Students prepare prescriptions.

Pharmacy Assistant

Waitlisted for Fall 2020

Closed for Fall 2020 (International)

Waitlisted for Winter 2021

Length: 5 Months
Credential: Certificate
Available: Full Time Classroom

This program will be delivered in a blended format for the Fall 2020 term. The majority of courses will take place online, with certain labs and hands-on learning scheduled on campus.

Program Highlights

Train to assist pharmacists by preparing drugs, managing inventory and helping with customers through this program that combines theory and hands-on instruction. Pharmacy assistants can find work in hospitals, long-term care facilities and retail pharmacies.

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Tuition and fees per year*

Year 1: $7,285

Year 1 (International): $15,534

*Tuition, fees, books and supply costs are subject to change

Full costs

Requirements

This is a competitive program. If applicants meet the admission requirements they will be assessed based on additional criteria. Applicants will be offered admission to this program if they’re qualified through the competitive process and space is available.

When can you apply?

  • Applications for fall 2020 open Oct. 2, 2019 and are accepted until the program start date.
  • Applications for winter 2021 open March 30, 2020 and are accepted until the program start date.
Term Program start
Fall 2020 Sept. 8, 2020
Winter 2021 Jan. 11, 2021 

Check us out

As our population grows and ages, there is a vital need for trained professionals to provide pharmacy‐related assistance. This program trains students to become knowledgeable and skilled pharmacy assistants.

Theory is taught in class and practiced in the laboratory. A four‐week retail fieldwork practicum completes the training. The pharmacy assistant is responsible for receiving prescriptions, preparing drugs, undertaking clerical and computer duties, managing inventory and providing customer service.

Program Details

Canada-Alberta Job Grant  This program is eligible for Canada-Alberta Job Grant funding.

Program description

As our population grows and ages, there is a vital need for trained professionals to provide pharmacy-related assistance. This program trains students to become knowledgeable and skilled pharmacy assistants. Theory is taught in class and practiced in the laboratory. A 160-hour retail fieldwork practicum completes the training. The pharmacy assistant is responsible for receiving prescriptions, preparing drugs, undertaking clerical and computer duties, managing inventory and providing customer service.

Pharmacy assistants must always work directly under the supervision and guidance of the pharmacist and/or pharmacy technician. They allow the pharmacist to spend more time with the client in his or her care.

In this five-month certificate program, students spend approximately 16 hours per week on campus in theory-based courses and laboratory practice. Course content in the first semester includes pharmacy concepts, pharmaceutical calculations, body systems and pharmaceutical implications and order processing, as well as professional standards and workplace communications. In the second semester, students complete their practicum in a community retail pharmacy to gain competency integrating theoretical knowledge with dispensing practice and customer service.

Your career

Graduates may work in community-based retail pharmacies. Opportunities also exist in hospital pharmacies and long-term care facilities as pharmacy assistants.

Student success

Students with higher secondary or post-secondary marks usually experience greater success in SAIT's programs.

Students who experience success in this program have effective communication skills in English.

Pharmacy assistants are detail oriented in the care they provide and enjoy working in a team environment.

As keyboarding and basic computer skills are not taught in this program, students are expected to be proficient in these areas prior to admission. We strongly recommend that the student have a typing speed of 35 wpm or better.

Credentials and accreditation

After successfully completing this program, graduates will receive a SAIT Pharmacy Assistant certificate.

There are no formal accreditation arrangements at this time. Please contact the department for more information.

Transfer options

The opportunity to advance your education through transferring to, within or from SAIT is available. Visit transfer options to learn more. 

Contact

Have questions about this specific program?

Contact the School of Health and Public Safety
403.284.8500
hps.info@sait.ca

Admission Requirements

Admission and selection

  • Fall  2020 start:   applications open Oct. 2, 2019 and are accepted until the program start date. 
  • Winter 2021 start:  applications open March 30, 2020 and are accepted until the program start date. 

Admission requirements

Completion of the following courses or equivalents with an overall average of at least 60%: 

  • Math 30-1 or Math 30-2 or Pure Math 30 or Applied Math 30
  • English Language Arts 30-1 or English Language Arts 30-2.
  • All applicants must demonstrate  English language proficiency prior to admission, including students educated in Canada.

SAIT accepts  high school course equivalents for admission. If you don't meet the requirements, consider  Academic Upgrading.

SAIT evaluates international documents for admissions. After you've applied, consider our  international document assessment service if your education is from outside of Canada. 

Competitive entry: six-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.

Step 3: Review the selection information to understand the process and deadlines 

  • Applications and proof of the admission requirements (  transcripts and/or anticipated final grades) along with all supporting documents must be submitted to be included in selection.
  • Applications will be reviewed on a continuous basis, and there will be 32 seats offered each intake. 

Early admission will be offered to applicants who have achieved or will achieve an overall average of at least 70% in the admission requirements. Early admission will be offered until Nov. 15 (for fall intake) or until the program is full.

  • Once early admission is complete the remaining seats will be offered on a first qualified, first offered basis.
  • Failure to meet anticipated final grades will result in offers being rescinded.

Step 4:  Apply to Pharmacy Assistant and submit your  transcripts.

Step 5: Log in to  mySAIT.ca to check your admission status. If eligible, your status will indicate that you're "In Selection."

Step 6: Continue to monitor changes to your  application status through  mySAIT.ca.

Failure to meet anticipated final grades will result in offers being rescinded.

Communication during selection

Email is the primary source of communication during the selection process. Ensure your personal email account is managed appropriately to receive our emails, files and communications. We recommend you add  hps.info@sait.ca and the sait.ca domain to your safe senders' list or you risk missing critical email messages. 

Practicum requirements

The  School of Health and Public Safety has many practica partners located within Alberta and across Canada. Practicum placements in Calgary are limited and students may be required to relocate outside of Calgary for practicum.

Successful candidates will be informed of the allocation of their practicum placement by the program. There is no guarantee that students will be placed at their desired practicum location. Special considerations of personal circumstances will not be given in regards to assigning practicum placements. Students will be responsible for fees associated with practica such as relocation and travel costs.

In compliance with the practica agreements with our clinical partners, successful candidates will be requested to provide proof of the following requirements:

  • Security clearance - Police Information Check including Vulnerable Sector Check
  • Health and wellness status

Learn more

Courses

Program outline

  • This is a 19-week certificate offered over the fall/winter semesters or winter/spring semesters.
  • View additional Pharmacy Assistant program information including course-specific descriptions and requisites.

Fall intake

Semester 1

Course code Course name Credit
PHAR-203 Pharmacy Concepts 1.5
PHAR-204 Pharmaceutical Calculations 1.5
PHAR-211 Assistive Devices 1.5
PHAR-212 Order Processing I 1.5
PHAR-214 Body Systems and Pharmaceutical Implications I 1.5
PHAR-223 Order Processing II 1.5
PHAR-227 Body Systems and Pharmaceutical Implications II 1.5
PHAR-232 Professional Standards and Ethics 1.5
PHAR-234 Order Processing III 1.5
PHAR-236 Body Systems and Pharmaceutical Implications III 1.5
PHAR-247 Compounding and Inventory Management 1.5
PHAR-248 Body Systems and Pharmaceutical Implications IV 1.5
PROF-240* Healthcare Professionalism 1.5
Semester 1 total 19.5

Semester 2

Course code Course name Credit
PRAC-213 Practicum 3.0
Semester 2 total 3.0
Program total 22.5


Progression

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.

Costs

Domestic Tuition and Fees*

Year Tuition fees SAIT fees Saitsa fees Health & Dental Plan 2020/21 total
1 $6,063 $682 $288 $252 $7,285

International Tuition and Fees*

Year Tuition fees SAIT fees Saitsa fees Health & Dental Plan 2020/21 total
1 $14,104 $682 $288 $252 $15,534

*Fees and tuition are based on a two-semester full course load structure. There may be additional fees for practicums and terms held outside this time frame.

SAIT Fees

Campus athletic and recreation Fee: $171.20
Universal transit pass (UPass): $310 - Check eligibility here.
Student support fee: $100
Student technology fee: $100

Health and Dental Fees

Domestic Students 

  • Health Plan: $122
  • Dental Plan: $130
  • For students with existing health and/or dental plans, please refer to the Saitsa website for information on opting out.

International Students 

  • Health and Dental Plan: $460
  • For more information on Health and Dental Benefits for International students please contact the International Centre.

Books and supplies*

  • Books and supplies are approximately $500.
  • Students are responsible for any additional expenses related to their practica (i.e. relocation costs if placed outside of Calgary, food, housing, transportation, etc.).
  • 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).

Find out about tuition and financial aid.

* 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.

    Important dates and deadlines

    Find important dates applicable to all students, including your transcript and tuition payment deadlines on our Important Dates page.

    Important Dates

    ✅ 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. 

    Ensure you complete all three steps below ahead of orientation.

    Get started on pre-orientation requirements

    Fall 2020

    Delivery 

    This program will be delivered in a blended format for the Fall 2020 term due to the COVID-19 pandemic and associated health and safety guidelines. The majority of courses will take place online, with certain labs and hands-on learning scheduled on campus.

    How to register for classes

    You'll follow a fixed block registration process to enrol in your classes. Learn how to register on our registration and schedules page.

    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

    Required personal protective equipment (PPE)

    The industry-approved PPE you'll need will be discussed during your first few days of classes. 

    Other requirements

    • Police Information Clearance with Vulnerable Sector Check

    Preparation courses

    To support your success, SAIT offers some short courses before classes start, including PREP 100: The SAIT Experience, ETHI 110: SAIT Ethical Practices and SAFE 165: Safety at SAIT.

    Required textbooks

    The Fall 2020 booklist will be available about two weeks before classes start. We recommend you wait to buy your books until your first few days of classes and speak with your instructors.

    Contact 

    Phone: 403.284.8418
    Email: hps.info@sait.ca

    Academic chair

    Patricia Reader-Downey, Academic Chair
    Email:  patricia.reader-downey@sait.ca

    Inspiring Stories

    The hands-on learning that is an essential part of the program was what Lyndsay valued, saying it’s the best way to be trained for work in this industry.

    Lyndsay Stange
    Pharmacy Assistant | 2016

    “I feel prepared and ready to go.”

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