Florida Gulf Coast University Seeks to Open a Pharmacy School

Florida Gulf Coast University is considering opening a pharmacy school, which may be good news for students interested in pharmacy in the Sunshine State.

Florida Gulf Coast University (FGCU) is considering opening a pharmacy school, which may be good news for students interested in pharmacy in the Sunshine State.

Others in the pharmacy field, on the other hand, may see this as contributing to the trend of a potentially problematic rise in pharmacy schools if there isn’t enough job demand for new graduates.

FGCU discussed the possibility of opening new pharmacy and dentistry schools on April 21, 2016, at a roundtable discussion with state Sens. Joe Negron, Anitere Flores, Lizbeth Benacquisto, and Garrett Richter, News-Press reported.

Although the university doesn’t have a timeline yet, it does have an estimated budget of $85 million to get the schools off and running. Fundraising would have to play a big role in garnering these funds, according to the school.

“The school of pharmacy and the school of dental medicine are aspirational objectives that we are sorting through,” said FGCU President Wilson Bradshaw, according to News-Press. “We have a concept for those and how they fit in with what we have already.”

FGCU presented a report at the roundtable discussion that showed an increased need for pharmacists and dentists in Florida through 2022. The university maintained that options for obtaining a pharmacy degree in Florida were limited, and only 1 public school in Florida offered a dental program.

FGCU has a 60,000-square-foot building in mind for the 2 schools. In addition, a 30,000-square-foot community clinic would hold classrooms, a laboratory, and a research complex.

Negron noted that there were limited funds among the 12 public universities, but he thought FGCU presented a good case, according to News-Press.

“I have a very strong, favorable impression of Florida Gulf Coast University,” he said. “They have done an extraordinary job of focusing on several quality signature academic programs. I am impressed with the way they have chosen to build the university.”