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College of Pharmacy included in the top 100 pharmacy programs

March 24, 2020

Idaho State University appears in U.S. News and World Report rankings

College of Pharmacy included in the top 100 pharmacy programs

POCATELLO - U.S. News and World Report ranks the Idaho State University College of Pharmacy Doctor of Pharmcy program No. 59 in the nation. 

The country’s pharmacy schools are ranked periodically as part of the U.S. News ranking system that studies a number of health-related education programs. This section of rankings is based solely on the responses from peer surveys.

In a statement explaining its methodologies, U.S. News says, “To gather the peer assessment data, U.S. News asked deans, program directors and senior faculty to judge the academic quality of programs in their field on a scale of 1 (marginal) to 5 (outstanding).”

A school's rank reflects the number of schools that sit above it; if three schools are tied at first, the next school will be ranked fourth, rather than second. Tied schools are listed alphabetically. Considering the number of tied schools that are each represented as an additional ranking slot, it can be said that Idaho State University actually ranks at no. 20 in the nation. There are nearly 150 pharmacy schools in the nation.

The new ranking comes as students who are currently enjoying their spring break will return to class next week via distance-based instruction, amid concerns about the spread of COVID-19.

When administrators of the College of Pharmacy learned of the quickly spreading coronavirus, they immediately went to work implementing their infectious disease academic continuation plan to ensure students remained on course to on time graduation. Since distance-learning technology is used every day to provide asynchronous teaching between the College’s three campus locations, the framework was already in place to move to a virtual classroom. Students and faculty in Pocatello, Idaho, Meridian, Idaho and Anchorage, Alaska were accustomed to this method of instruction and were able to make the transition in just 48 hours.

This year the College of Pharmacy celebrates 100 years as the only pharmacy education program in Idaho, having championed a spirit of innovation and resourcefulness throughout the century. The current coronavirus pandemic is not the first challenge that College faculty, staff and students have faced.

Because of the diligent work of College of Pharmacy faculty and administration over the years, Idaho now boasts some of the most progressive pharmacy practice laws in the country. With recent changes that significantly expand prescriptive authority, pharmacists in Idaho can now test for and prescribe medications for a number of common ailments, such as influenza and strep throat.

The College of Pharmacy enjoys active support and collaboration with the Idaho legislature, with lawmakers who are committed to the successful future of the industry and its research efforts. In 2017 through 2019, major changes were made to pharmacy practice laws in Idaho. Multiple laws were modified and updated in order to protect and better help patients access therapies.

These changes for pharmacists also mean changes for pharmacy students as they complete their education.

“As pharmacists, we have the obligation to care for our patients in a holistic, informed manner,” said Walter Fitzgerald, dean for the College of Pharmacy. “For a century, our curriculum and clinical practice experiences for students have adapted to meet the changing needs of patients. Our students learn, that by taking a person’s complete health and wellness into account, they are in a unique position as pharmacists to improve the health and quality of life for so many people.”

For more information on the U.S. News and World Report rankings, visit https://www.usnews.com/best-graduate-schools/top-health-schools/pharmacy-rankings.

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