OTTAWA -- The University of Ottawa is opening a new School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, hoping to boost training for French-speaking pharmacy students across Canada.

It's the first French undergraduate Doctor of Pharmacy program outside of Quebec.

The new School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, housed in the Faculty of Medicine, will begin accepting students in the fall of 2023.

"The creation of the school is a historical moment for our faculty," said Bernard Jasmin, Dean of the Faculty of Medicine. "Not only does it demonstrate our sustained commitment to la Francophonie, but it also aligns well with our strong tradition of excellence in education and research."

The University of Ottawa says the undergraduate program will train students for a professional career as pharmacists in a community or healthcare setting, or in the pharmaceutical industry, regulatory bodies, or an academic environment.

"The University of Ottawa is proud to offer the first French-language undergraduate Pharmacy program in Canada, outside of Quebec," said Sanni Yaya, vice-president of International and Francophonie at the University of Ottawa.

"The training of Francophone and Francophile pharmacists not only addresses the current shortage of health care professionals that is severely affecting Francophone communities, but also makes the profession accessible to the Francophone minority across the country."

Current estimates suggest an additional 750 Francophone pharmacists will be needed in Canadian pharmacies outside of Quebec by 2026.