WSU launches undergraduate biomedical degree program to address health care worker shortage

Class will start fall 2024 at WSU Spokane with 50 seats available in the inaugural class.

Following the post-pandemic exodus of health care workers across the nation, Washington State University is stepping up to meet the growing demand for pharmacists, physicians, and other health care providers. The new Bachelor of Science in Pharmaceutical and Medical Sciences program is designed to help community college students enter health care fields.

“We are pleased two of WSU’s outstanding health sciences colleges have partnered in developing this unique joint degree program,” said Daryll DeWald, executive vice president of WSU Health Sciences. “This degree not only creates a pathway for students to further their education in the health sciences but also opens the door for immediate employment in both health-related research and professional settings.”

The new degree is the first program in the Pacific Northwest to offer a specialized pathway to professional degree programs as well as careers in research and drug development. Classes will start in fall 2024 at WSU Spokane with 50 seats available in the inaugural class.

The program, a collaborative effort between the College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences and the Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine, will be taught by leading faculty in both WSU colleges and prepare students for post-graduate degree paths in pharmacy, medicine, dentistry, and graduate school. Coursework includes basic science with an emphasis on career development and critical discussions of current topics in biomedical sciences.

The four objectives of the program are to provide a springboard for highly trained students to enter health profession schools and graduate programs, create a pathway for place-bound graduates of Community Colleges of Spokane to continue their education in a top-tier research institution without leaving home, address the shortage of primary care providers and trained health care professionals for future pandemics, and serve as a catalyst for workforce development for the growing biotech sector in the Spokane region, the Pacific Northwest, and across the country.

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