The University of Maryland Eastern Shore has forged a new partnership that will push aspiring pharmacists to finish in 6 years! Get the full story about the accelerated program from staff at The Garrett County Republican below.

Credit: University of Maryland Eastern Shore

The University of Maryland Eastern Shore and Frostburg State University have formed a new academic partnership offering students an accelerated track to becoming pharmacists in six years.

The cooperative undergraduate/professional program agreement will allow students to complete their pharmacy degree seamlessly with the reduction of instruction time by as many as two years and consequently save students the comparable cost of extra tuition.

“This new partnership continues in Frostburg State University’s tradition of developing collaborations that provide excellent academic opportunities for our students,” said Dr. Ronald Nowaczyk, FSU president. “We are proud to provide this new option to help develop quality pharmacists for our communities.”

Chemistry majors at FSU who meet the requirements and have strong academic credentials may gain preferential admission to UMES’ professional degree program after just three years of undergraduate study.

“The faculty and staff in the FSU Chemistry Department are excited to be a part of this collaboration,” said Matthew Crawford, chairman of the department. “The new agreement will benefit our students by saving time and resources to earn not only their bachelor of science degree from FSU, but their advanced degree in pharmacy from UMES. In addition, the agreement will help foster a strong partnership between both programs and we look forward to working with UMES.”

FSU students who choose to pursue the UMES pharmacy track and successfully complete the “3+3” program will earn two degrees, one from each institution — a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from FSU and a doctor of pharmacy from UMES.

UMES’s pharmacy program, one of 15 in the nation that offers year-round instruction, enables students to earn a doctorate in three years instead of the traditional four. Upon completion, students are eligible to take the pharmacy licensing exam.

“This is an exciting collaboration for UMES, FSU and the University System of Maryland,” said Dr. Heidi Anderson, president of UMES. “Both of our universities are located in rural areas that have serious healthcare disparities. Additional community pharmacists can have a positive impact on the health of the population they serve.”

“This collaboration brings significant value to our students,” said Kim Hixson, dean of the FSU College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. “We look forward to seeing them take advantage of the opportunities this partnership creates.”

“We’re delighted to launch this partnership for several crucial reasons, not the least of which is meeting the educational needs of the state of Maryland with high-quality and innovative academic programming,” said Nancy Niemi, provost and vice president for Academic Affairs at UMES. “This is a great example of the collaboration that’s possible between two USM institutions.”

“This is a new day for this program, but also a new opportunity for other cross-institutional collaborations,” said Michael Mathias, FSU interim provost. “We’re very excited to work with UMES and look forward to watching the program grow over the next several years.”