Innovative health sciences dual degrees combine passions, open doors

Campbell University seeks to graduate well-rounded and well-educated professionals. The dual degree programs continue to set College of Pharmacy & Health Sciences’ graduates apart.

Students are encouraged to explore the nine combinations of these programs as a means to deepen their overall understanding of course material, diversify thinking and practice, and ultimately expand career opportunities. Associate Professor of Pharmacy Practice Col. (Ret.) William Pickard appropriately called dual degrees “innovative academic degrees.”

Student Diana Charles chose to pursue a Master of Science in Clinical Research as a means to supplement her pharmacy education. The dual degree options afford students the opportunity to perform at a higher level by contributing to the fields of community health, policy and administration, research, and even business management.

Dr. David Tillman, chair of the Public Health program, shared, “Dual degree students who practice medicine or pharmacy become much more empathic, creative, and effective partners in health.” Tillman is passionate about community health and sees dual degree students as natural bridge-builders amongst professionals from different disciplines.

CPHS alumni have been hired specifically because of their exposure to team-based healthcare and the completion of a dual degree. Julia Niemi (’17 MPAP/MSPH) began her Campbell education in 2014. Niemi knew she wanted to be a PA in an underserved community, and she loved how the public health program contributed to her long-term goals. Niemi’s favorite aspect of the dual program was being integrated in the community and clinic. She shared, “It was amazing to be using what I was learning in the classroom out in the real world, and it really helped certain concepts stick.”

Many dual students and alumni discussed the depth of their relationships with faculty members. For Niemi, faculty members evolved into more than educators; they became mentors. Student Ricardo Quintanilla shared how faculty members take time to get to know students individually. The dual Doctor of Pharmacy and Master of Science in Pharmaceutical Sciences program was appealing to Quintanilla as it allowed him to conduct additional research and gain more time in a laboratory.

Dual degrees are designed to simultaneously meet the academic and career goals of future healthcare providers. These programs allow students to combine passions and collaborate interprofessionally. Students are able to become an expert in the subject matter and ultimately, stand out in industry.