Dual Degree Masters in Public Administration

The PharmD/MPA dual degree program at the University of Kentucky was the first of its type offered in the nation. The dual degree program is designed to enable students to obtain both the Doctor of Pharmacy and the Master of Public Administration in 4 years.

There has never been a greater need for professionally trained drug policy analysts, and there has never been greater opportunity for dedicated and qualified pharmacists to provide leadership in shaping the course of the pharmacy profession. There is a critical need nationally for trained drug policy analysts as drug policy problems become larger and more complex. Pharmacists trained in policy analysis are able to break down complicated problems into manageable issues and are able to envision and articulate the objectives to be achieved. Furthermore, policy analysts with a pharmacy background are best equipped to develop and implement cost-effective pharmaceutical programs in hospitals, healthcare delivery systems and government health programs.

The PharmD/MPA program integrates and applies disciplinary knowledge in pharmacy, economics, politics, and organizational theory to the health care system. It is designed for individuals wishing to pursue drug and health policy development / implementation / analysis careers in private firms (e.g. the pharmaceutical industry), local, state and federal government and regulatory agencies, nonprofit organizations and foundations and Universities. Graduates of the PharmD/MPA program are employed in both the public (e.g. Management Sciences for Health, Kentucky Pharmacists Association) and private sectors (e.g. Eli Lilly, Pfizer and Procter and Gamble).

To be admitted, an applicant is required to meet the independent admission standards of the College of Pharmacy, The Martin School of Public Policy and Administration, and The Graduate School. Pharmacy students who do not hold an awarded bachelor's degree must have at least 90 hours of undergraduate credit to apply to the Graduate School. All applicants must meet the minimum grade point average requirements of the Graduate School for admission and successfully complete the GRE examination. There are no prerequisite course requirements for pharmacy students wishing to pursue the PharmD / MPA dual degree. Current PharmD students may contact Dr. Karen Blumenschein for more information about the PharmD/MPA program.

PharmD/MPA Advantages

The PharmD/MPA program of study affects the total number of minimum required hours as follows:

MPA and PharmD Pursued Independently

Credit Hours

Total hours required in MPA program (30 required Core + 15 Area of Concentration + 3 Internship)


Total credit hours required in PharmD program (106 required didactic + 8 elective + 50 Experiential)




Dual Program

Credit Hours

Total MPA hours required in dual program (30 required Core + 3 internship)


Total PharmD credit hours required in dual program (106 required didactic + 50 Experiential)




From the perspective of the MPA program, the PharmD program serves as the MPA student's Area of Concentration, thereby more than satisfying the required 15-hours of MPA Area of Concentration coursework. The required Internship in Public Administration is satisfied with two four credit hour PharmD APPEs.

From the College of Pharmacy perspective, the MPA coursework satisfies 8 hours of required electives, but only if the student remains in good standing in both programs and satisifies all degree requirements.

page last modified: February 05 2014     

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