COP, TAMUK join to provide MBA to pharmacy students

July 31, 2012

Thanks to a new agreement, students at the Texas A&M Health Science Center (TAMHSC) Irma Lerma Rangel College of Pharmacy will be able to enroll in an online master’s in business administration program offered by the College of Business Administration at Texas A&M University-Kingsville.

In addition to current pharmacy students, this program will be offered to graduates of the TAMHSC-Rangel College of Pharmacy and other working pharmacists who wish to increase their career choices through an MBA program.

“Career options continue to grow for pharmacists,” said Dr. Indra Reddy, dean of the TAMHSC-Rangel College of Pharmacy. “As the field of health care becomes complex and more geared toward cost-effectiveness, an understanding of finance, accounting, communication, management, human resources and related areas is crucial for today’s practicing pharmacist, no matter what career option they choose.

“Business pervades every facet of health care. Therefore, the dual degrees can complement the pharmacy credentials and offer an extra advantage in many settings that require management skills. Not only do the dual degrees make pharmacy graduates more marketable, but it also opens doors to many opportunities in different areas of pharmacy,” Dr. Reddy said.

“We are happy to assist our pharmacy student neighbors whenever we can,” said Dr. Steven Tallant, president of Texas A&M-Kingsville. “By offering our online MBA program to the pharmacy students, we are providing them with more chances to succeed in whatever area of the pharmaceutical industry they choose.”

Dr. Tom Dock, dean of the College of Business Administration, said of the agreement, “The College of Business Administration is excited to collaborate with the Irma Lerma Rangel College of Pharmacy to offer the MBA competitive edge to pharmacy students, alumni and prospective students.  The program will allow students to receive the business knowledge needed to function within today’s economic and health care environment.”

The TAMHSC-Rangel College of Pharmacy is located on the campus of Texas A&M-Kingsville, directly across the street from the Business Administration Building, so although the MBA program is completely online, it would offer the pharmacy students easy access to meet with faculty if necessary.

“Pharmacy management is a growing field in the pharmacy profession and is a career option that is attractive to many of our students,” said Dr. Steven Peterson, professor and associate dean for academic affairs at the TAMHSC-Rangel College of Pharmacy. “An MBA would provide a distinctive qualification for our students seeking employment in an increasingly competitive job market.”

Pharmacy students already face a rigorous schedule while completing their doctorate in the pharmacy program. “Completion of this dual degree program will require highly motivated students who can balance an increased course load,” Dr. Peterson said. “There are Rangel College of Pharmacy students who are currently enrolled in similar MBA programs with other institutions, but the new program offers convenience and economy that other institutions do not.”

Dr. Peterson said only two other pharmacy schools in Texas currently offer a similar program, although 47 in the nation offer a comparable dual degree program, representing about one-third of all pharmacy programs.

Pharmacy students interested in pursuing the MBA will apply for the program in their first year and begin taking classes in their second year. Any required prerequisites will be taken during their first year. Once they begin the MBA program, they will take one course each long semester and two courses during the summer. The course is designed so that the pharmacy students will be nearly completed by the time they begin their fourth-year rounds, and they can receive both degrees at the same time. However, that is not absolute, and they may remain in the program until completion.

For more information on the dual program, call (361) 593-3937 or visit the website at

— Andrew Ramirez