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University of Florida's PharmD program to require iPod touch

The University of Florida is the second school in as many months to announce that students enrolling in one of its curriculums this fall will be required to own either an iPhone or iPod touch, highlighting an increasing role for Apple's multi-touch devices in higher education.

"All entering PharmD students must have a iPod touch (or iPhone) and a computer meeting minimum UF and College of Pharmacy (COP) requirements," the university said on its College of Pharmacy website.

The school, which is ranked as one of the top 10 in the nation by US News and World Report, first began offering its Doctor of Pharmacy online degree program for licensed pharmacist back in 1994. Since then, the curriculum has "grown to be the largest and most sought after pharmacy program for employed pharmacists to earn the Doctor of Pharmacy degree," the school says.

The health care profession in general has been amongst the quickest to latch on to Apple's iPhone and App Store ecosystem ever since the company announced its iPhone Developer program last March.

Medical reference applications, blood glucose monitor accessories, and software that allows obstetricians to use their iPhones to remotely access virtual real-time and historical waveform data for their patients, are just some examples of the growing trend.

The University of Florida's announcement late last week arrives on the heels of a similar requirement set forth in May by the University of Missouri. It too said that beginning this fall, all of its journalism students will be required to own an iPhone or iPod touch.

The university later explained that it won't enforce the requirement, but listed it as such so that students could include the cost of their Apple handhelds in their financial needs estimates.