New PhD program in pharmaceutical sciences ready to roll

University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo
Alyson Kakugawa-Leong, (808) 974-7642
Director, Media Relations, University Relations
Posted: May 10, 2011

The regional accrediting organization responsible for evaluating colleges and universities in the western part of the United States has approved the newly formed PhD program in pharmaceutical sciences at the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo College of Pharmacy.

Approval from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) was the last hurdle before applicants could be considered for the program. The University of Hawaiʻi Board of Regents approved the program provisionally in February.

The doctorate is the first program of this type to be offered by the University of Hawaiʻi, and the only program of this nature to be offered in the state of Hawaiʻi and the Pacific region. The College of Pharmacy currently offers a curriculum leading to the doctor of pharmacy (PharmD) with the first class of student pharmacists scheduled to graduate May 14.

“We are pleased our PharmD program has come to fruition with the graduation of the inaugural class, and excited that we are now able to offer another advanced degree option,” said Dr. Anthony D. Wright, director-designate of the PhD program and associate professor of pharmaceutical sciences. “In addition to pharmacy, this program should draw interest from people in many fields, such as environmental sciences, biology and chemistry, because we can offer the chance to develop dedicated research in the burgeoning area of natural products.”

WASC is one of six regional accrediting associations in the United States. The WASC Accrediting Commission for Senior Colleges and Universities evaluates higher education institutions in California, Hawaiʻi, Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas, American Samoa, the Federated States of Micronesia, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, and East Asia.

Applicants will be considered until August 1 for fall 2011 admission. Stipends are available for fall 2011 to qualified applicants. To apply, see: For more information, contact Wright at