On-Campus Day* - Your course activity is done in-person Monday - Friday, before 6 PM.
On-Campus Evening/Weekend - Your course activity is done in person on weekdays from 6 PM or later, or Saturdays and Sundays.
Online Day* - Your course activity is done online Monday - Friday, before 6 PM.
Online Evening/Weekend - Your course activity is done online on weekdays from 6 PM or later, or Saturdays and Sundays.
Online Flexible Delivery - Your course activity is not scheduled and therefore you can determine when to do the coursework.
Blended Delivery - Both On-Campus and Online - Some of your coursework will be in-person, on-campus and some will be done online.
* There may be circumstances that require some day delivery of classes to be scheduled into the evenings.
Apprentice training delivery
Blended learning delivery method - your course activity is done on-campus and online. It includes scheduled classes and labs, as well as unscheduled coursework. Lab work will continue to be on campus.
Standard delivery method - your course activity is done on-campus in classrooms and labs.
Block release delivery type - your course activity has a fixed start and completion date. You will leave work and attend school for that period.
Weekly apprenticeship training system (WATS) delivery type - your course activity is done in shorter segments over an extended period. You can continue to work full-time while attending school.
Learn more about apprenticeship delivery methods and types at tradesecrets.alberta.ca.
Please note due to the COVID-19 pandemic, these delivery options may shift from term to term. Please consult your program for details on delivery options.
Estimated program length is based on the recommended course load per semester as outlined in the Courses tab.
Actual program length will vary based on the number of courses registered in and successfully completed per semester.
Learn more about program length on SAIT Credentials and the Academic Calendar.
This program meets the eligibility criteria for the Post-Graduation Work Permit program for international students as long as the student is enrolled in the on-campus delivery mode or completes more than 50% of the courses on campus (for the blended option).
International students attending all classes online will NOT be eligible for a Post-Graduate Work Permit. International students are responsible for maintaining their eligibility throughout their studies.
This program is available to international students, however, program availability may be limited. This program does not meet the eligibility criteria for the Post-Graduation Work Permit program.
Learn to prepare prescriptions, manage inventory and be the first point of contact in assisting pharmacy customers.
As our communities grow and the population ages, there is a vital need for trained assistants to support pharmacies.
In this program, you’ll train to support pharmacy operations and staff in addressing the health needs of diverse populations. Through theory-based and hands-on laboratory learning, you’ll gain professional skills to prepare you to work under the supervision of pharmacists and pharmacy technicians.
You'll practice pharmaceutical calculations, pharmacotherapy, order processing, and clerical functions in your first semester. You’ll also learn about compounding and inventory management.
In your second semester, you’ll gain real-world experience by applying your professional communication skills and practicing your theoretical knowledge in a community pharmacy practicum.
Is this the right fit for me?
You'll experience success in this program and profession by developing the following traits, skills and aptitudes:
- fine motor skills
- effective communication skills (speaking, reading, writing, and listening)
- ability to work independently and with others
- ability to work well under stress, maintain professional behaviour and emotionally self-regulate
- ability to use technology
- attention to detail
- willing to work extended hours, including nights and/or weekends, and shift work
- ability to assist in transporting, lifting, and positioning patients and/or equipment and meet the physical demands of the job (for example, spending most hours working on your feet, walking, bending and other repetitive tasks).
- ability to use your hand, wrist, and arm for prolonged periods of time
- ability to type at 35 wpm in the English language with high accuracy
Prospective students are strongly encouraged to refer to the ALIS website for career, learning, and employment information for Pharmacy Assistants for more information on this profession.
Upon completing this program, graduates will receive a SAIT Pharmacy Assistant certificate.
Get important updates about our health and medical programs
Graduates can pursue job opportunities in:
- community-based pharmacies
- hospital pharmacies
- long-term care facilities
Related careers include:
- pharmacy technician
- physician assistant
Tuition and fees
Estimated cost per year:
Domestic total 2023/24
- Year 1: $8,986
Final costs are dependent on the number of courses a student takes per semester.
This program is eligible for Canada Alberta Job Grant funding.
You will be offered admission to this program through direct entry if you meet the admission requirements and space is available.
Completion of the following courses or equivalents with an overall average of at least 60%:
- Math 30-1 or Math 30-2, AND,
- English Language Arts 30-1 or English Language Arts 30-2.
All applicants, including students educated in Canada, must demonstrate English language proficiency.
SAIT evaluates international documents for admissions. After applying, consider our international document assessment service if your education is from outside Canada. SAIT may also accept courses completed at certain international post-secondary institutions.
The School of Health and Public Safety has many practica partners located within Alberta and across Canada. Practicum placements in Calgary are limited, and you may be required to travel or relocate outside of the city.
Successful applicants will be assigned their practicum placement. While we'll strive to assign your practicum location based on your preference, it is not guaranteed. Special considerations will not be given. You will be responsible for fees associated with the practicum, such as entrance requirements, relocation and travel costs.
In compliance with the practica agreements with our clinical partners, you will be requested to provide proof of the following requirements:
- Police Information Check, including Vulnerable Sector Check
- Health and wellness status
Spring intakes: rural cohort
The rural stream of the Pharmacy Assistant program, offered in spring, addresses a need for services in Edmonton and rural Alberta. As such, all practicum placements will occur within Edmonton and rural Alberta.
Only applicants with a home address (living) in those regions will be eligible for admission to the program. Calgary addresses are not eligible to apply.
In this intake, you'll attend your lectures online and laboratories on campus and subsequently complete a practicum placement. To accommodate students with significant distances to travel, on-campus lab days will be scheduled in groups of four to five consecutive days and occur approximately once per month.
Practicums will be arranged outside of the Calgary area in collaboration with SAIT’s partner pharmacies. Though the location is not guaranteed, you are encouraged to consider your ideal practicum location beforehand. There is a high demand for pharmacy assistants in Edmonton and the surrounding area.
Direct entry: four-step process
Step 1: Read the program information to see the qualities needed for student success.
Step 2: Ensure that you meet all of the admission requirements listed above.
Admission will be extended on a first-qualified, first-offered basis until the program is full.
Step 4: Continue to monitor your application status through the application portal.
You must submit final transcripts/grades to show you have completed the courses and met the minimum admission requirements by the transcript deadline or your seat will be rescinded.
Communication during admission
Email is the primary source of communication during the admission process. Ensure your personal email account is managed appropriately to receive our emails, files and communications.
We recommend you add email@example.com domain to your safe senders' list or you risk missing critical email messages.
When do classes start?
Classes for this program adhere to the following year start and end dates based on the semester the student begins their program.
|Classes begin||Year start date||Year-end date|
|Fall 2022 (Rural intake)||Sept. 12, 2022||July 29, 2023|
|Winter 2023||Jan. 9, 2023||June 30, 2023|
|Spring 2023 (Rural intake)||April 3, 2023||Oct. 27, 2023|
|Fall 2023||Sept. 5, 2023||March 29, 2024|
|Fall 2023||Sept. 11, 2023||July 31, 2024|
|Winter 2024||Jan. 8, 2024||July 26, 2024|
|Spring 2024 (Rural intake)||May 6, 2024||Nov. 22, 2024|
Looking for course descriptions and requisites? Visit the course catalogue
Open Studies courses available
Some courses in this program are available through Open Studies.
Open Studies is a great way to explore a certain subject before diving into the full program. See what courses are offered by finding this program on the Open Studies courses tab.
|Course code||Course name||Credit|
|COMP-261||Applied Digital Technologies||1.5|
|PHAR-271||Pharmacy Concepts and Devices||1.5|
|PHAR-272||Prescription Processing I||3.0|
|Semester 1 total||15.0|
|Course code||Course name||Credit|
|PHAR-274||Prescription Processing II||1.5|
|Semester 2 total||9.0|
Students must attain a PGPA and/or a CGPA of 2.0 or better in each semester and pass the necessary prerequisite courses to progress through the program. To qualify for graduation, students must pass all courses, attain a CGPA of 2.0 or better and complete course requirements within the prescribed timelines.
The opportunity to advance your education by transferring in, within or on from SAIT is available.
Learn more about program and institution partnership agreements.
Tuition and fees
The following costs are effective as of July 1, 2023. They are an estimate of tuition and fees based on the recommended course load per year. *
|Year||Number of semesters||Tuition fees||SAIT fees||Saitsa fees||Total|
*For a detailed breakdown of tuition costs per course, visit the domestic fee table.
This program is eligible for Canada Alberta Job Grant funding.
What your SAIT fees pay for
Student support fee: supports student services and resources to help you succeed throughout your academic career, including services such as Career Advancement Services, and Student Development and Counselling.
Student technology fee: supports improvements to cybersecurity to protect student and institutional information, access to learning material outside the classroom, and technology to enhance the student experience.
Campus recreation fee: supports the provision of recreation and fitness facilities, movement classes, wellness programs, student events, intermural activities, varsity sports programs, and a variety of student engagement initiatives offered throughout the academic year. Exemptions to recreation fees are made in some circumstances.
Upass: provides you with unlimited access to Calgary Transit. Ineligible students are not required to pay this fee. Learn more about eligibility requirements.
Lab and materials fees: ensures SAIT labs and living classrooms have the required equipment and materials to support the necessary training for students.
Laundry fee: covers the cost of laundering the required uniforms. Applicable only to certain programs and apprenticeships.
Saitsa fees: supports the student-led, non-profit organization representing students. Fees support the operation of a variety of student services, activities, and programming.
Health and dental fees: provides access to thousands of dollars in coverage for prescription medication, dental treatments, paramedical services, and multiple other benefits. Domestic students with existing health and dental coverage may opt out. Find more details at saitsa.com/benefits.
Your fees are calculated based on the number of course credits you take per semester (approximately 16 weeks of study). In most cases, your fee is determined based on whether you're taking more or less than nine (9) course credits (more than nine credits in a semester are considered full-time studies.)
Fees are adjusted for programs with start dates outside of the typical 15-week program.
Fees are subject to change without notice.
|Fees||< 9 credits per semester||> 9 credits per semester|
|Campus athletic and recreation||$51.50||$103|
|Student support fee||$52.75||$105.50|
|Student technology fee||$52.75||$105.50|
|Student association fee**||$16.23/credit||$146|
|Health plan***||N/A||$86 ($172 annually)|
|Dental plan***||N/A||$79 ($158 annually)|
*Additional eligibility requirements apply for students to obtain a UPass. To check your eligibility, visit our Upass page.
**Saitsa fees are paid per credit to a maximum amount of $146 per semester.
***Health and dental fees are charged per semester to an annual maximum amount of $172 for health and $158 for dental. In most cases, program fees quoted are based on students paying for a full year of health and dental coverage. International students are charged these fees regardless of course load. Domestic students with existing health and/or dental plans can opt-out. Learn more at saitsa.com/benefits.
Books and supplies*
Books and supplies are approximately $500.
Students are responsible for any additional expenses related to their practicum, including pre-practicum requirements as outlined by the program, and relocation costs to practicum sites outside of Calgary.
There is a fee associated with obtaining a Police Information Check including Vulnerable Sector Check and is payable to the Police or the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP).
There is a fee, approximately $50-$100, associated with an Electronic Student Permit Checking submission which is required for clinical practicum placements, payable to Synergy Gateway through the Verified software platform.
For an estimate of the costs associated with purchasing a computer that meets the program's hardware and software requirements, see our computers and laptops page.
*Tuition, fees, books and supply costs are subject to change.
Next steps for incoming students
Have you been accepted to this program? Here's what you'll need for your first day of classes.
✅ Plan ahead ❗️
You are required to complete several health, confidentiality and consent forms before starting your program. All completed and signed paperwork is needed on orientation day.
Program orientation for students beginning in Fall 2023 will take place on campus August 30. Look for ORNT 118 in your schedule in mySAIT for the time and exact location.*
You can also prepare by attending Big SAIT Welcome, online information sessions, international or Indigenous orientation, and completing the preparation courses below.
*If your orientation takes place on the first day of classes, you will not see a separate ORNT 118 in your schedule. Students registering in classes via open registration will need to enroll themselves in ORNT 118.
How to register for classes
You'll need to register for your classes ahead of each semester.
You’ll receive an email from us indicating what registration process you’ll use to enroll in your classes.
Learn how to register for your classes and find important registration deadlines.
Computers and laptops
This is a bring your own device program with a standard hardware and software requirement. See the specific requirements on our computers and laptops page.
Mac computers are not compatible with the software used in this program.
Required personal protective equipment (PPE) and uniforms
Students are required to wear scrubs to their labs. Scrubs must be cleaned and pressed.
All lab equipment will be provided and a lab fee will be charged to students at the SAIT Bookstore.
To support your success, short courses are available to you to help prepare you for the academic year:
PERS 050: Student Rights and Responsibilities
This course is designed to introduce you to student rights and responsibilities at SAIT. You will learn about SAIT's rich and diverse community, become familiar with guidelines and procedures that create a safe, respectful learning experience for you, and gain practical tips for how you can engage in the SAIT community in a positive and responsible way. PRES-050 must be completed within 30 days from the start of the semester.
PREP 100: The SAIT Experience
Get tips and insider information on time management, exam preparation, effective notetaking and more through this free, online short course for new students. Plus, learn about discussion boards, online communication and submitting assignments online. Course completion is recommended by the end of your first semester.
Both courses can be accessed through Brightspace (D2L) before the first day of classes.
Students taking a full-time course load, or more than nine (9) credits per semester, will be automatically enrolled in these courses.
They are optional for students taking a part-time course load (9 or fewer credits per semester). Part-time students can register by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Find your booklist on the SAIT Bookstore's website. The booklist will be available closer to the program start date.
Can’t find your program or course? The bookstore didn't receive a textbook list. Contact your program directly to determine if they’re still refining course details or if you're in luck, no textbook purchase is required this term.
Next steps for all students
Here's what else you'll need to do to get ready!
Important dates and deadlines
Find important dates applicable to all students, including your transcript and tuition payment deadlines on our Important Dates page.
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