VSU Partners with UGA Pharmacy to Meet Growing Demand for Pharmacists

May 25, 2022

Jessica Pope
Communications and Media Relations Coordinator

Valdosta State University and the University of Georgia College of Pharmacy signed a transfer joint agreement May 25 at West Hall. Pictured, left to right, are Dr. Kurt Winkelmann, professor and head of the Department of Chemistry at VSU; Dr. Richard A. Carvajal, President of VSU; Dr. Andrew Darley, director of professional education at the UGA College of Pharmacy; Dr. Pierre-Richard Cornely, Dean of the College of Science and Mathematics at VSU; and Dr. Robert Smith, provost and vice president of academic affairs at VSU.



VALDOSTA — Valdosta State University students interested in a career in pharmacy now have a streamlined approach to admission to the Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) program at the University of Georgia College of Pharmacy.

Officials from the two Georgia University System institutions signed an articulation agreement on May 25 that provides undergraduate chemistry/pre-pharmacy students at VSU with a guided path to UGA’s four-year pharmacy program. after just three years of undergraduate studies. The agreement allows VSU students to start a career earlier in this critical area of ​​health care.

“Valdosta State University has an established and proud track record of preparing students to study pharmacy,” said Dr. Richard A. Carvajal, president of VSU. “This new partnership makes the pathway to the undergraduate degree and professional degree seamless and streamlined, saving students time and money. We look forward to the many opportunities this arrangement will bring to VSU students destined for this important healthcare career.

Through this agreement, VSU aspiring pharmacists will be eligible to receive structured counseling directly from faculty, staff, and current PharmD student mentors beginning in their first year in Valdosta State.

“This agreement with UGA provides our students with another avenue to achieve their academic and professional goals,” said Dr. Kurt Winkelmann, professor and head of the Department of Chemistry at VSU.

VSU students who maintain certain academic criteria and successfully complete all entrance requirements for the UGA College of Pharmacy will receive a guaranteed admissions interview in their freshman year.

Accepted students will transfer to UGA for their senior year and complete their VSU Bachelor of Science in Chemistry while beginning their pharmacy training.

“With a growing, aging and diverse population, the role of the pharmacist is more important than ever – especially in hospitals and clinics where Doctors of Pharmacy are, more than ever, expected to provide direct patient care. through medication management,” said Kelly Smith, dean of the UGA College of Pharmacy. “Additionally, the pandemic has been a significant indicator of the value of pharmacists in helping people with their health issues. unique program is well suited to prepare an aspiring pharmacist for such challenges.

Pharmacy jobs are among the best in healthcare and one of the highest paying overall, according to US News and World Report’s top jobs rankings. As pharmacists become an integral part of the healthcare team, jobs for pharmacists are growing. The state of Georgia expects a job growth rate for pharmacists of 12.14% by 2028, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The UGA College of Pharmacy is ranked 24th in the nation by U.S. News and World Report, and the pass rate for the North American pharmacist licensing exam is over 95%, the highest of any college of pharmacy of the Southeastern Conference and well above the national average. .

While the program aims to expand pharmacy education, several former VSU students have already transitioned to UGA. Savannah Rainey of Eastman, Georgia, who attended VSU from August 2015 to December 2017, earned her Doctor of Pharmacy degree from UGA this spring.

“Valdosta State provided me with countless opportunities to further develop my desire to become a pharmacist through pre-pharmacy organizations as well as one-on-one counseling sessions that outlined exactly what I needed to do to pursue my PharmD at UGA. The VSU faculty and staff not only prepared me well in class, but they were also great resources for interviews. The strong academic leadership of both institutions is why I am so excited about this affiliation. Together they made me the professional I am today. I am excited to pursue a career in ambulatory care pharmacy working in chronic disease management, and I know that my experiences at both VSU and UGA are a big part of where I am today.

VSU students interested in participating in UGA’s PharmD program can contact Dr. Kurt Winkelmann, professor and head of the chemistry department, at [email protected] or (229) 333-5801.

Founded in 1903, the University of Georgia College of Pharmacy provides high-quality education, research opportunities, experiential programs, and service learning to advance the profession of pharmacy, as well as pharmaceutical and biomedical sciences. As the largest and only public pharmacy school in the state of Georgia, the College offers a Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD), as well as several graduate and certificate programs and an undergraduate degree. UGA PharmD students also have the option of pursuing a Master of Business Administration, Master of Public Health, or Regulatory Science Certificate while pursuing their pharmacy education.

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