The University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC) College of Pharmacy and the University of Tennessee, Knoxville (UTK) Haslam College of Business collaboratively offer a dual degree program leading to the conferral of the Doctor of Pharmacy and the Master of Business Administration degrees. This program is a unique partnership and collaboration of two components of the statewide University of Tennessee system that combines the strengths of two nationally highly-ranked programs.
The dual program saves the student approximately 18 hours over the time that would be required to earn both degrees independently.
The establishment of the dual program addresses the critical need for the pharmacist executive who is trained in business fundamentals with the analytical, technical, management, and economic decision-making skills to operate within the contemporary economic and health care environments. The objective of the dual degree program is to prepare graduates to take leading management roles within a variety of health care sectors related to administrative decision-making on the use of medicines. The career opportunities for the successful graduate include management and ultimately leadership positions in institutional pharmacies as part of healthcare-systems, retail pharmacies with corporate management, pharmacy benefit management companies, third-party health care payers, managed care organizations, state and federal governments, the pharmaceutical industry, and pharmaceutical consulting firms among others. The advantage for the business-skilled pharmacist is the blend of pharmacotherapy insight with the business acumen to contribute and make informed economic decisions on medicines.
Applicants for the dual Pharm.D. – MBA program must make separate applications to and be accepted by the UTHSC College of Pharmacy and UTK Graduate Admissions for the Master of Business Administration. The admissions requirements for both programs must be satisfied in order to participate in the dual-degree program. See each college’s website for details on admission. Note that candidates for the dual degree program who are enrolled in the UTHSC Pharm.D. program must possess an undergraduate degree, complete their second through fourth years of the Pharm.D. program at the College’s Knoxville campus, and take the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) to be considered for admission. Application for the dual degree program is a two-step process. First, the applicant must be accepted by the UTHSC College of Pharmacy in the Pharm.D. program and complete at least two semesters of the curriculum. At least one semester before the student intends to begin MBA courses, the student pharmacist should declare his or her interest in applying to the dual degree program, fulfill the admission requirements for the UTK MBA program, and submit an application for admission. After the MBA application deadline of February 1, applications by United States citizens and permanent residents will be considered only as space allows.
Students accepted for both the Pharm.D. and MBA programs will be assigned to an advisor from the Pharm.D. program and another from the MBA program to guide decisions on elective courses in both curricula. These advisors will be responsible for course approval and supervision of the student’s progress through the dual program.
The dual degree program can be accomplished within five years with the Pharm.D. degree awarded first followed by the MBA degree. The dual curriculum consists of 172 hours of coursework. A minimum of 30 hours must be from the Haslam College of Business. Of the 142 hours required for the Doctor of Pharmacy degree, a minimum of 9 hours must be from approved electives dealing with healthcare management and policy offered by either the UTHSC College of Pharmacy or the UTK Haslam College of Business.
The dual degree candidate must satisfy the curricular and graduation requirements of the UTHSC College of Pharmacy and the UTK Haslam College of Business. Since the dual degree program is a two-step program, students who withdraw from the dual degree program before completing both degrees can still graduate with the Pharm.D. degree provided that the graduation requirements are satisfied. Credit toward graduation for courses taken in the MBA program would qualify for credit toward the MBA degree; however, additional MBA coursework is required for the MBA degree if the student does not complete the Pharm.D. – MBA program.
Graduates of the Pharm.D. – MBA program will be counseled on career opportunities by the collaboration of advisors, faculty and program directors of both programs to make students aware of job opportunities, strategies for successful employment and career development.