The University of Maryland Eastern Shore and Frostburg State University have formed a new academic partnership offering Frostburg students an accelerated track to becoming pharmacists in six years.
The cooperative undergraduate/professional program agreement will enable Frostburg students to earn a pharmacy degree at UMES by reducing instruction time by up to two years, which in turn will reduce what they spend on tuition.
“This new partnership continues in Frostburg State University’s tradition of developing collaborations that provide excellent academic opportunities for our students,” President Ronald Nowaczyk said. “We are proud to provide this new option to help develop quality pharmacists for our communities.”
Undergraduates majoring in chemistry who meet the requirements and have strong academic credentials may gain preferential admission to UMES’ professional degree program after three years of undergraduate study.
“This is an exciting collaboration for UMES, FSU and the University System of Maryland,” UMES President Heidi M. Anderson. “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.”
Frostburg 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 of Science in chemistry from FSU and a Doctor of Pharmacy from UMES.
“The faculty and staff in (Frostburg’s) Chemistry Department are excited to be a part of this collaboration,” said Dr. Matthew Crawford, chair 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 Frostburg, 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.”
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.
“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.”
UMES established an identical collaboration agreement in 2018 with Salisbury University.