Kean and Howard Universities ForgeHistoric Dual Degree Agreement

Kean University students now have a faster path to earning a doctoral degree in pharmacy under a new dual degree agreement with Howard University that is designed to encourage more students from underrepresented groups to enter the healthcare field.

Initiated during Black History Month, this dynamic partnership provides qualified Kean students with the opportunity to study at Howard, one of the nation’s most prestigious historically Black research universities. Participants will earn both a Bachelor of Arts in chemistry from Kean and a Doctorate of Pharmacy (Pharm. D.) from Howard in Washington, D.C., in seven years, one year faster than through traditional pharmacy academic programs.

“This landmark agreement with one of the preeminent historically Black universities in the nation is a momentous step in fulfilling Kean’s mission as New Jersey’s urban research university,” said Kean President Lamont O. Repollet, Ed.D. “It will bring students from diverse backgrounds into this critical field. As a minority-serving institution, Kean shares profound similarities and deeprooted values with Howard. We look forward to learning from this partnership and are committed to strategically aligning with other institutions to optimally support and elevate our students’ experiences and opportunities.”

Under the articulation agreement, Kean students in the chemistry program can apply for the program in their sophomore year. Once admitted, they’ll complete the first year of pharmacy school at Howard during their senior year at Kean. Kean will then award the student a B.A. in chemistry, and they continue on through Howard’s Pharm. D. program to earn their doctorate.

Kean University Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs David Birdsell, Ph.D., highlighted the exceptional opportunity presented by the agreement, noting that it not only paves a pathway to a career in pharmacy but also offers Kean students the privilege of experiencing one of the nation’s most distinguished Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs).

“As Kean ascends to new heights as a research institution, our commitment is not just to identify, but to forge partnerships that provide unparalleled benefits for both our students and our researchers,” Birdsell said. “This program is a pioneering initiative that will undoubtedly set a benchmark for future collaborations.”

Kean Vice President of External Affairs and Urban Policy and Research Barbara George Johnson, J.D., is a leader in community health care and policy in New Jersey. She believes it’s important for health professionals to be reflective of the communities they serve.

“Kean University is a leader in community health initiatives in the state,” she said. “This agreement signifies Kean’s commitment to improving the lives and economic wellbeing of New Jersey and the nation’s urban residents through a focus on advancements in health care delivery.” Currently, only 4.3% of pharmacists in New Jersey are African American and the number is even lower for LatinX representation at 3.6%, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.