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Stony Brook University to open pharmacy school next year

Stony Brook University's campus on Sept. 10, 2013.

Stony Brook University's campus on Sept. 10, 2013. Credit: Stony Brook University Communications / John Griffin

Stony Brook University plans to open the first pharmacy school in Nassau and Suffolk counties and enroll its founding class of 75 in the fall 2016 semester, university officials said.

The move would give the university the authority to confer a doctor of pharmacy. The plan, approved last week by SUNY trustees, is awaiting approval by the state Board of Regents.

"It sits very well with the range of things we offer as a university," said Dr. Samuel L. Stanley, the university's president.

The Stony Brook University School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences would "train high-achieving students with diverse backgrounds both in the basic science and practice of pharmacy," the school said in a statement.

Stanley said there is a need for graduate training in pharmacy as well as partnership with other university programs, such as the medical, dental and nursing schools, and the public health and health and technology departments.

"We'd love to bring in some pharmaceutical companies as well, maybe through START-UP NY," Stanley said, referring to the state business-incentive program.

Stony Brook has offered an undergraduate degree in pharmacological studies since 1994. Holders of that degree alone cannot practice as pharmacists.

Tuition for the four-year graduate degree in pharmacy would be about $27,000 annually. Enrollment would be capped at 75 students per class, Stanley said.

The school has hired an interim dean -- Edmund Hayes, who currently is assistant director of pharmacy at Stony Brook's medical center and an adjunct pharmacy professor at St. John's University in Queens. The university will conduct a search for a permanent dean.

The pharmacy school would be housed in the Medical and Research Translation (MART) building until the university secures the funding for a more permanent location.

There also is a proposal to create a pharmacy school at Binghamton University. Both schools are part of the State University of New York system.

Stanley said there is enough demand to supply adequate enrollment at both schools. There are seven applicants for every spot in a graduate pharmacy program, he said.

No figures on cost to the university were available, but Stanley said the new pharmacy school would likely operate at a loss for the first two years.

St. John's University in Jamaica, LIU Brooklyn and Touro College in Manhattan also offer the doctor of pharmacy degree.

With Olivia Winslow

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