Next step is getting final approval from Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board

  Friday, May 18, 2018
  Around Campus

By Amanda Taylor

RIO GRANDE VALLEY, TEXAS – The University of Texas System Board of Regents has approved planning authority for UTRGV to create a Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) degree program, which would prepare students for state licensure and entry into the profession as licensed pharmacists.

The approval came during a regular meeting of the Board of Regents in Houston in May. The next step in the approval process is for UTRGV to submit the full degree program proposal to the UT System and the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board for final approval.

President Guy Bailey said he is hopeful the program could start as early as fall 2020.

“Two of UTRGV’s core priorities are to expand educational opportunities and health and medical education in the Valley, and this PharmD program has the potential to do that,” Bailey said. “We have a lot of local students who are interested in becoming pharmacists, and this program would allow them to pursue that goal without having to leave home.”

Although the degree program is still under development, UTRGV anticipates that the program, at full maturity, would enroll 40 students per year. The program will seek accreditation by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education, a nationally recognized accrediting agency.

UTRGV currently has a cooperative pharmacy program with the UT Austin College of Pharmacy, which is housed in the College of Health Affairs. The cooperative program was established in 2001 under the umbrella of UTPA, UTRGV’s legacy institution. Since its inception, the program has produced 105 graduates, with more than 80 of them practicing in the Rio Grande Valley.


The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV) was created by the Texas Legislature in 2013 as the first major public university of the 21st century in Texas. This transformative initiative provided the opportunity to expand educational opportunities in the Rio Grande Valley, including a new School of Medicine, and made it possible for residents of the region to benefit from the Permanent University Fund – a public endowment contributing support to the University of Texas System and other institutions.

UTRGV has campuses and off-campus research and teaching sites throughout the Rio Grande Valley including in Boca Chica Beach, Brownsville (formerly The University of Texas at Brownsville campus), Edinburg (formerly The University of Texas-Pan American campus), Harlingen, McAllen, Port Isabel, Rio Grande City, and South Padre Island. UTRGV, a comprehensive academic institution, enrolled its first class in the fall of 2015, and the School of Medicine welcomed its first class in the summer of 2016.