School Launches PharmD/MBA Dual-Degree Program
The UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy and Kenan-Flagler Business School at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill have come together to offer a dual-degree program that will allow pharmacy students to earn a doctor of pharmacy and an MBA in five years.
“Given the quality and standing of the two schools involved, this certainly has the potential to be the foremost PharmD/MBA program in the country,” says Robert Blouin, dean of the pharmacy school at UNC. There were thirty-eight similar programs offered in the U.S. in 2010, according the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy.
Those who hold both a PharmD and an MBA often pursue careers in the pharmaceutical industry, health-care management, or as entrepreneurs in community pharmacy. They command higher salaries than other PharmD graduates on average. Over the past two years, 10 to 20 percent of the approximately 150 members the incoming pharmacy class at UNC-Chapel Hill have expressed an interest in a PharmD/MBA program.
“This program reflects a growing need in the health-care industry for people who can both make effective clinical decisions and exercise fiscal and managerial responsibility,” says James W. Dean, Jr., dean of UNC Kenan-Flagler.
This is the seventh dual-degree program for Kenan-Flagler Business School and the first for the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy.
Admission to the program requires students to apply to and be accepted by both the PharmD program and the MBA program. Up to five PharmD students each year will be permitted to enroll in the dual-degree program.
The curriculum for the PharmD/MBA requires five years to complete. Students will begin the PharmD program and complete the first two years. They will then apply to the MBA program in the fall of the second year. Successful candidates will spend their third year entirely in the MBA program, and in the fourth year, students will complete a combination of MBA and pharmacy coursework. The fifth year is spent participating in pharmacy-practice rotations across the state.
Stephen Eckel, a clinical assistant professor in the Division of Pharmacy Practice and Experiential Education and assistant pharmacy director at UNC Hospitals, will serve as the faculty liaison for the dual-degree program.