Students Can Soon Pursue Pharmacy Degree in Alaska

Students in Alaska will no longer have to leave their home state to pursue a pharmacy degree.

Students in Alaska will no longer have to leave their home state to pursue a pharmacy degree.

The University of Alaska Anchorage (UAA) and Idaho State University (ISU) are partnering on a joint pharmacy program that will launch next fall with 10 to 15 students, ISU assistant dean of Alaska programs Tom Wadsworth told Alaska Dispatch News.

One of the goals of the program is to encourage more students to stay in Alaska for work after graduation.

“The premise is that we get pharmacists—clinical pharmacists—who are reared in the state, who are from here, and who will be networked into the pharmacy community here, so they stay here,” Wadsworth told Alaska Dispatch News.

The joint pharmacy program will allow students to attend classes at UAA but receive a degree from ISU.

Wadsworth said UAA students will watch ISU-based video lectures, and vice versa.

Alaskans in the pharmacy program will pay out-of-state tuition and fees totaling around $18,000 per semester, the Alaska Dispatch News reported.

While Alaska Pharmacists Association president Dan Nelson supports the joint pharmacy program, he told the paper that some fear there are already too many pharmacy programs across the country.

The Pharmacy Workforce Center’s Aggregate Demand Index listed Alaska’s demand for pharmacists at 3.2 of 5 this past July. Overall, demand for pharmacist increased nationally from 3.39 in July 2014 to 3.62 in July 2015.

According to the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy, Alaska and Delaware are the only 2 states that do not have a pharmacy school within state boundaries.