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WLC Partners with MCW Pharmacy School for 3+3 Dual-Degree Pharmacy Program

September 9, 2016

MILWAUKEE, WI - Wisconsin Lutheran College (WLC) and the Medical College of Wisconsin (MCW) Pharmacy School have announced an early assurance direct admission and reverse transfer program that provides an accelerated route for full-time WLC students who successfully complete their pharmacy program prerequisites to gain direct admission and occupy up to 10 percent of available seats in the Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) program at MCW. 

MCW School of Pharmacy image

“This unique partnership between MCW and WLC will provide a direct pipeline to recruit well-rounded students from a rigorous academic program like those offered at Wisconsin Lutheran College,” says George E. MacKinnon III, PhD, MS, RPh, founding dean of MCW's Pharmacy School. “The program gives the Pharmacy School a chance to connect with prospective students as soon as they begin their undergraduate coursework at WLC. This allows us to foster a strong relationship with them and understand their needs before they enroll in the PharmD program.” 

The program also allows students to earn both a Bachelor of Science (BS) degree in biology, biochemistry, or chemistry from WLC and a PharmD degree from MCW in just six years. After the student completes one year of the PharmD program at the MCW Pharmacy School, final requirements for the BS degree at WLC are fulfilled through “reverse transfer." This option alleviates some of the financial burden of school tuition for students seeking to obtain both a bachelor's degree and a doctorate degree in pharmacy. 

WLC students who express an interest in obtaining a PharmD degree through the program will be partnered with a faculty mentor from MCW. They will also have access to career discussions, shadowing opportunities with the MCW Pharmacy School's clinical partners, and will potentially have access to undergraduate research opportunities at MCW. 

“As an alumnus of both Wisconsin Lutheran College ('98) and the Medical College of Wisconsin ('05), I've witnessed first-hand the many ways our institutions have collaborated over the years and the positive results that our synergistic relationship has had on our students and on our community,” states Dr. Rob Balza, associate professor of biology at Wisconsin Lutheran College. “This agreement is an extension of our partnership and our shared commitment to educating the next generation of health care professionals.” He concludes, “The 3+3 dual-degree program provides a clear progression for student success in the field of pharmacy and fulfills a growing need for pharmacists in Wisconsin and beyond.” 

The MCW Pharmacy School is the only 3-year PharmD program in the Midwest that is located at an academic medical center, providing access to world-renowned resources at Froedtert Hospital and Children's Hospital of Wisconsin for students and faculty alike. The aim of the MCW Pharmacy School is not only to educate the pharmacists of the future, but also create new and innovative practice models and inter-professional health care teams that leverage the role of the pharmacist to deliver patient-centered care with improved health outcomes.

About Wisconsin Lutheran College 
Wisconsin Lutheran College is an independent Christian college grounded in the liberal arts and located on the border of Milwaukee and Wauwatosa. Founded in 1973, it is committed to preparing the next generation of ethical Christian leaders for service in nearly any career field across the world. WLC serves more than 1,200 students in its traditional undergraduate, adult accelerated and online, and graduate studies programs. The college is recognized for its academic excellence and superior student experience and in 2016 was named a national College of Distinction.

About the Medical College of Wisconsin
The Medical College of Wisconsin is the state's only private medical school and health sciences graduate school.  Founded in 1893, it is dedicated to leadership and excellence in education, patient care, research and community engagement. More than 1,200 students are enrolled in MCW's medical school and graduate school programs in Milwaukee, 56 medical students enrolled at MCW-Green Bay, and 26 students matriculated to MCW-Central Wisconsin in 2016. MCW's School of Pharmacy will open in 2017 or 2018 with an initial class size of 60 students.  A major national research center, MCW is the largest research institution in the Milwaukee metro area and second largest in Wisconsin. In FY 2014-15, faculty received approximately $158 million in external support for research, teaching, training and related purposes, of which approximately $139 million is for research. This total includes highly competitive research and training awards from the National Institutes of Health (NIH).  Annually, MCW faculty direct or collaborate on more than 3,200 research studies, including clinical trials. Additionally, more than 1,500 physicians provide care in virtually every specialty of medicine for more than 525,000 patients annually.