intro to Computers (CAPP 120) or pass the challenge for CAPP 120 prior to enrollment in the Pharmacy Technology Program. The challenge is offered several times each year. Instructions for scheduling the challenge and assessments are found in the application on the program website:

Once accepted into the program, all students are expected to register with the State of Montana as Pharmacy Technicians in Training.  Please note the requirements of registration as a Pharmacy Technician in Training found on the application form on the Montana State Board of Pharmacy website:

Students must complete the required autumn PHAR classes with a B or higher to proceed to the spring semester. If a student does not pass the required courses with a B or better, he/she will not be able to continue in the program and will need to apply for readmission. A student may take any required course a maximum of two (2) times.

After successfully completing the program, students are awarded a Certificate of Applied Science and are well prepared for and encouraged to sit for the national technician certification examination such as offered through the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB). Some students may be prepared to take the PTCE as early as December of the first semester of the program, so that they may complete their experiential training as certified Pharmacy Technicians rather than Certified Technicians in Training.

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 checks are required prior to internships. Additionally, the Montana State Board of Pharmacy Application for Pharmacy Technician Registration includes a number of questions regarding personal history, including but not limited to criminal charges. Please contact the PTCB (Pharmacy Technician Certification Board),, and the Montana State Board of Pharmacy ( if this is a potential problem.

Current salary range in Montana is from $7 per hour to $20 per hour, depending on employer, job duties, and experience.

Certificate of Applied Science - Pharmacy Technology

Missoula College

Catalog Year: 2014-2015

Degree Specific Credits: 30

Required Cumulative GPA: 3.0

Note: Math: Placement into Level 3 using a proctored ALEKS assessment
Writing: Score of 7 on the E-Write assessment
Computers: Completion of CAPP 120 Introduction to Computers or challenge test

Degree Core Courses

Rule: Complete all courses

Note: AHMS 144 May be taken before application to the program.
There are two different sections of PHAR 198 and both are required to receive the certificate.

Show All Course Descriptions Course Credits
Show Description AHMS 144 - Medical Terminology
Offered every term. Introduction to a medical word building system using Greek and Latin word roots, combining forms, suffixes, and prefixes.
3 Credits
Show Description PHAR 100 - Intro Pharm Practice for Techs
Offered autumn. Prereq., admission into Pharmacy Technology program.  This course offers information regarding careers in pharmacy.  It includes the history of pharmacy practice and defines roles of  personnel relating to pharmaceutical services. Ethical standards of the occupation and federal and state laws regulating pharmacy practice with emphasis on Montana State Pharmacy Law regulating pharmacy technicians are studied. Day-to-day operations including preparation, maintenance, and storage of pharmaceuticals and records, and basic concepts of computer operations and latest technologies are reviewed. Skills will be developed with are necessary for the pharmacy technician to communicate effectively in the following ways: 1) as a representative of the profession of pharmacy, 2) as an intermediary between the pharmacist and patient, and 3) as an intermediary between the pharmacist and other health care professionals.
3 Credits
Show Description PHAR 101 - Pharmacy Calculations
Offered autumn. Calculations used in pharmacy practice; includes various systems of weights and measures, dosage determinations, percentage preparations, reducing and enlarging formulas, dilution, and concentration.
3 Credits
Show Description PHAR 102 - Pharmacology for Technicians
Offered autumn. Prereq., admission into Pharmacy Technology program. Study of the properties, reactions, and therapeutic value of the primary agents in the major drug classes.
6 Credits
Show Description PHAR 104 - Pharmacy Dispensing Lab
Offered autumn. Prereq., admission into Pharmacy Technology Program. Develop dispensing and distributive skills with hands-on lab, and lecture format.
4 Credits
Show Description PHAR 120 - Medication Safety
Offered spring online only. Prereq., PHAR 100, 101, 102, 104 and second semester standing in Pharmacy Technology Program.  This course will introduce students to national safety initiatives developed by the Institute of Medicine, The Joint Commission, The Institute of Safe Medicine Practices and others. This awareness will help students become part of the solution in promoting safe medication  practices.
3 Credits
Show Description PHAR 198 - Internship: Pharmacy
Offered spring. Prereq., PHAR 100, 101, 102, 104 and second semester standing in Pharmacy Technology Program. Training and experience in either hospital, compounding, home infusion, nursing home or other alternative pharmacy settings under supervision of a pharmacist. Emphasizes special skills unique to that pharmacy setting.
4 Credits
Minimum Required Grade: C- 30 Total Credits Required

Pharmacy Technology Program Curriculum:

First Year A S
PHAR 100 (PHA 100) Introduction to Pharmacy Practice for Techs. 3 -
PHAR 101 (PHA 101) Pharmacy Calculations 3 -
PHAR 191 (PHA 102) Pharmacology for Technicians 3 -
PHAR 104 (PHA 104195) Pharmacy Dispensing Lab 4 -
BIOH 108 (SCN 115N) Basic Anatomy 3 -
PHAR 198 (PHA 106) Internship: Pharmacy Technology Retail - 4
PHAR 198 (PHA 107) Internship: Pharmacy Technology Alternate - 4
PHAR 120 (PHA 110) Medication Safety  - 3
AMHS 144 (MED 195T) Medical Terminology - 3
Total 16 14