Monroe Community College and the University at Buffalo School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences recently developed a 2+4 undergraduate-professional school agreement designed to equip future pharmacists with both an associate degree in biology and doctor of pharmacy degree.
According to MCC Career Coach, the number of pharmacist positions in the Finger Lakes region is expected to grow by 2.7 percent over the next four years.
Under the program, aspiring pharmacists begin their studies at MCC, maintaining an overall GPA of 3.4 during the first two years. Students then submit an application through the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy’s Pharmacy College Application Service and take the Pharmacy College Admission Test. Three letters of recommendation and an interview are also required. Selected students transfer to UB and complete a four-year curriculum. Participating students earn both an associate degree in biology and a doctor of pharmacy degree within six years.
According to Holly Preische, associate director of transfer services at MCC, the program is MCC’s first 2+4 undergraduate-professional school agreement. “Each year, two seats in the University at Buffalo’s pharmacy program will be guaranteed for qualified MCC students. This agreement gives local students access to UB’s renowned program, a rewarding career field and potential for a six-figure income,” she said.
UB’s PharmD program is a four-year professional program, after undergraduate prepharmacy coursework. Prepharmacy at UB is not a baccalaureate degree granting program. Instead it is a pre-professional academic pathway similar to premedicine or prelaw.
Discussing the UB-MCC partnership, James O’Donnell, dean of the UB School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences said, “As our first 2+4 affiliation agreement, The University at Buffalo School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences values our strong collaboration with MCC and this agreement will further solidify our strong partnership. We look forward to having their best and brightest students as members of our PharmD program.”
According to UB, graduates of the PharmD program are among the most sought-after in the country. UB prepares students enrolled in the PharmD program to be a members of the health-care team working with physicians, nonphysician providers and other allied health professionals.
PharmD program graduates have many career options including working in the community, a hospital, a university, government agencies, pharmaceutical research companies, nursing homes, hospice and home care. Pharmacists can also choose a specific population to work with such as newborns and geriatrics. In the Finger Lakes region, salaries for new pharmacists start around $95,309, while experienced pharmacists can earn as much as $144,477.
The deadline to register for MCC’s spring 2017 semester is Jan. 17. For information: 585-292-2200; monroecc.edu.