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University of Hawaii and University of Guam unite

UH Hilo College of Pharmacy teams with University of Guam in pre-pharmacy agreement

University of Hawaii at Hilo
Contact: Alyson Kakugawa-Leong, (808) 974-7642

Director of Media Relations

Posted: May 11, 2009
Undergraduates at the University of Guam who want to earn a degree in pharmacy can transfer up to 70 credits to the pre-pharmacy program at the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo due to a memorandum of understanding recently signed by both universities.

The agreement between the two universities seeks to clear the way for course transfer between academic programs and courses at both institutions, help UOG students fulfill the Pacific Pre-Pharmacy Program requirements and to provide advising on both campuses to help students prepare to apply to the College of Pharmacy at UH Hilo.

The completion of the pre-pharmacy course curriculum is needed for entrance into the professional program, which ultimately leads to a doctorate in pharmacy, also called a Pharm.D. UH Hilo is the only school in the Pacific region to offer a doctorate in pharmacy degree.

“Throughout the years of planning the College of Pharmacy, one of our goals has always been to extend our reach to all the islands in the Pacific,” said Dr. John Pezzuto, dean of the College of Pharmacy. “We also are building a base from which to recruit top-notch future doctoral students that will ultimately change the face of healthcare in the region. This is a very good start, and we’re excited to be working with the top-notch educators in Guam.”

UH Hilo works collaboratively with other institutions throughout Hawai?i and the Pacific. Chancellor Rose Tseng said it is through such agreements that help UH Hilo lead efforts to promote science, technology, engineering and math.

“It’s especially gratifying to see the College of Pharmacy show it is part of our ‘ohana and work side-by-side with our partners in the Pacific islands,” Tseng said. “This is really a continuation of our long history of extending our reach beyond Hilo.

“Another example of our commitment to pull the islands together is by leading a National Science Foundation consortium that includes the University of Guam, called The Islands of Opportunity Alliance, or LSAMP. I commend Dean Pezzuto and his exemplary faculty for the hard work and personal dedication it took to develop this collaboration.”

“This agreement provides an affordable pathway for students from Guam who want to pursue a degree in pharmacy,” said Robert A. Underwood, president of the University of Guam.

“Students can complete their first two years of study at the University of Guam, and then transfer those credits to UH Hilo’s pre-pharmacy program. This agreement will help our island fill critical positions in the healthcare field with highly educated professionals. This partnership is a win-win situation for students, parents, the island of Guam, the region, and both institutions of higher education.”

UH Hilo’s Dr. Susan Jarvi, director of the Pre-Pharmacy Program in the College of Pharmacy, visited Guam in October during a tour of the Western Pacific that included Saipan, Guam, Palau and American Samoa. Along with co-investigator Dr. Anthony Wright, chair of pharmaceutical sciences, she helped create a list of UOG courses that can transfer to UH Hilo’s pre-pharmacy program.

“We did not have an online course transfer table that defines equivalent courses between institutions that would be available for students to use to develop their academic plans prior to this,” Jarvi said. “This MOU is significant in that it provides a guideline for the cooperative promotion of successful educational experiences for students from both institutions. It also provides pre-pharmacy mentoring and advising from faculty and staff on both campuses, including tutoring and counseling.”

Jarvi, who will act as primary advisor to students coming to UH Hilo, said the pre-pharmacy program gives students in this region a level of training never before available.

For more information, call (808) 933-2909 or email [email protected].

I think I have a friend who just enrolled into this program.  Sounds like fun.  Pharmacy is a great job and Hawaii sounds like the best place to study it.

Edel Alon
Edel Alon
Edel-Ryan Alon is a starving musician, failed artist, connoisseur of fine foods, aspiring entrepreneur, husband, father of two, geek by day, cook by night, and an all around great guy.


  1. This is so great to hear students from Guam having this opportunity available, thanks to the hard work and cooperation of many individuals.


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