Alma College has entered into a five-year agreement with Ferris State University (FSU) in which five Alma College students will be granted acceptance into the Ferris State College of Pharmacy.
“The agreement reserves five seats each year in the Ferris State University Doctor of Pharmacy program for Alma College students who meet specific admissions requirements including the successful completion of prerequisite courses, a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.3 and a successful admissions interview with FSU Pharmacy,” said Dr. Nancy Dopke, Associate Professor of Chemistry at Alma College.
There are three main tracks for students to pursue that accompany this agreement. First, there is the traditional track in which students complete their undergraduate bachelor’s degree at Alma College.
There is also an Early Assurance Pharmacy Program track in which students spend only three years at Alma College prior to their admittance into the FSU College of Pharmacy.
Finally, there is a Cooperative Degree-Conferring Program Track in which students are able to earn both a Bachelor of Science and a Doctor of Pharmacy degree within the seven years they spend at Alma College and FSU collectively. “This means students can complete two degrees in seven years,” said Dopke.
It is also important to note that students who pursue one of these paths with FSU would, in addition, qualify for a seat in dual degree programs including Master of Business Administration and Master of Public Health.
Evidently, there are many benefits accompanying this agreement. Along with the previously stated tracks, “the program [also] provides clear expectations for pre-pharmacy students and provides a clear path resulting in acceptance to pharmacy school,” said Dopke.
This clear path is brought to the five lucky students with a lack of any competition against the existing applicant pool FSU receives every year consisting of roughly 223 students, according to FSU.
“The agreement also increases our connection to Ferris State Pharmacy, providing our students more interaction with the FSU College of Pharmacy throughout their undergraduate career,” said Dopke.
This sentiment of the program agreement speaks to one of Alma College’s foundations: College and Community Engagement that encourages “transformation in the classroom… find[ing] purpose [and] deepen[ing]… connections,” according to the Alma College website.
“‘The College of Pharmacy is one of Ferris State’s signature programs and one of its oldest… We’ve long been connected to Alma and welcome its outstanding students. Together, we can address a need in our workforce and make our state stronger,’” said Bobby Fleischman, Provost of FSU, in a press release written by Tim Rath, Director of College Communications.
With pharmacists in increasing demand in the job market, this agreement between Alma College and FSU seems to come with no negative baggage. The variety of tracks even expands the agreement to satisfy a multitude of wants current students may have.
However, it is important to note that “pre-pharmacy preparation is challenging and requires careful planning and execution, especially when taking [only] three years to do so,” said Dopke.
Students interested in pursuing pre-pharmacy, and perhaps a spot at the FSU College of Pharmacy, are encouraged to meet with Dr. Dopke as soon as possible.