College Offers Path Toward Advanced Business Degree

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When fifth-year student John Love graduates, he’ll already have a head start on the next phase of his career.

Love, who is from Montgomery, Mo., plans to use courses he’s taking at St. Louis College of Pharmacy as credit toward a Master of Business Administration degree from the University of Missouri-St. Louis (UMSL).

“I see a lot of advantages that an MBA can give you in pharmacy,” Love says. “I’ve read that most pharmacists end up being a manager for some part of their career. Having an MBA can give me an advantage from the business side to help with everything from inventory to marketing. There are so many aspects that can apply and help you get ahead.”

Love is among the first to be able to take advantage of a new collaborative program between the College and UMSL. The program will allow student pharmacists the ability to work toward a Graduate Certificate in Business Administration or an MBA degree at UMSL while still enrolled at the College.

“This agreement with UMSL is an incredible opportunity for our students to take the next step in advancing their careers,” says St. Louis College of Pharmacy President John A. Pieper, Pharm.D. “The UMSL College of Business Administration is a recognized leader in outstanding business education. By working together, we can give students an opportunity to expand their skills in business and management.”

Once students graduate from the College, they will be able to continue classes at UMSL on their own schedule in order to complete the graduate certificate or MBA. Some courses taken at the College will be transferrable into UMSL. Likewise, select courses taken at UMSL can be used to fulfill graduation requirements at the College.

“As part of the College’s mission to prepare our students to positively impact patients and society, we recognize the importance and value a graduate certificate or MBA from UMSL provides,” Pieper says. “St. Louis College of Pharmacy has been graduating pharmacists who have quickly distinguished themselves as leaders in the profession for almost 150 years. This tradition continues with our collaboration with UMSL.”

Graduate certificate courses include marketing, financial management, communications, and accounting.

“The curriculum at the College exposes students to these business concepts,” says Ken Schafermeyer, Ph.D., professor of pharmacy administration at St. Louis College of Pharmacy. “The ability to go even more in-depth in these important topics at UMSL will serve students well.”

Love’s goal is to one day own a community pharmacy.

“I feel like having both a Doctor of Pharmacy degree and an MBA will give me the best of both worlds,” Love says. “Instead of making medication use decisions based on price, I can use my clinical training and research to see if switching medications is in the best interest of the patient. To have knowledge of both perspectives when approaching a problem like that would be very beneficial.”

Photo courtesy of August Jennewein/UMSL

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