Beginning in the Fall of 2023, the College of Pharmacy at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center anticipates opening its Nashville and Knoxville campuses for the first time to a limited number of first-year students to begin their four years of pharmacy training there.
Currently, all pharmacy students spend their first semester on the Memphis campus, and then have the option to transfer to the college’s campuses in Nashville or Knoxville to complete their PharmD degree.
Pending approval by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education, this change will mean that the college now offers the option for students to spend all four years of their training in Memphis, Nashville, or Knoxville.
“This new change means that students now can go straight to Nashville or Knoxville and complete all four years, all eight semesters of our program, at either one of those campuses,” said Jennifer Schoelles, PharmD, associate dean for Student Affairs. “We have removed the requirement of all students relocating to Memphis for coursework.”
The change also helps extend the UTHSC College of Pharmacy’s footprint across the state, she said. “It strengthens our program even more. Even though we have a long history of educating student pharmacists in Knoxville, this change means we can completely meet the needs of students who desire a pharmacy education in East Tennessee, who perhaps could not make that move to Memphis for personal reasons.” The Knoxville campus is at the University of Tennessee Medical Center.
“The benefit for students is that if they’re from Middle or East Tennessee, they don’t have to leave that area,” Dr. Schoelles said. “This allows students to stay closer to their families and their support systems. Students from surrounding states that are closer to East Tennessee or Middle Tennessee, benefit as well, as this change allows those students to stay near their support systems as well.”
The college established its Middle-Tennessee footprint in 2014, when it opened its campus in Nashville. It moved to its current location in southeast Nashville at 301 South Perimeter Park Drive in 2019.
The UTHSC College of Pharmacy is the highest ranked, lowest cost college of pharmacy in the state. “We have been meeting the needs of students, and this allows us to meet those needs even better,” said Bradley Boucher, FCCP, FNAP, MCCM, interim dean. “We’re meeting students where they are and we’re able to provide the educational opportunities that are desired by students across the entire state of Tennessee.”
Applications for the Fall 2023 cohort opened in July and the deadline is February 1. Dr. Schoelles said the P1 spots in Nashville and Knoxville are highly sought after. “We have had an overwhelming response and interest,” she said. “And the best thing that a student can do to increase their chances of getting placed in one of those highly sought-after seats is to apply early.”