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From Southwest – To Doctor of Pharmacy

three students in pharmacy coats

(CEDAR BLUFF, VA) At least ten Southwest Virginia Community College students will be transferring to pursue a Doctor of Pharmacy degree at the Appalachian College of Pharmacy (ACP) later this year. 

More than 170 students have taken advantage of the science/pre-medical program at Southwest since 2005 before attending a pharmacy school. During their second year while enrolled in the two-year program at Southwest, students can apply to the Appalachian College of Pharmacy. 

Emily Hart is a current student who will be enrolling at the ACP this fall and looks forward to beginning the second step of becoming a pharmacist. Hart is also anticipating her career path once she finishes college. “My final step will be helping others, whether working in a retail pharmacy, at an elderly care facility, or by traveling to other parts of the world that need more help than they are given,” said Hart. 

The Doctor of Pharmacy program at Appalachian College of Pharmacy is the only three-year program in the Commonwealth of Virginia, and one of only a small number of three-year programs nationwide.  Not only does the student save one year of tuition for pharmacy school, but they may enter the job market one year sooner than if they attend a four-year pharmacy school. 

The science/pre-medical program at Southwest is designed to provide a seamless transfer to get students on the right track to earning their doctor of pharmacy degree. ACP and other regional pharmacy schools accept all of Southwest’s online classes and labs.  

“I chose the science/pre-medical program because of the articulation agreement with the Appalachian College of Pharmacy. Having the peace of mind that ACP will accept my prerequisite coursework from Southwest without any issue was a huge deciding factor for me,” said Tyler Sargent, a current student who will be attending ACP this fall. “My career goal is to become employed in a career field that best fits my interest of chemistry and health sciences, while also giving back to the people of my community.  I have always had an interest in chemistry since high school, and I’ve always wanted to use these interests and skills to help others!” 

Students who attend Southwest also may qualify for tuition assistance and tuition-free options.  Some students have been able to take the next step in their educational career with little financial burden. “The tuition assistance program at Southwest has helped me greatly. It was nice to have that peace of mind going through the program, knowing that there was never a significant amount to worry about after the semester,” said Gunner Baker.  Baker will also be attending ACP this fall to pursue his Doctor of Pharmacy degree as well. 

 “It is a pleasure to work with our regional pharmacy schools such as ACP and to advise the pre-pharmacy students,” said Georgia Householder, program advisor and faculty member. 

 Students say the advising and support services they receive at Southwest have helped them navigate toward their ultimate career goals of becoming pharmacists. 

“I have never looked to one person so much for educational advice until I began at Southwest Virginia Community College and met Ms. Householder. She has truly been my safety net during my time here and I cannot thank her enough. When I first started at Southwest, I had my heart set on becoming a pharmacist and she helped me plan out every step in my educational experience,” said Emily Hart 

 “I can’t begin to express how grateful I am for the commitment to student success at Southwest! From the first time I met with my advisor in high school to today, they have consistently kept me on track for success in my pre-pharmacy studies. During my first advising session, my advisor completely designed my semester schedule specific for matriculation to ACP.  This was so important in achieving acceptance because I was always organized and prepared for the next step in my journey,” said Tyler Sargent. 

According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, the median salary for a pharmacist is $126,120 per year. 

For more information about the science/pre-medical program at Southwest with a specialization in pre-pharmacy, visit or call 276-964-7300.

Visit the pre-medical specialization page to see more options that Southwest offers:

three students in pharmacy coats
(L to R) Gunner Baker, Emily Hart, and Tyler Sargent.
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