University of North Carolina Wilmington Partners with UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy to Train Future Pharmacists

Monday, August 16, 2021

UNCW is collaborating with the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy in a shared commitment to train the future public health workforce.

The two universities are creating an Early Assurance Program, offering an automatic interview with the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy’s Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D.) program admissions committee for qualifying UNCW students. UNCW will verify that interested students meet the participation qualifications identified by the two schools and provide processes and resources to support interested students.

“Each of our universities is committed to engaging with our communities to improve the health of North Carolinians, so this is a natural partnership that will help strengthen health care across our great state,” said Angela Kashuba, dean of the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy.

“We are excited to be working with UNC Wilmington,” added Betsy Sleath, regional associate dean for Eastern NC at the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy. “They have fantastic students who are interested in health careers. Through this partnership, we hope to identify and recruit students from Wilmington and the surrounding counties who are interested in pharmacy, with the hope that these students will eventually go back and care for their local communities.”

Throughout the program, participating students will be required to meet with a School of Pharmacy advisor at least once each semester prior to joining the School; participate in a program seminar series; and meet pre-requisite coursework/grade requirements. The School of Pharmacy’s admissions committee will be responsible for the final selection and notification of the candidates admitted to the school’s Pharm.D. program.

“Regional and state health concerns, in particular, cannot be addressed by single institutions working in isolation,” said James J. Winebrake, provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs at UNCW. “This partnership brings together expertise and assets from UNCW and the Eshelman School of Pharmacy to create enriching learning experiences for our students. We are looking forward to seeing the impacts this partnership will bring to the region and the state.”

The partnership will involve UNCW’s College of Health and Human Services and the College of Arts and Sciences. Officials are developing processes to track students to ensure they meet the requirements, said Chris Lantz, associate dean for academic affairs in the College of Health and Human Services.

“Students who express interest in participating in this agreement will receive support from UNCW and UNC-CH,” said Lantz. “The agreement provides structure and gives our students a clear pathway. The real beneficiary of this is the population we serve in the health care workforce. We are putting high-quality students into degree programs that are of great value.”

Students will be admitted to the ESOP PharmD program through this partnership beginning in spring 2022. Interested UNCW students should contact Sheri Shaw, assistant dean for student success in the College of Health and Human Services, at for more information.