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Expanding Career Opportunities

Published on 18 September 2019

The ever-changing profession of pharmacy has long been intertwined with business. From pharmacists who work in industry to those in community pharmacies spread throughout the nation, knowledge of business practice can go a long way in propelling a pharmacy career forward. That’s why numerous students at St. Louis College of Pharmacy are taking the initiative to integrate their Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D.) with a Master of Business Administration (MBA) through a cooperative agreement with the University of Missouri-St. Louis (UMSL).

The agreement allows students at the College to complete their MBA while still in the professional program, giving them the opportunity to complete necessary credits for both degrees simultaneously and graduate with a dual-degree. The program saves students time, while allowing them to gain the education and experience needed to continue into entrepreneurship or management.

“I thought that getting my MBA would be a good chance to broaden the scope of my education,” said P3 student Tea Gjoni. “Business is a big component within pharmacy and one that we don’t always think about within our curriculum when we’re learning about medications, therapies and disease states. We also have to think about health care, insurance and the drug manufacturing process. That’s why I think getting my MBA will be very beneficial.”

Through the partnership with UMSL, students at the College are able to enter the MBA program without taking the GMAT or GRE, as long as they meet the requirements of 120 completed college credits, two letters of recommendation, a cumulative undergraduate GPA of 3.0 and an interview. Students participating in the program are able to transfer up to nine credit hours as elective credit towards their MBA degree. In addition, students are able to take courses to earn a Graduate Certificate in Business Administration, which only requires 18 credit hours, compared to the 30 credit hours required for an MBA .

“Right now, I see myself working in managed care pharmacy, where I would be involved in developing insurance formularies, writing medication monographs and negotiating contracts,” said P4 student BJ Miller, who completed his MBA through the College’s integrated program in December 2018. “I feel like this career will allow me to make the most of my business and pharmacy backgrounds and impact pharmacy on a population level.”

By choosing to integrate an MBA, future pharmacists can embark on a variety of impactful career paths including management positions within hospital pharmacy operations, state or federal health care agencies, the pharmaceutical industry or community pharmacies.

“An MBA provides insight on the language of finance, which allows pharmacists to look objectively behind the scenes in their pharmacy or workplace to see where costs can be cut and where they can operate more efficiently,” Miller said. “Gaining a business focus also allows pharmacists to demonstrate the fiscal benefit of integrating our work into all aspects of health care, which will be increasingly important as pharmacists continue to expand their role on patient care teams,” Miller said.

The College’s integrated Pharm.D and MBA program is just one of several graduate opportunities designed to help students to explore their career passions, develop practical expertise and become leaders in their professions and communities. Through its partnerships with neighboring institutions, the College has developed numerous pathways for students to continue their education and build a strong foundation for their career.

Learn more about the integrated Pharm.D and MBA program and other graduate opportunities available at the College.

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