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Sullivan University, Indiana University Southeast create new pharmacy degree for high school students

Seniors interested in a pharmacy career will be able to complete their bachelor’s and pharmacy degree in a five-year window.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — To combat the labor shortage in the pharmacy sector, two areas colleges are creating new a pathway students can take.

Sullivan University College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences and Indiana University Southeast have a new PharmD pathway agreement program for high school students. It’s a fast-track program to a pharmacy degree.

Seniors interested in a pharmacy career will be able to complete their bachelor’s and pharmacy degree in a five-year window. Students would take on pre-pharmacy coursework and finish their undergraduate degree at IUS and the Doctor of Pharmacy will be completed at Sullivan University.

It’s a merge in programs school officials said would benefit everyone.

“Many of our students want to stay in this region, and it’s our job to help them to advance their careers. The agreement means that students will have a streamlined advising process, ensuring they don’t have to worry about the transferring of credits," Kelly A. Ryan, Ph.D., IU Southeast's executive vice chancellor for Academic Affairs, said.

According to the National Community Pharmacists Association, nearly 70% of pharmacies are having trouble filling positions. Their survey said more pharmacies are offering competitive pay including incentives.

“It’s really important at this time because we are currently experiencing a shortage of pharmacists. Lots of different things going on in the market place and so this will allow for more students to be able to enter in the university and ultimately into the profession,” Cassandra Hobbs, associate professor at Sullivan University, said.

Applications for fall 2022 are now open and each year the schools will have 28 slots for students in the program.

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