Four pharmacy students in a lab
UH Hilo College of Pharmacy students

The University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo has approved two new programs that will allow students earning their PharmD degree at the Daniel K. Inouye College of Pharmacy to earn specialization certificates.

Student pharmacists will be able to earn the healthcare leadership certificate, giving them a basic foundation in business administration with a concentration in healthcare leadership. Students also will have an opportunity to earn a certificate in health science research, giving them an education in research methodology.

“These certificates offer avenues not available at many other colleges,” said Matthew S. Platz, vice chancellor for academic affairs. “They enrich the pharmacy program by helping PharmD students become more competitive in the job market. It’s a very exciting direction for our College of Pharmacy.”

The new certificates are available to all PharmD students who have passed their first year as long as they have maintained a 3.0 GPA, said Karen Pellegrin, director of strategic planning and continuing education at DKICP. The coursework for each certificate will utilize existing courses along with new or modified subjects that allow the program to run concurrent with work on the PharmD degree.

Both certificate programs have courses that are already required courses in the PharmD program, Pellegrin said. In addition, both certificate programs require students to use their PharmD elective credits for certificate courses.

“This is just another way to give value added to the already valuable PharmD degree,” Pellegrin said.

Both certificates will be available to students who begin the PharmD program in the fall of 2016.

Healthcare leadership certificate

“Through collaboration with the College of Business and Economics, the healthcare leadership certificate leverages our existing courses that are business oriented,” Pellegrin said. “Students who complete this program will have a better understanding of the business side of the healthcare industry and, thus, will likely have a competitive advantage in the job market.”

Health science research certificate

The health science research certificate gives PharmD students experience implementing a research project, said Deborah Taira, associate professor in the Department of Pharmacy Practice.

“This program aligns student coursework to support research activities in both academic departments of pharmaceutical sciences as well as pharmacy practice,” Taira said. “This will help our students be more competitive for postgraduate residency programs, which are increasingly required for jobs in clinical and academic settings.”