UConn, Connecticut State University Collaboration Strengthens Pharmacy Program

Partnership Will Help Build Connecticut’s Health Care Workforce

UConn and the Connecticut State Colleges and University system (ConnSCU) today announced that, due to new pre-pharmacy curriculum at the state’s universities, students at Eastern, Western, Southern, and Central who are interested in attending UConn’s highly competitive School of Pharmacy are now able to take the required courses at their home schools. Designed to prepare students for entry into UConn’s Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D.) degree program, the courses are made possible through a joint agreement between ConnSCU and UConn that was signed on October 31 in Storrs.

“We initiated this partnership with the four Connecticut state universities to promote a pre-pharmacy program at their institutions and to encourage their students to apply to our professional program,” said Andrea Hubbard, Associate Dean of the UConn School of Pharmacy. “Expanding academic opportunities to students at all of the state universities is the right thing to do as the role of pharmacists in health care expands.”

“The Board of Regents applauds this innovative collaboration with UConn’s School of Pharmacy,” said Ted Yungclas, BOR Principal Academic Affairs Officer. “This new program offers our students an excellent opportunity to prepare early for the rigors of the UConn program—and these academic partnerships will help Connecticut’s higher education institutions contribute to a strong statewide workforce.”

The UConn School of Pharmacy, with its Doctor of Pharmacy degree and research-intensive graduate programs in medicinal chemistry, pharmaceutics, and pharmacology/toxicology, has a reputation as one of the best pharmacy education programs in the nation.

Admission to the UConn School of Pharmacy is competitive with no more than 100 students accepted into the Pharm.D. program annually. Preference traditionally has been given to UConn students, Connecticut residents, and New England students. Under the new agreement, Connecticut state university students who successfully complete pre-enrollment requirements will be granted preference equal to that of UConn students. As part of the agreement, the UConn School of Pharmacy will assist in the matriculation of Connecticut state university students into student pharmacy professional organizations, and work with the state universities to raise the visibility of pharmacy as a profession.

The UConn School of Pharmacy is an upper division program—students typically complete two years of coursework before entering the four-year professional program. All students entering into the program must meet the pre-admission criteria which includes submission of their Pharmacy College Admission Test (PCAT) scores and a personal interview.

Upon completion of the program, students earn a Pharm.D. degree—a professional degree similar to a Juris Doctorate and Medical Doctorate—which allows graduates to become a licensed, practicing pharmacist. The UConn School of Pharmacy has had a similar academic partnership with the University of Bridgeport since 2010.

“This partnership provides Connecticut students with unparalleled opportunities in the growing fields of pharmaceutical sciences and pharmacy practice,” said Sally Reis, UConn’s Vice Provost for Academic Affairs. “We’re committed to expanding collaborations with the Connecticut State Universities in innovative education and research programs.”

“It is in our regional and national interest to educate the highest quality professionals to serve the growing health care industry,” said Steven Breese, Dean of the School of Arts & Sciences at Southern Connecticut State University. “SCSU is pleased and proud to team with UConn to provide seamless pathways for students to begin and complete their professional degrees—providing Connecticut with the quality professionals we need to grow our economy and serve our citizenry.”

ConnSCU, governed by the Board of Regents for Higher Education, began offering classes in the new curriculum this fall.