Access to health care continues to be a challenge for nearly 800,000 Washingtonians, according to data provided by Health Resources and Services Administration. To combat this chronic issue, the Washington State University College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences is facilitating the pathway for Tri-City students to pursue their doctor of pharmacy degree with a specialization in rural health. Through a renewed agreement between the WSU College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences and Columbia Basin College, students can earn their doctor of pharmacy degree in as little as six years. Those who choose to specialize in rural health are eligible to receive up to $10,000 in scholarship per year.

“There are many people in rural Washington who live in pharmacy deserts. Students interested in pursuing health care are highly encouraged to consider this specialized path with Washington State University and Columbia Basic College,” said Associate Dean of the Rural Health Initiative Angela Stewart.

Students who complete the approved transferable Associate of Science-Transfer (AS-T) degree will be eligible for admissions into the WSU doctor of pharmacy program where they can apply to specialize in rural health.

The new pathway hopes to return health care workers to rural and underserved communities in the state, where health care services are in high demand, but often not easily accessible. Through the WSU-CBC collaboration, students benefit by saving on costs and completing their degree in minimal time. Following the completion of their AS-T degree, students will be eligible to pursue the WSU doctor of pharmacy program located on the WSU Health Sciences Spokane campus and the Pacific Northwest University campus in Yakima Valley.

“CBC is proud to continue our partnership with the WSU College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences to give our students a streamlined path to a rewarding pharmaceutical career. The AS-T degree prepares our students to apply directly to the WSU Doctor of Pharmacy program. Given the continued need for health care services in rural communities, this program continues to support aspiring local pharmacists achieve their dream within their communities,” said Dr. Rebekah Woods, President, Columbia Basin College.

The WSU doctor of pharmacy program does not require a bachelor’s degree. Interested students should contact pharmacy.admissions@wsu.edu. High school students are encouraged to apply early through the Save-A-Seat program which guarantees students a spot in the WSU PharmD program once pre-requisites are met.