Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald


UW-Madison PharmD Early Assurance program to support Wisconsin high school seniors, college freshmen

PharmD Early Assurance program aims to help UW system students stay close to home for undergrad
Abigail Leavins
CVS Pharmacy

The University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Pharmacy introduced a new early assurance program Aug. 29 to help Wisconsin high school seniors and first-semester UW System students gain conditional admission to UW-Madison’s Doctor of Pharmacy program.

UW-Madison School of Pharmacy Assistant Dean of Admissions and Recruitment Jeremy Altschafl said the new program allows students to reserve a spot in the PharmD program at UW-Madison directly after they complete program prerequisites at any UW System school.

Tenant’s rights, responsibilities, resources guide

According to a press release from the School of Pharmacy, most early assurance pharmacy programs require students to attend the same university for undergraduate and pharmacy programs, while UW-Madison’s PharmD Early Assurance program helps support students who want to stay close to home during undergrad.


Unlike other professional medical degrees, most PharmD programs do not require a bachelor’s degree, according to the program’s website. Instead, these programs have course requirements that must be met before applying to the program. PharmD Early Assurance program participants must complete a minimum of 72 prerequisite credits or receive their bachelor’s degree from a UW System school, while maintaining other eligibility requirements, before gaining formal admission to UW-Madison’s Doctor of Pharmacy program.

Altschafl said just 50-60% of the pharmacy students in the program have bachelor’s degrees.

Altschafl said UW-Madison’s PharmD Early Assurance Program is meant for passionate, motivated students who want to work in healthcare. In exchange for an early conditional commitment, the program provides the assurance many students look for when approaching multi-year professional programs.

“[The PharmD Early Assurance is seeking] Someone who is looking to make a difference, especially in their community, and I’m seeing this more and more with students that are from different parts of the state that want to go back home,” Altschafl said.

Altschafl said many students attend local UW System schools before completing UW-Madison’s PharmD program in order to stay close to home. The new program helps ensure these students experience a seamless transition into UW-Madison’s School of Pharmacy.

According to the PharmD website, 99% of UW-Madison Doctor of Pharmacy graduates are matched in residency, compared to the national average of 83%. Further, 96% of UW-Madison PharmD graduates are employed within the first six months of graduation.

UW-Oshkosh freshman Payton Totz is part of the first group of students participating in the PharmD Early Assurance program. Totz said she is drawn to the pharmacy industry after observing her local pharmacist help customers.

SSFC meets to discuss campus safety, GSSF application deadline

“I actually got a job at my hometown pharmacy here in Oshkosh, and I got to see how a pharmacist can work in the retail side of things,” Totz said. “I loved watching the main pharmacist at my location and how much she’s able to help patients and talk to them and talk them through so much stuff in terms of medicine and helping them feel better.”

Payton had always planned to go to UW-Madison for pharmacy school, but it wasn’t until she heard about the PharmD Early Assurance program in May that she decided to apply. Totz said knowing she has her seat reserved and having early guidance puts her at ease.

Totz plans to come to UW-Madison in the fall of 2026 after two years at UW-Oshkosh.

“There was a lot more guidance through undergraduate [because of] different advisors you can meet with, people you can talk to,” Totz said. “There’s a GPA requirement for you to maintain and I knew that would help me stay on track with my goals.”

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, pharmacist employment is projected to grow 3% from 2022 to 2032. Altschafl said this demand for employment impacts class sizes at UW-Madison School of Pharmacy.

 “Our classes have been smaller in more recent years as the demand for pharmacists has declined, but this demand is now increasing,” Altschafl said.

According to the UW-Madison Doctor of Pharmacy website, applicants are evaluated holistically and applications for current college freshman must be submitted by Dec. 30.

Leave a Comment
Donate to The Badger Herald

Your donation will support the student journalists of University of Wisconsin-Madison. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to The Badger Herald

Comments (0)

All The Badger Herald Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *