Agreement with UGA Gives Dalton State Students Easier Path to Become Pharmacists


Students wishing to become a pharmacist can now do so in as little as six years thanks to an agreement that allows students to begin their college education at Dalton State and complete it through the University of Georgia (UGA).

Students can complete an associate degree with a focus in pre-pharmacy at Dalton State and will be given priority application status, receiving a guaranteed interview from UGA’s doctor of pharmacy program, according to the agreement signed by both schools recently.

“Both the associate and doctorate degrees can be completed in as few as six years, saving students time and money on their path to become a registered pharmacist,” said Dr. Randall Griffus, dean of the School of Arts and Sciences at Dalton State. “This program allows students to begin their education in a smaller environment, with more one-on-one support, to help them transition to college. Also, should a student change their mind and decide to complete a bachelor’s at Dalton State instead of transferring to UGA, all their courses would apply toward a bachelor’s in either chemistry or biology.”

Pharmacists are needed in Northwest Georgia and are one of the highest paid professions in the nation, Griffus said.

“This is another example of a collaboration between Dalton State and another institution, in this case a sister institution in the University System of Georgia,” said Dr. Margaret Venable, president of Dalton State. “We believe students should have access to higher education without accruing a large debt. This agreement will help minimize financial burdens college students often face. The vast majority of our students leave us with little or no student loan debt. We are creating options and pathways for students to pursue careers not available to them through our campus. Our hope is these students will return to Northwest Georgia when they are ready to launch their careers as pharmacists.”

“This agreement demonstrates the confidence UGA’s pharmacy program has in Dalton State’s faculty and our curriculum,” said Dr. Bruno Hicks, provost and vice president for Academic Affairs. “Our graduates are well-prepared to succeed in the pharmacy program. Our curriculum provides students with rigorous academics and builds their confidence to achieve their ultimate career goals. We are pleased to offer this path for our students and hope to continue to increase these opportunities for the students of Northwest Georgia.”