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Thursday March 8, 2001

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UA bucking national trend in shrinking pharmacy school enrollment

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The UA College of Pharmacy has been successful in attracting more students to satisfy America's growing need for pharmacists, despite a national decrease in pharmacy school enrollment.

Arizona's pharmacy program - one of 82 in the nation - reached an all-time low last August in the number of applications received, coinciding with the national trend.

Unlike other U.S. institutions though, the UA program made a 60 percent recovery this year, perhaps indicating the beginning of an upward curve of applications over the next few years, said Theodore G. Tong, associate dean for academic affairs at the pharmacy college.

"We're adapting very quickly to the most urgent needs," Tong said.

Tong, who is also a professor of pharmacy practice, pharmacology, toxicology and public health, said the amount of students admitted into the pharmacy program was increased to 70 students from 60 students in an attempt to fill the nation's demand for pharmacists.

Bradley Holt, a microbiology senior, was a pre-pharmacy major for two years until he decided to pursue medicine. Holt is president of the UA pre-pharmacy club and helps the College of Pharmacy recruit students to the program.

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