Pharmacy doctorate program provides new opportunities


Franciscan University and D’Youville College are now working together to offer a doctor of pharmacy degree that will give students degrees from both institutions, beginning this fall semester.

Participants in the program will spend three years studying at Franciscan University for a bachelor’s degree in either chemistry or biology. After completing these years and being accepted into the program they can earn a doctorate of pharmacy from D’Youville College, in Buffalo, New York, over the course of four years. A maximum of 10 students will be accepted into the program each year, which is a generous number, said Eric Haenni, the pre-health professional programs coordinator at Franciscan, who holds a doctorate in zoology.

The university decided to offer this program due to the growing field of pharmacy and need for pharmacists. The then-president of D’Youville, Sister Denise A. Roche, was initially approached by the Rev. Sean Sharidan, T.O.R., because of the quality of D’Youville’s faculty, program and students. The college has a beneficial location for gaining experience and future jobs due to the size and population of Buffalo.

“They have a lot of personal investment and alumni investment in (their pharmacy) program. They’re in Buffalo, so there’s a good network of hospitals that have begun to rely and have relied on consistently graduates from that area … So there’s a huge pool (of possibilities) there,” said Haenni.

D’Youville also has a new state-of-the-art facility for their pharmacy program. It is a Catholic institution and will allow students accepted into the 3+4 program to continue their education immersed in Catholic values. The decision to collaborate with D’Youville was backed up by the professionalism of the staff and quality of the students, said Haenni.

“Both institutions are committed to student-centered learning, built on a foundation of service, and each has its own rich history and tradition in serving their respective communities locally and globally,” said Canio J. Marasco, the dean of D’Youville School of Pharmacy, who holds a doctorate in medicinal chemistry. “Together, Franciscan University and D’Youville College will produce competent and compassionate pharmacists who will dedicate themselves to serving their patients, profession, and communities.”

Franciscan University is unlikely to offer the entirety of the doctor of pharmacy degree because of the size of campus and the university’s particular mission. Other schools, Duquesne University and Kettering University, are being considered for additional options for the final four years of the program, said Haenni.

Students who wish to take part in the program must major in either biology or chemistry at Franciscan University. They are also required to achieve and maintain a certain grade point average and pass particular tests to be admitted to the second part of the plan.

Before this collaboration, students had to complete their four-year degree at Franciscan before applying to a different institution, or had the option of only completing some of their prerequisites before transferring. Now with the 3+4 program students are able to save one year, but are able to take classes beyond their core.

Current students who wish to transfer to the pharmacy program can do so by talking to Haenni, who said that he would be able to answer any questions about the program.