College Announces New Seven-Year Program
St. Louis College of Pharmacy
4588 Parkview Place * St. Louis, MO 63110 * www.stlcop.edu
June 14, 2012
College Announces New Seven-Year Doctor of Pharmacy Program
New Curriculum Maintains Direct Admissions, Includes Bachelor of Science
(St. Louis)- St. Louis College of Pharmacy today announced a change to its Doctor of Pharmacy program. To enhance the current curriculum and prepare students for the expanding role of pharmacists in patient care and to communities, the Board of Trustees approved a plan to expand the program from six to seven years, beginning in the 2014 academic year. This new structure will also allow for students to achieve a Bachelor of Science degree after four academic years.
“The profession of pharmacy is evolving and it’s our goal to lead, starting with enhancing both pre-professional and professional programs and curricula,” said Dr. John A. Pieper, president of St. Louis College of Pharmacy. “Pharmacists play a vital role in the increasingly interconnected health care community, and our new expanded program will offer students the enhanced knowledge, skills and attitudes for those changes in the practice of pharmacy. We want our graduates to continue to improve patient and health system outcomes through advanced pharmacy practice – and to be leaders within the pharmacy profession and in the community.”
The College will maintain its direct admissions policy, which allows students to enter directly from high school, but will also allow students who have completed sufficient prerequisite coursework or degrees to transfer prior to the first professional year of the program.
20/20 Strategic Plan
This change in the Doctor of Pharmacy program is the result of the College’s recently approved strategic plan – STLCOP 20/20. As part of the significant transition outlined in the plan, the College administration invited a faculty committee to evaluate the landscape of pharmacy education in the United States, along with the schools’ current Doctor of Pharmacy curriculum.
The intent was not to make short-term alterations to the curriculum, but to develop a leading program in order to integrate both a high-quality liberal arts and a cutting-edge pharmacy education that exceeds accreditation standards, as well as foster student-centered education. The goal is to develop pharmacists who are well-educated, caring, responsible, able, and committed to the new role of the pharmacist.
After research and evaluation, the faculty recommended that the College expand its current six-year Doctor of Pharmacy program to seven years that would include offering a Bachelor of Science degree seamlessly integrated into the curriculum. The new curriculum will expand opportunities for electives and time for patient-centered and inter-professional initiatives that are critical to the practice of pharmacy.
Since 2006, 39 percent of U.S. schools of pharmacy have extended their pre-professional programs to a minimum required three years or a bachelor’s degree prior to entry into a four year Doctor of Pharmacy program.
“St. Louis College of Pharmacy has a great opportunity and obligation to educate a new generation of pharmacists, ensuring they carry the profession into the future,” said Pieper. “Through this new curriculum and our STLCOP 20/20 strategic plan, we believe we can help frame the future of what a pharmacist will be.”
About St. Louis College of Pharmacy: Founded in 1864, St. Louis College of Pharmacy is the fourth oldest and 10th largest college of pharmacy in America. It integrates the liberal arts and sciences with a professional curriculum and introductory and advanced practice experiences where students can develop expertise and become leaders in the field and their communities. Beginning in 2014, the seven-year curriculum leading to the Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D.) degree will also include a Bachelor of Science degree. The College admits students directly from high school and accepts transfer students and graduates from other colleges and universities. More than 1,250 students are currently enrolled from 25 states and several countries. Additional information is available at www.stlcop.edu/.