WEST HARTFORD — Salve Regina University and the University of Saint Joseph in West Hartford, two Mercy institutions, have partnered to develop a pathway for Salve’s undergraduate science students to earn the doctor of pharmacy degree (Pharm.D.) in six years said a release from USJ.
Under the new “3+3 Bachelor’s and Pharm.D. Program,” Salve students enrolled in the B.S. in biology or B.A. in biochemistry majors may apply during their third year of study to complete their next three years of pharmacy training at USJ, culminating with the Pharm.D. During their fourth year, participating students will earn their bachelor’s degrees and will be able to participate in undergraduate commencement with the Salve community.
“The Salve/USJ 3+3 Bachelor’s and Pharm.D. Program is a wonderful opportunity for those students seeking a career in the pharmacy industry but also desiring a strong foundation in either biology or biochemistry, and the well-rounded liberal arts education highly valued by employers,” said Dr. Susan Meschwitz, associate professor and chairwoman of Salve’s chemistry department.
During their first three years in the 3+3 track, undergraduate students will complete all Salve core requirements and complete 61 of the 75 credits required for the B.S. in biology, or 47 of the 55 credits required for the B.A. in biochemistry. Requirements for entering USJ’s Pharm.D. program will be satisfied through this coursework within the majors and Salve’s core courses, along with electives that will meet USJ’s 120-credit requirement.
“We are excited to welcome qualified Salve Regina students to this 3+3 program that offers them the ability to complete two degrees seamlessly and access professional opportunities more quickly,” said Dr. Joseph Ofosu, dean of the School of Pharmacy and Physician Assistant Studies at the University of Saint Joseph. “Students will benefit from the USJ’s history and reputation in the health science arena, as well as its long-standing collaborative relationship with hospitals and health-care facilities through the six required clinical placements.”
The partnership responds to the increasing demand for pharmacy services that has resulted in a dramatic increase in salaries in all sectors of the field. Employment of pharmacists is projected to grow 14 percent from 2012 to 2022, according to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, and starting salaries for pharmacists reflect this demand, averaging approximately $100,000. Pharmacy is number one on Kiplinger’s list of “Ten Best University Majors for a Lucrative Career.”
“Given the Mercy mission alignment of our two institutions, and the increasing need for pharmacists, the Salve/USJ 3+3 partnership brings ‘mission to market’ in an innovative and practical manner for students,” said Dr. Nancy Schreiber, Salve’s provost and vice president for academic affairs.
Salve Regina and the University of Saint Joseph are both founded by the Religious Sisters of Mercy in the Catholic tradition and are both accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education.