The Sullivan University College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences (SU  COPHS) and Indiana University Southeast (IU Southeast ) have announced a PharmD pathway agreement that will provide high school students a fast track to a pharmacy degree.

Under the Direct to PharmD program – which the universities announced today at SU COPHS’ Louisville campus – exceptional high school seniors who are committed to pursuing a career in pharmacy may complete their bachelor and PharmD degrees in as little as five years.

“The College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences has always had a strong relationship with Indiana University Southeast. We’ve had amazing IU Southeast students complete our PharmD program through both traditional and existing pathway agreements. The Direct to PharmD is a game changer in allowing both institutions to serve students earlier in their educational pursuits, getting them on the track to pharmacy during their senior year in high school.” said SU COPHS Dean Misty M. Stutz, PharmD. “Being a student in this Direct to PharmD pathway will allow students to become part of the Sullivan family right out of high school. For those students who have chosen pharmacy, they will be immediately connected with Sullivan pharmacy students, pharmacists and to be involved in the profession even sooner.”

Admitted students will complete their pre-pharmacy coursework and undergraduate degree at IU Southeast and their Doctor of Pharmacy at Sullivan University. They will have a provisional seat in Sullivan University’s PharmD program, pending successful completion of all prerequisite coursework and PharmD application requirements.

“We are eager to advance the career development of our students and help them find their pathways to success,” said Kelly A. Ryan, Ph.D., IU Southeast’s Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs. “Many of our students want to stay in this region, and it’s our job to help them to advance their careers. The agreement means that students will have a streamlined advising process, ensuring they don’t have to worry about the transferring of credits.”

The region’s healthcare industry workforce could also be enhanced by graduates of the Direct to PharmD program.

“We are also dedicated to our community, and we need more qualified pharmacists to fill out positions in the region,” Dr. Ryan said. “Sullivan and IU Southeast are in a unique position to build a robust partnership because our excellent undergraduate education in biology and chemistry make us a top choice for those pursuing clinical and medical professions.”

Current Kentucky and Indiana high school seniors are eligible to apply through IU Southeast. Admission to the Direct to PharmD program will occur on a rolling basis within the normal IU Southeast freshman application process. Interested high school students can now apply to the program, beginning their undergraduate coursework at IU Southeast in the fall 2022 semester.

The Direct to PharmD pathway provides opportunities for students to remain in the region while pursuing a degree. In fact, IU Southeast offers in-state tuition to eight Kentucky counties as well as a KEES Match scholarship to help serve students in the Louisville metro area.

“Oftentimes, students share they must leave the area to attend pharmacy school in pursuit of becoming a licensed pharmacist,” said IU Southeast Teaching Professor and Pre-Pharmacy Advisor Michele Zimmerman, Ph.D. “That belief couldn’t be farther from the truth. This new agreement allows high school students to remain in the southern Indiana/Louisville metropolitan area and earn two degrees in just five years.”