The University of Pittsburgh will offer a unique Master of Science in Pharmacy Business Administration (MSPBA) program through its pharmacy and graduate business schools.

The program will take place 2 days a week over 12 months, providing students with 36 credits—18 in business administration, 12 in pharmacy administration, and 6 in a focused area of concentration.

Students in the program will be able to specialize in either specialty or community pharmacy. 

Some of the pharmacy-specific courses will focus on leadership, ethics, the US health care system, and health care innovations. On the business side, students will learn more about financial management, information systems, and human resources.

The MSPBA program promises to improve pharmacy professionals’ business acumen and marketability. It is designed for those who desire executive positions and a greater understanding of the business of medicine, according to the program’s website.

Two years of professional experience is recommended for applicants, and those with a PharmD or BS in pharmacy will receive preferential admission.

Tuition for January 2016 is $58,050, paid in installments of $19,350 per term. These costs cover the books, cases, simulations, and meals provided during the class sessions. Federal Stafford loans may be awarded for up to $20,500, the school noted.

The program was piloted with CVS Health employees, according to the Pittsburgh Business Times.

“This is a time when pharmacy is being reinvented to have a more active, supportive role in a changing health care landscape,” CVS Health President and CEO Larry Merlo stated on the program’s website. “CVS Health is proud to be a part of the MSPBA program and its effort to supply the executive talent we need to rise to the challenge.”

The program will also feature 2 specialty pharmacy experts as faculty members. 

“The synergy of 2 schools, coupled with a real world design, will produce the specialty pharmacy executives we need to effectively manage our unprecedented growth,” wrote Gordon J. Vanscoy, chairman and CEO of PANTHERx Specialty Pharmacy and associate dean for business innovation at the University of Pittsburgh School of Pharmacy.