TTUHSC Jerry H. Hodge School of Pharmacy to offer hybrid Pharm.D. option

The Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center (TTUHSC) Jerry H. Hodge School of Pharmacy announced its new Pioneer Pathway, a degree plan that will allow students to earn a Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D.) degree using hybrid learning strategies. This will be the first pharmacy program in Texas to allow students the flexibility to complete a majority of their Pharm.D. from anywhere in the nation.

“Institutions adopting forward-thinking ways to train professionals beyond the classroom is becoming increasingly more common, even in the most distinguished fields,” Grace Kuo, Pharm.D., dean of the TTUHSC Jerry H. Hodge School of Pharmacy, said in a news release. “We recognize that the landscape of education is evolving, and as a leader in pharmacy education, it is our duty to adapt in order to improve the services we offer.”

The new TTUHSC Jerry H. Hodge School of Pharmacy Pioneer Pathway will live within the existing Pharm.D. program and maintain the quality and rigor of the school’s on-campus pathways.

A task force made up of faculty and staff members within the school focused the design of the pathway on faculty instruction, digital learning technology, student engagement and support complemented by hands-on immersions and structured flexibility.

“We are excited to add the new pathway because, in addition to driving innovation and enhancement of our existing pathways, it extends our reach to a broader audience, including those who may have previously had limited options for pharmacy education,” Krystal Haase, Pharm.D., TTUHSC Jerry H. Hodge School of Pharmacy regional dean Pioneer Pathway task force chair, said. “We pride ourselves on the high quality of our program and graduates and, for that reason, this pathway will maintain the same curriculum and learning outcomes as existing on-campus pathways.”

Course instruction will be delivered through a combination of synchronous and asynchronous online formats, and students will have weekly face-to-face opportunities to engage with professors and classmates. Hands-on skills and professional experience will be gained over a minimum of 10 weeks of on-campus immersion experiences during the first two and a half years in the Pharm.D. program. Immersion experiences will occur on the Amarillo campus during the first and second years of the program. During the third year, Pioneer Pathway students will join their campus of preference, where they will take course work and complete eight of the 12 required rotations over their third and fourth years.

Faculty will use success coach strategies to help students find the best ways to achieve learning goals on a weekly basis. Haase said the ideal candidates for this pathway are self-motivated learners whose circumstances make them unable to physically relocate to one of the existing four campuses. Like the traditional Pharm.D. pathway, the cost for students wanting to join the Pioneer Pathway will be competitive with other institutions.

“When you consider that all of the existing programs offering these types of pathways are private institutions and TTUHSC’s proven ability to provide outstanding cost per value in terms of credit hours, we have a to opportunity to be extremely competitive in the national market,” Haase said.

Recruitment for the first cohort is underway for Fall 2024 and will be limited to 24 students to ensure optimal support of learners by existing faculty and team members. Those interested in learning more about the Pioneer Pathway can visit