UT College of Pharmacy and Tusculum U. create pathway to help students pursue pharmacy degrees

Published 11:24 am Tuesday, December 19, 2023

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The University of Tennessee Health Science Center’s College of Pharmacy and Tusculum University have signed a memorandum of understanding to assist students in completing an undergraduate degree at Tusculum and enrolling in the UTHSC College of Pharmacy’s Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) program.
Under the agreement, Tusculum students who are in their final year of completing all prerequisite courses, meet the required grade point average, and apply before the priority deadline are guaranteed an interview for acceptance and admission to the College of Pharmacy. Although admission is not guaranteed, the agreement provides a clear pathway for Tusculum students to pursue a career in pharmacy. Students accepted for admission will be able to pursue a PharmD, making them eligible for licensure required to practice.
The UTHSC College of Pharmacy is ranked among the Top 20 nationally and No. 6 in the country for the number of students matched for a residency. The college has locations in Knoxville, Nashville, and Memphis. It is ranked No. 6 in National Institutes of Health funding and has conducted extensive research in the oncology realm to discover novel small molecule therapeutics for various cancers. Other research areas include the development of new drugs and delivery systems to treat bacterial, viral, and fungal infections, examination of vascular physiology, modulation of hormonal systems, obesity, acute kidney injury, metabolic syndrome, and conditions such as epilepsy, traumatic brain injury, neuroinflammation, retinal diseases, and substance abuse.
The agreement developed from a visit by Kara Bowen, director of admissions and recruitment in the College of Pharmacy, a couple of years ago. “When Tusculum chemistry faculty offered the opportunity to tour in 2021, I was thoroughly impressed with the state-of-the-art labs in the Meen Center, the rigorous natural science curriculum, and the research opportunities students have,” Bowen said. “Having a strong foundation in chemistry, biology, and anatomy and physiology is crucial to success in a graduate pharmacy program. I am confident the caliber of Tusculum’s program will prepare students to continue their passion beyond their bachelor’s degree at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center College of Pharmacy.”
Heather Henson-Ramsey, DVM, PhD, dean of Tusculum’s College of Science, Technology and Mathematics, said the college prides itself on providing students with the knowledge and experiences necessary to transition to professional schools. “Having an enhanced route for our students who are interested in a pharmacy career to enroll in the exceptional program at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center will benefit them considerably,” Dr. Henson-Ramsey said. “We appreciate the University of Tennessee Health Science Center for partnering with us on this initiative for our students. With mentoring and one-on-one interaction with their professors, our students develop a thorough understanding of the academic concepts and the soft skills that prepare them to pursue a professional school and enter the workforce. They will be on solid ground as they pursue admission to the UTHSC College of Pharmacy.”

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