The idea of a Pharm.D-MBA program was born in early 2006 in discussions between several faculty at the Texas Tech University Rawls College of Business and the Texas Tech University Health Science Center, School of Pharmacy (now the Jerry H. Hodge School of Pharmacy). The central theme to the discussions was the need to develop and train the future leaders of the profession. The Health Organization Management concentration within the MBA program matched what the pharmacy faculty believed were the necessary areas of focus to develop strong leaders in health care organizations.
The curriculum emerged after several rounds of negotiation between the programs keeping in mind the accreditation requirements of business and pharmacy. The curricular design model was determined after reviewing other Pharm.D-MBA programs matched with the teaching schedules and course prerequisites. Rather than adopting the various models currently in use throughout the U.S., the faculty chose to use a dual-degree approach and integrate both programs into a typical 4-year course of study. Since the program was structured to be a dual-degree, it was essential that all of the approved content for both degree plans be met.
The initial plan was to create several tracks for Pharm.D students to obtain the MBA. The first track would be to offer the opportunity of taking the MBA coursework to rising P2 and rising P3 students with the goal to phase out the P3 program and only retain the rising P2 program. This track required the development of separate curricula to ensure that all requirements for both the Pharm.D and MBA were met. The first students began class in the summer 2009. The problems of managing the P-3 program soon became apparent and this track ended with the graduation of the first class.
The second track was viewed as the most desired by the faculty at both colleges. This involved offering the program to what we called P0-P1 students (accepted into pharmacy school but not currently enrolled in pharmacy courses as well as rising P2 students). The P0 students would begin MBA coursework in the summer prior to enrollment in the pharmacy school. The rising P2 students would begin their MBA program in the summer between the P1 and P2 years. The summer 2010 class was the first under this track.
Prior to 2019, summer MBA classes for the second-program year students were held at one of four School of Pharmacy locations. Although the program was overall a positive experience, issues with course delivery software led to discussions about alternative ways to teach the second year of the MBA program. In early 2019, a decision was reached that for the second summer program year, courses would be delivered on-line eliminating the need for students to be located near School of Pharmacy campuses. This also meant that student could remain near their home or in any location that had Internet capabilities.
In the fall 2019, after reviewing the success of the on-line course delivery for the second summer program year, faculty from the business and pharmacy colleges began a discussion to transform all health-related, dual-degree programs into an all on-line degree offering. As approved, the first offering of an on-line PharmD-MBA program will the summer 2020 entering class.
At the May 2020 graduation, over 100 pharmacy students will have received their PharmD-MBA degrees. With current enrollments, the Texas Tech PharmD-MBA program is the largest of its kind in the U.S. The Texas Tech PharmD-MBA program continues to fulfill a significant need to train tomorrow's pharmacy leaders.