Fort Valley State University (FVSU) has partnered with the University of Georgia (UGA) College of Pharmacy to help support students and future pharmacists through their new “3 + 4” program, which allows students to gain an earlier start in the pharmaceutical industry.

The program provides FVSU undergraduate chemistry students with a guided pathway into UGA’s 4-year Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) program.

According to the school,  Junior-year FVSU students, in particular, who maintain certain academic criteria and successfully fulfill all admissions requirements into UGA will receive a guaranteed interview at the College of Pharmacy. Those admitted will then complete the articulated PharmD courses.  In turn, the course credits will be transferred back to FVSU to fulfill the requirements for a BS degree.

Fort Valley State University (FVSU) and the University of Georgia (UGA) College of Pharmacy “3 + 4” program signing ceremony 

Fares Howari, the dean of Fort Valley State University’s College of Arts and Sciences told 13WMAZ that students will benefit greatly from the “3 + 4” program.

“They will get skills, competence, and knowledge to enable them to do research and development and to deliver what they find and to be able to communicate with the patient, to be able to communicate with the stakeholders, the policymakers, and the community as well,” said Howari. 

This year, there has been a shortage of pharmacists in the U.S. due to exhaustion and burnout, resulting in major retail pharmacy chains, such as CVS and Walmart announcing that they were cutting pharmacy hours due to a lack of staffing. FVSU and UGA’s joint program aims to eliminate the shortage by preparing students with the proper tools and education to serve the community.

“There is no better time to forge this unique relationship,” said Kelly Smith, the Dean of UGA’s College of Pharmacy. “Georgia communities are projected to need more pharmacists now and in the future. The value of pharmacists in helping people address their healthcare concerns is becoming extraordinarily apparent, especially since the pandemic. Pharmacists are being recognized for their leadership and the value they bring to an integrated healthcare team.”