UConn School of Pharmacy Residency Match Rates Rival Top Schools in the Nation

On March 20, medical, dental, and pharmacy students across the country crossed their collective fingers as residency matches were announced. “More than a third of our class goes on to advanced residency and fellowship training each year, the highest percentage of students per class in New England,” says Jill Fitzgerald, director of pharmacy professional development at UConn. This year 71% of UConn students who submitted to the matching system for Post Graduate Year 1 (PGY1) residencies matched with a program. UConn is in good company, placing above or near several of the top 10 pharmacy schools in the nation.

The residency “Match” is carried out by National Matching Services Inc. on behalf of the American Association of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). Students interview with programs then both the student and the program rank each other in order of preference. An algorithm makes the complicated placement decisions. “Overall, students are extremely happy with this streamlined process,” says Fitzgerald. “They all know at the same time where they have matched.” UConn students will be heading to some prestigious programs including Yale-New Haven and Hartford hospitals, several VA hospitals in New England and New York, as well as Tufts, Brigham and Women’s, and Johns Hopkins.

While this success in residency placement makes UConn a top choice for students who want to pursue a clinical pharmacy practice, the majority of the students – almost 60% — opt for community pharmacy practice. The remainder go on to further studies, work in research, or a career in specialty pharmacy. “We are very proud of our placement rates,” says Fitzgerald. “Over the last 3 years, 96% of the class has a position in hand on graduation day.”

The UConn Pharm.D. Program also boasts the best on-time graduation rate in New England at 95%, a statistic that can translate into real savings given the soaring costs of higher education. “Keeping our students on track is extremely important to us,” says Associate Dean Andrea Hubbard. The school uses a careful selection process and puts systems in place to catch a student who may be struggling. “We want our students to succeed at every step in the process,” says Hubbard. “That includes having them graduate with their class, pass their licensing exam, and leave here with a job.”