Home GRCC GRCC & Ferris State University Partnership Pathway to Doctor of Pharmacy Degree

GRCC & Ferris State University Partnership Pathway to Doctor of Pharmacy Degree

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Ferris State University Department of Pharmacology program participant with a beaker, photo by Bill Bitzinger

By Aspen Strauss

On Jan. 12, a new agreement between Ferris State University and Grand Rapids Community College now guarantees five seats each year at Ferris’s Doctor of Pharmacy Program. 

The Doctor of Pharmacy Degree (Pharm.D.) is the entry-level degree to become a pharmacist in any state in the United States. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been an immediate demand for pharmacists worldwide, and with the recent vaccines that slowly are being distributed the need for pharmacists now is expected to heighten immensely. 

Ferris is one of only three colleges in the state that offer a degree for Doctor of Pharmacy. Because Ferris and GRCC have been proud partners together for many years, President Bill Pink believes that this new agreement will create more opportunities for GRCC students to study in one of the best pharmacy programs in the state. 

“This partnership provides a valuable service for the state and regional economy,” stated Stephen Durst, dean of Ferris’ College of Pharmacy, in a press release. “Providing career training and education in high-level medical professions is a winning situation for everybody. This example of higher education collaboration demonstrates our meaningful partnership with Grand Rapids Community College and West Michigan. It is a component of a larger statewide commitment and footprint for Ferris State University.”

Students who are interested in the opportunity must remember that spots are very limited with only five available seats open. Each prerequisite course taken beforehand must be successfully completed with a grade no lower than a C and have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.3. Each student interested will have to complete the program’s admissions interview process. From there the student will be ranked according to their application and interview. The applications received prior to Oct. 1 will be given first consideration for the following fall. 

All applicants are thoroughly screened to make sure they have met the minimum criteria for admissions into the doctoral program,” said Rodney A. Larson, Professor and Assistant Dean of Academics and Practice. “The Admissions Coordinator, along with the Admissions Committee, oversees the entire process.” 

If you are interested in this program you can review the application guide to view all of the Pre-Pharmacy class and semester hour requirements that you must complete in order to be considered for admission. 

The agreement will allow students to get all of their prerequisite classes for this program completed at GRCC, then transfer directly into the Ferris doctoral program. This also qualifies the GRCC students accepted into the annual Ferris cohort to apply for admission into one of the two dual-degree programs and earn a Master of Business  Administration or Master of Public Health with the Doctor of Pharmacy degree.

“This agreement builds upon the more than 25-year partnership we have with Grand Rapids Community College,” Ferris President David Eisler stated in a press release. “Working together we provide the opportunity that is at the core of our mission. I am delighted with this expansion of our strong working relationship.”

FSU has similar partnerships with a few other institutions in the state with additional ones to be considered in the future but they are reserving the five seats for GRCC students specifically. 

“FSU does not need to fill all five seats with students unless they meet the criteria and at this point in time there is no limit set as to how many students potentially could be admitted from GRCC if more than five students meet the criteria at the same time of admission,” Larson said. “But it must be noted that Ferris is on a first-come, first-served basis for who is reviewed first after their application and interview.”

You can find out more about this exciting partnership by visiting Ferris State University’s College of Pharmacy website.