Partnership creates accelerated pathway to Doctor of Pharmacy degree

Cardinal Stritch University and the Medical College of Wisconsin (MCW) School of Pharmacy have announced a partnership program in which students can earn a bachelor’s degree in biology or chemistry from Stritch and a Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) degree from MCW in just six years.

Stritch students who successfully complete the first three years of the undergraduate curriculum will be directly admitted into the MCW School of Pharmacy, where they will complete three years of study in the PharmD curriculum. Credits earned at MCW will transfer back to Stritch, completing bachelor’s degree requirements. This option alleviates some of the financial burden of school tuition for students seeking to obtain both a bachelor’s degree and PharmD degree.

“Partnering with the Medical College of Wisconsin School of Pharmacy brings together two institutions that are committed to providing exceptional educational experiences and will prepare students for an in-demand career,” said President Kathleen A. Rinehart, J.D. “Graduates of this 3 + 3 program will be health care leaders who are committed to patient-centered care.”

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, national career opportunities for pharmacists are anticipated to grow by 6% between 2016-2026. The median annual wage for pharmacists was $124,170 in May 2017. In addition to dispensing prescription medications and offering expertise on the safe use of prescriptions, pharmacists also may conduct health and wellness screenings, provide immunizations, oversee the medications given to patients, and provide advice on healthy lifestyles.

Stritch students who express an interest in the program will have access to an MCW faculty mentor, career discussions, shadowing opportunities with the MCW School of Pharmacy's clinical partners, and potentially have access to undergraduate research opportunities at MCW.

“I am excited about the opportunity to start graduate school before I complete my bachelor’s degree,” said Stritch student Daniel Kolande, who is enrolled in the program. “This partnership will help me apply my skills and talents as I prepare to be a pharmacist and help fulfill my childhood dream of creating better lives for people.”

For more information and to view video interviews with Kolande and Dr. Dan Meer, chair of Natural Sciences, visit

Photo by Zak Eden