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Washington State University

Frequently Asked Questions

General information
Admissions information
Prerequisite coursework
Admission changes during COVID-19

General information

Is the WSU College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences (CPPS) accredited?

Yes, since 1938, by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE).

What is the cost of attendance for 2024-2025?

For Washington residents, tuition is $25,460. For out-of-state residents, tuition is $30,686. Learn more about costs and budgeting here.

How do I apply for Washington residency?

The WSU Office of the Registrar Residency General Information page provides the best information about obtaining Washington residency. Note that moving to Washington solely for educational purposes is not sufficient to establish residency. However, because of licensing and certification requirements and relocation, many of our out-of-state students may qualify for residency after the first year.

Does the CPPS participate in the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE)?

Yes, with WICHE’s Professional Student Exchange Program (PSEP). Alaska, Nevada and Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands provide support for their residents to attend WICHE schools for Pharmacy.

How long does it take to get a PharmD?

The WSU Doctor of Pharmacy program is four years. Pharmacy students spend the first three years on campus, and gain first-hand experience in summers and their fourth year through pharmacy rotations. Our four-year curriculum gives students plenty of time to truly master the material without giving up their summer breaks.

Admissions information

What is the Save-a-Seat program?

The Save-a-Seat program is for current high school seniors or college students who are working to complete their Pre-Pharmacy requirements and plan to apply to the WSU Doctor of Pharmacy program after completion of their prerequisite coursework. Read more on our Save-a-Seat page.

How many students are accepted every year?

We accept around 135 students for our Spokane campus, and around 35 students for our Yakima campus every fall. Approximately 70% of students are Washington Residents, and 30% are current WSU students.

How can I increase my chances of being accepted?

Early submission of a complete application is strongly recommended and could increase a qualified applicant’s chance of receiving an interview and possible offer.

We evaluate applications through a holistic admission process. This means that we evaluate applicants on more than just GPA by considering academic record, evaluations, personal and professional goal statements, and life experiences.

Am I required to have pharmacy experience?

The CPPS does not require students to have pharmacy experience prior to applying for the Doctor of Pharmacy program. We do recommend that each applicant has a strong understanding of what a career as a pharmacist entails and can articulate why they want to become a pharmacist.

How is GPA calculated and what is the minimum requirement?

GPA is calculated through PharmCAS and includes all previous coursework, including repeated courses. A minimum 2.7 cumulative GPA, as verified by PharmCAS, is preferred for admission.

Do I need to send my transcripts to the CPPS?

You need to send an official copy of all transcripts to PharmCAS when you apply. You will need to send final official transcripts to the CPPS only if you are accepted into the Doctor of Pharmacy program.

Who should write my letters of recommendation?

We require two letters of recommendation from evaluators who can speak to your professional character, accountability, and notable experiences, such as a professor, teaching assistant, employer or volunteer supervisor. More than two letters are not required but highly recommended and up to four letters may be submitted.

Evaluators should speak to your adaptability, empathy, ethics, intellectual ability, interpersonal relations, judgement, leadership, reliability, and communication skills. It is recommended a supervisor, pharmacist or other health care provider you have worked with submit an evaluation. It is also highly recommended you obtain an evaluation from an academic source that can speak knowledgeably about your academic history. A letter from a pharmacist is not required but highly recommended.

Recommendations are NOT ACCEPTED from family members, friends, politicians, fraternity or sorority advisors, personal health care providers or high school faculty/advisors. Recommendations are not accepted from career services or reference letter centers.

Where can I find the supplemental application essay questions?

The Professional Goal Statements can be found here

May I apply to the program before completing my associate or bachelor’s degree?

Yes. Applicants do not need a degree to be accepted into the Doctor of Pharmacy program.

May I transfer from another Doctor of Pharmacy program?

A student who is currently enrolled in a Doctor of Pharmacy program at another campus in good academic standing is considered a “transfer student.” Students requesting to transfer from their original school/college of pharmacy into the program at the WSU CPPS must follow the instructions detailed here.

Does the CPPS have an alternate list for admissions?

Yes. After the interview process, an applicant may be placed on the alternate list. Applicants can opt-in and remain on the alternate list for future consideration should a space open up. If a space should open up, the college may offer admission to the highest-ranking applicant on the alternate list.
Ranking is based on factors such as cumulative GPA, cumulative science GPA, and interview scores. The alternate list is kept active until after the first day of classes in August at which time all alternates not selected for admission will be sent notification via email.

How do I remove my name from the CPPS alternate list?

If you no longer want to be considered for admission please email us at We appreciate your updates.

Does the CPPS require a background check?

Yes. A national background check will be initiated for all students offered admission. The check is done through Certiphi Screening Services, which contracts with the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy, and is facilitated through PharmCAS immediately once an offer of admission is made.

Do you require a PCAT?

No. We have a holistic admissions approach and a PCAT score is not a factor in our admissions process.

Prerequisite coursework

How can I find out if the courses I have taken meet the prerequisites?

We will accept classes from all regionally accredited institutions. We suggest that you meet with an academic advisor from your home institution and provide them with the list of prerequisites so they can assist you with determining the correct equivalencies. See our pharmacy pre-requisites page for more information. If you have taken a course which may meet one of these requirements but is not an obvious match, we can review the course for acceptance. Please send an email request which must include: course description from the college’s website, catalog, or class syllabus, name of the institution from which the course is being taught, the number of credits, and what prerequisite you would like the course to satisfy. Please email this request to

When do I need to complete my pre-pharmacy courses?

You must complete all pre-pharmacy courses before entering the Doctor of Pharmacy program. All science-based prerequisites must be completed by the end of spring term and all non-science-based prerequisites must be completed by the end of summer, prior to our orientation in mid-August.

Do you accept advanced placement (AP) credit for prerequisite courses?

AP test scores which appear as credit received on a regionally accredited college transcript will be accepted. If scores are not listed on an official transcript then we will request the official AP score report be sent to us directly.

Do you accept Pass/Fail classes for prerequisites?


However, there is an exception in place for COVID-19 related changes. For more information, please see: My institution changed the grading scheme for one or more of my prerequisite courses to Pass/Fail, will you accept this?

Can one course count for more than one prerequisite?

No. The only exception to this rule is for approved combined anatomy and physiology courses.

May I use the same course prefix for two different categories?

Yes, where appropriate.

Will you accept “science courses for non- science majors” to meet prerequisites?

No. You must complete the science courses designed for science majors with labs.

Are courses taken online acceptable?

We will consider lower division, non-science coursework taken online from a regionally accredited university.

However, there is an exception in place for COVID-19 related changes. For more information, please see: My institution changed course instruction from in person delivery to online, will you still accept my courses?

Do my prerequisite courses expire after a certain amount of time?

Upper-division science coursework should be no more than seven years old at the time of application. However, each situation is reviewed on an individual basis. Please contact our student services office at (509) 368-6605 for more information.

What if I have taken classes on the quarter system and after conversion I am short?

We round up the credit hours from the quarter to semester conversion.

Will you accept the coursework I completed at a university in another country?

Students with international transcripts must have their transcripts evaluated on a course-by-course basis by a foreign transcript service. The foreign transcript evaluation reports are then submitted to PharmCAS, and PharmCAS will provide us with this information. PharmCAS requires WES evaluations. Upper division sciences will not be accepted from foreign institutions and must be completed within the United States. Please visit the PharmCAS – International Transcripts page for more information.

Are international students eligible for admission?

The college does consider international students for admission to the Doctor of Pharmacy program. International applicants are required to complete a foreign transcript evaluation and send this evaluation directly to PharmCAS and take the TOEFL or IELTS exam.


International transcripts must be evaluated by the World Education Service (WES) on a course-by-course basis and include all transcripts. The complete report must be submitted to and received by PharmCAS by the application deadline. Upper division coursework, including Organic Chemistry, Human Anatomy and Physiology, Microbiology, and Biochemistry, should be completed at a regionally accredited institution in the US.

Syllabi for all international prerequisite courses completed must be submitted as PDFs in English and include modules covered, student learning outcomes, course description, and course assessment. Applicant’s from a country that utilizes and supplies consolidated marks sheets must submit individual marks sheets.


Minimum TOEFL scores required are a 550 paper based, 90 internet based, or 250 computer based; or minimum IELTS score of 6.5 or higher. Minimum TOEFL sub scores required: Reading 20, Writing 22, Speaking 22, and Listening 20. Exam date must be within one year of application.

Exceptions to English Language Proficiency Exam:

  • Applicants may be exempt if they have completed a BA or BS degree in a native English-Speaking country.
  • Applicants may be exempt if they have completed a minimum of 25 semester/45 quarter credits of equivalent prerequisite coursework from an accredited U.S. based institution.
  • The applicant is coming from a country where English is the official mode of instruction, may be exempt from testing requirement. Documentation confirming English mode of instruction is required.


Admission changes during COVID-19

My institution changed the grading scheme for one or more of my prerequisite courses to Pass/Fail, will you accept this?

The CPPS admission policy states all prerequisite coursework must be letter graded and a grade of C- (1.7) or higher must be earned. If the applicant’s institution initiated the change, CPPS will make an exception to this policy and will accept Pass (P) or Satisfactory (S) grades. CPPS will not accept Pass/Fail courses if the applicant initiated the grading change.

My institution changed one or more of my prerequisite courses from credit bearing to no credit, will you accept this?

No, the CPPS admission policy requires applicants to earn credit for the prerequisite courses.

My institution changed course instruction from in person delivery to online, will you still accept my courses?

CPPS will accept upper-division science courses and non-science courses that were modified to an online delivery from regionally accredited institutions.

How should I send updated transcripts to WSU CPPS?

Please send updated transcripts directly to PharmCAS during the spring academic update period until further notice. The spring academic update is currently open and will remain open until August 1.

See additional COVID-19 updates from PharmCAS

Do I need to get the COVID-19 vaccine?

All WSU Health Sciences students, including student pharmacists, are required to be vaccinated or show evidence of immunity for several diseases, including COVID-19. As a student pharmacist, you will be working with some of the most vulnerable populations, including patients with chronic medical conditions and co-morbidities. We encourage you to read the updated WSU Health Sciences vaccination policy and note the list of vaccines (including the COVID-19 vaccines) required so that you are aware of what is expected of you for your professional training.

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