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UNT expands system, adds pharmacy and law colleges
Ben Peyton / Senior Staff Writer
UNT is offering new educational opportunities to the region by expanding into new academic fields, as classes for the College of Pharmacy are expected to begin this fall and the College of Law is expected to open in fall 2014.
The UNT system College of Pharmacy will be the first pharmacy college in the Dallas-Fort Worth region and one of seven in the state.
UNT College of Pharmacy
The DFW area is the fourth-largest metropolitan area in the country and the only one inside the top 20 for population that did not have a four-year college of pharmacy, Dean of the UNT system College of Pharmacy, Myron Jacobson said.
“There’s clearly a need for a college of pharmacy in this large and rapidly growing region of the country,” Jacobson said.
The College of Pharmacy will offer a four-year doctor of pharmacy degree at the UNT Health Science Center in Fort Worth. It will include hands-on experience through clinical rotations throughout the DFW region.
The UNT System College of Pharmacy will also be the only college of pharmacy located at a health science center in Texas. Students will learn the value of teamwork alongside other future healthcare professionals, such as nurses, physical therapists and physicians, Jacobson said.
“The overall goal of all of us in healthcare is to make it better,” Jacobson said. “I believe that in the future, the path to making healthcare better is to improve teamwork of healthcare professionals.”
Some of the requirements for students interested in applying for UNT’s new college are that students must take a pharmacy college admissions test (PCAT), have at least a 2.5 GPA and obtain three letters of recommendation for review by the admissions committee.
The UNT system College of Pharmacy is still developing its curriculum and is in a pre-candidate status to be certified by the accreditation council for pharmacy education, which cannot be granted until the first class graduates.
A limited number of scholarships will be offered for the UNT Health Science Center and the first enrollment class is expected to contain 80 students with slight increases over the next couple of years until the class size is stabilized.
UNT Dallas College of Law
The UNT Dallas College of Law will be the only public law school in the DFW region.
“We want to make a legal education accessible and affordable to a wider group of people,” said Associate Dean of Academic Affairs for the College of Law, Ellen S. Pryor.
The curriculum will stress an experiential learning environment and practice for students and is beginning the process towards accreditation by the American Bar Association, which will take at least a few years, Pryor said.
The College of Law is still building its curriculum, but the requirements for accreditation are very clear, Pryor said.
“We know what we need to do,” Pryor said. “Its not a mystery about what to expect.”
In 2009 the Texas legislature approved the law school and designated $5 million of the State’s 2011-2012 budget for the law school.
It will be located at the University Center of Dallas in downtown Dallas. It will undergo renovations this spring and summer to accommodate classrooms that will eventually move a block away to Dallas’ old municipal court building.
“These are exciting times for us,” said Vice Chancellor Rosemary Haggett in a press release. “With key administrators in place and the extensive renovation of our downtown home underway, our promise to the people of Texas to develop a one-of-a-kind public law school is becoming a reality.”
Students can apply for the college of law in fall 2013 by completing the LSAT and submitting their GPA for review by the admissions office and provide two letters of recommendation.
“All students who are thinking about law school need to think about why they want to go,” Pryor said. “They need to think about costs and affordability.”